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Drafting Green in Theros Block

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Welcome back to Very Limited, GatheringMagic.com’s exclusive Limited column. The more I draft JBT, the more it becomes apparent that being green puts us at a huge advantage. Today, we’ll be talking about green in Theros block. We’ll specifically be focusing on our pick orders for green cards throughout all three packs.

Golden Hind
White has the best aggressive creatures in the block. Blue has the most powerful cards in the block. Black has the best controlling cards. Red has the best removal. Green has the best creatures, but its true strength comes from the color’s depth. In two packs, green’s fourth-best common is better than any other color’s second-best common. This means we’ll be receiving more powerful cards more often and later than players in other colors, assuming green isn’t overdrafted at the table.

It’s very hard to end up with a deck that isn’t leaning on cards that cost 4 or more mana in this format. Being ahead is extremely important in JBT. Green has access to Golden Hind , Voyaging Satyr, Sylvan Caryatid, and Kiora's Follower, all of which put us a turn ahead of the game if our draw cooperates. More and more, I see professionals forcing green in JBT Drafts. Nevertheless, white still tends to be the most overdrafted color.

Green is flexible. G/W, G/U, B/G, and R/G are all very viable color combinations in JBT. The best combination seems to be G/U, in which bounce spells and cards like Sudden Storm and Archetype of Imagination make my green cards end games very fast. G/W seems to be the best aggressive strategy right now; the pump spells and efficient and inexpensive creatures available to this deck are unmatched. B/G lets me play the most controlling of decks, a deck that can save removal for the creatures that can get through the wall of fatty boom-booms I’ve laid before my opponent. R/G gives us access to a lot of strong multicolored rares and uncommons while providing inexpensive removal for flyers that want to be racing us.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually very easy being green these days. Let’s take a look at our pick orders for the green cards.

Journey into Nyx

Journey into Nyx is a great pack for green. Almost every card in the set is a reasonable Limited card in some capacity. Setessan Tactics is a card that often wins games by itself; it’s one of the very best rares in the set. Ajani, Mentor of Heroes is a powerful Planeswalker that, while committing us to two colors, is often worth the risk. Hydra Broodmaster as a turn-six and -seven play (times five and six!) is pretty impossible for reasonable humans to beat. The set is absurd for green. If we see that it’s open, even overly plentiful, we should move in on the color. Pack two is fairly weak for green in relation to Theros and Journey, so we don’t really care what anyone’s doing on our right, so we can just pick up a second color there based on what good cards we open or are passed.

Here’s the full green pick order for Journey into Nyx:

Setessan Tactics

Born of the Gods

Born of the Gods is the worst pack for green, but it’s the lowest mean-power-level pack anyway. There are definitely some strong cards here, but don’t be afraid to pick the best cards out of every pack, regardless of color, especially if you have eight or more green picks from the first pack. Swordwise Centaur is a very underrated common here. Courser of Kruphix is the best green rare in the set—the body for the cost combined with the life-gain and free card advantage make the card extremely difficult to contend with. Hunter's Prowess is much better in decks with a lot of inexpensive combat tricks, but it’s always absurd if we have creatures, and we’re a green deck.

Courser of Kruphix

Theros

Theros is where green becomes good again. The three best green commons are all better than the second-best common of any other color. Voyaging Satyr, Nessian Asp, and Leafcrown Dryad are all very high-quality in terms of common power level. Polukranos, World Eater is easily the best rare here. Providing a 5/5 body for 4 mana that becomes even bigger while killing stuff the next turn is not even remotely fair. Arbor Colossus is a card that usually dominates the game when we’re able to untap with it in play.

Polukranos, World Eater

Reverent Hunter

Green is truly the best color in JBT. I find it difficult to not be forcing a green deck in the current format. Green, despite being the best, does not seem to be overdrafted by the community at large. Join me, and start forcing green in JBT Drafts. It’s definitely the best way to be winning right now.


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