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Top 10 Monstrous Creatures in Magic: The Gathering

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

How Does Monstrosity Work in Magic?

Creatures with monstrosity act just like other creatures in Magic, attacking and guarding as needed. But their unique trait lets you spend a various amounts of mana to make them "monstrous," adding a listed number of +1/+1 counters.

Not only does becoming monstrous raise a creature's power/toughness, but it often gives them other abilities, though you can only make each creature monstrous once. With dozens of behemoths sprinkled throughout all factions (but favoring green), which cards reign supreme? These are the 10 best monstrous cards in Magic: The Gathering!

Hundred-Handed One mtg

Hundred-Handed One mtg

10. Hundred-Handed One

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4
Monstrosity Cost/Value: 6/3

Four mana scores a 3/5 with vigilance (he can attack without tapping). And not only does Hundred-Handed One earn three counters when he becomes monstrous, he also gains reach (letting him block flyers) and the ability to guard up to 100 creatures each combat!

At that point, if you can get indestructible onto Hundred-Handed, you're basically immune to combat damage. Unless an opponent summons more than 100 monsters or has super-big tramplers, but in most cases, you'll be well-protected in battle.

Polis Crusher mtg

Polis Crusher mtg

9. Polis Crusher

CMC: 4
Monstrosity Cost/Value: 6/3

The best monstrous creatures are solid even before their upgrade; Crusher carries 4/4, trample, and protection from enchantments. Once he's monstrous, he gains three +1/+1s, and whenever he deals combat damage to a player, you get to destroy one of their enchantments.

Fully blocking a 7/7 trampler isn't easy, meaning foes will quickly lose their enchantments if they don't scrape together a removal. Like other activated abilities, remember that you can make a creature monstrous at instant speed, letting you hold off until the last possible second before devoting the extra mana.

Polukranos, World Eater mtg

Polukranos, World Eater mtg

8. Polukranos, World Eater

CMC: 4
Monstrosity Cost/Value: X/X

Hydras are slowly but surely seeing more support as a tribal theme thanks to cards like "Gargos, Vicious Watcher." But whether you use him alongside his brethren or not, World Eater is big for his price, wielding 5/5 stats.

Making him monstrous requires two variable X values plus one green, then deals X damage divided among any number of creatures, each of whom deals their power to him. Honestly, this isn't the best effect, but it's still an appreciated add-on and becomes deadly if you can attain infinite mana (letting World Eater become infinitely strong and kill any number of creatures).

Kalemne's Captain mtg

Kalemne's Captain mtg

7. Kalemne's Captain

CMC: 5
Monstrosity Cost/Value: 7/3

Captain joins the fray as a 5/5 with vigilance, not a bad deal for his price. While his monstrosity cost requires seven mana and only adds three counters, it exiles all artifacts and enchantments, a fierce field wipe that eliminates two permanent types.

Not even indestructible or hexproof will save the cards since they're neither destroyed nor targeted; just remember your own spells will also be removed, so run Captain in decks light on artifacts and enchantments.

Colossus of Akros mtg

Colossus of Akros mtg

6. Colossus of Akros

CMC: 8
Monstrosity Cost/Value: 10/10

Akros requires eight mana, and his defender trait prevents him from attacking. But he accepts any mana types, counts as both an artifact and a creature, and is an indestructible 10/10.

Making him monstrous requires a whopping ten mana, but not only does it grant ten +1/+1 counters, it provides trample and lets Akros attack even with defender. Once he's maxed out, this makes Akros an indestructible 20/20 trampler, an enormous beatstick to rewards your efforts.

Hydra Broodmaster mtg

Hydra Broodmaster mtg

5. Hydra Broodmaster

CMC: 6
Monstrosity Cost/Value: X/X

Another of Magic's best hydras, Broodmaster carries impressive 7/7 stats for his price. He notably lacks trample, but his adaptable monstrosity cost lets you pay two X values and a green mana to make X number of X/X hydra tokens.

