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Magic the Gathering: The 10 Worst Creature Cards, Ranked

Many of these cards are creatures, the monsters and wizards that the players can summon to fight for them.

In its 26-year history, Magic: the Gathering has undergone all kinds of changes, and Wizards of the Coast may have made a few mistakes along the way. But that's understandable, since MtG single-handedly invented the genre of trading card games. It set the mold for later games such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Hearthstone, and many more.

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Many of these cards are creatures, the monsters and wizards that the players can summon to fight for them. They run the gamut from elves to knights to dragons and goblins, plus Magic-unique critters such as Eldrazi and Slivers. Some creatures have gone on to define an entire deck or archetype, but others fall short. It's one thing to have Limited chaff, but some creature cards are so underpowered, bizarre, or irrelevant, any player would pass them up. Which creature cards have settled to the bottom of the heap?

10 Mindless Null

The Zendikar block, like many others, has a tribal subtheme. A block doesn't have to be Lorwyn to make good use of tribes, and Innistrad and Ixalan indulged in tribal effets, too. On the plane of Zendikar, vampires like to use nulls as laborers and basic troopers, but this null can't even do that much! A 2/2 for 2B is barely acceptable for Limited, and the condition that you must control a vampire to enable blocking is nonsense.

The mana cost is actually a clerical error, since it was once slated to cost 1B. But something went wrong, and we ended up with this less than ideal result.

9 Giant Slug

This card game has experimented with a lot of different mechanics and effects since the early days, and Wizards of the Coast really underestimated some effects (card draw, extra mana) while overestimating others! Early on, many cards dealt with landwalk and regeneration, but these effects have all but died out. Paying 1B for a 1/1 slug is pretty boring... but if you pay {5}, you can choose a landwalk type tailored for your opponent's mana base, and make this slug unblockable.

Giant Slug is a puny 1/1, and you're paying some serious mana for that evasion. Even enchanting or equipping Giant Slug does not make this efficient. By now, there are much better ways to create evasive threats.

8 Viashino Skeleton

This is one of the few non-token creatures whose name and creature types are the same. This Shards of Alara common is built for the Grixis strategy: put creatures in the graveyard, and watch them rise as the undead. Viashino Skeleton enables that strategy as a discard outlet, but very badly.

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You're paying Hill Giant mana for a creature with just half the combined power/toughness. Worse yet, the discard ability costs off-color mana, and this Skeleton is going to die all the time. Magic has countless and vastly superior ways to get creatures in your graveyard. Let Viashino Skeleton rest in peace for all time, all right?

7 Primordial Ooze

Who doesn't love +1/+1 counters? For just one red mana, this ooze starts building up power, and it will never stop growing. That sounds like a great deal at first, but that ooze is super hungry, too. Every turn, you must pay mana equal to the number of counters on this ooze, and the total will never stop growing.

Should you fail to pay, Primordial Ooze not only taps itself (and thus becomes useless), but it will deal that much damage to you! That's going to be a lot of damage, very fast, and the only way to stop that is to kill the Ooze. Not worth it by a long shot.

6 Bog Hoodlums

As mentioned earlier, the Lorwyn block is a tribal block, with Treefolk, Giants, Faeries, Goblins, and more running around in a charming, Celtic-inspired world. The Goblins, or boggarts, occupy the red-black slot and they're generally powerful, but not this time.

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Even if you win the clash effect (it's a gamble), this warrior is just a 5/2 for six mana, which is ridiculous. Worse yet, it can't even block! It's one thing to cast an aggressive creature that can trade up. It's another thing to pay that much mana for it.

5 Zephyr Spirit

Blue decks like to play defensively, setting up the long game while grinding down the opponent with spells and cool abilities. Defensive creatures with low power but high toughness are par for the course, but Zephyr Spirit manages to do this in the worst way possible. For 5U, you get a 0/6.

And when it blocks, it goes right back into your hand! This saves it from dying, yes, but now you've got to spend that hefty mana cost once again. Instead, try Wall of Denial from Alara Reborn. It's half the mana cost for a 0/8 with flying and shroud. Now we're talking!

4 Chimney Imp

This little imp is so hysterically bad, it's infamous in the entire Magic community. What's even odder is that it hails from Mirrodin, one of the most powerful sets in the entire game. Forget affinity; this imp ignores artifacts and instead attacks for a modest 1 damage in the air.

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Should it die, it can prank your opponent by forcing them to put a card from their hand on top of their library. But... why there? Wouldn't a discard effect be much better? And that mana cost! It's Bog Hoodlums all over again, where we may far too much for a shrimpy attacker.

3 Aven Trooper

We haven't had a white creature card in the list yet. How about Aven Trooper? Flying attackers in white are cool, and so are pump effects. What's not cool is the outrageous inefficiency of this bird soldier. Paying 3W for a 1/1 flyer grievously fails the "vanilla test," and its pump effect just makes things worse.

Like Viashino Skeleton, this card is trying to enable some graveryard-based strategies, but there are many better ways to go about it. What good is +1/+2 until end of turn at the cost of 2W and a card? The math is all wrong on this trooper.

2 Akron Legionnaire

Another card from the bizarre Legends set arrives, and now we have a giant soldier, ready to fight! All by himself, it seems. The flavor of this card is that the Legionnaire heroically advances alone to fight the enemy while everyone stays behind in safety, but this translates into a laughably weak card.

Its mana cost and power/toughness ratio are already iffy, but the Legionnaire will shut down all of your attacking creatures except for artifact creatures and any other copies of Akron Legionnaire you might have. It's like a totally botched attempt at exalted, and we're not impressed. This giant soldier doesn't even have vigilance or first strike to sweeten the deal.

1 Wood Elemental

At last, we meet the worst creature card in Magic: the Gathering. Is it funny or tragic that the worst creature card comes from the color known for its powerful and efficient creatures? This elemental is rather like a treefolk, but don't mistake it for the noble shaman-warrior treefolk of the Lorwyn block. When you cast it, Wood Elemental demands a sacrifice: untapped Forests. It will have power and toughness equal to the number of sacrificed Forests, but this is wildly infeasible.

For one thing, any Forests or lands you tap to pay its 3G mana cost are out of the question. You'll need even more lands beyond that to pump this creature, and so Wood Elemental may wind up pretty small for its cost. And should it die, you're down a handful of lands for nothing. For your Forests, any fate is better than being fed to this hideous abomination!

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