Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Blue Creatures in Magic
Theoretically, blue has the weakest creatures in Magic, at least in terms of power and toughness. And while this is often true, many of its creatures compensate with powerful effects, useful subtypes (especially wizard), and traits like flying and hexproof. Plus, we've seen a surprising number of blue titans in recent years—here are the 20 biggest and baddest blue creatures in Magic: The Gathering!
20. Myojin of Cryptic Dreams
Myojin's surprisingly weak at 3/3 and only arrives with an indestructible counter if cast from the hand, so try not to fudge it into play. But not only does the counter protect Myojin by granting indestructible, it can be removed when you cast a permanent spell to copy that spell three times!
As long as you bear in mind the legend rule (you probably want to copy a non-legendary permanent), getting triple of something big—like Craterhoof Behemoth—can mean an insta-win.
19. Spawning Kraken
This is blue's version of red's infamous Utvara Hellkite. Kraken is a burly 6/6, and whenever your kraken, leviathan, octopus, or serpent deals combat damage to a player, Spawning creates a 9/9 kraken token.
These are ridiculously strong tokens, especially considering they can create more of themselves and Spawning itself can make them. So, if you can protect Spawning for just a few turns, he rewards you with an army of giant sea monsters.
18. Archetype of Imagination
Imagination's oddly small at 3/2; look past that and you've got an excellent ability plus some nice synergies. Imagination gives all your creatures flying and removes it from enemies, making you unblockable to everything that doesn't have reach. Throw in enchantment and human-wizard synergy and you've got a great endgame aggro push for any control deck.
17. Nezahal, Primal Tide
Nezahal enjoys fierce 7/7 stats and can't be countered, one of the biggest worries with high-cost plays. More than that, he gives you an infinite max hand size and draws whenever an opponent casts a non-creature spell.
More cards is always nice, especially to fuel Nezahal's unique defense, letting him instantly blink himself into exile by discarding three cards, returning to the field tapped at the end step.
16. Draining Whelk
Whelk is pricey for what's effectively a counterspell, but will not only thwart any spell, but reward you with a flying 1/1 creature that gains +1/+1 counters equal to that spell's cost, scaling well in the late-game.
Guile has what I call super-menace, requiring three or more blockers to be blocked. More than that, he's got impressive 6/6 stats, elemental synergy, shuffles himself into your library if sent to graveyard (useful against mill), and lets you play any spell you counter without paying its cost!
Stealing countered spells can really give control decks the field setup for a final push, and I appreciate that the effect's optional, so you can decline to cast undesirable spells like board wipes, which simply stay exiled.
14. Sakashima's Protege
Protege flashes in at instant speed and cascades, casting the next spell with lower cost from your deck. After that spell resolves, Protege arrives as a copy of any permanent that entered the field that turn.
So it's often best to wait for an opponent to finish their turn, cast Protege, see what he cascades, then copy either that or the best card your opponent just played. Heck, you can even copy a land if desired.
13. Scholar of the Lost Trove
Sphinxes are slowly but surely gaining tribal support, and a 5/5 flyer isn't bad for seven. More than that, Scholar will freely recast (into exile) one artifact, instant, or sorcery from your graveyard on entry. Great on its own, but especially deadly if you can flicker Scholar to and from exile.
12. Torrential Gearhulk
Gearhulk offers an overall-better Scholar effect. While he can only recast instants, he has flash, meaning you can use him to recast counterspells. His impressive 5/6 stats also provide a useful surprise blocker, and artifact synergy combos great with other blue supports.
11. Atemsis, All-Seeing
Atemsis has decent 4/5 stats, flying, and the sphinx subtype. He can tap and spend three mana to draw twice and discard oncw, but what really makes him interesting is his damage effect; when he hits an opponent, Atemsis can reveal six cards with different costs in hand to win the game!
Even remembering that lands count as zero-cost, this is tricky to pull off, but hey, when it works, it works.
10. Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign
Unnesh is decently strong as a 4/4 flyer, but more than that, he makes your other sphinxes cost two less mana, a great discount for some of the pricier monsters in the game. Plus, when Unesh or another sphinx enters your field, he has an opponent separate your deck's top four cards into two piles; you add one to hand and send the other to your graveyard.
