Commander Set Review – Modern Horizons (Green)

Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 by Kingramz
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Posted in mtg, serious business

Green, it’s my new obsession
Green – it’s not even a question
Green on the lips of your lover

Yeah, so that doesn’t work. But Green is my favorite color in the format. Moving on!

You can find the previous reviews here:

White Blue Black Red

I talked all about the rationale behind my reviews in the White review, so if you missed that, just go back and read that one. I’m not going to waste your time repeating myself. Except for the previous two sentences. Green cards!

Green
Ayula, Queen Among Bears

As a commander:
I love the idea of this card. It’s so great that it’s a 1G 2/2, and you can make bears that maul your opponents’ stuff. Just bear in mind that there aren’t actually that many Bears to work with, and a lot of the ones we do have are pretty boring. You’ll likely need to use a lot of changelings and Bear token makers. See if your playgroup will let you run Water Gun Balloon Game. Seriously, make sure you’ve actually looked at the bears you’re going to run before you go out and buy this card intending to build the deck.

In the 99:
I’m not sure what deck would want this. Some kind of Surrak Dragonclaw Temur theme deck maybe?

Ayula’s Influence

This is kinda cool if you’re Loaming or playing lands out of your graveyard. Or, of course, if you’re playing Ayula. You can combo with Groundskeeper to let you make as many bears as you have mana for. I don’t think it’s worth it unless you’re doing land shenanigans or if you need more Bears. Decks in our format tend to be mana hungry and can’t bear to part with their lands for measly 2/2s.

Collector Ouphe

When you cast this, someone at the table is going to say the second word in its name pretty loudly. There’s pretty much always a player with a million artifacts, at least in my experience. So if you like ruining peoples’ fun, this is your bear! Note: Not an actual bear. Do not run with Ayula.

Crashing Footfalls

The tokens don’t get haste, and that makes me sad. This is just too slow, and the payoff for cheating it out isn’t there, even in a populate theme deck. Save it for Rhino tribal, where it’s like the fifth best card in the deck.

Deep Forest Hermit

She’s pretty much a direct upgrade over her deranged cousin. You don’t have to choose between spending five mana or blinking her on your upkeep to keep her around like you did with him, giving her much better synergy with Conjurer’s Closet or your draw step. You were planning to blink her, right?

Force of Vigor

I’m basically forced to make a comparison with Return to Dust here. That card gets a lot of play. Exile’s better than destruction, but I’m willing to make that trade-off to be able to hold the spell up and kill two things at instant speed. I’m not sure how often it comes up that you want to kill artifacts and enchantments while you’re tapped out, but having the option is nice, I guess. That said, there’s millions of different Naturalize effects in green, many of which will likely be more synergistic with your deck than Force of Vigor because they are on creatures and you are green. You should probably have effects like this in your deck, but you don’t need to go out of your way for this one.

Glacial Revelation

If you want to expect to hit three cards off this, you need to be half snow. Fifty snow permanents seems like a tall order. If you run 40 snow lands, you might be able to find ten nonland snow permanents that aren’t embarrassing to put in your deck. It does put everything else in the graveyard, so maybe you’re ok with the average case being “draw two lands and mill four spells.”

Hexdrinker

A 2/1 for G is unplayable in the format. I can’t imagine playing a 3G 4/4 with protection from instants either. The nice thing about the protection is that if you untap with this you can sink your mana into it to turn it into mini-Progenitus and you’re pretty unlikely to get disrupted. Is a 6/6 Progenitus worth 8G? Not really, no. I mean, sure you could put this in your Snake tribal deck or your level up deck, but do you even want to? I’m off it – to me, this card looks like nothing but DEAD BEEF.

Llanowar Tribe

The mana cost is tough, but if you can consistently hit GGG on turn 3, this isn’t bad. Cultivate is a more consistent ramp spell, but the Tribe is way more explosive. I’ve run Shaman of Forgotten Ways and Somberwald Sage and been happy with them, and this card is comparable to those. Plus it’s an Elf!

