Top 10 Merfolk Cards in Magic: The Gathering

Updated on October 17, 2018
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

What Are Merfolk Creatures in Magic?

In Magic, merfolk are a creature subtype generally seen in the blue and green factions, but they occasionally disperse into other colors. Merfolk are typically frail but inexpensive, letting you swarm them in the early stages of your match and stack their effects.

Weak on their own, many merfolk boost each other to impressive heights, and in addition to their merfolk syngeries, several also bear the wizard, rogue, or scout subtypes. But with hundreds of ocean-dwellers to choose from, which aquatic monsters reign supreme? These are the ten best merfolk in Magic: The Gathering!

Merrow Reejerey
Merrow Reejerey

10. Merrow Reejerey

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 3

For a moderate cost of three mana, Merrow arrives a bit weak with just 2/2 power and toughness, and his secondary soldier subtype isn't generally as helpful as, say, wizard. However, Merrow's first ability grants your other merfolk creatures (including tokens) +1/+1, granting them an edge in battle.

Plus, whenever you cast a merfolk spell, Merrow lets you tap or untap any permanent, either resetting one of your lands for more mana or dulling an enemy unit and delaying their actions. A handy trait that activates with all kinds of merfolk spells, meaning tribal enchantments, sorceries, and the like trigger the effect just like merfolk creatures will.

Sygg, River Cutthroat
Sygg, River Cutthroat

9. Sygg, River Cutthroat

CMC: 2

Sygg's legendary status and black/blue colors make him a great commander for merfolk EDH decks (especially if you're mixing them with zombies or vampires), and his blended mana symbols mean you can spend any combination of blue and black resources to cast him.

Sygg bears a solid 1/3 stats, the rogue subtype, and his effect lets you draw a card at the end of any turn where an opponent lost at least three life, keeping your hand stocked throughout the match.

Merfolk Mistbinder
Merfolk Mistbinder

8. Merfolk Mistbinder

CMC: 2

Mistbinder is essentially a cheaper version of Merrow Reejerey, costing one less mana while maintaining the same 2/2 battle stats and ability to boost your other merfolk by +1/+1. You don't get the tap/untap effect, but that's a fair trade-off for Mistbinder's lowered price.

Of course, you'll need a green forest alongside a blue island to afford Mistbinder, so bear that in mind when choosing one over the other. I generally find Mistbinder's secondary shaman type more useful than Merrow's soldier, but they're both great cards—use them together to combine their effects!

Harbinger of the Tides
Harbinger of the Tides

7. Harbinger of the Tides

CMC: 2

Because Harbinger requires both of his mana specifically be blue, he fits awkwardly into multicolor decks, but his mighty abilities reward players who devote to blue. A 2/2 for two mana is fair, and you can cast Harbinger as if he had flash (at instant speed in any phase) if you spend an extra two colorless mana, giving you some useful surprise tactics.

Whether you do or don't pay the extra fee, when Harbinger enters the battlefield, you can return a tapped creature an opponent controls to their hand, forcing them to waste both mana recasting it and time waiting for its summoning sickness to wear off (assuming it lacks haste). After that, Harbinger is simply a 2/2 beatstick whose merfolk and wizard types fuel the effects of two bountiful creature families.

Lullmage Mentor
Lullmage Mentor

6. Lullmage Mentor

CMC: 3

Lullmage demonstrates just how effective swarming creatures can be. He's a bit weak for his price, offering just 2/2 stats, but whenever a spell or ability you control counters a spell, you create a 1/1 merfolk creature token.

Not only are those tokens good throwaway blockers, they also contribute to Lullmage's ultimate: you may tap seven untapped merfolk you control (which can include Lullmage and his tokens) to counter a spell! Not only does this let you essentially negate a card each turn, the counter itself will generate yet another merfolk token, further augmenting your army.

