Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Weird Creatures in Magic
In Magic, a creature's power indicates its offensive capabilities while toughness represents the amount of punishment it can take before dying. Some creatures favor one score over the other, but in general, the more mana a monster costs, the higher its combat attributes will be.
However, several troops enter with unusual stats, either being ridiculously high or having a nonsensical score that plays with unusual mathematical principles. So, which outcasts refuse to conform? These are the 10 weirdest battle attributes in Magic: The Gathering!
Like many of today's cards, S.N.O.T.'s gray border indicates it stems from one of the "Un" sets that are banned in most competitive events. Still, this semi-official creature only costs one mana, and when he enters the field, you can blend him with another S.N.O.T. already in play.
Their power and toughness each become the square of the number of S.N.O.T.s stuck together. In other words, a single unit is just a 1/1, two become a 4/4, three form a fierce 9/9, and so on. Weak on their own, don't underestimate these bogus units when melded together, as their attributes will exponentially increase with each addition.
9. Avatar of Me
Another gray-bordered entry, Avatar of Me costs four mana plus one more for each ten years you've been alive, so younger players should take advantage of their discount. This works best with players who have hit their growth spurts, as Avatar's power becomes your current height in feet while his toughness becomes your American show size, both rounded to the nearest ½.
His color also becomes your eye color, which can lead to entertainingly-nonsensical hues of brown (which doesn't exist in Magic). Overall, for tall and youthful players, Avatar offers incredible battle stats for only a moderate cost.
8. Elvish House Party
House Party costs a substantial amount of six mana, but he synergizes with the abundant elf subtype (plus rogue for good measure). More than that, his power and toughness become equal to the current hour (using the twelve-hour system), meaning he fluctuates between a puny 1/1 and an overwhelming 12/12.
Time your games well to take advantage of his sporadic but potentially-lethal abilities—just remember he's banned in most official games.
7. Spinal Parasite
Spinal Parasite is a rare legal card (black border) who actually carries negative one power and toughness! Normally, this would mean he'd die on entrance, but he enters the field with a +1/+1 counter for each color spent to cast him, potentially arriving as a decent 4/4. You can also spend two pf his +1/+1 counters to remove a counter from any permanent.
Even in ideal situations, this artifact-creature blend only has a 4/4 ratio, which you can easily exceed with other cards of his cost. The counter-removal is interesting (and can hinder opposing planeswalkers), but it's not nearly enough to compensate for Parasite's lackluster stats.
6. B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster)
The black faction's Big Furry Monster is one of Magic's strongest creatures, carrying a ridiculous 99 power and toughness. He also has "super-menace", meaning he can only be blocked by three or more creatures. However, he's difficult to cast, as he needs a whopping sum of 15 mana, all of which must be black, and you need both halves of his card in hand to field him.
If either half is ever removed, you have to sacrifice the other, so be sure to protect both as you command your enormous beatstick.
5. Half-Squirrel, Half-
CMC: 1 (augment cost)
As a card with augment, you can't cast Squirrel on its own. Rather, you pay his augment price (one) and any host creature's cost to combine the two into one fused monster. Squirrel unfortunately doesn't provide any added toughness and actually subtracts one power from his host, but he's cheap and has the "whenever a nontoken creature enters the battlefield" text, which activates a different effect depending on which host you adhere him to.
Rumbler is another perfectly-legal card, but his toughness is a meager three and his power is a terrible -1! However, Rumbler arrives with the rare double strike trait, letting him hit twice with each attack, and you can spend a red mana to boost his power by one for the rest of the turn.
Use leftover mana and equipments/auras to increase Rumbler's power to workable values, then make good use of his double strike to ravage enemies.
3. Little Girl
Little Girl's power, toughness, and mana cost are all ½, meaning you can cast two copies of her with a single white mana. While her stats are barely above zero, she makes a great throwaway blocker and surprisingly decent warrior who isn't as gimmicky as some of the Un spells.
2. Infinity Elemental
Elemental needs a big chunk of seven mana, but he arrives with infinite power! That's right, a single blow from him is enough to kill anything (assuming it doesn't have indestructible) or immediately wipe out your opponent's life.
For a neat combo, grant Infinity lifelink (many white auras do the trick), and as soon as he hits something, you'll have infinite life, making you near-invincible in most games.
1. Force of Savagery
For a card that doesn't stem from an Un set, both of Force's stats are quite unusual. Eight power is incredibly high for a three-cost creature, but zero toughness means Force will immediately die upon entering the field—unless you can boost his vitality with some sort of effect. You don't have time to attach equipments or auras, so harness immediate effects like "Savage Summoning" that let Force enter with additional toughness.
In addition to eight power, Force also wields the trample trait, letting him bleed excess damage through blockers, making him one of the game's strongest offensive warriors. I enjoy his high-risk high-reward nature and use him in several counter-focused green decks; fortunately, he's surprisingly affordable, costing less than two dollars!
More of Magic's Weirdest Creatures
In addition to today's cards, remember that many units have fluctuating battle stats (often noted with asterisks) that change based on certain conditions, like the number of creatures in graveyards or cards in each player's hand. These guys often make great late-game plays, rewarding you for building their potential power as the match progresses.
Zany creatures help make Magic the fun and unpredictable game it is, and I look forward to seeing more wacky spells in future sets. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of misfit monsters, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill