Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are Giant Cards in Magic?
In Magic, giants are a creature subtype who generally need substantial amounts of mana to cast, but they enter with impressive battle stats and combat abilities. Giants are spread throughout all colors, letting any faction access them, and their offense-oriented mechanics often reward you for attacking.
The 10 Best Giants
Giants are fairly independent, not offering as many clan supports as families like elves or wizards, yet they're still a competitive and diverse theme. But with hundreds of colossal combatants available, which members reign supreme? These are the ten best giants in Magic: The Gathering!
- Grave Titan
- Frost Titan
- Primeval Titan
- Stonehewer Giant
- Jötun Grunt
- Oloro, Ageless Ascetic
- Countryside Crusher
- Sun Titan
- Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas
10. Grave Titan
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 6
If Grave Titan's sturdy 6/6 stats (six power and six toughness) don't eliminate a creature in battle, his deathtouch ability will, letting him kill any monster he damages regardless of their toughness.
Better yet, whenever Grave enters the field or attacks, you create two tapped 2/2 zombie creature tokens. They'll need a turn to refresh before they can attack or guard, but they make great throwaway blockers who synergize with black's abundant undead faction.
9. Frost Titan
No, he's not a Thor character; he's Frost Titan, who also enters with a fierce 6/6. Frost automatically counters opposing spells and abilities that target him unless their caster pays two mana, making it costly to hamper him, and whenever he enters the battlefield or attacks, you tap a permanent. You also prevent it from untapping at its controller's next untap step, dulling the unit for multiple rounds at a time.
Hard to kill and constantly exhausting your opponent's army, Frost remains a prime force in blue, especially considering its relative lack of big creatures.
8. Primeval Titan
For his ban in commander, we're dropping Primeval a few ranks, but he's legal in several other formats and enters the fray as a 6/6 with trample, letting him bleed excess damage through blockers.
However, he's also surprisingly competent at mana ramping; whenever Primeval enters the field or attacks, you can place up to two lands from your deck onto the field tapped. Searching and fielding two terrains (which you can normally only play one of per round) is a great effect, especially since you're not restricted to basic cards, letting you pull legendary land like "Gaea's Cradle" or "Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx."
7. Stonehewer Giant
One of the best artifact equipment supports in the game, Stonehewer's a bit weak for his price at just 4/4, but his vigilance trait lets him attack without tapping. He also carries the warrior subtype, and by spending two resources and tapping, Stonehewer searches your deck for an equipment, places it onto the field, and attaches it to a creature you control (possibly himself).
With this trio of awesome abilities, you're spared the trouble of drawing, casting, and attaching your weapon, making this titan crucial for dedicated equipment decks.
6. Jötun Grunt
Jötun is one of the strongest two-cost creatures in the game, bearing a daunting 4/4 stats for such a fast arrival. However, his cumulative upkeep means he gains an age counter at the start of your turn, and for each, you must sacrifice him unless you put two cards from a single graveyard on the bottom of their owner's library.
Thus, this giant/soldier works best in decks that quickly mill your or your opponent's cards, giving plenty of graveyard fodder to recycle. Ironically, he's also a great anti-mill tactic, continuously refilling your library and making it difficult for opponents to win by depleting your deck (a common blue strategy).
5. Oloro, Ageless Ascetic
Many of Magic's best commanders offer abilities even while in the command zone, meaning there isn't much opponents can do to extinguish their powers. Such is the case with legendary Oloro, who lets you gain two life at the start of your upkeep whether he's fielded or still in the command zone.
You really don't ever need to cast him, but if you do, he arrives as a 4/5 and gives the option of paying a mana whenever you gain life to draw and make opponents lose one life. Combo Oloro with spells that reward lifegain (like "Serra Ascendant" and "Felidar Sovereign") to fully harness his fierce rejuvenation.
4. Countryside Crusher
This giant warrior enters as a fair 3/3, and at the beginning of your upkeep, he mills cards from the top of your deck until you reveal a non-land. Not only is this a great way to place lands into your graveyard (and hopefully recover them with other effects), Crusher also gains a +1/+1 counter whenever a land is sent to your graveyard from anywhere. With a little luck and few razed fields, he'll skyrocket into one of the game's strongest creatures.
3. Sun Titan
Like many white creatures, Sun Titan carries the ever-useful vigilance trait, but his real strength lies in his revival prowess: whenever he enters the field or attacks, you can place a permanent with a CMC of three or less from your graveyard onto the battlefield!
Reviving anything from 0–3 (including lands) means that if your opponent doesn't remove Sun quickly, they'll have to beat your early-game spells all over again. Combine Sun with self-sacrificing cards like "Burnished Hart" and "Felidar Cub" to ensure he always has valid targets to summon.
2. Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas
Kalemne's not as expensive as most giants and compensates for his mediocre 3/3 stats with vigilance and the rare double strike trait, letting him hit twice with each attack! Plus, you collect an experience counter whenever you cast a creature that cost five or more resources, and Kalemne gains +1/+1 for each of these counters you possess. This also includes experience counters gained from other sources, letting you rapidly skyrocket Kalemne (and potentially score a commander damage victory) with the right setup.
Kalemne's assisted several of my red/white decks as both commander and a regular member; fortunately, despite his powers, he's surprisingly cheap, costing well under two dollars!
One of Magic's best zombies as well as giants, Helldozer offers plenty of synergies and respectable 6/5 stats. His amazing ability lets him spend three black mana and tap to destroy any land; if it was a legendary land, you immediately untap Helldozer.
Land destructions are already rare, let alone reusable ones with potential to automatically refresh. As long as Helldozer's around, you'll be able to pillage lands faster than your opponent can play them, letting you seize a huge resource lead that will probably win you the game.
How to Support Giants in Magic
Despite the relative independence of giants, they still enjoy some nice clan supports. For example, red instant "Crush Underfoot" deals damage equal to a giant's power while "Giant Harbinger" can search one of your goliaths to the top of your deck. Even better, "Sunrise Sovereign" grants your other giants +2/+2 and trample (if you can afford its base cost of six).
Giants remain a popular subtype for their captivating artwork, aggressive playstyles, and availability in each color, and they'll undoubtedly expand in future sets. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next batch of colossal champions, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: In Magic: The Gathering, isn't the Two-Headed Giant a good giant?
Answer: For anyone confused, Two-Headed Giant is both a Magic format and an actual card, another clever homage by Wizards of the Coast.
As a card, Two-Headed Giant is decent, but his effects rely on coin flips, making him somewhat of a gamble. Still, he can potentially gain double strike or menace whenever he swings, so he's far from unusable.
© 2018 Jeremy Gill