10 of the Most Iconic Creatures in Magic: The Gathering History

Updated on March 27, 2020
Jan Michael Ong profile image

I like writing about food, sports, personal finance, the stock market, reality TV, cartoons, comics, collectible card games and video games.

10 Iconic Magic: The Gathering Creatures

  1. Shivan Dragon
  2. Birds of Paradise
  3. Ernham Djinn
  4. Hypnotic Specter
  5. Mahamoti Djinn
  6. Juzam Djinn
  7. Serra Angel
  8. Tarmogoyf
  9. Morphling
  10. Nicol Bolas

1. Shivan Dragon

You cannot have a fantasy game without dragons. At the advent of the game, Shivan Dragon was the biggest and baddest dragon in existence.

For a mere six mana, you get a 5/5 creature who had flying and a fire-breathing ability.

Though with the power creep in creatures, Shivan Dragon's stats are no longer impressive, long-time players of the game will always remember themselves winning the game when Shivan Dragon hit the table or cracking a pack and pulling one of these bad boys.

2. Birds of Paradise

At first glance, a 0/1 creature does not seem very impressive. However, when you look at the whole card, it is quite an impressive mana dork.

First of all, it is one of the few mana dorks with flying. This allows you to block most creatures, and this could save your life points. Second, for the investment of a mere green mana, you could perpetually produce one mana of any color of your choice.

If you combine Birds of Paradise with buffs like Blanchwood Armor, you can even sneak in some damage and go on the offensive.

Birds was in alpha and has seen many reprints. It is the gold standard of mana dorks.

3. Ernham Djinn

Ernham Djinn had very impressive stats during a time when getting what you paid for was a bargain. A 4/5 creature for only four mana was big during the time.

Ernham was relatively easy to include in most decks as it required only 1 green mana to cast. The rest of the cost was three generic mana.

The djinn was included in green stompy and Ernhamgeddon decks. Once Armageddon hits and Ernham Djinn is in play, it is soon over for your opponent.

4. Hypnotic Specter

When quick mana was still part of black's wheelhouse, Hypnotic Specter could be easily cast in turn 1 with Dark Ritual. You can even get 2 of them on turn 2 with 2 Swamps and 2 Dark Rituals.

Aside from being a 2/2 flying creature for a mere 3 mana, when Hypnotic Specter deals damage to an opponent, he discards a card at random.

An early Hypnotic Specter or two can easily disrupt your opponent and can greatly reduce his chances to win.

5. Mahamoti Djinn

Mahamoti Djinn was a great finisher for blue decks back in the day. It was a 5/6 creature with flying and had a chock full of counterspells that protected it. It was a classic duck and cover.

With 5 power, the djinn could have your opponent down for the count in as few as 4 turns.

The picture is also classic. It is a derivative of Aladdin and the genie of the lamp.

6. Juzam Djinn

Juzam Djinn was a favorite among the staff of Inquest Gamer magazine. Inquest was a popular gaming magazine that initially covered collectible card games but later covered board games, miniature games, and video games.

Juzam was prominently featured several times during the magazine's run from 1995 to 2007.

A first turn Juzam greatly increases your chances of victory. Imagine the horror on your opponent's face when you cast two Dark Rituals in succession and plop down Juzam.

In just four turns, it's lights out for the opposition.

7. Serra Angel

The Serra Angel was once a staple in tournament-level decks. It was an integral part of white weenie and Stasis based decks.

The "vigilance" ability of the Serra Angel made it particularly versatile as it could attack one turn and block the next. It also shields it from effects that destroy tapped creatures.

Five mana four a 4/4 creature that flies and has vigilance is not bad.

Though Serra Angel is not as powerful as it once was in constructed, it can still be a bomb in draft.

8. Tarmogoyf

The original version of Tarmogoyf was printed in the expansion "Future Sight." The aim of the expansion was to be a sneak preview of cards and mechanics that will appear in future expansions.

Tarmogoyf appeared in the set with a card frame that was different from the normal card frame.

Initially, people did not know how powerful the creature was. When people discovered how potent Tarmogoyf was, it became a staple in the tournament scene as it can grow easily in the first few turns. With dredge or graveyard filling techniques, Tarmogoyf can easily grow to a 4/5 or 5/6 creature.

9. Morphling

Morphling was dubbed as "Superman" because of its myriad of abilities. Morphling could fly, could get shroud, had flexible power and toughness, and could also be untapped.

This made Morphling a good finisher for control and duck and cover decks.

Though a 3/3 at 5 mana is not impressive, blue's ability to protect creatures and Morphling's ability to protect itself makes it hard to get rid of it.

10. Nicol Bolas

Before Nicol Bolas was terrorizing entire planes and battling the Gatewatch, he was a rather scholarly dragon who studied arcane magic.

Though Bolas was difficult to cast, once he gets going, he can easily decimate your opponent's hand and life total.

Players who wanted to not pay Bolas' hefty cost often used reanimation effects and Sneak Attack to work around it.

Iconic Creatures

Which creature is the most iconic?

See results

© 2019 Jan Michael Ong


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hobbylark.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)