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Top Ten B/G Cards

Two more Top Ten (Two Color Combo) articles left!

I love this stuff!

Welcome back to the series that counts down all of the best cards in each two-color combo. I began the series with rg back during Christmas time and now we are about to conclude it. Just two more left!

For my enemy color combinations, I decided to go in order from my least favorite color combo to my favorite. That’s why I started with ug, before moving to ur, then bw and now bg, my second favorite enemy color combo before I hit up rw next week to finish this epic journey of ten articles.

Of the 114 cards that are Green and Black, I have played all but four.1 That’s no surprise given that it’s my 2nd favorite enemy color combo!

Please note that in order for a card to make this list, it needs to be good at the kitchen table. A card like

Deathrite Shaman

Deathrite Shaman may be great for high level tournament play due to the nature of that format, but it’s much weaker here.

Also note that cards like Ishkanah, Grafwidow might have the bg color identity for Commander purposes, but it lacks the actual two colors you need to qualify.

These cards are not bg:

Spider Spawning
Quagmire Druid

These, on the other hand, are bg:

Life // Death
Death Mutation
Golgari Guildmage

All right, so given that, what’s making our list?

Honorable Mention — Maelstrom Pulse; Abrupt Decay

Maelstrom Pulse
Abrupt Decay

There is a ton of value in destroying stuff that is messing with your plans, which is where these removal variants come in. Both have heavy value at the kitchen table, as ways to comfortably say “No.” You want to destroy a target that’s’ getting out of hand? Maelstrom Pulse and friends to the rescue! It will also destroy all of the same creature tokens if someone used a mass token creature like kicked Rite of Replication or cycling Decree of Justice, and that’s something that can push the game in your direction at times. Both are good. See also: Putrefy. (But to a lesser degree, Maelstrom Pulse is always my first removal spell of choice).

10. Spiritmonger / Reaper of the Wilds

Reaper of the Wilds

I like beefy gold creatures that are cheap, on-curve, and have at least three abilities!

Both of these are useful and powerful. You can easily drop one on the battlefield and it will have a big impact, due to the size, cost, and abilities. The best are the many abilities though. Take the old school Spiritmonger, with regeneration, countering, and shifting color. The counter adding happens pretty regularly, because it’s when the Monger of Spirits hurts a creature, not kills it. In fact, you could load it up and shoot something for counters with an effect like Viridian Longbow or something similar. Don’t sleep on regeneration and color shifting either, and both are useful to fall back on when you need to.

Meanwhile, the Wild Reaper is also an awesome trilogy of usefulness. Let’s face it: Stuff dies at the kitchen table. Might as well rack up some scry triggers for free when they do! Giving it either hexproof or deathtouch as needed is pretty cool. The Reaper always have hexproof when you have the mana up, because your foe has to play around it.

Both of these bodies are serious champions for your next Magic deck!

9. Jarad’s Orders

Jarad's Orders

Ah yes, the Orders of Jarad. They are one of the best creature tutor effects out there. Because it both tutor a creature into your hand for playing and another into your graveyard for abuse, it fits multiple decks. I like to grab a self-recursive threat like Bloodghast plus my best, on curve threat for my hand. But there are lots of other options too, like filling your graveyard with a recursion target and getting the creature that can grab it (such as a big fatty and Karmic Guide for the 5th turn). I also like to get the perfect creature for breaking a creature stalemate, like Anger, Glory, Wonder, Genesis, or Filth. You can’t deny the power of the Orders in a format that is as in love with the graveyard and card advantage as much as multiplayer generally, and Commander specifically. Jarad's Orders rule the kitchen table.

8. Vhati il-Dal

Vhati il-Dal

I have gone on record for this many times, and I’ll do so again here. Vhati’s simple tap ability remains one of the best ever printed. Very few creatures have a no-cost or no-mana tap ability as good as Vhati’s. There are a few reasons. Vhati is amazing at playing offense, and many a Commander deck (including my own) is built around reducing an opposing dork’s toughness to one and then finishing it off. It can kill stuff that a normal Kill Tap can’t because you can use stuff like Liliana, the Last Hope’s -2/-1 to kill off something with indestructible. Meanwhile you can run Vhati well on defense by cutting the power of something to one damage. That will drop any creature you would otherwise have feared to a non-starter. Blightsteel Colossus? Kozilek, the Great Distortion? You get the idea. All ended. And you can block something that would otherwise have smashed through.

Vhati is amazing. Vhati is versatile. Vhati is dominant.

Vhati is.

7. Garruk Relentless / Garruk, the Veil-Cursed

Garruk Relentless
Garruk, the Veil-Cursed

And despite my admitted man-love for Vhati, I also have to admit that Garruk Relentless Is just a whisker better. It’s so close! But Garruk wins out. Why?

Well, Garruk is versatile-er as a ‘walker with two sides. Now what holds him down initially is how hard he can be to flip. You shoot something for 3, and you take 1 or 2 back and then transform your Garruk. But you can make a ton of 2/2 Wolves before the flipping of Garruk. And you can kill stuff to.

And then you flip and you’ll be in a good place. His deathtouch Wolf production is arguably better in multiplayer, as each one trades with something. His ability to sacrifice dorks for an Eladamri's Call effect is just awesome. And you can easily get to ultimate him up to a big ol’ threat of fun Garruk’s awesome!

6. Glissa, the Traitor

Glissa, the Traitor

To this day, I’m unsure of how Glissa, the Traitor gave Green an artifact machine, but she did, and the result is that the one, true, anti-artifact color out there, Green, has one of the most powerful pro-artifact engines! That invests Glissa with a whole lot more power and usefulness than you might normally expect. She wants to kill opposing dorks, and then recur an artifact from your graveyard to your hand each time. Frankly, she should be wwb, not ggb (First strike, and graveyard recursion of artifacts in White; deathtouch and kill trigger in Black). But the color wheel’s loss is the Golgari aficionado’s gain.

Now you have a tool to use to turn opposing death to artificial life. Glissa is infamous for creating loops at the kitchen table. Take, as one cheap and easy example:

Executioner's Capsule

The Executioner's Capsule. Did you just sacrifice it? Great! After the creature you targeted died, you will get the Capsule back from your graveyard. Just recast and reuse. And folks, that is a simple combo. Glissa, the Traitored One is amazing at linking together things like Myr Retriever, Mind Stone, or Nihil Spellbomb.

She is amazing at bringing unusual stuff together in a color duo that really wouldn’t normally expect it. Plus if she blocks or is blocked, she’ll first strike and deathtouch and kill the one engaged with her and trigger stuff to come back to your hand, so she’s even good in the red zone!

Glissa for the Win-sa!

But she ain’t in muh Top Five.

5. The Gitrog Monster

The Gitrog Monster

The Gitrog Monster is! Let’s face it, this is a color combination of graveyard fun times. We all know the power of Nightmare Fuel in a color combo like this one. The Gitrog Monster is a perfect choice to illustrate that perfectly. The great thing about the Horror of Frogs is that it’s a land-based graveyard leader, and that’s cool. It slips alongside a lot of other cards out there. Sacrifice a land! Play an extra land each turn! When one of your lands bites it, draw a card!

That trio of terrific land synergy is perfect. You are dropping double lands, getting at least one card a turn, and churning stuff easily and well.

The Gitrog Monster also has mad synergy with everything land based. Here are just a few examples . . . 

  1. Cycle a land to draw a card!
  2. Crack a fetch land to draw a card!
  3. Discard a land to Seismic Assault or Land's Edge to draw a card!
  4. Like that? Discard a land to Borborygmos Enraged to draw a card!
  5. My favorite? Use Jarad's Orders to get a normal creature for your hand and to put a Dryad Arbor from your library to your graveyard to draw a card!
  6. Entomb a land to draw a card!

Seismic Assault
Land's Edge

And then beside discarding you can use stuff like Crucible of Worlds; Titania, Protector of Argoth; or Ramunap Excavator to recur dead lands back for another go. How about Splendid Reclamation or Planar Birth!

Splendid Reclamation
Planar Birth

And how many cards will you draw off an Armageddon? Chapter One of the Fall of the Thran Saga? I’m sure you get the idea. The Gitrog Monster is a maker of majestic vistas.

Enjoy it!

