Last updated on February 18, 2024
Auspicious Starrix | Illustration by Lucas Graciano
Magic has all kinds of creature types, ranging from the generic (think bird) to the specific (think brushwagg). Some creatures aren’t defined by any specific classification, so they’re often assigned the generic “beast” subtype. Beast is basically the charge counter of creature types: It mainly serves to fill in the gaps left by other types.
Beasts are some of the biggest and baddest creatures in Magic. I'm sure many of you have either won or lost a game thanks to a well-timed Craterhoof Behemoth. But there are over 400 unique beasts in Magic, so it’s somewhat daunting to choose the best of the best.
It can be tough to know where to start if you're looking to put together a beast deck. Even if you're not planning to build a deck around beasts specifically, it's still handy to know about some great beasts that the game has to offer.
Ready to go beast mode?
What Are Beasts in MTG?
Felidar Sovereign | Illustration by Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Beast is a creature type in Magic used to describe natural creatures that don’t fall into more specific types, like dog or snake. Beasts are one of the most represented creature types in Magic and include everything from simple sloths to massive fantasy creatures with no real-world equivalent.
Aeromoeba is a great versatile creature. As a 2/4 it can be a good blocker for smaller flying creatures that rely more on evasion than brute power to get through.
Being able to switch power and toughness also means this card can work well on offense and defense.
#46. Linebreaker Baloth
Linebreaker Baloth makes great use of the enlist mechanic. It can’t be blocked by smaller creatures, so enlisting with it can help you drive a few extra points of damage through without worrying about chump blockers.
#45. Provisions Merchant
Provisions Merchant fits wonderfully into the popular Food token decks of the Eldraine plane. With cards like Gyome, Master Chef easily producing Food tokens, you can pump your attacking creatures each combat phase Provisions Merchant attacks.
#44. Krosan Beast
It’s very likely that Krosan Beast is an 8/8 for only 4 mana. Getting seven cards in the graveyard isn’t hard to do, and you’ll get there even faster if you’re playing a Golgari delve or sacrifice deck.
This is a squirrel as well as a beast, so it’s a great inclusion for any Chatterfang, Squirrel General deck.
#43. Fell Beast of Mordor
Fell Beast of Mordor is a great card for small creature decks that aim to go wide and ping their opponent in the Eternal formats. Not only do you get the life siphon when this card ETBs, but also whenever it attacks. Not to mention that the damage is based on the number of +1/+1 counters, which there are a plethora of ways to get.
#42. Mutalith Vortex Beast
Mutalith Vortex Beast is perfect for Izzet coin flip decks. There’s no downside to winning or losing the flips, so it’s a little more reliable than other cards that use the flips as part of their effect.
This is a decent choice for anyone looking for alternatives to their Heads I Win, Tails You Lose Secret Lair.
#41. Chupacabra Echo
Like the other Chupacabra we’ll highlight later, Chupacabra Echo provides you with a creature and removal. This card is a stud removal spell in graveyard-filling decks and with some reanimation can become a massive problem for your opponents.
Meglonoth is an incredible blocker. Any players who want to kill it in combat have to take a decent amount of damage in return. Giving this protection is a great way to deal some free damage since its effect activates after being declared as a blocker. It doesn't even need to get hit!
Meglonoth is also a great target for Entangler. Your opponents will think twice about attacking you if it means they take just as much damage directly back at them.
#39. Terra Stomper
Terra Stomper isn’t going to do anything too fancy; it's just a nice big creature to play late game. It can be very frustrating tapping out to play a high-cost card just to have it countered.
Green has a few ways to keep permanents safe once they hit the battlefield, so it’s nice to be able to get around counterspells with Terra Stomper and increase your chance of doing damage with it. And 8/8 for 6 mana is also good power and toughness for that rate.
#38. Krosan Warchief
Krosan Warchief is an essential card for beast decks. Its cost reduction is very helpful if you're running a lot of big creatures. The ability to regenerate any of your creatures is also a huge plus.
That said, you can easily skip this card if you're not running a lot of beasts because of the specific nature of its effects.
#37. Contagious Vorrac
Contagious Vorrac is a nice curve play for building a big green, multicolored, or beast deck. It passes the Vanilla test well and can get you the land you need while hopefully removing some trash from the top of your deck.
#36. Fangren Firstborn
Fangren Firstborn is a great addition to mono-green aggro or counter decks. If you’re going to swing out with creatures consistently, buffing those creatures each time is a huge advantage.
This forces your opponents to keep up with your constantly growing creatures and allows you to keep your weaker creatures more relevant later in the game.
#35. Marath, Will of the Wild
Marath, Will of the Wild is a very fun commander. Its ability makes up for its own commander tax, but it can also do a lot of fun things with its activated ability. Marath can put +1/+1 counters on itself, so cards like Hardened Scales and Doubling Season allow you to remove counters from Marath and gain more back.
Broodstar is a great card for artifact decks. Later in the game it can easily be played for only a few mana and will likely be huge.
This card can do some serious damage as a flier that continues to get stronger.
