Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Boosting Power/Toughness in Magic
Most Magic games are won by inflicting enough damage to your opponent, often by attacking over time with creatures. Creature strength is based on two factors: power (damage dealt) and toughness (damage threshold before death each turn).
Of course, higher-cost creature spells require more mana, but you can boost creature stats with various auras and equipments—which reign supreme? In terms of raw power, these are the ten strongest auras and equipment in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Epic Proportions
True to its name, Proportions costs several mana, but gives a hearty +5/+5 boost plus trample, letting you pierce excess damage through. More than that, flash lets you cast it an instant speed after blockers have been declared, tricking your opponent into unfavorable combat.
9. Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang
This legendary artifact also gives a +5/+5 boost, but it's expensive, needing a base price of six and an equip cost of three. However, you can also pay six and exile it to create a 5/5 flying blue dragon token, and when it dies, Tatsuma returns to the field.
A nice alternative ability, but watch out if the dragon is exiled or bounced, which prevents you from regaining Tatsumasa.
8. Sword of Kaldra
To use Kaldra effectively requires eight mana, but you can split it over multiple turns since both the casting and equip cost are four. Your boosted creature gets +5/+5 and exiles any creature they damage, making even the smallest of tokens deadly. It also works great with first strike, hitting and banishing foes before they counterattack.
7. Wurmweaver Coil
Coil can only enchant green creatures and requires lots of mana, but gives a massive +6/+6 boost. You can also pay three green and sacrifice it to create a 6/6 wurm token, a useful response when you're about to lose your original creature.
6. Argentum Armor
Needing six mana to cast and equip, Armor is laboriously slow—try equipping it for free with cards like "Armory Automaton". But not only does it provide +6/+6, it destroys a permanent when the equipped unit attacks, able to target not just creatures but lands, planeswalkers, and other permanent types.
5. Prodigious Growth
Similar to Epic Proportions, Growth has the same cost and similar effects. It lacks flash, but gives +7/+7 and trample (instead of just +6/+6), making each better in certain situations. It can help to attach a unit with hexproof or shroud, which makes it less likely you'll lose your aura via a creature removal.
Great for aura-based commander decks (and commander-damage wins), Growth is also cheap for a rare, costing less than one dollar!
4. Mythic Proportions
Simply bump up Growth's mana cost by one to get a stronger boost on this near-identical spell of +8/+8 and trample. Definitely a big increase, especially for the early days Proportions debuted in.
3. Colossus Hammer
Hammer is remarkably cheap to cast, needing just one mana, but equipping it requires a whopping eight, so again, you'll want free-equip effects. Either way, its recipient loses flying (if they have it) but gains +10/+10, an enormous upgrade that becomes deadly with double strike.
2. Eldrazi Conscription
Possibly my favorite aura yet, Conscription requires eight mana, but can fit in any commander's color identity and bestows +10/+10, trample, and annihilator 2, meaning when your enchanted unit attacks, the defending player must immediately sacrifice two permanents.
Compared to annihilator creatures, this works well because you can take immediate advantage by bestowing a creature able to attack that turn. As a final bonus, Conscription is tribal and counts as an eldrazi, useful with effects on cards like "Eye of Ugin".
Colossification has several drawbacks. It taps the enchanted creature (so they can't attack that turn), it doesn't give trample, and it needs seven mana. That said, it provides an awe-inspiring +20/+20, double that of any other cards today.
Getting this onto something with trample and hexproof is great, but many players take advantage of it immediately with spells like "Fling" (which deals damage based on a creature's power).
Dependent Boosts in Magic
Today we examined the strongest general buffs, but remember that many others can be just as strong when on certain conditions are met. For instance, "All That Glitters" gives +1/+1 per artifact/enchantment you control, while "Blackblade Reforged" does the same for lands.
There's also the double strike trait, granted by equipments such as "Embercleave", that doesn't technically boost power but effectively doubles damage, but for now, vote for your favorite creature-boosting spell and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2021 Jeremy Gill