So here we are again. Another article and some more cool tribes to explore. This time is all about the prehistoric big bois – I’m talking about the best Dinosaurs in MTG.
Dinosaurs are one of the newest and most unique creatures in the game. They are known for being high CMC cards with big power. They also have enraged as a tribe specific ability. Which is flavorful and mechanically different from others.
This tribe was mostly prominent in the Ixalan block and its approximate set releases. They have also seen some presence in the recent Ikoria set with the incorporation of the mutate ability. Overall, they are somewhat new creature type with a lot more to be explored in the future.
This list will include some of the best Dinosaurs in the game, with the focus mainly on the format of Commander. This is because the higher amount of Dino cards are played in this format.
But first, let’s present some honorable mentions.
This first bunch are all cards related to the enraged mechanic. This mechanic consists of creatures gaining abilities when being dealt damage. In this way, they need to get angry to fully get all their abilities. Which is a great ability for Dinos.
- Ranging Raptors provides ramp when being dealt damage.
- Ripjaw Raptors provides card draw when enraged.
- Siegehorn Ceratops doubles its power and toughness by gaining +2+2 whenever enraged.
- Marauding Raptors deals damage to every creature entering the battlefield, enraging them. It also gains extra abilities by dealing damage to Dinos. It also makes all creatures 1 cheaper.
- Finally, Raging Swordtooth deals 1 damage to all creatures when it enters the battlefield, enraging the whole board.
Big Green Creatures
This bunch of Dinos are simply big creatures with various abilities which make them great to cast.
- Ghalta, Primal Hunger cost less equal to the amount of power on the board. This makes it super easy to cast. And when it enters the battlefield it is a 12/12 with Trample. Scary!
- Carnage Tyrant is a creature with Hexproof and with the ability of not being able to be countered. It is also a 7/6 with Trample for 6. Which is really efficient and a great way to counter Control decks.
- Shifting Ceratops is another great card to play against Control strategies. It is a 5/4 for 4 with the ability of not being able to be countered. It also has protection from blues, as well as being able to gain reach, trample, or haste for 1 green. Great answer to many decks.
These two cards are a part of the Ikoria set, which presented really different abilities to the base game.
- Snapdax, Apex of the Hunt is a part of the Legendary mutated creatures of the set. It presents lifegain and creature damage strategies when mutated. This is in line with its Mardu colors. It also has double strike, which is a plus.
- Yidaro, Wandering Monster, on the other hand, is a part of a group of Cycling based cards that came out of that set. It has a fascinating mechanic of being able to be put from the graveyard to the battlefield when it has been cycled 4 times. It also goes back into your library whenever you cycle it. This makes it easier to be cycled plenty of times. It also has haste and trample, which makes it an impactful attacking creature whenever you manage to play it.
Now let’s move to the top 10 list of the best MTG Dinosaurs.
#10 Thrashing Brontodon
This is one of the best supporting Dinosaur cards out there. It was a part of many Standard decks when it was a part of the format. And it sees a lot of play in many decks in Commander.
What makes this creature so great is its defensive stats. It is a 3/4 for 3 mana which is already pretty great. It also has the extra ability to destroy target artifact or enchantment. This makes it a great reactive and proactive creature.
#9 Wakening Sun’s Avatar
This creature is just really cool and destructive. It is a boardwipe in the shape of a 7/7 Dinosaur Avatar. It is insanely expensive at 8 mana. But its impact is great. Especially on a Dinosaur tribal deck. Imagine casting this card on a board full or your Dinos and destroying everything and keeping your good boys. Great late game play.
#8 Kinjalli’s Sunwing
Kinjalli’s Sunwing is another great defensive Dinosaur card. It is a 2/3 for 3 mana, which is decent. It has flying, which is helpful against other flying creatures. And it is also useful for sneaky attacks. But its main strength is in the fact that it forces all creatures your opponents control to enter the battlefield tapped. This makes it easier to attack and defend. Solid card.
#7 Rampaging Ferocidon
You know a card is a bit too good when it gets banned. This card was problematic for many reasons when it was a part of Standard. First, it is extremely efficient 3/3 for 3. Plus, it has menace, which makes it harder to block. Then, it has the ability to block players from gaining life.
And if that wasn’t enough – whenever another creature enters the battlefield, it deals 1 damage to that creature’s controller. It is crazy aggressive, which makes it a great card in certain decks.
#6 Quartzwood Crasher
Speaking of aggressive cards, this creature is exactly that. It is an incredibly impactful card in Commander. It also made waves in the Standard meta when it first was released. This has died down, but its presence in Commander is still felt. It is an excellent Gruul card. As soon as it touches the board, it becomes an automatic target.
It is a 6/6 for 5 mana with Trample, which is already insanely efficient. Then, the ability to create an X/X Dinosaur with Trample whenever one or more creatures with Trample deal damage to a player. (X being equal to the amount of damage those creatures dealt to that player.) This is a great way to create more board presence without committing additional cards from your hand.