I like how this spreads out your forces, not only boosting Broodmaster but also creating other monsters to hold the fort in case he dies.

Arbor Colossus mtg

Arbor Colossus mtg

4. Arbor Colossus

CMC: 5
Monstrosity Cost/Value: 6/3

One of green's most underrated cards, Arbor by default wields mighty 6/6 stats and reach, mitigating green's biggest weakness (lack of flyers). As if that weren't enough, becoming monstrous grants him +3/+3 in counters and lets you destroy an opposing creature with flying, permanently removing an aerial threat.

Though his specific color needs make him unwieldy outside mono-green, Arbor has great stats and all three kinds of abilities (static, activated, and triggered), making him a frequent member of my own commander decks. He's also surprisingly cheap, costing well under a single dollar!

Stormbreath Dragon mtg

Stormbreath Dragon mtg

3. Stormbreath Dragon

CMC: 5
Monstrosity Cost/Value: 7/3

Paying five mana nets you this fierce 4/4 dragon with flying, haste, and protection from white. Stopping there, you'd have a solid card, but Stormbreath can become monstrous to gain three +1/+1 counters and deal damage to each opponent equal to the number of cards in their hands.

Admittedly, by the time you're ready to activate this, most hands will have dwindled, but it's just icing on the cake. It's also a nasty surprise to any blue player who just cast "Enter the Infinite."

Fleecemane Lion mtg

Fleecemane Lion mtg

2. Fleecemane Lion

CMC: 2
Monstrosity Cost/Value: 5/1

A 3/3 with cat synergy for two mana is already a tempting deal. And while Fleecemane's monstrous activation only gives him one +1/+1 counter, it also provides hexproof and indestructible, meaning you can eventually control a targeting and destruction-immune 4/4 beatstick.

Fleetfeather Cockatrice mtg

Fleetfeather Cockatrice mtg

1. Fleetfeather Cockatrice

CMC: 5
Monstrosity Cost/Value: 7/3

Often underestimated at a glance, Cockatrice is one of the game's most versatile spells. While his base stats are only 3/3, flash lets you cast him at instant speed, and flying and deathtouch mean he can serve as a surprise insta-kill blocker.

Unlike most of today's cards, making Cockatrice monstrous doesn't have any added benefits besides adding three +1/+1 counters. But it's something to do if you've got nothing better for the mana, and an aerial 6/6 with deathtouch is definitely no joke.

Using Monstrosity in Magic

Once you've buffed a creature by making it monstrous, you've invested lots of mana into it; try shielding it from removals with defensive auras or equipment ("Lightning Greaves" works great for applying shroud).

And remember that becoming monstrous adds counters, meaning you can proliferate them and further empower your aces. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of monstrous titans, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill

Comments

Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on November 22, 2019:

@Rex H

Having deathtouch outside black isn't a weakness-it makes the card that much more desirable, offering black effects without having to dip into the color. Same with flying in green, it's better because you don't usually see it.

Sure, cockatrice supports are non-existent, but Fleetfeather's other good traits more than compensate. For what it's worth, you can also reduce his monstrosity cost by using blue/green "Biomancer's Familiar".

Rex H on November 21, 2019:

Fleetfeather Cockatrice? In first? Really? It’s actually a great creature, but the problem is the fact that it’s Blue and green. It’s just too hard to fit him into a blue and green theme. If you like deathtouch, then why aren’t you using a black deck? As for monstrosity, how many other blue cards have monstrosity? Flying creatures don’t really shine in green decks. Blue and Green decks are also high on Elf and Merfolk supports, but how many cards support the Cockatrice subtype? Despite all of this, Fleetfeather Cockatrice is a great card, but not first-place material. Besides that, this is another great article. If I were into green and white decks, I would so buy Fleecemane Lion. Plus, Arbor Colossus is great for those pesky flying creatures.