#33. Felidar Cub
This card is also really great for aristocrats decks because it allows you to get any sacrifice or death triggers off of its ability.
#32. Kethek, Crucible Goliath
Kethek, Crucible Goliath is better as a Rakdos Commander than a card in the 99. It works quite well as the leader in sacrifice decks. Stealing your opponents' creatures will lead to wide board advantage shifts with regularity.
#31. Gruul Ragebeast
Gruul Ragebeast is a great way to turn your creatures into a form of removal in a Gruul deck.
One downside to its effect is that it’s compulsory, not optional. You better be playing creatures strong enough to win fights. Otherwise, they’ll be dying as soon as they hit the table.
#30. Nyxborn Behemoth
Introduced in the Commander Masters set, Nyxborn Behemoth can bring the pain in an enchantment deck. Its cost can be reduced by the mana values of your noncreature enchantments, which can also be sacrificed for protection.
#29. Uril, the Miststalker
Uril, the Miststalker is a very fun and powerful Voltron commander. Uril can be difficult for your opponents to remove thanks to its hexproof.
Auras like Indestructibility help you to make Uril even harder to get rid of while also buffing it. You can likely use it to take out opponents with commander damage once Uril is powerful and tough to destroy.
The ability to return cards from your graveyard is a great effect, and Gloomshrieker allows you to do this while also dropping a creature. For only 1 mana more than a Regrowth, you also have a way to defend yourself while you wait to play the card you grabbed out of the graveyard.
This is also a halfway decent attacker if you’re able to buff it up a bit thanks to that menace.
#27. Spellbreaker Behemoth
Spellbreaker Behemoth is a decently sized creature at 5/5 for 4 mana.
It’s also very helpful to have a card that prevents itself and other powerful cards from being countered. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable dropping your big threats knowing that only removal can getcha.
#26. Gahiji, Honored One
Gahiji, Honored One is an interesting commander or a good inclusion in the 99 of a Commander deck because it incentivizes your opponents to attack one another. If one player becomes the target of the rest of the table, Gahiji can help the rest of the table take them out quickly.
This can also be a great commander to run with goad effects thanks to the red in its color identity.
Parcelbeast is a great way to help get both card draw and ramp. Its ability only costs , a fair trade for either an extra card or an extra untapped land on the battlefield.
You could easily activate it multiple times per turn if this card is mutated with something that has an untap ability like Traxos, Scourge of Kroog. It’s also a great card to mutate with Emmara, Soul of the Accord, giving you a safe way to generate tokens and ramp or draw.
#24. Illuna, Apex of Wishes
Illuna, Apex of Wishes can help you to get a lot of free permanents. Even if you don’t have the mana to mutate it immediately, casting cheap mutate creatures and putting them under Illuna can allow you to drop lots of threats for free.
Illuna also gives you the option to put the card into your hand instead if it would be a disadvantage to play it right away, which cuts down on the random nature of its ability.
#23. Migratory Greathorn
Migratory Greathorn is a great source of mana ramp for mutate decks. Continuing to mutate on top of one or several Greathorns can really help a player get ahead on mana while also triggering other mutate abilities that have been combined with it during the game.
#22. Armored Scrapegorger
Armored Scrapgorger can be so much more than just a great mana dork It adds any color of mana, it can become a mid-size creature, and it can remove pesky cards in your opponent’s graveyard. Armored Scrapgorger is legal in most formats, but it excels in the Standard rotation as ramp with some extra utility.
#21. Arboreal Grazer
Arboreal Grazer might be much weaker than many other beasts, but it can be very helpful in landfall decks. It can also provide some early ramp and serves as a chump blocker for fliers in decks that aren’t equipped to handle them.
#20. Pouncing Shoreshark
Pouncing Shoreshark can be a great way for a mutate deck to keep your opponent’s threats off the board. Flash allows this to be cast at instant speed the first time, and the effect can be repeated as many times as you can mutate it.
Thragtusk provides a lot of value on its own. It’s a high-power creature and gives you a benefit both entering and leaving the battlefield. The effect specifies “leaves the battlefield,” not “dies,” so its effects can both be triggered by flickering the creature.
Pair this in Simic with something like Thassa, Deep-Dwelling for a very powerful interaction.
#18. Leyline Prowler
Leyline Prowler isn’t a very splashy card, but it’s a great piece of utility in your deck. It provides mana fixing for any color, but it also serves as removal thanks to its deathtouch.
The ability to trigger lifegain abilities is another great aspect of Leyline Prowler, and it increases the number of decks that can benefit from its inclusion.
#17. Thunderfoot Baloth
It’s also just a large creature with trample on its own, so it’s a good threat to have on the board.
#16. Nethroi, Apex of Death
Nethroi, Apex of Death is a popular commander, and it's easy to see why. Self-mill effects can help you fill your graveyard with big threats, after which you just need to mutate Nethroi to get easy access to lots of options.
#15. Trygon Predator
Trygon Predator gives you a great way to remove your opponent's artifacts and enchantments. You can easily continue to remove artifacts and enchantments at will during each of your combats if your opponents don't have any fliers.
