Chameleon Colossus – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

Chameleon Colossus has always been a fairly valuable Magic the Gathering card. It was originally printed in Morningtide and saw some play in Standard back then. With his versatility and power level, the Colossus has remained popular in tribal decks in casual “Kitchen Table” Magic, EDH, and even Modern.

The price of Chameleon Colossus dropped over time thanks to reprints in Archenemy, From the Vault: Twenty, and Commander 2015. But, thanks to increased play in Modern sideboards and new Tribal decks popping up in Commander all the time, all printings of Chameleon Colossus have been on a steady rise in demand. 

Chameleon Colossus in Elves

For years, Chameleon Colossus saw a lot of play in Elf decks, thanks to the fact that he’s a Changeling. The protection from black is also very useful, as a good deal of popular removal cards are black. That was especially true during his early days in competition. It also means decks with primarily black creatures can’t block him. 

Since the Colossus can double its own power as many times as you can pay 2GG, he can deal a ton of damage, too. So, he made a great versatile companion to Elves decks since he counted as an Elf himself. While Elf decks aren’t nearly the force they once were in competitive play, Elves have never stopped being a popular tribe. But, with the printing of Craterhoof Behemoth in Avacyn Restored, Chameleon Colossus became pushed to being a sideboard option in Black-heavy matchups.

Chameleon Colossus in Modern Sideboards

While Chameleon Colossus is a strong, efficient creature, four mana creatures that don’t have an immediate impact on the board don’t see much play in Modern. But, fortunately for the Colossus, he has that protection against black going for him. As it turns out, most of the best removal spells in Modern are still predominantly black. So, has he found any home besides Elves sideboards?

Red/Green Scapeshift decks began to adopt a single copy of the Colossus in the sideboard, as did Gruul Land Destruction and Tooth and Nail combo decks. These seem like somewhat odd places for him to go. But, having 4 toughness means he’s out of Lightning Bolt range, plus much of the other best removal – Dismember, Fatal Push, Terminate, etc. – can’t touch it. All of these decks also depend on keeping a threat on the board, which Chameleon Colossus certainly is. Four mana to double his power and toughness is very doable in these decks.

Plus, Protection from Black means that Chameleon Colossus can block major threat creatures like Death’s Shadow all day. For what it’s worth, the Colossus can also block Bloodghast, Gurmag Angler, and Tasigur, the Golden Fang, not to mention any other Black creature that sees play in Modern. So, just to have a fairly difficult to remove wall against big Black creatures is worth playing Chameleon Colossus in the sideboard of a number of Modern decks.

Chameleon Colossus in Commander / EDH

According to EDHREC, Chameleon Colossus is played in over 3400 EDH decks. Being a Changeling, it’s not surprising that he’s found his way into a number of tribal decks. The protection from Black also means that he’s somewhat tricky to remove and also can block big Black creatures from getting through on the ground. Most recently, Chameleon Colossus has been picked up by popular Tribal Commanders such as Ayula, Queen Among Bears (obviously, Bear Tribal) and Morophon, the Boundless (all sorts of Tribal).

For years, the Commander deck playing Chameleon Colossus the most was Reaper King. This is somewhat unsurprising, since as a Changeling, he automatically counts as a Scarecrow, which Reaper King boosts by +1/+1.  Reaper King also has another ability that whenever another Scarecrow enters the battlefield under your control, you destroy a target permanent. So, not only does the Colossus become a 5/5 for 4 mana, but he takes out a permanent when he enters. That makes him and any other Changeling an automatic play in the Reaper King deck.

Kaseto, Orochi Archmage has also given Chameleon Colossus a home. Not only is the Colossus perfect for the Snake Tribal deck. but Kaseto can make creatures unblockable. If that creature is a Snake, Kaseto also gives it +2/+2. With the Colossus’s ability to double his power and toughness, he can deal a whole ton of damage that can’t be blocked. Ouch.

Arahbo, Roar of the World, the Cat Tribal Commander, has also taken full advantage of Chameleon Colossus. Not only is the Colossus a very big Cat, but Arahbo can give the Colossus +3/+3 at the beginning of combat, plus he can give him trample AND double his power and toughness. On top of the Colossus being able to double his own power already, you get a very massive trampler. Major ouch.

Other Commanders who like to have Chameleon Colossus in the deck include Ezuri, Claw of Progress, Atogatog, Seton, Krosan Protector, Xenagos, God of Revels, Ishkanah, Grafwidow, Gishath, Sun’s Avatar, and more.

Should I Run Out and Buy a Copy of Chameleon Colossus?

Really, any printing of this card is worth having in your Magic the Gathering card collection. If you’d like a cheap foil copy, the From the Vault: Twenty version is worth considering. Anyone who plays Green in Commander or casual play should pick up at least a copy of Chameleon Colossus. It fits into many tribal strategies and will always find homes in casual and Commander decks somewhere.

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