Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
The Best God Cards in Magic
Gods in Magic come in several flavors. The Egyptian-themed deities return to hand when destroyed and have token-swarming effects, the enchantment gods have impressive battle stats and indestructible but don't count as creatures until devotion is filled, and the zombie-type God-Eternals return to deck when destroyed or exiled, soon to be redrawn.
While they differ in mechanics, gods in general are a powerful set, wielding fierce stats, abilities, and defenses—which reign supreme? These are the 20 best god cards in Magic: The Gathering!
20. The Locust God
Even with flying, Locust's 4/4 stats are mediocre for his price. However, he returns to your hand at the end of a turn where he dies, making him hard to keep down. More than that, Locust creates a 1/1 flying and haste insect token whenever you draw a card, and you can spend four mana to both draw and discard one.
While weak individually, these tokens overwhelm foes in swarms and make good fodder blockers.
19. Ephara, God of the Polis
Like the other enchantment gods, Ephara has indestructible and doesn't count as a creature until her devotion is satisfied; in this case, you need your blue/white devotion to be at least seven. Counting herself, this means you'll need at least five other blue or white symbols in your other permanents before she can enter combat.
But it's worth the effort for an indestructible 6/5 beatstick. Plus, Ephara's passive remains active whether a creature or not, letting you draw a card at any upkeep (even opposing ones) where you had another creature enter your field on the previous turn. Hint: use troops with flash on opposing turns to draw extra cards during your own upkeep.
18. Phenax, God of Deception
Phenax's 4/7 stats are a mixed bag; that's a lot of toughness, but you rarely need it thanks to indestructible. Either way, Phenax gives all creatures you control (including himself once your black/blue devotion reaches seven) the ability to tap to make any player mill cards from their deck equal to the tapped creature's toughness.
Well, at least Phenax's excess toughness has a use here, edging foes towards deck-out losses. Or, pick yourself to prep your graveyard for retrievals.
17. God-Eternal Bontu
Like the other God-Eternals, Bontu can place herself (yep, she's a girl) in your deck's third position when destroyed or exiled, so it's only a matter of time before she comes back. She's also got menace, impressive 5/6 stats, and the ability to sacrifice any of your permanents on arrival, drawing a card for each.
Plus, while all the God-Eternals have the zombie subtype in addition to god, Bontu makes best use of it since most zombie tribal supports exist in black.
16. Nylea, God of the Hunt
Mono-color enchantment gods like Nylea need their singular devotion—green in this case—to reach five before becoming creatures. So you'll need four or more green mana symbols in your other permanents.
While this can take time, you're rewarded with a mighty 6/6 indestructible beatstick. Plus, Nylea's effect gives your other creatures trample (sadly she doesn't gain it), and she can spend four mana to give a creature +2/+2 for the turn.
15. Ilharg, the Raze-Boar
Ilharg is red's off-brand God-Eternal, not carrying the zombie subtype but having the same death/exile effect of returning to your deck's third position. He's a fierce 6/6 trampler, and when he attacks, you can place a creature from your hand tapped and attacking!
The card returns to your hand at the end step, but it's a great way to temporarily field high-cost behemoths or repeatedly trigger entrance effects.
14. Erebos, God of the Dead
Erebos is tricky to gauge. Once your black devotion reaches five or more, his 5/7 stats are good but unfortunately lean towards toughness on a creature that's already shielded by indestructible. And his effect prevents foes from gaining life, which can be devastating or worthless depending on what you're up against.
But either way, Erebos lets you spend two mana and pay two life to draw a card, giving some appreciated card advantage when your hand starts to dwindle.
13. Rhonas the Indomitable
For just three mana and with no devotion needs, Rhonas offers a tempting 5/5 with deathtouch and indestructible—what's the catch? Well, he can't attack or block unless you control another creature with at least four power.
Thankfully, Rhonas can build towards this criteria; spending three mana for his effect gives another creature +2/+0 for the turn and trample. Useful benefits in their own right, more so by helping Rhonas enter combat.
12. Kruphix, God of Horizons
Yet again, we see an oddball creature with 4/7 stats—good, but usually redundant considering indestructible. You'll need blue/green devotion to reach seven total before Kruphix can enter combat regardless, but his abilities are what you're really after.
Kruphix gives you an infinite hand size (great with blue draw spells) and lets you keep mana (albeit turning it colorless) as turns and phases pass (great with green ramp engines). Two useful bonuses whether able to battle or not.
11. The Scarab God
The Scarab God isn't a zombie, but he meshes with their theme, scrying X at your upkeep and having opponents lose X life, where X is the number of zombies you control.
To keep this number high, Scarab can spend four mana and exile a creature from a graveyard to create a token copy of it, except it's a 4/4 zombie. Plus, Scarab himself is a 5/5 who returns to hand at end of turn when killed, so don't underestimate his own battle prowess.
10. God-Eternal Rhonas
This time, Rhonas isn't indestructible, but if destroyed or exiled, he can enter your deck's third position. Heck, that's not so bad since it'll eventually let you reuse his amazing entrance trigger, doubling the power of your other creatures and giving them vigilance for the turn!
If your opponent hasn't taken care of your tramplers yet, they're in for a world of hurt. And Rhonas himself is no slouch in combat, providing a 5/5 with deathtouch.
9. God-Eternal Oketra
For a God-Eternal, 3/6 stats look poor until you consider Oketra's double strike, letting her hit twice with each attack. Again, she can reenter your deck if killed or banished, making her hard to keep down.
Despite not being black, Oketra works well with zombie decks; not only does she possess their subtype, she creates a 4/4 zombie token with vigilance whenever you cast a creature!
8. Keranos, God of Storms
Though he won't count as a creature until red/blue devotions hits seven, Keranos serves as a 6/5 indestructible guardian. Additionally, he reveals the first card you draw during your turn, drawing another card if it's a land, or dealing three damage to any target otherwise.
While a bit chaotic, you win either way, either scoring card advantage or a versatile removal that works on creatures, planeswalkers, and players themselves.
7. Xenagos, God of Revels
Like Keranos, Xenagos enters as a 6/5 indestructible enchantment god who can't fight until your red/green devotion reaches seven. But even if he's just an enchantment, at the start of your combat Xenagos gives another creature you control +X/+X and haste for the turn, where X is its power.
This not only doubles a creature's power, but also increases its toughness and lets it swing immediately, perfect supports for green/red aggro strategies.
6. Mogis, God of Slaughter
The aptly-named God of Slaughter carries incredible 7/5 stats and indestructible for just four mana. He can't attack until red/black devotion reaches seven, but at the start of each opponent's upkeep, Mogis deals them two damage unless they sacrifice a creature.
They get to choose which option to pick, but both put you ahead, edging them towards death or chipping away at their field.
5. Purphoros, God of the Forge
Purphoros is similar to Mogis, but only needs one color. His 6/5 stats are great for four mana, and whenever another creature enters your field, Purphoros deals each opponent two damage.
Use this alongside goblin-swarming cards like "Krenko, Mob Boss" for insane amounts of hurt. Finish foes off with a three-cost trigger to give your creatures +1/+0 for the turn, which seems small but adds up in groups.
4. Athreos, God of Passage
For just three mana, Athreos bestows a 5/4 indestructible monster who actually rewards your creatures for dying, returning them to hand unless an opponent pays three life.
This means opponents can only keep your creatures down while their life persists. Plus, the effect can be used diplomatically in multiplayer games, where a fellow straggler might agree to let your creatures return to hand to be used against the current leader.
3. Iroas, God of Victory
Once devotion is met, Iroas battles as a fierce 7/4 with indestructible and two creature-boosting effects. He gives your army menace (requiring two or more blockers if blocked) and prevents any damage (even non-combat) dealt to your attacking creatures.
Together, both effects make it irritatingly difficult for foes to block your invincible warriors. Plus, unlike god cards like Heliod and Nylea, Iroas's menace boost actually includes himself.
2. Thassa, God of the Sea
Once devotion is met, Thassa gives blue a much-needed 5/5 indestructible titan. She also scries one at the start of your upkeep, letting you tweak draws to your advantage, and her two-cost effect makes a creature unblockable for the turn.
That's one of if not the best activated god ability, bearing a low cost and helpful effect that can even boost Thassa herself.
1. God-Eternal Kefnet
The cheapest God-Eternal, Kefnet needs just four mana but enjoys 4/5 flying stats and the shared return-to-deck exit. Additionally, he lets you reveal the first card you draw each turn, casting a copy of it for two less mana if it's a sorcery or instant!
Yikes, not only are the copies cheaper, but they don't expend the original, meaning you can cast it later (for full price). As the final cherry on top, blue makes the second best use of the zombie subtype (after black), offering potential tribal synergy.
A staple in my own blue decks, Kefnet is actually less expensive than most god cards, costing under six dollars!
How to Beat God Cards in Magic
Whether indestructible or returning to hand or deck, gods carry defenses that make them difficult to eliminate, letting you concentrate on other spells while foes scramble to find removals. That said, enemies can destroy your other units to prevent devotion gods from becoming creatures, and even the God-Eternals fall prey to counterspells.
You can always fight fire with fire by employing your own deities—each color has several—but for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next god card, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: In Magic: The Gathering, how can Keranos help you draw on your opponent's turn?
Answer: Look carefully at his text; he states that you reveal the first card you draw on *any* turn. Of course, you only draw naturally on your move, but if you use instants or tap effects that let you draw on your opponent's turn, you can access his ability even outside your own round.
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Cory on August 11, 2019:
Yes, Scarab god is a must in zombie tribal. Also, makaeus is an excellent 6 drop.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on March 14, 2019:
Could be worth quite a bit if it's in good condition; I see foils of "The Scarab God" running for over $90. Try checking Amazon and tcgplayer.com for current market prices.
Deb on March 13, 2019:
I have a collectors edition scarab god card and i wanted to know how much collectors will pay for it. Im a novice when it comes to things like this and im not sure if i should sell it
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on December 18, 2018:
Yes, I'm fond of The Scarab God. He's not indestructible and needs a fair chunk of five mana, but he's already a creature (no devotion condition required) and helpfully returns to your hand if killed.
His effect lets you scry X cards and has opponents lose X life at the start of your upkeeps (where X is how many zombies you control), making him a perfect support for an undead deck.
R_E_Anonymous on December 16, 2018:
Does the Scarab God contend in this list since that I would like to know if it is viable for my Zombie deck that focuses in replacing weak measly 1/1 zombies into 4/4 zombies even though the cost might be high in which I would like to hear your opinion about it.