Magic is full of iconic creatures of all kinds, large and small. Given this, I wondered to myself what the most iconic creature at each stat line and mana value is – so I decided to do my research and try to come up with definitive lists for each creature with square stats (1/1, 2/2, etc.) with equivalent mana values! This time around, we’re looking at six-mana 6/6s!
I remember the first time I heard about this card. I was still at the 67-card-kitchen-table-deck stage of my Magic career, and PJ was trying to convince me there was a six-mana 6/6 that split into two 3/3s when it died. I didn’t believe him. I just didn’t! I couldn’t conceive of a card being that strong, not when the best card in my deck was a Psychosis Crawler.
Every time I see Wurmcoil Engine, I think back to the days when Ben’s Vampire deck was unbeatable just because he’d curve Vampire Interloper into Vampire Nighthawk, the kind of start that was impossible to beat. How are you ever supposed to beat Vampire Nighthawk? It has lifelink and deathtouch, it kills Psychosis Crawler no matter how many cards you have in hand!
And then PJ showed us pictures of Wurmcoil Engine, a card I was still convinced had to be fake, because if a 2/3 with lifelink and deathtouch was unbeatable, what were they doing printing 6/6s with those abilities – let alone 6/6s that then made two 3/3s on the way out? Wurmcoil Engine reminds me of a simpler time, a more innocent time, a time where you played pump spells in your main phase and pointed burn spells upstairs rather than at creatures.
All that aside, Wurmcoil Engine is a monstrously powerful card and is relied upon by Tron decks to stabilize the board against aggro decks in Modern. Slamming it on turn three (when you should, by rights, be playing Vampire Nighthawk) is a huge play against any deck looking to get aggressive, and if they don’t have an exile-based answer like Path to Exile, they’re in a lot of trouble.
Grave Daddy is one of the more powerful titans, all of whom would be reasonable candidates for this list (I thought it would be a bit of a cop out to have all five as the best six-mana 6/6s). Black doesn’t usually get to dump 10 power onto the battlefield for six mana, and Grave Titan is even better than that, as it continues to churn out more 2/2s as the game goes on.
It’s an EDH favorite, and an extremely high pick in Cube, given the sheer stats it dumps onto the battlefield and its resilience against removal (in that a spot removal spell still leaves two 2/2s to deal with). Putting deathtouch on a 6/6 is kinda weird as it’ll probably kill most things it tangles with in combat anyway, but it’s always nice to be able to have it trade with some of the big monsters you see on the Commander battlefield.
Is Grave Titan the most powerful of the five titans? It’s hard to say. From an objective stats standpoint, sure – it requires the least amount of work to “do its thing,” and assuming you have six mana, it’s almost always a terrific play. Other titans need a little bit of help to be their best, but there’s one amongst them that, in the right deck, outstrips even Grave Daddy…
…and it is, of course, Prime Time. Primeval Titan can make a very good case for being “better” than Grave Titan – perhaps not in a vacuum, but in the sort of deck that can really exploit tutoring lands into play. Decks like Modern Amulet or Scapeshift, that can land an early Titan and search up lands that will close the game out very quickly.
Primeval Titan is so powerful when used as a toolbox tutor for lands that it’s banned in Commander. With good reason, I suppose, seeing tutors are kinda ridiculous in the format anyway and giving decks a repeatable way to search up two extra lands a turn is even more obnoxious. Bojuka Bog, Kessig Wolf Run, Mystic Sanctuary, Rogue’s Passage, Cabal Coffers – the list goes on, and Prime Time gets ’em all.
As a result, Primeval Titan is restricted to Modern, where it’s a centerpiece of Amulet Titan decks, although it does see play in weird Legacy decks like Cloudpost and four-color Green Sun’s Zenith decks. Incidentally – and this has nothing to do with Primeval Titan, just a cheeky little bonus fact for you – did you know that Green Sun’s Zenith requires you to shuffle your library twice while you resolve it?
One of the newer six-mana 6/6s certainly isn’t mucking about. Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider goes incredibly hard, offering a powerful Doubling Season-esque effect while also hampering opposing permanents. It was used as an Emergent Ultimatum target for awhile there, alongside Tibbers, for an instant ultimate while getting in for six hasty damage. And that’s just the start!
Vorinclex hamstrings opposing planeswalkers, shuts off opposing Sagas, and you better not hope you have any +1/+1 synergies while facing off against this monster. Not that you’ll be facing off against it for long – a trampling, hasty 6/6 has a way of ending games pretty quickly, thank you very much.
Vorinclex has taken a bit of a back seat in Standard post-rotation. The format is very quick and getting to six mana isn’t super easy, not to mention that its Doubling Season ability is a little difficult to take advantage of the turn you play it (unless you already have a planeswalker or something out). Still, the power level is there, and I’d wager we haven’t heard the last of this fellow in Standard.
This dumb card became a beloved meme within the Magic community after it was reprinted a bunch of times in quick succession. First arriving in Ixalan, it was then reprinted in Rivals of Ixalan with new flavor text – okay, sure – but then not only ended up in Core Set 2019 the very next year, but also in the 25th anniversary Masters set, filled with Magic’s “most iconic cards.”
Since then, it appearing here, there, and everywhere has led to a bunch of ridiculous and sometimes very funny memes and in-jokes. It’s such a well-known meme that it has its own Know Your Meme page that is filled with examples of the dumb jokes people have put together based off this card.
The card isn’t good or anything – don’t get confused, it’s just a big idiot with trample – I just know better than to stir up the Magic hivemind than to create an article about six-mana 6/6s and not have Colossal Dreadmaw at number one. I have a career to think about.