Last updated on March 15, 2023
Grolnok, the Omnivore | Illustration by Simon Dominic
Undoubtedly the most sophisticated creature type for the most distinguished players, frogs made their official debut in Magic in Exodus with the venerable Whiptongue Frog. Reach wasn’t a keyword yet, but the flavor was established that frogs can use their long tongues to block flyers. In Whiptongue’s case I imagine it slapping the ground with its tongue to fling itself into the air over the enemy defenders and deal a point of damage.
There are 34 cards in Magic with the “frog” creature type. Befitting of a frog’s natural habitat of Swamps, Islands, and Forests, they’ve only been printed in those colors.
But that’s enough talk. Today I’d like to take a journey through the history of frogs in MTG. I’ll rate each frog on two scales: playability, and inherent frogginess. Let’s go!
Best Pre-Modern Frogs
The first actual frog in MTG. Noxious Toad didn’t have a printed creature type at first, but all toads are frogs so it was eventually updated.
Playability: This card costs too much and doesn’t really do anything. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: It’s clearly a frog in the picture, but the ability doesn’t evoke any frog feelings. 3/5
Playability: Not very good. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: Whiptongue Frog’s art depicts a frog impaling someone with its tongue. The ability makes you think of a frog using its tongue to block flyers. 4/5
Playability: Protection from blue and cycling make Bloated Toad serviceable. 2/5
Inherent Frogginess: A big chonky toad. Protection from blue probably because of its amazing camouflage. 5/5 just because I love the art.
Playability: Three mana for a 3/3 was relatively big for a creature in Anurid Scavenger’s time, so having a downside in exchange for protection from black made design sense. It’s not worth including in any deck these days. 0/5
Inherent Frogginess: Of all the Anurid this one resembles a frog a little bit more, but nothing about it screams frog to me. 1/5
Playability: Like many old cards, Anurid Barkripper was never good and doesn’t hold up. 0/5
Inherent Frogginess: The flavor text makes me giggle. 3/5
Playability: Anurid Swarmsnapper surprisingly holds up to this day. A 1/4 reach for three mana with an extra ability is still a gold-standard Limited staple. 2/5
Inherent Frogginess: While its body is severely mutated, Swarmsnapper is clearly a frog-thing doing frog things. 4/5
Playability: I remember at one of my first Nationals a friend of mine pointed out that Brian Kibler (who I’d never heard of before) was playing nearby and said he was a professional gamer. The idea that somebody could professionally game blew my mind and I immediately became a fan. He had Anurid Brushhopper in play so it must be great. 3/5
Inherent Frogginess: Nothing about this card makes me think about frogs. It also breaks the frog color pie. 0/5
Playability: Six mana is such a steep cost for little effect. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: The retconning of all Anurids to frogs really missed the mark on some of these. 0/5
Playability: Two mana for a 3/3 is decent stats but losing life when other creatures enter the battlefield can kill you fast. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: The flavor text claims Wretched Anurid is a frog, but I’m not buying it. 0/5
Best Modern Frogs
Playability: Omnibian is overcosted for what it does, but the ability is unique. 2/5
Inherent Frogginess: I don’t think you could make a froggier card if you tried. 5/5
Playability: The stats are a little bit lackluster, but Chub Toad was a fine card when you put it in the context of its Limited environment. 2/5
Inherent Frogginess: “Chub toad, chub toad/At the door/Run away quick/Or you’ll run no more.” 5/5
Playability: You can do a whole lot better for five mana. 0/5
Inherent Frogginess: Not very froggy. 1/5
Playability: Morgue Toad is interesting. The stats are lackluster (a theme for these frogs) but the ability is unique enough. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: My frog radar barely blips on this one. 1/5
Playability: Crocanura was a high draft pick in its time. 3/5
Inherent Frogginess: It has the classic frog-using-its-tongue-to-eat-flyers flavor. 3/5
Playability: Five mana for a 6/6 is nice stats and returning your enter-the-battlefield creatures to your hand is an upside if you build around it. 3/5
Inherent Frogginess: It’s a stretch to call Species Gorger a frog. 0/5
Playability: Not much to say about vanilla stats. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: This frog stands proud. Witch’s Familiar knows it’s a frog. 4/5
Playability: Frogmite has been a staple of affinity decks since it was printed. 5/5
Inherent Frogginess: Mechanical frogs are still frogs. 3/5
The Gitrog Monster
Playability: I believe Commander players appreciate The Gitrog Monster quite a bit. 5/5
Inherent Frogginess: I’m going to go against popular opinion and say this one is only a frog in name. 1/5
Yargle, Glutton of Urborg
Playability: A big chonker for five mana, but Yargle, Glutton of Urborg doesn’t have a lot of applications. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: The story goes that a demon was transformed into a maggot and the frog that ate the maggot became this giant monster. Cool. 3/5
Playability: Leapfrog was solid filler in Limited but it doesn’t really match up to other cards outside of that. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: This frog is nice and cute. 3/5
Playability: Good stats for Limited, but not beyond that. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: As a hybrid snake-frog I think Steeple Creeper is lacking in both snake and frog characteristics. 1/5
Playability: These are some nice stats. 2/5
Inherent Frogginess: I’m not sure which part of this troll warrior is a frog. 0/5
Playability: Galloping Lizrog requires a lot of setup for a mediocre payoff. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: These frog hybrids rarely give me frog feelings, but this one in particular resonates with my frog side. 3/5
Playability: Excavating Anurid was a staple in its Limited formats. 2/5
Inherent Frogginess: I appreciate a good pun. 3/5 because of the flavor text.
