Last updated on October 12, 2022

Sarulf, Realm Eater - Illustration by Chris Rahn

Sarulf, Realm Eater | Illustration by Chris Rahn

Innistrad is one of the planes that I’ve liked the most because of the terrors that inhabit it. I’m especially a fan of wolves and werewolves because their lore goes back before I even started playing the game. I’ve made some decks around werewolves in the past, but I felt a little bad that I left some wolves behind.

Which of them are the best? And did you know that there are colorless werewolves? This tribe is full of curiosities, so let’s find out!

What Are Wolves in MTG?

Tundra Wolves (8th Edition) - Illustration by Richard Sardinha

Tundra Wolves (8th Edition) | Illustration by Richard Sardinha

Wolves are a creature type called “wolf.” Their payoffs and abilities are usually shared with their fellow half-human buddies, “werewolves.” Some lords like Howlpack Alpha pump both creature types because they’re treated as part of the same, er, pack.

Best White Wolf

#1. Tundra Wolves

Tundra Wolves

Sad as it is, there aren’t many wolves outside of red and green. Tundra Wolves is the only species of pure white wolves printed.

I’d have liked to see another white wolf in Kaldheim for the whole Nordic theme, but alas, it wasn’t mean to be.

Best Black Wolf

#1. Carrion Howler

Carrion Howler

Carrion Howler is the only wolf printed in black. It also has the zombie subtype to fit into black that much more.

Best Red Wolves

#7. Assembled Alphas

Assembled Alphas

These wolves are angry. Unlike other wolves, Assembled Alphas works better as an individual card instead of giving abilities to the whole pack. It can virtually trade for 8/8s while dealing damage to their controllers, something not to overlook.

#6. Hungry Ridgewolf

Hungry Ridgewolf

Cue Duran Duran. There aren’t many good 2-drop wolves, and a 3/2 trample doesn’t seem impressive at first. You can’t ask for anything better in a tribal deck.

I also liked Hungry Ridgewolf when it was legal in Limited.

#5. Lambholt Harrier

Lambholt Harrier

Here’s another wolf that impressed me when I used it in Limited. Red was known to be terrible in Midnight Hunt, but Lambholt Harrier is one of the few that actually made the cut in some decks thanks to its ability to neutralize combat.

#4. Pyreheart Wolf

Pyreheart Wolf

Pyreheart Wolf reads as, “each other creature has menace when Pyreheart Wolf attacks.” A 1/1 for three mana may not seem impressive, but its undying ability makes it outstanding against any other regular wolf.

You’d have to use removal twice on it to prevent it from breaking board stalls.

#3. Runebound Wolf

Runebound Wolf

I like Runebound Wolf because it can kill opponents in one activation if they get reckless by spending their life total. This card can single handedly change the outcome even if the board is stalled: it doesn’t need to attack to start pinging everyone to death.

#2. Ulrich’s Kindred

Ulrich’s Kindred

Protecting the pack is the most important thing for a wolf, and Ulrich’s Kindred knows how to do it perfectly.

#1. Wolf of Devil’s Breach

Wolf of Devil’s Breach

Wolf of Devil’s Breach is a wolf that may require some strategic building. You can use its ability to deal reasonable amounts of damage to kill other small creatures on the board.

Still, I can’t help dream of the idea of discarding Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and dealing 15 damage to Brash Taunter to kill an opponent instead.

Best Green Wolves

#16. Witchstalker

Witchstalker

I remember when Witchstalker was printed as an answer to the rise of Dimir () control decks in Standard. It may not be used anymore, but it saw decent play back in the day.

#15. Anara, Wolvid Familiar

Anara, Wolvid Familiar

The quality of wolves in green is far and beyond better than other colors, which complicates the ranking. Anara, Wolvid Familiar is among the best wolves ever printed because it works well with every other commander. It also has the upside that it can be used as a partner.

#14. Cemetery Prowler

Cemetery Prowler

This is a card I recently started to hate because of how good it is in the right deck. It may not seem like it, but Cemetery Prowler can enable some powerful tools in dedicated combo decks.

If you manage to lower the cost of a card type, namely creatures, you’ll be able to start chaining them back-to-back until your opponent eventually folds.

#13. Hollowhenge Overlord

Hollowhenge Overlord

Hollowhenge Overlord gives the potential to double your pack at the beginning of your upkeep. Having flash makes it even harder to play around.

#12. Nightpack Ambusher

Nightpack Ambusher

Speaking of creatures with flash, Nightpack Ambusher has been a staple of Simic () decks that aim for a tempo game. This lone wolf can start its pack in a matter of turns, and it’s also a lord that pumps other wolves and werewolves.

#11. Packsong Pup

Packsong Pup

This is another card I liked in Limited, but also in some werewolves tribal decks I toyed with over in Standard and Alchemy. Packsong Pup usually starts growing after turn 2.

Chances are that you’ll be facing a massive threat in a few turns when left unchecked.

