Wheeling and Dealing 3: Harmonic, All-Natural, Bestial, and Wild; Green
Green is the color that most carefully embodies nature. It has the strongest creature, and the ability to deal with that that nature defaces (read: **** you, technology). The green mage can place reliability on its incredibly high-powered beasts, its very efficient weenies, artifact/enchantment destruction, Mana Accel and Tarmogoyf.
No, now seriously. We’re all sick of the goyf jokes, so I’ll stop. So, the real list:
its incredibly high-powered beasts, its very efficient weenies, artifact/enchantment destruction, its incredible mana acceleration,counterspell hate, Life gain, Pump, and Tarmogoyf. It also gets the rare card draw, but before you start shoving anti-planar chaos propaganda up my nose, Harmonize is also uncommon in 10th, and WotC has declared green to get the 3rd-best card draw. Source, you ask? What's a source?
Anyways, green has historically been the worst color. The greatest use it had in the earlier days was in the classic 'Channelball' deck, which went something like this: black lotus, sac for 3xG, mountain, tap for R, Channel for 19 mana, fireball for 20. That was one of the first ‘turn one win’ decks. It basically rolled over and died to… Well, guess.. However, as time progressed, creatures got better and better. I believe the first time after that that green saw extensive play (other than simply as accel or enabler), was in the Urza deck, Angry Hermit. With insane mana accel and the ability to get 9 mana by turn 3… Brian David Marshall wrote an interesting article about it here.
And green has been strong since. From the U/G Madness and threshold decks of odyssey standard to elves in onslaught (died to goblins, sadly) to Tooth and Nail in Mirrodin to MGA in Ravnica standard to Scryb Force in Time spiral to the momentary B/G (/W) rock decks, and lorwyn elves. And of course, who would look at green without looking at the card that made green spring from the worst color in eternal to one of the better ones. Yeah, I mean goyf. This card has made massive changes to the way Extended, Legacy, and even sometimes Vintage decks do aggro. U/G Threshold is considered to be the number one deck in legacy, with only a very few decks on the same level. And tarmogoyf, to quote someone on gleemax: “Shut off Goblins in a way Werebear has wet dreams about”. A 5/6 for 1G is nothing to scoff about! Also, it is considered the only creature in vintage that is hardcasted to swing for the win. True, it’s rare, but goyf wins in VINTAGE. I honestly have no idea how the hell this could happen. Really. No clue. Sue me. Goyf made green a whole lot more playable all by himself. I don’t get it. I just love it because it means I need to buy $200 worth of cards to play G in any format. Yay.
Anyways, what else is there to say about green? Well, one can say that it hates technology and unnaturality with a passion. Recently, green got another new ability from White, that of the disenchant; it is now the naturalize. And green likes to be big. Very, very big. Let's face it, green has the largest creatures. Blue may have more in the top-ten list, but green has: The biggest non-un guy ever.. Also, green has a history of having the biggest guys. Ravenous Balothis a 4/4 for 4 that nets you 4 or more life almost every time. Enormous Baloth, while not exactly good, has brought joy to the eyes of many a beginner who think 'wow! This card is unbeatable! I win!' (you know, the kind of people who don't know what terror or a mana curve is). In any case though, it isn't because of that that green is played as such. If I had to name the most-ever played green card, I would say Tarmo- [color=indigo]*gets punched in the face by angry scrubs[/color]
OW! I mean, I would say mana elves or mana birds. Seriously, click on the alpha scan. They were called 'mana birds'. The ability for such insane accel is just incredible. They are perhaps one of the greatest grease for the cogs of multicolor that ever existed. And the elves have been staple in green since alpha and will always remain as such.
What else is there to say about green? Well, green's flavor is that of mother nature. Green is not evil or good, but due to life being more often put towards the light side of things, will more likely be seen among the 'good-aligned' colors. However, mother nature is a normally peaceful being... Right? Well, 'mommy' was out a little late last night at a party, and now she's hung over and cranky... enter the meaner side of green... I mean, when this seems 'peaceful' to you, you need to move out of the detroit ghetto. Also, green's love for nature means that it is going to go against anything harmful to nature. Harmful like this or this. Obviously, green is a metagame hater! No, really, green hates enchantments and artifacts with a passion. Such unneeded sorcery ruins the peace and quiet of nature. And we don't want that. DO WE?!? Also, annoying things like counterspells disturb the peace as well. Green is full of Counterspell Hate.
The natural order is well-inforced indeed. Green can hunt, hence it has plenty of provoke and lure effects. The hatred of the unnatural is also taken out on those with wings. From Wallop to reaching canopy. Always nature playing a part. The forest's denizens, aside from the beasts and the forests themselves, there are the elves, which seem to be the typical forest-dwellers everywhere. The children of mother nature, as is to see on the flavor text of this card, elvish piper. Flavorfully, that's about all there is to green. It wouldn't be fair to give everyone else a decklist, but not green, so let's give them this little gem from standard that hasn't made the scene quite yet, but very likely may with eventide... Mono-Green Miracle Gro!
4 llanowar elves
4 tattermunge maniac
4 quirion dryad
4 boggart ram-gang
2 boartusk liege
2 oversoul of dusk
4 safewright quest
4 mercy killing
2 Garruk wildspeaker
3 treetop village
2 Sapseep forest
It's the mono-green deck that isn't mono-green! It can only produce green mana, and still plays Quirion Dryad... it suffices to say that turn one elves, turn two dryad plus Elves, turn three liege+maniac leads to a very quickly growing Dryad and one hell of a turn 4.
There you have it, green. Stompy now?
Next week: Red
The author of Wheeling and Dealing is Jonah Swersey, AKA Budget Player Cadet. Jonah is a writer for MTGDarkness, CPA, and MTGUniverse, and the owner of MTGDarkness.