Magic 2015 Limited Review – Green, Artifact, Multicolored, and Lands

Welcome to my Magic 2015 Set Review! I’ll start by looking at each card for Limited, as the prerelease is coming up this weekend, and next week I’ll dive into my Constructed review.

If you missed my other M15 Limited reviews, you can find them here:

Magic 2015 Limited Review – White

Magic 2015 Limited Review – Blue

Magic 2015 Limited Review – Black

Magic 2015 Limited Review – Red

As usual, here is the ratings system I’ll be using:

5.0: The best of the best. (Pack RatUmezawa’s JitteGideon Jura)

4.5: Incredible bomb, but not unbeatable. (Polukranos, World EaterHypersonic Dragon)

4.0: Good rare or top tier uncommon. (Phalanx LeaderVitu-Ghazi GuildmageChaos Imps)

3.5: Top tier common or solid uncommon. (Lightning StrikeNimbus NaiadDreg Mangler)

3.0: Good playable that basically always makes the cut. (Leafcrown DryadEssence Scatter)

2.5: Solid playable that rarely gets cut. (Borderland MinotaurDead Reveler)

2.0: Good filler, but sometimes gets cut. (Savage SurgeOmenspeakerArmory Guard)

1.5: Filler. Gets cut about half the time. (Pillarfield OxTenement Crasher)

1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Lost in a LabyrinthPay No Heed)

0.5: Very low-end playables and sideboard material. (Survey the WreckageCelestial Purge)

0.0: Completely unplayable. (Search the CityPyxis of Pandemonium)

Ancient Silverback

Limited: 3.5

I debated between 3.0 and 3.5 for this, but decided it to give it the gold rather than silver, mostly because regeneration can make this truly unstoppable. There are just some matchups where this is completely bananas, as I’m sure Marshall Sutcliffe can attest to, even if it does cost a lot of mana. I also like that this is a good uncommon now, when it used to be a pretty good rare (granted, that was in a format where Pestilence was common, but still). Limited sure has changed.

Back to Nature

Limited: 0.5

Back to the sideboard with you. It is nice to have access to one of these, but don’t pick it over much that’s good.

Carnivorous Moss-Beast

Limited: 1.5

I’m kind of operating under the assumption that green wants one or two six drops, and this is a passable one (despite the ridiculous concept). The activated ability may look horrible, but a 6-mana 4/5 is still kind of large, and having the bonus option to level it up if you have nothing better to do is a real thing.

Charging Rhino

Limited: 3.0

This is green’s ham-handed approach to evasion, but at least you aren’t being charged much for it. The stats check out, the ability is solid, and if you are in the market for a groundpounder, you can definitely do worse.

Chord of Calling

Limited: 2.0

Constructed implications aside (get over here, Arcanis), Chord is not the best card ever in Limited. If you have some good creatures to get, it gets better accordingly, but it still costs a lot of mana and has a lot of colored symbols. As the rating indicates, I think you are more likely to play it than not (especially given that green decks tend to be heavy green), but it is not mandatory.

Elvish Mystic

Limited: 3.5

When the mana elf isn’t the best green common, something strange is going on. Until further notice, M15 is still a normal Limited set, so it would likely be a big mystic to pass this.

Feral Incarnation

Limited: 2.0

NOW we are talking. This really is the incarnation of what I want to be doing in Limited (and what Ben Stark is trying his hardest to beat out of me). Tapping a couple dorks to cast this on turn six seems sweet, and I could see this being a very high pick in a deck with a lot of Convoke enablers. Cards like this incentivize linear decks, and one cool thing about the “Convoke deck” is that it isn’t using anything particularly fancy. Any deck with a lot of creatures can support cards like this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was legitimately a high pick.

Gather Courage

Limited: 3.0

I’ve come around a bit on combat tricks since this was first printed, and now think that it’s a solid card, and I’d even go so far as to call it good. It being castable off no untapped lands is nice, even if it will give me headaches as I feel duty-bound to play around this against any green mage.

Genesis Hydra

Limited: 3.5

You are paying about one mana too much at every cost, but that’s mitigated by the fact that you get an extra card most of the time (assuming you hit X=3+), and that this scales beautifully into the lategame. If you have a deck that supports ramp well, this is the perfect card, especially if you have some other good cards it can (semi) tutor for.

