Tag Archives: creatures

Awesome 1-Mana Creatures, part 6: Artifacts

You might have thought the “Awesome 1-Mana Creature” series was over last week when I profiled Black, but it’s not! This week I’m profiling the few 1-mana Artifact creatures that are more than worth their salt (plus a few 0-mana Artifact creatures that just can’t be left off the list).

As always, if you know of a creature I missed, let me know in the comments! All card images came from MagicCards.info.

arcboundworker
It’s a 1/1 for 1, and the +1/+1 can move to another artifact creature when it dies!
chronomaton
Build this 1-mana bad boy up over several turns (or less, if you’ve got a way to untap artifacts or creatures :D)
heapdoll
Handy for getting rid of that pesky card you never want coming back to haunt you in a game.
myrmindservant
Because sometimes, you just gotta shuffle. (Refraining from obvious Party Rock Anthem joke)
myrmoonvessel
Get your mana investment back when it goes to grave…nice!
myrservitor
This is a hilarious classic in one of my boyfriend’s decks–plays well with Soul Warden and the like, plus functions as “Annoying Blocker Extraordinaire.”
razorgrassscreen
A wall with 2 power? It’ll probably kill most of the little things that run up toward it!
roterothopter
At worst, it’s an Ornithopter for 1 more mana. But pay a little mana into its ability, and it can become a 2/2!
signalpest
Its battle cry ability, plus its ability to evade most things that would block it make this a good attack booster!
steelwall
A personal favorite–a 0/4 blocker for 1 mana, and no color commitment!
vectorasp
1/1 for 1 colorless is already good, but the option to gain infect for 1 black mana is POWERFUL. Many artifacts can generate black mana when needed, so this creature doesn’t have to operate just in a Black deck.
 

And here are the awesome 0-mana Artifact creatures I referenced earlier:

ornithopter
A classic–a 0/2 flying blocker for no mana. WOOT!
phyrexianwalker
A 0/3 blocker is always nice, and especially for no mana cost–it means your opponent has to waste time punching through it or dealing it direct damage!
shieldsphere
And for sheer ridiculousness, how about a 0/6 wall for 0 mana? Sure, it gets -0/-1 counters on it when it blocks, but it’ll be around long enough to protect you!
 

Awesome 1-Mana Creatures, part 5: Black

In Magic: the Gathering, Black is not necessarily known for its creatures, and usually what creatures it gets are not cheap to play. But there are some little 1-mana gems hiding away in Black! Check out the list below! (And don’t forget to check out the other colors I’ve profiled so far: White, Blue, Green, and Red.)

All of the card images came from MagicCards.info; if you know of a 1-mana black creature that ought to be on this list and isn’t, let me know (nicely) in the comments!

