Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Rhino Creatures in Magic
Rhino cards may not receive much dedicated support, but that's not to say they don't contain worthwhile members. Typically found in green or white, rhinos often have big combat stats and trample, letting them bulldoze through weaker units.
Many rhinos come in token form, working well alongside token-supporting populate spells, but which beasts reign supreme? These are the ten best rhino cards in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Rhox War Monk
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 3
War Monk specifically needs three colors, but rewards you with a sturdy 3/4 who has lifelink. That's enough toughness to endure red removals like "Shock" or "Lightning Bolt", and the lifegain works well alongside allies like...
9. Rhox Faithmender
Sure Faithmender has just one power, a terrible value for his price. However, he's got five toughness, a flexible cost, lifelink, and doubles the amount of life you gain. This isn't limited to just his own lifelink; it also multiples lifegain from other sources. Use Faithmender in life-based or toughness-damage decks for a surprisingly dangerous combo.
8. Mirror-Sigil Sergeant
Despite only needing one color, you'll want Sergeant in blue/white decks, as he creates a token copy of himself at your upkeep if you control a blue permanent. Cool thing is, his token copies also activate this effect, letting you quickly overrun foes with your ever-expanding army.
4/4 stats aren't great for Sergeant's price but they could be worse, especially since you get trample and soldier synergy as bonuses.
7. Dauntless Escort
Dauntless Escort also adds the soldier subtype to rhino and arrives with impressive 3/3 stats. More than that, he's an excellent defense against field wipes, able to sacrifice himself to give your remaining creatures indestructible for the turn.
This doesn't require Escort to tap or spend mana, so it's a free activation you can utilize at any time, even right after Escort hits the field.
6. Ghired, Conclave Exile
The leader of the Primal Genesis prebuilt commander deck, Ghired himself isn't a rhino. But when he enters the field, he creates a 4/4 rhino token with trample; added to his own 2/5, you get an impressive stat total of 6/9.
More than that, when Ghired attacks, not only do you populate (copying a creature token you control), the populated token enters tapped and attacking alongside Ghired; use this with your rhino token (or bigger ones, if you have them) for an aggressive combo.
5. Thicket Crasher
Craser's a rhino as well as elemental, and a very tribal one at that, granting your other elementals trample. Toss in respectable 4/3 stats, trample for himself, and a flexible cost for a simple yet competitive elemental support.
A staple in my own Omnath commander decks, Crasher's also a bargain deal, costing well under a single dollar!
4. Siege Rhino
Blending the Abzan colors, Siege Rhino requires three different mana types. But he wields 4/5 stats, trample, and the ability to sap three life from every opponent on arrival, giving you three along the way. You only gain three even if the effect drains multiple opponents, but that's still an appreciated burn/lifegain entrance on top of a reinforced beatstick.
Perceptive readers may see that despite his appearance, Rhox only lists "beast" as his subtype, but his later errata made him a true-blue, er, green rhino. Either way, 5/5 stats are acceptable if not outstanding for a six-cost creature, but Rhox contains "super-trample", letting him deal his combat damage as if he isn't blocked even if he actually is.
Throw in a three-cost regeneration (which will save him from the next destruction that turn) for a hard-to-block and hard-to-kill green juggernaut.
2. Crashing Footfalls
CMC: 1 (technically 0)
You can't cast this sorcery by standard means; instead, for one mana, you suspend it with four time counters, casting it on your fourth turn afterwards. That's quite a delay, but it's a cheap suspend that prepares you for the mid-game, and when the spell triggers, you get not one but two 4/4 rhino tokens with trample!
Again, these guys make great fodder for populate effects, and the spell places a sorcery in your graveyard (useful for spell mastery bonuses) while still fielding creatures. My only gripe is that the tokens don't have haste (unlike most suspended creatures) since they weren't suspended, the card that summoned them was.
1. Loyal Guardian
Guardian's effect relies on controlling your commander, so non-commander players should look elsewhere for bulky creatures. But in his element, Guardian's an amazing support. At base, he's a respectable 4/4 with trample and a flexible cost, and at the start of combat on your turn, he gives all your creatures (including himself) a +1/+1 counter if you control your commander.
This lieutenant effect impresses because of its lasting presence; even if Guardian is removed, the counters he bestowed will remain. He also isn't legendary, meaning you can safely duplicate him with creature copies, and he works well with partner commanders, triggering as long as you control either (or both) of them.
Using Rhinos in Magic
Again, rhinos don't really have spells devoted to them, but several contain the better-supported elemental or soldier bloodlines. They're also common in green, which contains many generic creature supports, and they have some of the best tokens to populate.
Of course, green's got many other large subtypes to explore, like beasts, dinosaurs, and hydras, but for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of bulky creatures, vote for your favorite rhino and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill