We continue our tour of the best planeswalkers ever printed in each color today, finally arriving at green. Historically, green planeswalkers tended to revolve around pretty similar abilities – making beefy tokens and putting counters onto stuff, or in Nissa’s case, waking up lands so they could attack. More recently, however, green planeswalkers have gotten everything from disruption and interaction to card draw, and some of the latest additions to the pool of green planeswalkers are very powerful indeed.
8. Garruk, Primal Hunter
Back in the day of green planeswalkers just making tokens and buffing creatures, Garruk, Primal Hunter did offer actual, factual card draw – sometimes, this card was simply pay five mana, draw a bunch of cards. He was a useful utility planeswalker in many decks, able to help stabilize the battlefield with 3/3s when behind, or pull further ahead by acting as a fancy Harmonize (or better) when you were out in front. These days he’s been thoroughly eclipsed by newer green planeswalkers, but 10 years ago, Garruk, Primal Hunter could hold his own.
7. Garruk Wildspeaker
The original Garruk was, and in some cases still is, a force to be reckoned with. Coming down for an effective two mana if you had a two-drop to follow him up with, Garruk could also help to stabilize the board with 3/3s when the need arose (see what I mean with that narrow design space?). Where this Garruk does his best work, however, is in decks with lands that tap for multiple mana – for instance, with the help of something like Utopia Sprawl. There, Garruk can generate huge amounts of mana very quickly, and be a big part of a go-huge ramp suite.
6. Nissa, Vital Force
Another support all-star, Nissa, Vital Force was never really a headline act during her time in Standard but rather was a useful, flexible planeswalker that would have an impact on any battlefield. Need to put pressure on? Get in there with a 5/5. Need to pump the brakes? Keep the 5/5 back to block. Running low on resources? Her Regrowth ability has got you covered. Looking to close out the game? This Nissa ultimates really fast, and her landfall draw a card ability would quickly bury the opponent in card advantage. She was never a standout, but Nissa got a lot of work done all the same.
5. Garruk, Caller of Beasts
This iteration of Garruk still goes hard in EDH, where his -3 helps green mages cheat enormous monsters into play for just six mana. Planeswalkers are tough to defend in Commander, but when your planeswalker comes with a “free” Avenger of Zendikar or even Impervious Greatwurm, they look a lot better. Besides the Eureka ability, Garruk, Caller of Beasts also helps keep the cards coming, and in any properly-built green deck, his ultimate will end the game in a very short time.
4. Garruk Relentless
Just as Garruk, Primal Hunter was sometimes a five-mana Harmonize, Garruk Relentless was sometimes a four-mana Lightning Bolt – in green! While obviously it was ideal to flip him into Garruk, the Veil-Cursed and start churning out deathtouch Wolves, sometimes you just needed three damage and Garruk was good for it. Otherwise, he was a great way to flood the board with token bodies, and like so many other planeswalkers provided very useful utility for midrangey green decks.
3. Wrenn and Seven
Wrenn and Seven made a huge entrance into Standard, dominating the early stages of the post-rotation format last year. Since then, the card has fallen off a little bit as the format has become more divided between aggressive and controlling decks, but as a rock-solid midrange powerhouse, Wrenn and Seven can’t be underestimated. It’s possible – probable, even – that the format settles back into a place where green-based midrange rises to the top again, and if it does, Wrenn and Seven will be a central part of those decks success.
2. Vivien Reid
When it comes to utility planeswalkers, I honestly don’t think it gets much better than Vivien Reid. She does it all – provides meaningful card advantage and selection, removes noncreature threats or flying monsters, and then has a game-winning ultimate, powering up all the creatures she helped you draw. This card was a dominant force in Standard, punching well above its weight as a support card – it’s not normal for a planeswalker like this, one that doesn’t make tokens or kill most creatures, to be a pillar of a format, but Vivien Reid was just that good.
1. Nissa, Who Shakes the World
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind as to what the best green planeswalker ever printed is, however – it’s Nissa, Who Shakes the World, and for one reason only. Her static ability felt broken in half at times, particularly when you’d play her for five mana, untap a Breeding Pool so you could hold up a counterspell like Negate to protect her, and then begin your next turn with access to 10 or 12 mana. Nissa plus Hydroid Krasis was just about the scariest sequence in Standard not so long ago, and it will be a long time before people forget about just how powerful this iteration of Nissa was.