Return to Ravnica: Play to your Weaknesses – Green
It’s finally that time of the year again! We are roughly one week away from the release of Return to Ravnica and the full list of cards has been revealed. M13 had a few surprises, but RtR is shaping up to be one of the biggest and most popular sets in years. Boxes of Return to Ravnica started on sale at $99 but have since gone up to $125 due to the popularity. If you haven’t bought one or reserved one yet, you might be out of luck until the second printing.. That’s not to say you can’t buy them from booster packs, but even those might run out of stock in the first few weeks of release! Avacyn Restored was almost as popular as RtR is shaping up to be, and THAT set sold very well, sometimes being out of stock for a few weeks.
Anyways, just as before I’ll be going over my picks of the best common and uncommon cards that you’re most likely to get in a booster pack at a sealed event like the pre-release or in a booster draft. Which cards should you choose for your deck? Which cards should remain in the sideboard? How should you use them? What kind of synergy do they have? What combos can I make? That and more is what I plan on covering in this article. As a special treat I’ll also be throwing in the 2nd opinion of Chris Bradford, my partner in crime here in Nagoya and an experienced competitive Magic player.
Before I start, I also want to point out that I recommend using the Gate cards in your decks. I don’t think they deserve their own post, but I don’t want people to forget about them. As part of your 17 lands, I would definitely slide on in, and if my guesses are right, you’ll probably get one in the Guild Booster Pack.
Without further ado, here are my choices for Green:
My first card today is Gatecreeper Vine. It’s basically a Rampant Growth with a 0/2 creature slapped onto it. Getting the color you need for your deck in RtR is going to be very important. Everybody will be running 2 colors, and I’m going to guess that 70% of people will be running a 3rd color as well. Fixing your mana base and setting up the next turn on turn two is incredibly important. I would definitely add this into my deck early.
While not the best card, I still think that Centaur’s Herald has its uses. It is a good turn one card and by turn 3 you could block with it then sacrifice it to have a 3/3 attacker next turn. GW Selesnya decks would benefit the most from this deck due to the Populate mechanic, but it could probably be splashed into a variety of decks. This wouldn’t be a first choice, but probably my 17th-18th card in my deck if I didn’t have anything else.
Fog that makes another creature token? I’ll take that. It’s not too expensive, it has a great benefit . . . I think this is a good card and worth putting into a Selesnya deck. It wouldn’t be as powerful in a Golgari deck, but it would still have it’s uses. It might be a sideboard card if you’re not going up against a creature deck, but in a Selesnya deck I’d take it as my 14 or 15th card.
The 4/4 Vigilance spider from M13 is probably the best uncommon/common spider in limited right now, but this guy isn’t bad. He’s a little heavy, but he has reach and trample. He is a great finisher later on in the game and can block a lot of fliers. Ravnica has a lot more decent flying creatures than past sets, so if you’re going GW or GB, it’s good to have something that can block those fliers. Because of it’s cost it would be more in the late game, so keep that in mind if you play him. He might be good in a Azorius/Selesnya deck where you can control your opponent in the early game to give you enough time to get him out. Not the greatest card, but it would still have it’s uses. I’d probably take this card as one of my last cards out of my 23 choices.
Just like Taunting Elf way back in the day, I think Golgari Decoy will be a good card in limited. Build up your army of creatures and then attack with him. You opponent can only block the Decoy, so the rest of your creatures will damage them without fail. As long as he doesn’t get taken out, he could be a game ender in limited. Green’s evasion is largely the Trample effect, but otherwise you’re just going to be beating your opponent with green. This card gives you quasi-evasion in green. The 4 casting cost isn’t bad because you aren’t going to use him until you have enough to kill your opponent anyways. Scavenge is also a nice bonus on him. I think he’d be good in a Selesnya, Golgari, or even a Golgari/Rakdos deck. Bring him out, then unleash some Rakdos creatures and attack all in. I’d probably pick him as my 12-13th card if I was playing aggro.
I don’t think this is a bad card either. Early in the game would be kind of pointless, but as a finisher this ooze token could be pretty nasty. If you could bring him out as a 5/5 on turn 6, then start to populate him you could have a pretty strong ooze army after a few turns. Selesnya will get the best use out of this card I think, but he wouldn’t be bad splashed into other decks as well. This would probably be my 18-19th card if I was doing GW.
This guy is pretty good in a Golgari or Selesnya deck I think. Selesnya is going to have tons of disposable tokens to feed to him, while in Golgari you can sacrifice a small creature with Scavenge then beef him up the following turn. He could very quickly turn into your finisher, and with a Golgari Decoy in play he could end the game. Get him out asap and start feeding him! If you run Golgari/Selesnya he’d be pretty damn awesome I think. You’d never have a shortage of creatures to scavenge and tokens to sacrifice. There are much better rares, but this guy isn’t bad for an uncommon.
- Axebane Guardian
- Centaur’s Herald
- Drudge Beetle
- Gatecreeper Vine
- Korozda Monitor
- Rubbleback Rhino
- Savage Surge
- Stonefare Crocodile
Chris’s list is really different from mine. While I look for cards with speed and fitting in my mana curve, I think Chris went more for POWER to finish his opponents. I actually liked Axebane Guardian but thought it was a little steep in casting cost. If you’re not playing a lot of creatures with defender it can be kind of steep to add just one mana to your mana pool, but then again there aren’t a lot of mana producers in RtR. With the Gatecreeper Vine, you could add two mana of any color to your mana pool. On second look, this card can actually be very useful in limited, especially if you’re running 3 colors. Try it out! Brushstrider is also a great 2 drop creature and would probably fit in the curve better than the Gatecreeper Vine I chose, but it can also be chump blocked by any 1/1 creature to kill it. If your opponent doesn’t have anyway to deal with it, a 3/1 on turn 2 can be pretty powerful. It was just a little too fragile for me.
Drudge Beetle is okay as a 2/2 creature on the second turn. As a late game scavenge effect it’s also nice, but I thought that added bonus was a little too steep to be useful. It will fit in to Golgari decks very well. That was my same reasoning behind Korozda Monitor (7 mana to scavenge), but the Monitor could actually be pretty damn awesome if you can get the right cards and continuously scavenge to make him a ridiculously big trampling creature.
I was also on the fence with Rubbleback Rhino, but on second thought he’d be a great target for your scavenging in a GB Golgari deck. If your opponent doesn’t have a Supreme Verdict or other board wipe (which is going to be highly unlikely), the Rhino could become dangerous very quickly.
Savage Surge and Stonefare Crocodile are also good cards that I looked over. Stonefare Croc will only really reach his potential in a Golgari deck, but as a 3/2 3 mana vanilla creature he’s not that bad. Savage Surge is actually pretty sweet. +2/+2 and untaps? Your opponent attacks you thinking it’s easy damage, then you take out their best creature with your freshly untapped creature. Good way to take out your opponent’s creatures without removal.
It’s a good idea to look at both Chris’ and my own picks and make your choices for yourself. It will all depend on which cards you open up in your packs, as well as which Guild Booster you chose. Today’s cards would fit in Golgari and Selesnya decks the best, but if you think you can splash it in with another color (BGR, WUG), then please try it out!
Please leave any comments, advice, or suggestions below. I hope you find this useful! I’ll be posting a new color either tonight or tomorrow morning, so be sure to check back here soon. Thanks for reading.