The Top Five Multiplayer Creatures: Forgotten Ancient And Four Others
There are many creatures in Magic; some creatures kill things (Flametongue Kavu, Nekrataal), some beat (Blastoderm), and some are there to test your “skill” (Chimney Imp, Leveler, Okk). There are many good creatures in multiplayer - but to be among the best creatures in multiplayer would require that a creature would be great at certain things.
Before I go on to list five of the best multiplayer creatures, I would like to apologize for a blunder I made in a previous article, Attacking for Arbitrarily Large Amounts of Damage. In the article, my deck list included Goblin Welder; this should have probably been more Flametongue Kavus, Triskelions, or Myr Retrievers, as Goblin Welder is known for attracting unwanted attention. With that out of the way, here are the champions:
This is a card that most people will dismiss… or at least most Spikes do. Forgotten Ancient is an excellent creature; he's fairly cheap, he gets bigger, resists burn, makes your other creatures bigger, can be both great on the offense (once he gets a few counters) and defense, and he has excellent interactions with many different creatures that use +1/+1 counters. Forgotten Ancient’s interactions with other creatures allow him to both fit into a deck and have a deck made around him and creatures that use the counters.
Speaking of creatures with +1/+1 counters, Stronghold’s Spikes come to mind along with Triskelion.
4 Treetop Village
4 Forgotten Ancient
3 Ironshell Beetle
2 Spike Drone
4 Spike Feeder
4 Mindless Automaton
2 Spike Weaver
2 Fangren Firstborn
3 Rites of Passage
The deck takes advantage of what Forgotten Ancient does best: making and distributing +1/+1 counters. Mainly, the Ancient is used to put counters on creatures that can turn the counters into other resources: Triskelion turns it into damage, the Automaton turns it into cards, Pentavus turns it into creatures, and Spike Feeder saves your butt when you need life. The deck wins through Trike damage or through beatdown.
The Firstborn is used to help supplement your creatures with +1/+1 counters, along with Rite of Passage. Spincrusher also serves as a massive alpha striker; the ability to become very large, very quickly and being unblockable is a strong combination.
When playing the deck, don’t worry about distributing the counters early to a Spike — it can always redistribute them later. This tactic also prevents you from putting all of your excess resources into the Ancient. Also note that it may be a wise idea to animate a Treetop Village and place some counters on it, just in case you feel some one is going to Wrath of God the board soon.
Akroma, Angel of Wrath
I always like big, hard-to-kill fliers, and Akroma is that in a nutshell. Akroma serves as a huge attacker the turn she hits the board and hangs back for defense. She evades ground combat and kills just about everything that gets in her way. She also has protection form both red and black, which saves her from many different kill spells.
The only bad thing about Akroma is that she costs eight mana — which can be cumbersome. However, multiplayer (especially games with four or more people) it is not hard to get eight mana, and with the help of certain artifacts, it becomes easier still. She also makes an excellent reanimation target (look at some of Extended's deck lists).
But unlike a few of the other creatures on the list, Akroma can’t really have a deck built around her. Instead, she fits into a white deck, preferably one with ways of ramping up mana. If money is not an issue, I would suggest Eternal Dragons, but things like Wayfarer’s Bauble work, too. Then again, you could also fit her into a green/white deck. (Or, taking a cue from Extended, into a Reanimator deck – The Ferrett)
At any rate, there are a few things to keep in mind when playing with Akroma: One thing in particular is that you must attack with her the turn she comes into play unless attacking with her puts you at some sort of risk; I have won many a game due to the fact an opponent didn’t realize their Akroma had haste. Another tip is that you don’t want to attack if you are clearly going to lose her (your opponent is playing a deck with Wing Shards, AWOL, or the like).
Both of those tips seem kind of obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t realize these things. As a side note, I have a particular fondness of her; I like angels and I like white (I’m not a white weenie enthusiast; I just like white in general).
This creature is indeed a force to be reckoned with. On the outside, Verdant Force is a simple 7/7 beat stick; its upkeep trigger is what makes it so great. One Saproling a turn? It may not seem like much — but in a game with three or more players, this can get out of hand quite quickly.
You can do a lot of things with the Saprolings the Force generates: sacrifice them to one of many black creatures or enchantments for a good effect, pump them with Overrun for a kill, or just play Nemata, Grove Guardian or Verdeloth the Ancient and have fun. If you really want to, you can even use them as chump blockers, and (if you are very cruel) use them as Skullclamp fodder.
