Saturday, September 28, 2013

Theros EDH Set Review, Part 5: Green

It's 2:00 am and I can't sleep. Hopefully this will, later on, help to explain the lack of a proper introductory paragraph.

Hopefully, the review itself will be coherent.

In what world is 2/3 of an Ancestral Recall not appealing?

Well, okay, that's not an entirely fair assessment, as this is a bit more conditional than just "G: Draw two." Enough of a difference that this looks less like 66% of a Recall and more like 100% of a dud.
Potentially big, but way too vanilla. No evasion, no ETBF effects, no value.
Generic and subpar. Not sure this makes the cut even in Enchantress. Maybe Mono-Green Enchantress?
Poor choice for ramp when there are so many better, more traditional offerings out there.
When will we stop the vicious cycle of Green-on-Green violence?
I generally don't like mana dorks that cost ONE in EDH - allowing your opponents Wrath effects to come with a free Stone Rain or two is just terrible value. That said, some Mono-Green players will be happy with this.
Nylea is pretty fantastic, but the mana cost on that activated ability is really high. I complained about Purphoros' ability earlier, but this one feels like it costs even more, but does even less. Still mass-Trample is good for some decks, and an Indestructible 6/6 with Trample is good for a lot of decks. This is one god, though, where you really need hitting that Devotion mark to be reliable, as she really isn't quite good enough as just an Enchantment.

Obviously you play her in Stonebrow, though, because I mean, c'mon...
Yep. I just love making my lands vulnerable to MORE types of removal!
How friggin' sad is it that, these days, a 6/6 for five mana with all upside abilities just fails to impress me? Pretty sad, that's how. I mean, it's impressive enough in it's stats that it should get some play, but somehow I see this guy as just a trussed-up Craw Wurm pretending to be a better card than it is.

I would love it for it's anti-Akroma potential, if Akroma were still the big, bad, scary bitch she used to be.
Well, it took me until the final card to realize that all the Emissaries cost about a bazillion mana to Bestow...
 ... but if you thought Bestow was pricey, check out some of these Monstrosity cards. Dang. Of course this one has a handy cost-reduction ability built right in. But even if this was just straight 10/10 for GGGG would anyone play it? Well, when's the last time you saw a Ghoultree in action?
Following the trend for most Monstrosity cards, this is a really efficient vanilla beatstick, seemingly with an upside, but a prohibitively costly activated ability. This one seems marginally more playable than most. As expensive as the Monstrosity can be, you can often get decent value out of just activating it for 3 mana - I mean it already kills Consecrated Sphinx at that point, which already makes this way better than the Reach Giant up above.
It's a shame this activated ability costs so much, because it has some unique and interesting multiplayer implications. You'll play this, imagining you might get to activate it and magically get a 2-for-1 by forcing an awkward block when two opponents are involved in combat. But, realistically, that isn't likely to happen very often at all. Maybe once, but after you catch an opponent off guard the first time, they'll remember in the future exactly why you're playing such a janky card.
As much as I love Scry 2, there's no way I'm paying a premium of 2 mana just to add it to my Naturalize.

Meh. Not really that great as an anti-Blue card, but as a giant hasty beater it could do... still seems largely mediocre to me.
More like Bow of Crazy Value! I don't know what any of these abilities, save the Damage Flyers one, have to do with archery, flavorwise, but the Swiss Army knife approach certainly works mechanically. Mass deathtouch is insanely good, too. It's about as close to "all your creatures are unblockable" as you can get, so 3 mana in Green seems like a real bargain. This definitely competes with Thassa's for "Best God Weapon" in the set.
As I said before, I don't like mana dorks.
Hey look! It's been a while since I've seen a Kev Walker illustration this good. What happened to that guy? I remember when he used to do stuff like Commander Greven il-Vec or Lightning Helix.

Oh well, he DID do Jhoira of the Ghitu, though, so that alone buys him enough goodwill to automatically forgive about a hundred less illustrations.

Well, surprisingly Green didn't do too well in this set. They get the best of the God Weapons and a couple of other treats, but not a lot to get excited over. Here's my top 5 picks:

5. ... I got nothin'.
4. Arbor Colossus
3. Nylea, God of the Hunt
2. Polukranos, World Eater
1. Bow of Nylea

That Arbor of Colossus even made the list, and I couldn't find a 5th card at all is damning. I'm not even over the moon for #2 or #3, though they're certainly playable. Really, the Bow is singlehandedly propping Green up in this set.


  1. To take down a Consecrated Sphinx with Polukranos you need 13 not 3 mana. It deals X damage not adds counters and fights a creature. This makes him far worse, but worry not, I've also got his ability wrong at first.

  2. You're right, thanks. In my defense I wrote this portion of the set review at like 4:00 am after a prolonged fit of insomnia.

  3. According to MaRo the flavor on the bow is supposed to represent the four seasons.
    Spring - Growth
    Summer - Hunting
    Fall - Harvest
    Winter - Hibernation

    1. Huh. That actually makes sense now. Thanks!

  4. Nylea does not give herself Trample. Like Heliod doesn't give himself Vigilance.

    Boon Satyr sees constructed play, and its only a really good combat trick for voltron like Uril, Kor SpiritDancer, etc.

  5. I generally don't like mana dorks that cost ONE in EDH - allowing your opponents Wrath effects to come with a free Stone Rain or two is just terrible value. Do you not play sol ring because of austeere command?

    How is wrath effects a reason to not play mana dorks? They are good in decks that want to cast things quickly, or decks that want creatures like Karador. Not play mana dorks because of wraths is ridiculous, and comparing a mana dork dying to a stone rain is even more so. They are not even comparable.

    1. A) There are WAY more Wrath of Gods in the format than there are Austere Commands. I see an Austere Command or Akroma's Vengence or similar approximately ONCE in every 10 games or so. I see a Wrath effect about TEN times every ONE game. So you do the math? Does the risk/reward of Sol Ring vs Austere Command = that of Llanowar Elves vs Wrath of God? Hell no.

      I do make exceptions, of course: I will absolutely run Noble Heirarch in Rafiq decks all day because the reward is far higher than just a small mana bump. I can also see a strong case for running a bunch of Llanowar elves and such in an Edric deck that has the countermagic to keep Wraths at bay.

      That'd be the reason I used the word "generally" - to indicate that, in a vacuum, I don't like them, but there are always cases where that rules might be bent or broken.

      And Wraths are a VERY good reason to not play mana dorks. You're just giving your opponent's sweepers more and more card advantage over you, AND allowing them to set back your mana production. Lands are just FAR less vulnerable in most EDH circles, where mass LD is frowned upon in most groups. Oh sure, I can barf a bunch of mana dorks out, then barf out some fatties, and overextend and be blown out by the first Wrath I see. I dunno, that sounds ridiculous to me.

      And how is a mana dork dying not comperable to a stone rain? You have 1 mana less now than you did before. That's pretty damn close to a Stone Rain. But it's actually WORSE than Stone Rain, if you understand the principles of card advantage and opportunity cost, which clearly you don't.