How Much Creature Does One Mana Buy You in Magic: The Gathering over the Years?

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Credit: Wizards of the Coast


How much creature does one mana get you? The answer is revealed in this series of charts uploaded to imgur here. As time goes on you get an increasing amount of creature for the amount of mana that you spend. Take a look:



Average Power + Toughness (“Girth”) Per Mana Spent, by Color, by Set

This data was published using the equation P + T / CMC, where P=power, T=toughness, and CMC=Converted Mana Cost. As Wizards of the Coast releases new sets, there is a general increase in the amount of creature per mana spent, at least when comparing how much creatures cost when MTG was first released. However, take a closer look at the breakdown of individual colors:

Average Power + Toughness per CMC, by Color, by Set

As you can see, green’s creature per mana cost is increasing exponentially with no sign of slowing, making it the most cost-efficient out of all of the colors. Its cost efficiency stems from its creature density per set. There are more green creatures being released each set in comparison to other colors, and while the amount of creatures is increasing, the mana cost of the creatures is remaining relatively the same. This is what causes the rising and falling of the lines in the graphs.  

However, red is not far behind green and may overtake it in the coming sets. Starting in 2007, it has slowly but steadily become more cost-efficient as more red creatures are released per set. But not all colors have experienced such increased cost-efficiency.

Average Power + Toughness per CMC, by Color, by Set


Both black and white have experienced modest growth at best and near stagnancy at worst, especially when comparing it to the level at which it started out in the 1990s. This is not a bad thing, it just makes those colors more expensive when comparing the power + toughness to the mana cost.  

Blue’s creature cost per mana has fluctuated most dramatically throughout its history. However, it has consistently remained the most expensive color when looking at mana cost per creature. If blue is your color and you want to have more power+toughness in the creatures of your deck, it would be best to create a multicolor deck just for cost efficiency sake.

Unlike the other colors, multicolor and colorless creatures are getting more expensive per mana in recent years, especially when comparing them to the growth of colors like green and red. When looking at all the colors side-by-side we can see what colors we can get the most bang for our proverbial buck. If you’re looking for the most creature per mana spent, get fond of playing with red and green.

Data and charts from here.