Mother Bear

If you’re building the Bear deck, you’ll want this. It’s better than like half the bears in print currently. No joke.

Rime Tender

In a snow theme deck, this is a mana dork. It’s not the best ramp spell you can play on 2, but it’s not embarrassing. Later on she can give a snow creature pseudo-vigilance or give you multiple activations of your Scrying Sheets. If you’re going snow, you take what you can get.

Savage Swipe

You probably weren’t running Prey Upon, but if you were, this is better. It’s a fine roleplayer in a deck that cares about fighting or has creatures that do things when they get hit. I’m much more willing to grant leeway on a one-mana card than a five- or six-mana card. Just don’t swipe your ass with it when you cast it to kill someone’s only blocker and get in for a ton of damage, you filthy savage.

Scale Up

Single-target pump spells aren’t usually good in this format, but when they scale up to pumping your whole team as well, that’s a bit different. There’s tons of effects like this available and which ones are best are going to be heavily deck-dependent. I like Scale Up in decks with a lot of creatures that get most of their power and toughness from +1/+1 counters. If all your creatures are base 0/0, you are getting a lot of pump out of overloading this.

Springbloom Druid

I like this card. I think it compares pretty favorably to Farhaven Elf, and that card sees a good amount of play. Effects like this and Harrow are very helpful if you’re trying to run 3-5 colors on a manabase of mostly basics. And with new snow toys and several new five-color commanders in this set, you might be more interested in that than normal.

Tempered Sliver

This feels to me like a replacement-level Sliver. You can pretty much throw any Sliver that grants a semi-relevant ability into a Sliver deck and it’ll do stuff. But it’s not better than the ones that boost power immediately, like Muscle Sliver or Might Sliver. If you’re getting to hit someone multiple times with your army of Slivers, you’re probably winning regardless. So in this case, it’s ok to lose your temper.

Treefolk Umbra

I think any aura with totem armor is worth a look. If you’re just going straight Enchantress, this isn’t better than Boar Umbra. If you’re running Doran you could look at this; it’s good to have a bit of redundancy in case your commander gets removed. It’s not the worst in Arcades because you can throw it on your commander and it’ll protect him and make him kill in three swings. But it’s no High Alert or Assault Formation; if you throw this on one of your Walls, that wall still ain’t going anywhere.

Unbound Flourishing

This looks like a lot of fun to play with. The X-spell deck with Rosheen Meanderer is a deck I kick around now and again. I don’t think the effect synergizes with as much stuff as Doubling Season, which hopefully will mean it doesn’t end up as a $50 card forever. Do note that it only doubles X for permanent spells; it copies instants and sorceries. That’s great news for Fireballs that would be lethal anyway, and not as great for Genesis Wave (though it’s probably still pretty great).

Webweaver Changeling

It may look like a spider, but it’s actually secretly one of the best Bears ever printed. Same with Rhinos. Five mana’s too much outside of gimmicky tribal decks, though. Just play Thragtusk instead.

Winding Way

We’ve got a lot of variations on this effect, but I think this is mulch better than most of the alternatives if you’re a creature-heavy deck. I’m almost never happy to cast one of these green top-searchers on three, so two mana’s perfect. And most of the other twos only give you one hit, instead of giving you all of them.

Top 3:

3. Deep Forest Hermit
2. Springbloom Druid
1. Unbound Flourishing

Green got a lot of goodies, and it was tough to narrow the list down to three. Deep Forest Hermit is a solid new take on a classic favorite. Springbloom Druid is going to put in work in a lot of decks. I had to give the nod to the splashy X-doubler, though – the card looks like it’s going to do some powerful, silly things and be a ton of fun. Ayula did not make the list because her supporting cast sucks. Maybe in a few years we’ll have some better Bears and she can take her rightful place as queen.

 
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