Magic 2015 Limited Review: Green

Here are the Green cards, so let’s get straight to it…

Ancient Silverback: An excellent top end for Green decks. The body is bigger then almost everything in the format, and it even has a cheap regeneration ability if things go wrong. Keep in mind that Flesh to Dust, likely the most catch-all removal in the format, does have a no regeneration clause.

Back to Nature: Not going to do anything in this format, but it will make the cards from Theros block quite sad indeed.

Carnivorous Moss-Beast: A six mana 4/5 isn’t the worst deal you could make. The ability to add counts to itself, while hugely expensive, is still just upside. I wouldn’t be upset if I had to run this, but Green does have better options at the six mana slot.

Charging Rhino: This looks to be a staple in Green decks of the format. Bigger then all the X/3’s running around, yet can’t be double blocked by them, so he will be hard to beat in combat. It’ll be hard to go wrong with two of these available in your deck, though more may be pushing it.

Chord of Calling: While posed to impact Constructed in a big way, Chord will be less powerful in Limited. Decks just have fewer bombs, and those bombs will typically be expensive. Chord seems best to me when you can pull tricks with it being an instant, such as fetching a Paragon mid-combat, or retrieving a Reclamation Sage.

Elvish Mystic: Premium common for Green, just like the one-drop mana elf always is. Jumping the curve and getting to your big monsters faster is all Green ever wants to do. Beware the Forge Devil.

Feral Incarnation: Ugh. I’m not really sure what to think of this one. It’s super expensive, but it has Convoke…? And is three 3/3 beasts good enough? My gut leans toward no, but it’s probably something that requires actual testing.

Gather Courage: This is sweet for all the same reasons that Crowd’s Favor is sweet. Free spells are awesome and difficult to play around. The fact that this is an uncommon – when most simple pump spells are just common – should tell you how powerful Wizards thought this was in Limited.

Genesis Hydra: I feel the ideal number you want to cast this for is X=4. This gives you a 4/4 Hydra with a reasonable chance of bringing something decent along with it. I can see X=5 if you have Rhinos, though. As long as you hit, this Hydra should be great.

Hornet Nest: This stalls the ground good and proper until your opponent finds a way to deal with it. I like that this triggers on any damage, not combat damage, so even Lightning Strike leaves you with three hornets. An excellent way to buy time while you get to five and six drops.

Hornet Queen: Also known as the Queen of stabilizing the board. Giving five flying deathtouch bodies is an excellent deal and well worth the steep mana cost. Outside of niche answers like Festergloom, Hornet Queen will do a good job keeping you alive and killing your opponent.

Hunt the Weak: Hunt is sorcery speed, four mana, and conditional upon your creature staying alive until it resolves. Nevertheless, it’s the best option Green has for removal, so just be careful when casting it, and don’t allow your opponent to Turn to Frog your creature or something.

Hunter’s Ambush: An interesting twist on the staple Fog effect. I’m not sure this is worth mainboarding, though I’m optimistic, as a one sided Fog as the potential to be quite the blowout. It’s still likely better to start this in the side though.

Invasive Species: Three mana 3/3 is excellent, and you shouldn’t need me to tell you that. The “drawback” is somewhat prohibitive, but can be turned into an upside with cards like Frost Lynx. Really, the drawback just stops you running multiples of this, which isn’t the worst.

Kalonian Twingrove: Getting two 4/4 for six mana is totally respectable (and even 3/3’s aren’t that bad. On top of that, the Twingroves grow bigger as you play more Forests. An easy first pick.

Life’s Legacy: I’m struggling to envision scenarios where you’ll have a creature with high power that you want to sacrifice instead of just attacking. Being a sorcery really limits it in this regard, as responding to removal would have made this super powerful. It’s probably still fine as is, as having options is always good.

Living Totem: Kind of a filler four-drop that can come out slightly earlier. The counter is probably a big deal actually, given that we’ve identified 3 toughness as the most common amount, so bumping a creature to be higher then that is huge.

Naturalize: You’re always happy to have one of these in the sideboard.

Netcaster Spider: Looks like a crucially important common for Green. Green is somewhat weak to fliers by nature, and this guy provides a reasonable body on the ground for his cost while ensuring that he will wreck any flier that dares to come near him. I’d go as far as to say grab as many of these as you can.

Nissa, Worldwaker: Possibly the most powerful Planeswalker for Limited. 4/4 tramplers both protect her and threaten to end the game very quickly. On top of that, she ramps you to absurdly high amounts. Generating an army out of an otherwise non-threatening resource is more then enough to make her extremely powerful.