Playability: Spore Frog was great in Modern Horizons Limited. You could use it to loop fog effects via Genesis or just play it to blank ninjutsu triggers from your opponent. 5/5
Inherent Frogginess: This cute little frog is the froggiest frog that ever frogged according to AlphaFrog. 6/5
Playability: Pollywog Symbiote made a small splash in the Standard pond but never really saw major tournament play. 2/5
Inherent Frogginess: It leans into the idea that frogs mutate into other things in Magic. 4/5
Playability: Plaxcaster Frogling is fine. Not too good, not too bad. 2/5
Inherent Frogginess: I love the art of this little frog protecting its friends. 5/5
Playability: Burrog Befuddler didn’t see a lot of play even in Limited. 1/5
Inherent Frogginess: Frog puts on cape, presumably to fight crime. 5/5
Playability: Unwilling Ingredient isn’t the most serviceable card but it’s certainly not bad. 2/5
Inherent Frogginess: Frogs are good eating according to a lot of people, although I don’t practice cannibalism myself. 3/5
Playability: This frog samurai isn’t messing around! 2/5
Inherent Frogginess: Jade Avenger’s ability isn’t very frog-like but the picture is sweet. 2/5
Playability: Froghemoth has so much text and it’s all upside so it has to be pretty good! 3/5
Inherent Frogginess: I’m a little intimidated by this frog so I’m going to give it a lower rating. 2/5
Grolnok, the Omnivore
Playability: Grolnok, the Omnivore is the first “frog lord,” in that it affects your other frog creatures. I think its playability will scale as time goes on and more frogs get printed. It always gets better! 4/5
Inherent Frogginess: Clearly a wise frog worthy of much veneration. 5/5
Gitrog, Horror of Zhava
Playability: Four mana for a 6/6 with menace is beefy stats! 4/5
Inherent Frogginess: Gitrog, Horror of Zhava is truly a frog of my nightmares. 3/5
Playability: Papercraft Decoy seems like classic Limited filler. Solid for any deck. 3/5
Inherent Frogginess: Origami frogs are still frogs. 3/5
Top 5 Frogs
#5. Chub Toad
This was a close call between Bloated Toad and Chub Toad. Bloated is arguably the better card, but Chub gets +2/+2 and winds up eating the Bloated if they fight each other in combat so it earns the #5 spot.
Frogmite has been hopping around from format to format as a solid role player since it was printed and easily earns a spot in the top 5.
#3. Gitrog, Horror of Zhava
One of the newest frogs and only available on MTG Arena, Gitrog, Horror of Zhava is what frog moms use to scare their tadpoles into obedience.
#2. Grolnok, the Omnivore
Grolnok, the Omnivore is the lord of the frogs and earns its spot as the second-best frog of all time by merit of clearly being a frog in the art and having very froggy abilities.
#1. Spore Frog
Spore Frog is the best frog of all time solely based on how many times I’ve cast it compared to the other frogs. This little feller has prevented more combat damage than all the other frogs combined!
Best Frog Payoffs
There probably aren’t enough frog synergies to build a deck around (yet), but some recent printings indicate that frogs might get more cards in the future.
Grolnok, the Omnivore
Grolnok, the Omnivore helps fuel your graveyard with each frog attack.
Tatsunari, Toad Rider
Tatsunari, Toad Rider can give your frogs evasion.
Cards like Croaking Counterpart might increase in value if having frogs becomes more important in the future.
Honorable Mention: Frog Tongue
It’s not a frog, but it sure is part of one.
Are Anurids Frogs?
The Anurid were originally beast creatures but were later errata’d to be frogs. Their art ranges from frog-like things lashing the sky with their long tongues to beastly blobs.
Plaxcaster Frogling | Illustration by Greg Staples
There you have it! Every frog creature in Magic’s history rated by the top authority on Magic frogs, AlphaFrog! Whether you’re a princess in the market for a date, or a player looking for ideas, hopefully this list has left you satisfied.
What’s your favorite frog on this list? Do you think any of these are more (or less) froggy than I gave them credit for? Let me know in the comments down below or hop on over the lily pond to our Discord.
Until next time, ribbit ribbit, croak!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates:
Ohh. I love this article. Got a good chuckle out of me 🙂
Plaxcaster Frogling is best frog, by the way. Obviously!