One-drop creatures

Discussion in 'General CPA Stuff' started by CanadianBrad, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. CanadianBrad Member

    As I get back into the rhythm of MTG, I find my tastes have changed from a decade ago when I last enjoyed this game. Then, it was all about big, bad creatures and nasty Sliver tribal decks for me. Now, I find that creatures that interest me the most are one-drops with interesting abilities. Some favourites:

    1) Serra Ascendant. In my opinion, if you're playing a life-gain deck without this guy, you're doing it wrong. I'll take a 6/6 flyer with lifelink for one, any day of the week.
    2) Dragonmaster Outcast. A 5/5 flyer token for keeping your mana pool is a pretty tough one to beat. And worlds cheaper than maintaining this mana pig.
    3) Deathrite Shaman. I've yet to take full advantage of his abilities, not having a green/black deck to stick him in, but even still, he's got some perks.

    There are others, but these are some that I'm particularly fond of.

    What are your favourite one-drop creature cards, and what kind of a deck do you stick them in?
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Creatures? Why would I want to play creatures? Well, I guess I have dabbled in creatures enough to remember some fun one-drops...

    Phyrexian Dreadnought: When I started playing, this was the biggest creature in the game. And such a bargain at only one mana. Pretty soon an erratum made it all but unplayable, but there were some ways to deal with that. The first one I remember was Full English Breakfast, a deck that relied on the synergy between Volrath's Shapeshifter and Survival of the Fittest. Later, there was MaskNought, which used Illusionary Mask to get the Dreadnought into play. But with the erratum eventually redacted, we can now use Phyrexian Dreadnought more easily, the simplest approach being to use Stifle to counter the trigger. Two cards, two mana, one 12/12 trampler. It's not so much a deck as it is an engine destruction compact enough to fit into a variety of decks, generally either combo-control or aggro-combo.

    Goblin Welder: For some time, this was considered one of the most powerful creatures in the game, if not the most powerful. Times have changed and power creep has happened. I haven't seen anything about Goblin Welder at all for quite some time now. Granted, I haven't gone out looking. But I'd think this little guy would still be pretty useful in the right deck. Cards I can remember recurring with Goblin Welder include, most prominently, Memory Jar, Sundering Titan, and Mindslaver. Get some means of generating artifact tokens to pitch to the Welder and one can have Mindslaver ready every turn. I play Magic like it's a kind of solitaire. Opponents just get in the way of combos. Fix that with a recurring Mindslaver. Take all the turns.

    Carrion Feeder: Many combos require a sacrifice outlet of some kind. As a one-drop that gets permanently bigger with every sacrifice, Carrion Feeder is one of the best choices for the job. There's a Reveillark-based kill combo that can be initiated with just Carrion Feeder, Pattern of Rebirth, and one fodder creature. I think I covered it in an article on this site at some point. Not all that difficult of a board state to achieve to win the game outright. Birds of Paradise is probably the fodder creature of choice. Speaking of which...

    Birds of Paradise: It's been around forever and there's not much to say about it. Useful in almost any deck with green mana.

    Goblin Lackey: Not a personal favorite of mine these days. Far too creature-based for my taste. But I used Goblin Lackey extensively in the past, and it was one of the best one-drops for a long time. Not a big threat by itself, but if opponents can't stop it, either because they are too slow or because of your own removal spells, the whole goblin army is coming to join the party. I think this one's pretty self-explanatory. Goblin Lackey was good when it came out (but overshadowed by other cards) and then became that much better when more powerful goblins were printed. Largely because of Goblin Lackey, goblin-based decks (and really, Food Chain Goblins was the particular archetype that was feared at the time) were deemed too scary for Legacy when its original banned list was being devised, so Goblin Recruiter was banned, allowing Goblin Lackey to be the one-drop of choice for decks that were only competitive, rather than dominant.

    Tireless Tribe: A bit gimmicky, but perhaps some here don't remember or haven't seen it. I believe it was popularized by InQuest. At a time when some really cheesy, rare-filled decks were running rampant, they published a collection of budget decks designed to beat those decks or die trying. The Tireless Tribe/About Face deck was foremost among them, the idea being that if you're ready to kill your opponent on turn 2, he probably won't be ready to stop you with his broken control deck. I seem to remember InQuest employing the phrase "counter this, jackass" for this sort of thing.

    Tinder Wall: One of my favorite creatures, and a very versatile one. It can be dropped on turn 1 to block early attackers, its sacrificial ability gives some recourse for dealing with small creatures that can kill it and a deterrent to opponents that seek to attack with creatures they don't want taking damage. One of my friends, ignoring defensive usage altogether, used it offensively as a means of getting a turn 2 Uktabi Efreet for some rapid beatdown. And it can...oh, who am I kidding? I just used it to power out Goblin Charbelcher more quickly. It's free mana. I don't actually play creatures for attacking and blocking, so the one that's a kind of Dark Ritual is my kind of creature.

    Nomads en-Kor: Here's a more traditional creature that could be used by those of you that actually bother with creatures. It works well with other creatures, and it's very hard to kill. Its damage redirection has some crazy synergies with other damage redirection and the like. I remember seeing some poor player get obliterated by an en-Kor engine of some sort back when I was fairly new to the game. Maybe it was with Furnace of Rath, but I can't remember. Daru Spiritualist and Nomads en-Kor with something like Worthy Cause or Starlit Sanctum is a cheap, easy combo that I may have used to win a tribal game here at the CPA at some point, as I am a jerk.

    Mother of Runes: One of the creatures that I've seen induce the most aggravation. You'll attack me with that huge thing? I'll block with Mom and give her protection from green. You want to Lightning Bolt a creature that's giving me and advantage? I'll give it protection from red. And so on. Mother of Runes? More like Mother of Trolling Your Opponents.

