Last updated on January 20, 2023
Emrakul, the Promised End | Illustration by Jaime Jones
I love horror. Supernatural, gore, thrillers, creature features, sci-fi, psychological, campy comedies, you name it, I’ve either already watched it or I’m down to give it a try. But Lovecraftian horror that revolves around creatures of unimaginable power and unfathomable existence is hands-down my favorite.
And Eldrazi are nothing if not Cthulhu-esque monstrosities beyond our comprehension. So I’m all over them, their lore, and their cards. Obviously.
Follow me on this ride through the cosmic horror that are the Eldrazi, from their best cards to the story behind their terror. Grab your tinfoil hats, it’s time to take a look into the cosmos of the Multiverse.
What are Eldrazi in MTG?
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger | Illustration by Michael Komarck
Eldrazi is a creature type in Magic. These things are big, they’re bad, and they’re always hungry.
Eldrazi are a race of ancient beings that hail from the Blind Eternities, which is the chaotic space between the planes of the Multiverse. Three Eldrazi titans stand supreme among the horrifying masses: Emrakul, Kozilek, and Ulamog. Each have their own terrifying and unique abilities to warp, twist, and corrupt their surroundings in different ways.
As a tribe, Eldrazi are huge creatures. Plenty of them make various different tokens, namely Eldrazi Spawn and Eldrazi Scion, which both offer a bit of mana. They’re also mostly devoid (meaning they’re colorless) and they like to boost other colorless cards. Eldrazi also like to sow destruction everywhere they go, destroying or sacrificing your opponent’s creatures and stripping them of resources.
And there are a number of keywords that are pretty iconic in the Eldrazi tribe:
- Annihilator forces your opponent to sacrifice a number of permanents equal to the annihilator number when the creature attacks.
- Ingest forces your opponent to exile the top card of their library when the creature attacks.
- Emerge is an alternate casting cost that can be reduced by a creature’s mana value if you sacrifice it.
While most Eldrazi are colorless there are a handful that aren’t, and I think they’re worth discussing. Not to mention that you still have to take color pips into account for commander color identities, even if the card is devoid of color.
So while the true best of the best Eldrazi are all colorless, let’s take a look at some colored ones before we get to the biggest and baddest amongst them, shall we?
Best Blue Eldrazi
#2. Innocuous Insect
Innocuous Insect may be an illegal Mystery Booster card, but it’s not the worst card in Magic. A mana value of three for a 2/1 with flash and flying that gives you a card is decent. And the buyback cost is… interesting.
But obviously this Eldrazi insect isn’t for Constructed play, so I guess this is more of an honorable mention.
#1. Drownyard Behemoth
A 5/7 that you can flash in and has hexproof the turn it comes on the battlefield is pretty good, but Drownyard Behemoth is real expensive for . Good thing it has emerge , which means no matter what you sacrifice it’s going to be at least two mana cheaper.
Best Black Eldrazi
#2. Dread Drone
A 4/1 can do some damage, sure, but it’s way too squishy. The best thing about Dread Drone is that it can help you stabilize a bit by providing some sacrifice fodder and some mana to cast your real threats.
#1. Distended Mindbender
Taking cards away from your opponent is always useful. It’s especially great when you also get some other info by getting to peak at their entire hand while you do it. While Distended Mindbender’s mana cost is steep, you can make it cheaper thanks to emerge.
Best Red Eldrazi
#2. Emrakul’s Hatcher
Emrakul’s Hatcher is a simple card. A 3/3 body keeps it out of range of basic damage-based removal and it gives you quite a bit of ramp with three sacrificial mana-makers.
#1. Rapacious One
Okay, now this is going to get you going with those Eldrazi Spawn mana makers. Rapacious One comes down as a big ol’ 5/4 with trample that makes the little tokens whenever it deals combat damage to a player. And it makes as many as the damage it deals. Pretty sweet, right?
Best Green Eldrazi
#5. It of the Horrid Swarm
#4. Kozilek’s Predator + Nest Invader
Kozilek’s Predator and Nest Invader are nearly the same card. The Predator is a 3/3 for that makes two Eldrazi Spawns, which offer some colorless mana, while the Invader is a 2/2 for two that only makes one token.