Hornet Nest

Limited: 3.0

Flavor: 5.0

This might be the flavor champion of the set. It’s truly a masterpiece, and I don’t say that lightly. It’s also quite playable, making it very unpleasant for your opponent to attack you on the ground, and likely requiring either a kill spell or a painful 3 for 1 trade. Even aggressive decks should probably play this, as it does a great job of stopping attacks, and unless you are the perfect beatdown deck, you sometimes will find yourself on defense. Keep in mind that pointing a burn spell at this is not a bad play, and turning Nest + Lightning Strike into three deathtouch fliers can be a huge blowout.

Hornet Queen

Limited: 4.0

Even factoring in my predilection for 7’s, this is an excellent card. Your opponent can be busy as a bee and it will still shut them down, as a massive army of deathtouch fliers tends to do.

Hunt the Weak

Limited: 1.5

This being a Core Set does not excuse weak cards, and that’s exactly what this is. You have to have a creature of equal size to theirs, four mana, and do this all at sorcery speed.

Hunter’s Ambush

Limited: 2.0

This is a surprisingly flexible card, acting as both a combat trick and a Fog, or even both at once. It does cost three mana, which is a bit of a drawback, and does fall flat against other green mages, but past that it really does live up to its name. It also requires that you have some good green bruisers, but I think that’s pretty clear.

Invasive Species

Limited: 3.0

I love playing with cards like this. At level 1, this is a 3/3 for three with a small drawback, which is decent. 3/3’s for three are good enough to pay a little penalty, and if that were the end of it, I wouldn’t be too offput. The awesome part is that this can very easily be a 3/3 for three with a big upside, and it’s all up to you. If you draft some good enters the battlefield effects, you all of a sudden have a sweet combo card in your deck, and even if you don’t draw this + an ETB creature, there are plenty of other tricks. It frees up creatures with negative Auras on them, can untap attackers to create pseudo-vigilance, and can even bounce a land to get you an extra mana in a turn where you wouldn’t otherwise play a land.

Kalonian Twingrove

Limited: 3.5

Don’t be fooled into thinking that this card is mono-green or bust. Sure, it is much better when it’s double 6/6’s, but given that you are getting two creatures in one card, how big do they really have to be? Actually, telling you that is my job, and my answer is “3/3”. If you have even half Forests when you cast this, it’s passable, and ideally you’ve built your deck with 10+ Forests, giving you a good shot of having some much larger monsters. Plus, they continue to grow, making the whole deal that much sweeter.

Life’s Legacy

Limited: 1.5

As much as I like drawing cards, even I realize that board position matters. In order to get good value from this, you need to sacrifice a 4+ power creature, and I don’t want to count on playing a creature of that size, having it survive, and giving up that much board position. There are easier and better ways to draw cards, even if this looks flashy when it works. What I do like is siding this in against Encrust, as sacrificing an Encrusted creature is the sort of play legacies are built on.

Living Totem

Limited: 3.0

Even though this can’t target itself, it’s still very close to a 3/4 for four, with the relevant option to play it for cheaper. That’s just good clean fun.

Naturalize

Limited: 0.5

Is this Scars of Mirrodin?

The answer is “no”, so leave this in your board (I will accept playing it maindeck in Sealed if you are short, but even there I’d rather start it in the sideboard).

Netcaster Spider

Limited: 3.0

It’s hard to cast anything better than this on turn three, and I very nearly gave it a 3.5 as a result. Only its relative weakness at battling ground creatures prevented that, because this has the air on lockdown. Green decks want as many of these as they can get their hands on, and it does the common Spider slot proud.

Nissa, Worldwaker

Limited: 4.0

Playing Nissa on turn six and making a 4/4 to protect her is awesome, and she puts out a steady stream of 4/4’s as long as you can keep her alive. Eventually she puts out all the 4/4’s, and sometimes she even ramps your mana if you have better plays to make. Nissa is a bit on the expensive side, as far as planeswalkers go, but she’s still incredibly strong. Her weakness to fliers is the only soft spot, but pick up enough Netcaster Spiders and you should be fine.

