And we are back with another list focusing on one of the many tribes in Magic the Gathering. The focus of this article will be on the best MTG Elementals. This is a tribe with plenty of interesting mechanics and sub themes associated with it. They can be played as aggressive attackers, or midrange based value, as well as land matters strategy enablers.
Anyhow, you wish to play this type of creature, one thing is for sure. You will have a lot of fun piloting a deck with them. You will have fun trying to brew something different. And you will not have as much fun trying to play against them.
Because these creatures preform best in Commander, I’ll mostly focus on Elementals for this format. Nevertheless, you’ll still find some great options for other formats as well.
Best Elemental Commanders
With that in mind, I would like to start off by giving some of the best Commanders out there for this tribe.
Horde of Notions
This might not be the most powerful commander out there. But it is a 5 color commander, which makes it FUN. It is also a good creature in itself, being a 5/5 with vigilance, trample, and haste.
It’s only activated ability is that you can pay WUBRG to play any Elemental creature from your graveyard without paying its mana cost. This is a good way to recycle all your deck.
Animar Soul of Elements
This is a more well known commander for this tribe. It has access to the three most known colors for elementals (Blue, Green, Red). It has protection from two of the most common colors of removal (white and black). And its abilities allow for many lines of play and strategies.
You can build it with Voltron in mind for its first ability. Or you can play him as an enabler and secondary treat. Either way, it’ll certainly be a problem for your opponents.
This is another well known Commander. It is not only popular for Elemental tribal decks, but it is also widely known for being a Cascade deck enabler. As the name of this deck type suggests, the main ability of this creature is to Cascade twice.
Cascade being a really explosive ability makes this card a really explosive Commander. Its static ability is to give all creatures you control haste. This goes perfectly well with the second ability. Aggressive and explosive. And, of course, expensive. But that is what Cascade is there for.
This is one of the most fascinating characters in the whole game. It is one of the few characters that its story, its abilities and mechanics, and its color identity evolve simultaneously. It started being a mono green commander with its focus on mana. Furthermore, it slowly evolved into two colors, then three, and now four.
Each time it gained more abilities, but one thing remains constant in these three versions of the card. The focus on elementals and lands. Whichever of the three you choose to play, you are assured value and fun.
Best MTG Elementals – Honorable Mentions
With these different possible commanders in mind, let’s get into some honorable mentions.
These three cards, as the title of the category says, are creatures that provide excellent card advantage with some extra benefits. Cloudkin Seer is a basic flier which when entering gives you a card. Popular in Control, Combo, and Bounce decks.
Risen Reef gives you ramp and card draw. It is the most popular and powerful of the three. Finally, Tectonic Giant provides card selection and damage depending on the situation. Good Aggro Elemental.
These three creatures are excellent in the ramp category. Smokebraider is a simple mana dork that taps for two exclusively to cast Elementals, which is great. Brighthearth Banneret discounts 1 from every Elemental. Leafkin Druid is another mana dork which taps for 1 green, normally, and 2 green if you control four or more creatures.
Nyxbloom Ancient is just a beast of a creature. It triples all of your mana that you get from tapping permanents.
Being a “Lord” means being a creature that pumps all creatures of the same tribe with +1+1. These two creatures have that ability as a base as well as extra abilities.
Incandescent Soulstoke has as a secondary ability to be tapped by paying 2 and putting and Elemental from your hand to the battlefield with haste without paying for its mana cost, and at the end of the turn sac it. Creeping Trailblazer has as a secondary ability to gain +1+1 for each elemental you control until the end of the turn by paying 4.
This category is for creatures with really useful support abilities. The first is Shriekmaw whose main ability is to destroy creatures which are non-artifact or non-black. Decent.
Flamekin Harbinger is an Elemental tutor which is really useful and powerful in this tribal deck. Lastly, Lord of Extension is a great treat and combo piece in plenty of graveyard decks which make use of its ability to gain power equal to the amount of creatures in graveyards.
So now let’s move to the actual top 10 list of the best MTG Elementals.
This blue flying fish elemental is one of the most popular Commander cards of all time. When it comes to a pre-built deck based around value or simply including the colour blue, you can be sure to find this card. It is a staple in Control decks, flicker decks, value decks, and in Elemental decks.
Its cost is high, but its effect makes up for it. Draws two cards by just entering the battlefield. And with Elementals having a good ETB effects subtheme, this card is great.
#9 Forgotten Ancient
The design of this card is a really unorthodox one. It is a medium costing card at 4. It is a 0/3, which is not good. But its first ability is to get +1+1 counters whenever a player casts a spell. So, this tends to get out of hand pretty quickly.
Its second ability is that at the beginning of your upkeep, you can move any amount of counters to other creatures. This dynamic way of sharing counters opens up the potential to place counters on creatures that take advantage of this. This makes this card a really fun card to play around with and find the best combos.
#8 Thunderkin Awakener
This card made a splash when Elementals were a big part of Standard. Its ability to bring back any elemental back from the graveyard with toughness less than this card whenever it attacked made for some fascinating combinations.
As mentioned before, Elementals have a big ETB effects subtheme based around them. So this card made perfect use of this mechanic.
#7 Ancient Greenwarden
This recently new released card brings something terrifying to the format of Commander. It brings back the ability to play lands from graveyards present in other cards such as Crucible of Worlds and Ramunap Excavator.
However, it comes in a 5/7 body with reach. With the extra ability of making everything that triggers when a land comes into the battlefield trigger a second time. There’s so much value here, and that is why Greenwarden is one of the best MTG Elementals.
Don’t be fooled by its simple name. This card has the ability to not prevent damage being dealt to creatures, but it also gives them +1/+1 for each 1 damage that’s prevented. It is also a 6/6 for 6 mana which is always nice. And it has trample. It is simply excellent.
#5 Avenger of Zendikar
This big green creature is one of the most well known Land-based cards out there. It sees play in almost every green deck. It is a good token creator for token based decks. Not only that, but it’s also one of the most played cards in landfall decks. And of course it is an Elemental, so it is logical it would see an inclusion in this list.
I always talk about mana efficiency and this card sure has it. It is a 5/5 for 7 mana which is weak for a vanilla creature, but its abilities make up for the cost. It produces 0/1 Plants for each land you control when it enters the battlefield. This means that as a base, it would create 7 Plants when played. This makes it a card that produces a 5/5 and 7 0/1 at the minimum when played.
It also has a second ability which makes all Plant creatures get +1/+1 counters when a land enters the battlefield, which makes all those defensive tokens into attack threats.
This is what makes this card an extremely efficient and game changing play in every circumstance. And makes it a perfect fit for Elemental tribal decks.
I know that it is a bit of cheating, including five cards in one spot. But the problem is that these five cards have extremely similar designs, with abilities that apply for all five colors. They all excel in their own way. Determining which one is better than the other is subjective to the type of strategy and deck you are building.
They have already been a part of the Top 10 Knights list. In that article, I talk more in detail about their different abilities and places where they fit when it comes to their Knight side of the creature type.
Talking about them in relation to Elementals, they are still fantastic. Each one of them finds an area where they can excel. You can definitely play all of them in a 5 color Elemental deck, which would be pretty cool.
#3 Roil Elemental
Stealing other creatures from opponents has always been an extremely powerful ability. Taking away a support piece, a combo enabler, or an attacking threat is always useful for any deck. Removing them from your opponent’s board is one thing, but taking them for your own is even greater.
Roil Elemental does exactly that. It makes you gain control of target creatures as long as you control Roil Elemental whenever a land enters the battlefield. In a deck full of elementals and cards which look to trigger landfall abilities is extremely useful. Gaining control of multiple creatures at once is crazy. This is certainly one of the best MTG Elementals.
#2 Yarok, the Desecrated
As mentioned previously on this list. Elementals have a big ETB effects sub-theme built within their tribe. Yarok, in this regard, is the best Elemental for this type of mechanic. It can be itself one great Commander. In fact, he is one of the most used Value Commanders out there.
It has a good board presence. It has impressive defensive stats, as 3/5 with deathtouch and lifelink is pretty good. And it has the ability to make all ETB triggers happen twice, which is really powerful. It is a great support card for other strats, as well as it being an excellent Commander for ETB trigger centric decks.
#1 Muldrotha, the Gravetide
Graveyard themed decks are not so common amongst Elemental tribal strategies. This does not mean having graveyard recursion is a bad thing in this type of deck. When it comes to making use of your graveyard, Muldrotha is one of the best cards.
It is one of the best Commanders for this type of strategies, converting your graveyard into an extension of your hand. The fact that you can play multiple cards from your graveyard at once is wonderful.
As a support piece, it is also really useful. Even if the graveyard is not the main focus of your deck. This card still manages to be useful in any deck with its color combination. It is a powerful card in any deck it is a part of. This is what makes it the best Elemental creature out there.
Best MTG Elementals – Conclusion
Elementals are a tribe which produce insane value. Be it by having ETB triggers, aggressive synergies, token creation, or card advantage. They are sure to give you some type of advantage that will put you in a good position whenever you play with them. Be it in any deck archetype or as a tribal themed deck.
As always, if you agree, disagree, or think I have missed any cards, make sure to comment down below. If you have any suggestions or would like to see any specific tribe explored in further articles, make sure to let us know as well.
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Have fun, stay safe, and go for wins with your Elementals!