Card of the Day Home

Decks to Beat - Tournament Winning Decks!

Card of the Day - A single card reviewed by several members of our crew.  Updated 5 days per week!

Card Price Guide

Featured Writers  
Judge Bill
DeQuan Watson
Ray Powers - Monk's Corner
Jeff Zandi
Jonathan Pechon
Chrstine Gerhardt
Jason Chapman
- on Peasant Magic

Deck Garage
Jason's Deck Garage

MTG Fan Articles
Deck Tips & Strategies
Peasant Magic
Tourney Reports 
Featured Articles  
Single Card Strategy

Magic Quizzes & Polls

Message Board 
Magic League

Contact Us

Pojo's Book Reviews



Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Image from

Emperor Crocodile 
9th Edition

Reviewed July 27, 2004

Constructed: 2.3
Casual: 2.3
Limited: 3.1

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all our 
Card of the Day Reviews 


* game store owner in CA, ShuffleAndCut

Crocodile Rockin'!  Oh no, your feet just can't keep still...uh...nm.

So the Emperor is back.  He was battling in the swamp with a Jade Leech, the masses spoke, and the Croc chomped the now jaded Jade Leech.  I started playing Magic when Invasion came out, so Jade Leech was one of the first well costed big guys I met up with.  He was a solid runner in block, and popped up in a few decks.  Neither Croc nor Leech would/do make the current cut, though.

The Emperor is a nice low cost fattie for casual, though.  If you're just going for fast beef, this may be your man. Start off with a Birds of Paradise or Llanowar Elves (hint: Elves are cheaper), and then this guy makes his debut turn 3.  Just be sure to keep your elves alive in the meantime.

In limited, a solid pick for green.  Beef always ranks highly in limited, especially in Core drafting.  Pick him early.
Constructed: 2
Casual: 3
Limited: 3.5

   Current Price:
Emperor Crocodile - 8th Edition currently - $1.25

   Combos Well With:
Llanowar Elves - 7th Edition - $0.80
Birds of Paradise - 8th Edition - $15.52

Judge Bill

*Level 2
MTG Judge

*game store employee

Both creatures cost 4 mana. So which drawback would you rather have, controlling another creature, or paying more for other green spells? I would rather have to control another creature, by far. Yet neither of them are really competitive in constructed, because they cost 4 mana. Even with a Bird or Elf, it only comes down on the third turn. By that time, most decks should have an answer for it, from Mana Leak/Rewind, to Shrapnel Blast, to Wrath or Wing Shards, to Dark Banishing/Terror. (If you're playing green too, your creatures are just as fat, so this is fine.)
In casual, I might rather have the Jade Leech. Spectral Shift/Donate, anyone?
In limited, the Crocodile again wins, but barely. You'll have another creature out when you cast this.
Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 2
Limited: 3

2 Grand Prix Top 8's

Multiple Pro Tour appearances

Emperor Crocodile


This is the second reason for why Magic players should never be allowed to choose cards that will be in print (the first comes later in the week).  Whereas we could have had a potentially usable and stable creature in Jade Leech, a creature proven as viable in constructed in the past, instead we get this Croc.  Way to go guys; letís keep those unplayable cards rolling in.


This is marginally more fun in random games where you are less likely to have the rest of your creatures removed; however, that still doesnít make this better (or more fun) than the many alternatives presented to you.  Bleh in decks, bleh in Mental.


I donít recall this ever being particularly good in draft back when it was in Destiny; the rest of the creatures on the board had a nasty tendency to die in very short order when it came into play.  Itís card disadvantage just waiting to happen; donít rely on it.


Constructed:  1.5

Casual:  1.5

Limited:  2.0


Jeff Zandi

5 Time Pro Tour

Emperor Crocodile
Originally produced in Urza's Destiny, Emperor Crocodile has been filling in
for Ernham Djinn for some time now as the giant green monster that only
requires one green mana in its casting cost. The mana cost distinction was
very important for Ernham Djinn. In its day, Ernie was splashed into many
constructed decks, usually without the use of Forests at all, thus getting
past Ernham Djinn's downside. (each upkeep, when Ernham Djinn is in play on
your side of the board, he gives one of your opponent's creatures Forestwalk
until end of turn) Emperor Crocodile's downside is MUCH more pronounced,
requiring you to ALWAYS have another creature in play. (online, in the not
too distant past, this card did not function correctly, and you were NOT
required to sacrifice, in fact you were not able to, the Crocodile when it
was the only creature on your side) Anyhoo, Emperor Crocodile comes up a
little short for constructed because he's a fat creature that really has to
be in a deck with lots of creatures, probably a lot of LITTLE creatures.
This is why the Emperor's downside is such a big deal. In limited play, a
5/5 creature that is splashable is worth the requirement of keeping another
creature in play. As always, its hardly worth discussing rare cards in
limited formats because you just will not see them very often.
CASUAL:              3.0
LIMITED:              4.0

Ray "Monk"
* Level 3 DCI Judge
*DCI Tournament Organizer

Emperor Crocodile (vs. Jade Leech)


This was a very interesting vote.  The Jade Leech has seen more play in its history, but it was during a time that Red Green was a big archetype, and since then better and better creatures have come out to push the envelope. While this argument makes both of these creatures look worse nowadays, the disadvantage of the Leech seems to be worse than the disadvantage of the Crocodile. Also, the Crocodile is easier to splash into multi-color decks. For these reasons, I think the Croc is the way to go.


Constructed:                 3

Casual:                         3

Limited:                        3



* game store owner (The Game Closet - Waco,TX)

I think that this vote went down the same as yesterday's did. This however actually had potential to be a tighter race. These cards are very similar when you first look at them. This basically made this vote about which drawback you were willing to work around. Truthfully, my vote was on the Jade Leech. I like the fact that I can play it alone and there is nothing wrong. Later in the game, having to pay one more mana for stuff doesn't really matter to me.

Constructed: 2
Casual: 1.5
Limited: 3.5

Secret Squirrel on the

Emperor Crocodile
Another card that has been reprinted in 8th.  This won over Jade Leech, not surprisingly.  Similar to what Thursdayís cards will be, this card is nice but hasnít seen that much play and might not when reprinted.  Still 5/5 for 4 is nice, although, it doesnít have any evasion (this card is screaming ďI want trampleĒ), and it canít be the only creature on your side of the field (though if youíre playing green, youíre bound to have a birds/elves or something with this).  Iím a little hesitant to rate this highly in constructed, mainly because there is a possibility that he wonít do any damage when heís out, because of a bunch of Beacon of Creation tokens.  Still I will be open minded when this card is reprinted, and weíll see if he gets any better.
In limited, regardless of the fact that he has no evasion, theyíre using a resource each turn on this guy, and if youíre attacking with him, you probably have a bunch of other creatures to deal damage also.  Iíd probably take him simply because of the nice body.
Constructed: 3
Casual: 3
Limited: 3.5
Emperor Crocodile --

I haven't ever really played Emperor Crocodile, which is unfortunate, but there is a good reason behind it. Every time Emperor Crocodile might be good, there seems to be a better creature that could go in its place. Ravenous Baloth definitely overshadows the Croc now, and Blastoderm overshadowed it earlier in its life. I'm not sure that the drawback fits the extra power, and that may be the biggest issue.

I'm not sure I would bother playing the Croc in limited, it would really depend on my pool of cards. I need a strong pool of green that could easily drop a creature every turn.

As far as the vote went, I really didn't care either way. We could have had Jade Leech, which almost never saw play. Why do you want to play a creature that requires two green, but then makes all of your green spells cost more? Likewise, why do you want a giant creature that your opponent doesn't need to touch to destroy?

Constructed Rating: 2.0
Casual Rating: 2.0
Limited Rating: 2.5

Emperor Crocodile -
I voted for this card. Neither card (Other being Jade Leech) could I see in serious constructed decks, but Emp. Crocodile seemed much well suited for casual.
Constructed - As I said, I really don't think such a vulnerable creature is suited for Serious Constructed. It might find its way into a Big Green deck, but you really need to make sure there isn't any way that it will be killed because of 0 other creatures.
Casual - Turn 4 5/5 baby. Combine this with Llanowar elf, and preferably a >2 toughness 3 mana critter (Perhaps Trained Armoddon, or even CotH) and you have a turn 3 5/5. Again, it only belongs in a deck with lots of <4 costing critters, preferably ones that are >2 toughness (This makes them a lot harder to mass kill with spells like pyroclasm, which you don't want being used to eliminate your 5/5.)
Limited - Not a bomb, but it certainly is powerful. Definitely more useful than Jade Leech, which would pretty much set back 60% of your spells back a turn+. You just need to make sure that it isn't vulnerable to a 2 for 1 spell like dark banishing, because you only had one other creature out.
Constructed - 1.5
Casual - 2.5
Limited - 3.0

Copyright 2001


Magic the Gathering is a Registered Trademark of Wizards of the Coast.
This site is not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast and is not an Official Site.