#5 Wayward Swordtooth
This is one of the most efficient ramp cards out there. It is especially good in Commander. Any card that gives you the ability to play an extra land in this format is good. The fact that it is also a 5/5 for 3 mana is also good. However, there’s the downside – it can’t attack or block unless you have the city’s blessing. Nevertheless, that’s quite easy to achieve.
This card is a part of plenty of Land Matters decks, competitive EDH decks and casual decks. It is especially essential for Dinosaur tribal decks, where mana is really needed.
#4 Iluna, Apex of Wishes
Illuna is one of the best Dinosaurs with the Mutate ability. Its Creature subtypes are insane. It’s a Beast Elemental Dinosaur. Crazy stuff.
It is a 6/6 for 5 with flying and trample. Efficient. Its Mutate cost is high, being 6. Its Mutate ability trigger is to exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland permanent. Then, this permanent is put onto the board. It is basically a free cast. This makes Illuna a great Commander, and a good base to build around.
#3 Vadrok, Apex of Thunder
This is another Mutate creature with fine stats. It is a 3/3 for 3 mana with flying and first strike. Its Mutate cost is not bad at 4. This puts it a step ahead of Iluna. Both these cards can be exchanged in the list because they are pretty similar in nature.
Vadrok has a Mutate ability trigger to cast any noncreature card with CMC 3 or less from the graveyard for free. This makes this card a great spell based card. Paired with other mutate creatures and this card becomes super good. As seen when it was a part of Standard.
#2 Keruga, the Macrosage
This is part of the cards that were introduced in the Ikoria set that have the Companion mechanic – even though this ability has been nerfed. It is still an interesting mechanic to build around, as well as providing something extra.
Keruga itself follows the same theme of caring only about permanents with CMC 3 or greater. This can be built around to have a different Commander and this creature as Companion, or simply as it being the main focus. It can also be played in any deck with the two colors. Because it assures you of drawing you at least 1 card when entering the battlefield.
It is a 5/4 for 5 which is efficient enough. And its ability allows you to draw cards equal to the amount of permanents with 3 CMC or greater that you control. In Commander, Keruga can often draw you a bunch of cards.
#1 Etali, Primal Storm
This is pretty much the most exciting Dinosaur to build around. It is best played as a Commander in an aggressive deck. Its art is cool, its stats are good, and its ability is kick ass.
It is a 6/6 for 6 mana which is efficient as it gets. Whenever it attacks, each player exiles the top card of their library, and then you are able to cast them – without paying for them! This is insane in any deck. And this is what makes this creature one of the most known MTG Dinosaurs out there.
Best Dinosaur Tribal Commanders
As it is a tradition, I have included what the three best Dino Commanders in the game are. Some of them might have made the list, but I have decided to include them here because they are so good as Commanders.
#3 Atla Palani, Nest Tender
The first Commander is surprisingly a non-Dino creature. What makes this card a great Dino commander is her potential to embrace this tribe. It is not only fitting in terms of lore and flavor as she is a Dino nest tender, but also mechanically.
Her ability is to create Egg tokens by paying 2 and tapping her. The second ability is to transform Eggs into creatures when they die. She reveals the top card of your library until you reveal a creature, and then you put it into the battlefield.
So basically you can get a huge creature by paying nothing. And if you play only Dinosaurs in the deck, it fits perfectly.
#2 Zacama, Primal Calamity
Zacama is probably the best and most powerful Dinosaur in the whole game. It has crazy abilities and keywords, and it is awesome in all meanings.
It is a 9/9 for 9 mana with vigilance, reach, and trample. That’s insane. It has great attacking and defending stats. It also has the great enter-the-battlefield effect of untapping all your lands (if you cast it). Which is pretty nice, as when you get all your resources back.
And if that was not enough, it has a tool box of activated abilities. It deals damage, it destroys artifacts or enchantments, and it gains you life. What more can you ask from your Dinosaur Commander?
#1 Gishath, Sun’s Avatar
This is the best Dinosaur tribal Commander in the whole game. It is a 7/6 for 8 which is not bad. It has trample, haste, and vigilance which are super important and powerful keyword abilities in combination with its second ability.
Its second ability is that whenever it deals damage to a player, it reveals cards from the top of your library equal to the amount of damage it dealt. Then, if they are Dinosaurs, they can be put into the battlefield for free.
Which is crazy good. If you are lucky enough, you might be able to get 7 Dinos from this activation. The fact that it has trample, vigilance, and haste makes this ability super easy to take advantage of.
Dinosaurs are one of the most fascinating creatures that have ever walked on this planet. And the introduction of these into Magic the Gathering has been awesome.
The way in which the cards have been designed and given interesting and flavorful abilities is great. Hopefully this creature type can be explored more in depth in future sets.
With what we have at the moment, the list of good Dinosaurs is sufficient. I hope that this article has provided you with some ideas on how to build a Dinosaur tribal deck or incorporate them into your own deck.
As always, if you agree or disagree with any of the additions of the list, please comment them on the comment section.
If you’re looking for more interesting articles, you might like some of the following ones:
- Top 10 Best Knights
- Best Deck Boxes for Commander
- Top 10 Best Commanders of All Time
- List of All Commander Precons
Stay safe, have fun, and go for wins with your Dinos!