Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
How Does Trample Work in Magic: The Gathering?
Trample is an awesome trait for your Magic creatures to bear, as it lets any excess damage against blockers bleed through to hit your opponent. For instance, if your 3/3 (three power and three toughness) creature with trample is blocked by a 1/1, the excess two damage (3 power minus 1 toughness) will pierce through to damage your opponent's life points. You can also redirect the excess damage to smash opposing planeswalkers.
Trample is most commonly seen on green and red creatures, but warriors of any color can bear the trait, and you can artificially manufacture it using a heap of awesome support cards. But with dozens of bulldozing bonuses available, which spells reign supreme? These are the 10 best ways to place trample onto your units in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Stonehoof Chieftain
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 8
Since he requires a huge mana investment, you'll either need to ramp like crazy or use free-creature effects like "Defense of the Heart" to field Stonehoof Chieftain. However, not only does he bear a fierce 8/8 as well as trample and indestructible, he gives your other creatures trample and indestructible for the turn whenever they attack!
Thankfully, you only really need trample on your move, as it doesn't deal pierce damage when blocking, so as long as this centaur leader stays around (and he won't be easy to remove due to his invulnerability), your soldiers can continuously swing with both trample and indestructible. Good luck lasting long against an army boosted by that.
9. Armadillo Cloak/Unflinching Courage/Behemoth Sledge
CMC: 3 (and 3 to equip in Sledge's case)
These three cards share a slot since they're nearly identical. Aura-type cards Armadillo Cloak and Unflinching Courage both cost three mana (one needing to be white and one green) and bestow a creature with +2/+2, trample, and lifelink, gaining you health whenever they inflict damage.
Behemoth Sledge offers the same boosts and costs the same amount of mana to field, but you'll also need to spend three more to equip it. This makes it most taxing to adorn, but also lets it stay on the field (and possibly be reattached to something else) if the outfitted monster falls, making it more expensive but superior in longer matches.
8. Thunderfoot Baloth
At six mana, Baloth takes quite a chunk of mana to play, but it's not so expensive as Chieftain, especially considering green's mana ramp prowess. Still, this card's really only useful in EDH format considering its lieutenant trait, which activates while you have your commander fielded.
By default, Baloth is sturdy with 5/5 and trample, but as long as you control your commander, it gives itself +2/+2 and your other combatants +2/+2 and trample, letting your entire army pierce with boosted stats! Remember, trample is particularly deadly on commanders, as you can win EDH games by simply inflicting 21 cumulative combat damage with your general (regardless of your opponent's actual life total).
Here's a great high risk, high reward card. As an instant, you can cast Berserk at any time, letting you catch opponents off guard after blockers have already been declared. For just a single green mana, a target creature not only gains trample until the end of the turn, but also +X/+0 where X is their power.
That's a huge boost for such a low price; however, at the end of the turn, you'll have to destroy the impacted creature if it attacked. Still, you can bypass this downside by either giving your unit indestructible (Chieftain can help there, although it should already have trample in that case) or simply winning the match by then, more than possible thanks to your huge pierce damage. Even if you end up killing your creature, the damage you can deal may very well be worth the price.
6. Chariot of Victory
CMC: 3 (1 to equip)
The advantages that most artifact equipments hold over auras is that they're usually colorless, so any deck can employ them, and they can be reattached even if their original bearer dies. Thankfully, Chariot offsets its base cost of three with an equip cost of just one, making it pretty easy to shuffle between your champions.
Chariot's rider won't gain any power or toughness, but they receive trample as well as first strike and haste. First strike lets them deal combat damage first (and avoid a counterattack if they kill their target) while haste lets you attack/tap even on the turn your monster arrived, offering a wealth of abilities to benefit any warrior.
5. Haunted Cloak
CMC: 3 (1 to equip)
Just like Chariot, Haunted Cloak takes three mana of any color to cast and one to equip, making it easy to move around as you see fit. However, remember that (unlike most mana abilities), you can only attach equipment at times you could play a sorcery card, which is generally on your main phases.
Cloak offers the same trample and haste traits that Chariot does, but replaces first strike with vigilance, something I generally consider more useful. Vigilance lets you attack without tapping, keeping your unit primed and ready to block if your opponent attacks on their turn.
4. Nylea, God of the Hunt
One of the strongest god cards in the game, Nylea wields astounding 6/6 stats and indestructible for just four mana! However, she won't count as a creature until your devotion to green hits at least five, meaning you have five forest symbols in the mana costs of permanents you control. Luckily, Nylea's own symbol counts, so you'll just need four more before she can start attacking and blocking.
But whether or not Nylea is yet treated as a creature, her passive enchantment bonus will remain active, simply giving all creatures you control trample. Since Nylea's indestructible, your opponent will have to spend a rare exile, bounce, or sacrifice removal if they want to eradicate her, giving plenty of time for your army to bleed through blockers. This goddess can also spend four mana (one of which must be green) to grant a creature +2/+2 for the turn, an expensive effect that's still handy when you don't have any other cards to invest your turn's mana towards.
CMC: 1 (2 to equip)
O-Naginata grants two incredible bonuses to your units while only taking one mana to cast and two to equip, rendering it a remarkably cheap equipment. However, you can only bestow this blade to creatures with at least three power, which really isn't too demanding of a condition.
Once passed to an appropriate unit, Naginata grants them a fierce +3/+0 and trample. While they only receive power with this increase, and not toughness, you're generally much more interested in strength since trample will let it bleed through, ensuring your huge attack stat doesn't go to waste.
2. Ring of Kalonia
CMC: 2 (1 to equip)
Needing only two mana to cast and one to equip, this jewelry is even cheaper than our other accessories, and it grants its wearer trample. Not only that, if the attached creature is green, they also receive a +1/+1 counter during your upkeep step!
This gradually strengthens your beast and operates with multicolored warriors as long as one of their hues is green. Those extra counters ensure you'll make good use of trample's pierce damage, and even if Kalonia is destroyed with an artifact removal, any counters it's provided will remain, adeptly serving your squad even when blasted to smithereens.
Three great abilities make Rancor an amazing bargain of an aura. Its first two bonuses grant your attached unit +2/+0 and trample, letting it hit hard and bleed through blockers. That would already warrant Rancor's low price, but it also returns to your hand if ever placed in the graveyard from the field!
The risk of most auras is how easily they're lost if the creature they strengthen is removed; Rancor adeptly solves the issue by automatically recycling itself to your hand and letting you reuse its fierce boons. I include Rancor in several of my own green builds (try it in "Omnath, Locus of Mana" EDH decks), and thankfully, despite its prowess, it's cheaper than most competitive cards, costing well under three dollars!
What Is Super Trample in Magic?
We've examined several powerful tools to let you break through your opponent's blockers, but did you know about the trample variant called super trample? This rare keyword lets your units assign their combat damage as if they weren't blocked at all, letting you devote all their strength towards maiming your opponent, although it means none of their creatures will die.
Some of my favorite super tramplers include "Deathcoil Wurm", "Spinebiter", and "Siege Behemoth". It's far less frequent than standard trample, but nonetheless something to consider when deck-building. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of armor-piercing tramplers, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Geniuskid on December 22, 2019:
I use Stonehoof Chieftain in my Wurm/Hydra, and it is OP on the field. I also use armadillo cloak as a add on to that creature or one of my hydras (usually Primordial Wurm)