Top 10 God Cards in Magic: The Gathering
The Best God Cards in Magic
Arguably the most powerful creature type considering their relatively low mana costs, god cards in Magic have long impressed players. Most wield high power/toughness ratios, the coveted indestructible trait, and provide an ongoing bonus to your field similar to an enchantment.
They may not be the most numerous of creature types, but when an opposing legendary god hits the field, you know you're in for a challenge. But with many fearsome warriors, which deities reign supreme? These are the ten best god cards in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Heliod, God of the Sun
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4
Like most monocolored gods, Heliod doesn't count as a creature until your devotion to a certain color (here it's white) hits five, meaning you have at least five mana symbols of that color among permanents you control. Mutlicolored gods instead need seven total mana symbols in any combination of their two colors.
When acting as a creature, Heliod's 5/6 (five power and six tougness) stats defeat most enemies, but his other ability remains active regardless of his status: all creatures you control have vigilance, letting them attack without tapping. An excellent boon, plus Heliod also offers the option of spending four mana to create a 2/1 white cleric creature token. This is a rather expensive trade for a weak unit, but the token also counts as an enchantment, buffing certain effects, and the ability gives you a use for leftover mana.
9. Mogis, God of Slaughter
Like most god cards, black and red Mogis wields the potent indestructible trait, letting him survive the most common form of card removal (destruction). Thanks to this quality, the power stat of god cards matters more than their toughness since they'll survive battles regardless of damage, and Mogis's score of seven disintegrates most foes.
The God of Slaughter also offers a useful passive ability: at the start of your opponent's upkeep steps, they must either sacrifice a creature of lose two life. This nifty trait either cuts your adversary's health or annihilates a unit, affects all foes in multiplayer games, and doesn't need to target, meaning it applies even if a hexproof shield is concocted.
8. Nylea, God of the Hunt
Another four-cost god, Nylea dwells among the forests of the green camp. Her indestructible ability and 6/6 stats make her one of the strongest creatures in the entire game considering her price, and she offers all creatures you control trample, letting excess damage in battle bypass blockers and strike your opponent.
As a final gift, the God of the Hunt can spend four mana to boost a creature by +2/+2 for the turn. Like Heliod's ability, this isn't the most efficient play, but it comes in handy when you have no other use for the resources, especially since the extra damage should always hit foes harder due to trample—your opponent won't be able to save themself by throwing out weak blockers.
7. Purphoros, God of the Forge
Like other monocolored gods, Purphoros needs your devotion to be five before acting as a creature, so be sure to field four other red mana symbols. Also like his brethren, he's legendary and follows the legend rule, meaning you can only field one at once.
But one's enough for the God of the Forge. 6/5 can ram through most foes, and Purphoros wields the excellent trait of landing two damage on all opponents whenever another creature enters the field under your control. This stacks when multiple creatures enter your field at once, letting you force insane amounts of damage with swarm cards like Krenko, Mob Boss. As icing on the cake, Purphoros can also spend three mana to give all creatures you wield +1 power for the turn, the best mana ability yet.
6. Kruphix, God of Horizons
Although blue and green Kruphix costs a bit more mana than prior entries and actually has worse stats (not that a 4/7 is anything to sneeze at), the God of Horizons offers two useful abilities to one of my favorite commander color duos. First, your unused mana doesn't fade as turns and phases end, but simply becomes colorless instead, letting you stockpile unused resources for big plays. Second, you have no maximum hand size.
The bonuses nicely complement the colors' strengths since green focuses on mana ramping and blue specializes in draw power, ensuring the gifts don't go to waste. Speaking of gifts, while none of the god cards are cheap due to their rarity and power, the God of Horizons ranges on the lower price end, and Again, Kruphix's benefits are particularly useful for drawn-out EDH duels, and he's an easy pick for any blue-green deck I build. you can usually snag one for less than eight dollars.
5. Keranos, God of Storms
Blue and red has always offered several potent cards, and that duo hits a peak with the wrathful Keranos, God of Storms. With this titan out, you reveal the first card you draw on any turn; if that card is a land, you draw another card; if it's a nonland, you inflict three damage to any target creature or player.
Extra draws and damage speak for themselves; be sure to draw cards on both your and your opponent's turns (use blue instants or tap abilities to accomplish this) and continuously heckle your foe with these awesome traits.
4. Xenagos, God of Revels
Green and red love their creatures, making it no surprise Xenagos amplifies creature-centered decks. At the start of your combat phase during your turn, Xenagos grants a different creature you control haste and +X/+X for the turn, where X is that creature's power.
Haste is nice on its own, letting your units avoid summoning sickness to tap or attack the turn they arrive, and the +X/+X power boost dramatically strengthens a unit, especially if their power score exceeds their toughness (luckily, red excels at this). Apply trample with Nylea or cards like Beserk to ensure your extra stats aren't wasted on a weak blocker, and the God of Revels will end matches in record times.
3. Athreos, God of Passage
Like other multicolored gods, black and white Athreos needs your total devotion to its two colors to equal seven, but this grim reaper needs only three mana! A 5/4 for that price is amazing (once he becomes a creature, at least), and Athreos gives your opponent a tough choice whenever another creature you control dies: they must either pay three life or have that creature return to your hand.
Losing life obviously edges them nearer to defeat, but having the card return to your hand, ready to be played again, isn't much better as it gives you more options in future plays. Competitive in multiple formats, Athreos makes a great EDH commander; be sure to include many self-sacrificing black creatures to make the most of his ability.
2. Thassa, God of the Sea
Blue's aquatic power shows with the Thassa, God of the Sea. Like Athreos, she only costs three mana and has the ever-useful indestructible trait. She's also a 5/5, big enough to overwhelm most foes in battle when your devotion is high enough, but her real treat stems from her ability to scry at the beginning of your upkeep steps. This lets you peak at the card you're about to draw from your deck and either put it back on top, or, if you don't like it, place it on the bottom and hope for better luck.
Scrying lets you sift through what you don't need to find what you do, and Thassa also offers the best mana ability of any god: by spending only two mana, you can make a target creature you control unblockable for the turn. This lets you bypass would-be blockers to finish off a weakened foe and helps activate combat-damage-on-opponent effects like those of the Sword artifact-equipment cards. Low price, awesome passive, and a great mana ability—your opponents better pray.
1. Iroas, God of Victory
For four mana, red and white Iroas offers two benefits that greatly supplement the main themes of its colors as well as a hefty 7/4 battle prowess. The first benefit grants your creatures menace, meaning they can only be blocked by two or more creatures, and the second simply prevents all damage that would be dealt to attacking creatures you control.
Note that this effect not only makes your attackers immune to combat damage, it also renders them temporarily invulnerable to damage-inducing instants or other effect damage. Coupled with the menace trait and the swarm capabilities of red and white (goblins, anyone?), your opponent shouldn't be able to withstand many invincible-army swings once the aptly-named God of Victory hits the field.
I use Iroas's powers in both my red/white decks and anything else that needs battle protection, and thankfully, he's surprisingly cheap for a super rare legendary creature, costing well under ten dollars!
Which card do you prefer?
How to Use God Cards
While we've highlighted the best of the divine cards, Wizards of the Coast has populated their ranks throughout the years, and nearly all almighty entities impress. They've even branched out a bit, with some lacking indestructible and the devotion requirement while offering new powers. Make sure to protect your deities from exile and bouncing, their few weaknesses, use them as powerful generals in EDH, and quickly fill their devotion to activate their battle prowess.
We'll undoubtedly examine some of these divine entities in the future, but for now, as we eagerly await Magic's upcoming expansions of deities, vote for your favorite god and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Jeremy Gill