This card will be an early target for a removal spell, but that just proves how intimidating it is.
#14. Auspicious Starrix
Auspicious Starrix can snowball dangerously in a mutate deck. You can get a lot of free permanents from your deck by continuing to mutate it with cheap mutate cards.
You can get a ton of value out of this if you're lucky enough to combine it with Illuna, Apex of Wishes.
Even without its mutate ability, Gemrazer has good value for its mana cost thanks to its power, toughness, trample, and reach. Add the fact that it can be brought out earlier for only 3 mana and that it acts as a form of removal, and it's that much more powerful.
This card is an auto-include if you’re playing a mutate deck because its removal effect is more repeatable.
#12. Hydroid Krasis
Hydroid Krasis made a huge splash when it first came out. Its popularity has waned a bit, but it’s still an incredibly versatile card with a lot of value.
It can be a much-needed blocker for cheap in a pinch but can also be a complete powerhouse, especially with flying and trample.
Manglehorn is a great way to slow down opposing artifact decks, which can be a very useful tool in a mono-green deck. 3 mana for removal, slowing down artifacts, and a creature on top is very good value.
This card is a huge help in slowing down your opponent's mana rocks in Commander while you continue to ramp.
#10. Bloated Contaminator
#9. Questing Beast
Players often forget just how great Questing Beast is because it has so many lines of rules text. It has a ton of great keywords, and haste is especially effective in faster formats. You also don't have to choose between doing direct damage or attacking a planeswalker when you're attacking with it thanks to its triggered ability.
It isn't relevant as often, but denying your opponents from preventing your creatures’ combat damage is a powerful part of Questing Beast‘s arsenal of effects. Fog effects can be a huge hindrance to aggro decks so it's nice to know that your damage will hit something when you swing out.
#8. Elder Gargaroth
Elder Gargaroth is a very powerful card for 5 mana, even without its triggered ability. It can make you a lot of Beast tokens or draw you a lot of cards, so it’s even more powerful.
Its ability triggers when attacking or blocking and it has vigilance, so you could potentially trigger its ability on each of your and your opponents’ turns.
#7. Ravenous Chupacabra
Ravenous Chupacabra is a favorite for sacrifice decks. Its ETB effect can remove a creature, and then it can stick around as a creature or be sacrificed for powerful effects.
This card also works well in decks that run flicker effects that allow it to remove as many creatures as the number of times it re-enters play.
#6. Protean Hulk
Protean Hulk is incredibly powerful in multiple ways. One of the biggest downsides to playing a big creature is that it can easily be removed. When this dies it basically replaces itself, you only lose 1 mana in the trade.
This can also be very helpful to set up combos that include multiple smaller creatures since it can search them up and drop them onto the battlefield all at once.
#5. Rampaging Baloths
Rampaging Baloths is a staple of Commander precons for a reason. They’re a big threat in any green deck, allowing you to make a 4/4 for free potentially every turn.
This card works even better in landfall decks built to drop multiple lands each turn.
#4. Cultivator Colossus
Cultivator Colossus is likely to be an incredibly powerful creature by the time it enters the battlefield. Its ETB only makes it more powerful as an effect that can draw you a number of cards depending on your hand and the luck of your draws.
#3. Displacer Kitten
Displacer Kitten is the ultimate beast for the flicker/blink-style decks. This card was made for ETB-trigger decks. You can load up on some helpful noncreature spells like Mana Drain or Lightning Bolt to get repeat value from cards like Gyruda, Doom of Depths. Wow!
#2. Felidar Sovereign
Felidar Sovereign is one of the easiest alternative win conditions to get off in Commander. Selesnya lifegain decks easily get up over 40 life and can keep it there until they drop the Sovereign.
Add onto that the number of protection spells in white and green and this can be a quick way to close out a game. Teferi's Protection also works very well with this. It's great in Bant as well, allowing you access to counterspells and ways to give it flash.
#1. Craterhoof Behemoth
Craterhoof Behemoth is the go-to finisher for decks that create a wide board of creatures. If it has any downside it's that players can usually see it coming in certain decks.
If your Craterhoof Behemoth is allowed to hit the board, it usually means game over for your opponents.
Best Beast Payoffs
There aren't specific payoffs for beast spells, but the number of beasts that are high-power creatures means that there are some cards that work well with them. Return of the Wildspeaker is a great way to draw some cards or buff all your beasts.
Kindred Summons can be great if you're running an all-in beast deck, especially since there are lots of cards that can create beast tokens in addition to your beast creatures. A lot of the best beasts aren't legendary, so Reflections of Littjara is another good choice. Kindred Discovery works well in any typal deck.
Leyline Prowler (War of the Spark) | Illustration by YW Tang
There are some great beast cards in Magic, so many that you’d need a coffee table book to go through them all. They aren't as synergistic as more specific card types like humans or elves, but there are lots of individual beasts that should be included in your decks. Hopefully this list has brought your attention to a card or two you'd like to try out for yourself.
Are there any beasts you think I missed? Which do you think deserves the top spot? Let me know in the comments below or over on Draftsim's Twitter.
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