4. Lord of Extinction

Lord of Extinction

Again, this is a color all about graveyard-infused fun. Thus, the Lord of Extinction. It perfectly fits the colors. As you swell your own graveyard, the Lord of Extinction is getting bigger. And unlike most Graveyard-sized forces, this is not just looking at creatures, but all cards!

And, of course, the kicker here is that the Extinction Lord also grows with the size of opposing ‘yards as well. In a very short time, this will kill everyone running around at a kitchen table. You can even easily kill a Commander player with their starting life total of 40 with aplomb.

That’s something to fear.

Everyone but you will be extinct when you wield this Elemental of Death.

3. Vraska the Unseen

Vraska the Unseen

Vraska the First is so awesome and stone-y.

Let me count the ways.

First, she can destroy any non-land immediately on arrival. I’ll often cast her, immediately drop her loyalty to 2 and kill the biggest threat at the table, and then call it as someone swings into her and kills her. It’s fine.

Second, you can also give her a +1 to protect her from getting whacked by one creature that might otherwise kill her. Do you want your big Akroma, Angel of Fury to trade with Vraska? Then, if not, you now have two chances to -3 her and kill some stuff, increasing her long-term value.

Outside of combos with token makers, (like Doubling Season or proliferate) I’ve never used her ultimate much. It is good, especially after you’ve swept the board. I once used Damnation, killed all creatures, ultimated her, and then swung with haste via Anger and killed all three opponents at once. But that’s not often. I use the -3 more often, as it’s flexible and can always be used.

Vraska has the chops to make the top three cards in her color!

But she’s not the most powerful ‘walker in bg . . . 

2. Garruk, Apex Predator

Garruk, Apex Predator

Forget Nicol Bolas. Garruk, Apex Predator is one of my favorite heavy walkers. When I say “heavy walkers” I mean ones who have a powerfully evocative board presence. Garruk, Apex Predator is one of the most powerful and fearful forces around. Destroy a ‘walker flat out? Eat a dork and gain some life? Make a 3/3 with deathtouch that increases your loyalty? Start at 5 loyalty? This version of Garruk is the best, most powerful, out there. It’s an Axe-Carving Nightmare.

There’s really not a lot to talk about here. I mean, if you wanted, I could talk about how great having a 3/3 dork with deathtouch for free each turn is. Or how awesome it is to gain loyalty while killing ‘walkers. But if you play Magic, you already know that stuff, so you can see the power and value of Garruk, Apex Predator. He is the most powerful Garruk out there!

And that leads us to the most obvious card in any countdown list I have ever written.

1. Pernicious Deed

Pernicious Deed
Gaze of Granite

Pernicious Deed is always going to be here. Period. It remains one of the best cards ever printed for multiplayer, casual, or anything else. It’s the Deed of the Pernicious Freyalise.

I mean seriously, this was more obvious than Muldrotha as the best Commander from Dominaria or any of my other Top Tens. Pernicious Deed ain’t going anywhere.

I have named it the fifth best card ever printed for multiplayer.

Its presence is required at the top of the list. Shout out to Gaze of Granite while we’re here, by the by.

Let’s use double negatives to confuse things:

Pernicious Deed can’t not be here

And there we are!

What did you think of my list? Where did I go wrong? Did I miss anything?

And as always, thanks for reading! Next week we’ll hit the last of these articles, and finish with the awesome that is Red/White!


Did you like this top ten list? Want to read more? Great! Here are my first eight two-color lists for you to check out:

  1. Top Ten R/G
  2. Top Ten U/W
  3. Top Ten U/B
  4. Top Ten R/B
  5. Top Ten W/G
  6. Top Ten U/G
  7. Top Ten U/R
  8. Top Ten B/W

P.S. — Oh, as a quick FYI, most readers out there know that I have published more than 1000 articles on MTG. That’s a lot of articles! I began doing a Throwback Thursday post on my Facebook page where I link to an older article of mine that I still like, and then give you a quick paragraph of context about it. Check it out! Also, feel encouraged to add me as friend. Have you wept alongside me with my “And on that Day, Like any Other?” Have you rejoiced with me alongside my journey?If you have invested time in reading my articles then you are my friend already. So, add me!

1 I have not played Woodwraith Corrupter, Trestle Troll, Rites of Reaping, and Odious Trow.

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