Nissa’s Expedition

Limited: 1.5

As much as I like ramping, paying five mana to ramp isn’t really where I want to be. I get that Convoke makes this a 3 or 4 drop sometimes, but that’s still a lot of effort to cultivate a pretty small payout. This card is kind of a reach, if you ask me.

Overwhelm

Limited: 2.0

Overrun this is definitely not, though it’s still a respectable finisher in the right kind of deck. Casting a bunch of Triplicate Spirits into this will overwhelm your opponent, and as long as you realize that this isn’t necessarily the best fit in the average green deck, you will be fine.

Paragon of Eternal Wilds

Limited: 2.0

I’m less thrilled with this Paragon than others, though it is funny that having sizable green creatures makes the pump ability less relevant and the trample ability more relevant. In a deck with eight or more other green creatures, this is probably fine, if not the paragon of excellence.

Phytotitan

Limited: 3.5

Unkillable 7/2’s are no joke, though this does move very slowly once they start trading for it. As long as you aren’t dying in the meantime, this will eventually win you the game, and that’s a fine quality on a six drop.

Plummet

Limited: 2.0

I wouldn’t say that this has plummeted in my estimation, though it may not be flying as high as it used to. If you don’t have good flying defense, I would maindeck one of these, but almost never two. This is one of the better sideboard cards in the set, good enough to take relatively early.

Ranger’s Guile

Limited: 2.5

This is a combat trick that stops even the Doom Blade-type removal, and as such this tends to range from good to great. Don’t go nuts grabbing too many tricks like this, but the first one is usually awesome.

Reclamation Sage

Limited: 3.0

Let me give you some sage wisdom: a card that protects you from all sorts of bad things at low opportunity cost is exactly what you should be looking for.

Restock

Limited: 2.5

I don’t mind a 5-mana draw 2, mainly because the two you are drawing are guaranteed to be good (or at least spells). The usual caveat about too many slow spells applies, but this is one of the decent ones, especially if you have more actual spells. It’s not as good a combo with dorky creatures, but combine this with efficient removal and you have yourself a deck.

Roaring Primadox

Limited: 1.5

This is like an Invasive Species with higher upside and higher downside, which presents another interesting puzzle. Roaring Primadox is much more of a build-around, because it punishes you so much more when you aren’t comboing, and that naturally limits how many decks end up wanting to play it. Once you have a couple good things to bounce, or even just a couple 1 and 2 drops, Primadox becomes quite the beast.

Runeclaw Bear

Limited: 2.5

I can’t guarantee that Bears are great in this format, but it is unlikely that they are terrible (though it is possible). It bears repeating that you need enough 2-drops, and even unexciting ones like this fill out your curve.

Satyr Wayfinder

Limited: 3.0

The odds of missing are low enough in a normal deck that I like this without any combos, and once you have a couple ways to use your graveyard it becomes an auto-play.

Shaman of Spring

Limited: 3.0

I’m not passing up a 2 for 1 that’s this easy, though I am well aware that it’s better to have some of these and some two-drops instead of just all of these. I’m not happy about it, but I’m aware.

Siege Wurm

Limited: 3.5

Finally, we’ve gotten to the driving force behind the Convoke deck. Siege Wurm really is the real deal, and plays the role of Myr Enforcer in the really streamlined Convoke decks. If you can’t reliably cast this for 5, well, your deck is either really bad or really sweet. Normal green decks will want this, and Convoke decks with a ton of token-making will really want this.

Soul of Zendikar

Limited: 4.5

Reach may not be flying, but it’s basically the same if your only goal is to defend yourself. Given that this makes a steady stream of beasts, you don’t really need to do anything else, which makes this awesome (if way less aggressive than the plane whose name it bears). Getting a beast on the way out is a very relevant bonus, and overall this card does exactly what you want out of a bomb 6-drop.

Sunblade Elf

Limited: 3.5

In GW, this is an early beater, which is good, but more importantly it provides a very strong lategame plan. Threatening to boost your whole team is the real deal, and that makes Sunblade Elf an awesome play on any turn. It’s even cheap enough that you can drop this and use it right away in the mid to lategame, making this quite the split card indeed.

Titanic Growth

Limited: 2.5

As with Ranger’s Guile, pump spells tend to go down in value reasonably quickly. An aggressive deck does want lots of them, but midrange decks want fewer, and control decks likely want none. I like that this deals a bunch of extra damage, but dislike the two mana in the casting cost. I’d lean towards Ranger’s Guile to begin with, even if they are close enough together that I’m not going to stress about which I end up with.

Undergrowth Scavenger

Limited: 3.0

This isn’t really a 4-drop, but it does provide a good body nonetheless. The earliest you will likely want to cast this is turn five or six, and that’s assuming there have been a few trades. I’d be worried about having too many of these, though I do like the first one as a good lategame drop. It’s also pretty clear that you want this in a combat-oriented creature deck, or at the very least a deck with a good amount of removal (though the first deck is going to be way better for Scavenging purposes).

Venom Sliver

Limited: 3.0

Even if this is worse than a Typhoid Rats in most decks, a 2-mana 1/1 deathtouch is still very playable. If you have other Slivers, sweet, but that’s in no way mandatory.

Verdant Haven

Limited: 1.0

Unless you are playing three or more colors, this is really not worth the investment, and even then it’s not outstanding.

Vineweft

Limited: 1.0

Think of this as an extremely expensive and slow Leonin Scimitar and you are on the right track. If that doesn’t sound exciting then you have good instincts.

Wall of Mulch

Limited: 2.5

I’m not mulch for exaggeration, but this really is the kind of card I like. It’s a good defensive 2-drop and you can cash it in for full value whenever you please. The only thing holding it back is that it’s not want beatdown decks want at all (though the presence of Convoke make it so that even aggressive decks want cheap creatures to help cast their Siege Wurms).

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard

Limited: 3.5

It’s hard to go too wrong with a 2/3 for three, and it doesn’t take long before you have some good creatures start wandering into play. Once you have Yisan, one-drops become extra sweet, though I wouldn’t play a crappy 1-drop just because of this.

Top 5 Green Commons

5. Living Totem

4. Shaman of Spring

3. Netcaster Spider

2. Siege Wurm

1. Elvish Mystic

Green has excellent commons this time around. Both Siege Wurm and Elvish Mystic are fine first picks

Garruk, Apex Predator

Limited: 4.5

Apex Predator indeed. Garruk eats anything, including other planeswalkers, makes 3/3’s to defend himself, and ultimately just wins you the game. Seven mana is a lot, but this more than gives you your mana’s worth.

Sliver Hivelord

Limited: 1.0

If you can assemble the necessary mana, this is powerful, but therein lies the rub. Much like Chromanticore, tales of Sliver Hivelord are nothing more than myth and fable.

Avarice Amulet

Limited: 1.0

Unless you are absolutely sure your opponent is lacking in removal, playing this seems extremely greedy. It’s slow to get going, doesn’t protect your creatures, and punishes you when it gets stolen.

Brawler’s Plate

Limited: 1.5

I like the idea, but bronze is about what this deserves. It’s expensive and unwieldy, even if it can have its shining moments.

Bronze Sable

Limited: 2.0

As much as I trumpet the need for 2-drops, not all 2-drops are good enough to get excited about.

Gargoyle Sentinel

Limited: 3.0

Unless you are quite aggressive, this is going to do some good work. It blocks early, can finish the game late, and can even block fliers if the situation calls for it.

Grindclock

Limited: 2.5

Grindclock is a very hard to stop win condition, but that doesn’t mean it’s an appropriate card for all decks. If you are Grindclocking, you better be serious about it, and that means a ton of defense, removal, and ways to survive. It’s also much more vulnerable after board, when you can expect some kind of removal to come in.

Haunted Plate Mail

Limited: 3.5

Sometimes this sits on the board doing nothing, but that requires you to have a combination of other creatures and no time with which to equip them, which is not going to be all that common.

Hot Soup

Limited: 0.5

Ridiculous Name: 0.0

I guess you can side this in if you know the matchup is going to lead to a board stall, but I can’t imagine running this maindeck (or really at all).

Juggernaut

Limited: 3.5

Nobody can stop the Juggernaut, least of all your opponent.

Meteorite

Limited: 2.5

Even if your deck has absolutely no way to use mana number six, this still deals 2 damage. Because of that, and because most decks will have a way to put the mana to use, this gets a pass.

Obelisk of Urd

Limited: 1.5

This is a bomb in the turbo-Spirits deck, but barring a lot of Spirits (in triplicate), I’m not in love with the idea of paying this much mana for a situational Anthem.

Ornithopter

Limited: 0.0

If You Have Ensoul Artifact: 0.0

Please do not cast Ornithopter, regardless of how many sweet combos and Convoke cards you have.

Perilous Vault

Limited: 3.0

While this isn’t the most aggressive card I’ve ever seen, underestimate it at your own peril. It wipes everything instantly for nine mana, and still gets the job done for less, albeit with a one-turn delay. Having a reset button can be nice, and this is reasonably costed to the point where I wouldn’t mind running it.

Phyrexian Revoker

Limited: 2.5

This is strictly better than Bronze Sable, but don’t go nuts and try and slowroll it unless you know there’s something fearsome for it to shut down in your opponent’s deck. Treat it as a 2/1 for 2 that sometimes does a little more and you should be satisfied.

Profane Memento

Limited: 0.0

Even if you expect a lot of trading to happen, this is too much effort for too little (life) gain.

Rogue’s Gloves

Limited: 3.0

This will win the Golden Glove award when put into the right deck, the right deck being a deck full of cheap evasive creatures. That does mean it won’t make it into every deck, but when it’s good, it’ll be very good.

Sacred Armory

Limited: 1.5

This might be a nice way to complicate combat, but the cost is high enough that I think you can do better.

Scuttling Doom Engine

Limited: 3.5

I can’t say I really get what this card is trying to do, or why it has such a strange combination of abilities, but hey, it’s a 6/6 for 6 that can’t be chump blocked and nugs the opponent for 6 on the way out. That sounds like a fine deal to me.

Shield of the Avatar

Limited: 2.0

At the very least this prevents one damage, and often it will make the equipped creature unkillable. That’s not a bad deal for the cost, and in a creature-heavy deck I’d be happy to run this.

Soul of New Phyrexia

Limited: 3.5

This is a tick lower than the other Souls, mainly because the ability doesn’t really generate a card all that often. It’s still very good, just not quite up to the standards of its brethren.

Staves

Limited: 0.5

As I’ve said before, maybe side these in for the aggressive mirror match, but still probably don’t.

The Chain Veil

Limited: -5.0

If you put this card in your deck you are way more likely to have it lose you the game than any other alternative. This might be the worst card I’ve ever reviewed for Limited; it doesn’t just do nothing, it’s actually really bad for you if you cast it.

Tormod’s Crypt

Limited: 0.5

This only gets the pity 0.5 on the off chance that there’s a deck that actually would be hurt enough by this for you to side it in (hint: there isn’t).

Tyrant’s Machine

Limited: 1.0

It’s slow and expensive, but it does stop a creature cold. If you have to resort to this for your removal spells, so be it.

Will-Forged Golem

Limited: 3.0

Ok, I guess this is the actual Myr Enforcer of the set. I like additional Convoke rewards, and this will still be good in most decks, even if they aren’t going very deep on tokens. That actually makes drafting a dedicated Convoke deck a little tougher, as other people will be sniping your golems and disrupting your well-forged plans.

Enemy-Colored Pain Lands

Limited: 3.0

If you are both colors or splashing, play these, but don’t pick them early.

Darksteel Citadel

Limited: 0.0

If You Have Ensoul Artifact: 0.0

Barring the extreme outlier deck with a ton of Shrapnel Blasts and Ensouls, this is not a playable card.

Evolving Wilds

Limited: 3.0

Manafixing is good, and having Evolving Wilds around makes splashing much more viable. I approve.

Radiant Fountain

Limited: 1.0

Most decks won’t be able to afford the risk this adds to your manabase, but if you are mono-colored, go nuts.

Sliver Hive

Limited: 1.0

I’d run this if I had even two Slivers, or one if I thought my mana was otherwise good enough. It’s a bit of a drawback that it mainly taps for colorless, but the upside is high enough that it’s worth it.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Limited: 3.0

Even though this can help your opponent, if you have any double-black spells in a 2-color deck you should always run this. Fixing is that important.

Next week I’ll be back with a Constructed review, and until then, enjoy the prerelease!

LSV

Share this

Discussion

Scroll to Top