Now that you’ve got an army of Eldrazi Spawn kicking around (you do have an army of them, right?), Broodwarden is here to turn them from simple little sacrificial mana-making machines into actual threats. Throw in some token doublers before you start churning the Spawns out and you’ll have a board full of tiny little 2/2s that are now your opponent’s problem in no time.
#2. Mockery of Nature
It can be hard to get rid of annoying enchantments or artifacts sometimes. Mockery of Nature takes care of them for you while also being a bulky 6/5 body that you can get down for cheap thanks to emerge.
#1. Decimator of the Provinces
Need an explosive turn to just absolutely decimate your opponent’s forces and maybe even take them out completely? Decimator of the Provinces is here for you. It’s in the name, after all.
A 7/7 with trample and haste that boosts your whole board and throws trample around like candy is pretty good value for . Throw in that sweet, sweet emerge alternate cost and you can really get some shenanigans going. Not to mention that green wants you to ramp anyway, so you can probably afford it regardless.
Best Multicolored Eldrazi
#1. Lashweed Lurker
This is another sort of honorable mention. Lashweed Lurker is the only “multicolored” Eldrazi in the game in that its emerge cost has both a blue and a green color pip. Its mana cost is colorless, but still, it counts.
Trivial details aside, the Lurker is good. It’s got emerge, which is helpful, and a 5/4 is nothing to scoff at. Plus its ability removes a threat that could potentially give you the one turn you need to end things once and for all.
Best Colorless Eldrazi
#20. Tide Drifter
Tide Drifter is a nice 0/5 blocker that boosts your other colorless creatures for the meager cost of . Simple can be good.
#19. Pathrazer of Ulamog
Pathrazer of Ulamog is an absolute beast that forces your opponent to sacrifice three—yes that’s right, three—permanents when it attacks. It can also only be blocked if they’ve got three creatures they’re willing to throw at it, making it a hopped up 9/9 with menace.
#18. Endless One
Make your own Eldrazi! Endless One allows you to choose how big you want your Eldrazi baddie to be. Make it as big or as small as you can afford. It’s your masterpiece to create.
#17. Spawnsire of Ulamog
Annihilator is a great keyword no matter what number follows it. And Spawnsire of Ulamog gives you some extra mana sinks with a simple ability that creates two Eldrazi Spawn. And then there’s the big guns: just toss all your Eldrazi on the board and make your opponents cry.
#16. Not of This World
Not of This World is a tribal instant that lets you counter a spell or ability (nice!) that targets one of your permanents. And it’s free if you’re protecting a big ol’ Eldrazi monster.
#15. Eldrazi Conscription
Another tribal spell, Eldrazi Conscription turns an otherwise meek creature into a huge monster with annihilator 2. That’s pretty awesome, and not half bad for eight mana.
#14. Void Winnower
Void Winnower could absolutely stall your opponents’ game. Or it could do very little other than be an intimidating 11/9. It all depends on what kind of mana costs your opponents’ best cards are sporting. But when this hits, oh boy, it hits.
#13. Desolation Twin
#12. Sire of Stagnation
If you’re looking to exile your opponents’ cards two at a time while getting a bit of card advantage, Sire of Stagnation is the Eldrazi for you. Not to mention that it’s still pretty beefy as a 5/7 for six.
#11. Conduit of Ruin
Conduit of Ruin lets you tutor a big Eldrazi to the top of your library when you cast it. It also makes the first creature spell you cast each turn a little cheaper, which is always a good thing. And a 5/5 for six isn’t bad.
#10. All Is Dust
Endbringer is great. It untaps on every single untap step, not just your own, and has some abilities that will really take advantage of this. Tap it to send one damage flying across the board somewhere, pay one colorless and tap it to prevent a creature from attacking or blocking for the turn (plenty of space for politics with this one), or pay two colorless and tap it to get some card advantage.
All around a great card, and all for just six mana.
#8. Artisan of Kozilek
It’s always nice when you get to resurrect one of your favorite minions from death’s clutches. Artisan of Kozilek lets you fetch any creature from your graveyard, plus it’s a 10/9 with annihilator 2.
