Green, of late, seems to have a lot of exciting cards and Dark Ascension delivered a good number for a small set. My initial list for green in Dark Ascension had only Strangleroot Geist and Vorapede as the obvious inclusions. After playing in a GP and getting some matches in with the Magic: The Gathering Online Cube recently, a couple more cards proved to be worth including on my list.
Here are the changes I made to green:
I’ve been on the fence about Viridian Emissary in my cube list. I like the card and think it can be great in an aggressive limited deck. However, you don’t want to hand over choices to your opponent very often. In an entirely aggressive deck, he’s great as your opponent will usually choose to delay letting you ramp, letting you get a couple hits in. But, if you want to use him to support a ramp strategy – unless you have a sacrifice outlet – your opponent gets to choose how fast you ramp. Dawntreader Elk adds a point of toughness, but gives you the opportunity to choose when you ramp. It’s not as good as Sakura-Tribe Elder, but he’s a nice counterpart and provides a little redundancy with respect to that effect.
I remember when Call of the Herd tore up standard. I was pretty new to Magic at the time, and I wanted a playset so badly. I believe the card was somewhere around twenty dollars at the time, which was very expensive for any card in standard back then. It wasn’t until years later that I ever got around to buying one. Now twenty dollars doesn’t seem so outlandish, partly due to me having a lot more income than I did as a starving college student, but mostly due to the popularity of Magic now and the demand for playable cards. That aside, Call of the Herd is still a good card. Flashback is a powerful mechanic and has stood the test of time. I may only bench Call for a little while, but it’s not as great as it used to be now that creatures are so much better. In its slot I’m bringing in Wolfbitten Captive. At worst he’s a Basking Rootwalla, who already enjoys a spot in my cube. It’s a very aggressive creature. I played two of him in my GP SeaTac sealed deck, and an early Wolfbitten Captive usually won me the game.
Hunter’s Insight was a temptress. Card draw in green doesn’t come around much, and I was drawn in by its siren song. However, I have found it to be unimpressive against the expectations I had for it. I’m filling the hole it leaves behind with a card that actually is good; Strangleroot Geist.
I orginally was going to pull Indrik Stomphowler to make room for Vorapede. After some thought, however, this decision made no sense. Kodama of the North Tree matches Vorapede’s green heavy mana cost, while Indrik Stomphowler is actually splashable. Vorapede also fits into a similar role as the North Tree, so pulling Kodama of the North Tree makes a lot more sense here.
I’ve been wanting to add Deranged Hermit for a long time now. I finally picked up a shiny copy a short time ago, so I have an opportunity to play with it. I’ve struggled with what to cut, and ended up at the doorstep of Genesis Wave. I was ok with this change, until the Cube debuted on Magic Online. The one full swiss cube event I was able to join I drafted a really ridiculous G/u deck. I only thought it was decent when I started my matches but by the end, when I won the finals with it, I felt it was ridiculous. It was a perfect deck for Genesis Wave, and just the experience and the fun I had with that deck makes me want to rethink pulling Genesis Wave from my cube list. However, I’m sticking with this change for the moment. I’ll work the Wave back in though, mark my words. A little combo in green keeps things fun.
That’s it for green. I am pretty happy with the changes, though I am sad for Genesis Wave, and feel that this update makes the color stronger on the whole.