acolyteofxathrid
Play it first turn and activate it second turn for an early-game life-drain jumpstart.
bileurchin
Good way to both fill up your graveyard and put your opponent at a disadvantage–even first turn!
bloodcelebrant
Great for multi-color decks to balance out your mana.
bloodpet
When you just REALLY NEED that 1 extra mana. Or you need a cheap blocker.
cabaltrainee
Keep an opponent’s creature down for a turn with this one.
carrionbeetles
Messing with graveyards is traditional Black territory–and for a 1-mana investment up-front, not bad! (For a newer reprint, see Rag Dealer.)
carrionfeeder
For 1 mana you have a creature whose power and toughness can snowball over several turns. Who cares that it can’t block?
deathcultist
Great for re-balancing life totals, or for gaining an advantage.
deathgreeter
If your deck already deals with a lot of “Sack this creature” effects, this would be a great little addition.
deathriteshaman
Though it’s hybrid, there’s still plenty to interest a mono-Black deck here. Getting rid of lands, instants, and sorceries from the graveyard? NICE. (And if you happen to run a little Green in your Black deck, all the better)
drainpipevermin
A quick and cheap way to make your opponent ditch a card.
dutybounddead
Exalted is rare enough to find in Black, let alone Exalted and Regenerate. Great for boosting up another creature and sticking around!
ghostlitstalker
Though its tap ability are pretty expensive, making an opponent ditch two cards is pretty fun. And late-game, you can Channel this little guy to make them ditch four instead!
gnatmiser
Equal-opportunity disadvantage–great for a group game, and just fine for a one-on-one game.
guuldrazassassin
Level this guy up, and you get a pretty powerful creature removal tool!
initiatesoftheebonhand
GREAT way to get Black mana early-game, especially if all you have are colorless or non-black mana sources. (For a newer, Black/Red option, see Manaforge Cinder.)
insidiousbookworms
Like Drainpipe Vermin, but this says “ditch at random”–a small but possibly more dangerous change for your opponent!
merrowbonegnawer
Exiling cards when tapped, and being able to untap when a black spell is played…how is this guy just 1 mana again?
nightshadestinger
1/1 flying, which Black usually needs!
nipgwyllion
Because Black can always use a touch of Lifelink, given all the “pay X life to do something awesome” types of spells.
plaguebeetle
1/1 swampwalk is great for its cost, since Black has plenty of ways to make an opponent get a Swamp. (See Zodiac Rat for another example)
pricklyboggart
1/1 fear is pretty strong for Black–great for getting through hordes of creatures (unless they’re artifact or black).
pulsetracker
This is better than it sounds–drain a life from EVERY opponent, AND potentially do some combat damage, too? Woot!
putridimp
Give it flying for a few turns and you should have threshold for extra fun!
quagvampires
It’s as good as Plague Beetle if you don’t multi-kick it, and if you do multi-kick it, it’s a HUGE upgrade. Yay for options!
ridgedkusite
A Black creature giving first strike (traditionally a White ability)? WOW! And the +1/+0 is nice, too 🙂
sleeperagent
Ah, yes, this little lady is lethal when combined with enchantments that keep her from attacking and blocking for your opponent. (My boyfriend uses Sleeper Agent to great effect with Pillory of the Sleepless…argh! LOL)
slitheringshade
You can either pump up this Shade and use it as a killing blocker, or you can ditch all the cards out of your hand and start swinging with it. Either way, it’s GOOD.
smolderinitiate
This is like a walking Throne of Bone, but for life loss instead of gain. Neat!
thoughtpickerwitch
Mess with your opponent’s upcoming cards…good ability on a 1-mana creature!
thrullparasite
The Extort is a nice touch, and the tap ability can either bring something of yours into play quicker, or keep your opponent’s counter-centric combos from going off too soon.
tormentedhero
Play this guy, and then start targeting him with any kind of spells…FUNNY for a group game especially.
tormentedsoul
1/1 unblockable for 1! WOW!
typhoidrats
1/1 deathtouch…small but mighty. 🙂
vampirebats
0/1 flying that can become a 2/1 with some mana investment. (See also: Pit Imp, Phyrexian Battleflies)
visceraseer
Being able to scry is usually a Blue ability, so it’s nice to see it pop up in Black.
will-o-the-wisp
0/1 flying that can regenerate! A classic.
 

Unusual MTG Creature Types, part 3: Griffins

As part of my “unusual creature types” series, I’ll be reviewing the Griffins today. I started off this post believing that Griffins were merely uglier, stronger Birds, but as you’ll see, I soon found out how wrong I was about them!

What Do the Griffins Do?

divinggriffin First and foremost, the Griffins are flying combat creatures, as expected, and quite a few carry vigilance and/or first strike as well. They are mostly 2/2, 2/3, or 3/2 creatures (though there are a few Griffins with larger powers or toughnesses than that), which make them fairly strong contenders against other flying-based creature decks.

But aside from their combat prowess, the Griffins have another feature: possessing some of the most random and unusual creature abilities. Here’s just a sampler of some of the stranger abilities within the Griffin creature type:

  • Pay a snow land to gain first strike
  • Sacrifice to deal 3 damage to target attacking/blocking creature
  • Can be recast from exile
  • If no enchantments are in play under your control, the Griffin dies
  • Bounce back to hand to return another Griffin from grave to hand
  • Sacrifice to destroy target black creature
  • Gets a +1/+1 counter for each damage you were dealt from an opponent’s source

In essence, many of the Griffins carry abilities from other colors into White, since most of the Griffins are White, with only a few exceptions (a few Blue and one Red/Green/White). It makes them an interesting creature type to play in a Tribal deck, and makes them also suitable for playing in more generic White or multi-color decks as well.

With a mana curve running from 1 to 6 mana, most of them hovering around 3 or 4, the 33 Griffins printed so far in M:TG can make a pretty solid White creature-based deck. Give them a try–they’re a very different flavor from Birds!

Other Examples of the Griffin Creature Type

abbeygriffin azoriusfirstwing
darajagriffin misthollowgriffin
mistmoongriffin peregrinegriffin
screechinggriffin zuberigoldenfeather

(All card images retrieved from MagicCards.info.)

Complete List of Griffins in M:TG

Griffins: Gatherer Search