Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are the Eldrazi in Magic?
Any spellcaster worth their Black Lotus knows of the fierce eldrazi creature subtype. These mighty behemoths cost massive amounts of mana but enter the field with unparalleled power, toughness, and special abilities. Most are colorless, meaning you can put them in any deck, making it hard to predict when your opponent might have concealed one in their build.
With incredible stats, any player who can ramp enough to afford them or otherwise gimmick them to the field will be rewarded with some of the game's strongest fiends. But with dozens of alien invaders to choose from, which monsters reign supreme?
These are the ten best eldrazi in Magic: The Gathering!
- Kozilek, the Great Distortion
- Pathrazer of Ulamog
- Void Winnower
- Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
- Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
- Artisan of Kozilek
- Eldrazi Conscription
- It That Betrays
- Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
- Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
10. Kozilek, the Great Distortion
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 10
Some eldrazi, like this version of Kozilek, have unique colorless symbols in their mana cost. Unlike regular colorless mana, these symbols must be met by cards that generate them specifically. You can do this with several eldrazi who can tap for it, or better yet, with the basic Wastes land.
The Great Distortion is legendary, adhering to the legend rule where you may only control one at once. He arrives as a monstrous 12/12 (twelve power and toughness), though he costs ten mana. Beyond his titanic strength, Kozilek offers three benefits. When you cast him and have less than seven cards in hand, you draw up to seven, the menace trait means opponents can only block Kozilek with two or more creatures, and Kozilek lets you discard a card to counter a spell that shares the discarded card's CMC. The Great Distortion would rank higher except for his specific mana demand, but he's still a worthy addition.
9. Pathrazer of Ulamog
As a nonlegendary card, you can control multiple copies of Pathrazer of Ulamog if you wish. Although his 9/9 stats are low compared to his CMC, Ulamog comes with the coveted annihilator ability, a specialty of the eldrazi. This awesome trait forces opponents to sacrifice permanents whenever your creature attacks; in this case, annihilator three will make them forfeit three units. This handily bypasses defenses like indestructible, hexproof, and protection; none of them will shield against being sacrificed.
In my humble opinion, annihilator is the best trait in the game, especially higher values of it. As another bonus, Pathrazer wields what I call "super-menace", requiring three or more creatures to block it. This prevents your opponent from stopping its assault with a weak blocker; if they want to halt Pathrazer, they'll need to block (and probably lose) at least three warriors. And that's assuming they have anything to block with after annihilator triggers.
8. Void Winnower
Void Winnower lacks annihilator, but he (she? it?) costs less mana than prior entries and impresses as a fierce 11/9. He also wields two incredible lockdown effects that severely hinder your opponent's options. First, they cannot play any spell with an even CMC. This completely prevents them from using roughly half their cards, and it helpfully applies to cards with a 0 CMC. Additionally, your opponent cannot block with creatures who have an even CMC.
Overall, Void Winnower's lack of annihilator or protection slightly hold him back, but his comparatively low cost, high stats, and stupendous net abilities more than prove his worth for any Magic card game.
7. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Here we are. These guys are the cream of the crop, the super titans who usually signal the winner of each match once fielded. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre demands a draining eleven mana despite being just 10/10, but when cast, you can destroy a target permanent. This helpfully eliminates a creature, artifact, or enchantment if you wish, but also offers more-rare planeswalker or land destruction.
Ulamog is also indestructible, making him challenging to remove, and he has a fantastic annihilator 4 ability. Having to lose four permanents whenever Ulamog swings is brutal, and that's before you even try to block; be sure to give him haste with equipment cards like Lightning Greaves. Like many of the strongest eldrazi, Ulamog is shuffled back into your library (deck) if he ever enters the graveyard. This small undesirable quality (it prevents a graveyard recovery) barely hinders the lethal force that is the Infinite Gyre, and thanks to indestructible, he seldom dies anyway.
6. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Players could spend hours arguing over which Ulamog card impresses more. I give the edge to Ceaseless Hunger for his lower mana cost and superior "when cast" effect: you can exile two permanents. This doubles the number of removals you get, and completely banishes them from the game, preventing them from being recycled.
Like his other rendition, the Ceaseless Hunger wields the useful indestructible trait. Sadly, he lacks annihilator, but when he attacks, your opponent must exile the top twenty cards of their deck. This gives some serious mill-deck potential where you force a loss on your opponent by leaving them with nothing to draw, especially in smaller-deck formats like standard. As a final bonus, Ulamog isn't shuffled into your library if sent to the graveyard, letting you revive him with various rejuvenating abilities.
5. Artisan of Kozilek
Speaking of graveyard rebirth, when cast, Artisan of Kozilek lets you return a creature from your graveyard to your battlefield, a perfect way to recycle vanquished units (especially Ulamog). Artisan also brandishes annihilator 2, again forcing your foe to sacrifice permanents. Artisan doesn't quite have the wow factor of the prior two entries, nor does he possess indestructible, but a free creature return, annihilator, slightly lower cost, strong stats (10/9), and nonlegendary status make him an often-underestimated force in the eldrazi clan.
A favorite of mine in any deck that uses big creatures worth reviving (especially green builds), you can obtain Artisan for a lower price than most eldrazi, less than two dollars!
4. Eldrazi Conscription
Here's a bit of a cheat. Unlike today's other creature entries, Eldrazi Conscription is an aura enchantment that attaches to a creature already fielded. However, like all tribal cards, Wizards of the Coast technically classifies Conscription as a creature type, eldrazi in this case. It's also just pretty darn impressive. Your enchanted creature gets +10/+10, annihilator 2, and trample, letting it deal excess damage to your opponent even when blocked.
