(I’ve previously written about my Magic: the Gathering Cube here, which also contains a link to the spreadsheet I have been using to track the cards in my cube. This series of articles will examine the Cube in its latest incarnation, as of the last update which brought in cards from Return to Ravnica. I will be looking at some of the statistics, and try to explain some of my decision making process when designing the Cube. I’m hoping this exercise will help me reflect on my decisions and find ways to further improve the Cube experience.)
Finally, we get to the last single colour post in the series, which is on Green. You can check out the “State of the Cube” tag to find the other colours and also a post with the link to the Cube spreadsheet, which is also at the top of the post. Some quick statistics for Green in the Cube:
In Magic, Green is supposed to be the creature colour. It should have the biggest and best creatures, particularly in the midrange and larger. It also has the best creature enhancers, primarily in increasing their size. Green is also the colour of manipulating mana, either by increasing the amount of mana you have access to or by getting you the right colours. Green also can deal with any card other than creatures through its spells, while its spells and abilities that let it interact with an opponent’s creatures usually involve its own creatures as well, such as with Lure, Provoke and Fight mechanics. For a creature focused colour, it has many tribal synergies as well, and the most abundant creature types for Green are:
- Beast – 12
- Druid – 12
- Elf – 24
- Human – 15
- Shaman – 19
Oddly enough for the creature colour, Green doesn’t actually have the most creatures. What it lacks in number though, it makes up for in quality. Green has the highest creature size score of all the colours, and has the most number of medium to large creatures. Still, I would like to emphasise Green’s commitment to its creatures and I’ll probably tweak the creature balance in Green for the next update. Another interesting statistic is that Green is the least colour intensive of all the colours, which fits into its colour fixing role. You want to be able to access your colour fixing as easily as possible in a multicolour deck, and having your Green fixers require lots of Green would work against that.
Mo’ Mana, Mo’ Problems
Green loves mana and, by extension, lands. It is great at getting more of it and/or more colours of it. Green lets you search out land from your library, or lets you play more than one land a turn, or has plenty of non-land cards that just straight up make mana. It differs from Red and Black with their little smatterings of mana acceleration in that its mana acceleration is often permanent. It wants to improve your overall mana growth, rather than just provide a quick temporary boost. Additionally, it provides you with multiple ways to use your lands an mana, either with landfall triggers, effects that trigger off the number of lands you have, or just some mana sinks.
- Cards that accelerate your mana (Mana Ramp – 30): Oracle of Mul Daya, Burgeoning, Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Explore, Elvish Archdruid, Garruk Wildspeaker
- Cards that fix your mana for the right colours, usually also accelerating (Mana Fixing – 17): Cultivate, Krosan Tusker, Yavimaya Elder, Birds of Paradise, Prismatic Omen
- Cards that benefit from more lands or mana: Budoka Gardener, Lifegift, Ursapine, Centaur Glade, Tromp the Domains, Avenger of Zendikar
Well, They Just Followed Me Home
Next to White, Green is also great at creating an army of creature tokens. After having played with this configuration for a while, I’m planning to differentiate the way the two colours make creature tokens by letting Green have more repeatable ways of creating tokens like through tapping a creature or paying mana. I’m also considering having more large creature token producers in Green.
- Cards that make lots of creatures (Token Producer – 28): Jade Mage, Ant Queen, Imperious Perfect, Centaur Glade, Master of the Wild Hunt, Verdant Force
It Just Got EVEN BIGGER!
Since Green is focused on creatures, it makes sense that one of its themes is making its creatures better. Most Green spells only pump the power and toughness, but also sometimes grant abilities like Trample, Reach and Regeneration. Also, since it is the other “army” colour, Green also has ways to pump all its creatures at once. Green also has many cards that interact with the +1/+1 counters used to grow its armies.
- Cards that pump up one creature (Pump – 12): Immaculate Magistrate, Bear Umbra, Might of Oaks, Stonewood Invocation, Wolfir Silverheart
- Cards that pump multiple creatures (Mass Pump – 8, Lord – 9): Beastmaster Ascension, Tromp the Domains, Triumph of the Hordes, Gaea’s Anthem
- Cards that enhance a creature’s abilities (Enhancer – 9 ): Asceticism, Bramblewood Paragon, Yeva, Nature’s Herald
I Am Full of Interesting Devices
As mentioned before, Green has ways to directly deal with every other permanent type than creatures, and it has the Fight mechanic that capitalises on its focus on creatures. Green also has some lifegain, some ways to return cards from the graveyard to hand, and tutoring for creatures. Green also gets card draw, which is usually tied to creatures somehow, and mass damage against flying creatures.
My focus for the next update is to tweak the creature makeup for Green. Looking at the statistics for creatures, I’m hoping to include more creatures that emulate spell effects and increase the creature count for Green while still keeping Green interesting. I’m also hoping to increase the theme of +1/+1 counters and the creature pumping abilities in Green. Right now, Green is still pretty powerful and I’m just hoping to reinforce Green’s focus on creatures while maintaining the power level.
I’m really digging your posts about your Cube, especially because I’m about to start one of my own. Very inspiring! :D
Thanks, man! It’s a very rewarding experience, and also can be quite personal as you can reflect on what makes you and your friends tick as gamers. I’m planning to do a major Cube update after Dragon’s Maze, and I’ll hopefully have more to write about the Cube after that :)
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