Theros set review- Green
23 Years old from Rome, Italy
Top 8 ProTour Philadelphia 2011
Money finish at PT Barcellona, Montreal and San Diego
Top 8 Grand Prix Turin 2012
Pro level: Gold member 2012-2013 season
More Posts (16)
Welcome back to the fifth part of the Theros set review. Today it’s time to talk about Green!
This is my second article of the series, tomorrow Estratti will analyze Multicolor, Artifact and Lands. You can find previous articles in the series at the following links:
5.0: I’m going to play this card ALWAYS even if it costs me One Thousand Lashes
4.5: If I’m not playing this card , even if it’s off-color, means that either my deck is already awesome and I prefer solidity, I’m blind or I’m drunk.
4.0: Sometimes a beer is not enough and you have to offer a dinner to be the one! This card is strong. This card is so strong that I want to splash it most of the times.
3.5: Sometimes you need to offer a beer to be considered acceptable by a girl/guy, I consider this card strong, In a draft if someone passes it to me I view it like a signal, In sealed if I have it in my pool it improves the evaluation of that color.
3.0: This card is really ok, it will fit always if it’s of my colors and improves the evaluation of its color in sealed.
2.5: Sometimes you need many beers to consider a girl/guy acceptable, this is not the case. I play this card always if it’s in my colors.
2.0: work•er (wûrkr) – Not an aristocrat nor a phenomenon, it works hard and its Force of Will grants it a workplace most of the times if it’s of my colors.
1.5: filler [ˈfɪlə] A card used to fill in a gap
You will often play fillers, they are not exciting but you need to get to 40 cards
1.0: If I’m playing this card in my maindeck there are only 3 options:
a) I lost a bet
b) I’m drunk
c) I’m really ,really ,really short of cards
0.5: “Someday, someone will play this maindeck. But it won’t be today, and it won’t be me.” [Famous Last Word s] Sometimes you need to sideboard really bad cards like Shatter to deal with bomb cards like Umezawa’s Jitte
0.0: I prefer to play football in a minefield than play this card in my deck.
Agent of Horizons
A 3/2 for three is a perfectly average body, capable of putting at least a little pressure on your opponent and occasionally trading up in combat. Given the large amount of 2 drops, the two in defense does not make it particularly exciting but if you have acces to blue, it could be a very nice clock in stalled games.
Anthousa, Setessan Hero
4/5 is plenty respectable, and the ability is definitely capable of pushing through lots of damage. If it goes unanswered, unblocked, and unkilled, and you are able to enchant or pump Anthousa, Setessan Hero, you’re looking at at least 12 damage in one attack.
A 6/6 for five that shuts down the skies is pretty good. The triple green casting cost is not exciting, but if you have a few devotion cards in your deck this could be a bonus.
Without Trample or some other kind of evasion ability this isn’t a very effective attacker, but it does a fairly tremendous job of crashing into other creatures and killing them. If your green deck can’t fight an Angel, Dragon, Demon, or Sphinx, Arbor Colossus could be a good sideboard card.
In the words of Estratti analyzing [Catd]Ray of Dissolution[/Card]:
In sealed this card gets more value since “Bestow” seems like one of the mechanics that will shake those games; this spell can handle, at instant speed, those auras and helps taking down the “no more” enchanted guy too.
For one mana more Artisan’s Sorrow can destory artifacts also, and scry 2 is generally more rewarding then to gain three life.
This is exactly what i want to have in a limited deck. Many are the game situations which can generate Boon Satyr, all of them absolutely great. If enchanted on an evasive creature, it becomes a fast and devastating clock for your opponent. Using it as a pump in combat, we will always do at least a 2 for 1. We could kill a creature of approximately equal value, then stay with a big threat enchanted, or we will trade a creature much bigger than ours, and end with a 4/2 in play.
4 power for 3 mana is unusual, even for Green. That alone makes this card attractive just because it hits as hard as a Loxodon Smiter. Flash is a nice upside that lets you play Boon Satyr as either pseudo-removal, ambushing a ground attacker, or as a way to gain an edge against control decks by sneaking it in at the end of their turn. It also has Bestow, any green deck attacking with 5 mana open has a strong bluff that will really make your opponent hesitate and possibly screw up.
Boon Satyr will be a strong option in green aggro and midrange decks.
Bow of Nylea
This card does about a million things, each of which will perform differently in different situations.
Attacking creatures you control have deathtouch is quite strong. There are two creature keyword abilities that have particularly good synergy with deathtouch: First Strike and Trample. An attacking creature with either of those abilities is effectively unblockable, since its next to impossible to set up a profitable block.
Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature is always a useful effect, and makes the combat phase even more difficult for your opponent.
Deal 2 damage to target creature with flying is incredibly specific but very powerful when relevant.
Gain 3 life every turn is an attractive option in a lot of situations. Persistent life gain effects can seriously frustrate aggro opponents by pulling you out of alpha strike range.
Put up to four target cards from your graveyard on the bottom of your library in any order could be nearly useless, but combined with life gain every turn represents a real chance to win by ‘milling’ slowly your opponent.
This is a solid limited card, assuming you get a hold of a few enchantments, this card can get out of control very quickly.
Commune with the Gods
You can dig into your deck to get more information and choose the right tool for the current game state. This option is more powerful when you have bombs to dig to.
Playable, this could be the last slot of your deck if you need a card to play.
The role here is the same role that Grisly Salvage plays, digging for creatures while stocking your graveyard. If you can’t benefit from both halves of that (meaning you need some graveyard synergy) then this isn’t a very strong card. If you can benefit from both halves then its potentially very strong, offering something similar to a 2 mana 2-for-1.
The existence of Scavenging Ooze makes me a little skeptical about its use in this standard.
Defend the Hearth
The problem with Fog is that you spend both mana and a card to gain a very temporary effect (some life). In some game states, this can trick your opponent into making a losing attack, but in most, it gets you nowhere. Defend the Hearth is still not exciting but it is at least a little better than Fog. Because creatures still take damage, you can theoretically cast this to gain some life while still making any advantageous blocks you want to.
Fade into Antiquity
This isn;t as good as Artisan’s Sorrow, but it’s pretty close. Sorcery speed is a real downgrade, as is having no scry.
This is a very solid trick/buff, one of the better ones in the set at common. It is persistent as well as instant speed, this lets Green players bluff effectively and intimidate their opponents any time they have 3 mana open in the combat step.
Hunt the Hunter
This is just a sideboard card. As with the rest of the same-color hate cycle, this will be very good against other green creatures.
Great card for slow decks. This wall could be a good blocker while ramping your bombs or allows you to make the Monstrosity effect of your creatures.
You’ll usually want to cast this for its bestow cost because doing so is very cheap and because a 2/2 reach isn’t that impressive. As an aura, it’s fairly respectable, and can either help pound blockers into the ground or set up a creature that blocks the sky.
The ability to fill out your curve on demand is the best part of all, haste is a very powerfull ability in monster like this and the anti-blue clauses are certainly relevant a fair amount of the time as well. This card is a good bomb to have for any limited deck.
You’ll never beat the efficiency of the also uncounterable Loxodon Smiter with this, but if you’re not playing GW and need a threat you can stick through a wall of countermagic this might be an option. Its not great though. Most counterspell decks also have plenty of non-blue ways of cleaning up creatures on the board, but you might be able to annoy a UW control player with this by slipping past both his counterspells, Detention Sphere and Azorius Charm
Nemesis of Mortals
The 5/5 body and monstrosity 5 makes this card a huge threat in this format. If you have it in your starting hand, trying to trade creature could be a good strategy to evoke this monster at turn 4-5.
Its a 4/5 for 5 and reach, great value for this format, Monstrosity 4 makes this a late game threat. Best green common.
The most common power/toughness in Theros is 2/2. There are 10 common creature that are 2/2. The second most common are 2/1 and 3/3, with 5 common creatures for each type.
So a cheap 3/3 is very great in this set.
Nylea, God of the Hunt
Giving your other creatures trample is only going to be useful if you have some large creatures that don’t already have evasion. Nylea doesn’t give herself trample though.
The activated ability is very powerful, making your combat phases a bit stronger, but it costs 4 which is a lot.
I don’t think most of green decks needs to play Nylea, God of the Hunt. Getting up to 5 devotion in Green is pretty possible with stuff like Burning-Tree Emissary and Kalonian Tusker helping get there, and Green decks just in general favoring high creature counts, but it’s unclear if a heavily green creature aggro plan is something that’s worth doing. There’s nothing about any of her abilities that encourages unusual use cases, or building around her, so ultimately I think this God might struggle the most out of all 5 of them to see any real play in Standard.
This is nothing special, a good card against aggro which I always like to have at least one copy in my limited deck.