#7. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre is an absolute beast of an Eldrazi. But what else would you expect from one of the three titans?
A 10/10 that destroys a permanent when you cast it is already great. Add indestructible and annihilator 4 and you’re just cleaning up. Not to mention that anything short of exile just shuffles your graveyard back into your library.
#6. It That Betrays
It’s always fun to steal things from your opponent. It That Betrays lets you take anything that your opponents exile, and with annihilator 2 you’re bound to get something. Plus it’s an 11/11. That’s just a good card.
#5. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Card advantage is always a welcome sight. Throw annihilator 4 on top of a 12/12 and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth is just ridiculous. And it follows in the Infinite Gyre’s footsteps in keeping your library stocked as long as it doesn’t fall to exile.
#4. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is here to absolutely decimate your opponents’ libraries. They’re waiting to draw their best creature? Nope, it’s in exile now. Trying to dig for their wincon, or the other half of their combo? Gone!
Plus it’s an indestructible 10/10 that exiles two permanents when you cast it. So, you know, there’s that too.
#3. Kozilek, the Great Distortion
Kozilek, the Great Distortion covers a wide range of needs.
You need card advantage? Refill your hand when it lands. Wanna bash your opponents in the face until they’re bloody and begging? Menace can help with that. Need to protect something or keep that annoying planeswalker from hitting the field? Spend some mana and counter it.
#2. Emrakul, the Promised End
A 13/13 for is a bit steep, but then you check and see that Emrakul, the Promised End also has flying, trample, and basically protection from counterspells and a lot of removal. And then there’s the fact that you get to control an opponent’s turn after you cast it, which can really mess things up for them.
Oh, and it’s cheaper the more card types you have in your graveyard.
#1. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
An uncounterable Eldrazi is a death sentence for your opponents. Especially when it’s got a 15/15 body. And you get to take an extra turn after you cast it. Plus it has flying, protection from basically whatever your opponents have, and annihilator 6.
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is without a doubt the best Eldrazi there is. There’s a reason it’s banned in Commander, after all. If you can drop this down it could end at least one opponent, but you’ll almost definitely just take the game if you’ve got a solid board presence already established.
Best Eldrazi Payoffs and Synergies
From Beyond + Awakening Zone
From Beyond and Awakening Zone are both Eldrazi token generators that sit on your battlefield and pump out Scions or Spawns every upkeep. Pair these with cards like Idol of Oblivion and you’ll be kicking butt and taking names in no time.
It may not be a tribal spell, but Kozilek’s Return is a damage dealer that just gets better when you start throwing down big Eldrazi. Cast it for a Shock effect the first time around, then Command the Storm a little later.
Hey, look, more card advantage! Emrakul’s Influence nets you two cards every time you drop a massive Eldrazi on the field. So you’re basically just rewarding yourself for what you’d be doing anyway.
Which Sets Have Eldrazi?
There are five sets that introduced new Eldrazi cards to Magic:
- Eldritch Moon
- Rise of the Eldrazi
- Battle for Zendikar
- Oath of the Gatewatch
- Mystery Booster
Are Eldrazi Good?
Generally speaking, Eldrazi are great cards. The best of them, like the three titans, are giant creatures with incredibly powerful abilities that can end the game on the spot if they resolve. And the less beastly pawns and servants bolster their tribe with droves of tokens, counters, and keywords galore.
Like I mentioned, there’s a reason that the best Eldrazi card is banned in Commander. A well-oiled Eldrazi deck can mop the floor with your opponents. And there’s plenty of jank to be had too if that’s more your speed.
Is There an Eldrazi Planeswalker?
No, there are no Eldrazi planeswalkers in Magic. And this isn’t likely to change, ever. Planeswalkers are defined by their ability to, well, planeswalk between the planes in the Multiverse. But Eldrazi, particularly the titans, live in the space between the planes and are able to reach into them with a part of themselves.
Simply put, Eldrazi are beyond the need to planeswalk. They’re so powerful that they’ve transcended this state of being. So it’s pretty safe to say that we’ll never see an Eldrazi planeswalker in Magic.
Are Eldrazi Artifacts?
