You CAN Play Type I #42: Why There Are Only Four Colors In Magic

Outside of mono green, a green creature has to be significantly better than the best another color has, simply because green can’t contribute much to a multicolored deck aside from creatures. In other words, even if I rate Call of the Herd higher than Serendib Efreet, I may still go with the blue guy to avoid adding green.

The Writer’s War: Grand Finale

Vote Oscar! And support Type I if that poll is still up.

News flash: Extended Rotation

This column was supposed to be part of last Friday’s Buehler special, but better late than never (the time zone confusion of being on the opposite side of the world… sorry for the disruption in my article lineup). In the meantime, you might have heard about Extended.

Dual lands, Fifth Edition, and the Ice Age and Mirage blocks will soon leave Extended – and the rotation is inevitable lest Extended become inaccessible to newer players. If you want to tinker with a card pool that’s so stable you can stop playing for a year and easily pick up your game again, well… Guess why I’m content with Type I?

Welcome, displaced Extended players! What made you think a number of solid Extended structures like Stompy, Grow, Oath, Sligh, Pande-burst and Turboland haven’t been used in Type I?

The rotation raises an important issue, however: Worldgorger Dragon.

Instead of being errata’d, its infinite mana combo with Animate Dead or Dance of the Dead was solved by rotating the enchantments out of Extended.

Animate Dead



Beta uncommon

When Animate Dead comes into play, if it’s in play, it becomes an enchant creature. Put target creature card from a graveyard into play under your control enchanted by Animate Dead. Enchanted creature gets -1/-0. When Animate Dead leaves play, destroy enchanted creature. It can’t be regenerated.




Odyssey rare

Search your library for a card and put that card into your graveyard. Then shuffle your library.

Worldgorger Dragon


Creature-Nightmare Dragon


Judgment rare

Flying. Trample. When Worldgorger Dragon comes into play, remove all other permanents you control from the game. When Worldgorger Dragon leaves play, return the removed cards to play under their owner’s control.

With a dual land and blue instants like Whispers of the Muse and Stroke of Genius, this is a first-turn kill based on two unrestricted cards (Entomb and Animate Dead). It can be disrupted by Force of Will and Swords to Plowshares, but the combo player can draw Duress or Unmask, or simply go first.

This adds another unintuitive two-card combo to Type I and I.5, another culprit being Illusionary MaskPhyrexian Dreadnought. Doesn’t R&D just love fun, interactive games with RandomWin.dec and LuckyOpeningHand.dec?

Today’s column is about green, and guess what color is least equipped to deal with unintended combos that are too easy to pull off?

The four colors of Magic

If you’ve followed my expansion reviews, you must’ve noticed I have some ready strikes against new cards.”But Hymn is stronger!””But you can get a Morphling for that!””But we don’t have room for that!”

You might’ve noticed two in particular:

But it’s green!!!

But it has double green in its mana cost!!!

Longtime players like Randy Buehler probably remember the old joke,”There are only four colors in Magic.”

It’s a nasty – but quite true – way of saying that green is simply the most inflexible color in Magic.

Now, fans of the Forest shouldn’t take this the wrong way. I love green, and even wrote a (now slightly outdated) comprehensive, casual Stompy primer. It’s just that no matter how hard you try to harness the color, its inherent limitations are just so hard to overcome.

Inherent limitations?

Well, Randy told us that R&D has been tinkering with what it calls the”pie,” some magical device that doles out abilities and tricks to all the colors. I’ll leave critiquing Randy’s plans for future green cards to you.

My job today is to explain why green’s slice of the pie has historically sucked

Slice #1: Wussy elves

“The only really good 1-drops green should get are fatty-enablers (like Llanowar Elves or Birds of Paradise).”

Randy Buehler

Llanowar Elves




Tap: Add G to your mana pool.

Since time immemorial, mana acceleration has been a trademark of green. Back in Ice Age school cafeteria days, I remember other colors settling for a second-turn White Knight waiting for a Crusade, or a Ritualed Erg Raiders + Unholy Strength, at best.

