Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Avatars in Magic
Avatars are powerful creatures in Magic that need large amounts of mana, but they reward you with devastating effects and battle stats. While not many spells support avatars, they typically carry one or more additional subtypes, letting them blend with other tribes.
Avatars are some of my favorite creatures, carrying many competitive members scattered across all colors. But with dozens of aces available, which cards reign supreme? These are the 20 best avatars in Magic: The Gathering!
20. Muldrotha, the Gravetide
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 6
A 6/6 with elemental synergy is a fair deal for six mana, and Muldrotha lets you play one permanent of each type from your graveyard every turn. This makes it ridiculously easy to recycle lands, planeswalkers, and other permanents, and you can form reoccurring combos with self-sacrificing spells like "Felidar Cub."
19. Avatar of Might
Though he lacks secondary subtypes, Might provides a sturdy 8/8 trampler for eight mana. But if an opponent controls at least four more creatures than you do, Might reduces his price to just two, offering one of the best deals in Magic. To help meet the condition, try giving opponents weak tokens with cards like "Dowsing Dagger."
18. Scion of the Ur-Dragon
Arguably the best commander for dragon decks, Scion requires one mana of every color and wields 4/4 and flying. But his own stats rarely matter; by spending two mana, Scion can place any dragon from your deck into your graveyard and become a copy of it until the end of the turn!
This lets you search and field expensive dragon aces like "Dragon Tyrant" for a fraction of the price. You can even use Scion's effect to copy his alternative form...
17. The Ur-Dragon
Ur-Dragon offers another tempting dragon commander. While he needs several resources, Ur's eminence effect triggers from both the field and the command zone, reducing the price of your other dragon spells by one mana.
If you ever manage to field Ur, whenever you attack with one or more dragons, he lets you draw that many cards, then place a permanent from your hand onto the field for free—a dangerous effect few decks can rebound against.
16. Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar
Multani enjoys the elemental subtype and gets +1/+1 for each land in your field and graveyard, strengthening as the match progresses. He also wields reach and trample, letting him block flying opponents and pierce through defenders.
Plus, by spending two mana and returning two lands you control to their owner's hand, you can return Multani from your graveyard to your hand. This means death is only temporary for him, and if you're running green's extra-land plays like "Exploration" and "Burgeoning," you'll refill your mana supply in no time.
Progenitus's mana cost is so high and specific that you'll almost certainly need creature-gimmicks like "Defense of the Heart" to cast him. But once he arrives, you've got a fearsome 10/10 with protection from everything!
Now, Progenitus can still be killed by cards that neither target him nor deal damage (like "Wrath of God"), but his protection means he can't be blocked or targeted, leaving opponents with few options to defeat him.
14. Sylvan Primordial
Powerful enough to warrant a ban in commander, Sylvan Primordial is especially effective in multiplayer games. He requires seven mana, but arrives as an imposing 6/8 with reach.
More than that, when Primordial enters the field, you get to destroy one non-land permanent each opponent controls, then play a forest land from your deck tapped for each spell destroyed this way. This means you're getting a removal and ramp on top of a large body, and since the forest doesn't have to be basic, you can even search unorthodox cards like "Tropical Island."
13. Oversoul of Dusk
After Progenitus, Oversoul wields the best protection in the game, being shielded against red, blue, and black—the most common removal colors. She also has mighty 5/5 stats, the spirit subtype, and her hybrid symbols work great for empowering your green and white devotion.
12. Dominus of Fealty
Fealty offers a respectable 4/4 with flying, and he lets you steal control of an opposing permanent at your upkeep. You have to give it back at the end of your turn, but Fealty untaps it and grants it haste, ensuring you'll make good use of it in the meantime. Combined with effects that let you sacrifice permanents, you can tribute the stolen units to kill two birds with one stone.
11. Overbeing of Myth
Green/blue's take on the spirit avatar, Myth's power and toughness automatically become the number of cards in your hand, rewarding you for maintaining card advantage. He also lets you draw an extra card at your upkeep. This increases his stats, gives you extra spells, and out-performs standard six-cost extra draws like "Staff of Nin."
