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Re-Analyzing Mono-Color in Commander: Green (Part 2)


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!

Library Matters

Lost in the Woods
Skalla Wolf

Lost costs 5, and then when a dork attacks you or a friend, reveal the top card of your library. Was it a Forest? Then no damage is dealt! Nasty and again counts duals and tri lands and other non-basics that are Forests. The Wolf is also a 5-cost, this time a 3/3 and when it ETBs you dig five, and draw a Green card from them after revealing it. Nice card flow over time on a body that's better than just, draw a card, since you'll likely get to choose and gold stuff counts for Green too. It's also Wolf for that tribe.

Nessian Game Warden is a five drop 4/5 uncommon. When it ETBs, you dig the top cards of your library equal to your Forest count. Then put a dork in your hand after revealing it. It's very strong since you can get a threat and dig deep, especially with Yavimaya or the Forest maker out by anyone. I run this regularly in my Commander decks I build for you, especially my Budget Commander Series since it's just a quarter to purchase here. Ditto Skalla Wolf which is $0.75.

Ramp, Mana Doubling and Forest Tricks

Nissa, Who Shakes the World
Vernal Bloom

Wanna make even more mana when you tap your lands? I got you! Nissa can +1 to put three +1/+1 counters on your land and turn it into a hasted vigilance dork. But she's here because your Forests will tap for an additional mana. Nasty! She is a Green powerhouse, and with Yavimaya is just as bonkers as Cabal Coffers with Urborg. The Bloom costs 4 and then whenever a Forest is tapped for mana, make another. This does not say "you," so it affects everyone, giving them all extra mana, but you'll plan around it and run more Forests. It's pretty strong.

Quirion Ranger
Scryb Ranger

We have a pair of dorks that can return a Forest to your hand to untap a dork, both of which were heavily played at tournament tables and are Commander staples. The Elf was printed as a common, was just a 1/1 for one so mega-cheap. Then you can do that once. The Faerie costs two, was printed as an uncommon, and adds in three keyworded abilities: flash, pro-Blue and flying! You could flash this out and block a blue flyer and save yourself massive damage.

Why would you want to untap? Well here's one for the Ranger who is an Elf: Priest of Titania. Ditto Wellwisher and Timberwatch Elves. Then they can untap a Commander that has a tap ability in their color like Selvala, Heart of the Wilds. You can untap a beater to block to give you pseudo-vigilance. Or you can bounce a Forest to get another landfall trigger of Rampaging Baloths, and with Gaea's Touch or Exploration not even notice. Nasty! Or you might want to untap...

Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary

...this guy! Although he's banned in Commander so you'd need another format to make that trick work or a group that would let you run them together. This two-drop 2/1 on-curve Elf taps for mana equal to your Forest count. You already know where I am going with this! (Cough...Yavimaya...cough). Rofellos is very strong even without that combo and is also very abusive. He's also an Elf for that deck. Nasty!

Like I mentioned above with the sacrificing of Forests for things, this color is rampant with letting you play lands from the graveyard, like Conduit of Worlds. And Titania, Nature's Force means you can drop Forests instead. She's a sizable 6/6 for six with legendary for Command Zone purposes. Then when a Forest ETBs, you make a 5/3 Elemental token, a great landfall leader. Then when an Elemental you control dies, even tokens, you can (may) mill three, and then play Forests from your graveyard. She's very strong at punching above her weight and smashing things all up and down the block.

Devotion and Uncounterability

Allosaurus Shepherd

Ah yes, the Shepherd. This one-drop 1/1 is on curve and cannot be countered, although that may not be common at Commander. But now your Green stuff cannot be countered, which is brilliant protection that hits before most counters and answers come online. Then you can spend six mana as many times as you wish and when you do, each Elf you control becomes a 5/5 Dinosaur to win with. And it's an Elf. You can do that on your turn to smash and then on your foes to kill attackers and play keep away. Nasty! It's in a rare set and it's very expensive on the secondary market, sorry! It's very strong here with Green stuff that is other colors just as much in mono-decks.

Karametra's Acolyte

The Elemental is a six-costing trampler with size equal to your Green symbol count, at least six with it. With trample? It's a game winner. The Human costs four, and then a small 1/4 body that's rocks a tap ability for mana equal to your devotion count, at least one for her and then with your Commander out, at least two. Similarly, Setessan Petitioner gains you life equal to your devotion count. Strong in life gain brews.

Nylea, God of the Hunt is a 6/6, indestructible, and won't be a dork unless your devotion count is 5. Your other dorks have trample. You can spend 4 to give a dork +2/+2 for the turn, nice way to speed up your Commander damage clock. It's also a fine mana sink later in the game on a hard to answer problem.

Khalni Hydra

We do have a very expensive Green drop with all of the pips, but with a cost reduction for each Green dork you control. This is an eight-mana 8/8 with trample, so it's a win con that can be cast for very little very early. It's very strong in decks with devotion to Green since it counts as 8 just by itself. I love this as a backup attacker in a going wide token brew with things like Saprolings. For example, one Green dork on turns 2-4, and then Deranged Hermit on 5 will give you a free Hydra. Nice!

Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig
Steel Leaf Champion

One way to encourage you to stay one color are cards heavy on a single color. These have loads of value in devotion decks. Yorvo is a three-drop with four +1/+1 counters on him and when another Green dork ETBs, you can place another counter on it, two if it has a bigger power. That's very strong here with leading a mono-Green deck with either a power-matters brew or a +1/+1 counter one. The Champion also costs three and rewards you with an ahead-of-curve 5/4 for that that cannot be blocked by low-power stuff. It's very strong!

Check out the three-mana pair in Llanowar Tribe and Old-Growth Troll. The Tribe is on-curve mana ramp option. Then the Troll is a 4/4 with trample, which also pushes you into Green with its cost. Then when it dies you can turn it into an aura that enchants a Forest. Then that can make a tapped 4/4 trample token, so it comes back once more. It's very strong for its casting cost and then it got loads of play when Standard-legal.

Circle of Dreams Druid is a three-drop that taps for mana equal to your creature count. Nasty in any deck, it's a Gaea's Cradle on legs. That's one of the most beloved lands ever printed for casual formats and Standard as well as Commander. Gigantosaurus is a five-drop all-Green dork that's a massive 10/10 for five mana (but no evasion). Nasty at punching face, and just four hits to kill with normal damage.

Abilities and Evasion

Bellowing Tanglewurm
Roughshod Mentor

We have three ways to give our Green dorks abilities. The five-drop 4/4 has intimidate so it's only blockable by Green and artifacts. Nasty evasion for your team. Then the six-drop gives your Green stuff trample. It's the way that Green evades, it's worse than flying or menace, but prevents chump blocking, so it's valuable. Running both at the same time is very hard to answer. This uncommon pair seems like it would likely be in the same deck. I love them with a Commander that has a combat damage trigger that needs to slip through. Nice duo.

Let's finish this with a classic Commander Zone eligible four-drop 4/4 flash Elf: Yeva, Nature's Herald. Once in play? Your Green creatures have flash as well. That's nasty since she's already on curve. Building around her is very strong at the kitchen table with things like dorks with ETB triggers to cast EOT or when you are attacked to play have with attackers or just flashing out a Wall of Blossoms to block a lethal attack. She's so awesome!

Defiler of Vigor

We recently saw the printing of the Defiler cycle, in this case you get a very strong 6/6 trampler for five. When you want to cast a Green permanent like your Commander, you can reduce its G costs by spending 2 life as if it has Phyrexian mana. That's very strong here in a 40-life format. Then when you cast a permanent Green spell, put a +1/+1 counter on all of your stuff. Nasty double dipping. This works with any Green Commander, particularly one with a lot of Green pips. Note that these triggers don't work on sorceries like Regrowth or instants like Beast Within, but permanents like Eternal Witness or Sylvan Library.

One of the most iconic things Green can do at the kitchen table is dropping big fat creatures, often for free. To that end, check out Dramatic Entrance, a 5-cost instant that puts any Green dork from your hand into play, thus avoiding its cost. It's a nasty combat trick to drop your fat 12/12 to smash an attacker or just EOT, and then attack someone who tapped out attacking thinking you were not able to hit back. In the era of gold dorks this is still strong at the kitchen table. Garruk, Caller of Beasts is a 6-drop with just 4 loyalty, but his +1 digs deep and puts all dorks into your hand. Nasty card flow in a creature dense deck. Then you can -3 to put a Green creature into the battlefield from your hand, and since you just +1 to draw dorks, that's got synergy with the other stuff as well.

Next up is a pair of tutors that dominated formats: Green Sun's Zenith and Natural Order. The Zenith searches for an X-costed Green dork and puts it onto the battlefield. This was iconic with dropping Dryad Arbor for X=0 on the first turn. That combo works well in this format Commander as well.

Then the Order also dominated Standard with a deck called Secret Forces piloted famously by Jamie Wakefield that used it to sacrifice early drops like Wall of Roots for a Verdant Force the "best fattie ever printed." The Order costs 4, sacrifices a Green dork, and then fetches out a Green dork to the battlefield, each wanting Green. Some would fetch out the 5 color Sliver Queen instead. You can sacrifice anything Green, even tokens, so this works very strongly in that build alongside Saprolings and Elves and Squirrels. Nasty pair!

Once and Future

The uncommon costs four, is an instant, you can Regrowth any card from your graveyard to your hand and another to the top of your library. Then if you paid three Green, both head to hand. Strong recursion compared to Restock at instant speed so you can Regrowth an answer and use it! You don't even need to have basics or Forest, just any Green mana from any source from Commander's Sphere to Birds of Paradise to Karplusan Forest. Then the common also costs four, for a sorcery. This is a fight spell and you put a +1/+1 counter on your dork first. Then your dork also gets indestructible if you adamanted. Nasty combo here, love it with fight and +1/+1 counter brews.

Now let's turn to some "reveal from hand" abilities. Ivy Seer is a four-drop 1/1 Wizard that taps for three and you reveal any number of Green and pump a dork by that amount. Since this isn't the removal of the Black and Red ones, it's not as strong, but getting a Commander kill out of nowhere is pretty fun! Martyr of Spores is a one-drop 1/1 with the ability to sacrifice with one mana to reveal Green and then, like the Seer, pump a dork by that amount. Since this is such a cheap dork and effect, I like it in Golgari decks built around recursion where you can use it to cast and recast multiple times, and get a Commander Damage kill in one turn with a big enough body.

Temur Charger is an uncommon two-drop 3/1 that can be played with 3 colorless as morph, and then has a mana-free flip - reveal a Green card. When this is turned up, you can give something trample, which is great out of nowhere as a combat trick when your non-trampler was just chump blocked. And it doesn't slow you down either, your mana flow is still just as valuable for casting things. It's very fun!

Every color in the debut set got pumping, save for Green, but Green got Killer Bees a few sets later - a flying Frozen Shade. Nasty at winning the game, and you can see how pumping like this wants you to run that color as much as possible. This is fine in today's two-color brews with all of the lands that tap for both colors. Unyaro Bees printed in Time Spiral are harder to cast with triple Green, and still just 0/1 and pump for a Green. But they can be sacrificed for four to Shock any target. That's nice when targeted for removal or to kill a key dork or planeswalker. Nasty here!

Cast Triggers

Nettle Sentinel
Staff of the Wild Magus

We also have a few permanents that have Green cast triggers. The creature is a one-drop 2/2, ahead of curve. But it doesn't untap as normal, you have to cast a Green spell to do so. Note that gold things here count. It's also an Elf for that deck. The artifact is a three-drop that triggers when you cast Green things or drop a Forest. Two useful triggers. Gain a life when you do either, and that's a lot of triggers in the color of life gain. Consider it with the popular Golgari leader Dina, Soul Steeper. It's very strong here.

Green Matters

Omnath, Locus of Mana

The first Omnath is a Commander classic. This 1/1 for three and Command Zone eligible. Then you don't lose Green mana as things end. It's an Upwelling for just you, but just Green mana. Then Omnath gets a power and toughness boost equal to your Green mana in your pool. This is a very fast Commander Damage kill and since mana burn doesn't exist anymore, you won't lose anything when Omnath is answered.

We have another cheap Elf that's ahead of the curve, but with a drawback: Talara's Battalion. Nasty! But this can only be cast if you've cast a Green spell this turn, which means, minimum, one drop on turn three into this. It was pretty heavily played when legal in Standard and then was a powerful house. It's brilliant with cheap stuff matters like Unearth since it's so big. It's strong in loads of places, particularly given its size and trample. It's very strong at the swinging.

Card Draw

Regal Force

We have a great card draw option printed to finish with. The Force! This is a bit behind the curve size-wise, but its ETB is worth it. Draw a card for each Green dork you control, which always counts itself and your Commander, so minimum two. It's great in the same brew as Khalni Hydra for very different reasons. One is cheaper, the other draws you all of the cards. It's a Commander Classic in more than 20,000 decks over at EDHREC.com.

And there we go! I hope that you enjoyed our deep dive into things powerful and complex and Green based. Anything you didn't know existed or forgot about? I hope so!

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