Green was cool.

Green dumped a first-turn Orcish Lumberjack or Tinder Wall, and went for Erhnam Djinn or even Autumn Willow (or the funkiest move of the ancient times, Tinder Wall + Channel-Fireball).

Heck I even remember the look on one guy’s face when he boasted about the second-turn Scaled Wurm he slapped onto the board (his opponent had a Sol Ring and got a second-turn Control Magic, though).

And Elves were cool.

We loved taking down bigger boys with them, with help from Giant Growth and Blood Lust. (Remember, back in those days, damage was always resolved last, so Lightning Bolt in response to Giant Growth lost.)

Look closely at the original Llanowar Elf. If you think hard, you can see him with a hockey mask and a chainsaw, thumbing his nose at Sengir Vampire and Serra Angel.

“Don’t mess with me, boy, or I’m gonna call my big bro’ and he’s gonna kick yo’ ass!”

Unfortunately, here’s the sad truth: Elves suck in Type I.

Reason #1: Size matters not

The simplest reason is Mana Drain, one of the most powerful tempo swing cards ever printed.

Mana Drain



Legends uncommon

Counter target spell. At the beginning of your next main phase, add X colorless mana to your mana pool, where X is that spell’s converted mana cost.

Spend a couple of turns to build up to bring out your big bad brother?

“Mana Drain that I will.”

“Size matters not.”

“My beeeeeeeeetch you are.”

Yeah, thanks for the help Elf, see how you like this Morphling instead.

(Side note: Yoda 4L! Seeing him in action actually beats Natalie Portman running around in a skintight outfit!)

Heck, one of the quickest casual games I ever played opened with a turn 4 Skizzik. I responded with my first spell, a Mana Drain. My second spell was Mystical Tutor and my third was Mind Twist.

It’s hard to win when your other three Skizziks get dumped into the grave with your own mana, don’t you think? That definitely showed why Fires-esque deck structures can’t work in Type I.

As if that weren’t bad enough, there are so many cheap solutions that kill all things that are not Blastoderm.

Spend a couple of turns and some cards to set up Erhnam Djinn? Abyss that sucker.

Wait a bit and Natural Order for Verdant Force? Edict that.

Finally get Weatherseed Treefolk out? Swords to Plowshares and yawn.

The other guy hardly breaks a sweat, and your hand is about empty. The two Elves left on the board can only hide under your Forests.

Reason #2: Size really matters not

No, really.

Thanks to Mana Drain and Swords to Plowshares and every cheap solution in between that stops a fattie player dead in his tracks, a good deck is forced to rely on the cheapest possible creatures.

Kobolds aside, you can’t get cheaper than one mana. The best mono green deck has to play up the color’s strengths – creatures – and go for a blitz of one-drops. You saw Stompy in action, and loading up on just one-drops milks a little card advantage in a color that doesn’t have much of it by running as few land as possible.

But if you’re loading up on one-drops and cutting mana, what are you going to do with a mana creature?

Why bother wasting a turn or two loading up on mana when you can go direct to your beatdown for the same cost? If a Swords to Plowshares kills Erhnams and Rogue Elephants alike, you may as well cut to the chase.

Observe the following decks taken from my Stompy primer:

Green Horde, Gary Krakower, 1996 World Championships (Type II)

Creatures (30)

4 Llanowar Elves

4 Scavenger Folk

4 Elvish Archers

4 Whirling Dervish

3 Woolly Spider

2 Leaping Lizard

4 Ernham Djinn

4 Yavimaya Ants

1 Force of Nature

Pump (4)

4 Giant Growth

Land (26)

4 Elvish Spirit Guide

18 Forest

4 Mishra’s Factory

Senor Stompy, Svend Geertsen, Top 4, 1997 World Championships (Type II)

Creatures (32)

4 Llanowar Elves

4 Quirion Ranger

4 Rogue Elephant

4 Ghazban Ogre

3 Harvest Wurm

4 Spectral Bears

2 Whirling Dervish

2 Jolrael’s Centaur

2 Uktabi Orangutan

3 Lhurgoyf

Pump (6)

4 Giant Growth

2 Bounty of the Hunt

Other tricks (4)

4 Winter Orb

Land (18)

2 Heart of Yavimaya

16 Forest


1 Bounty of the Hunt

3 City of Solitude

2 Crumble

4 Emerald Charm

2 River Boa

2 Whirling Dervish

1 Uktabi Orangutan

Stompy, Raffaelle Lo Moro, Top 8, 1999 World Championships (Extended)

Creatures (29)

4 Rogue Elephant

4 Wild Dogs

4 Ghazban Ogre

3 Quirion Ranger

4 Pouncing Jaguar

3 Hidden Gibbons

4 Skyshroud Elite

3 Spectral Bears

Pump (11)

4 Giant Growth

3 Bounty of the Hunt

4 Rancor

Mana (20)

4 Elvish Spirit Guide

16 Forest


4 Albino Troll

2 Crumble

3 Emerald Charm

1 Hidden Gibbons

1 River Boa

4 Sphere of Resistance

Stompy, Matt D’Avanzo, April 2002 (Type I)

Creatures (28)

4 Ghazban Ogre

4 Skyshroud Elite

4 Rogue Elephant

4 Quirion Ranger

4 Druid Lyrist

4 Hidden Gibbons

4 River Boa

Pump (12)

4 Rancor

4 Giant Growth

4 Bounty of the Hunt

Mana (20)

10 Forest

4 Land Grant

4 Elvish Spirit Guide

1 Mox Emerald

1 Black Lotus

Sideboard (15)

4 Rushwood Legate

4 Tranquil Domain

4 Hidden Herd

3 Null Rod

Note the trend. As more and more playable creatures entered the pool, the optimal mana curve became flatter and flatter, and Elves became suckier and suckier. All that’s left is a vestigial Elf slot filled by a utility instead of a true mana creature:

Quirion Ranger




Return a forest you control to its owner’s hand: Untap target creature. Play this ability only once each turn.

In fact, green’s mini-Dark Ritual has the best mana Elf in mono green. The extra mana on turn 1 equals an extra creature, which is like a Time Walk in a deck where everything costs 1.

Elvish Spirit Guide




Remove Elvish Spirit Guide from the game: Add G to your mana pool. Play this ability only if Elvish Spirit Guide is in your hand and only any time you could play an instant.

Reason #3: When size matters, green doesn’t

But I’d be lying if I said fatties don’t have a place in Type I.

In which decks do we find fatties?

Black 5/5s aren’t uncommon, and these can sit on top of a mono-black mana curve and come out after the opponent has been pummeled by cheap disruption from Duress and Hymn to Tourach to Sinkhole. They can drop fast with Dark Ritual, too.

Artifact fatties in Stacker 2 and others come out really fast with Mishra’s Workshop and Goblin Welder.

Heck, you can have”The Deck” and mono blue decks play quick Morphlings with Moxen and Mana Drains.

Isn’t something wrong when I’m calling mono green’s best mana acceleration a”green Dark Ritual?”

So the funny thing is that practically everyone else can beat green at its own mana acceleration game. And you don’t see combo decks use Elves over fast artifact mana, do you?

(And even in green decks, Elves are the weakest choice. Survival decks would rather have Birds of Paradise to help with the other colors, or Wall of Roots to let them get extra mana on the opponent’s turn and block better early.)

So in the Magic archive that is Type I, mana acceleration either sucks, or is better done by nongreen means. This is one big slice, eh?

Slice #2: Creature steroids

“Since green had really never been on top before, we felt we were better off erring on the side of green being too good for a little while rather than continuing to be weak. Well… mission accomplished, and then some.”

Randy Buehler, on recent expansions

Let’s demonstrate the second slice with a hypothetical but familiar casual sequence:

“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to…”

15:40:38 – It is now turn 1.

15:40:39 – BadBoyBuehler draws a card.

15:40:40 – BadBoyBuehler plays Swamp.

15:40:40 – BadBoyBuehler plays Sarcomancy.

15:40:51 – It is now turn 2.

15:40:53 – Yoda draws a card.

15:40:54 – Yoda plays City of Brass.

15:40:57 – It is now turn 3.

15:40:57 – BadBoyBuehler draws a card.

15:41:00 – BadBoyBuehler plays Swamp.

15:41:03 – Zombie is attacking.

15:41:06 – BadBoyBuehler plays Dark Ritual.

15:41:06 – BadBoyBuehler plays Dark Ritual.

15:41:07 – BadBoyBuehler plays Demonic Consultation.

15:41:07 – BadBoyBuehler says,’Hatred’

15:41:10 – BadBoyBuehler plays Hatred.




Exodus rare

As an additional cost to play Hatred, pay any amount of life. Target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn, where X is the amount of life paid this way.

“Touched the Dark Side you must have…”

15:41:12 – Blue Yoda plays Force of Will.

15:41:12 – Black Yoda plays Contagion.

15:41:12 – Red Yoda plays Lightning Bolt.

15:41:12 – White Yoda plays Swords to Plowshares.

15:41:12 – Green Yoda plays with hairs on forehead and scoops.

This, more than any other example, illustrates that green got the most inflexible tricks. You might even say it began in Beta: Blue got Ancestral Recall, Black got Dark Ritual, Red got Lightning Bolt, and Green got Giant Growth (okay, White got Healing Salve – but it got a lot more from Beta, anyway).

If you look at the Stompy decklists above, pump like Giant Growth and Rancor are very playable. But I’ve seen beginners frown at Stompy as boring after seeing Blue’s counters, Black’s disruption, Red’s burn, and White’s removal. In the respective mono color decks, these other slices are more powerful and flexible. And Green’s pump adds to Stompy’s speed like burn does to Sligh, but it’s a lot more inflexible and isn’t what you add to a multicolored deck over other colors’ tricks.

And the inflexibility rears its head in more casual play, where you have less to experiment or goof off with compared to other colors. There are only so many ways you can give +X/+X to something, no matter how much I find Spikes cute.

And if you want to look at the broken end of the historical pie, you get the same result:




Beta rare

Play only before the combat damage step. Target creature gains trample and gets +X/+0 until end of turn, where X is its power. At end of turn, destroy that creature if it attacked this turn. (Restricted in January 1994.)

Ancestral Recall



Beta rare

Target player draws three cards. (Restricted in January 1994)

Yawgmoth’s Will



Urza’s Saga rare

Until end of turn, you may play cards in your graveyard as though they were in your hand. If a card would be put into your graveyard this turn, remove that card from the game instead. (Restricted in October 1999)




Ice Age rare

Skip your draw step. If you would discard a card from your hand, remove that card from the game instead. Pay 1 life: Remove the top card of your library from the game face down. At the end of your turn, put that card into your hand. (Restricted in October 2000)




Beta rare

Except the player who controls the fewest lands, each player sacrifices lands until all players control the same number of lands as the player who controls the fewest. Players do the same for creatures and discard cards from their hands the same way. (Restricted in April 1995)

Wheel of Fortune



Beta rare

Each player discards his or her hand and draws seven cards. (Restricted in March 1994.)

And Berserk isn’t even played because fattie-based decks are bad and don’t need Berserk anyway, and weenie-based decks can only play Berserk in combination with another pump spell, which is awkward.

Heck, even the green sideboard tricks aren’t so memorable, Compost aside.

Slice #3: Blowing up the world

“Previously, we had been thinking of green as ‘the’ creature color and so it was getting the best creatures up and down the mana curve.”

Randy Buehler

When you take a look at the families of tricks that’ve been handed to green, we don’t have a lot of others. The main group is really pump, which complements the creature theme. The next is probably land destruction, which it shares with red and black.

But green was never the best at blowing up things, was it? Not from the start.

Ice Storm



Beta uncommon

Destroy target land.




Beta common

Destroy target land.

