Magic the gathering: Top 15 most efficient 3 mana creatures ever

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.

Honorable mentions:

Mystic Crusader (if you have threshold)
Boggart Ram-gang
Stillmoon Cavalier
Rhox War Monk
Paladin en-vec
Sprouting Thrinax
Cold-Eyed Selkie
Augury Adept
Doomed Necromancer
Royal Assassin
Blade Splicer
Boon Satyr
Trygon Predator (sideboard)
Witchstalker (sideboard)
Great Sable Stag (sideboard)
Fulminator Mage (sideboard)

Legends:
Mirri, Cat Warrior
Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Geist of Saint Traft
Vendilion Clique
Doran, the Siege Tower
Jenara, Asura of War
Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
Varolz, the Scar-Striped

Magic the Gathering: Top 10 greatest non-basic land cards of all time

Continuing on from artifact cards… now we come to the last category, land cards! Lands are the foundation of magic – without them we can’t cast spells. Of course, I’m not gonna list basic land cards since they don’t have any special abilities. Instead we’re looking at the greatest non-basic lands. Here’s my top 10:

10. Mutavault
It’s close between Gaea’s Cradle and Mutavault since the Cradle is one of the fastest mana engines ever, especially in token and elf decks, but Mutavault has been used more in tournaments, where it has been used in everything from Faerie decks to Aggro decks, so I gave it the edge.

9. Rishadan Port
So I can slow down your mana development and prevent you from casting spells, essentially giving me free turns? Sweet. Widely used when it was legal, and will continue to be used where it is legal. Shuts down every other land on this list too.

8. Maze of Ith
This land has allowed for some pretty nifty combat tricks, but mostly used for defense. It can be used to stall an opponents army, to untap your own creature, to save your own creature from combat, and its a repeatable, free source of those things.

7. Wasteland
Its an uncounterable kill land spell for zero mana basically, which destroys any other land on this list. Pretty cool, eh?

6. Fetch lands
Fetch lands are the best color fixers in Magic, along with Dual lands. They thin your deck, and can fetch you dual lands at instant, uncounterable speed. For reference, the fetch lands are:
Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Bloodstained Mire, Wooded Foothills, Windswept Heath, Misty Rainforest, Verdant Catacombs, Marsh Flats, Arid Mesa, and Scalding Tarn.

5. Mishra’s Workshop
Essentially a colorless Black Lotus every turn. Insanely broken, insanely powerful.

4. Library of Alexandria
Its a land that draws you cards, for free, and uncounterable. Of course you have to have a full hand already, but that’s not hard to get right?

3. Strip Mine
Pretty simple here. It kills any land in the game for zero mana, uncounterable. Nuff said.

2. Dual Lands
Dual lands are the greatest mana fixers ever, because they are pretty much strictly better than the basic lands. They count as basic land – and they add two colors of mana, with no drawbacks besides being nonbasic. For reference, the dual lands are: Badlands, Bayou, Plateau, Savannah, Scrubland, Taiga, Tropical Island, Tundra, Underground Sea, and Volcanic Island.

1. Tolarian Academy
Just the greatest land ever, and one of the greatest magic cards ever. Tolarian Academy has fueled many turn one kills, on account of its ability to add one blue mana for EACH artifact you control. Now lets see, how many artifacts out there cost 0 or 1 mana? You got Black Lotus, The five moxes, Mox Diamond, Lotus Petal, Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Voltaic Key, Chrome Mox, and the list goes on and on. Add cards like Time Spiral, Mind over Matter and Stroke of Genius, and this is the land that kills people on the first turn.

Magic the Gathering: Top 10 greatest artifact cards of all time

Continuing on from multicolor cards… now we come to artifact cards (which are colorless)! Since artifact and colorless do so many things, they are among the most powerful cards in Magic, since any deck can use them. Here’s my top 10:

10. Umezawa’s Jitte / Isochron Scepter
Got a tie here. Jitte is the most undercosted equipment ever, I think. Every time the equipped creature deals COMBAT damage (not just damage to players), it gets two counters. And those two counters can: kill creatures, lower their strength, gain you life, or beef up your own creature. Powerful, versatile and undercosted at only 2 mana to cast and equip. Meanwhile, Isochron Scepter is another ridiculous card. It can copy ANY instant with mana cost two or less and replay it forever. Orim’s Chant and Counterspell are used most often with this, making it a soft lock for the opponent.

9. Masticore
One of the greatest creatures ever printed. Masticore dominated decks back in the day. As long as you had a card to throw away each turn, or a Squee, Goblin Nabob handy, Masticore would ping creatures to death, regenerate itself, and be a beefy 4/4 attacker every turn.

8. Cursed Scroll
Back in the day, many Sligh decks were using this card as a reusable source of colorless damage – and it works. As long as you have one card in your hand, it is a repeatable source of 2 colorless damage, getting around protection. Oh, and one mana to cast.

7. Sensei’s Divining Top
Countless decks have used this little one mana uncommon to make their draws better. And if you have a way to shuffle (via fetch lands), its essentially three new cards every time. And its even better with other tournament quality cards like Dark Confidant and Counterbalance.

6. Grim Monolith
Better than Mana Vault because of the obscene combos you can do with it via cards like Tolarian Academy, Voltaic Key and Power Artifact. Banned and restricted for a long time in Vintage/Legacy.

5. Skullclamp
One of the most abused cards of all time, and one of the greatest equipments of all time, Skullclamp turns all your little creatures into repeatable card drawing engines. And more cards is always a good thing, since one card is technically the equivalent of being one turn ahead.

4. Black Vise
It’s a one mana artifact that stays on the field and deals colorless damage to the opponent every turn for having too many cards in their hand. You either force them to play fast, or force them to take damage. What’s not to love?

3. Sol Ring
The “tenth” member of the Power nine, its one mana to add 2 mana for the rest of the game, and its an uncommon! Insanely broken and powerful.

2. Mox Sapphire / Mox Emerald / Mox Ruby / Mox Pearl / Mox Jet
The Moxes make up five of the Power nine, and for a good reason. It’s 0 mana for a repeatable source of one mana, which is insane. Almost as insane as the next card…

1. Black Lotus
Did you expect anything else? It’s the greatest and rarest card in Magic, and the most expensive. Numerous games have been won by the mana boost you get, first turn, paying ZERO mana to get THREE mana of any color. Insane, broken, and very sought after.