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Core Set 2021 Limited Set Review: Green and Lands

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We have finally made it to the last article! Today is Friday and I know many of you have pre-release events to get to, so let's jump right in.

This is the fifth and final article, and in it I will be evaluating every Green card and scoring it on a scale of 1-5. These ratings are purely based on Limited formats and have no bearing on Constructed play. I would also like to note these ratings are based on how I believe the card will perform in an AVERAGE Sealed or Draft deck. Often this means a lower score for cards with great potential in a highly synergistic deck.

Rating - Explanation

1- Ideally not making the cut in any of my Limited decks.

2- Not good, but a necessity for curve filling and smoothing out draws.

3- Value cards I am happy to fill my deck with.

4- Cards to get excited about and Premium Removal.

5- Reserved for cards that will win the game if left unanswered.

Green Cards

Azusa, Lost but Seeking - 1 - This is more of a Constructed card than anything else. I can't see any reason we would want this in our Limited decks.
Burlfist Oak
Burlfist Oak - 2.5 - On your turn this card has good stats, but is very weak for blocking. I love that all instant cast draw spells become combat tricks. This card gets much better if you are playing Blue.
Canopy Stalker
Canopy Stalker - 1.5 - Very situational and expensive. Overall weak stats and I would avoid playing this card.
Colossal Dreadmaw - 2.5 - This is a common reprint we see a lot. Dreadmaw isn't exciting but he often gets the job done. This will be the top end of many Green decks.
Cultivate - 2.5 - Fixing and ramp - what's not to love?! This card is best with a lot of big creatures and or a deep splash.
Drowsing Tyrannodon
Drowsing Tyrannodon - 2.5 - I wanted to rate this card a bit higher, but it really doesn't seem like the average deck will have enough 4-power creatures. Many of the common and uncommon 4-power creatures are a bit underwhelming.
Elder Gargaroth
Elder Gargaroth - 5 - This card is an incredible bomb. It has a ton of abilities and dodges a lot of the best removal in the format - Soul Sear, Grasp of Darkness.
Feline Sovereign
Feline Sovereign - 2.5 - I like this card a fair amount. It is filler based on the stats and mana cost, but it has a really nice upside that can come in handy. At rare it is definitely not exciting so I am never picking it early.
Fierce Empath - 2 - This card is really only good if you have 3+ 6-drops. If you only have one you are just as likely to draw this after and just topdeck a REALLY expensive 1/1. 3+ 6-drops is the line here.
Fungal Rebirth
Fungal Rebirth - 3 - Any Green deck should be happy to have this card. If you wait until ANY creature dies you will be adding a fair amount of power to the board (the two 1/1s and the best creature in your yard). Great for wide boards and sacrifice targets.
Garruk, Unleashed
Garruk, Unleashed - 5 - Another slightly weaker planeswalker than we have been seeing, but this is stronger than most of the others in the set. I like that it can impact the board on the turn it is played.
Garruk's Gorehorn
Garruk's Gorehorn - 1.5 - Most decks do not want this card. I might consider it with multiple copies of Dub, Keen Glidemaster, or Rousing Read. Even then it's probably not worth it.
Garruk's Harbinger
Garruk's Harbinger - 3.5 - Overall this card seems great. Solid states and it can give you a fair amount of card advantage. The only reason it is not rated higher is because it will sometimes just be a body that can't attack.
Garruk's Uprising
Garruk's Uprising - 1/3 - If you have already played one of your 4 powered creatures this card does not punish you for that, but I am still skeptical of the amount of good creatures that will trigger this. Cards like Burlfist Oak make me like this card much less.
Gnarled Sage
Gnarled Sage - 3 - Giving a 4/4 reach in a format with so many flying synergies really increases its value. Even if you do not plan to draw extra cards this is still very playable.
Heroic Intervention - 3 - At its worst this card is a one for one - not great, but playable. At its best this card can absolutely destroy an opponent on a stalled board. I think it's worth running.
Hunter's Edge
Hunter's Edge - 3 - One sided fight spells are always nice. It is a bit expensive and sorcery speed, so there is a fair amount of added risk of getting 2-for-1ed.
Invigorating Surge
Invigorating Surge - 2.5 - Being instant speed makes this card a lot better. Using it as a combat trick means you already got 1-for-1 value and the counters are a bonus. If you have other counter synergies in the deck this just gets better and can easily create a lethal attack.
Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse
Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse - 2/4 - Without card draw spells I do not see a lot of reason to run this card. Keep in mind there are a lot of card draw and look effects in the format, so this is normally going to be on the higher end of the scale.
Life Goes On - 1 - Spells that only gain life do not do anything for the game. If you are losing you will probably still lose. I will not be adding this card to any of my decks.
Llanowar Visionary
Llanowar Visionary - 3 - Someone stapled a Llanowar Elves to a Elvish Visionary and gave you the benefit of both. Even the name is just a smash up of the two. Love this card in all my Green decks.
Ornery Dilophosaur
Ornery Dilophosaur - 2 - A bit overpriced for a deathtouch creature. You can find a cheaper deathtouch creature or find a creature to attack with. I don't like having to pay for both while really only using one of its abilities.
Portcullis Vine - 1 - If you are extremely desperate to trigger a draw a second card bonus this might make it into some decks. Look for literally any other way to make this happen.
Pridemalkin
Pridemalkin - 2.5 - Slightly better than the normal 3/2 for 3 mana fillers. The trample and movable counter give it a nice bonus. This will work well with other counter synergy cards.
Primal Might
Primal Might - 3 - Very flexible fight and pump spell. It can be used for smaller early game tempo or late game lethal swings. I love it.
Quirion Dryad - 3 - Mono-Green is the only deck not happy to play this. In Limited it only takes a few triggers to get value out of the card. It's also nice that it can trigger at instant speed, so your opponents always have to worry about that and Opt can double as a combat trick.