A useful effect that often provides two cards with each trigger, it's especially potent if you ally with someone in a multiplayer gamer; have them put all four cards into one pile to add all to hand.
9. Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
The most expensive mono-blue creature, Jin needs a whopping ten mana, so try cheating him into play with an effect (like Kinnan Bonder Prodigy). Either way, he has flash and is amazing once out, giving you an extra seven draws at your end step and reducing opposing max hand sizes by seven!
Both are great effects, but don't overlook a few caveats to Jin's powers. For one, he has no defense like hexproof to shield him from removal, doesn't give an infinite hand for your bonus draws, and his hand-reduction can be thwarted by things like Reliquary Tower.
8. Deadeye Navigator
Here's a card that's better than it looks. Navigator is solid at 5/5, has spirit synergy, and soulbonds with another creature when either Navigator or another enters the field. While bonded, both creatures gain the ability to pay two mana to blink into exile, then return to the field.
This can dodge removal and reuse entrance effects, but it's truly amazing when used to acquire infinite mana via…
Palinchron requires several mana, but untaps seven lands on entry, making it effectively free. Decently strong as a 4/5 flyer, Palinchron can pay four mana to return to hand.
This can go infinite with Deadeye (keep blinking and untapping lands for infinite mana), and with enough multi-mana lands, it can potentially go infinite by itself if you can provide a net gain. For similar land-untapping blue creatures, also consider Peregrine Drake and Great Whale.
6. Diluvian Primordial
One of the most underrated cards in the game, Primordial arrives as a sizable 5/5 flyer, and shines in mutliplayer games, letting you free-cast one instant or sorcery into exile from each opponent's grave on entry. This rewards blue mill tactics and can steal devastating plays, from extra-turn shenanigans like Time Warp to board wipes like Wrath of God.
5. Arcanis the Omnipotent
Arcanis compensates for mediocre 3/4 stats with the useful wizard subtype, an excellent tap effect of drawing three cards, and the ability to pay four mana to return to hand. It's as simple as that; advantage and removal dodging in one potent package.
4. Agent of Treachery
Agent made waves in standard when released, and it's easy to see why. Sure, he's weak at 2/3, but what we care about is his entrance ability, permanently gaining control of a targeted permanent. Blinking Agent with cards like Yorion Sky Nomad formed brutal control wins, and he fits especially well in rogue tribal builds.
Agent can also draw three cards at your end step if you control three or more permanents you don't control. This triggers less often than it sounds, but it's a nice bonus to an already-lethal play.
3. Consecrated Sphinx
Another commander staple, Sphinx offers a sturdy 4/6 flyer with sphinx synergy and the optional effect of drawing twice whenever an opponent draws. This adds up fast, completely refilling your hand in record time and ensuring you have answers to any situation. Unlike many of today's top cards, Sphinx isn't legendary, so you can clone him with cards like, well, Clone.
2. Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant
This Jin, while still expensive at seven mana, can be reasonably hardcast, and he's a nightmare once out. Not only will he copy your first artifact, instant, or sorcery each turn, he counters each opponents'!
Since most removal comes from instants and sorceries, this dramatically reduces your opponents' ability to answer Jin. Meanwhile, you'll be doubling up on mana rocks and sorcery tricks.
1. Hullbreaker Horror
Considered broken enough to be edited in online MTG Arena (where its "can't be countered" trait is removed), Hullbreaker arrives at flash speed with amazing 7/8 stats, very likely catching an attacker by surprise. Its paper version can't be countered, and whenever you cast a spell, Hullbreaker returns either a spell or non-land to its owner's hand.
Not only does this make Hullbreaker incredibly hard to remove (you can just bounce removals back as long as you have instants), it can devastate opposing fields if left untouched. As if that weren't bad enough, Horror can easily go infinite by letting you return your own mana-rocks to hand and recasting them; try it with Sol Ring and Mana Crypt.
Other Blue Staples in Magic
Today we focused on blue's high-cost creatures, but don't overlook its early-game aces, from Baral Chief of Compliance (who discounts instants and sorceries) to Jace, Vryn's Prodigy (who can turn into a planeswalker). Of course, mixing in other colors will add additional creature options, but for now, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2022 Jeremy Gill