In Magic: The Gathering, few mechanisms are as divisive among players as infect. Infectious creatures deliver damage to players in the form of poison counters and creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters. Because a player with ten or more poison counters loses the game, the amount of damage an infect deck has to deliver to win is substantially reduced. In addition, creatures with infect can theoretically deal with indestructible creatures, as an indestructible creature can still be destroyed with enough -1/-1 counters.
With these considerations in mind, infect decks are among the most aggressive and combat-oriented decks in the game, aiming to beat an opponent as fast as possible. So, today, we’ll take a look at the 10 most powerful and helpful infect cards in Magic: The Gathering!
Tainted Strike gives the target creature +1/+0 and infects it until the end of the round for one black mana. Tainted Strike is very effective in the Commander format, as players frequently attack one other with massive monsters.
Due to the instant nature of Tainted Trike, if a player decides not to block a creature with strength nine or more, this card can be performed in response to a lack of declared blockers, removing a player from the game instantly. If another player’s creature is attacking one of one’s opponents, Tainted Strike can be used to target that creature.
Ichorclaw Myr is a one-of-a-kind colorless artifact creature with two mana infect. Additionally, Ichorclaw Myr gains +2/+2 every time it is blocked.
This makes defending players to choose between taking the poison counters directly from Ichorclaw Myr or sustaining three -1/-1 counters on a potential blocker! Furthermore, because Ichorclaw Myr is colorless, it is very simple to cast regardless of the color identity of the deck.
Hand of Praetors
Hand of the Praetors is a one-of-a-kind monster that works in tandem with other creatures who have infect. Hand of the Praetors is a 3/2 zombie with infect for four mana that gives all other creatures with infect +1/+1.
While this increases the lethality of creatures with infect, Hand of the Praetors may also get around opponents’ defenses by putting a poison counter on the target player whenever its controller casts another creature spell with infect!
Blighted Agent is a blue infect creature that finds a lot of play in Modern infect decks. It may be the end of your opponents as early as game three!
Blighted Agent is a 1/1 with infect that can’t be blocked for two mana. While it may appear to be a minor threat, Blighted Agent may be boosted by cards like Giant Growth, which gives a creature +3/+3 until the end of the round for one mana. If a player casts a Blighted Agent on turn two and then casts three Giant Growth type spells on it on turn three, Blighted Agent can finish the game instantly!
The Phyrexian Crusader is a perfect illustration of what a three-mana infect creature should be. While a black 2/2 for three mana isn’t what most players would hope for, Phyrexian Crusader comes with a bevy of keywords that make it worthwhile to play.
Not only does the Phyrexian Crusader have infect, but it also has first strike and protection from both red and white. This increases its offensive threat while simultaneously making it resistant to powerful removal spells such as Lightning Bolt and Path to Exile!
Glistner Elf, a mainstay of Modern Infect strategies, is a simple and delicious 1/1 with infect for one cost. Glistner Elf allows a player to begin their infect strategy right away!
Due to the combination of a Glistner Elf and several strong pump spells, it’s not unusual for a player to swing for seven or more infect damage on turn two!
Inkmoth Nexus, like the famous Blinkmoth Nexus, is a land that may transform into a creature until the end of one’s turn. Inkmoth Nexus can become a 1/1 creature with wings and infect until the end of the round by tapping for one colorless mana at the cost of one mana.
Because this card is typically a land, opponents will have a much harder time removing it than creatures like Glistner Elf. Even if a well-timed Fatal Push kills one’s Glistner Elf, Inkmoth Nexus may take up the slack and keep pushing poison counters through!
Skithiryx, The Blight Dragon
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon is Magic’s sole legendary creature, making it a popular choice for an infect-based Commander deck.
Skithiryx, a mono-black 4/4 with flying and infect, may become even more frightening if its controller spends extra mana. Skithiryx can grant itself haste for one black mana and regenerate for two black mana, making it extremely tough to kill.
Triumph of the Hordes
Triumph of the Hordes is one of the few cards that can put an end to a Commander game right away. This four-mana green sorcery grants +1/+1, trample and infect all creatures under the caster’s control.
The popular combo of trample and infect may often be too powerful for an opponent to overcome when combined with an outstanding board presence, multiple tokens, or even a single huge threat.
Blightsteel Colossus is one of the most terrifying and difficult to deal with monsters in all of Magic. Due to its amazing mix of offensive and defense, Blightsteel Colossus, a gigantic 11/11 with trample, infect, and indestructible, can drive its power past an opponent’s defenses without fear.
If a Blightsteel Colossus hits an opponent without being blocked, the player loses the game instantly! As a result, Blightsteel Colossus is commonly combined with cards like Show and Tell and Sneak Attack that may cheat it into play without paying its mana cost!