Kaladesh: Playing To Your Weaknesses – Green

NOTE: “Playing to your Weaknesses” is a series of articles I have been doing on my own blog since Avacyn Restored that cover all of the uncommons and commons in a new expansion and which ones I would choose to use as one of the 23 cards in a 40 card limited deck. For those of you uninitiated to limited, it simply means sealed and booster draft, where you open packs and then proceed to make a deck out of them. I’ve purposely left out the rare cards because it is much more likely that you’ll see multiples of uncommon and commons in your packs/pools.)

As for my rating system, I’ll be using a new format this time around. After a lot of feedback, I’ve decided to abandon my 3 tier scoring system of Low-Medium-High and I will instead be moving onto a 5 star ranking system. The system is as follows:

  • 1 star = a card that is barely playable, even as filler for your deck
  • 2 stars = this card could be a strong sideboard card, but is highly conditional and not always effective
  • 3 stars = a 3 star card is a solid role-player. These cards could be less than amazing removal effects, or a creature that is a glass cannon (high power, low defense). They could be good except for a few flaws.
  • 4 stars = Here’s where we get into the powerhouses. 4 Stars could be good finishers, or cards that can end a game if left unchecked. They also have multiple effects, and are all around good value for you. The only thing holding them back is restrictive costs or some small drawback.
  • 5 stars = you won’t see a lot of these at common and uncommon. These will usually be your rares and mythics because they are incredibly bonkers. Planeswalkers, massive creatures, etc., these are the cards you could build a deck around.

 

Having already played in a few pre-releases, I can say that green is an important color. There is a lot of synergy with energy decks, and also a good amount of Fabricate effects. The removal is also better than I thought it would be, and it was made better by enchantment/artifact removal which is as good as a Murder in this format. Down below you’ll find my picks for green.

 

arborback-stomper

Arborback Stomper is already being heralded as the second coming of Thragtusk (minus the 3/3 token), and just so. A 5 point life gain swing is huge in close limited games where you’re trying to race your opponent, and being able to blink it with blue or white effects makes it even better. Attach trample to it and a sturdy body and you have an effective beater. I think this card will be a very high draft pick, and the more you can grab the better.

RATING: 4 Stars

 

riparian-tiger

In a vacuum the Tiger might not be as good as the Stomper, but if your pool has more than a few ways to give you energy, then Riparian Tiger gets a lot better. It’s base stats already convince me that it’s playable. You get a 4/4 trampler that can attack one time as a 6/6 if you want, all for 5 mana. If you’re looking for a good beater this card is for you, and it’s great with combat tricks too. I don’t think having multiples of these is a bad idea either, but in proper limited decks, you don’t want to be too top heavy, so 2 copies is probably the best. The double green symbol will limit it to 2 color decks, but whatever you put it in should be fine. As a common there is a very good chance you’ll be able to get one.

RATING: 3.5 Stars

 

peema-outrider

I like Peema Outrider, mostly because of the trample but also because you can create an extra creature with it or make it a 4/4. Both options are strong in my opinion. Like the Tiger up above, it’s a good card to have with combat tricks. It’s not an amazing card but it’s playable and I think it’s a good 4 drop if you’re looking to smooth out your curve.

RATING: 3 Stars

 

fairgrounds-trumpeter

Fairgrounds Trumpeter is an interesting card. How good it can be all depends on what kind of deck you’re playing, and the obvious choice here is a Fabricate deck. Decks that have cards you’d rather fabricate counters on would go better with it, but it also has a nice synergy with cards like Ninth Bridge Patrol or Fabrication Module. Without a few of these synergies it probably isn’t worth playing, but when all the pieces fall into place it can become a very impressive card.

RATING: 2.5 Stars

 

longtusk-cub

Longtusk Cub is a little bit different from the other energy based creatures in the set. The Cub actually gives you energy whenever it deals damage to a player, so you have an almost limitless amount of energy production if you can hit your opponent consistently with it. That’s not going to happen most of the time, but the ability is still a threat in the eyes of an opponent. You can play it early, get 1-2 good attacks in, and suddenly you are up 4 energy to use it however you want. Great card for energy based decks, but also a solid roleplayer in any other green based deck. Good to draft a few of these if you can.

RATING: 3 Stars

 

thriving-rhino

Thriving Rhino is borderline vanilla, but being able to pump it up to a 3/4 the following turn when attacking is strong. This type of card works very well on a curve if you’re playing an aggressive GR or other energy deck and have other energy cards like Longtusk Cub to compliment it. Once you get one counter it becomes pretty tough to block and also becomes a great blocker on your side too. I liked this card and thought it was good in multiples. It’s one of the stronger 3 drop commons in the set, and think it’s good in a variety of green strategies.

RATING: 3 Stars

 

elegant-edgecrafters

I think Elegant Edgecrafters are better as 3 creatures for 6 mana than as one 5/6. It’s not overpowering but a 3/4 body without the bonus is still playable in this format. It will block well, and it’s ability makes it tough for your opponent to team up and kill it with multiple cards. In some situations where your opponent has made tokens from all of their Fabricate triggers, bringing the Edgecrafters in as a 5/6 that can’t be blocked by any of their creatures is kind of a big deal. I like the ability to go wide or go big and force your opponent to block unfavorably. Take it somewhat high in draft if you see it, especially if your deck can support this as one of your 6 mana cards.

RATING: 3 Stars

 

armorcraft-judge

Between all of the Fabricate and Energy triggers that become counters, Armorcraft Judge seems like it would be a good card to get card advantage with. I don’t think it will be more than 2-3 cards if you play it late in the game, but that’s still kind of a big deal. Like I said above about the Trumpeter, a card like this would be great if you have a Fabrication Module in play, or even a Durable Handicraft. GW Energy seems like the biggest enabler of this card, especially if you open a Verdant Gearhulk. In a vacuum it’s not great, but I still think you should try to draft at least one. The benefit far outweighs the risk.

RATING: 3.5 Stars

 

wild-wanderer

It won’t always make the cut for your deck, but Wild Wanderer is a decent card nonetheless. It pilots vehicles well, grabs you a land that ramps you to 6 the following turn, and should trade with a lot of attacking creatures. It’s only draw back is the lack of synergy with the main strategies. If it doesn’t fit in with energy, artifacts, or fabrication, it could have trouble finding a spot in the 23 card roster.

RATING: 2.5 Stars

 

ghirapur-guide

Ghirapur Guide’s applications are a little bit better than the Wanderer. It can directly effect the board state and turn your finisher into a unstoppable battering ram. If your opponent has been creating too many tokens instead of giving counters to their fabrication cards, they can suddenly find themselves at the mercy of this elf. Late game, with even a simple common like Cowl Prowler you can easily finish off your opponent. Punish your opponent for going wide, or force them to block with their powerful creatures so you can take them out. Relatively high draft pick.

RATING: 3 Stars

 

appetite-for-the-unnnatural

Going into non-creature spells, it doesn’t get better than Appetite for the Unnatural. This is as good as any Doom Blade or Incinerate that we had in previous limited formats thanks to the ubiquity of artifacts in KLD. It hits servo tokens, vehicles, and even Gearhulks (should your opponent get one). Having one of these in your main deck is a must, and drafting a few is going to be very important in limited. Get 2-3 if you can, and save the rest in your sideboard. High draft pick.

RATING: 3.5 Stars

 

natures-way

We don’t have any 1 mana fight cards this time around like Prey Upon (SOI), but Nature’s Way does a good job of getting rid of opponent’s creatures if you’re playing green. The vigilance and trample is nice (especially if your opponent has a lot of chump blockers), but being able to deal damage and not take any in return is what I like the best. High pick in draft if you’re in green. Grab a few of them if you can. Only draw back is if your guy gets killed in response to the spell being cast. Shouldn’t happen too often though.

RATING: 3 stars

 

hunt-the-weak

Hunt the Weak makes a return to standard in KLD, and it should see some play in KLD limited. I like the first 2 removal cards I talked about previously, but Hunt the Weak will get the job done most of the time. It pumps your creature and usually gets rid of your opponent’s , but that 4 mana to cast and sorcery speed hurt it. I don’t expect them to go too highly in draft, but don’t let them pass you up. Removal is removal.

RATING: 3 Stars

 

durable-handicraft

Pretty freakin sweet. Easy to cast and after a few turns you’re bringing in every creature you play with a +1/+1 counter on it. Draw it late game and have a board full of servo tokens? Boom, auto anthem effect that buffs up your entire army. Like I said above, this is an amazing card with Armorcraft Judge, and also works well with Hazardous Conditions in a GB deck. I expect it to be a high draft pick, and it’s absolutely something I would splash if I could.

RATING: 3.5 Stars

 

Other Cards that Could See Play

 

  • Blossoming Defense – nice combat trick, also gives hexproof to protect your creature on defense. Not absolutely needed in a main deck, but a possibility.
  • Cowl Prowler – If your deck is lacking in finishers this is a good one. Big dumb vanilla 6/6’s are always up for the job of killing opponents and are hard to kill.
  • Creeping Mold – not as good as Appetite, but still worth having in your deck if you don’t have any other artifact removal.
  • Ornamental Courage – another good combat trick, though focused more on defense. Good tempo effect since you can untap a strong attacker and almost always take out whatever is attacking.
  • Sage of Shalia’s Claim – Good card for energy themed decks.
  • Servant of the Conduit – as a pseudo mana creature, I can’t say that good outside of energy decks, but still playable in a variety of situations if you need to ramp into a big creature early like a Gearhulk. Also good if you’re playing a 3 color deck.
  • Take Down – flyers are ridiculously good in this format, so having removal for them is very important. Get 1-2 of these for your sideboard.

 

Coming Up Next

 

Green has strong creatures, but not as strong as they have been in past sets. Their synergy with other cards has been improved, and they’ve also gained a lot more interesting abilities which make them a lot more versatile. You won’t see too many decks with green as their main color, but you will see it complimenting other colors a lot. I found that GR energy decks were really good during the pre-release, as well as GB decks that had a lot of good removal to fall back on. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see GW decks put up some good numbers as well since they join the effects of fabricate, energy, and artifacts so well.

Only one more article to go! I hope everyone’s pre-release weekend went well though and that these articles will hold up and help you out in your next limited endeavor, be it a GP, draft, or a future limited event. I’ll be talking about multicolor, artifacts, and land in the final article and you can be sure it will be a doozy after looking at how many artifacts alone are playable in limited. Thanks for reading and check back soon for the last part! 

 

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