Top 10 Skeletons in Magic: The Gathering

Updated on August 15, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

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

Skeleton Creatures in Magic

Not to be confused with their more fleshed-out zombie cousins, skeletons mostly reside in Magic's black faction. While weak in terms of combat, skeletons are usually inexpensive and specialize in regeneration or revival from the graveyard, making them hard to permanently remove.

While they could use more tribal support, we've still seen plenty of powerful members—which reign supreme? These are the ten best skeleton cards in Magic: The Gathering!

Reassembling Skeleton mtg
Reassembling Skeleton mtg

10. Reassembling Skeleton

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 2

Even for his low cost, Reassembling Skeleton is a weak 1/1. However, he's perfect fodder for effects that require you to sacrifice creatures or discard cards; you can spend two mana to return Skeleton from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped.

That's a great outlet for leftover mana, and if nothing else, it'll give you a throwaway blocker (once Skeleton untaps, that is).

Champion of Stray Souls mtg
Champion of Stray Souls mtg

9. Champion of Stray Souls

CMC: 6

Unlike most skeletons, Stray Souls needs a hefty sum of six mana, and his stats are only a mediocre 4/4 considering. However, Souls can spend five mana, tap, and sacrifice X creatures to return X from your graveyard to the field, an excellent way to revive powerful creatures by forfeiting weak tokens.

And even if Souls himself is defeated, you can spend seven mana to move him from your graveyard to the top of your deck, making exile one of few ways to truly thwart him.

Skeletal Vampire mtg
Skeletal Vampire mtg

8. Skeletal Vampire

CMC: 6

Like many skeletons, Skeletal Vampire has a secondary subtype (vampire) that increases his synergy potential. For his hefty price, Vampire is a weak 3/3, but he has flying and creates two 1/1 flying bat tokens when he enters the field.

Additionally, by spending five mana and sacrificing a bat, you can create two more 1/1 bats, gradually populating your army. You can also sacrifice a bat to regenerate Vampire, demonstrating typical skeleton resilience.

Rimebound Dead mtg
Rimebound Dead mtg

7. Rimebound Dead

CMC: 1

Rimebound is a simple 1/1, but he's cheap to cast and is one of few creatures with the snow type, empowering snow-based effects. You can also regenerate him by spending a mana from a snow permanent (likely a Snow Swamp), which Rimebound can use to repeatedly block big threats without dying.

Lightning Skelemental mtg
Lightning Skelemental mtg

6. Lightning Skelemental

CMC: 3

Skelemental has specific color requirements, but carries both the elemental and skeleton subtypes. More than that, he's a 6/1 with both trample and haste, and when he deals combat damage to a player, they have to discard two cards.

You have to sacrifice Skelemental at your end step, but by then he'll have landed some nice damage and weakened opposing hands. Bonus points if you use him to trigger death-related effects on cards like "Blood Artist".

Duty-Bound Dead mtg
Duty-Bound Dead mtg

5. Duty-Bound Dead

CMC: 1

Duty-Bound's stats are only 0/2, but his exalted effect gives any creature you control that attacks alone +1/+1 for the turn. This means he can swing as a 1/3, or empower an allied attacker. Additionally, by spending four mana, you can regenerate Duty-Bound. That's pretty expensive for a regeneration, but it's still nice to have available.

Carrionette mtg
Carrionette mtg

4. Carrionette

CMC: 2

On the field, Carrionette is a weak 1/1, and his unusual ability actually triggers from the graveyard, so try using him as discard or sacrifice fodder. Once he's in your graveyard, you can spend four mana to exile Carrionette and a creature on the field unless its controller spends two mana.

In terms of removal ability, the effect is only okay, but it's one of few that operates from the graveyard, perfect for black's self-milling antics. And if an opponent spends two mana to counter the effect, Carrionette won't be exiled, letting you reuse the ability until it successfully resolves.

Augur of Skulls mtg
Augur of Skulls mtg

3. Augur of Skulls

CMC: 2

Like many skeletons, Augur is a weak 1/1, but he has the useful wizard subtype, blending well with the blue faction. Additionally, you can regenerate him by spending two mana, and you can sacrifice him during your upkeep to force a player to discard two cards.

That's a nifty trick that outperforms three-cost double-discards like "Mind Rot", rivaling even "Hymn to Tourach" in discard prowess. A staple in my own black decks, Augur is surprisingly cheap, costing well under a single dollar!

Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon mtg
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon mtg

2. Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon

CMC: 5

Skithiryx here is a dragon as well as a skeleton, and you might see him lead a pure-black commander deck or serve as a supporter in a dragon-based one.

Either way, Skithiryx offers a 4/4 with flying and infect, letting him inflict damage to creatures as -1/-1 counters and to players as poison counters. You can also spend one black mana to give Skithiryx haste or two to regenerate him, handy add-ons for an already formidable card.

Golgari Grave-Troll mtg
Golgari Grave-Troll mtg

1. Golgari Grave-Troll

CMC: 5

This troll skeleton only needs a small dose of green, meaning he fits well in multi-color decks. Grave-Troll enters the field with a +1/+1 counter for each creature in your graveyard, and you can remove one and spend a mana to regenerate him.

But don't worry even if not many monsters have died yet; Grave-Troll's powerful dredge six lets you add him from your graveyard to your hand (instead of performing a standard draw) by milling the top six cards of your deck. Not only does this quickly recover him, it stocks your graveyard, empowering Grave-Troll when he next arrives.

Which card do you prefer?

See results

Supporting Skeleton Decks in Magic

While skeletons could use more kin-based effects, you can sometimes support them with non-members like "Death Baron" (who boosts both zombies and skeletons). Or, rely on their other subtypes for tribal abilities.

Skeletons work well in longer matches thanks to their continuous presence, quickly reviving and regenerating to ensure you're never without a creature at hand. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of skeleton creatures, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2019 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://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    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)