And even assuming dedicated land destruction is good in a format that has Moxen and so much fast mana, the wider range of tricks of red and black would make them stronger, and Sinkhole can be played competitively alongside Duress and Hymn to Tourach in disruptive mono black decks from Suicide Black to Pox.

In fact, the only competitive land destruction deck is black – Nether Void. Green’s equivalent is Legion Land Loss, which has Elves, landkill, and fat, but not much else. So moving to broader casual play, it’s still not very interesting. Even green’s more colorful mana denial loses appeal when you realize there’s nothing much that goes with it:

Plow Under



Urza’s Destiny rare

Put two target lands on top of their owner’s library.

Other than land destruction and limited removal, you have… Life gain?

The serious answer might be recursion and Regrowth clones, but green decks end up redundant, anyway. Recursion ends up being used in decks that don’t center around green, like certain combos.

“I sense pain… great pain…”

“…in green players.”

Heck, the other green cards not mentioned don’t even create”green” decks. Survival decks are green mana intensive, but don’t really have a green core after Survival itself – heck, the funniest card that goes with it is blue. Same with Oath decks.

And guess which color milks Quirion Dryad? Definitely not green…

Slice #4: Dorks

“So enjoy your Wild Mongrels and Basking Rootwallas while you still can because they’re a bit better than what we plan to give to green in the future.”

Randy Buehler

We haven’t found much to cheer for so far, so what about the most famous slice of the pie: The best creatures?


“Grown in power you have, my padawan.”

The big bad bruiser stares at the puny Yoda hunched over a walking stick.

(stare hard)

(wrinkle little green nose)

(flip back robe) Whap! (frown) Ooof! (flip) Ugh! (wiggle fingers) Pow! (dance in midair) Blam!

(blow smoke from lightsaber hilt)

Big bruisers just can’t beat finesse, and neither can trample.

(And sorry, Anakin, but if you didn’t get to kiss Natalie Portman a lot, Yoda would’ve really showed you up! Finesse… don’t you wonder if he gives kissing lessons, too?)

Does green have the strongest one-drop?

Skyshroud Elite




Exodus uncommon

Skyshroud Elite gets +1/+2 as long as an opponent controls a nonbasic land.

Savannah Lions




Beta rare

Jackal Pup




Tempest uncommon

Whenever Jackal Pup is dealt damage, it deals that much damage to you.

Considering individual drawbacks, that distinction has belonged to white from the start.

Green, however, has the strongest one-drops if you take them together, as shown by Stompy. But, even then, red has the decent pool of one-drops that you can use outside mono colored decks. The red pool is more flexible even though they suck in combat, because they come with burn and nasty sideboard spells.

The funny thing is that the best green 1-drops are either not green or not legal.

Kird Ape




Arabian Nights common

Kird Ape gets +1/+2 as long as you control a forest.

Jungle Lion




Portal common

Jungle Lion can’t intercept.

Does green have the strongest two-drop?

River Boa




Visions common

Islandwalk. G: Regenerate.

Blurred Mongoose




Invasion rare

Blurred Mongoose can’t be countered. Blurred Mongoose can’t be the target of spells or abilities

Flesh Reaver




Urza’s Saga uncommon

Whenever Flesh Reaver deals damage, it deals that much damage to its controller.

Skittering Skirge



Urza’s Saga common


Flying. Whenever you play a creature, sacrifice Skittering Skirge.

Nantuko Shade


Creature-Insect Shade


B: Nantuko Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

I’d say black has more interesting two-drops, and white has the strongest pool of two-drops. Consider that green doesn’t have the most playable three-power for two-mana creature in the game. Albino Troll’s echo is too cumbersome, and Spectral Bears isn’t as good without Quirion Ranger to untap it.

What green probably has is the best splashable two-drops.

Does green have the strongest 3-drop?

Call of the Herd



Odyssey rare

Put a 3/3 Elephant token into play.

lashback: 3G

Serendib Efreet




Arabian Nights uncommon

At the beginning your upkeep, Serendib Efreet deals 1 damage to you.

Phyrexian Negator




Urza’s Destiny rare

Trample. Whenever Phyrexian Negator is dealt damage, sacrifice a permanent for each 1 damage dealt to it.

Hypnotic Specter




Beta uncommon

Flying. Whenever Hypnotic Specter deals damage to an opponent, that player discards a card at random from his or her hand.

Possibly, but only very recently. And when you go to decks, mono black disruption followed by Hippie and Negator is more dangerous overall than most things with Call of the Herd.

Does green have the strongest four-drop?





Nemesis common

Fading 3. Blastoderm can’t be the target of spells or abilities.

Juzam Djinn




Arabian Nights uncommon

At the beginning your upkeep, Juzam Djinn deals 1 damage to you.



Artifact Creature

At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose and discard a card from your hand. If you don’t, sacrifice Masticore.

2: Masticore deals 1 damage to target creature.

2: Regenerate Masticore.




Artifact Creature


Antiquities uncommon

When Su-Chi is put into a graveyard from play, add 4 mana to your mana pool.

Technically, yes.

But, there’s no reason to play Blastoderm in mono green, while the other choices are easily played in their colors. Other four-drops are better splashes, too, like Phyrexian Scuta.

Does green have the strongest 5-drop?

Saproling Burst



Nemesis rare

Fading 7. Remove a fade counter from Saproling Burst: Put a green Saproling creature token into play. It has”This creature’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of fade counters on Saproling Burst.” When Saproling Burst leaves play, destroy all tokens put into play with Saproling Burst. They can’t be regenerated.

Deranged Hermit




Urza’s Legacy rare

Echo. When Deranged Hermit comes into play, put four 1/1 green Squirrel creature tokens into play. All Squirrels get +1/+1.

Morphling, a.k.a. Superman




Urza’s Saga rare

U: Untap Morphling.

U: Morphling gains flying until end of turn.

U: Morphling can’t be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.

1: Morphling gets +1/-1 until end of turn.

1: Morphling gets -1/+1 until end of turn.


Even if you think so, again, just take a look at the cards Morphling comes with.

We don’t see green clearly dominating any rung of the Type I creature ladder, do we?

And outside of mono green, a green creature has to be significantly better than the best another color has, simply because green can’t contribute much to a multicolored deck aside from creatures. In other words, even if I rate Call of the Herd higher than Serendib Efreet, I may still go with the blue guy to avoid adding green just for the creature. Even Land Grant doesn’t count as a contribution because it and Wasteland don’t mix well.

I seriously doubt Type I players, at least, want green not to get the best creatures in every rung. Otherwise, outside Stompy, green is stuck with playing second fiddle to blue as backup to the color with the worst beatdown. When you think about the other colors, you can make do with their creatures and keep your mana simple.

Heck, outside competitive play, your usual mono green hasn’t changed much in structure since 1996, and the most interesting twist you can usually do is change the fattie and experiment with the few tricks like Natural Order and Stunted Growth. You have relatively little that change a deck in a way that really catches you, like basing a deck around Wild Mongrel or Stampeding Wildebeests.

And getting good weenies that aren’t wussy Elves is crucial for Type I mono green. Take a look at the average print dates of the cards in various Type I decks, and you’ll see that Stompy is one of few that is practically Extended – and not even Extended now, after the changes go through. A decent Type I mono green was only possible in 1997, after more recent expansions brought enough good weenies.

Type I Stompy doesn’t even have any”old school” cards aside from Ghazban Ogre, which usually isn’t counted because it has a Chronicles reprint.

Now what?

Remember that all this is a look at the Type I card pool, not a more controlled one like Type II or Odyssey block. We took a look at the strengths of green and the possibilities for both demanding competitive standards and broader casual play.

And our historical pie shows that not only did green get shafted when they cut up the pie in earlier years, its slices are the blandest to this day. You do get more playable creatures like Call of the Herd and Blurred Mongoose, but new green tricks like Holistic Wisdom rarely give rise to green-centered decks.

So the magic question: How do you make green more interesting?

Or can we?