While it’s true that Eldrazi are generally colorless cards thanks to their mana cost or the devoid keyword, they’re not inherently artifacts. Magic has evolved beyond “artifact” and “colorless” being synonyms now that we have colored artifacts. If we ever got a tribal artifact then we’d have an Eldrazi that’s also an artifact, but for now Eldrazi are mostly creatures with a handful of tribal spells (no artifacts) thrown in.
Is Marit Lage an Eldrazi?
How Did Nissa Release the Eldrazi?
Nissa allied herself with the vampire Sorin on Zendikar when the Eldrazi stirred on the plane for the first time in thousands of years. But instead of following his plan to reinforce the spell that was containing them, Nissa opted to shatter the main Hedron hoping that the titans would flee.
She was wrong.
Who Killed the Eldrazi?
Technically Chandra and Nissa incinerated Kozilek and Ulamog on Zendikar after drawing most of the titans’ essence onto the plane. The plan nearly went sideways until Chandra connected with Nissa to draw on her power so that she could burn the two titans and destroy their physical manifestations on the plane.
But the thing is, they could still exist in the Blind Eternities. Ugin considered the two titans truly destroyed after the events on Zendikar, but it was left vague enough that you have to wonder: is it really true?
Only time will tell…
Are Eldrazi Still on Innistrad?
Ulamog and Kozilek were last encountered on Zendikar, but Emrakul is currently imprisoned in Innistrad’s moon. So, technically, yes, there’s still one Eldrazi titan on Innistrad. But it’s not running around wreaking havoc if that’s what you’re concerned about.
At least not for now.
Are the Eldrazi Ever Coming Back?
The Eldrazi are almost definitely going to come back. They’re huge and powerful interdimensional beings that want to consume everything in their path. They’re the type of antagonist that are terrifying and beyond comprehension because they’re not evil, they’re just hungry.
The three Eldrazi titans have been imprisoned or defeated in one way or another, but there’s no true confirmation that they’ve been legitimately destroyed. Emrakul allowed itself to be imprisoned in Innistrad’s moon for some unknown reason while both Ulamog and Kozilek were seemingly destroyed on Zendikar. But, again, there’s no real way to know if the latter two titans were truly destroyed or if it was just their plane avatars that were decimated.
So, to make a long story short: all three Eldrazi titans could conceivably return in the future, and I’m willing to bet that they absolutely will at some point.
Can You Get Eldrazi in MTG Arena?
How Do You Make an Eldrazi Commander Deck?
Making an Eldrazi deck in Commander is quite the feat. They’re an incredibly powerful tribe, and you can make something truly wicked if you know what you’re doing.
Be mindful of your mana base and curve since a lot of these creatures are very expensive. As tempting as it may be to throw in a bunch of ramp and the most expensive Eldrazi mana can buy in a pile and hope for the best, you’d be doing yourself a disservice. And you could do so much better anyway.
You’ll want one of the three titans as your commander, definitely. They’re the most powerful for a reason. Take a look at your options and decide which best suits your tastes for what you’d like to build. After that you need to piece together the rest of your Eldrazi extended family. Interaction is a must, and a bit of protection to keep your titans on the ‘field couldn’t hurt.
There are plenty of lands that slot right into an Eldrazi build as well, like Eye of Ugin, Sanctum of Ugin, and Eldrazi Temple. And you’ll need to resort to Wastes to replace the basics you can’t use. You’ll also want a wealth of mana rocks to help you achieve the heights you’ll need.
After that it’s just a matter of going big or going home. Good luck!
Kozilek, the Great Distortion | Illustration by Aleksi Briclot
That’s all there is to say on Eldrazi, really. They’re big, they’re bad, and they’ll rend your mind before they consume your puny physical body.
Which of the three titans is your favorite? How long do you think it’ll be before we see some more Eldrazi in another set? I’d love to get some new versions of Ulamog, Kozilek, and Emrakul that give them even more depth. They’re already such interesting beings, and I’m a sucker for Lovecraftian-type horror like this. But let me know what you think in the comments down below, or you can yell at me about my rankings over in the Draftsim Discord.
But it’s about time for me to tap out and try not to think about what may or may not be lurking in that overly dark corner behind the bookshelf. Stay safe out there!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: