Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Why Use Colorless Creatures in Magic?
Magic contains five unique colors—red, green, blue, black, and white—each able to access their own assortment of spells by using corresponding lands. However, to round out any structure, you can always include colorless monsters when deck-building because (like most artifacts) they accept any type of mana in their casting, fitting snugly into any ensemble!
Colorless creatures enjoy other advantages, like having few "protection from" counters, and their grayscale status helps when surviving color-destroying nukes such as the "All is Dust" sorcery. But with hundreds of colorless beasts running amok, which are worth your valuable deck-building time? These are the 10 best non-eldrazi (we'll talk more about them later) colorless creatures in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Ramos, Dragon Engine
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 6
As a legendary creature, Ramos can serve as a commander in EDH format, but per the legend rule, you can only field one at once. With a hefty cost of six mana, this dragon's not cheap, but it arrives as a 4/4 (wielding four power and four toughness) with flying, letting it soar over ground-based blockers. Like many colorless combatants, it's an artifact/creature blend, qualifying for effects—and removals—of both types.
Ramos operates best in multicolor decks since it gains a +1/+1 counter for each color of mana used in other spells, quickly gaining power. Not only that, you can remove five +1/+1 counters from Ramos to acquire ten mana, two from each color. This provides arguably the strongest non-infinite mana ramp in the game, handing you enough essence to cast the game's strongest creatures and perfectly satisfying Progenitus's mana requirement.
9. Palladium Myr
Speaking of mana ramp, consider Palladium Myr, a card that can be played much earlier than Ramos and also helps generate resources for other spells. Entering as a 2/2 artifact creature, Myr has enough toughness to survive a -1/-1 counter, and it can tap to provide two colorless mana!
While you'll need other mana to satisfy the color requirements of cards, even colored spells generally have several slots that can be filled with colorless mana, and netting two at once is a great boon comparable to artifacts like Sol Ring and Worn Powerstone. If you can place the haste trait onto Myr, you'll avoid summoning sickness and be able to tap the turn it arrives!
8. Solemn Simulacrum
With a moderate mana cost of four, this versatile golem assists your deck on multiple fronts. When Solemn Simulacrum first enters the field, you get to search your library for a basic land (shuffling afterwards) and place it tapped onto the field , giving you extra resources in future turns.
While Simulacrum's 2/2 power and toughness are rather low for its cost, it makes a great candidate to block an incoming attack—you'll activate its next effect when it dies, drawing a card and replenishing your hand. Overall, a versatile warrior with helpful wordings of its abilities; Simulacrum pulls lands whenever entering the field (not just when cast), qualifying its former ability for graveyard revivals, and draws whenever it dies through any means, whether destroyed in battle, sacrificed, or having its toughness reduced to zero with debuffs.
7. Platinum Angel
4/4 isn't particularly impressive on a seven-cost creature, and the flying trait alone can't make up the difference. However, Platinum Angel enjoys one of the strongest effects in the game: while fielded, you cannot lose and your opponent's can't win! That's right, as long as Platinum lives, you'll continue playing even if your life reaches zero or your opponent achieves an automatic win condition.
To defeat you, they'll first have to take down Platinum, which may prove difficult since you can simply elect to not have it enter battle (unlike Yu-Gi-Oh, blocking is optional). You can also use equipment or auras to provide indestructible and protection keywords to further your seraphim's defense. To offset Platinum's draining cost, consider manipulating it to the field for free with cards like Norwood Priestess or Kaalia of the Vast.
6. Colossus of Akros
Demanding eight mana, Akros also makes a great candidate for free-casting effects and rewards players who put in the effort with a heap of powerful abilities. With a daunting 10/10 stats, Akros dominates in battle, especially with its indestructible trait that shields it against the most common removal. That said, it wields defender, meaning you can only block with it (and not attack).
Well, until you activate Akros's monstrosity ability. By spending ten mana, Akros gains ten +1/+1 counters, can attack as though it didn't have defender, and acquires trample, letting excess combat damage bleed through to your opponent. At full strength, Akros wields an unparalleled 20/20, indestructible, and trample; good luck lasting long against that.
5. Burnished Hart
Green is king in mana ramp, but Burnished Hart offers a valuable ramp unit to any color. Hart needs three mana to initially cast and three more to activate its effect; six total isn't cheap, but it's nice that you can divide it over multiple turns, letting you play Hart fairly early. When you spend Hart's second dose of three mana and sacrifice it, you get to search your library for up to two basic lands and place them onto the field tapped, providing a wealth of resources on following turns.
Hart also combos well with one of the best god cards, black/white Athreos God of Passage, whose ability will return Hart to your hand when it sacrifices itself unless your opponent pays three life.
4. Armory Automaton
This construct takes three mana and only arrives as a 2/2, but Automaton offers an incredible effect. When entering the field or attacking, it can attach any number of artifact equipment to itself. Not only does this spare you the trouble of paying any attach costs your equipment may bear, it even lets you fasten equipment that your opponent controls!
That's an awesome power for just three mana, and since it can reactive whenever you swing, your opponent will hesitate to play equipment in the meantime, dampening their strategy for fear of you pilfering their tools. Control of any stolen equipment won't change, meaning your opponent can reattach it to their army by paying attachment costs, but this drains their resources and can only be done at sorcery speed—they'll have to wait until their turn before having a chance to reclaim their weapons.
3. Ancient Stone Idol
Ancient Stone Idol normally requires a massive ten mana, but we'll soon see it's easy to decrease that hefty price. With 12/12 and trample, Stone Idol bulldozes through just about any foe in battle, landing pierce damage even if blocked. It also bears flash, letting you cast it at instant-speed, which you'll definitely want since Idol's mana cost is reduced by one for each attacking creature in a battle phase!
This works with both your creatures and your opponent's, meaning Idol operates well as both a final nail to pin in your opponent's coffin or a comeback device when your opponent assaults you with numerous units. As if that weren't enough, in the rare cases where Idol perishes, it'll create a 6/12 colorless construct artifact token with trample, granting you a powerful warrior even in death. What else can I say? Able to reduce its own cost and concealing a wealth of handy tricks, Idol fits well into almost any Magic deck.
Although it only belongs in artifact-heavy deck lists, Metalworker offers unrivaled mana ramp in its element. This steel-forged construct joins the fray as a weak 1/2, but it can tap to let you reveal any number of artifact cards from your hand, gaining you two colorless mana for each!
Admittedly, you're showing your opponent some of the cards you possess, giving them a slight tactical advantage, but that's forgettable when you've suddenly amassed six or more mana with no price. Metalworker's effect helpfully works with all relics, whether artifact/creature duos, artifact equipment weapons, or simply pure artifacts, giving you plenty of chances to collect incredible amounts of mana. These mana reservoirs are especially handy for playing creatures like...
1. Blightsteel Colossus
With its insane mana cost of 12, Blightsteel Colossus should be gimmicked to the field with effects that can play creatures for free, like Jhoira of the Ghitu or Norwood Priestess. But once Blightsteel hits the arena, your opponent's in for a world of hurt. As an artifact creature, Blightseel qualifies for bonuses of both card types and wields a monstrous 11/11. It also bears indestructible, trample, and the lethal infect trait, dealing damage to creatures in -1/-1 counters (which last even across rounds) and players as poison counters.
Once a player accumulates ten poison counters, they automatically lose, and since Blightsteel's power is above ten, a single direct hit from it will vanquish your foe regardless of their current life total. Blighsteel's one downside (other than its mana consumption) is its inability to be put into the graveyard; it'll gets shuffled into your library instead, preventing a revival. Still, that's a negligible trade-off for one of the game's deadliest monsters. I've won several games with this golem, and since it's not legendary, you can field multiple copies at once. Because of its power and rarity, Blightsteel normally costs around $40 to purchase, but thankfully you can buy alternate artworks for casual play at much cheaper prices.
Colorless Monsters and Eldrazi
We've examined several powerful colorless units today, but remember hundreds more exist to supplement your deck. In particular, you'll want to consider the best of the eldrazi, high-cost colorless invaders who justify their price with unrivaled battle stats, entrance effects, and the ruthless annihilator ability, which forces opponents to sacrifice permanents when you attack.
Whether through big golems and eldrazi or smaller utility creatures, the colorless factions offers mana ramp, boss monsters, and much more to any theme, and their powers shouldn't be overlooked when deck building. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of monochrome warriors, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill