The Combat Phase — Busted At Three, and Future Sight Green

After a week’s holiday in sunny Berlin, Jamie is back with a bang! Today he shares the latest incarnation of Busted at Three, his G/B Standard deck. Regionals is coming, and Jamie has cast his die. He also takes a long look at the Green cards of Future Sight. For the thoughts and concerns of this Green Mage Extraordinaire, read on!

After last week’s article, I received a great deal of feedback both in the forums and on Magic Online. I wake up Tuesday morning, sign in for some games and find this typical hilarious note.

“You’re making me sad. I’m going to help you playtest because I’m sick of you sucking.” — Alan Webter.

I don’t know why it is I attract the hilarious acerbic guys. Joshie’s not playing Magic right now; he’s too busy being a man-whore since he’s single.

Taking some advice from the boards, I make yet more changes to “Busted at Three.”

As per suggestions in the forums, I have removed two Elves. There are times when it infuriates me to see a “busted at three” spell and no acceleration on the first turn, but not as much as it infuriates me to continue to draw Birds and Elves in the late game.

I loved the idea of Loxodon Warhammer, and added four to the deck for a few tournaments… and never drew them. Regardless of that, I did notice that the Gruul decks that I needed them against frequently ran Tin Street Hooligan. After realizing this, I swapped the Warhammers for Moldervine Cloaks. They have already been much better. A 5/5 Hypnotic Specter is out of Char range. The dredge ability helps against the counterspell decks, turning every mana producer into a threat and feeding the Svogthos. You only need to counter Warhammer once to keep it from making your multiple guys threats. Dredging the Cloak enough times can get you to a Grave-Shell Scarab, which is good against almost everything but Dragonstorm. Cloaks come down and attach a turn faster than equipping a Loxodon, so they are speedier in games you need to beat down fast.

I took out the Stupors for Ravenous Rats, but didn’t like them as much. Control decks are versatile enough to be able to handle choosing and discarding one of their cards for one of my cards, and after that, the Rat ain’t much of a threat. Against Dragonstorm you really need them discarding as much as possible. After sideboarding, a Stupor and a Mind Rot are a very good start against Dragonstorm.

Nekrataal has always been good to me. I can never get enough of the guy, and with a Cloak he’s a first striking monster.

As you can see, the sideboard changed as well. I added in Spike Feeder and again, reality hit me after a few games. Burning-Tree Shaman has become a big card again in Gruul, and removing a counter from the Feeder gets you one life instead of two. Sub-dash-optimal. Also, he’s a 2/2 versus a Kird Ape — Awkward. You need a 2/3, or even the 3/1 Centaur Safeguard. I choose to go with the Golgari Brownscale because he does exactly what we need against Gruul. An endless blocker that gains life, allowing us to get a Cloak or a Scarab in the bin to stop the rush of weenies. Also, he’s not a bad card against heavy counters.

Seize the Soul? More like “Seize your junk and squeeze.” More like “Wrath all your guys, all my guys live. And I get a 1/1 flier. To attach a Cloak to.”

As others have pointed out, Keening Banshee doesn’t solve the problems this deck has. It doesn’t even kill a Kird Ape. Seize the Junk, on the other hand, kills everything Gruul throws at it. Seize the Soul is excellent right now, since the control decks work so hard on maintaining board control then playing one big creature. Seize the Soul not only removes that one big creature, but it also gives you another guy with which to attack. Sadly, yes, there are times when they kill your haunted token and you have to lose an Elf or a Viper, but those times are worth the risk.

Right now, with the changes made to main and side, the deck is terrible against White Weenie and Black Weenie. To which I can only think – “Who cares?” In the eight-man queues, you have Dragonstorm and Gruul. That’s it, baby.

Cards I thought about spending sixty tickets on and rejected: Damnation.

Sure it’s sexy, but I have 25 creatures I don’t feel like losing, and it does jack divided by squat against most control decks and Dragonstorm. And I just spent sixty tickets on Wrath. Besides, I like Seize the… um… Soul. And in the current meta, Seize the Soul might actually be better than Damnation, especially in this deck.

The testing of this version has been very promising, and it will probably be my deck for Regionals. Admittedly, it still loses far too often to Dragonstorm, but that mainly seems due to draws and luck rather than actual data. Can I really dismiss this deck after losing to Dragonstorm when they draw two Remands to stop my discard when they only have four counterspells in the entire deck? Can I really say this deck sucks versus Dragonstorm when I mulligan to five and they see two sideboard cards and I get a slow start?

Who knows? I might be ignoring reality. It just amazes me how many times Dragonstorm gets a Remand in their opening hand. Or how many times they draw Ignorant Bliss after sideboarding.

Did you miss me last week?

I was, at times, in Heaven… and then, hours later, in Hell.

I got my article in late to Craig last week, and spent Tuesday simply playing Magic and reading replies. I don’t remember what else, but Tuesday was a lazy day. Wednesday was harder than a day of deer hunting.

I remember the days of getting up at 4am, putting on layer after layer of clothes, slogging down stairs to a bowl of oatmeal and some coffee, and then walking into the woods by flashlight. The worst of those days were the days it was raining. Sitting against a wet tree, with a wet ass, and layer after layer of clothes getting consistently wetter.

Just as a side note, I like deer hunting. Right now, I’m not hunting because Vermont’s herd has been so mismanaged, the last thing the deer need is fewer of them in the woods. Vermont needs more deer, not more hunters. So I haven’t been for a few years. Of course, we Wakefields don’t take our deer hunting lightly. We get up before dawn, pack a lunch, and stay out all day. We come in when the sun goes down. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard, and being a night person, I dreaded the mornings. Especially the rainy mornings.

Yesterday was worse. Tickets went on sale for the San Isidro bullfighting season in Madrid.

Wendy and I awoke at 8:00, rolled over, and slept another hour. Then, with a fierce comic-book-hero-like determination, we arose, showered, dressed, and made our way to the subway, eventually to the Plaza de Toros. Wendy explained on the way that last year the police handed out numbers. When your number came up, you got to buy your tickets. If they were doing forty people an hour, and your number was 400, you knew to come back ten hours after they started.

The reality that confronted us when we emerged from the subway was a line five hundred people long, snaking from the window, around the plaza and back again. And the depressing, shocking information that they are not doing numbers this year. If you want tickets, you stand in line. And they’re breaking for lunch at 1:30. And if you want to keep your place, you stand in line while all the windows are shut and no one moves.

We joined the line from Hell.

The line moved glacially slow. After an hour in which we advanced ten feet, I advised Wendy to go home and get some work done. I’d hold our place. Unfortunately, her mobile phone was almost dead on its charge, and I hadn’t brought mine, and she wanted to have a way to contact me when I was close or if I needed her. So I headed home to get my phone while she stood in line.

I got back to the apartment and grabbed my phone, and more clothes since someone has opened the ancient cask of winter and it’s colder in Madrid than in Vermont right now… and it was starting to rain. I also changed shoes into something more suited to standing for nine hours. I checked my phone charge. It’d been plugged in for days.

I got nothing on the screen. Huh?

I plugged my phone back into the wall, and a little battery appeared saying “Charging Only.” In very faint blue letters I could barely see.

CRAP! Wendy was standing in the cold with four diet cokes in her bladder waiting for me to return, and I had a dead phone! The main purpose for me coming back here!

I let it charge for ten minutes and printed up the spoiler for Future Sight. Then I headed out the door to find a shivering, tired, rained-on beautiful Spanish girl with a full bladder, waiting to go home and get warm.

She handed me the umbrella, and I kissed her and told her to go get warm. She asked about the phone and I told her it was dead. I don’t know what’s going on with it. She decided to head home for a couple hours, charge both phones, get warm, and then come back.

She ducked into the subway and I started my long vigil.

It started to rain buckets five minutes later. Soon, there was a river flowing over my feet. Since the rain was going sideways, soon my legs were soaked. I offered the shelter of my umbrella to a guy in front of me with no hat, and tapped a woman on the shoulder standing in the rain with a cast on her foot and a crutch. She looked up at me, said a bunch of things in Spanish I didn’t understand, and gathered under the one-person umbrella with me and the other guy.

Twenty minutes go by, and it showed no signs of letting up.

And then Wendy arrived.

Moving from the train station to where I’m standing had soaked her hair and white shirt. Because, you know, I had the umbrella.

“I got half way home and found out your phone was turned off. It’s got a full charge.”
“I’m so sorry!”
“No problem. Call you soon.” And she disappeared into the rain.

In my defense, it’s not my phone. It’s her spare phone, and the instructions are all in Spanish. I’ve owned one cell phone in my entire life, and it didn’t turn off unless you turned it off manually. In other news, she looks great in a wet t-shirt.

I went back to my vigil. The rain let up, and then became a torrential downpour again. This cycle repeated itself for two hours, and then something happened.

One of the little old men Wendy was talking with at the beginning of the day started to yell at people in another section of the line, apparently for letting too many people in. Security was summoned. People started yelling and I wasn’t sure what is going on. I called Wendy at 4:30 and asked her to come down to explain it to me.

Another side note. No offense, but in my experience, Europeans SUCK at forming lines. [You’ve obviously never been to England… – Craig.] It’s really not that difficult a concept. If there is a line, you stand behind the last person in line. You don’t stand next to them. You don’t wander off and chat with a bunch of people, wander back, and stand next to random people who might or might not have been in front of you (since the line is four-people thick instead of one-person thick).

There were three grizzled old Spanish men. They were in front of us when Wendy and I arrived. Behind us was a man with a large yellow umbrella, who started talking with both them and Wendy. Soon he was beside them. Then he wandered off. Two of the men also wandered off and then came back to the first man, to stand beside him. The people in front of them were also of the same mindset. They started talking with the four men. Some of them wandered off, and then came back. One of the original three men came back and stood in front of the group of men to whom they’d started talking. The man with the large yellow umbrella came back and stood in front of him, and they all started talking.

This went on all day. Soon the line was eight-people thick, and the men who were originally standing in front of me were now to the right of me and eight feet forward. Beside me was a woman I had never seen before. She seemed to think she was ahead of me. I had no idea because the people I’m supposed to be behind had moved up twenty places. But not really, because they were standing beside the line, and not actually in it.

This as about the eleventy-billionth time this has happened to me in Europe.

Early last week, we were in Berlin. On our last day there, we visited Berlin Zoo. (I don’t recommend it.) There was a line four people wide. Wendy and I joined the end of it. The next people to join the line stood beside us.

I’m pretty sure I wanted to strangle them.

At the front of the line, it devolved into chaos. Multiple windows were open, with no rhyme or reason as to which person was next. After about seven minutes, Wendy saw no one being served at a window and said “hold our place, I’m going to see if I can get tickets there.”

The second she moved to the window, eight people followed her. Leaving their place in line, and ignoring the people ahead of them. Behind me, I heard English.

“Should we join them?”
“I don’t think so. We’re too late now.”
“It would only save five minutes anyway.”

I turned around and, blissfully ignorant of where these people might be from, blurted out “I find that Europeans don’t do lines very well.”
The woman turned to me. “No, they really don’t. We find it maddening.”
The gentleman addressed me “We can’t complain though. It’s worse where we’re from. We have a saying… ‘Second come, first served.’”
“Where are you from?”
“Ah, I’m American. They do lines well there. Ropes and security guards and signs.”
“Yes, we know. America is very organized. We go there sometimes just to regain our sanity.”

I laughed, and Wendy motioned me forward. She had tickets.

Meanwhile, back at the bull ring —

Wendy showed up and checked the story. She explained that some people were letting their friends into line over and over again to buy tickets, so the back of the line wasn’t moving even though the front was. One of the older gentleman we were originally beside had decided to become the hero of the people, and started making lots of accusations. His friends backed him up. The woman behind us started yelling things to the crowd to instigate them even more. More security was called. People calmed down just before it looked like a riot was going to start.

When we finally got up to where we can see the windows, we saw people ignoring the two hundred person lines and just sneaking into the front of the queue. And security was looking the other way! Our group kept alerting them to thirty or forty people trying to sneak in over the next ninety minutes, and they were shooed away once security saw what was going on. Once we turned the corner and could longer see all the windows, the shooing stopped. The security talked amongst themselves, and talked on cell phones as scalpers continued to dodge the line.

The windows were supposed to close at 7:30.

When the line moves ten feet an hour, and you guesstimate you are thirty feet away from the window, and you have three hours of window open time to get your tickets, and you have been standing in the rain for six hours… you start to get a little tense.

We arrived at 10:20am. It rained since 2:00pm We got our tickets at 7:20pm. Nine hours standing, most of it in the rain.

It was harder than deer hunting because I didn’t drink much in the morning for fear of having to pee all day long, and I didn’t have much coffee for the same reason. I completely missed my afternoon coffee until Wendy got there after five. When she showed up at 5:00pm, I’d had a cup of coffee and some oatmeal. I went and got some coffee and a chocolate donut to sustain me for the last two hours.

The day after that was for recovery. Wendy had phone interviews with people in America and India. I think I drank whiskey all day to try and warm up my frozen soul. The day after that we flew to Berlin. Wendy has a group of girlfriends with whom she watches movies on Wednesday. Said friends take trips together, and this year’s trip was to Berlin. Wendy and I were invited. We were invited late, so we took a separate plane but stayed in the same hotel. Over the next five days spent some time with them, but other days we just wandered around by ourselves.

Heaven — Me in a bar dancing with eleven women.
Heaven — Finally eating Wild Boar. Something I have wanted to do since I was a child reading “Asterix and Obelix.”
Heaven — Being called Ali Baba, The Sheik, and The Man for five days.
Heaven — Miraculously finding two cabs that were vans when all the women were cold and wanted to go home, hailing them, having them be unoccupied, and having all the women shouting “The Man! The Man!”

Hell — Standing in the rain for nine hours.
Hell — Eleven women speaking Spanish at once all through dinner when I don’t understand it yet.
Hell — Herding cats through Berlin. Women are such gatherers. Really not interested in going in a straight line to a destination but rather looking down side streets, wandering into random shops, stopping in front of buildings to read plaques, going into bars for a drink. Proceeding directly to one place was almost unheard of with this group.

Funny — Traveling with them through the subway through a tough part of town. Lots of men and women with chains as clothing accessories. Lots of people holding 40s and looking sullen and drunk. Me, plotting that, if any of the women got unwanted attention, I would immediately proclaim that all of these women were mine, and demand that everyone beat it. Knowing that moments later I would be pummeled unconscious and the women would then rescue me and claim how gallant (and stupid) I was. That would have been funny. Sadly, nothing like that happened.

Finishing up with some Magic —

My Future Sight Review

As usual, this review is only about Constructed, primarily about Standard, and mostly about Green as it stands on its own. Most of the time when I do a Green review for a set, it’s not just an “is this card good,” but it also asks such questions as “is Green getting the cards it needs to support its themes?” Red gets direct damage and dragons that are generally insane. Black gets discard and creature elimination. Blue gets bounce, card drawing, tutoring, flying, counterspells, token generation, ability to steal your permanents, the best creatures, the most instants, free beer, and a happy ending after every massage.

With Green, I generally hope to get creatures with interesting “comes into play” effects that usually destroy an artifact, enchantment, or both. Maybe stalling techniques like Stunted Growth. Token generation. Land destruction. Creatures that can only be targeted by their controller. Mana producing weenies.

Usually, when I ask for those things, I want them to be playable (of course).

Beacon of Creation — Playable.
Fertile Imagination — Not playable.

In Future Sight, Green returns to its glorious roots of “sharing” and big dumb fatties that don’t change the game state or affect the environment at all. I’ve posted about this before —

Why is Green’s sub-theme sharing? I love Nature’s Resurgence, and it almost always works to my benefit, but the fact is it doesn’t ALWAYS work to my benefit, and that sucks. Why can’t I use the Liege of Hollows in a tourney? This card is so close to being worth it for Green, but at the moment, it just sucks. Would it really have killed them to make it so only you get the tokens? And the Verdant Force — also a near tourney quality card as well. Or the Waiting in the Weeds — so close to being worthwhile, but still, it sucks. Mongrel pack, another card that could have been great, but since they gave it that wonderful “in combat” condition, the card just, well, sucks.) Eladamri’s Vineyard — another really cool card that shares with your opponent.

In another article, I wrote about how much I hate the fact that R&D sometimes seems to lose sight of what it is that Green is supposed to do.

The Ugly is the usual ugly for Green. No consistent theme. No land destruction other than Desert Twister. No playable enchantment elimination other than… um, Desert Twister. No playable Artifact elimination other than… um, Desert Twister… again. The Caustic Wasps may prove to be better than I think, but I don’t really think that they will. It really annoys me that they print Argothian Wurm and then don’t give us any support cards to make a deck around it. It annoys me that Sixth Edition seems to think that Green is about utility like Creeping Mold and Uktabi Monkey and Tranquil Grove. But no set released SINCE MIRAGE has had any good Artifact or Enchantment elimination. I just don’t get that.

This doesn’t mean that I am depressed about what Green got. Green got some amazing stuff and will continue to be equal to the other colors. That’s a very good thing.

The wrap up —

I ranted a while ago about how “Green Needs new Themes.” This set helps solidify some already growing themes for Green. I have long awaited cards that do a lot of what was introduced with this set. Many ways in this set to generate tokens. Many ways to lose a creature, and get card advantage off it. Many ways to turn useless draws into other draws, or good effects. Some good Fatties, and a re printing of Desert Twister. Really an amazing set.

But, well, I would have been a lot happier with the set if it had a delaying effect type spell like Plow Under. And it had a good playable enchantment elimination spell. And it had just a touch of land destruction. When was the last set that Green got land destruction? Tempest? What’s up with that?

Let’s take a look at Future Sight, now that the stage is set.

Baru, Fist of Krosa
I’m pretty sure this is awesome. I wasn’t sure though, so I went out onto the street and found a businessman.

“Excuse me sir, have you ever heard of the game “Magic: The Gathering’…?”
“Well, can you help me with something?”
“What do you think of this card?”
“It makes me want a beer, a shot of Jack Daniels, and to punch someone in the face.”
“Fascinating. Me too! I find your insights very helpful. Can I buy you a beer and some wings and show you some more cards, and get some word association from you?”

Centaur Omenreader
If this was Blue, it would say “As long as Centaur Omenreader is in play, creature spells you play cost 2 less to play, and they have Flash and Split Second.”

Then it would be good.

As it is, with the situational tapped condition, this just isn’t worth playing. History has already shown us that four mana for a 3/3 with a minor ability that sometimes might be good isn’t worth it. You can stack these next to your River Bear, Life Spinner, Greater Mossdog, Bull Hippo, Simic Ragworm, and Rootrunners.

Cyclical Evolution
As we sat at an outdoor café, sipping our beers, I showed my new friend this card.
He stared at it for a minute. “I don’t know what it does, but when I look at it, a strong feeling of déjà vu comes over me.”
“Déjà vu?”
“Yes, I’m remembering a time I had a very important biology exam the next morning. And instead of studying, I drank all night long. When I showed up for the exam, I threw up on the paper. And myself. And the professor.”

Edge of Autumn
Edge of Awful.

Force of Savagery
Seriously, Gaea’s and Glorious Anthem are mediocre cards. This is a card that requires you to build a deck around it, and it does nothing on its own. Cards that are amazing with another card, almost never happen to be played at the same time as the other card in a tournament. You will either get multiple Anthems and none of this card, or three of this card and no Anthems.

Heartwood Storyteller
Green — The color of sharing.

There has been some speculation on this card, and I must join the naysayers. Sure, you can build a deck around it like Bennie Smith did. (And a very nice looking deck too, I might add.) But I don’t think it’s ever going to be competitive.

You could play a deck that had some non-creature spells in it to make it more competitive, but then that whole sharing mechanic can, and will, bite you in the ass.

I would imagine you would get a card from this about 70% of the time before it dies. I can assure you Gruul doesn’t give two figs about this guy, and anything control-oriented is going to either counter him right off, ignore him, or bounce him and then counter him. Black will just kill this guy and you’ll get a card. Would this guy be worth it if he was a 2/3 for 3 that said “Draw a card when this comes into play?” Maybe. But this guy doesn’t even have that guarantee.

Honestly, no, I don’t care. It’s a big dumb fatty that comes out about the same time as I could play a real 5/5 using an elf. Green doesn’t need more big dumb fatties, we need things like Shapeshifters or Meloku or Keiga, or any other damn thing that makes your opponent actually wonder how the hell they are going to deal not just with the creature, but the effect its going to have when it dies or how the game state has changed with it in play.

And it doesn’t trample.

Kavu Primarch
Four for a 3/3. Eight for a 7/7. Both are awful. Oh, it has convoke? Oh, well, that changes everything! We all know how many amazing cards with convoke get played! Why the list is… well, one.

Llanowar Augur
Is this guy awful? Well, there aren’t enough ways to get Trample in Green. No, I’m not kidding. Trample on top of a Giant Growth a la Predator’s Strike is rare. Might of Oaks? Might of Old Krosa? Giant Growth? Gather Courage? Overwhelm? When it is available it’s usually overcosted. Like Wildsize.

So having a 0/3 blocker that turns into GG and Trample might not be that bad. Hey, he blocks Kird Ape. And with Anthem and Champion he might be able to even attack.

Wait… if you’re playing Anthem and Champion, why are you playing a 0/3 Wall? Don’t you want to be, I don’t know, attacking? Don’t you want to play with guys that deal damage by themselves?

Llanowar Empath
Kavu Predator is better than this card.

Llanowar Mentor
Green has to win with creatures. While this might be a good late game card, it’s an over commitment of resources at any other time. Personally, I’m annoyed that you have to use G and discard a card to make a 1/1 Elf. With eight Wraths in the environment, you certainly can’t use any kind of mass commitment to the board to win. Beacon of Creation would net you multiple creatures for one card. This is one card for one creature. A good way to get rid of excess land late in the game, or fuel your graveyard for reanimation, but certainly not good for a standard Green deck.

Magus of the Vineyard
And again, Green returns to its sub theme of sharing. I’m sorry, but if you’re going to reprint old cards, do it with something that made Green good at some point. How about Overrun? Or Natural Order? This card has never been amazing. Sure, it saw limited success at one tournament, but today’s environment is so much faster and so much more extreme than those simple times that the only thing this is going to do is allow Dragonstorm, or Dralnu, or Gruul, or even MGA, to kill you faster. You will get utterly smashed if you try to make a deck around this guy in today’s environment.

Muraganda Petroglyphs
“How to help your opponent smash your face in.” A book by Greenie McGreenerson.

Awful. A deck made out of creatures with no abilities and this card is going to be vastly inferior to a deck made up of good creatures. And, since its all creatures, you could just be helping your opponent by making his Watchwolf into a 5/5. Or his Assembly Worker token into a 4/4. Good thing Green loves to share.

Nacatl War-Pride
I won’t be paying five for a 3/3. The ease in which creatures die in today’s formats is unlike any other time in Magic. Eliminating creatures has never been easier. When was the last time you had a big creature standoff? When was the last time your opponent has out a bunch of creatures that were afraid of an army of 3/3s?

The only time this guy is ever good is if you have a way to make your creatures bigger, give them trample, and your opponent has a bunch of creatures out. Basically, this is a better card against Green than it is a good card for Green.

Look at this scenario. You have an Elf, an Elephant Token, and a Nacatl War Pride. Your opponent has a vanilla 3/3 out. Do you attack? What if he has one 3/4, or even one 4 /4?

Let’s say you have the same set up. Your opponent has eleventy billion weenies out. All of them smaller than Nacatl War Pride. You attack, he blocks all your War Pride tokens. Next turn, he plays a 3/4. Thus, stopping you from attacking with Nacatl War Pride. Sure, you killed all his weenies last turn. And now you’re stopped from attacking by a vanilla 3/4.

The card is garbage.

Nessian Courser
Okay. Sure.

Petrified Plating
I threw up a little in my mouth when I read this card. Red had better creature enhancement way back in Tempest than Green is getting now.

This is pretty good. Sadly, I have a feeling this is a card that a lot of people want to point to and say “See? See?” as proof that Green sometimes gets good stuff. Honestly, the card is adequate. It’s playable. Seriously, it’s not like the card costs four. It’s a six-mana guy. You want me to list some utterly busted in half six-mana guys? Because I think I can. But it’s not like some super card that is going to change Standard, or suddenly catapult Green into having the best creatures. This is a good, in-flavor card for Green, but it’s not the best creature in the set and it’s certainly not an auto four-of in every Green deck. And it should have had Flash. I do love the anti discard effect. That is very nice.

Phosphorescent Feast
Why? Why? Why? Why? A five-mana sorcery that might net you four to six life? Why? Why? Why? Just… Why?

Quiet Disrepair
“How is your beer, sir?”
“Wonderful, thank you.”
“What does this card make you think?”
He looks at it for a second and then takes a long drought of his beer. “There was this priest when I was little…”
“Thank you, that’s enough. Have some wings.”

Ravaging Riftwurm
This isn’t an awful card, but it’s not a great card. If Green got trample as often as Blue got fliers, it would be a great card. As it is, it provides a very nice blocker for Gruul, sneaks in for six if you’re going first versus control, and maybe they’ll reprint Lightning Greaves. Without the trample, it could just be blocked by a weenie and you’ve used one card to kill a weenie. Late in the game, a disappearing vanilla 6/6 for seven mana is no bargain.

Really? This is the card you are going to side in versus Dragonstorm? When there are many times when Dragonstorm never even suspends a Lotus Bloom and kills you? And how often do you see Greater Gargadon? Not even good enough for space in my sideboard. Admittedly, it will probably be a very good card for Block or Tribal, but never in Standard.

Rites of Flourishing
How many cards are we up to now where a Green card you play helps your opponent?

Green needs a little more focus and a lot more good cards. It doesn’t need any more cards that are combo enablers or look like they might have promise if only you had a team of scientists, unlimited monkeys, some duct tape and a thousand years.

We already know those cards suck.

Sprout Swarm
Honestly, I’d rather play Wurmcalling.

Summoner’s Pact
This will make MGA better and more flexible. The times when a Groundbreaker or Timbermare will win you the game just got much easier to find. It will also make running one-ofs much easier. I could see sticking in four of these, plus an Indrik Stomphowler, a Verdant Force, a Loxodon Hierarch, and a King Cheetah. Just imagine the flexibility! Okay, admittedly, this card would be much better with Spike Weaver in the environment, but we’ll make do. In all seriousness, I do think this will make MGA a very good contender. You don’t want too many Timbermares but sometimes you desperately want one. You don’t want a Groundbreaker against Gruul, but you sure as hell want a Loxodon Hierarch.

Thornweald Archer
Honestly, I like this guy. I’ve been playing a lot with Ohran Viper and love the ability. If he just had Deathtouch he would be playable, and with the Reach he becomes very useful. This is another fantastic card to attach a Cloak to.

Utopia Mycon
Seriously, don’t write an article about how “Green is going to be good, don’t worry, we’ve learned our lesson” … and then introduce a bunch of Thallids.

Honestly, what are you thinking?

Wrap in Vigor
Sweet! Now I have a way to save all my creatures when someone casts Wrath or Damnation!

Oh, wait…

How about “At the end of your opponent’s turn, after he plays one of the eight Wraths available in today’s Standard card pool, put your only win condition (creatures that attack) back into play.”

That would be a good card.

Why is destroying creatures so easy, and saving them so difficult?

Spellwild Ouphe
A fascinating card. This one has already been explored for the amazing number of ways you can attach multiple Moldervine Cloak or smash face with many Might of Oaks. Of course, it can also be Repealed at a discount cost, but you take the good with the bad on this one.

Sporoloth Ancient
Whenever it says “Creature: Fungus,” just move along.

An interesting card to throw into the dredge decks.

Virulent Sliver
Fascinating. Honestly, in some ways, this card says “Your opponent has 10 life.” And it comes out on the first turn. Throw in a couple of Sidewinder Slivers, a couple of Two-Headed Slivers, and the race is on. With your opponent being on a very short clock. I can honestly see this being a key card in making Slivers viable in multiple formats.

Overall, I’m unhappy with Green in Future Sight. The token generators are unplayable. There’s no good way to recover from a Wrath. There are no playable artifact or enchantment elimination spells. There is far too much sharing. There are far too many cards that have “this might be good in a deck with…” There are no Viridian Shaman or Viridian Zealot type creatures. There’s not enough trample. There’s no Haste. There’s no Flash. The sub-theme of life gain gets worse. There are more Thallids. Yay.

I’m not impressed.