How To Play And Build With Green

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Med Magic: The Gathering color pie, green is known for its extensive giant monster repertoire, enchantment destruction, flight aversion, and producing tons of mana (mana ramp). Green is often considered the weakest single color in Magic, as its best cards are easily countered with effective mana removal spells present in almost every deck.



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Green likes to play creatures more than any other type of card. In comparison, these creatures have some of the highest power and toughness available in the game, and usually with a higher amount of mana. Despite its reputation as a “weak” color, green offers some pretty unique playing opportunities. It is a favorite if you love nature and all the countless creatures that live in the natural world.

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Green’s philosophy

Nissa of Shadowed Boughs art
Nissa of Shadowed Boughs by Yongjae Choi

Greene’s fundamental principle is the development of the natural world. In addition to the belief in the sanctity of nature, green also agrees with the values ​​found in nature.

These include the roles of predator and prey, the importance of community, accepting one’s place in the natural order, and the age-old rules of evolution that predict the strong survive while the weak fall by the wayside.

Green is not interested in any level of subtlety or planning, instead prioritizing the ideal that power is paramount above all else.

This is exemplified by green creatures, which tend to have higher Strength and Toughness scores than creatures of other colors.

Green believes that being the strongest creature on the battlefield is enough to ensure victory.

Green’s commitment to the natural order of things can lead many to see this color as carefree or without compassion. In fact, Green believes that sacrifice is a necessary component of harmony between all things, and that those who fail to make this connection will inevitably break the cycle of life.

It is a far loftier view of the world than many beings are capable of digesting, but it is one that ultimately respects the sanctity of all life as opposed to the importance of one’s own life.

As a result of sanctifying nature, green dislikes civilization, magic and art, he sees these things as insults to the natural world and tries to control a force of nature: a force better left to run its course.

Primary mechanics

Image of The Questing Beast card in Magic: The Gathering, with images by Igor Kieryluk
Searching beast by Igor Kieryluk

Green is home to a host of unique mechanics that are rarely, if ever, found in other parts of the color pie. However, the most important of these mechanics involves mana ramp, artifact and enchantment destruction, and various keywords that boost his bigger creatures.

Below is a table that includes all the mechanics found in green and brief descriptions of how they work.

A mechanic

Description

Mana Ramp

A permanent increase in the amount of mana you have available, with an effect that allows you to put more than one land on the battlefield per turn.

Destruction of artifacts and enchantments

Effects that destroy artifacts and enchantments.

to trample

A keyword that causes the extra damage a creature would deal to a blocker is transferred to its wielder’s hit points.

Reach

A keyword that allows a creature to block flying creatures.

Hexproof

A keyword that makes the creature untargetable by opposing spells and abilities.

Deathtouch

A keyword that makes any damage a creature deals lethal to other creatures.

Flash

A keyword that lets you play a creature with instant speed.

The fight

A removal spell that causes a creature you control and a creature your opponent controls to deal damage to each other. Works with lifelink and deathtouch.

Battlefield Card Draw

A card draw that depends on your current board state.

Against flying

Spells and effects that destroy the target creature with flying, as well as the reach keyword.

Regeneration

A creature ability that allows you to pay green mana to prevent a creature from dying.

Irrelevant

These cards simply say “This spell cannot be countered”.

Growth Spells (Combat Tricks)

Spells that grant your creatures temporary power and increase toughness.

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Key creature types

an elven dinosaur shepherd and a giant hydra

Each color in Magic has a signature creature type and an iconic creature type. Signature creatures are the creature types that print most often across all rarities. Meanwhile, the iconic creature type is the creature that best represents the color’s core identity.

Characteristic Creature Type: Elves

Elves are a popular creature type among fans, with Elf decks come in many forms across Magic: The Gathering including Modern, Pioneer and Legacy.

Elves are known for quickly flooding the board, the ability to produce absurd amounts of mana, and swung in a deadly alpha strike thanks to the acetemporary increase in strength and toughness.

Magic the Gathering Creature Types With the Most Cards Ezuri Renegade Leader

Some of the most popular elves in the history of magic include Llanowar Elves, Allosaurus Shepherd, Nettle Warden, Heritage Druid, Elven Visionary, and Ezuri Renegade Leader.

Elves with a more recent claim to fame include Swarm Shaman, Leaf-Crned Visionary, and Dwynen’s Elite. It’s also worth noting that Craterhoof Behemoth is an ancient finisher in decks.

Iconic Creature Type: Hydra

Hydras represent green because of their best the ability to grow endlessly, the fact that their heads are literally replaced by multiple heads, and their existence as multiple parts of one whole. So are they the most monstrous, primal and wild creaturethey are in all magic, and their power comes primarily from pure strength.

Gargos, Vicious Watcher card and blur

Powerful hydras printed in Magic’s past include Polukranos the Devourer of the World / Gluttonous Hydra / Protean Hydra / Zaxar the Exemplary / and Gargos the Vile Watcher.

Hydras that can be considered successful in recent years are Hungering Hydra / Polukranos Reborn / Polukranos, Unchained / Bristling Hydra / and Managorger Hydra. While not a Hydra, Doubling Season is a Hydra-inspired enchantment that is often referred to as the best green card in Commander.

Advantages

Garruk, a great axe-wielding barbarian.
Garruk, The Cursed Hunter by Dmitri Burmak

Green’s strengths lie in abuse higher strength and toughness ratings of his creatures and produce more mana than your opponent can keep up with.

Green’s versatility in dealing with artifacts and enchantments is more of a niche power, but still worth noting.

Big creatures

While it’s certainly good to have the biggest creatures on the battlefield, big creatures by themselves aren’t particularly helpful in winning a game of Magic. This is due to the combat advantage that blocking players have over attacking players.

Players who declare blockers can choose which creatures deal damage to each other and can also assign multiple blockers to one creature. Furthermore, chump blockers he can sense even the largest creatures unusable for multiple plants.

Worldspine Wurm

This often results in scenarios where your big creatures become much less impactful than it might seem at first glance.

However, large creatures with keywords like trample, reach, hexproof and deathtouch they are much more effective as these keywords allow them to be a more threatening offensive force.

Additionally, using large creatures with battle spells and battle tricks can easily lead to outcomes where you end up trading your opponent 2 for 1. Large creatures are a great power, but only when used with other cards and abilities.

Mana Ramp

One of the problems with big creatures is that they cost a lot of mana. Fortunately, green has access mana ramp to help you produce more mana in the early game.

Mana ramp is usually best in dedicated mana ramp decks that try to get a ton of lands onto the battlefield and then cast an extremely powerful card that can win the game by itself.

Topiary Stomper

If you spend more mana on cards than your opponent, chances are you’ll win. However, the problem arises when you run out of cards in your hand or don’t provide enough protection to survive until the later turns where you can spend your mana.

Consequently mana ramp is best used with cards that give you early defense they also give you priority on the card.

It can be said that mana ramp is a card advantage in and of itself, as it puts extra lands on your side of the battlefield that you would otherwise have to draw. As said, you’ll still need some spells that provide actual card advantage when you unlock a deeper mana pool.

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Weaknesses

Soldiers organized for battle
The Collected Company of Franz Vohwinkel

As mentioned in the introduction, green is very weak to removal spells which are some of the most frequently played cards in the game.

Green can also be seen as weak to aggression, although newer green decks have actually taken on the aggressor role themselves, so it’s not as big of an issue as it used to be. Another type of card that green has historically struggled with is counterspells.

Removal

There’s no worse feeling in Magic than paying a ton of mana for a huge creature only to have your opponent immediately remove it for just two or three mana on their side. Unfortunately, this is why green is often the weakest color in Magic.

Go For The Throat card and background art

Removal spells are a key component of almost every deck in the Magic metagame, so you can’t avoid the distinct possibility that your opponent has removal in hand.

However, you can play around with countering removal by using creatures with hexproof, decoy removal spell use on your smaller creaturesand include cards in your deck like Tyvar’s Stand that provide temporary protection against removal.

Counterarms

Okay, so there’s one worse feeling in Magic than seeing your creature with a lot of mana get removed right away, and that’s when it doesn’t even enter the battlefield. Counterhands are extremely effective against high mana cards, and green is full of creatures and other cards with high mana value.

Counterspell Stephen Daniele - MTG Funny Flavor

Thankfully, there are some green cards like Carnage Tyrant that cannot be countered. However, this is definitely an exception to the rule. You can play counterspells the same way you can play removal by inviting opposing counterspells into your low key plays.

Unfortunately, you’re still largely at the whim of your opponent in these cases, so keep your fingers crossed that they don’t see that bead of sweat on your forehead.

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