    Greater Gargadon: Similar to Carrion Feeder, but perhaps even more powerful. And really, it's a 9/7 for one mana, even if you don't get to use its ability for any combo. But you should use it in a combo. Balancing Act works well with it.

    Disciple of the Vault: The fact that it's a one-drop is, in this case, mostly only useful for the fact that it can be played cheaply and preferably in multiple copies. Being able to come out on turn 1 isn't a big deal here, as Disciple of the Vault isn't generally useful for the first two or three turns. Once an engine gets going though, look out. The kill condition of choice for Skullclamp/Arcbound Ravager shenanigans. This is another one I used in a tribal game here. My tribe was constructs. Neither Arcbound Ravager nor Disciple of the Vault are constructs, but the rest of my creatures were. It was overpowered and even I felt a bit guilty for using that broken crap. Or at least I might have felt guilty. I forget.

    Kird Ape: Mainly used in aggressive, Sligh-type decks. I've done that. It's also useful in aggro-combo and the like. Basically, a 2/3 for one mana is pretty good.

    Delver of Secrets: I've never played it myself. It came sort of after my time (in the sense that the last time I got any cards was before Delver of Secrets was printed, or it was around that time anyway). But I've seen it in action plenty of times. Nasty little bugger.

    Nimble Mongoose: Threshold is still very, very good. An untargetable 3/3 is a fine one-drop.

    Grim Lavamancer: Nice utility along the lines of Deathrite Shaman, but with less versatility and more offensive power.

    Cursecatcher: Mainly good for merfolk decks, but an awesome one-drop anyway. You lead with this and your opponent has to work around the obvious Force Spike, while you build up your aquatic arsenal.

    Basking Rootwalla: A one-drop that's a potential zero-drop. Because sometimes, you can't bother using mana to pay for creatures right now. And if you have mana later, it's a good attacker.

    Vault Skirge: Technically a one-drop. I've never played it personally, but a 1/1 flyer with lifelink seems like a decent one-drop.

    Taunting Elf: I can admit to having been killed due to this little brat. I've used him to kill others too. Hey, everyone block the useless creature.

    Xantid Swarm: Those pesky opponents try to stop my combos, employing countermagic and such. If opponents don't have a flyer ready to block it, Xantid Swarm either eats a removal spell itself or shuts down attempts to stop my combo from going off. The rare creature that I'd actually use as an attacker. Er, I mean, it's a useful one-drop.

    Nettle Sentinel, Llanowar Elves, Fyndhorn Elves, Quirion Elves, Heritage Druid, Birchlore Rangers, and other elves with their elvish nonsense. Oh, and Wirewood Symbiote gets an honorable mention despite not being an elf itself. Elves get a lot of good one-drops and they're useful in several combos. If you must use creatures, I guess elves are an option for that.

    Skirk Prospector: Similar to the stuff with elves. Skirk Prospector is a one-drop with some useful combos when the goblins start to become really prolific around midgame.

    Gravecrawler: Another one that I haven't used, but that has obvious value for its low mana cost and powerful ability.
  3. turgy22 Nothing Special

    First of all, thanks Oversoul, for completely ruining this thread by naming just about any one-drop creature anyone could possibly list as their favorite.

    Also, this guy combos with another one-drop elf: Elvish Scout. Not only do you force all of your opponent's creatures to block your useless creature, but you can do it every turn because your useless creature won't be taking any damage.
  4. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    That reminds me. Spore Frog is another good green one-drop creature. Opponents have to either waste a removal spell on a one-drop or let you have a Fog-effect at any time. And with any sort of reusable recursion, he can hold off attacks indefinitely. Genesis is probably the easiest method for doing that. Sort of the defensive counterpart to the Taunting Elf/Elvish Scout engine.
  5. Killer Joe Active Member

  6. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    will-o-the-wisp did not make the list...:eek:
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Just because it didn't make Oversoul's doesn't mean it can't be on yours... :)

    Plus, I think Oversoul's list would be pared down if he stuck with one-drops with which he actually has played with and put in decks as that's how the question was asked... not "what are the best one-drops ever" or something...
  8. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I don't currently have any physical decks. I do have some shells for decks set aside somewhere, but all my deckbuilding projects have been on a sort of extended hiatus since I went back to school in 2011. I've never used Greater Gargadon, Delver of Secrets, Grim Lavamancer, Vault Skirge, or Gravecrawler in a physical deck, although some of them I may have played around with on Apprentice or the like.

    Oh, and Wisp is something of a classic. Pair it with Bad Moon, etc, etc. Old school black beatdown.
  9. CanadianBrad Member

    Let's add Vexing Devil to the list of great one-drops. A 4/3 for one with a "how do you like your fiery death served, sir/miss?" catch to it? Yep, I'd play that sucker at any point in the game. This is one of those cards I don't think about, I just play as soon as it hits my hand(with a few exceptions, I suppose).
  10. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Speaking of red one-drops, another great one is Goblin Guide. I've used it in Burn decks with no other creatures whatsoever, as it tends to do its fair share of damage before opponents can get the blockers to prevent that. If it hits an opponent twice, it'll have done more damage than a Lightning Bolt.
  11. CanadianBrad Member

    Let's throw Big Game Hunter in here as well(because if you're not playing it Madness-style, you're doing it wrong). This is a seriously cheap way to get rid of a big nasty, and then serves as a chump-blocker or sacrificial critter once it has served its true purpose. Definitely plays better later in the game, and has some serious potential if you know someone who likes to play big(maybe green?) creatures.
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Big Game Hunter a one-drop? That's madness!
    turgy22 likes this.
  13. CanadianBrad Member

    I see what you did there... :)
  14. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Wall of Hope
  15. CanadianBrad Member

    That's a pretty solid pick. I missed that one.

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