These are all awesome abilities, and +10/+10 (on top of your unit's base stats) will quickly rip through foes, especially alongside annihilator and trample. Unlike many eldrazi, who have to wait a turn before attacking due to summoning sickness, odds are good you'll be attaching this to a creature that's already been fielded for at least a turn, letting them make good use of that valuable annihilator the turn Conscription hits the field.
3. It That Betrays
Probably named after some of my exes, It That Betrays costs you an arm and a leg (twelve mana) but stays surprisingly loyal to you despite its name. The lack of indestructible can render it vulnerable to removals, but 11/11 and annihilator 2 quickly decimate your opponent's ranks. Additionally, It That Betrays places any nontoken permanents your foes sacrifice onto the field under your control!
As if annihilator wasn't brutal enough on its own, now your rivals will have to deal with you gaining whatever they forfeit. This applies to all cards they sacrifice, not just ones from Betrays, so assault your enemies with a plethora of annihilators to rapidly steal their cards and seize a win. No legendary status also means you can field multiple copies, and a lack of a graveyard-shuffle helps you revive Betrays if defeated (good luck with that).
2. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Despite costing a bit less than some of his gargantuan brethren, Kozilek, Butcher of Truth wields a daunting 12/12 power and toughness, and when initially cast, you draw a sweet four cards. Annihilator 4 swiftly rends through adversaries; very few decks will have much to counter with once they've lost four units (and more in future turns).
Sadly, Kozilek is shuffled into your deck when buried and lacks indestructible, but his somewhat lower cost, great entry ability, and savage sacrifice capabilities cement him as one of the best eldrazi, especially considering he's still legal in most formats. Watch out for him in commander format, as even non-ramping decks may conceal a Kozilek away for some unexpected long-game potential.
1. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
You knew she was coming. Emrakul's best form offers unquestioned strength that lands it on many formats' ban lists. Pray for salvation against this demonic entity; in addition to being a 15/15, check out Emrakul's incredible effects:
- Cannot be countered
- If cast, you take an extra turn after this one
- Flying, protection from colored spells, and annihilator 6
Those are all amazing traits. An immunity to countering means you won't have to worry about blue negating her entry, extra turns are always nasty, and protection from all colors guards against almost anything. Annihilator 6 forces your opponent to sacrifice six permanents whenever Emrakul attacks, so even if they somehow had a defense ready, it'll probably just be swept up in Emrakul's wake. She's also shuffled into your library if ever sent to the graveyard, so don't plan on using Sheoldred to get you a free one.
Emrakul's strength makes her not only the strongest eldrazi but the overall best official Magic creature, and its high mana cost can be circumvented with free-creature effects like that of Norwood Priestess or Jhoira of the Ghitu.
How to Play the Eldrazi
Renowned both in Magic's lore and in its community, fans adore the evil space invaders that are the eldrazi. Affording their high costs takes either some extreme ramping or free-creature gimmicks like "Mosswort Bridge" and "Elvish Piper", but any duelist willing to put in the effort commands the strongest creatures in the game.
We tackled the best of the best in today's list, yet many more formidable eldrazi remain for us to unearth. But for now, as we eagerly await more colossal Magic creatures, vote for your favorite entry, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Da boi on April 18, 2020:
I assume by " Eldrazi queen" you mean emrakul as she is the leader of the eldrazi. (I think)
Obama Care on February 28, 2020:
I just opened up a Ulamog, the ceaseless hunger from one of those smal $5.00 packs lol
Ethan on January 16, 2019:
It That Betrays + All Is Dust is deadly
PK on December 29, 2018:
Not including the other emrakul?? Yikes. I suppose you made this into a ranking of "big eldrazi in commander", it'd make more sense, but I'd definitely argue great distortion should be higher up. The other ones are more personal preference, and I'd put it that betrays lower, and all is dust very high. Conscription wouldn't even make my list.
Realistically, it depends on the format you're playing. Legacy sees plenty of Emrakul, aeons torn, and some all is dust, ulamog, ceaseless hunger, and emrakul, promised end. Modern basically only sees the 10 Ulamog and the 15 Emrakul, and standard recently saw ulamog and emrakul dominate the format. Commander is a different bucket of worms, but even then I think the ordering here is odd.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on August 04, 2018:
I disagree. Yes, It That Betrays is more vulnerable to being destroyed with instants, in which case he wouldn't have helped much considering he lacks an entrance effect. That said, his impressive battle stats, annihilator ability, and trait that gives you anything your opponent sacrifices (a perfect supplement to annihilator) makes him a fierce force to contend with.
Additionally, his thievery works on all opponents and doesn't need to target them, impacting even hexproof foes, and it helpfully triggers with all nontoken cards they sacrifice, not just those from his own effects.
If we're talking commander, you've got 100 slots in your deck to fill, and you can only place one of each card. Since there aren't many big eldrazi, you're almost definitely going to run a Betrays. He's often more useful than Ulamog anyways, especially if you gimmick him to the field with cards effects (circumventing his higher cost) since Ulamog's mill abilities take longer to exile the larger deck sizes of commander, and Ulamog only has an entrance effect when properly cast. Both are great eldrazi and far from "garbage".
dan on August 04, 2018:
it that betrays is garbage in commander. The guy has no ETB abilities and dies to like 1 million cards has a very low annihilator. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is an easy #2.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on June 29, 2018:
Please be specific. Which card are you talking about?
Breandan joyce on June 29, 2018:
Where's the eldrazi queen
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on May 28, 2018:
Thanks Poppy! What can I say, I'm a sucker for trading card games : )
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on May 27, 2018:
You're truly an expert on Magic: The Gathering. Another great article; well done! :)