#10. Primal Adversary

Primal Adversary

This lone wolf can turn your “flood” into a pack with the right amount of mana. Primal Adversary also grows each time you pay for its kicker ability.

#9. Rot Wolf

Rot Wolf

Rot Wolf is the only wolf with infect. It may not sound impressive, but its common rarity is critical for Pauper decks that rely on this strategy.

#8. Sarulf’s Packmate

Sarulf’s Packmate

Speaking of Pauper staples, Sarulf’s Packmate has been well-received by the community since its introduction.

#7. Silverfur Partisan

Silverfur Partisan

Silverfur Partisan works as either pseudo-protection for your other wolves or as a combo enabler for decks that can exploit its ability.

#6. Skalla Wolf

Skalla Wolf

You can theoretically get two cards with enough luck for five mana. This doesn’t seem like much, but Skalla Wolf is one of the few wolves that can provide card advantage if you find ways to do it continuously.

#5. Spirit of the Hunt

Spirit of the Hunt

Spirit of the Hunt can make combat a nightmare for your opponents because barely anyone would expect your entire team to get pumped in defense.

#4. Wicked Wolf

Wicked Wolf

I have bad memories of Wicked Wolf because it always caught me off guard when playing Standard. The fighting ability is already strong, but it also has a second ability that puts counters on it and makes it indestructible.

#3. Wolfir Silverheart

Wolfir Silverheart

Wolfir Silverheart, meanwhile, brought me tons of joy in Standard Naya () zoo decks.

#2. Ascendant Packleader

Ascendant Packleader

It’s been a while since Crimson Vow was released, but Ascendant Packleader has been a staple in green-based aggro decks ever since. It doesn’t require any tribal synergy to be a powerhouse.

#1. Young Wolf

Young Wolf

Young Wolf is a powerhouse. It’s the cheapest creature with undying, so it’s a must-have in a lot of strategies to use it, like Yawgmoth in Modern.

Best Multicolored Wolves

#4. Watchwolf

Watchwolf

This is a vanilla 3/3 for two mana. There’s not much to be said about Watchwolf other than it’s one of the few multicolored wolves.

#3. Immerwolf

Immerwolf

Immerwolf is one of the original wolf lords from the original Innistrad. It’s pretty much of a staple in every Gruul () wolf tribal deck.

#2. Ukkima, Stalking Shadow

Ukkima, Stalking Shadow

There are a lot of animal crossovers in the Magic multiverse, but a whale wolf is a first. Ukkima, Stalking Shadow‘s ability may not be unique, but it’s a commander.

#1. Sarulf, Realm Eater

Sarulf, Realm Eater

Sarulf, Realm Eater is the representation of Fenrir in the game. It has an ability that acts as a pseudo-Pernicious Deed, which truly fits its Nordic identity.

Best Colorless Wolf

#1. Lupine Prototype

Lupine Prototype

There’s nothing amazing to be said about Lupine Prototype. It’s a fine blocker and the only colorless wolf that exists.

Best Wolf Payoffs

Aside from the lords, a few cards care about committing yourself to a wolf tribal deck. Here some standouts.

#4. Arlinn, Voice of the Pack

Arlinn, Voice of the Pack

There are just a handful of planeswalkers that care about tribal decks, and Arlinn, Voice of the Pack is the one relevant for wolves. Its passive ability is a huge upside, but it can also start creating wolves on its own.

#3. Howling Moon

Howling Moon

Howling Moon can slow down your opponents unless they’re willing to give you a wolf each turn. It also helps you to go on the offensive with the wolves your opponents give you or others you may have around.

#2. Howlpack Resurgence

Howlpack Resurgence

This enchantment can serve as an anthem effect and a combat trick. It pumps, and Howlpack Resurgence can also win you some games with its impressive trampling.

#1. Master of the Wild Hunt

Master of the Wild Hunt

Master of the Wild Hunt is a fantastic creature that saw a lot of play when the Alara block was Standard legal. It can start creating tokens at the beginning of your upkeep and hopefully clear the path for your other creatures to make a big attack.

Are Werewolves Considered Wolves?

Werewolves and wolves are two different creature types. It may feel weird because the lords usually pump both breeds, but there’s a reason. Werewolves have human-like bodies, while wolves are straight canines similar to dogs.

Do Wolves Count as Dogs?

Just like in real life, wolves and dogs are different species and creature types. There aren’t even any Magic cards that pump or benefit both dogs and wolves.

Wrap Up

Master of the Wild Hunt (Magic 2010) - Illustration by Kev Walker

Master of the Wild Hunt (Magic 2010) | Illustration by Kev Walker

Wolves have mostly stuck to red and green when they’ve appeared in Magic. The closest to a blue wolf is Ukkima, Stalking Shadow, but it’s also black. Wolves can often be paired with werewolves because the lords and other relevant cards happen to work for both tribes. I’d be curious to see how future wolves turn out.

Have I missed any good wolves? Which wolves do you like see turn up in your hand? Let me know in the Draftsim Discord, on Twitter, or in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe everyone!

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