Verdant Force, like Forgotten Ancient, not only may be placed in a deck, but it can have a deck built around it:
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Windswept Heath
4 Verdant Force
1 Rith, the Awakener
1 Nemata, Grove Guardian
1 Verdeloth the Ancient
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Eternal Witness
4 Greener Pastures
4 Explosive Vegetation
3 Collective Unconscious
3 Goblin Bombardment
The deck mainly focuses on one thing: creating tons of Saprolings for a massive beatdown.
The deck ramps up mana through Sakura-Tribe Elders, Explosive Vegetation, and Eternal Witnesses fishing up the two aforementioned cards for convenient reuse. Greener Pastures is fueled from the land fetching, making sure you get the creatures. Thallid is in the deck because he is cheap and he makes Saprolings — besides, who couldn’t include Fallen Empire cards in their deck? (This is a rhetorical question.)
Rith, Nemata, and Verdeloth all are in there for their own reasons, which all relate to producing and strengthening your army. Collective Unconscious helps you dig down to stuff you need and Goblin Bombardment helps you deal with other creatures and serves as an alternate route to attacking (Though Blasting Station might be just as good). Congregate serves as an emergency life gain mechanism for the deck, just in case you’re nearly dead (though it is extremely cheap to use it in a multiplayer game).
At any rate, don’t sacrifice the Elders right away, see if you can get someone to waste removal on it, trade it with another one-toughness creature, or use it as a chump blocker. Also, don’t be afraid to play Verdant Force — you can afford to draw some kill spells to it, since you have Eternal Witnesses to get it back.
This brings me to one final point: don’t play the Witnesses frivolously. If you can avoid searching for more land for the Green Pastures, then don’t and save the ladies for when you need your big threats.
Avatar of Woe
Out of all the rares from Prophecy, this has to be one of the best. Those who have played with the Avatar know that it is a very good creature, combining evasion, a large body, and instant kill on a stick. It sails in as a late-game finisher or breaks up stalemates. Also, it may come down mid to early (if people are aggressive enough) as a bomb.
Some may question how often there are ten creatures in between both their opponent’s and their own graveyard; this occurrence is rare in a duel. However, if you are playing a game with multiple people, the question really is “When are there not ten creatures between all our graveyards?” You’ll quickly find yourself playing the Avatar for just two mana, and with the right spells and creatures you can speed it up ten fold.
2 Cabal Coffers
3 Phyrexian Plaguelord
3 Sengir Autocrat
3 Bottle Gnomes
4 Avatar of Woe
4 Blood Pet
2 Nantuko Husk
3 Rotlung Reanimator
4 Innocent Blood
2 Grave Pact
4 Oversold Cemetery
1 Barter in Blood
3 Diabolic Intent
If you are afraid of losing creatures, don’t play this deck. Your sole objective is to lock your opponents down using things like Phyrexian Plaguelord, Innocent Blood, and Avatar of Woe – and then beat down when you are in control of the board.
Some things to keep in mind include the fact that Oversold Cemetery says you may return the creature card; keep this in mind, for this could prove to be the difference between nine creatures total and ten creatures. Also, don’t use Blood Pet right away if you can help it; it will help you get out more expensive things like the Autocrat and the Plaguelord faster. Saving Blood Pets also give you potential fuel for Diabolic Intent, which is key to getting whatever you need when you need it.
One last tip: play Innocent Blood early, but not before everyone has at least one creature (for the people playing creature decks), this will help you speed out your Avatars allowing you to control the board.
Every Creature Ever Printed
Before any of you go to the forums, let me clarify what I really mean:
The lovely Doppelganger serves as a catchall creature ranging from utility to offense and defense; it does it all. Clone is similar to the doppelganger, but it can’t change its shape after assuming one. Need something that can block a Darksteel Colossus? No problem. Need a silver bullet against a legendary creature? Look no further. Wish that you had one more creature with evasion for an alpha strike? The Doppelganger can always adapt to the changing board, becoming whatever you need when you need it.
There is nothing Vesuvan Doppelganger can’t do, so long as it is another creature in play, even if it can’t be targeted (many players don’t realize that Clone and the Doppelganger were given an errata “choose” instead of “target” to avoid this problem; it also prevents messy rules issues). In essence, the Doppelganger is every creature every made, and I believe that it deserves the number one slot on my top five list.
Good night, everybody.