Avacyn Restored Casual & Commander Review: Green

Now in the home stretch of reviewing Avacyn Restored, I get to continue my trend of reviewing colors I love. While I’m a red mage at heart, I love the options Green provides. Between color fixing, mana acceleration and some of the best non-creature removal options out there, you can’t go wrong with it.

Casual and Commander Review: Avacyn Restored
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Gold, Artifacts & Lands

Abundant Growth

I really like how Wizards is actively making auras that aren’t automatic card disadvantage for simply existing. The draw a card aspect of this is a nice touch, but the simple fact is this just is a mana fixer, not mana acceleration. If you’re playing some weird five color monstrosity (which I’ve been known to do) that isn’t domain, it’s a fine way to make sure you don’t get screwed. Plus it doesn’t mention other mana symbols specifically, so it works fine in any Commander deck with green.

Blessings of Nature

This can quickly become a cornerstone of an odd counter based deck. Being able to reload a Triskelion or augment any modular creature makes this a decent spell. The miracle cost is very nice and could theoretically give you a 6/6 on turn 2 if you’re playing Isamaru or something similar. The sorcery speed holds it back from being really excellent though.

Borderland Ranger

A fine mana fixing reprint, there isn’t much to say about this card that hasn’t been said before. If you’re splashing a color or two, he’s great for ensuring everything goes smoothly after turn 3. There isn’t anything new here, but that doesn’t stop Borderland Ranger from being a decent card.

Bower Passage

I’m very interested in how this card will play out. While I don’t even see donating Levitation to your opponent to then cast this, I do see myself playing this alongside Levitation. Flyers that can only be blocked by reach make for a much more terrifying army.

Champion of Lambholt

Well, this is just excellent. The awesome blocking clause for all your creatures makes this an interesting lord. Toss in the ability to grow bigger every turn, this is a card that just loves the idea of tokens. Toss it alongside Verdant Force or Imperious Perfect to watch things get absurdly out of hand. My only complaint is she isn’t an elf, but that is probably a good thing.

Craterhoof Behemoth

Speaking of tokens, here’s the finisher for that green deck. A hasty 5/5 in green is unique, but the fact that it brings its own Overrun just makes this even more overkill. This should singlehandedly end games. If you cast this and don’t attack, I assume you want to concede.

Descendants’ Path

Well, there goes the neighborhood. The second someone casts this and has an Eldrazi Spawn on the battlefield, I am willing to bet a lot of money that they aren’t playing an Elder Spawn theme deck. In any creature-themed deck, this can be a great way to circumvent a mana curve (or make use of Soothsaying). Also, this is just stupid with any Changeling.

Diregraf Escort

If zombies are such a big issue at your table… then I guess this works. But even if zombies are that big of an issue, there are better ways to resolve it.

Druid’s Familiar

Is it sad that I’m not sure a 4/4 for 4 is worth playing? Sure, it may ruin the curve of my amazing Grizzly Bear deck but this card just doesn’t do enough. (Note to self: improve Grizzly Bear deck).

Druid’s Repository

I love this card. Being able to turn attacking into mana is a great way to encourage action at the kitchen table. But thanks to proliferate and the amount of counter juggling that can occur now, I love the idea of being able to turn attacking into charge counters! Pentad Prism is great for turning charge counters into mana, but turning attacks into charge counters has me very excited.

Eaten by Spiders

Plummet was a decent arrow in Green’s quiver, so getting another removal spell that knocks Wing Snare further down the totem pole is fine by me. Destroying the creature is nice, but destroying the equipment too is even better. I can easily see this becoming a staple in green Commander decks from here on out.

Flowering Lumberknot

I really wish this card was just a tree, not a treefolk. But even that wouldn’t make up for the fact that it can’t attack or block! It’s like a terrible version of Blastoderm.

Geist Trappers

I want to think this is a Ghostbusters reference. I think soulbond works better with more expensive creatures, since it makes pairing them easier. The reach is decent but not groundbreaking. But I can’t help but already taste the bitter disappointment when I’m out of creatures and cast this, only to be defeated by a single flier.

Gloomwidow

A fine reprint, this is decent on the defense and offense. He isn’t terribly exciting though.

Grounded

Why would you ever play this?

Howlgeist

A ghost wolf, this card is decent but not great. The high cost is somewhat offset by the undying but at the end of the day, this is still a six-drop. Green six drops have drastically improved since the day of Craw Wurm (hell, even Yavimaya Wurm outclassed it 13 years ago). I’m old.

Joint Assault

If you are content on making this soulbond deck work, then sure! For the rest of you, there are better options, like Elvish Fury.

Lair Delve

This card could become the green Divination in the right deck. If you’re focusing just on beating down your opponent and playing lands, it’s fantastic. But I’m afraid of the one time you play it and reveal two more Lair Delves.

Natural End

While this isn’t Krosan Grip, additional Naturalizes are always appreciated – especially in Commander because you can never have too many ways to kill a Skullclamp or Jitte.

Nettle Swine

I dislike this art immensely. I also dislike most vanilla creatures.

Nightshade Peddler

I really like this soulbond card because it’s an ability that really works. Giving your best creature deathtouch then throwing it into battle while the Peddler stays behind to act as another deterrent is a great play. This is also the first time that mono-green has gotten a way to permanently give deathtouch to a creature.

Painbreaker Wurm

If you’re playing some awesome Craw Wurm deck, go for it.

Primal Surge

Well, this is a Commander card if I ever saw one. At 10 mana, I don’t see this getting cast too often, but when it does, well there goes the game. The effect is amazingly powerful, provided you actually have a way to make use of it. I can’t wait for the one time it is cast and the first card turned over is a non-permanent, because then I will laugh and laugh.

Rain of Thorns

Part Desert Twister, part Decimate and part Hull Breach, this is a great late game piece of removal. The inability to deal with creatures and planeswalkers is frustrating but the fact that this card can three-for-one is amazing. It is true utility.

Revenge of the Hunted

Another sorcery that should be an instant in green with miracle – Revenge of the Hunted is another one of those cards that should be so much fun, expect Wizards made it a sorcery. How am I supposed to cast this on my opponent who is attacking someone two seats down from me to utterly decimate an opposing force? This isn’t a bad card, but it wasn’t made with multiplayer in mind.

Unless you make some really weird build that draws cards on other turns to cast this on opposing creatures.

Sheltering Word

This seems to fall in line with spells like Withstand Death (bad) and Vines of Vastwood (amazing). I think this falls closer to the Withstand Death end of the spectrum. Hexproof is nice to counter a spell targeting it and the life gain is gravy, but the fact that this costs two makes me less than thrilled about it. Run Avoid Fate instead.

Snare the Skies

If you play this, I will laugh at you. And I’m the guy who plays Homarids on a regular basis.

Somberwald Sage

For three mana, a 0/1 better do a lot and this card does. Adding three mana of any color for creature spells means you can rapidly escalate. Turn one birds, turn two Somberwald Sage, turn three any of the Titans. Or a Wurmcoil Engine. Or Elesh Norn because you now have seven mana! That’s almost as quick as my legacy Reanimator deck! Even if you’re in mono green, this is a solid (but fragile) piece of acceleration.

Soul of the Harvest

Whoosh! It’s like a mirror of Harvester of Souls! Green loves card draw, but the non-token clause hurts this more than I would like. Still, it’s a 6/6 trampler for 6 which isn’t too bad. I easily see this living happily in green Commander decks as a mid-game way to refuel.

Terrifying Presence

With that art, the name is more than fitting. But the ability to single out a single creature for combat means you can drastically turn some tables for combat you aren’t part of – or just target a creature not in combat to turn this into another Fog. As a Fog variant, it works really well and gives a unique twist that hasn’t been seen much. This card isn’t mind blowing, but it is really good at what it does.

Timberland Guide

You can’t even see this guy’s shoes! How do we know if he really is the Timberland Guide? If you really needed that second Ironshell Beetle, here you go.

Triumph of Ferocity

Red isn’t the only card getting a bigger slice of the color pie in Avacyn Restored, green is too with some new card drawing. Another mirrored pair with Triumph of Cruelty, the green version can be good but I don’t like the idea of cards doing something on a conditional basis. If you can make this work, it is amazing. But otherwise, you’re left with an enchantment that does nothing. At least it doesn’t just automatically give a card to the controller of the highest power.

Trusted Forcemage

Much like Druid’s Familiar, Trusted Forcemage just doesn’t do enough. It’s like a slightly worse version of Exalted which is a disappointment.

Ulvenwald Tracker

BEAR FIGHTER! I love this little guy as a piece of removal. As long as you have the bigger creature, you win! Plus this doesn’t tap the creature that fights, so you can fight in the middle of combat. Or before combat. Or after combat to pick off a pesky creature. But seriously, this guy fights with bears, what more do you want?

Vorstclaw

Seriously Wizards, just keep pouring salt on the outdated Craw Wurm wound!

Wandering Wolf

A 2/1 that can’t be blocked by 1/Xs will quickly become outclassed on the kitchen table. I like the idea of it (and would consider it for 10-Land Green), but I don’t see this usually working out.

Wild Defiance

This card worries me. Thankfully, it only applies to sorceries and instants, not abilities. Still, turning your Giant Growths into +6/+6 is terrifying but I really like how you can turn damage spells into pump spells in a pinch. Suddenly your Gut Shot can give +3/+3, which drastically can change the boards mechanics. Even better is that this may encourage the other players to cast an instant or two on your guy to finish someone off.

Wildwood Geist

In a five player game, four of the five turns aren’t yours. Therefore, four of five turns, this is a 3/3 for 5. No.

Wolfir Avenger

Remember when Albino Troll was considered an amazing creature? Well, this three-drop is most comparable in my mind and is absolutely amazing. The combination of flash and regeneration means this acts as a 5 mana removal spell in green to take out a creature with toughness of three or less. This is just a solid creature.

Wolfir Silverheart

While I dislike most soulbonds, I can’t help but get excited about the idea of an 8/8 for 5 mana with the only conditional aspect being you need another creature. Guess what, you’re playing green, you will have another creature. And now both will get +4/+4. This will become your Commander’s second in command.

Yew Spirit

I love exponents in Magic. As Chameleon Colossus showed us years ago, doubling then doubling again. Turning your 3/3 into a 6/6 is nice. Turning a 6/6 into a 12/12 is better. But once you start making 48/48s, then you really can start having fun.  If your deck ends up with a lot of excess mana and you’re already running Helix Pinnacle and Chameleon Colossus, add this in next. And Doubling Cube.

As a whole, green doesn’t really expand into much new territory. You’ve got amazing mana acceleration, some strong removal and even stronger creatures. I don’t see much new ground being broken with this set, but I do see a lot of players being content with the minor tweaks that Avacyn Restored provides. That and you get the guy who fights with bears.

Top 5 Avacyn Restored Green Cards for Casual & Commander

5. Wolfir Silverheart
4. Rain of Thorns
3. Ulvenwald Tracker
2. Somberwald Sage
1. Champion of Lambholt

Casual and Commander Review: Avacyn Restored
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Gold, Artifacts & Lands