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Magic 2011 Set Review – Green

 

As usual, the grading system is as follows:

Constructed

5.0: Multi-format All-Star. Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf.

4.0: Format staple. Bloodbraid Elf. Baneslayer Angel.

3.5: Good in multiple archetypes, but not a format staple. Raging Ravine. Oblivion Ring.

3.0: Archetype staple. Sprouting Thrinax. Goblin Guide.

2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. Rampant Growth. Divination.

2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. Celestial Purge. (Bear in mind that many cards fall into this “maybe” category, although explanation of why is obviously important)

1.0 It has seen play once. One with Nothing. (I believe it was “tech” vs Owling Mine, although fairly suspicious tech at that.)

Limited

5.0: I will always play this card. Period.

4.5: I will almost always play this card, regardless of what else I get.

4.0: I will strongly consider playing this as the only card of its color.

3.5: I feel a strong pull into this card’s color.

3.0: This card makes me want to play this color. (Given that I’m playing that color, I will play this card 100% of the time.)

2.5: Several cards of this power level start to pull me into this color. If playing that color, I essentially always play these. (Given that I’m playing that color, I will play this card 90% of the time.)

2.0: If I’m playing this color, I usually play these. (70%)

1.5: This card will make the cut into the main deck about half the times I play this color. (50%)

1.0: I feel bad when this card is in my main deck. (30%)

0.5: There are situations where I might sideboard this into my deck, but I’ll never start it. (10%)

0.0: I will never put this card into my deck (main deck or after sideboarding). (0%)

 

Acidic Slime 

Constructed: 1.0

The presence of Acidic Slime has led many rogue deckbuilders astray, since he looks like a solid land destruction option, but really isn’t. For the most part, Mold Shambler is better, due to the option to kill planeswalkers, and overall the Slime just isn’t worth five mana. If you want to kill lands, play Goblin Ruinblaster, planeswalkers, play Shambler, and enchantments/artifacts, play Qasali Pridemage or War Priest of Thune/Manic Vandals. The versatility is not worth the additional mana.

Limited: 3.0

While Slime is a guaranteed 2 for 1, one of the two is most likely going to be a land. Even so, eating their best ground guy and maybe manascrewing them is sweet, and some of the time you will devour some awesome equipment or a Pacifism.

 

Autumns Veil 

Constructed: 2.0

This is what we wanted Guttural Response to be. It still doesn’t get around Spellstutter Sprite, but the added versatility of stopping a [card]Doom Blade[/card] on your guy is worth a lot. I don’t think Mana Leak (or UB Control) will be big enough in Standard to warrant its inclusion, but it might be a solid choice in Extended. If you are considering it as a way to stop Pulse or Terminate in Jund, you are probably just better off using [card]Vines of Vastwood[/card], not that Vines is even the right way to fight Jund’s removal.

Limited: 1.0

This is the most situational of the sideboard cycle of color hosers, but at least it’s not Mold Adder. Once you see a total of at least four counters/removal combined (though ideally more), feel free to bring this in as a nice trick.

 

Awakener Druid 

Constructed: 1.0

Even if Cunning Sparkmage wasn’t making a big comeback, this card would be a joke. Let sleeping trees lie, as the saying (kind of) goes.

Limited: 3.0

A tree mana 4/5 with haste is good, even after you account for the downside of it dying to one damage removal spells. You won’t always want to play this early against decks with Ice Cage or Excommunicate, since getting 2 for 1’ed on turn three is usually pretty bad.

 

Back to Nature 

Constructed: 2.0

Finally, Legacy decks can stop using Tranquil Domain as the Moat-removal of choice. To be fair, it’s been a while since Goblins had to resort to such measure, but hey, a free upgrade is never bad. In Standard, there are no masses of enchantments that need removing, so this won’t see any play.

Limited: 0.5

Naturally, this is a strict sideboard card, and only when you see multiple enchantments.

 

Birds of Paradise 

Constructed: 3.5

Right now, Noble Hierarch is overshadowing Birds, and will continue to do until Shards rotates out. That doesn’t mean BoP is bad, and I fully expect it to see plenty of play in a couple months. Even now, some decks play Birds when they need more than just the 4 Hierarchs, so imagine when they can’t play any Hierarchs.

Limited: 3.0

Birds is a must-play, though not incredibly powerful. In a base-green deck, it isn’t that much better than Llanowar Elves, and certainly not to the point that I would take removal over it. Don’t let the rare symbol fool you; this is a solid playable, nothing more.

 

Brindle Boar 

Constructed: 2.0

This delicious haunch of boar is not nearly as good as Obstinate Baloth, but sometimes you need a couple more slots against red. If that’s the case, I suppose you could do worse, though it doesn’t interact very well with trampling creatures.

Limited: 1.5

This guy isn’t really a beater or a way to do anything but buy you time against evasion creatures; overall, a very boring card. If they are very aggressive, feel free to bring the Boar, and avoid it otherwise.

 

Cudgel Troll 

Constructed: 1.0

A 4/3 for 2GG that regenerates is like a Vengevine, right?

Limited: 3.5

The list of cards that stop Cudgel Troll is very short, and he is no 1/1 Skeleton that can be easily ignored. Bashing for four a turn will end the game rapidly, anyone who says different is trolling.