“Oooooh. Master Buehler seems to have lost a color.”

“Big, big problem he has.”

Certainly, you could make green stronger by adding more mindless”cannot be countered” and”cannot be the target of” abilities, or adding 4/4s that cost one mana. But that’s plain boring and one-dimensional.

Let’s take a page from Jamie Wakefield book:

(from”It’s all about the dinosaurs,” The Dojo)

I have a Spike Feeder, a Lyrist, and two elves on the board. I also have a Gaea’s Cradle. He has a Crystalline Sliver on the board. He has the ability to counter based on the land in play, and the number of cards in hand.

“I’ll attack with the Llanowar Elves and the Spike Feeder.”

Now. Does he block my Elf, and have his Crystalline die because I’m going to move Spike Feeder tokens over to it? Does he block my Spike Feeder and let his Crystalline die? If he blocks my Spike Feeder, will I make both my elves 2/2, he’ll take four and keep attacking? Will I make one of them 3/3 and keep attacking with that?

He decides to take four. It’s just four, right?


Next turn I do the same thing.”Take four more.”

I am holding a Natural Order and an Overrun. Not that my opponent knows this, but I am.

“Done.” I tell him.

“Aren’t you going to Natural Order or cast Overrun or something?” he is wondering.


Next turn. I am going to attack for four again. And then I might cast a Monkey since you have no artifacts for me to destroy in your whole deck except for perhaps one Mox Diamond and who cares about that?

“Attack for four.”

You attack for four for as long as you can. You use Spike Tokens to make your guys as much of a threat as possible. You decide if damage is more important, or killing a creature is more important. When they can take it no longer, and tap some mana to cast a creature, you do whatever you want. Cast a Spike Weaver and see if it gets countered. Natural Order and see if it gets countered. Save your best threat for last. This is advice for playing anyone with counters. If they do not have counters – go get a Verdant Force and win. If they are playing Living DeathNatural Order for a Verdant, and then if you can, Natural Order the new Verdant to go and get another. Now you have one Verdant in the grave, and one on the board – go Ahead – Cast Living Death.

He sure sounds like he’s having fun, right?

And he’s not doing it with things that look boring; Jamie was a utility man. All green needs every set is a few interesting mechanics in playable warm bodies. There have been some pretty interesting, albeit obscure, ones aside from Spikes.





Fallen Empires common

At the beginning of your upkeep, put a spore counter on Thallid. Remove three spore counters from Thallid: Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play.

Llanowar Sentinel




Weatherlight common

When Llanowar Sentinel comes into play, you may pay 1G. If you do, search your library for a card named Llanowar Sentinel and put that card into play. Then shuffle your library.

Not in the competitive brackets, but quite interesting if adjusted and put on the right creatures. And there are other things that worked if you set up the deck properly, like the ancient Harvest-Fallow Wurm tandom.

Again, the most playable green creatures came from recent expansions, unlike in other colors with still broken museum pieces like Serendib Efreet and Savannah Lions. Broaden green’s pie a bit to add spice to future creatures, get R&D out of Timmy’s embrace, and see where we can go in both competitive and more laid-back Type I play.

I’ll leave you with that little thought, and a memorable quote:

“For two mana, green isn’t going to do much better than good old Grizzly Bears and the only really good 1-drops green should get are fatty-enablers (like Llanowar Elves or Birds of Paradise). I don’t really regret us giving green some really good weenies-we developed them at a time when green wasn’t super-strong in Constructed.”

Randy Buehler

Oscar Tan

[email protected]

rakso on #BDChat on EFNet

Manila, Philippines

Forum Administrator, Star City Games (http://www.starcitygames.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi)

Featured writer, Star City Games (http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/archive.php?Article=Oscar Tan)

Author of the Control Player’s Bible (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bdominia/files/ControlBible.zip)

Type I, Extended and Casual Maintainer, Beyond Dominia (http://www.starcitygames.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=list&forum=DCForumID89&conf=DCConfID19)

Proud member of the Casual Player’s Alliance (http://www.casualplayers.org)

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