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Re-Analyzing Mono-Color in Commander: Green


Hello awesome Commander fans! Today I have something special for you, the last in a series of deep dives into various cards and infrastructure that lead you to want to play just that color in mono-brews in the format. But with all of the dual lands and tri lands and gold dorks these are much easier to knock out in two colors or more than previously.

Here are my previous articles in the series!

Ready? Let's take a deep dive!

Tricks With Forests

Ambush Commander
Awakener Druid

Let's kick thing off with this pair. The rare is five-drop 2/2 that turns all of your Forests into 1/1 Elves. The initial set debuted with Living Lands, a four-cost enchantment that also turned, but here you are on a dork that has tribal synergy. Then you can spend two and sac an Elf to give something a Giant Growth for the turn, like your Commander that can win with Commander Damage. Or survive a Lightning Bolt. The uncommon is a three-drop 1/1 that on arrival to the battlefield will turn a Forest into a 4/5 Treefolk for as long as you control the Druid. Nice duo to kick off our list with.

Arbor Elf
Nissa, Worldwaker

Now let's turn to untapping Forest. Arbor can be played on turn one, then taps to untap a Forest. It's better than Llanowar Elves since you could untap a dual or tri land for other colors. It's also an Elf for that synergy. Nissa is a five-drop 3 loyalty with two +1s. The first is to turn a land into a 4/4 with trample. The latter is to untap up to four Forests, so if you tapped four for her, you'll get 4 mana back immediately. Nasty pair of +1 for our friend Nissa.

Patron of the Orochi is a legendary 7/7 for 8 that can be played as a Commander. It can be played with flash and a cost reduction equal to the Snake you sacrifice. Once each turn you can tap it to untap all of your Forests and Green stuff, it too. Nasty here! It's very strong in any Green deck, not just Snakes, and its 8 mana is nothing with the color of ramp. Nasty untapping machine. I love this with Green beaters, Green tappers like Birds of Paradise, and high mana spells like Hydras that you can tap out to cast and untap.

Awaken the Woods

We have a card recently printed that makes your Forests 1/1 Dryads. Then you can make a ton of Forests for future things in this article that care about Forests like untapping them all with Patron, or getting bigger with Aspect, and so forth. They is a great way in two and three-color decks to get all of the Forests. If you tap out it basically doubles your mana, save for the two you spent to start it.

Baru, Fist of Krosa
Oran-Rief Hydra

Landfall exists in all colors, but we have a dork, Baru, who has Forestfall. When a Forest enters the battlefield (under anyone's control), your Green stuff gets trample and +1/+1. He cares about Green stuff and Forests in one card. He's a 4/4 for five and legendary for Command Zone purposes. Then there is a landfall dork with an enhanced ability if you drop a Forest - the Hydra, a 5/5 trampler for 6. Regular land? It gets a +1/+1 counter. Forest? Two instead. It's nice in +1/+1 counter brews since it's already on curve and gets them for free just by doing what you'd do anyway.

Printed decades ago was a cycle of cycling cards that added "land" cycling to cycle with two colorless mana, two were in that set. Elvish Aberration and Wirewood Guardian will grab any Forest, not just basics. These were heavily played since they are non-Green mana ways of getting Forests from your deck that can then be dropped and tapped for the Green stuff in your hand like Cultivate for more ramping. Also note that both are Elves. The former one is a 4/5 for six that taps for three and thus adds to your ramping mana making option once mana is set. The latter is a vanilla 6/6 for 7 mana that's also playable later when your mana is set. Both still have value as colorless ways of grabbing any Forest from your deck.

Genju of the Cedars

Each color from the first Kamigawa Block got a "Genju of the" that cost one, enchanted just that color's land, in this case Forest, and then activated for 2 to make a Spirit dork of that color. In this case you get a 4/4 for two mana, bigger than things like Mishra's Factory. When the Forest dies, this returns to your hand for another casting. Since we are in the color of enchantment and aura love like Verduran Enchantress, you can net more triggers with this over time. Nasty!

