Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Trample and Super-Trample in Magic
When blocked, creatures with trample deal excess damage to the player or planeswalker they were attacking. For example, a 5/5 trampler blocked by a 2/3 will deal the two leftover damage (subtract your power by their toughness) to your opponent.
However, some creatures have "super-trample," meaning they can pretend they weren't blocked for the purposes of assigning combat damage. In this case, a 5/5 super-trampler blocked by a 2/3 could either deal all five of its damage to the 2/3 or to the opponent (but can't split it).
While using super-trample won't damage blockers, it's an even faster way to pile damage onto opponents and is generally the superior trait—how should you use it? These are the ten best super-tramplers in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Lone Wolf
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 3
Lone Wolf's stats are a lackluster 2/2, but his ability to bypass blockers deserves notice, especially for the early era he debuted in. His wolf subtype is also slowly but surely gaining more tribal support, so he could have a place in modern decks too.
9. Pride of Lions
Pride of Lions has decent 4/4 stats and super-trample, another staple for the early sets he appeared in. The cat subtype is also useful, stacking with cat-based commanders like "Arahbo, Roar of the World".
For his hefty cost, Spinebiter's 3/4 stats are disappointing. However, he has both super-trample and infect, two of the most coveted traits in the game. Infect lets him deal damage to creatures as permanent -1/-1 counters and to players as poison counters, losing when you get ten.
Boost Spinebetter with an aura, equipment, or other buff and watch opponents fall to his semi-unblockable assault that doesn't care how much life an opponent has left.
7. Predatory Focus
For one turn, Predatory Focus basically gives all your creatures super-trample. This can easily deal the finishing blow, but there's a catch—you have to use the super-trample for each blocker, so this time you won't get to see who blocks before making your decision.
This limitation and the steep mana price admittedly limit Focus, but it's a devastating play when timed right.
Outmaneuver is like an adaptable Predatory Focus but with several advantages. First, it's one of few non-green cards that can provide super-trample. Second, it activates at instant speed, so you can cast it after attackers and blockers are declared, letting you see whether you need it or not.
Once cast, you pay one red mana plus X more, choosing X creatures to deal their combat damage to the defending player instead of blocked creatures that turn, essentially granting temporary super-trample.
For his cost, Gurzigost has oustanding 6/8 stats, but the downside is you have to sacrifice him at your upkeep unless you return two cards from your graveyard to the bottom of your deck. However, this disadvantage actually provides a nice anti-mill tactic, and you can help fill your graveyard with Gurzigost's effect, which spends two mana and discards a card to grant him super-trample for the turn.
4. Thorn Elemental
Simple and sweet, Thorn Elemental suffers a hefty mana cost but provides a formidable 7/7 with super trample. While I wish he had reach, vigilance, or some other bonus to justify the cost, his elemental subtype gained many new supports in the Core 2020 set, keeping him relevant in current duels.
3. Siege Behemoth
Compared to Thorn Elemental, Thorn Elemental has worse 7/4 stats and the inferior beast subtype. However, not only does he have hexproof (preventing opponents from targeting him), when he attacks, he gives all your attackers super-trample for the turn. This includes himself, and unlike Predatory Focus, you get to pick whether or not to apply super-trample after seeing which blockers are declared.
Rhox was errated to also have the rhino bloodline, meaning now you've got two lacking subtypes to ignore! But don't worry, he's got respectable 5/5 stats, super-trample, and the ability to regenerate himself by spending three mana.
This regeneration provides a key defense that guards against most removals (preventing the next destruction Rhox would take that turn) as long as you keep some mana in reserve, meaning you've got an easy five damage each turn.
1. Tornado Elemental
Tornado Elemental is basically a slightly-weaker Thorn Elemental at 6/6 instead of 7/7. However, to compensate for the slight downgrade, he deals six damage to all flying creatures on entrance, a powerful nuke that usually leaves green alone since it contains few flyers. From there, you've got a formidable beatstick with elemental synergy.
A staple in my own green commander decks, Elemental is surprisingly cheap for such a competitive card, costing less than a single dollar!
Using Super-Trample in Magic
When choosing whether to apply super-trample, look at your opponent's health—it won't matter if their blocker survives if you manage to kill them. But by the same token, don't be afraid to neglect the trait in situations where you need the blocker dead.
Since most super-tramplers require several mana, do your best to defend them from removals by giving them traits like hexproof and protection, but for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of blocker-bypassing monsters, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill