Magic Origins Limited Review: Green

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Posted July 10, 2015 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Nerdy Bits

Before this review begins, I thought I would break down my scoring system:

10: An absolute bomb, you will always pick this card, even if it’s pack three and you aren’t in its colors. In Sealed, you will splash this card no matter what.

9.0-9.9: While still a bomb, you may not necessarily splash this card if you can’t support it.

8.0-8.9: While maybe not a bomb, these cards are still first pickable, either for being an exceptional creature or for being prime removal.

7.0-7.9: Early pick creatures and playable removal, as well as other highly playable non creature spells.

6.0-6.9: Playable cards that you won’t be excited about playing.

5.0-5.9: These are the cards that you’ll be forced to play, but may be actively unhappy about playing them.

4.0-4.9: Generally cards designed specifically for Constructed that simply don’t gel in Limited, ie specific hate cards. Good only in the sideboard.

3.0-3.9: If you’re playing this, something went wrong along the way.

2.0-2.9: These are the dregs of the pack, that go as late at as the basic lands – sometimes later.

1.0-1.9: Set these cards on fire. They’re worthless to you, and yes, this is true even in EDH.

 

Mythic Rares

Nissa, Vastwood Seer//Nissa, Sage Animist

While the Planeswalker side of Nissa is undoubtedly powerful in Limited formats, getting her to that point is exceptionally difficult. While having seven lands on the battlefield isn’t unimaginable, it’s going to take a while (probably longer than seven turns) to flip the Vastwood Seer. And until that point, you’re left with a 2/2 that doesn’t scale particularly well, and is vulnerable to removal. Of course, you could play her once you get to six lands, and flip her immediately off her triggered ability. If you do manage to flip her, you’re probably going to win, seeing as Nissa is either going to be drawing you cards or pumping out creatures every turn.

Score: 7.5

The Great Aurora

This card is designed as a gigantic reset button… for EDH decks. Nine mana is a lot for this type of effect, especially since your opponent could potentially get more value off of it than you. And if you’re really far behind, this is unlikely to help anyways, since your opponent can just set up again faster than they did the first time around.

Score: 3.5

Woodland Bellower

With Woodland Bellower, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. There are plenty of excellent cheap creatures in this set, especially in Green. You may not be bringing a ton of power and toughness to the board, but there are some ETB effects that are more than worth tutoring for. Plus, this guy is a 6/5 Beast, so any creature you grab puts you well ahead of what you should be doing with six mana.

Score: 9.0

Rares

Animist’s Awakening

Occasionally, Animist’s Awakening will have really solid synergy, but that hinges on picking up specific other cards. Sadly, it isn’t the type of card you’ll want to play in Limited. You’ll have to pump a bunch of mana into it to actually get significant value, and it doesn’t impact the board all that much the turn you play it.

Score: 6.5

Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen

A 3/4 for four is a bit below curve, but Dwynen is exactly the Green card you want to see in a pack. It synergizes exceptionally well with the Elves deck, which is one of Origins premiere archetypes. It can pump up other utility creatures, making overcosted creatures with great ETB and triggered abilities potent threats. But play it into an empty board, and you’re likely to have problems.

Score: 8.5

Evolutionary Leap

This is really not a good card in Limited. There’s too much variability in card quality in Limited decks to ensure you’re getting value off of this card. Eventually you’re going to hit a bomb, but until then you’re just playing creatures to throw them away, and that’s just silly.

Score: 5.0

Gaea’s Revenge

This is probably the best creature in the set, for Limited. Obviously, “Can’t be countered” is largely going to be irrelevant, except in rare instances. But an 8/5 with Haste that dodges all removal that isn’t Green? Yeah, good luck dealing with an opposing copy of this card. You’re always going to want to take this card, and even if you’re not already in Green, it’s enough of a reason to get into Green. It’s not quite a 10, but it’s pretty damn close.

Score: 9.5

Herald of the Pantheon

Considering that Green isn’t a color in the Enchantment archetype for Limited, this card just seems out of place. It’s a bear with massive upside, I’m just not quite sure it has a home.

Score: 6.0

Honored Hierarch

If you get this guy Renowned, he will put in work. He can attack as a 2/2 and still accelerate your mana, due to Vigilance. Unfortunately, opponents will gladly block it any chance they get, and since there are a few one drop’s with Renown running around, one drops gain a lot of value to just be traded away. Still, Honored Hierarch is probably going to be a pretty early pick.

Score: 7.0

Managorger Hydra

Three mana 1/1’s really aren’t a good idea. Sure, this one can get huge, but it’s going to take a long time. Plus, in the late game, neither player is casting as many spells as they were early on, so he loses a lot of potency. Plus, your opponent’s spells will be mostly creatures larger than this guy, holding him off for quite some time.

Score: 6.5

Nissa’s Revelation

As much as I personally love this card, it’s probably not Limited playable. You’ll dig really deep, and could potentially gain a lot of life and draw a lot of cards. Unfortunately, it’s no Sphinx’s Revelation. At Sorcery speed, and reliant on you hitting a big enough creature, this probably just isn’t doing enough.

Score: 5.5

Outland Colossus

A 6/6 for five that could potentially be a 12/12 is super aggressively costed. By the time this guy starts to attack, your opponent will likely have to chump block or use a removal spell to prevent it from getting Renowned. It demands an immediate answer, and if your opponent doesn’t have it, you’re looking at a game that will quickly fall into your grasp.

Score: 8.5

Uncommons

Conclave Naturalists

This is a solid hate card that can still be played without targets, which means you can start it in the main board. No matter the scenario, this isn’t a horrible card to have just as a 4/4, but it can help to fight against two major Limited archetypes.

Score: 7.5

Dwynen’s Elite

Three power, three toughness, two creatures, and a relevant creature for two mana? Now that’s a bargain if I’ve ever seen one. This is a premiere uncommon, and one you could pick over some rares.

Score: 7.8

Elemental Bond

This effect was really great when it was on a creature. When it’s on an Enchantment, it’s just not going to have any board impact, and that’s a serious problem. This card is playable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should be playing it.

Score: 5.9

Gather the Pack

This card is just fine, especially if you have graveyard synergies. Lacking those synergies, this card is still fine, because it will likely generate value. That said, you’re basically adding two mana to whichever creature’s mana cost you choose.

Score: 6.5

Joraga Invocation

This is a removal spell disguised as Overrun, which is decidedly worse than normal Overrun. Of course, you’re likely to get some of your opponent’s creatures, but this isn’t really the game ender you would hope it to be.

Score: 6.8

Skysnare Spider

A six mana 6/6 that has upside is kind of hard to believe, but it exists. Neither Vigilance nor Reach are amazing abilities, but they definitely have applications in Limited, especially for Green, which uses its creatures as removal. And if they can remove fliers this way, all the better for your average Green deck.

Score: 7.5

Somberwald Alpha

Somberwald Alpha messes up combat math pretty significantly. In a sense, it makes you want your opponents to block, especially if their creatures won’t survive combat. You can just run them over with the Alpha’s activated ability, and that’s just stellar.

Score: 7.8

Sylvan Messenger

In the Elf deck, Sylvan Messenger is a key player. It may only be a 2/2, but it will effectively draw you a card when it enters the battlefield. If you feel you can get that upside consistently, then you should really be playing this card. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much outside of a dedicated Elf deck.

Score: 7.5

Undercity Troll

Any reasonably costed creature that can be Regenerated is going to be pretty solid in Limited. Dodging removal and easily surviving combat are both important pillars of solid Limited creatures, and the Troll does both of those. Plus, it has Renown, so it could scale fairly nicely into the later stages of the game.

Score: 7.3

Valeron Wanderers

This card relies on you having lots of creatures with Renown, and being successful in getting them through. The likelihood of that happening with any kind of frequency is not high, and so Valeron Wanderers simply isn’t going to generate all that much value, most of the time. It will do so on occasion, but probably isn’t good enough to be picked highly.

Score: 6.5

Zendikar’s Roil

Even though this Enchantment may not impact the board immediately (though it could, if you’re holding a land), it will more than make up for it over the course of the game. It makes all of your draws live, and allows you to pump out a 2/2 pretty consistently for a couple of turns. It’s not a do nothing enchantment, because you will draw lands. It’s not an exceptionally high pick, but you should avoid passing this too late in the draft.

Score: 7.6

Commons

Aerial Volley

This is actually a really solid card. It can take out up to three fliers, for just one mana, or a larger one, but still only for a single mana. The problem is, if your opponent has no fliers, this card is just dead. It’s purely a sideboard card, but it’s one you should pick up fairly early, though don’t over-prioritize it.

Score: 7.0

Caustic Caterpillar

A 1/1 for one with a decent ability that requires a sacrifice and two mana? Not exactly the type of sideboard card you want to be playing.

Score: 5.0

Elvish Visionary

YUP. Even if you’re not in Elves, if you’re green, you take this card. It may be a 1/1 for two mana, but it cycles, and its creature type is highly relevant. Grab this card, it’s definitely great.

Score: 7.5

Hitchclaw Recluse

Unless you really need to answer dangerous fliers, you probably should avoid playing this guy. It’s a 1/4 for three, and Reach does not justify that mana cost. This isn’t a great card for a Green deck.

Score: 4.0

Leaf Glider

2/1’s for two are behind curve, and this one doesn’t have great upside. It accelerates your mana, sure, but it may not necessarily be worth playing in Limited. However, it is an Elf, which increases its playability for sure.

Score: 7.0

Llanowar Empath

Not only is this card a 2/2 that sets up your draws, it’s most likely going to draw you a card. Since Green decks typically are creature heavy, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which you won’t be getting a card off of this guy.

Score: 7.3

Mantle of Webs

This is another anti-flier sideboard card, and it’s not even a great one at that. Play it if you have to, but try to pick up better tricks and answers.

Score: 6.0

Might of the Masses

If you have any board state, this combat trick starts to get ridiculous. It’s embarrassing if you have a single creature on the board but if you’ve got a presence, this is always a nice card to have in your arsenal.

Score: 7.0

Nissa’s Pilgrimage

If you’re looking to ramp, this is a fine way to do so. Still, it isn’t necessarily worth a card, so you shouldn’t necessarily be playing it all the time.

Score: 5.5

Orchard Spirit

A 2/2 with pseudo-flying for three? This seems more like a white or blue card than a Green one. Unfortunately, it can’t block fliers, but it’s still a solid evasive threat for any Green deck.

Score: 7.6

Pharika’s Disciple

Spending four mana on a creature that you’re probably going to trade off immediately isn’t great. Of course, it’s likely to get Renowned, because opponents won’t want to block it. Still, Deathtouch is generally better on defense than on offense, and high power Deathtouch creatures are never the ones that really stand out.

Score: 6.2

Reclaim

While this is good insurance to have, it’s not particularly exciting, and it’s a mistake to pick this card highly. It’s a fine card, just not one that needs to be prioritized.

Score: 6.1

Rhox Maulers

By turn five, your opponents will have ways of profitably blocking this guy, and so just bashing to get Renown is not a great strategy. A five mana 4/4 Trampler is still highly playable, but the Renown is, in most cases, going to function like flavor text on this card.

Score: 6.5

Timberpack Wolf

If you pick up multiples of this guy, you’re going to be end up being pretty happy. Bears are always playable, especially when they have potential upside that’s as high as this guy’s is.

Score: 7.0

Titanic Growth

While it’s not Giant Growth, it’s still a really solid combat trick. Exciting it is not, but highly playable? That’s an entirely different story.

Score: 7.0

Vastwood Gorger

Oh, look, a big Green fatty! What a surprise! This card is fine. Playable, but nowhere near exceptional.

Score: 6.0

Vine Snare

Ugh, a fog. These are just not good at all in Limited.

Score: 2.0

Wild Instincts

Ah, here it is, Green’s removal spell. It’s not the best fight card I’ve ever seen, but it gets the job done, and it’s probably Green’s best common in the set.

Score: 8.0

Yeva’s Forcemage

There are great ways to use Yeva’s Forcemage. It’s a 2/2, but it brings along four power for just three man, at least for a single turn. It’s one of Green’s better commons, and is probably the first Green common you’ll pick that isn’t Wild Instincts.

Score: 7.8

 


About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.