Finally, let's not forget Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth that turns all lands into Forests. It's great in your two- or three-color brews to get tons of Insects from Beacon as well as a fat Liege and then a Forestwalk through unblockably. It's also great in mono-color so you can lean into non-basics and still have Forests for those effects and it's tutorable with any land tutor like Sylvan Scrying. It's very strong at the kitchen table!

Permanent Pump

Aspect of Wolf

Now let's turn to permanent size pumping. Green debuted with Aspect, a two drop Aura that increases the enchanted thing's power and toughness by half of your Forest count, rounded down for power and up for toughness. It's fun! Soon they printed the legendary Kaysa that pumps all of your Green things only, which was rare for that time since this was in the era of Bad Moon and Crusade that pumped your opponent's stuff as well. She can be legendary. Shout out to the same mana, 4/4 size, but very expensive on the secondary market Meng Huo, Barbarian King.

Paragon of Eternal Wilds is a four-drop 2/2 that gives your other Green things a boost of +1/+1. Then you can tap it with a Green mana and give a Green dork you control trample to give it an evasion to the one blocked in combat to help some damage get through. Sylvan Anthem is a two-drop enchantment that just pumps your Green stuff by +1/+1 too. Then when a Green dork ETBs you scry 1 for free. That's a nice little addition. With all of the Green token making in this color, that's pretty strong in both bases.

Creature Making

Beacon of Creation
Howl of the Night Pack

We have two sorceries that make token creatures equal to your Forest count that have been printed. The Beacon makes 1/1 Insects for a four-mana investment and then shuffles back. The Howl costs more at seven, but gives you a bigger 2/2 Wolf for that cost. Both are strong with more Forests and I really like them in Token builds, Forest heavy brews and with Planeswalker decks to block many attacks on your friends.

Brawn cannot be answered save by exiling it from the graveyard with something like Bojuka Bog. It's very strong in kitchen table play. The two in the cycle that give haste and flying (Anger and Wonder) are heavily played in Commander and many think this is third best with Swampwalk and First Strike the last two. But with the proliferation of Urborg in every Black deck and most games, I think Filth is better than Brawn. But your milage may vary. You cannot block Swampwalk like you can flying or trample or even shadow or horsemanship.

Ahead of the Curve

Bull Elephant
Stampeding Serow

Green regularly has disadvantages that are easier to pay for ahead of curve things, like this pair. The Elephant is a generic 4/4 for four, and that was so bad it came with a disadvantage in that era. In this case you bounce two Forests. Bounce two Forests in today with all of the landfall and Exploration in your color? Turn that advantage around! The Serow is a four mana 5/4 trampler. In your upkeep you have to self-bounce a Green dork, ideally a cheap one like Essence Warden. However, turn this one around with ETB dorks like Eternal Witness and Reclamation Sage for great value over time.

Now let's turn to size from things heavy in Green brews. Dauntless Dourbark is a four-drop X/X where X is your Treefolk and Forest count, nasty. It also has trample if you control another Treefolk, pretty good with any Treefolk Commander as well as just generally. Of which Dungrove Elder counts! It's a three-drop with power and toughness equal to your Forest count, and it has hexproof to keep away targeted removal. Nice pair. This is very strong with the Forest making card we looked at earlier and something we'll see later...

Green debuted with Gaea's Liege, which you can tap to give something a Forest to increase its size or Forestwalk your foe's with things. This will answer things like Maze of Ith. Then when you attack, your power and toughness instead become your opponent's Forest count. That's very strong with the many decks that care about Green and Forest ramping for duals all over the block. You can see why this ability was heavily pushed to Green. Drove of Elves is a four-drop uncommon with hexproof as well. This time it's power and toughness are equal to your Green permanent count, and I like this as a backup beater in a Green token deck where going wide can't get past Propaganda effects. It's also an Elf for tribal brews.

Removal and Sacrifice

Crash Landing

Now let's turn to our lone removal card, this three-cost instant uncommon. A targeted flyer loses flying and then takes damage equal to your Forest count. That's nasty here as you can dal a lot of damage to kill most flyers, and dropping flying as well at instant speed can get that unblockable dork that thought it was safe getting smashed by your ground pounder and dying even if it does survive the damage.

Elven Palisade

We have a lot of effects that sacrifice Forests for things, let's look at a few. The enchantment is a one-drop. Then for no mana you can sacrifice a Forest to drop an attacking dork by three power for the turn. This can play havoc on an attack and really make some of your defenders survive an attack by foes that would have otherwise died. Your 4/4 blocking their 5/4 won't die now. Nasty. You can also swap it to drop the power of things attacking other players and play politics. It's got great synergy with replaying lands from your graveyard which is all over this color as well as bringing them back with effects.

The creature is a three-drop 1/2 that can spend a mana to sacrifice a Forest to pump itself by +2/+2 for the turn, like the power of Atog, but with the added break of requiring mana to do so. It's fun and interesting, and you'll like it with Splendid Reclamation and a lethal swing out of nowhere.

Let's check out Heartwood Giant next! This five-drop 4/4 will tap for nothing else to sacrifice a Forest to shoot a player or a planeswalker for two damage, so it's player and planeswalker removal, which is a nice backup removal option on a decently sized option to have. It's also a Giant for tribal stuff. It has the same synergies as the above pair.


We had a one cost Sorcery printed way back in Portal that will gain you a life for each Forest everyone controls not just you. In a heavy Forest brew, this can easily gain you a ton of life, as well as with more players in four player games. This is very strong with the aforementioned Yavimaya since you'll gain a life for each land everyone controls. That could easily be 16 or 23 life in the mid game with some ramping and Yavimaya. Nasty! Love this generally, but also in Golgari or Selesnya Life Gain Brews it'll make you a load of triggers. This is only in 233 decks over at EDHREC.com.

Before Exploration was printed, we had Gaea's Touch. The Touch of Gaea lets you play an additional land on your turn, but only if it's a basic Forest. That's fine. Then you can sacrifice it for two Green to get back the mana you used to cast it, for a bigger spell like a Fireball or Hurricane. It's very strong in most decks. It's Pauper-legal.

Free and Pitch Spells

Land Grant

Free and pitch spells are heavily played in formats ever since being printed. Obviously, Blue had the best with Force of Will, as well as Vintage-restricted Gush and cards like Misdirection.

Let's start with the Giant Growth variant. For 3, your target dork gets +4/+4 one more than you'd expect. But you can have a foe gain 3 life to cast it for free. It scales up in Commander and other multiplayer formats, since you just can have the player you are not attacking get the pump. You can also give an infect dork a nasty dose when winning with poison counters, not life. You can also get a Commander damage win too, even giving that person life, so this was heavily played after infect was added to formats like Modern and Commander. It's very strong. But the land fetcher? That's the big one that dominated many formats. For two you can cast and Tutor a Forest for your hand, so one more than Lay of the Land but any Forest. But you can just reveal your hand and cast for free without a land in your hand. This would let you only run duals and very light land counts and run very heavy spells that cost one. Land Grant is, to my mind, the third-most iconic free or pitch spell ever created since it has dominated older formats.

Reverent Silence
Vine Dryad

Let's turn to these four drop free spells. The Silence is a sorcery that destroys all enchantments, so it's a Tranquility for another mana. Need to clear out everything after tapping out for your Commander? Control a Forest? Then have each foe gain six life, and clear out the board! This is very strong as a sweeper that can take out a ton of enchantments from Sylvan Library to Smothering Tithe to Rhystic Study to Phyrexian Arena to enchantment dorks like Courser of Kruphix, but your stuff goes too. That's usually worth it and the free version is great. The Dryad is a dork that has flash with Forestwalk on a 1/3 body. You can exile a Green cast to cast it for free. It got play when it was Standard-legal and then here you can also get a 1/3 Forestwalk naturally to block attackers or cast EOT and then untap and swing for the winning.

Let's wrap today with the recently printed Force of Vigor. This four-cost instant destroys two artifacts and/or enchantments, so it's a double Naturalize for double mana. 2 for 1! Then you can cast it for free by exiling a Green card to get the thing, so in an emergency when you are tapped, it's 2 for 2 instead. Even then it's still the card equilibrium of Naturalize effects.

Next week, we'll finish up our look back through Commander's Green staples!

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