Nissa’s Expedition: If you’re really in the market to be casting Siege Wurms and Feral Incarnations, this will be a big help in getting you there.

Overwhelm: The presence of Convoke on this card confuses me. “We can tap our creatures to give them +3/+3! Yay!” Hard casting this seems more likely, and will likely wipe the opponents board if they don’t want to die. So it’s a question of how reliably you can hit seven-ish mana.

Paragon of Eternal Wilds: Extremely solid, like the rest of this cycle. I think Green cares slightly more about the activated ability, as trample wherever you want it when you need it is enough to make blocking extremely difficult.

Phytotitan: Glacially slow, but unless your opponent finds a way to exile it, it will kill your opponent given enough time, provided you don’t die in the meantime. First strike and token generation are this plants’ worst enemies.

Plummet: The always solid card that can sometimes be maindecked if you really need a flying answer. I don’t believe that M15 is a maindeck format, though I could be wrong.

Ranger’s Guile: The Green response to removal. Having one is great, the second is okay, and the rest are significantly worse.

Reclamation Sage: The ability to have a Naturalize effect at a low opportunity cost makes the Sage extremely good. While the body won’t match up in fights too well, the Sage shouldn’t be underestimated.

Restock: A more expensive Divination that guarantees you draw awesome stuff. I’m uncertain if Green wants a grindy resources card like this, but even so, it’s still pretty effective.

Roaring Primadox: Primadox is likely a lot worse then he was in M13, where he paired up with Elvish Visionary to make a formidable engine. Shaman of Spring is significantly worse, but there are still good effects available, like Frost Lynx. Still an extremely solid card.

Runeclaw Bear: You need random two drops to fill your curve. the bears are here for you.

Satyr Wayfinder: While there seems to be fewer graveyard shenanigans going on in this set to enable, the Satyr could still help power up a Undergrowth Scavenger or something. Hitting your land drops is always good, too.

Shaman of Spring: I’m unconvinced a four mana 2/2 is going to cut it in this format, even with the card draw. While there is some syngery with the Primadoxs and Quicklings in the format, tying up you mana each turn for a card doesn’t seem particularly effective.

Siege Wurm: The lynchpin for the Convoke decks in the format, Siege Wurm towers over everything else in the format, and has trample to boot. Likely a major player in the format.

Soul of Zendikar: The “worst Soul” for Limited, he’s a still a giant 6/6 that spews out more beats if left unchecked. Reach unfortunately slows him down a bit, as without evasion he will get blocked often. Still, an unquestionable bomb like the rest of his cycle.

Sunblade Elf: If Green/White aggressive decks exist in this format, then Sunblade is obviously a big part of those. Personally I think the aggro decks are more at home in Red/White, but there’s enough in Green/White for a “bigger” version to work out. Also, Green/White seems like the home of the Convoke decks, so a one drop + global pump effect both seem like things that deck wants.

Titanic Growth: Standard Limited pump trick. Easy to play around at two mana. Be careful about removal, etc.

Undergrowth Scavenger: Possibly being slightly underrated at the moment. This guy could easily be a 6/6 if early trades have happen in combat (all graveyards). My pick for the sleeper common of the set.

Venom Sliver: The Sliver that likely stands out the most by itself. While no Typhoid Rats, a two mana 1/1 deathtouch will still kill things just as effectively. Granting it to your other Slivers is a reasonable upside, if you have any.

Verdant Haven: Another tool for the big Green ramp decks of the format.

Vineweft: A very narrow effect, with the ability to return from the graveyard. I’m not sure how good this will be, but I’ve already pointed out the value in getting over the 3 toughness mark in this review, so it might be quite good. We’ll have to see.

Wall of Mulch: This Wall seems sweet. It holds off all the early attacks, then when a creature big enough to kill it comes along, you get a free fog and a card. Seems awesome. Another means to buy time while ramping up to the big creatures.

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard: Yisan seems like a hell of a card once he gets going. Tutoring directly into play is exceptionally powerful, and I suspect Yisan will be quite the removal magnet as a result. Always pick this if you can.

And Green is complete! Green is, no surprise, all about the giant creatures in this core set. Green tricks are somewhat limited, between Titanic Groth, Gather Courage, and Hunt the Weak, so it definitely needs another colour to perform most optimally. All of the other colours have something great to offer Green, and they all seem to have interesting plays and archetypes available to them.

Join me next time when we conclude this review with the rest of the Magic 2015 cards.

Until then,

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