More and more cards are being spoiled daily and I’m starting to get super-excited for the state of Standard post-Core Set release. It’s the first set ever released with six Planeswalkers in it, and that’s just getting started! Today I want to talk about Green and why I think it’ll be the best color choice moving forward with all the sweet new tools it’s getting.
This old guy is back and ready to stomp and squash opponents into the dust. I’ve mentioned him before as a card I feel is going to be great in combination with [c]Mistcutter Hydra[/c], and I still think that tag team duo will wreck control decks for quite some time. For meager 6 mana you get an 8/8 trampler that’s uncounterable.
Combine that with something like this guy:
Now you have a great way to start smashing opponents into the ground as early as turn 4! The only drawback is the triple green in the casting cost, but I don’t think that’ll be much of a problem.
Especially not with our next star:
For 5 mana, you can play her and protect her the turn she comes down by using her +1 to untap your lands. Not to mention the fact that she’s Green, which seems to be where all the power lies in the new set. She is most comparable to [c]Koth of the Hammer[/c] in my opinion simply because she both makes mana and 4/4s. The biggest difference is that both of her abilities are + abilities, and the 4/4s stick around to keep her company.
Nissa’s ultimate is pretty powerful as well. While it doesn’t win the game on the spot, it strongly threatens to do so on the following turn. You need to know when to activate it, though, as getting blown out is certainly possible, and will most likely happen to less experienced players. For example, if your opponent is playing a control deck and has a fair amount of cards in hand. There’s no reason to risk dying to [c]Supreme Verdict[/c] or even [c]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/c].
Wow! 2 cards down and already Green is looking like where it’s at. How about if I told you it got even better?
This is probably my favorite card out of the new set. He comes down on turn 2 or 3 and then starts chaining value. If only there was a 1-drop in Standard that protected him he would instantly be insane. He certainly does scream “Build around me!” though, and I very much intend to. I’m not sure what type of shell I’d want, but a 2/3 for 3 isn’t bad on its own and the first activation is the most important. Fetching up a mana dork to ramp is very good, and in Green/Black you get [c]Deathrite Shaman[/c] too. While he does kind of force you to overextend into a wrath effect, I’m sure there are many ways to avoid doing so.
If anyone has any great building ideas with this card, I’d love to hear them.
This next one is a little degenerate, a little unfair, and certainly broken:
As a Modern staple, this will certainly see the price fall. More than that though, this gives Green decks a draw effect (essentially) by being a tutor that they can use to find the creature they need. Playing this alongside [c]Courser of Kruphix[/c] and [c]Sylvan Caryatid[/c] will definitely be a thing while they’re all in Standard together and I cannot wait to see what happens with it.
This card does some sweet things for 2 mana, although I’d have loved this during [c]Thragtusk[/c] era in Standard.
It sort of reminds me of [c]Altar’s Reap[/c] and that card didn’t see a whole lot of Standard play, but with [c]Soul of Zendikar[/c] in your deck giving you value from the Graveyard, I see no reason this isn’t a playable card. Printed at the wrong time maybe – I’d also have loved hitting a [c]Geralf’s Messenger[/c] with this – but I still think it’s viable.
Lastly we have the most talked about card in the set and for good reason. It’s by far the most powerful card Standard’s seen since [c]Karn Liberated[/c] and I think it will have the most impact on Standard in the long run.
Run for your life, because the Predator has been released:
Like the Predator in the Alien vs Predator movie series, He is one BAD dude and he’s out hunting.
Sure it takes him some time to get there, a whole 7 mana’s worth of time, but he’s been cursed to kill.
Alright alright, enough with the bad puns and on to Magic’s newest Planeswalker.
For 7 mana, you get what you pay for. He has the ability to kill a Planeswalker, and it’s a +1 ability meaning you’re not losing anything to do it. The list of Planeswalkers being played in Standard is pretty long. Between [c]Jace, Architect of Thought[/c], [c]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/c], [c]Vraska, the Unseen[/c], [c]Ajani, Mentor of Heroes[/c], and [c]Garruk, Caller of Beasts[/c], you’re almost bound to hit one in every match you play.
Now that we know he’s already better than other ‘walkers in a head-to-head battle, let’s look at the most important part of a Planeswalker. Can he protect himself?
Well his other +1 ability is to make a 3/3 deathtouch token. That answers that question. Going more in-depth, his token allows you to proactively block bigger creatures, and attack through larger creatures.
But that’s not all folks! His -3 ability is something that’s bound to deal with troublesome creatures too. He gets to live afterwards, kill a creature, and gain you life. They have a [c]Stormbreath Dragon[/c] that you cannot block with a token? Now you have some more life and they don’t have their Dragon. What more could you want out of a Planeswalker?
His last, ultimate, ability is that your opponent gets the privilege of having an Emblem stating that creatures attacking them get +5/5 and trample. How nice a gift for your opponent. Building up to this by making tokens every turn is a pretty surefire way to win the game on the spot.
Sure 7 mana is a deeeeeeep investment. However, you get every bit of what you pay for and this card is just bonkers!
I cannot wait to see what Green decks do with all these awesome new tools they are getting in Standard, but I’m more excited that it’ll shake things up. I’m tired of getting beat Black and Blue by, well, Black and Blue.
I’ve run out of puns now, so leave your opinion of these sweet new cards in the comments. Until next time, Happy Spellslinging!
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