INFOGRAPHIC: A Timeline of Magic’s Most Powerful Creature

Magic’s Biggest Creature Through the Ages

What’s the most powerful creature in all of Magic: the Gathering? While the 30 years of the game has invited players to engage in myriad debates on the topic, the notion that a 2/1 monkey or a similarly-statted human with flash tops the list can seem fanciful when there is an objective measure of a creature’s power to be found: their power!

Out of the 13,890 creature cards printed on cardboard since 1993, only nine have been able to claim the title of “Magic’s Most Powerful Creature” — and today, we’ll explore the history of this coveted position, including an introduction to the newest champion!

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Infographic: A Brief History of Magic's Most Powerful Creature
Force of Nature through Yargle and Multani
Infographic: A Brief History of Magic’s Most Powerful Creature
Force of Nature – Limited Edition Alpha

Force of Nature lives up to its name in Magic’s first expansion, now known as “Alpha”. An 8/8 with Trample, the green elemental was entirely unmatched in terms of base stats for (most of) the first year of Magic’s history. Thanks Richard for 30 years of big beats with this iconic card!

Colossus of Sardia – Antiquities

Colossus of Sardia  earns the title as the creature with the shortest tenure on this list, as early Magic designers made a hobby out of frequently one-upping one another for the “biggest creature ever”. The East Coast Playtesters won this battle, but it was short-lived.

LeviathanThe Dark

Original Magic playtester Jesper Myrfors was not only the art director for The Dark but its set director as well, creating a blue behemoth that would break the East Coast Playtesters’ record power-level for nearly a year.

Polar Kraken – Ice Age

The flavor text says it all! When a sleuth of polar bear looks like a snack, the 11 power is probably justified…even if this card exists largely as a final tit-for-tat in the game between the early West and East Coast teams.

Phyrexian Dreadnought – Mirage

“Is a 12/12 trampler for 1 cool enough?” Mark Rosewater was told he could join in the one-upmanship of creating Magic’s beefiest creatures on one condition — it was interesting. The Dreadnought, in addition to seeing competitive play on-and-off for nearly twenty years, is even more compelling for its title as the cheapest creature on this list: it only costs a single mana!

Krosan Cloudscraper – Leigion

Krosan Cloudscraper morphed onto the stage in Magic’s first and only expansion limited to a single card-type: creatures. What better way to demonstrate the awe of Magic’s creatures than a stat-line that would take over 8 years to eclipse? 

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn – Rise of the Eldrazi

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, the most powerful entity from the Blind Eternities, changed Magic forever with her release in Rise of the Eldrazi. Fifteen squirrels with reach may be able to hold her back, but at 8 years and 6 months, Emrakul held the title of “Magic’s biggest creature” for longer than anyone else.

Impervious Greatwurm – Guilds of Ravnica

Part of Magic’s then-controversial scheme of distributing mechanically unique cards through buy-a-box promos led to impressive and flashy mythic rares, the third of which was the Selesnyia-alligned “answer to intrigue and subtlety”.

Yargle and Multani – March of the Machine

While technically not the biggest creature in terms of combined power and toughness (the Greatwurm still has that title), Yargle and Multani’s combined might creates two records: both the highest power and the highest differential between power and toughness. This front-heavy beater is also notable as the only “vanilla” card printed in over a year and having exactly double the power and toughness of the “Yargle” half of its legendary duo, a card itself so beloved that it is one of two in Secret Lair history to have a Secret Lair release dedicated to it.

Post-Script: Any discussion on Magic’s biggest creatures is incomplete without consideration towards the two real winners of the contest, if one includes the acorn-stamped-cards-previously-referred-to-as-silver-bordered from the “Un” sets, a line of products meant to add additional levity to the game through jokes and very expensive basic lands. While they may not be tournament legal (and were only legal in Commander for a month!), these two are, without a doubt, Magic’s most powerful creatures in history if you count them as legitimate contenders:

A fun easter egg: BFM’s earrings are comprised of two familiar faces: the Polar Kraken and Phyrexian Dreadnought, the two largest creatures at the time of BFM’s original printing.  

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