Ranger's Guile - 2.5 - I like this combat trick a lot. Its low cost really makes it hard to play around. It will not be hard to get good value out of this card.
Return to Nature - 2 - Mostly a sideboard card, but if you are REALLY light on playables there are enough good enchantments and artifacts in the set to make it reasonable. You will not always get good value, but you can probably find something. Keep it in the sideboard if possible.
Run Afoul
Run Afoul - 1 - Many color combinations do not have fliers. This is never going to make it in the starting 40. Pick these up for the board late in your packs.
Sabertooth Mauler
Sabertooth Mauler - 2.5 - This does not specify the creature dying has to be yours and that makes it a bit better. Better than filler in the average decks, but even better in wider token decks.
Sanctum of Fruitful Harvest
Sanctum of Fruitful Harvest - 1 - On its own this Shrine doesn't do much. I might consider it if I had other Shrines I wanted to boost.
Scavenging Ooze
Scavenging Ooze - 3.5 - Fine stats for a 2-drop and it will only get bigger as the game goes. It also stops cards like Rise Again and Sanguine Indulgence from getting any value. Every Green deck is happy to play this.
Setessan Training - 3 - Always a fine card because it replaces itself and has a decent upside. It is a bit more valuable in this set because of all the cards that require you to draw a second card in a turn.
Skyway Sniper
Skyway Sniper - 2 - The is more of a sideboard card. The ability is a bit expensive and it's not blocking most of the fliers in the format well. Snarespinner is the card you want in this situation.
Snarespinner - 2.5 - This is a solid 2-drop that will easily earn its keep with all the flying synergies in the set. He is small, but reliable.
Sporeweb Weaver
Sporeweb Weaver - 3 - Having 4 toughness means an opponent will have a hard time finding profitable attacks early game. Added bonus if you have any pump or sacrifice synergies in your deck.
Thrashing Brontodon - 3.5 - Good stats for the creature's cost, and the ability can come in really handy. It has more targets in this set than normal.
Titanic Growth
Titanic Growth - 2 - Great stat bonus for the cost. If you have room this is a reasonable combat trick to play.
Track Down
Track Down - 2 - You need to have a lot more creatures to play this card. It's fine in the heavy creature deck, but the few times you will miss really makes me dislike this card. Very inconsistent in most decks.
Trufflesnout
Trufflesnout - 2.5 - Reasonable stats for the mana. The upside comes in when you have cards like Wildwood Scourge.
Warden of the Woods
Warden of the Woods - 3.5 - This is a very good top end uncommon. With vigilance it will most likely require an answer, and when that happens you get even more value! This should make the cut in most Green decks.
Wildwood Scourge
Wildwood Scourge - 3 - These cards are always fine because they are flexible when cast. If you need something fast early to mid-game you can do that, but if you top deck it late you get to make something huge. There is also a lot of counter synergy that works well with this card.

Top 3 Green Commons

  1. Llanowar Visionary
  2. Hunter's Edge
  3. Gnarled Sage

Lands

Animal Sanctuary
Animal Sanctuary - 2 - The average deck will have a few targets to place counters on, but might not have enough to want to risk drawing a colorless land. The set has many mana intensive cards.
Bloodfell Caves - 2.5 - At common these lands should be easy to pick up, and they will allow you to splash bombs/removal.
Blossoming Sands - 2.5 - At common these lands should be easy to pick up, and they will allow you to splash bombs/removal.
Dismal Backwater - 2.5 - At common these lands should be easy to pick up, and they will allow you to splash bombs/removal.
Fabled Passage - 3 - This provides mana fixing and deck thinning. There is no reason not to run this card if it is available to you.
Jungle Hollow - 2.5 - At common these lands should be easy to pick up, and they will allow you to splash bombs/removal.
Radiant Fountain
Radiant Fountain - 1 - Most of the life gain payoff cards require a total gain of three life in a turn, so this card will not make the cut in most decks.
Rugged Highlands - 2.5 - At common these lands should be easy to pick up, and they will allow you to splash bombs/removal.
Scoured Barrens - 2.5 - At common these lands should be easy to pick up, and they will allow you to splash bombs/removal.
Swiftwater Cliffs - 2.5 - At common these lands should be easy to pick up, and they will allow you to splash bombs/removal.
Temple of Epiphany - 3 - Low impact for a rare, but picking them up late will help smooth draws add mana fixing to the deck. There is no reason not to play them if you are in these colors.
Temple of Malady - 3 - Low impact for a rare, but picking them up late will help smooth draws add mana fixing to the deck. There is no reason not to play them if you are in these colors.
Temple of Mystery - 3 - Low impact for a rare, but picking them up late will help smooth draws add mana fixing to the deck. There is no reason not to play them if you are in these colors.
Temple of Silence - 3 - Low impact for a rare, but picking them up late will help smooth draws add mana fixing to the deck. There is no reason not to play them if you are in these colors.
Temple of Triumph - 3 - Low impact for a rare, but picking them up late will help smooth draws add mana fixing to the deck. There is no reason not to play them if you are in these colors.
Thornwood Falls - 2.5 - At common these lands should be easy to pick up, and they will allow you to splash bombs/removal.
Tranquil Cove - 2.5 - At common these lands should be easy to pick up, and they will allow you to splash bombs/removal.
Wind-Scarred Crag - 2.5 - At common these lands should be easy to pick up, and they will allow you to splash bombs/removal.

Set Thoughts

The last few Core Sets have been overall disappointing for me, but after reviewing Core Set 2021 I am optimistic about its replayability. There are many different archetype themes throughout the set and none of them seem overbearing like we have seen in past Core Sets. Overall, I think it is going to be a fun set to battle while also being new player friendly - two hard things to balance!

That's it! We have looked at every card in Core Set 2021. I hope that after reading these articles you will be better prepared for your upcoming events. With many game stores opening up all over the world I hope you all will be able to enjoy this new set after so many months of social distancing. I know it has been hard for many of you. Wear your masks and stay safe out there, guys!

These articles are used for the drafting data on Untapped.gg, and because of this we will be updating them periodically with new information and insight. Comments and discussions help me improve the articles to provide the best information for both other readers and Untapped.gg. So please feel free to comment below and give me your thoughts.

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