I love 3 drops – because the 3 mana spot is the most coveted and competitive in a deck – and the games most efficient creatures come at the 2 and 3 mana spot. Many times I had to exclude a good creature because there was simply a better one in its place. These are creatures you can put into pretty much any deck, and they will work for you. Most of these creatures are white, or green, or both, consistent with that color being well known for efficient creatures. So without further ado, here’s the 15 best 3 mana creatures in my opinion (I’m going to exclude legendary creatures since these are creatures you want to include more than 1 of in your deck, sorry Vendilion Clique and Geist of Saint Traft):
1. Eternal Witness
I would put this chick in every green deck I have. She’s that good. Whenever she comes out, I get a card back, ANY card. So amazing, and hard to pick anyone over her. The only problem is the double green in her cost.
2. Kitchen Finks
This is another card I would just put in every deck I have. It is all around goodness. A 3/2 creature for 3 mana, that gains a total of 4 life and its easy to cast, and comes back to live again after it dies once. So efficient and so good.
3. Vampire Nighthawk
Here’s a good definition of efficient. A 2/3 for three mana, decent. Then add on three abilities: flying, lifelink and deathtouch, and you have a winner.
4. Phyrexian Crusader
A 2/2 for 3 mana, is boring, but this guy has four abilities on top of that. First strike, Infect, and protection from red and white. Now that’s good stuff.
5. Mirran Crusader
Like Phyrexian Crusader, its a 2/2 for 3 mana, but it only has 3 abilities. However, those three being double strike, protection from green and black, are quite good abilities, and enough for me to put it in the top 5.
6. Knight of the Reliquary
It’s also a 2/2 for 3 mana, but has the unique ability of growing whenever you have a land in your graveyard. With all those fetch lands out there, and mill decks, as well as this knights ability to fix mana at will, it becomes one of the best creatures in green/white. It has the rare ability to match Tarmogoyf and Scavenging Ooze in growth at a similar low mana investment, which is amazing.
7. Ohran Viper
This is one of the most elegant creatures ever designed. You attack with it – if they don’t block it, you draw a card. Else, if they do block it – their creature dies. It’s a win win situation for you. And it’s a 1/3, so it has reasonable toughness.
8. Troll Ascetic
Troll Ascetic can single handedly win games if your opponent has nothing to deal with it. It’s an untargetable regenerating beast, that will stay on the field until your opponent finds some way of dealing with it. But it is one of the hardest creatures to deal with in the game.
9. Fiendslayer Paladin
First Strike, Lifelink, can’t be targeted by red or black spells. That’s essentially 4 abilities on one creature, the definition of efficient.
10. Shadowmage Infiltrator
The card designed by Jon Finkel, one of the greatest MTG players of all time. It’s simple and elegant. 3 toughness is decent, he draws a card whenever he deals damage, and he has fear to help facilitate drawing a card. Like Ohran viper, simple and elegant.
11. Boros Reckoner
The strength of this card is that its so versatile. Its a 3/3 that can shoot back for however much damage it is dealt, often giving substantial card advantage when it dies. In addition, it can get first strike if you don’t want it to die.
12. Hypnotic Specter
This is the original and still the best specter. 3 mana, has flying, and makes the opponent discard a card randomly when it deals damage. This makes it one of the best black three drops ever.
13. Silverblade Paladin
This creature gives two creatures double strike when it hits play. That essentially ups your firepower by double by being in play. Thus, paired with the aforementioned Shadowmage or Ohran Viper, or Nighthawk, makes you gain double the benefit.
14. Loxodon Smiter
First of all, this is three mana for a 4/4. That’s right, a freaking 4/4. Not long ago, we were talking about how Blastoderms and Loxodon Hierarchs were efficient for their cost. Well this is one better. On top of that, it’s uncounterable and undiscardable, great against blue and black mages.
15. Woolly Thoctar
It’s a 5/4 for 3 mana. nuff said.
Mystic Crusader (if you have threshold)
Rhox War Monk
Trygon Predator (sideboard)
Great Sable Stag (sideboard)
Fulminator Mage (sideboard)
Mirri, Cat Warrior
Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Geist of Saint Traft
Doran, the Siege Tower
Jenara, Asura of War
Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
Varolz, the Scar-Striped