Return to Ravnica is now fully spoiled, but the set still isn’t quite a known quantity; we’ve have very little time to examine how effective each card actually is. Just as I’ve done for the other colors, most recently red, I will analyze the set’s green cards one by one in this article, paying attention to power and fun in all types of format. First, a delicious meal in removal form:
Aerial Predation – Removal-with-a-bonus is always nice in Limited. Doubly so for this twist on Plummet, because it puts you ahead in the life race and takes out value creatures in the format (read: flyers). Probably maindeckable and certainly sideboardable.
Archweaver – An ability that functions only on the attack and one that increases blocking options are inherently, internally unsynergistic; be that as it may you’ll never be at a loss with an Archweaver on the table whether you need to go on the defensive or alpha strike through a bunch of blockers. Seven mana is expensive for a 5/5 in green but this brings the kind of versatility that G/x decks need in any Limited format, especially Return to Ravnica’s.
Axebane Guardian – It’s Overgrown Battlement adapted for a multicolor environment. Being one mana more expensive and losing out on a point of toughness also makes it that much less good, but with all of the playable defenders in this set it’s worth at least consideration and might form the base of some kind of crazy Doorkeeper control/mill deck in Constructed.
Axebane Stag – Vanilla fat with an obscure creature type. What’s not to love? 7 toughness is a pretty cozy number to deal with both combat and most removal that’s not outright destruction or exile. Also there’s the fact that this allows you to beat down your opponent with what’s basically a moose.
Brushstrider – 1 toughness means this guy isn’t gonna stick around for very long, but for a couple of turns he’s gonna be hyperefficient in combat. It’s pretty likely that your opponent is not going to have any blockers they’re willing to lose on your turn 3, and then attacking into that 3 vigilant power on their own next turn will be a hard choice. Put your favorite toughness-pump aura on one of these things and make people curse at you in very early turns.
Centaur’s Herald – The Selesnya sure are generous: they allow you to have both a chump blocker and a beater on the same card. If nothing else this is a contingency 1-drop for green in Limited and obviously plays very well with populate.
Chorus of Might – Is trample really worth the three-mana increase over Might of the Masses? Likely not. In any event this will still play nastily in Selesnya decks in Limited; the trample makes any pumped weenie into an unsolvable finisher.
Deadbridge Goliath – Remember when I talked up Terrus Wurm in the black article? Literally everything I said (save about cost flexibility) applies here by a factor of ten. Yowza is that efficient or what?
Death’s Presence – Think of this as providing additional scavenge activations for free and you’ll see how strong it is. It might take a while to get rolling but when it does you’re in for a real treat, and your opponents are in for a real beatdown.
Drudge Beetle – Six mana may seem super expensive for two scavenge +1/+1 counters, especially given both Deadbridge Goliath and Sewer Shambler. But this is a bear, and a damn good one; trust me when it serves both its functions well, especially with the extra mana you’ll be able to sink in this Limited format.
Druid’s Deliverance – Like all other populate cards, the effectiveness of this completely depends on your deckbuilding and whether you’ve been able to produce fat tokens by the stage in the game you cast this. If you can get a 3/3 Centaur out of it around turn 3 or 4 (which is distinctly possible), you’re doing really well. Anyhow, Fog effects in general are a godsend to green control.
Gatecreeper Vine – Subpar as a wall (0 power? Really?), good as far as fetching your mana fixing goes, best when synergizing with Axebane Guardian.
Giant Growth – I do not have to explain the appeal of this to anyone. It’s Giant Growth and it has a million uses and it saved my ass a lot during the prerelease. Thanks, Giant Growth, you are a true bro.
Gobbling Ooze – This is more of a Constructed thing, designed for if you’re running a combo deck that thrives off death triggers. Anywhere else both the creature itself and its ability are overly expensive. MaRo is at least pleased he got an uncommon Ooze in the set.
Golgari Decoy – So, it’ll let the rest of my army through unblocked for a combat? And then it’ll give one of those creatures +2/+2 from beyond the grave? I love this plan. I’m excited to be a part of it. That use of that quotation was not ironic.