Top 10 Strongest (Highest Power) Magic: The Gathering Creatures
Power in Magic
Although Magic: The Gathering's five colors allow for several strategies beyond "swing at my opponent with everything I've got", battle damage remains the most likely end to a duel. Mana ramp, countering, and swarming all have their place, but when you get down to it, many MTG games are won by wielding the creatures with the strongest offensive abilities, measured by the power stat.
For example, a monster with six power (attack strength) and eight toughness (health) is referred to as a 6/8, as indicated in the card's bottom-right corner. But as strong as that unit would be, Magic's thousands of cards harbor even more terrifying titans. For anyone with the mana to play them, these mythical behemoths are often game-enders considering their unrivaled strength. To see the strongest champions the game offers, let's countdown the top ten powerful creatures in Magic!
10. Ghalta, Primal Hunger
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 12
A legendary creature, you can only have one Ghalta fielded at once, but that's a small price to pay for its formidable power. Not only is Ghalda a 12/12, it also has trample, letting excess damage hit your opponent even if Ghalta is blocked (after subtracting the blocker's toughness from the attack's power).
Beyond that, Ghalta helps players afford its hefty 12-mana price by reducing its total cost by a value of X; X is the total power of creatures you control. Although this can't ever eliminate the green symbols in its mana requirement, you can potentially reduce Ghalta's colorless mana cost by 10—landing an amazing bargain of a card for just two mana!
Another huge 12/12 with trample, Jokulmorder hails from the blue camp and only demands seven mana. That said, it comes with three drawbacks for its low price: it enters tapped, requires you to sacrifice five Island lands, and doesn't untap during your normal untap step.
However, it does untap whenever you play an Island, meaning Jokulmorder is best utilized in monoblue decks and can consistently untap as long as you have a land for the turn. Overall, a rare sight considering its chancy nature, but players willing to take the risk of forfeiting five Islands will be well rewarded with a fast and fierce beatstick.
8. Emrakul, the Promised End
Hopefully thirteen is your lucky number; Emrakul costs as much and arrives as a 13/13 behemoth. This famous creature belongs to the eldrazi creature type, a camp of generally colorless monsters that offer vast power in exchange for their sizable mana demands. However, Emrakul's mana cost is reduced by one for each card type in your graveyard (enchantment, sorcery, etc.), often providing access for less than 10 mana.
When cast, Emrakul lets you take control of your opponent during their next turn. Depending on their hand, this may let you cast their own cards against them, but note that they take an extra turn (without you controlling them) afterwards. Additionally, Emrakul's flying, trample, and protection from instants further cement its status as one of Magic's top creatures.
7. Krosan Cloudscraper
One of several famous green Krosan cards, Cloudscraper here offers 13 power and toughness for only 10 mana, but you have to sacrifice it at the beginning of each of your upkeeps unless you pay two green mana.
Beyond that, Cloudscraper simply wields a morph ability that lets you play it as a 2/2 facedown creature for three mana and later turn it faceup for 9. Not a great ability, but it can help you divide the mana cost over multiple turns. Overall, this is my least favorite of today's entries since it lacks useful bonus traits, but Krosan rightfully sits among the strongest MTG cards.
6. Death's Shadow
When you see a 13/13 that only costs one mana, you know it's either fanmade or there's gonna be one heck of a drawback. Such is the case with Death's Shadow, whose unholy stats are reduced by -1/-1 for each of your life points. Despite this drastic reduction, players can save Shadow until their life is hanging by a mere thread, than cast it for almost nothing and possibly initiate a comeback.
The game contains some rare situations where a player can have negative life yet not have lost (perhaps if they have Platinum Angel out). In the past, negative life would actually add to Shadow's attributes (subtract a negative and you get a positive), but more recent rulings determine that its stats will remain fixed at 13/13 in such cases. Still, that's more than enough to overcome most enemies.
5. Ludevic's Test Subject/Ludevic's Abomination
A double-sided card, players first cast Ludevic's Test Subject for just two mana. Courtesy of its defender trait, it can't attack, but it makes for a good blocker and you can place a hatchling counter on it at any point by spending two mana. Once Test Subject gathers five of these, it transforms into the real prize: Ludevic's Abomination.
Not much else to say here. With 13/13 and trample, opponents without a handy removal will soon fall to Abomination's fearsome rampage. But despite these cards' lax mana requirements and strength, , something I'm fond of doing in blue decks to ensure I never "waste" leftover mana thanks to the hatchling counters. you can obtain them for less than $2
4. Elbrus, the Binding Blade/Withengar Unbound
Another transforming card, Elbrus, the Binding Blade begins as a seven-cost artifact-equipment that costs another mana to equip. The attached creature gets a meager +1/+0, but whenever it deals direct combat damage to a player, you unattach Elbrus and morph it into the fierce demon Withengar Unbound.
Not only is Withengar a 13/13, it has flying, trample, and intimidate, making it almost impossible to block, and its ability provides it with thirteen +1/+1 counters whenever a player loses the game. Yikes, in multiplayer matches, whenever someone dies, Withengar grows that much stronger, but even its base power will quickly eradicate most foes.
3. Worldspine Wurm
Green is king when it comes to legal gargantuan creatures. For a comparatively low cost of 11 mana, Worldspine enters as an imposing 15/15 with trample. Additionally, when it dies, you place three 5/5 wurm tokens with trample onto the field, ensuring you're not left high and dry even if your opponent manages to kill Worldspine.
Finally, when Worldspine is placed into a graveyard (from anywhere), you shuffle it back into your deck. Although this prevents the possibility of a graveyard revival, it guards against a no-deck-left loss and and may let you cast Worldspine again later in the match.
2. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Another fierce eldrazi, Emrakul's next form offers unquestioned strength that lands it on many ban lists. But honestly, that's more relieving than frustrating; in addition to being a 15/15, check out its 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 its 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. Finally, Emrakul shares Worldspine's quality of being shuffled into your library if ever sent to the graveyard.
Although Emrakul may be the overall best official Magic creature, it's not technically the most powerful...
1. B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster)
One of Magic's several semi-official cards from the Unglued expansion set, B.F.M costs fifteen black mana to play, and both halves of its card must be available. Beyond that, B.F.M is surprisingly simple: it can only be blocked by three or monsters and has, wait, 99 power and 99 toughness? Geez, one direct hit should be enough to finish any opponent—if you can get trample onto B.F.M (with cards like Nylea, God of the Hunt), even blockers won't save your foe.
Although you'll only be seeing it in special Unglued-allowed games, B.F.M dwarfs all other creatures when it comes to raw power.
Which creature do you prefer?
Future of Magic Creatures
As Magic's card database and fandom continues to expand, the future likely holds more colossal warriors for us to employ. These guys are some of my favorites because Wizards of the Coast usually (looking at you, Aeons Torn) does a superb job at balancing their power with appropriate tradeoffs, and I'm excited to see what the future holds for Magic creatures.
But for now, as we eagerly await Magic's next booster set, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill