Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
How Does Convoke Work in Magic?
Magic cards with convoke tend to have higher costs than usual, but you can help pay for them with creatures; each of your untapped creatures that you tap while casting your spell pays for one colorless mana or one of that creature's color.
Thus, convoke rewards you for swarming monsters, and while it's spread throughout all factions, you'll mostly find its spells in white and green. Like most mechanics, convoke cards run the gamut from terrible to top-tier; which units deserve your attention? These are the ten best convoke cards in Magic: The Gathering!
10. March of the Multitudes
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): X
Multitudes requires three mana plus an X value of your choice, creating X 1/1 soldier tokens with lifelink. You can find cheaper creatures with lifelink at lower prices, but Multitudes works great when you have extra mana in the late-game.
Plus, convoke helps pay the price, and since Multitudes activates at instant speed, you can catch unsuspecting attackers by surprise with last-minute blockers. And don't forget your new soldiers can further empower your next convoke play.
9. Endless Obedience
Obedience offers a slightly more expensive version of typical five-cost graveyard revivals (like "Rise from the Grave"), but convoke helps pay the fee. It simply places a creature from any graveyard onto the field under your control.
Revive your vanquished champion, or steal an opposing powerhouse; either way, you can cheat an expensive beatstick into play for a reduced price, especially if you've been swarming the black faction's zombie tokens (who make excellent convoke fodder).
8. Stoke the Flames
Stoke the Flames deals four damage to any target. That's enough to one-shot most foes (and even some planeswalkers), though you can obtain four damage for half the price on "Lava Coil."
However, Coil can only impact creatures while Flames can hit anything, and Flames also provides convoke and instant speed (Coil is a sorcery), letting you eliminate threats immediately. Try running Flames in goblin-token decks, where you'll have plenty of minions to tap.
7. Hour of Reckoning
Even for a field wipe, Hour of Reckoning is rather expensive at seven mana, though convoke softens the blow. Reckoning destroys all non-token creatures, offering a powerful nuke perfect for token-oriented decks.
Most board wipes hit you as well as your opponent, but Reckoning offers a nice way to leave some of your troops unscathed. Just note enemy tokens will avoid the blast as well.
6. Chord of Calling
Calling requires three green mana and an X value of your choice, letting you search and play a creature of X cost or less from your deck for free. You're essentially paying an extra three mana for whatever card you pick, but you're able to pull a needed monster (especially useful in commander), convoke with creatures, and cast Calling at instant speed.
5. Venerated Loxodon
For his hefty sum, Loxodon only has decent 4/4 stats, and neither of his subtypes is especially useful. However, he blends well in multi-color decks since he only needs one white mana, and not only does convoke help summon him, he places a +1/+1 counter on each creature who convokes him.
If you pay for his cost entirely with creatures, you'll distribute five +1/+1 counters among your army, score a 4/4 body in the process, and still have your lands free for other spells during the round.
4. Autochthon Wurm
Autochthon Wurm demands an enormous amount of mana, enough that he's often inaccessible even with convoke. However, remember that spells like "Defense of the Heart" and "Mosswort Bridge" can play creatures for free, circumventing the enormous fee.
However he arrives, Autochthon wields a fierce 9/14 power and toughness. He's also got trample, making him difficult to fully block, and he works especially when with cards that let creatures deal damage using toughness instead of power (like "Assault Formation").
3. Devouring Light
Devouring Light offers a powerful and affordable creature removal. For three mana, you instantly exile an attacking or blocking creature, eliminating the possibility of a graveyard revival.
Three mana isn't terribly expensive, and thanks to convoke, you can often afford Light with nothing more than creatures, making it easy to trick opponents into thinking you're all tapped-out and unable to cast anything.
2. Impervious Greatwurm
If you liked Autochthon, you'll love Greatwurm. Comparatively, he only needs one color, costs five less mana, wields superior 16/16 stats, and trades trample for indestructible. That's right, 16 power and toughness, making Greatwurm one of Magic's strongest creatures in terms of raw power.
Indestructible offers a great defense against deathtouch and other removals; try applying trample with cards like "Rancor" or "Ring of Kalonia" to ensure Greatwurm hits home with each attack.
1. Sprout Swarm
At first, Sprout Swarm doesn't seem terribly impressive, spending two mana to construct a 1/1 saproling token. However, you can utilize the effect at instant speed, you can convoke it, and Swarm's optional buyback lets you spend an additional three mana to place it back in your hand.
Remember that even creatures without haste can be tapped for convoke, so you can use your new token for other convoke costs; with the right supports (like buyback cost-reducing "Memory Crystal"), you can create an infinite number of tokens ready to overwhelm foes on your next turn's battle phase.
Supporting Convoke Cards in Magic
When it comes to convoke, quantity matters over quality—the more creatures you have, the bigger discounts you'll get. Try swarming tokens with cards like "Tendershoot Dryad" and "Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin" to convoke numerous minions.
And since convoke can tap creatures who just arrived, letting your warriors assist while they wait for summoning sickness to fade. But for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of creature-empowered spells, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill