If there is a color I love player more than Red, it’s green. The mana ramp alone makes me adore Green’s ability to cheat the game. While Innistrad didn’t give any new toys like Primeval Titan, it did completely change the way green gets to play with tokens.
I’ve been a huge fan of green’s pseudo-removal of late. Deadly Recluse, Death-Hood Cobra and Thornweald Archer are all classic staples in my casual decks because they work so well at either deterring attacks or drawing out removal spells. Ambush Viper continues that trend well and while I don’t see this guy taking over EDH tables, a green instant that basically says “1G to destroy target attacking creature without flying” is something green can really use.
Easily one of my favorite cards in the entire set, the Pilgrim is a great twist on Llanowar Elves. When I’m not playing mono-red, I’m often drawn into the colors of Naya and this is a great way to accelerate your mana on a budget. Again, probably not a Commander staple but I easily seeing this pilgrim earning a place on kitchen tables for years to come.
Half the fun with creatures like Mortivore and Lhurgoyf was that it allowed everyone else’s creatures to make yours bigger, with Boneyard Wurm only counting your graveyard, he’s much less fun. But this card still has potential given how cheap he is. In a black-green dredge deck, I could see him finding a home with ease.
Almost-but-not-quite Creeping Mold, there are a handful of cards that Bramblecrush can’t destroy that Creeping Mold can (Curse you Lucent Liminid!). But while it can’t take out an artifact creature, the ability to blow away a Planeswalker makes this an auto-include for almost any green Commander.
While strictly better than Lay of the Land, Caravan Vigil doesn’t do a whole lot for me. Sorcery-speed Morbid spells just feel weak to me.
This reminds me a lot of Praetor’s Counsel, but the addition of Flashback can really break this card during a long game. I love that it doesn’t exile itself, so if you’re creative you can probably find some way to keep getting stuff back. Plus in any format where boardsweepers are common, it’s great that green has an anti-boardsweeper.
Oh my poor Grizzly Bears… Still, this card isn’t worth running.
Daybreak Ranger & Nightfall Predator
Given my Naya-tendencies, it should come as no surprise that this is my favorite werewolf. One half provides a reusable way to kill off pesky fliers, while the other side is a second Tahngarth! This is probably one of the few werewolves I would bother running, but I just love how the card comes together and provides green with some recursive removal.
Elder of Laurels
Now this can throw off some combat math. The ability to give any of your creatures +5/+5 or more for 4 mana is a great deal. If you’re mean and like infect, this gets even more terrifying. Once the game has gotten to the point where this can be activated a few times in a turn, and you’ve suddenly got Commanders who are ready to kill.
Essence of the Wild
I like the idea of this card, but the fact that he replaces all other abilities makes me wary. Sure, if you cast a Verdant Force and then this guy, it’s awesome to get a 6/6 every turn. But that copy will keep the copying ability making anything short of a complete board wipe impossible to stop. A card that makes it so all of my creatures lose all of their abilities has me concerned. This card is very powerful, but can quickly backfire.
A 5/5 trampler for 4 isn’t too bad in Chaos, but also isn’t too good either. This pig has no place in Commander.
Full Moon’s Rise
Eventually, someone is going to try a Werewolf themed deck and this will easily be at the base of it. Providing +1/+0, trample and the constant threat of regeneration can allow an army to grow to dangerous sizes – especially if someone is foolish enough to play Day of Judgment over Wrath of God.
Remember, this works for Changelings too!
Garruk Relentless & Garruk, the Veil-Cursed
This is an interesting Planeswalker. Garruk Relentless can keep pumping out 2/2 wolves all day long with ease, and that’s pretty good for 3G. Add in his weird Lightning Bolt like ability, and the green side is fairly decent.
But once Garruk transforms, he becomes a real monster. Producing 1/1 deathtouch wolves every turn will lock the battlefield flat, then you can keep using him for repeated Survival of the Fittest! Toss in the ability to end games with a modified Overrun and you’ve got a fantastic Planeswalker that needs to be built around. Just remember that his color identity is green-black.
Gatstaf Shepherd & Gatstaf Howler
Another card better than Grizzly Bears? While not the most exciting card, I like the ability to become a 3/3 sort-of-unblockable creature. In casual 60, this could work but in Commander he serves no purpose.
Gnaw to the Bone
The dead version of Congregate, I don’t see any reason to play this.
This card is interesting. As a wall, it’s not too exciting but the ability to be immune to Zombies is certainly interesting, I just don’t see this card paying off.
Grizzled Outcasts & Krallenhorde Wantons
A 4/4 vanilla that can become a 7/7 vanilla is still too vanilla for my liking.
I really like this card, it’s just a shame it’s non-token. Either way, I can quickly see this becoming problematic when paired up with some black for a terrifying ooze-reanimation deck in any multiplayer format.
Another bear – this is getting absurd! In a designated Human tribe, maybe this would work but I don’t see it really taking off.
At first, I thought this card was a Fangren Marauder but for creatures. It isn’t. I don’t like this card now.
Oh man, this card can get nuts with some token doubling. The ability to amass an army in just a few turns sounds delightful – especially when paired up with multiple combat phases. This card is deadly, dangerous and a lot of fun in any casual format.
This is just like Essence of the Wild only it doesn’t affect anything else. And eats children.
Titania’s Chosen has long been a favorite of mine and Lumberknot is a fine addition to that lineage of massive creatures. The hexproof is a nice touch, but given how often creatures die this treefolk can quickly become a behemoth on the battlefield. Stunningly good in multiplayer, I love this guy.
Make a Wish
In Commander, recursion can be a dangerous tool but random recursion kind of defeats the purpose. Worst case, this card is basically draw two cards from your graveyard – which is kind of nice, especially for Green. It reminds me of Harmonize in a weird way.
Mayor of Avabruck & Howlpack Alpha
I really want to make a human-tribe deck and use this guy as the lord. But as a werewolf lord, this guy is quite impressive as well. Currently, I’m not seeing enough werewolves to make it work for Commander, but in casual 60 I could definitely see a red-green werewolf deck being assembled.
Holy crap, this giant bug is terrifying! This isn’t like Make a Wish where the cards go to your hand, this puts them onto the battlefield! When it comes to massive monsters that can really get the game in your favor, this card certainly fills it. For green commanders playing lots of creatures, this is worth running!
Fog effects that do more than just slow down the game make me excited. As much fun as a random Darkness is, the fact that this card allows wolves, werewolves and changelings to deal combat damage without issue is very exciting. For the casual player wanting a giant werewolf deck, this is the perfect spell to keep it night time. In Commander, it could be an interesting one-shot trick in a Tolsimir Wolfblood trick or just an alternative to Fog.
A reprint from another time, you should never underestimate the power of this card in casual. The ability to get 4 cards for only 2 mana is impressive, but it’s even more impressive for reanimating strategies, graveyard shenanigans and playing around with Deathrender. A solid card that has a lot of power in the right deck.
This card is still good, but not great in Commander.
Be aware that Orchard Spirit doesn’t have reach or flying. Decent on the attack, but far too small for my liking in green; Orchard Spirit is awful at blocking.
No, this isn’t Doubling Season but that’s a card we’ll probably never see again because it breaks Planeswalkers in half. But even as only half of that card, Parallel Lives is awesome! Any Magic card that says “twice” or “double” in its text is worth a look and this card is amazing. Yes, you need to build around it but that’s true for all good cards. But when Call of the Herd gives you 6 power for 3 mana or Crush of Wurms drops SIX 6/6s onto the battlefield, you know you’re playing Commander the way it was meant to be played.
I usually dislike removal that has a requirement attached, like Feast of Blood but Fight is a solid way for green to add to its very limited arsenal of creature removal. Between Ambush Viper, Plummet and this, Green is finally stepping up and filling in some gaps. I see this being a staple for a long time to come. Also, this doesn’t cause either creature to tap!
Withstand Death was a weird green one-shot and Ranger’s Guile feels very similar to me. A rather bland combat trick, this one drop simply doesn’t do enough in multiplayer for me too excited. It’s no Vines of the Vastwood.
Giant Spider doesn’t really cut it anymore, especially when his kin have evolved into hurricane wielding monsters. Even with the morbid trigger, Somberwald Spider just feels too weak.
But not all spiders are weak! This potentially massive token generator is impressive for both green and black. While I don’t see a black-green dredge deck ruling the kitchen table, this is yet another tool that enables it to work even better. Grabbing a half dozen tokens for a few mana and then doing it again later means your defenses stay strong the whole late game.
This card should be called “Thwip.” An interesting combat trick, the fact that it uptaps, pumps and gives reach makes me consider it. But like Righteousness, I only see this card really working once.
Another interesting card that focuses on self-milling and giant creatures, this trampling Boneyard Wurm keeps your graveyard full. Where I really see this shining though is combined with some odd cards in Odyssey Block like Krosan Reclamation, Anurid Scavenger and Gurzigost.
Like the pilgrim, this is a solid utility spell for white-green mages. The pumps are permanent, the tokens are plentiful and I see Ghave, Guru of Spores absolutely loving this.
Tree of Redemption
This card is downright weird. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the rulings on it, because it’s a permanent switch so the tree doesn’t just keep going back to 13. I’m sure this is a way to break this, but I have no idea how.
Ulvenwald Mystics & Ulvenwald Primordials
A 5/5 regenerator sometimes still doesn’t feel like enough for 4 mana in Commander. It doesn’t do anything, it still dies to most removal and just gets bigger.
Villagers of Estwald & Howlpack of Estwald
A vanilla 2/3 that might become a vanilla 4/6 isn’t worth it.
Like all random returns, this card has me apprehensive. The quasi-Gravedigger ability is interesting for a green weenie and if you manage to make some cycle of sacrificing this card to return it to the battlefield, it could cause some neat recursion but then you should just be using Eternal Witness.
Wreath of Geists
It’s Boneyard Wurm as an enchantment! I would like this card, but Exoskeletal Armor did it better already.
Top 5 Green Cards from Innistrad for Commander & Casual
4. Avacyn’s Pilgrim
3. Moldgraf Monstrosity
1. Parallel Lives