 

Cultivate 

Constructed: 2.5

I think I was initially more excited about Kodama’s Reach than warranted, since ramping from three to five isn’t nearly as important as going from two to four. Cultivate is going to be good in some decks, but it won’t be nearly as format-defining as it was during Champions block.

Limited: 3.0

Making sure you get to five mana and fixing your colors completely are both useful, and this technically being a two for one doesn’t hurt either. Even in a straight two color deck, Cultivating lands is a worthwhile endeavor, and I would take it over most commons.

 

Dryads Favor 

Constructed: 1.0

If this is how dryads reward those they like, I would hate to see what they do to their enemies. This is clearly not my favorite card in the set.

Limited: 0.5

In the slow green mirror, this could have some utility. I prefer to draft decks with real finishers, though I do understand that that isn’t always possible. Making a 3+ power guy unblockable is hard to beat without removal, which green decks aren’t really know for.

 

Duskdale Wurm 

Constructed: 1.0

Is the extra green mana on Pelakka Wurm really that hard to obtain?

Limited: 3.0

Big, dumb monsters are one of green’s strengths in Limited, and Duskdale Wurm certainly fits the bill. You don’t want too much high end, so be careful not to overload on Wurms and their ilk. I would say that most decks can handle 2-3 six mana + guys, more if you have a few [card]Cultivate[/card]s.

 

Elvish Archdruid 

Constructed: 2.5

If Elves! is still a deck anywhere, the Archdruid is a big part of it. As pieces continue to rotate out of Extended (at an alarming rate), the deck becomes more and more reliant on Archdruid and Regal Force.

Limited: 2.5

Most green decks should be able to handle the double-colored casting cost, though you aren’t getting anything all that exciting. The “Elf deck” isn’t going to happen, so at best you are looking at your three-drop tapping for two mana here and there (which is certainly more than fine). In a deck with zero other Elves and fewer than nine Forests, I don’t have a problem with benching him.

 

Fauna Shaman 

Constructed: 4.0

Fauna Shaman is the real deal. Every turn that passes puts you further and further ahead, at the low cost of a two mana initial investment and one creature to begin the chain. The most obvious use is fetching Vengevines and Bloodbraid Elves, possibly Rangers, but it can also go get specific answers like Obstinate Baloth, Cunning Sparkmage, and Stoneforge Mystic. The key with Shaman is that she only costs two mana. Even if she dies, you don’t lose a whole lot, and the other cards that make her good are cards that definitely stand on their own. It isn’t like playing Vengevine and Bloodbraid Elf is a cost, after all. Imagine her as a Knight of the Reliquary that costs two mana. She doesn’t necessarily win you the game if you untap, but you certainly have the advantage, and that advantage gets bigger each turn.

I also would be surprised if she didn’t see play in other formats, up to and including Legacy. Doubling the number of Survivals seems like a pretty good deal for Legacy, and in Extended she can fuel various Vengevine-based strategies.

Limited: 3.5

She is not nearly as awesome in Limited as Constructed, since instead of getting Vengevines and other card advantage machines, you are just upgrading your bad creatures to your good ones. If you have something broken, like a Titan or a Baneslayer, Fauna Shaman clearly gets better, but in normal decks isn’t really a bomb or anything.

 

Fog 

Constructed: 1.0

I have never seen Fog be satisfactory, even when I played it myself. It enjoyed some time in the Turboland sideboard, and then quickly got removed for real cards. Fog-based strategies have never seemed good to me, and now they are lacking any sort of real support cards.

Limited: 0.5

The situations where I would side in Fog are quite specific, and mostly involve my opponent having Overwhelming Stampede in their deck. If the matchup is always going to be a race, Fog is worth considering, and usually then rejecting.

 

Gaeas Revenge 

Constructed: 2.0

Trample would be nice on this guy, even if he is primarily for matchups that don’t involve much creature combat. Elspeth locking him down is very annoying, though she is one of the few answers for the Revenge of the Plants. I don’t think Mana Leak is enough to bring back a pure draw-go deck, and without such a deck, Gaea’s Revenge has nobody to prey on.

Limited: 3.5

It isn’t all that hard to kill Gaea’s Revenge in Limited, since just about any two creatures can combine to hit five power. What it does do is bash them for eight by surprise, then maybe two for one them, and if you have removal or pump, just completely blow them out.

 

Garruk Wildspeaker 

Constructed: 2.5

Garruk is the best of the “vanilla” planeswalkers, and the printing of Primeval Titan and Mana Leak both make him much more interesting. Most of Garruk’s use has been as a 1 or 2-of in Jund decks, and the new cards I mentioned are likely enough for other decks to employ his services.

Limited: 4.0

The fact that Garruk defends himself is big, since that makes him a good play on any board, even one where you are behind. He is a bit weak to fliers, which is a trend common among green cards, but most green decks should have solutions on that front anyway. Early game, making Beasts is very hard to beat, and late game, Overrun with Suspend 1 forces them to make (presumably) bad attacks or just die.

 

Garruks Companion 

Constructed: 1.0

It has been a long time since Watchwolf has seen the light of play, and the recent printings of some ridiculous creatures doesn’t help the Companion’s case, regardless of who he hangs out with. Fauna Shaman is even in the same set, and somewhat bizarrely, is easier to cast.

Limited: 3.0

Trading your 2-drop for a Hill Giant is some nice value, with the situation only getting better if you have a little bit of backup. You won’t always be able to drop this on turn two, which is fine, since he clearly does something later in the game (unlike a 2/2).

 

Garruks Packleader 

Constructed: 1.0

I don’t know what kind of pack Garruk expects to assemble, but paying his packleader this much is no way to go about it.

Limited: 3.5

Not only is the Packleader big enough to brawl with almost anything, it also will draw you a couple of cards over the course of a game. Depending in your deck, it might even be more than that, which makes this a good pick at any point in the draft.

 

Giant Growth 

Constructed: 1.0

There have been zero of these in winning Standard decklists lately, and I don’t expect that number to grow any time soon.

Limited: 3.0

Green is good at forcing double blocks, at which point Giant Growth steps in and collects a nice two for one. Even when it is just trading one for one, you usually end up spending one mana for three or more of theirs. Creature-light decks won’t want this, but if you end up with a creature-light green deck, you are doing something wrong.

 

Giant Spider 

Constructed: 1.0

A giant beating this is not.

Limited: 3.0

Spider is the perfect card for green decks, and if you don’t have one by pack three, it becomes a much higher pick. It locks up the board, stopping ground and air assaults efficiently, and I would happily take and play up to four of these guys. In particular, white has a big problem with the Spider, since it locks out all their common fliers with ease.

 

Greater Basilisk 

Constructed: 1.0

Basilisks keep getting greater and greater. I remember when you got a 2/4 for this much mana, and the ability didn’t even work until the end of combat.

Limited: 3.0

A 3/5 is a little worse than a 4/4, until you factor in deathtouch. Now you have a guy who can kill anything in combat, and even survive most of the time. You don’t want to overload on 5+ drops, so these do get successfully weaker, which is about the only bad thing I can say about this.

 

Hornet Sting 

Constructed: 2.0

What are you at?

Jokes aside, this may be a decent way for green decks to fight Cunning Sparkmages or Mythic’s mana acceleration, as bad as the card seems. Green doesn’t usually get burn for a reason, and Turboland might want to slow down Mythic badly enough to warrant it.

Limited: 1.0

I would rather not start this, since unless you know they have good targets, having this in your deck is pretty miserable. Once you see a few sweet x/1’s, feel free to make them feel the sting of defeat (and make sure to ask “what are you at” if you ever plan to Sting their face).

 

Hunters Feast 

Constructed: 1.0

You can even invite your opponent to the feast, if you so desire!

Limited: 0.5

If their plan is to Lava Axe you, siding in a card that counters one Axe and gains you a life is more than fine. I wouldn’t pull the trigger every time I see Lava Axe, but if you feel that they are aggressive enough, go for it.

 

Leyline of Vitality 

Constructed: 1.0

Obstinate Baloth is a much better sideboard card against red decks, and if you feel that you need more than the four, Brindle Boar is on the menu too. The toughness bump is theoretically good against Cunning Sparkmage, but most Sparkmage decks have Basilisk Collar somewhere, and drawing Leylines midgame seems miserable.

Limited: 1.0

If for some reason you have a ton of creatures that match up just so with your opponents’ guys, giving them a toughness boost might not be the worst. The half Soul Warden ability (since it only counts your guys) isn’t irrelevant, but overall this card doesn’t seem like it does enough to warrant a place in your maindeck.

 

Llanowar Elves 

Constructed: 3.0

Sadly, the original Elf hasn’t seen much employment recently. Most good cards are multicolor, or at the very least non-green, so a guy that only makes green isn’t what most decks are looking for. Again, when Shards rotates, many of the good multicolor cards go, along with Noble Hierarch, which might increase the demand for Elves.

Limited: 3.0

Elves is like a slightly worse Birds in most decks, which is fine. Turn one Elves can lead to a “broken” start, since casting a Hill Giant before they have a third land really isn’t too bad. Late game they aren’t exciting, but if you count them as a land they should be fine. I’m not advocating 15 land 3 Llanowar Elves, but 17 land + an Elf is going to be better than 18 land most of the time.

 

Mitotic Slime 

Constructed: 2.0

The Slime is quite resilient too removal, and it isn’t a terrible body on its own. The downside is that it is hard to trigger, and most opponents will just ignore it or hit it with removal that exiles. It does combo with sacrifice abilities very well, and in the words of Matt Sperling, is bound to create many ooze and ahhs.

Limited: 3.5

The iterations of Slime get less impressive each time, but still are bound to create an annoyance for the opponent. Most decks aren’t going to be able to simply ignore the Slime, so you are going to get a favorable series of trades at some point in the game, making this a solid pick.

 

Naturalize 

Constructed: 2.0

A fine card to have around, but a little too vanilla to be good enough for sideboards. Naturally, some decks are going to need it from time to time, so I wouldn’t call it completely unplayable.

Limited: 1.0

Starting this in Sealed is acceptable; most decks have a couple targets. In draft, not so much, though you definitely want one for your sideboard.

 

Natures Spiral 

Constructed: 1.0

As cool as it is to bring back Vengevine, I think he has that covered already. There is no real way to get an advantage by returning cards, much less permanents, so don’t look for this to spiral out of control anytime soon.

Limited: 2.0

When I draft, I try to have good cards in my decks, so a card that brings them back seems fine to me. While Nature’s Spiral is mostly just going to be Disentomb, if you have broken permanents like Mind Control or planeswalkers, it gets much better.

 

Obstinate Baloth 

Constructed: 3.0

Much like Great Sable Stag, this guy is a little late to the party. A year ago he would have been awesome, though he is still very good. Jund isn’t dominating like it used to, and the addition of Baloth to the format will force Jund decks to adapt. Some decks already have moved Blightning to the sideboard, a trend that will be more common going forward. I think most decks are going to sideboard Baloths rather than maindeck them, though they will be great out of the board.

Limited: 3.5

The efficient cost of Baloth is not nearly as interesting in Limited as Constructed, since most of the time he will come out later in the game anyway. A 4/4 is always good, and the bonus lifegain makes him better than most random creatures (though still not as good as a solid removal spell).

 

Overwhelming Stampede 

Constructed: 2.0

Overrun has seen a little bit of play as Eldrazi Monument #5, and most of the time the Stampede should at least grant +3/+3, even +4/+4. I suspect that it won’t be all too common, since even the Monument decks have moved away from Overrun, and the risk of having all 0/1 and 1/1 creatures out is too big to ignore.

Limited: 4.5

This gets the highest rating possible for a card that doesn’t help you when you are far behind, just because it wins so many games out of nowhere. All it takes is a couple guys, and even as little as one or two if they are high-powered. My favorite part about this card is overwhelmingly its rarity, since now Overrun won’t show up to ruin games as often as before.

 

Plummet 

Constructed: 2.0

Green-based beatdown decks had no good answer to Baneslayer before, and now they have a mediocre one. If you have to kill the Angel, you have to kill the Angel, and at least Plummet can take down a Birds of Paradise from time to time.

Limited: 1.5

Flying is just common enough to make Plummet maindeckable, especially in Sealed. It will be live more often than not, though you should obviously considering siding it out after every game, since its value plummets against some decks.

 

Primal Cocoon 

Constructed: 1.0

I have a primal distaste for creature enchantments, and this is worse than most.

Limited: 1.0

I don’t like the idea of Pacifying my guy, even if there is a bonus waiting at the end of it. It just takes too long to make this worth a card, and still has all the disadvantages of any creature enchantment. It is actually worse than most, since not only do they have a ton of time to find an answer, they can wait until you decide to strike before playing it.

 

Primeval Titan 

Constructed: 2.5

Primeval Titan may be the most expensive card in the set (currently), but it certainly isn’t the best. I think it is powerful enough to build a deck around it, which is what is going to be needed in order to fully take advantage of its power. Once you have six lands, fetching more isn’t that insane, even if they are Tectonic Edges and manlands, unless your deck is built with Titan in mind. A ramp deck is the most likely suspect, with Turboland or Eldrazi Ramp seeming like the frontrunners. Many people will try to make Titan decks, and most will fail, but I do expect a good Titan deck to emerge eventually.

Limited: 4.0

I like this Titan the least of all the Titans, which really isn’t saying much, since they are all ridiculous. Bashing for six and rapidly thinning your deck is not something I turn down in Limited, and this is as hard to kill as the rest of the cycle (minus Grave Titan, of course).

 

Prized Unicorn 

Constructed: 1.0

Playing this is certainly winning the prize, that’s for sure.

Limited: 3.0

You really have to work to not get a card out of the Unicorn, since at worst you can suicide into a board with a 2 toughness guy. With the help of a pump spell or a bunch of creatures, Unicorn can do much more, either wiping their board or setting up a lethal alpha strike.

 

Protean Hydra 

Constructed: 1.0

Oh, how far the mythic have fallen. The recently-downgraded Hydra is still as lousy as he was last year, which is probably why he lost a level of rarity.

Limited: 3.5

If anyone tells you that Hydra grows, don’t believe them. I for one have never seen this Hydra add any heads, and consider such tales a myth. Your opponent is either going to use a non-damaging removal spell or make sure it dies in combat, and the additional heads will never sprout. I suppose a Giant Growth could lead to some sort of ridiculous blowout, but I’ll just settle for my six mana 5/5 and be happy.

 

Runeclaw Bear 

Constructed: 1.0

Another year, another failed shot at the pennant for da bears.

Limited: 0.5

I think my opinion on bears is well-known by now, although this time I am looking at an actual bear.

 

Sacred Wolf 

Constructed: 1.0

Troll Ascetic has fallen on lean times, and even Troll Ascetic was never all that insane in Constructed. Oh, it had its moments, but moments were about it.

Limited: 2.5

The low toughness makes this more of a blocker than anything else, unless you are facing a creature-light deck. Sacred Wolf is a huge upgrade over Pincher Beetles, since any sort of beneficial enchantment can make this into quite the beast.

 

Spined Wurm 

Constructed: 1.0

I can’t think of a playable wurm off the top of my head, with Spined Wurm sure not helping matters.

Limited: 3.0

It used to be that green was head and shoulders above the other colors when it came to big creatures, and Spined Wurm was part of the reason. Now, even blue has access to monsters like Harbor Serpent and Phantom Beast, which makes Spined Wurm a little less good. It is still a hefty guy and a solid card, it just doesn’t dominate the board like it used to.

 

Sylvan Ranger 

Constructed: 2.5

I like Sylvan Ranger a lot more than Borderland Ranger, and I even played Borderland Ranger at Worlds. Fixing your mana is way more valuable at two mana instead of three, since most decks can operate reasonably on three already. The slight loss in power/toughness is definitely worth the lower casting cost, and I think Sylvan Ranger is going to show up a fair amount in the new Standard.

Limited: 3.0

In Limited, the opposite is true. Sylvan Ranger is still an always-play, but you would gladly trade it for a Borderland Ranger. A 1/1 is not a whole card, so it is no longer a two for one, even though the card is still awesome.

 

Wall of Vines 

Constructed: 1.0

Overgrown Battlement is just waiting, biding its time until the WALL DECK is ready to emerge.

Limited: 0.5

If they are all 2 power fliers or bears, Wall of Vines is worth considering, but I would never want to maindeck it. Zero power defenders are not known as Limited powerhouses for a reason.

 

Yavimaya Wurm 

Constructed: 1.0

If you ever need a 5th Green Titan look elsewhere.

Limited: 3.5

Now this is a beatdown. Trading for a card or two and a bunch of trample damage is a fine deal, and it is hard to get much less than that for Yavimaya Wurm. Upgrading Spined Wurm into this (or offering both) gives green a good shot at remaining competitive in Limited, since a deck of all Giant Spiders and Yavimaya Wurms (with a few Llanowar Elves or Cultivates for speed) should fare well even without any removal.

Top 5 Constructed Cards for Green

5. Sylvan Ranger
4. Primeval Titan
3. Birds of Paradise
2. Obstinate Baloth
1. Fauna Shaman

Green got a ton of awesome cards this time around. Fauna Shaman is my pick for the best card in the set, and the goods don’t stop there. Baloth is a great sideboard card, and Primeval Titan is a card worth building around. Combine that with the solid fixing/acceleration of Birds and Sylvan Ranger, and you have a might haul indeed.

Top 5 Commons for Limited

5. Sylvan Ranger
4. Spined Wurm
3. Giant Spider
2. Cultivate
1. Yavimaya Wurm

Green is very deep, but the commons are also very close together. Green doesn’t have any powerhouse common like Doom Blade or Blinding Mage; it has just a bunch of solid cards. I would say that all of the top five are interchangeable, depending on what you already have, which makes green pick orders very dynamic.

Next up is the artifacts and lands section, which I will wrap up on Sunday.

LSV

69 thoughts on “Magic 2011 Set Review – Green”

  1. Haha, you didn’t change the intro line (I’m guessing you copy/pasted from your red review).

    Thanks for doing all these, they are great!

  2. My rating for Hydra would be even lower (2.0). It is below the curve at all costs below 6 mana (and at six mana you have Y wurm) and it is mostly a vanilla creature past that. Even in a red deck I guess I would prefer to point my Prodigal Pyromancers to the dome. I guess Pyroclasm would be its only saving grace.

    Agree on Brindle Boar. I don’t know why people were so crazy about it at the Prerelease. I played green and ommited them from my main without ever regreting it. Would have been insane before the combat nerfing, but now they are either Grey Ogres or Goldenglow Moths.

  3. Thank you for giving Primeval Titan his deserved 2.5 in Constructed. He is the card I hear people complaining the most about.

    I am interested that Fauna Shaman got such a high constructed rating considering it’s massive frailty.

  4. @joe

    i don’t see how anyone over the age of 9 would attempt to play primal cocoon in draft. extra land would be better.

  5. just for the sake of argument primal cocoon is pretty sweet in sealed on say a pinger like pyromancer since you werent gunna swing with him anyway. also dont forget triskelion…
    also it kills a phantom beast and undoes an ice cage…
    i dont like the card either but i’d take it over a forest ^_^

  6. “This is the most situational of the sideboard cycle of color hosers, but at least it's not Mold Adder.”

    Wow I don’t think you got the opportunity to play with or against Mold Adder very often, or got (un)lucky to encounter it as a late draw (even then it’s usually fine). It was a very effective card and when played early in the game, demands an answer (in other words, a premium removal spell like Doom Blade or Tendrils. Even Weakness doesn’t work). It’s also resilient against Mind Control in that you’re far less likely to be playing a second color to trigger it (since Blue/Green is quite possibly the only two color combination in M10 that just doesn’t work at all), but the life swing it creates when played early requires them to answer it more quickly than they might like (and also ensures you get value in the form of early damage in addition to making them spend one of their best cards). Not only that, but it so happens Blue and Black were the two colors that play card drawing engines like Divination and Sign in Blood which have no direct effect on the board but pumped the Adder anyway. Moreover Mono Black was a top tier archetype in M10 and particularly brutal against Green (when cards like Stampeding Rhinos give black removal its best value and cards like Drudge Skeletons blanked out Cudgel Troll, etc. Even cards like Royal Assassin shine in the green matchup).

    This is just getting ranty at this point but Mold Adder was an excellent sideboard card and for the first time you’re unequivocally wrong on your evaluation of a card.

  7. “Is the extra green mana on Pelakka Wurm really that hard to obtain?”

    “I can't think of a playable wurm off the top of my head,”

    I have seen you play Pelakka Wurm in your turboland on mtgo… contradict much?

  8. It should also be added that life swings for a Green deck in M10 were probably more vital than they were in Red even since your win condition playing a color with no removal (okay, Entangling Vines or Giant Growth as “removal”) usually involved “getting there” with a card like Overrun or Whispersilk Cloak. Again, a tangent, but I know you like looking at cards in the “big picture” and not in a vacuum so figured I’d add it in there.

  9. Like you, I’ve never seen hydra grow at all, much less dominate a game.

    Also I think primeval titan is a bit overhyped, but will probably find a home in cube, since finding stripmine/port/maze/glaciers is pretty sweet.

  10. @ javert

    The Hydra’s points are certainly justified. It does not have evasion (or trample), so it isn’t at the highest tier, but as far as a ground-pounder goes, it is the best there can be. It is not good in all situations (very few creatures are), and can be easily handled by some cheap removal available to 3 of the colors – black, white, and blue (though blue’s removal is weak against it, as ice cage is not the best choice against green because of giant growth, autumn’s veil, even hornet’s sting and primal cocoon, and mind control is stopped by two of those cards as well).

    The Hydra is very difficult to get by, on the ground, simply because on defense it will likely just get a lot larger (and hit more than twice as hard as the opponent hit it, on your following turn), and once the hydra attacks start, they don’t stop until the opponent is dead. Once it starts getting chumped it doesn’t stop attacking (and getting chumped and growing) until the game is over.

    It is good at both mid game (because it can stop all early game creatures and some mid game creatures), and late game, and is always a good draw.

    It is doubtful you will win more than one game in a series on the back of a hydra, but it is certainly an asset to just about any deck.

    -FritzJaeger

  11. I have seen a hydra grow (if you couldn’t tell from my post). It isn’t common, but against a G/U, or G/R, or even sometimes a R/U deck, it can happen. If you happen to be playing G/U yourself, it is even more likely it will live, since you can then also have counter backup (assuming it doesn’t die the turn after you play it, which it likely will).

    Hydra is by no means green’s best creature, and probably not worth a first pick (unless the pack was very bad), but it is certainly worthy of a second or third pick in some packs.

    -FritzJaeger

  12. Saying you’ve never heard of a good wurm is pretty Arrogant. That said, I had a Roar of a time reading this article.

  13. “Ooze and ahhs” i don’t enjoy the super high level of puns in these reviews but THAT ONE was certainly worth it, as well as reds “it’s all fun and games until someone loses a GUY.”

  14. Definitely agree with itslevi about Mold Adder. As a sb card it was extremely good against UB/monoB, and still good against UX or BX. Even to the point where you could do worse than maindeck it and board it out.

    Also, I’ve seen Protean Hydra grow often enough. The rare print runs for M10 made sure the same rares were always together. If the Hydra was present (being a Mythic) it was always close to Magebane Armor. Which comboed nicely, especially because some people actually thought they could still kill it, and saw a very big Hydra as a result.

  15. So why is everyong liking Protean Hydra. If you have prodigal pyromancer and are instead of hitting them in the face or one of their 1 toughness guys you’re obviously doing something wrong. LOL at the people that pump up the hydra for 10 turns with pyromancer then it gets doom bladed.

  16. Growing one’s own Protean Hydra with a Prodigal Sorcerer seems pretty (and by pretty I mean insanely) loose since the choice between pinging to the dome or making your easily chump-blocked, easily doom bladed hydra just for the fascination of making him bigger … well, it seems like an easy one. The ONLY justifiable use of your own burn on this guy that I can think of would be an extra kick of Comet Storm… however, that require playing him in Standard so… oh well.

    As for Primeval Titan, I understand you wanting to play down his rating as much as possible because you don’t like him. However, by the definitions of your rating scale, he HAS to be a 3.0. “Archetype Staple” to me implies a card that makes a deck work where otherwise it would not. In his case, he makes the Valakut deck pretty much unplayable (what, with Ruinblaster, Spreading seas, AND Tectonic Edge) to downright disgusting since on turn 4 or 5 you can play him, fetch two Valakuts, crack your Khalni Heart Expedition and deal 12 points of damage instantly. And also, if ever there was to be an Eldrazi ramp deck, this guy will be the reason. Turn 5 Ulamog? Come on.

    You may not like him, but he is by definition a 3.0.

  17. I am sure if you redo this ranking in a few month you will give Primeval Titan at least a 3.5.

  18. Thank you so much for not contributing to the “Primeval Titan syndrome”. People should realize that it’s not on the same power level as elspeth, vengevine or BSA and its price should reflect that.

  19. Fauna Shaman looks kinda like my invitational card

    Planter Mage
    1 Mana Green Mana
    Creature – Human Wizard Gardener
    2/1
    Green Mana, Sacrifice a creature: Search your library for a creature card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

  20. Lasse Nørgaard

    Two of greens commons just got a trample-upgrade in M11, and Giant Growth wasen’t even in the top 5, what gives?

    I remember back in 9th where it was perfectly acceptable to 1st pick Giant Growth over Dark Banishing (in fact it was more often than no, the correct pick).

    I think you overvalue manafixing, or your top5 is too influenced by sealed. In draft I would take Giant Growth, Garruks Companion and Llanowar Elves over GIant Spider, Sylvan Ranger and Cultivate (in no specific order).

  21. “What are you at?” ZING! Now I want to draft Hornet Sting. Now I have to play AROUND Hornet Sting. You guys are always shaping the metagame as you like ¬¬

  22. *Grammar Gestapo*

    ‘The slime is resistent ***too*** removal’

    Hey Zaiem, spellcheck much?

    Thanks for the write ups and great site, willing to proofread for tech.

    😎

  23. Fauna shaman is WAY overrated imo. The card is slow and unreliable so making a real combo deck out of it is out of the question. What remains then is just playing him in a deck that plays other quality creatures that are good to search out and/or to put in your graveyard which would put him in something like NLB or naya. The thing is though that the upgrading your birds to a BBE is nice but doesn’t seem worth playing a 2/2 guy and using mana to activate it. There are also other good ways to turn your small guys into sizeable threats like sword of vengeance which just seem more reliable.
    Also i’m confident the green titan will turn out to be the stronger card then the black titan, which is why I think your rating system sucks. A narrow roleplayer may be a much stronger card then a widely applied card but would get a lower rating in your system. For example if lion’s eye diamond would be printed today you would give it a 3.0 probably while something like grave titan gets a 4.0 which just feels wrong.

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  25. Hydra is quite strong. An x/x will work into the curve nicely. And the regrow is a nice perk, but the threat of it will probably do more for you than actually getting there. Still, getting him double blocked and having the trick is usually a blowout.

    Also fauna shaman is fine in limited. I got blown out by a deck that got it p1p1 and was built around, but even later in the draft it opens a lot of doors to your deckbuilding.

  26. strong agree on Primeval Titan not actually being all that good. i think its price is driven by speculative enthusiasm for some kind of massive ramp deck that people are trying to build with him. but there’s no deck there, at least not yet, and maybe never. seems likely to come down in price pretty soon.

  27. im trying 4 wall of vines in my eldrazi deck, just to help accelerate my overgrowns. but ive yet to test it out, and they will probably get replaced by gargoyle sentinels.

  28. Is it just me or is the “Article and Video Archive” link not working? Hasnt been working for a few days but all the other pages are fine.

  29. Hi Louis,

    I wanted to brew some ideas for how Fauna Shaman could be used:

    There are three benefits that Shaman has over Survival of the Fittest

    1) Since it’s a creature, it can search for itself should it be the target of removal.

    2) Since it’s a creature, it can be a part of a creature recursion Engine (Recurring Nightmare, etc).

    3) Since it’s a creature, it can be Aether Vialed into play.

    The third benefit was what really stuck out to me. I’m not a big fan of the Breakfast or Life decks, but I see that they can get the entire combo out through countermagic with an aether vial in play. Shaman is a card that can search for both “halves of the combo”.

    Thank you for the article.

  30. Quote: I don't get the "what are you at?" joke, can somebody explain?

    Players with burn in hand have a tendency to ask this question about their opponents’ life total shortly before they burn them out. It’s out of place for Green’s 1 damage and it’ll be funnier when you actually kill them with it.

  31. One other note about the Hydra. It interacts favorably with Deathtouch. Sadly when I first played against it I did not read it well enough and ran my Acidic Slime right into it. Two heads came off, the deathtouching damage was prevented, and it grew four more heads. Please learn from my stupidity.

  32. There are Tens of thousands of THG events played every year. It’s like a factor of ten over tournaments. Hunter’s Feast seems pretty Decent in THG. Pay 4, gain 12 life, and has interesting potential in other Multiplayer formats. I’m a big fan of THG Core Set limited, since you don’t usually get stuff like Malfegor’s Breath just breaking the format.

    I play Nature’s Spiral in EDH, I would say it’s one of green’s staples that is usually as good if not better then recollect, and cheaper and easier to find ($$) then regrowth. It’s obviously not Eternal Witness, but if you have some way to recoup a sorcery engine (Anarchist recursion for instance), it can get pretty sick card advantage for a Green deck.

  33. Wow it’s COMMON? So in a THG draft you could pick up 4 or 5… oh my word.

    Packleader is interesting with Nissa, some pump, and some elves, but that doesn’t seem strong enough to be a deck. But then again, Didn’t Primordial Sage saw a bit of play right? Like in Extended Elves or something? Obviously enters the battlefield and casting a spell are completely different, so in this case he draws me a card off Vengevine recursion.

    Seems OK. Standard isn’t about engines, but I like the potential.

  34. I have a question: What do you use to record your drafts with and what editing program do you use to make the size acceptable for youtube?

    Thanks for your help

  35. To whoever called Hydra a 2.0…no way. You say that it is under the curve whenever you cast it, and this is true, but that is true of virtually every X spell. It is the fact that you have a hill giant if you need it, a 4/4 for 5 if you need it, a 5/5 for 6 if you need it…etc that makes it so good. If you topdeck it late game, it comes into play as something far too big to be killed and starts smashing face. It is rarely a blowout, but it is its versatility that makes it so good. You should be taking it over any green common, and pretty much any common that isn’t removal.

  36. fauna shaman would be alot better of squee were around, birds are ok with her but gotta spend up to 5 mana and 2 turns just to set it up, now if squee were around, shed be super card advantage

    in legacy though i just feel as though shes a bad survival of the fittest and i really dont wanna waste a 2 drop slot on her when i could be playing survival, goyf, meddling mage, dark confidant, or counterballence instead…

    shes just too slow for legacy…

  37. Giant Spider is such a great role player for the green deck. If you get multiples out to block, it makes all but the beefiest attackers stay home, and as LSV noted, kinda just demolishes most white creatures.
    I would gladly play 4 Giant Spiders in a draft, and take them fairly highly, just below good removal and bombs.

  38. @ Tammuz:

    Aether Vial might change the “too slow factor”. Consider the fact that some players are putting Merfolk Sovereign and Goblin Ringleader into their decks. These are 2/2’s for 3 and 4 mana respectively. Admitedly, they have abilities, but those abilities don’t do anything unless they are placed in the correct context. That context consists of creature synergies along with Aether Vial. I think that Aether Vial will prove to be the “correct context” for Fauna Shaman as well, as Vialing him in at end of turn both neglects his cost and allows him to tap on your next turn.

  39. Hi,

    I wanted to mess around with the Fauna Shaman Idea a little bit. Here was the result:

    4 Aether Vial
    1 Harmonic Sliver
    4 Tarmogoyf
    4 Cabal Therapy
    1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
    3 Thoughtseize
    4 Fauna Shaman
    4 Survival of the Fittest
    1 Loyal Retainers
    1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    1 Goblin Sharpshooter
    1 Anger
    1 Basilisk Collar
    1 Stoneforge Mystic
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Big Game Hunter
    1 Umezawa’s Jitte

    I don’t know whether this deck is good, but a turn 1 Aether Vial gives you a lot of innevitability towards putting an Iona into play, as the entire combo, assuming you have Fauna Shaman, is uncounterable. This isn’t the fastest way to get an Iona, but it’s the only way that can’t be countered. The equipment are in here because you need to justify playing bad creatures with good effects.

  40. Everyone wants to jump on Primeval Titan as overhyped. Compare it to BSA, It’s bigger, doesn’t die to the M11 “Baneslayer answers” Plummet and Combust and even if it does die before you untap it still affects the game just by resolving.

    Vengevine was $40 for a month before he started hitting top 8 lists and was only recently finding success in lists built around him. M11 will be in the same supply as Rise so I wouldn’t expect Primeval to bottom out lower than $30.

  41. In Army-land you are supposed to say the number three as “tree” over radios… for some reason this makes me laugh all the more at the Awakener Druid “typo”

    Also, “Ooze and Ahhs” is pretty epic.

  42. wow I never thought you would say that you prefer sylvan ranger to borderland ranger in constructed! It was played for a while in jund because he helped fixing mana and was a 2/2 that could actually do decent damage. A 1/1 won’t be useful at all, except for chumpblocking but in that case rampant growth is probably better as it accelerates. This just looks like a weaker elvish visionary.

  43. that makes perfect sense, Im kicking myself for not getting the joke, as I play with mountains 99 percent of the time

  44. @ grizzly bears
    Come on LSV the pennant is baseball, da bears is football, I’m ashamed.

  45. @lsv: I think you undervalue Sylvan Ranger in Limited a bit. Check out the curve of Green’s dudes-your only common options for 1-2 are Elves, Bears, and Ranger. Elves and Bears are both rather poor, so if you don’t want your early game to be total ass, you need to scoop up Rangers before they all get taken.

  46. @Jim Storrie

    I’d agree that Ranger is better than Bears most of the time, but L. Elves is a lot better than Ranger under most circumstances. Elves actually accelerate you even when you’re not mana-screwed, plus the fact that they come down on turn 1. Granted, if you are mana-screwed, or if you’ve got a splash color you want quick access to, then the Ranger is better, but otherwise, I’d take the Elves every time.

  47. Primeval titan is best titan hands down.

    ez to ramp into with cobra/explore/oracle mul daya/ garruk/ and list goes on… and this card is the best against control based decks packing mass removal

    He is SUPER EZ 3.5 since it is simple for decks to just revolve around this guy…gettin eye of ugin+ temple for big eldrazi guys is ez way to go, GUR Control with this guy as the star should be a list to consider…

    the black titan is great also, but i somehow feels he is too similar to broodmate dragon though, and the dragon never got near $30…also dragon has evasion and a path kills titan kinda dead and leaving just 2x small 2/2’s to finish your opponent instead of a 4/4 flier, wall of omens and anything else can block those ground critters while a 4/4 dragon isnt so ez to handle….but that’s just my opinion

    i cant believe the low rating primeval titan got though, very unreal

  48. @TugaChampion
    The thing is, the Sylvan Ranger lets you cast BBE/Jace/Elspeth/VV on T3, which is huge.

    4 drops are insane in standard right now, and it’s much better to cast a 4 drop on T3 than a 5 drop on T4.

  49. If only you could rewrite the part about prime titan haha. Oh how things always look in retrospect

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