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Core Set 2020 Standard Set Review: Green and Lands

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Check out the other entries:

White | Blue | Black and Gold | Red and Artifacts


We will wrap up everything from Core Set 2020 today as I cover my favorite color in Magic, Green, and the Lands. This is how I'll be reviewing these cards.

I will not be going over cards that I believe will not see play in Standard. For example, cards like Wishcoin Crab and Watcher in the Mist will be omitted since they are just Limited cards and saying, "This is just a Limited card" repeatedly gets old rather fast. Don't worry though, I will be covering all the rare and mythic cards in the set. So, if you like a certain rare or mythic, it will be mentioned in the review.

Keep in mind I'm rating all these cards for Standard playability. I will mention Modern applications if I believe the card has some.

Each card will be listed by color, then alphabetically by name.

Each card will give a rating of 1-5. If a card would receive a 0, meaning it will see no play in that format ever, its rating is left off the list.

Rating | Explanation | Standard Examples

0 - Will never see play in this format (0 ratings are not listed).

1 - Unlikely to see play. (Light of the Legion)

2 - Could see fringe play, or occasional sideboard card. (Drowned Secrets)

3 - Commonly played, staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Cast Down, Thought Erasure)

4 - Format staples. Sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Nexus of Fate, Light Up the Stage)

5 - Format warping. If you're in these colors, you play that card. (Teferi, Time Raveler, Narset, Parter of Veils)

Green

Barkhide Troll
3 - Seems good to me in the Mono-Green stompy deck. A two-mana 3/3 that can dodge a removal spell is solid, maybe over Thorn Lieutenant?
Cavalier of Thorns
3 - Elvish Rejuvenator has been working out! I like this card but putting cards into your graveyard can be very risky if you're not playing Command the Dreadhorde yourself. Be warned!
Elvish Reclaimer
2 - If you can reliably make this a one-mana 3/3 with a Crop Rotation ability, that's great and it's where you'll want to be when playing the Reclaimer. Probably alongside Field of the Dead.
Gargos, Vicious Watcher
2 - Card is fine but I'd rather just cast Nissa or a 4/4 Hydroid Krasis.
Healer of the Glade
2 - A solid sideboard card for elemental decks against aggressive strategies, or just any ug deck playing Risen Reef main deck.
Leafkin Druid
3 - Card is great not only because it can add double Green mana when you have three other mana creatures out but also because it's an elemental so it will trigger your other elementals.
Leyline of Abundance
3 - This gets my vote for best Leyline in the set for Standard because you can play it main deck and Standard currently has so many mana creatures that you can ramp very, very fast.
2 - An anti-graveyard card out of your Sideboard that's also not embarrassing to play on turn three for pressure. This centaur is great against graveyard decks.
Nightpack Ambusher
3 - If Teferi, Time Raveler wasn't legal I'd rate this card higher. Even so, Nightpack Ambusher is great as a removal spell mid combat and a way to pump out 3/3s every turn. You'll want to play it alongside other flash creatures or Vivien, Champion of the Wilds.
2.5 - If aggressive decks are around, Pulse of Murasa should see play. Six is a lot of life for 3 mana and you get to regrow a creature or land to boot. It's also solid to counter your opponent's Bond of Revival by returning their target to their hand.
Season of Growth
2 - The only deck I can think of that might want this main deck is Feather. However, that deck already generates decent card advantage with Feather and Dreadhorde Arcanist that I don't think it'll want to splash a third color for Season of Growth.
Shared Summons
1 - Ignite the Beacon sees no play, this shouldn't either. Plenty of planeswalkers provide card advantage right now that you don't need to play this for card advantage. Just play a planeswalker.
Shifting Ceratops
4 - Here's the hate card for Esper decks! Getting around Teferi and Narset is a pretty big deal. This will make Gruul and other Green midrange decks better if Esper continues to be the best deck in the format.
Veil of Summer
2.5 - The first Veil I like and think will see play, it's such a great card against Blue decks, just watch out for Teferi...
Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
2.5 - I like Champion of the Wilds more. I can see this Vivien seeing play in a stompy deck. Especially alongside Nullhide Ferox even though it's a bit of a non-bo. Also good with Rotting Regisaur.
Voracious Hydra
3 - This card reminds me of Polukranos. I just wish it could fight planeswalkers too! Even though it can't, it's still a great card in the midrange creature matchups.
Wakeroot Elemental
2.5 - This is part of an infinite mana combo I'm sure. It's also a solid pay off spell in your Leyline of Abundance ramp deck.

Top 5 Green Cards

  1. Shifting Ceratops
  2. Barkhide Troll
  3. Leyline of Abundance
  4. Voracious Hydra
  5. Nightpack Ambusher

Lands

4 - These are great lands and should slow the format down a little, especially after rotation.
2.5 - Temples are better than these lands but if aggressive decks are rampant then I could see slower decks wanting these.
Field of the Dead
3 - Not Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle but it doesn't need to be. I expect Field of the Dead to see play in a couple of different Standard decks. Turning your lands into zombies means lands are never a dead draw which is huge for ramp decks.
Cryptic Caves
2 - This one is interesting; I would expect for it to see play in Mono-Colored decks that don't have a heavy mana cost requirement like Benalish Marshal or Goblin Chainwhirler.
Lotus Field
2.5 - Thankfully this card has hexproof so you won't get blown out when you play it by Field of Ruin. Lotus Field can ramp you fast if you play it alongside Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, or anything else that lets you untap lands.

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, Risen Reef, Omnath, Locus of the Roil and the Temple lands are my favorite cards out of Core Set 2020. I am also hopeful that Shifting Ceratops can push Esper back a bit, especially if Green decks start main decking the Ceratops. Overall, I am very impressed with Core Set 2020. The cards seem solid, fun, and not hyper pushed. What cards do you like the most?

As always, thanks for reading,

Ali Aintrazi

Follow me @AliEldrazi

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