Jori En, Ruin Diver
Jori En, Ruin Diver

5. Jori En, Ruin Diver

CMC: 3

Legendary Jori En offers a rare blend of red to merfolk's usual blue, making him a perfect commander for merfolk red/blue structures (possibly combined with goblins or such). But even outside commander, Jori's a handy warrior. He bears a respectable 2/3 stats, and whenever you cast your second spell during a turn, you get to draw a card. This can activate on both your and your opponent's turn, giving you plenty of options for replenishing your hand.

Just like Lullmage, Jori possesses both the merfolk and wizard types, a useful duo that you can further support with...

Stonybrook Banneret
Stonybrook Banneret

4. Stonybrook Banneret

CMC: 2

Sure, Banneret is weak at 1/1, but she only costs two mana. Plus, her islandwalk trait renders her unblockable against opponents who control an island, punishing foes for mimicking your color.

Banneret also bears the helpful merfolk/wizard blend, and she supports both her families by reducing the CMC of merfolk and wizard spells you cast by one! Now, don't get too greedy, as this only reduces the price once even if a card bears both subtypes, but it's still a great way to field any spellcaster or merman sooner than usual.

Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca
Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca

3. Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca

CMC: 3

Kumena's impressive 2/4 stats make him just sturdy enough to withstand the common red "Lightning Bolt" removal, and he serves as a nice commander for blue/green merfolk decks. Beyond his helpful color mix and stats, Kumena offers three abilities that activate by exhausting your merfolk, so be sure to swarm those tokens.

Tapping a different merfolk renders Kumena unblockable for the turn (useful for landing a commander damage win), tapping any three of your merfolk lets you draw a card, and tapping any five places a +1/+1 counter on all your merfolk, adeptly boosting your army even if Kumena later dies. A solid choice, but he's rivaled by another potent green/blue legend...

Thrasios, Triton Hero
Thrasios, Triton Hero

2. Thrasios, Triton Hero

CMC: 2

Thrasios remains my favorite legendary merfolk, costing just one green and one blue mana while wielding a hearty 1/3 stats. His activated effect is a bit pricey at four mana, but it's helpful when you have leftover resources: you scry 1, then reveal the top card of your deck, putting it tapped onto the battlefield if a land and adding it to your hand otherwise.

More than that, Thrasios brandishes the ever-useful merfolk and wizard heritages, and he makes a superb commander since he carries both of the common merfolk colors as well as the rare partner ability. This lets you use Thrasios with another partner commander (choose "Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix" for another green/blue unit), letting you have two creatures available at all times throughout your EDH match!

Waterfront Bouncer
Waterfront Bouncer

1. Waterfront Bouncer

CMC: 2

Waterfront Bouncer bears the secondary spellshaper subtype, not as useful as wizard but still helpful in certain situations. Despite his buff appearance, he's only a 1/1, but Bouncer costs just two mana. Better yet, by spending a blue mana, discarding a card, and tapping him, you get to return any creature back to its owner's hand!

Considering blue's proficiency with extra draws, you should have plenty of discard fodder, making Waterfront a reusable and affordable removal. He remains one of my favorite blue cards that I often blend into even non-merfolk blue decks; fortunately , he's available for less than a single dollar! For any merfolk theme, or even simply just a blue deck, I definitely recommend giving this bouncer a shot.

Which creature do you prefer?

See results
Merrow Commerce
Merrow Commerce

How to Support a Merfolk Deck in Magic

In addition to our list's supports, several other merfolk can boost your team. "Coralhelm Commander" and "Merfolk Mistbinder" increase the stats of merfolk, "Deeproot Elite" place +1/+1 counters when another merfolk enters, and "Master of the Pearl Trident" grants other merfolk additional power and islandwalk. Additionally, the enchantment "Merrow Commerce" untaps your merfolk at the end of your turn, ensuring you're never without blockers.

Combo merfolk with their common wizard allies or blue's vast assortment of powerful counterspells, and you're well on your path to victory. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of aquatic predators, vote for your favorite creature and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Jeremy Gill

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hobbylark.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hobbylark.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)