The bestow is what really makes this a good card, giving one of your creatures +3/+3 and trample is great, and if they manage to deal with that threat you are still left with a 3/3. The Green one of the cycle, probably the most powerfull in late game.
It draws a card and is mana fixing which this set is very short on. It could be not so bad if you are planning to play more than 2 colors or if you want to splash some goodies.
Ordeal of Nylea
It’s just not as powerful as the rest of the cycle. In a white-green deck with a lot of Heroic we will probably play it.
This is a lot of toughness, it is quite resilient and can block basically all the creatures in the set. It works well in a blue-green tempo deck with a lot of flyers.
Polukranos, World Eater
The 5/5 body for 4 is already very strong in limited, and the Monstrous ability is a loaded gun, waiting for a victim. If your opponent has chump blockers that need to be cleared away, you go Monstrous and eat them and then attack with an enormous hydra.
Polukranos has a lot of potential to dominate the table, even if it dies to Doom Blade. For 4 mana you have a big guy in play and with five mana, generally the turn after you cast it, you can [Cards]Pyroclasm[/Card] any number of opponet’s creatures, which means a strong play against some aggro decks. I will try this monster in the future.
You’ll need to have 2 devotion to green on the table before you cast Reverent Hunter before this is more efficient than other 3 mana creatures you could choose to play instead. This is also just seriously degraded by opponent’s removal spells and is terrible after your board has been swept. But sometimes you’ll also cast this as about a 6/6 for three.
Not a terrible card to have if you’re playing Gruul, could help ramp you in the early game.
It gives you the option of landing a 5 mana spell on turn 3 with no additional help. Thats a big burst of tempo that can overwhelm some opponents. Makes for some interesting deckbuilding options and might be an option in RG ramp decks. There’s also, of course, the potential of doing something degenerate with a recursion engine. Infinite mana loops may eventually be possible. Not in the current card pool, and possibly not ever in Standard, but maybe out there somewhere.
There are a couple uses for this… making them block your best creature to chump block it if they don’t have an answer, making them block your worst creature so you can get through more damage, and a few other permutations of this theme. Since your opponent retains so much control over his decisions, none of these modes is ever going to be crippling, and they all require specific board states to even be effective.
These kind of trick are always good, even more with the Heroic theme.
It’s a one mana card that blocks and kills everything. But it has a lot of bad qualities: it suffers from evasive creatures, tramplers, and first strikers, it’s not good at racing, and dies to conditional removal like Spark Jolt. It has the role of 23rd card.
This kills all the flyers in the set. Definetely a good sideboard card which any time you could play main deck for known reasons.
Casting this as a four-mana 2/2 is a big liability unless you can follow it up with a targeted spell. Green has a few options and other colors obviously have some contributions too, but you have to be pretty dedicated to heroic before you are happy to run this. a WG deck could be its home.
This awesome mana ramp and mana fixing spell will also be able to block all manner of 2/2s thanks to its 3 toughness.
The perfect replacement for Farseek. It is not just a mana dork, not just a good blocker, but its invulnerability to any kind of spot removal makes him possibly one of the best 2 mana-ramp spell ever for a non-Scapeshift deck. Probably too much competition for him to see many Modern games, but it will surely be a staple for the next green-based Standard midrange decks.
Time to Feed
This may seem a little overcosted but this is the set for heroic, and using this on the right target could be very powerfull. There are very few removal in Theros, and it is pretty good removal for green, whose creatures are plenty big enough to take advantage.
Ramp should be great in this set, as accelerating into some of the top-end plays in the format and into your monstrosity costs should be able to give you some big edges.
There are better cards in the set to be picked over this, however it’s not the worst. It’s still just a dorky six-drop, so you can’t get that excited about it.
Most of the double-target spells are pretty good, it could give us card advantage and activate double Heroic. This card is at its best when paired with blue or white fliers, and will probably be less impressive with red’s midrangey beaters and downright bad in black decks.
Green seems pretty solid in this set. Having access to the biggest bodies in the format, it is able to assist aggressive decks with midrange bodies and control decks with big finishers. Green also has mana accellerator and mana fixer, which help tempo and control strategies.
Green should pair well with all the colors. Probably the best way to go green are:
G/U tempo with monsters and bounce, on the theme of Monstrosity
G/W aggro with a lot of enchants creature and trick, on the theme of Heroic
I hope you liked this review, tomorrow don’t miss the last one of the series.
See you soon!!