10. Demigod of Revenge
Unlike many of today's cards, Revenge prefers non-singleton formats over commander since his effect depends on running multiple copies. Five mana nets you a sturdy 5/4 with flying and haste, a fair bargain in itself, and when Revenge enters the field, you return all creatures sharing his name from your graveyard to the field!
This makes him great discard fodder, and if you manage to revive three copies, you can immediately swing for 20, enough to defeat an opponent in 20-life formats!
9. Deity of Scars
Scars enters the field with two -1/-1 counters, but even with his stats reduced, he's still a formidable 5/5 with trample. And by spending a black or green mana, you can remove a -1/-1 counter and regenerate Scars, both recovering his original power and saving him from death.
8. Ghastlord of Fugue
Ghastlord's stats are a decent 4/4, and he's unblockable, scoring damage no matter what defenders your rivals control. Adding insult to injury, Ghastlord automatically reveals a player's hand when he lands combat damage and lets you exile any card from it. This both reduces their hand and grants you tactical knowledge of their remaining plays.
7. Serra Avatar
Serra requires several mana, but her power and toughness both become your life total. Since commander has you begin with 40 life, you can see just how deadly this is, especially when running lifegain strategies.
If Serra enters your graveyard, she automatically shuffles herself back into your deck. So you can't cheat her into play with graveyard revivals, but you can still use hand-based free-creature effects. A frequent member of my own white decks, Serra's also surprisingly cheap, only costing a single dollar!
6. Soulless One
Soulless One only needs one black mana, letting him easily adopt multi-color themes, and he's perfect for zombie tribal decks; his stats automatically become the number of zombies on the field and graveyard.
Counting himself, that's at least one, but since the effect tallies cards from multiple zones (including opposing ones), Soulless can easily enter double digits.
5. Divinity of Pride
One of the best cards to exploit commander's increased life total, Divinity enters as a solid 4/4 with flying and lifelink. But if you have at least 25 life, she gains an additional +4/+4, becoming a monstrous 8/8!
An 8/8 flyer with lifelink won't be easily defeated, and even if your life dips below the 25 threshold, Pride's lifelink can bring you back up.
4. Transcendent Master
Master possesses three subtypes, blending well with numerous themes, and he carries solid 3/3 stats. He can level up by spending a mana of any color; at level six, he becomes a 6/6 with lifelink, and at level 12, he becomes a 9/9 with lifelink and indestructible!
Sure, this takes time, but it's a great outlet for leftover mana, can be activated multiple times each turn, and you can proliferate the counters to hasten the process.
3. Avatar of the Resolute
Unlike most bulky avatars, Resolute only needs two mana. But despite his low price, he joins the fray as a powerful 3/2 with reach and trample. Stopping there, you'd have a competitive card, but when he arrives, Resolute also gains a +1/+1 counter for each other creature you control that has one! This lets Resolute often outfight cards costing twice the mana.
2. Avatar of Woe
Avatar of Woe (or "Woah" as we like to call her) normally requires eight mana. But if there are at least ten creatures in all graveyards, her price drops to two, an enormous discount perfect for EDH.
No matter how she arrives, Woe wields 6/5 stats and her fear ability means only black or artifact creatures can block her. Even better, she can tap to destroy any creature and prevent it from regenerating, a reusable and powerful removal that quickly decimates opposing armies.
1. Phage the Untouchable
Phage needs a lot of mana and makes you lose the game if she wasn't cast from your hand, so you'll have to pay her price fair and square. And while her stats are only 4/4, she destroys any creature she deals combat damage to, preventing it from regenerating.
More than that, when Phage inflicts combat damage to a player, they lose the game—make her unblockable with an aura or equipment to ensure your victory.
Using Avatars in Magic
Since avatars don't have many supports, you'll have to rely on their other subtypes for any tribal synergies. But their incredible stats and abilities more than compensate, standing alongside eldrazi and praetors as some of the game's strongest creatures.
Since many avatars are green, try using cards like "Mosswort Bridge" and "Garruk, Caller of Beasts" to avoid their mana costs. But for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of avatar creatures, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill