Colorless decks contain no cards that contain colored mana symbols. Detached from all other colors and philosophies, colorless cards, creatures, and color identities tend to be unique, artificial, and unknowable.
Generic mana symbols such as or may be paid with mana of any type, but colorless mana symbols must be paid for with specifically colorless mana, such as that produced by a.
Popular colorless commanders include, , and .
Colorless cards are famously associated with artifacts and with Eldrazi tribe. Artifacts are metallic, man-made, detached from emotion, and built to serve specific purposes as trinkets, treasures, and engines alike. Eldrazi tribe are incomprehensible beings, estimated to be older than the colors of magic themselves, unmoved by the concepts or influence of other beings, viewing them more as a nuisance than a threat. Their abilities tend to be unpredictable, often producing abilities that are either unavailable to most colors, or applying well-known abilities in unusual ways.
Decks with a colorless color identity may contain no cards with a colored mana symbol, which often causes them to lack key abilities available to other decks. However, without the distraction of colored mana, they need never bother with acquiring specific types of mana for their spells.
Popular Colorless Strategies
- One of the best advantages of colorless decks is their use of artifact ramp effects. While other colors may shy away from sources that only produce colored mana, since that mana does not help them cast colored spells, colorless decks are able to glean maximum benefit from cards that produce large amounts of non-colored mana.
- As most of the colorless cards also happen to be artifacts, colorless decks often have powerful and even incidental synergy with cards that reward them for containing a high number of artifact spells.
- The majority of utility lands (that is, lands with abilities other than just tapping for mana) produce colorless mana. This is often a downside to decks with many colors, where colorless mana may impede them from casting specific spells. Colorless decks do not share this problem, allowing them to run a wide variety of powerful, if niche, colorless lands other decks would struggle to play.
- Colorless decks may contain a surprising amount of ways to find key cards in their decks. This is sometimes done by finding artifacts (a category which includes the majority of cards in a colorless deck) or by searching for any card unconditionally.
- Being made from cards that can be in any deck, colorless cards can’t violate each color’s inherent strengths and weaknesses. Red, for example, does not have access to efficient removal for enchantment cards. Since any red deck can also run colorless cards, colorless cards do not contain easy ways to allow red to overcome this downside. Thus, the weaknesses of each color (particularly with regards to answers that would eliminate enemy threats) also transfers to colorless decks.
- Colorless decks rely solely on artifacts as sources of ramp, and many of their most powerful cards also tend to be artifact cards. Removal, especially mass removal, that targets artifact cards (such as the card ), can severely hinder a colorless deck.
- Colorless decks do not have a lot of variety. Colorless lacks the strong identity and complexity of other identities, and also has a severely limited card pool, which reduces the types and diversity of strategies available to it. Even when two different colorless decks employ two different strategies, it is likely that both decks contain many of the same cards.