Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Elemental Cards in Magic
While not as abundant as staples like elves and wizards, elemental creatures have steadily gained support throughout new Magic sets, especially Core 2020. Typically red, blue, and/or green, elementals usually wield strong battle stats and often have trample or haste, making them fierce combatants.
Boosted to the point of sustaining their own theme, we can now create viable decks entirely devoted to the elemental clan—which cards empower their family? These are the 10 best elemental supports in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Thicket Crasher
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4
Thicket Crasher is already pretty strong, carrying 4/3 stats alongside trample, which pierces excess damage through blockers. He also grants the trait to your other elementals, ensuring your army isn't easily blocked, and since he himself carries the elemental subtype, he'll benefit from your other elemental supports.
9. Primal Beyond
When this land enters the field, you can reveal an elemental from your hand, and if you do, Beyond arrives untapped and ready to use. Either way, it can tap for one colorless mana, or one of any color, but you can only use the color for elemental spells or activated abilities.
Elemental commander decks will probably play at least three colors (blue, green, and red), and Beyond's one of few lands that can provide all three and potentially arrive untapped.
8. Nova Chaser
Nova Chaser doesn't support elementals so much as they support him; when he arrives, you have to champion another elemental (or sacrifice Chaser), exiling it until Chaser leaves the field.
But he joins with enormous 10/2 stats, and you'll regain your championed spell when Chaser leaves the field—which can retrigger entrance effects from creatures like...
7. Overgrowth Elemental
Overgrowth's stats are a respectable 3/2, and when he joins the arena, you get to place a +1/+1 counter on another elemental you control. Additionally, when another creature dies, Overgrowth gives you one life, and if it was an elemental, he gains a +1/+1 counter.
This drastically punishes foes for killing your troops, and it works great with self-sacrificing elemental tokens from cards like "Chandra, Acolyte of Flame."
6. Horde of Notions
A potential elemental commander, Horde of Notions requires one mana of every color, but rewards you with a 5/5 beatstick with vigilance, trample, and haste. Additionally, by repaying his price, you can instantly cast any elemental from your graveyard for free, a great way to recycle defeated troops.
He's undoubtedly a powerful card, but I wish Horde didn't have his black and white colors. While they let you add more types of cards to your deck, they increase the number of mana types you'll have to juggle, and black and white contain relatively few elementals.
5. Omnath, Locus of Rage
Omnath requires a large sum of mana, but his two colors fit well with the elemental theme. Considering his price, Omnath's stats are only a decent 5/5, but his excellent landfall grants you a 5/5 elemental token whenever a land enters your field.
Additionally, when Omnath or another elemental you control dies, he deals three damage to any target, ensuring your army won't go down without a fight.
While Smokebraider is a weak 1/1, she only needs one color, two mana, and can tap for two mana of any colors. You can only use this mana for elemental spells or activated abilities, but that's a powerful and versatile ramp for a devoted theme.
An easy choice for my own elemental decks, Smokebraider is also surprisingly cheap for such a competitive card, costing well under a single dollar!
3. Omnath, Locus of the Roil
Omnath's Roil form offers arguably the best elemental commander to date, providing all three mainstream elemental colors. His stats are a fair 3/3, and when he enters the field, he deals damage to any target equal to the number of elementals you control (counting himself).
More than that, whenever you play a land, Omnath gives one of your elementals (possibly himself) a +1/+1 counter, and if you control eight or more lands, you get to draw a card. That's a lot of firepower in one spell, reinforcing your units and turning excess lands into new draws.
2. Incandescent Soulstoke
While Soulstoke's stats are a mediocre 2/2, he contains the elemental subtype and boosts your other elementals by +1/+1. Additionally, by tapping and spending two mana, he can place an elemental from your hand onto the field with haste.
You have to sacrifice that card at the end of your turn, but it's still a fierce discount, helps trigger death effects, and sets your graveyard for cards like Horde.
1. Risen Reef
While Risen Reef's stats are a puny 1/1, whenever he or another elemental enters your field, he adds the top card of your deck to your hand, and if it's a land, you can immediately play it tapped (without expending your standard land-per-turn).
This translates to insane amounts of ramping and card advantage with each new elemental (including tokens); at worst, you're getting a draw, and at best, a draw plus bonus land drop.
Risen Reef's always a welcome play because he's hard to stop; by the time opponents find a removal, he'll likely have given enough card advantage to steal the win. He's also not legendary, letting you field multiple copies in non-singleton formats.
Magic's Best Elemental Creatures
Elementals offer a well-balanced theme that blends aggression with draw power, and I look forward to seeing their numbers expand in future sets. Today we examined their strongest supports, and you can further examine their overall best cards.
But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of elemental creatures, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill