How Good is Chameleon Colossus in Magic the Gathering?

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, Commander 2015, and Commander: Adventures from the Forgotten Realms. But, thanks to increased play in Modern sideboards and new Tribal decks popping up in Commander all the time, all printings of this Shapeshifter have been on a steady rise in demand.

Chameleon Colossus Commander Adventures from the Forgotten Realms

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 match-ups.

Chameleon Colossus in Modern

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 their sideboards, 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 EDH (Commander)

According to EDHREC, Chameleon Colossus is played in nearly 11,000 EDH decks listed on the website as of late 2022. Being a Changeling, it’s not surprising that he’s found his way into a number of tribal decks. The protection from Black also makes the Colossus 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 (who obviously leads Bear Tribal decks) and Morophon, the Boundless (who can lead all sorts of Tribal brews).

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 decent Changeling creature an automatic play in the Reaper King deck.

Kaseto, Orochi Archmage decks are also a good home for Chameleon Colossus. Not only is the Colossus essentially a strong Snake, but Kaseto himself can make creatures unable to be blocked in combat for a turn. If that creature is a Snake, Kaseto also gives it +2/+2. With the Colossus’s ability to double his own power and toughness, Kaseto can help deal the erstwhile Snake a whole ton of damage that can’t be blocked.

Arahbo, Roar of the World, the Cat Tribal Commander, could also take full advantage of Chameleon Colossus. Not only is the Colossus essentially a very big Cat, but Arahbo can give the Colossus +3/+3 at the beginning of combat, plus give it trample AND double its 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 Atogatog (Atogs), Moritte of the Frost (Changelings), Grolnok, the Omnivore (Frogs), Gallia of the Endless Dance (Satyrs), Isoa, Enlightened Bushi (Samurais), Aeve, Progenitor Ooze (Oozes), Rin and Seri, Inseperable (Cats & Dogs), and many more.

There’s also a funny combo with Chameleon Colossus and the planeswalker Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes, who can be your commander. Minsc & Boo specifically mention Hamsters as a creature type, and since Chameleon Colossus is technically also a Hamster, Minsc & Boo’s minus 2 planeswalker loyalty ability can sacrifice Colossus and not only deal X damage where X was its power, but also draw X cards.

Is Chameleon Colossus Worth Its Price?

Any printing of this card is worth having in your Magic the Gathering card collection, thanks to its versatility in EDH alone. Despite having five printings, its original Morningtide printing and more limited Commander 2015 printing hold a price point of over $2 US. Yet, you can find a copy for well under a dollar if you’re willing to pick up a copy from Archenemy or Commander: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms.

If you’d like a cheap foil copy, the From the Vault: Twenty version is worth considering for just a couple of US dollars. Anyone who plays Green in Commander or casual play should pick up at least a copy of Chameleon Colossus. It fits into just about any Tribal deck strategy that includes Green as one of its colors. As Green is perhaps the most popular color in Commander, the Colossus will always find homes in Commander decks somewhere.

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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