Green got some nice aggressive cards, and I might be convinced to take Constructed poison seriously now (well, almost). As usual, the ratings are as follows:

Constructed

5.0: Multi-format All-Star (and undoubtedly worth too much money). Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf.

4.0: Format staple. Stoneforge Mystic. Preordain.

3.5: Good in multiple archetypes, but not a format staple. Raging Ravine. Lotus Cobra.

3.0: Archetype staple. Spell Pierce. Goblin Guide.

2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. Rampant Growth. Khalni Heart Expedition.

2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. Celestial Purge. (Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although explanation of why is obviously important)

1.0 It has seen play once. One with Nothing. (I believe it was tech vs Owling Mine, although fairly suspicious tech at that.)

Limited

5.0: I will always play this card. Period.

4.5: I will almost always play this card, regardless of what else I get.

4.0: I will strongly consider playing this as the only card of its color.

3.5: I feel a strong pull into this card’s color.

3.0: This card makes me want to play this color. (Given that I’m playing that color, I will play this card 100% of the time.)

2.5: Several cards of this power level start to pull me into this color. If playing that color, I essentially always play these. (Given that I’m playing that color, I will play this card 90% of the time.)

2.0: If I’m playing this color, I usually play these. (70%)

1.5: This card will make the cut into the main deck about half the times I play this color. (50%)

1.0: I feel bad when this card is in my main deck. (30%)

0.5: There are situations where I might sideboard this into my deck, but I’ll never start it. (10%)

0.0: I will never put this card into my deck (main deck or after sideboarding). (0%).

Beast Within

Constructed: 3.0

This card is a beast. It solves a lot of problems for base-green decks, with Jace right at the top of the list. I wouldn’t recommend using it in decks that attack on the ground, but in something like Valakut it seems like a perfect fit. Not only do you not care about random 3/3’s to begin with, you even have Overgrown Battlement and Lightning Bolt if it’s a real problem. I’m most excited to start playing with this within Block, since it both kills some very problematic permanents and combines well with your own Wellsprings. This isn’t the Jace-killer we have all been waiting for, but it is a start, and the implications of this card are going to be pretty far-ranging.

Limited: 3.0

While I wouldn’t be overly excited to draft this card, it still is flexible enough to always make it in. Against poison decks, you give them a guy that doesn’t really do damage, and sometimes you just have to kill a Dragon. Worst comes to worst, you can upgrade a land or something into a 3/3, hopefully ambushing one of their guys while doing so. Don’t go nuts over this card, but respect its power.

Birthing Pod

Constructed: 2.5

It is appropriate that the Phyrexian mana involved here is green, since that’s where this naturally fits anyway. Mana guys + Pod + a toolbox of creatures is the obvious way to go, and it might even be good enough. As much as I tend to shy away from gimmick cards like Myr Superion, it seems kind of sweet here. Assuming you are already playing some combination of Lotus Cobra, Birds of Paradise, Joraga Treespeaker, and Nest Invader, actually casting the Superion can happen, and sacc’ing a 1-drop to Pod for him is pretty sweet too.

Besides Superion, you can ramp to Vengevine, since you have so many guys, as well as using Phyrexian mana guys to ramp to Titans. The possibilities are endless! Lead the Stampede also seems like a natural fit, though I would be concerned that this deck doesn’t have any removal. In any case, this card might be the rebirth of Vengevine decks, which would add a desperately needed facet to current Standard.

Limited: 2.5

This is a tough card to build around, but definitely worth it. In order for it to be awesome, you not only need awesome things to fetch, but the right curve of creatures to make that happen. Once you have the Pod, always keep in mind that you are trying to build a chain, so you want multiple creatures at every casting cost. Steel Hellkites don’t come free, you know. I wouldn’t snap this up too early, since you do want something sick to go with it, but if you have a Praetor or Chancellor or something, feel free to get feisty. Also, non-green decks can’t really afford this, in case you were wondering.

Brutalizer Exarch

Constructed: 1.0

Yeah, nothing screams BRUTAL like searching for a creature and putting it on top, all for the bargain price of six mana. The Plow (way) Under effect is nice, but again, six is just too much to pay for this sort of thing.

Limited: 3.0

If you have something brutal to fetch up, go for it, though most of the time this guy is gonna be a 6-mana Scrapmelter (which is more than fine). I really like this cycle, since all of the guys except the red one come with two different and good choices, which looks very fun to play with.

Chancellor of the Tangle

Constructed: 1.0

TURN 1 VENGEVINE (is unlikely to happen), making this just a little too greedy. The biggest problem is that the card itself is really bad; a 6/7 vigilance isn’t going to strike fear into the hearts of your enemies, and the off chance it bumps you up by a mana in the opener just isn’t enough to make up for that. Don’t get tangled up by the thought of having 3 mana on turn one; instead, think about drawing this on turn three.

Limited: 2.5

Vigilance and reach are good abilities on a 6/7, but this guy is a far cry from the other Chancellors. This isn’t a bomb by any stretch, and most of the times he’s going to be in your opener you won’t even be able to use the mana. At least now we know who gets made fun of at the Chancellor family reunions every year…

Corrosive Gale

Constructed: 1.0

This was a lot more fun when it hit players too, since it gave green decks an actual finisher. As is, the only thing you’ll be finishing with this is your chances.

Limited: 1.0

I try not to maindeck Pistus Strike, and this is generally going to be worse. It is an awesome sideboard card though, especially if you don’t have a ton of fliers yourself.

Death-Hood Cobra

Constructed: 1.0

The hood version of Lotus Cobra is both cheaper and worse.

Limited: 2.5

Paying mana for the abilities is kind of annoying, but you can’t go too wrong with a 2/2 for two that actually has abilities. I find it funny that poison decks are the decks that won’t want the vicious snake, and I’m sure that’s intentional.

Fresh Meat

Constructed: 1.0

In order to really get your money’s worth, you need at least two animals, and probably three, which is going to take some doing. This is a neat anti-Wrath trick, except Wraths are horrible right now, and any sort of convoluted plan built around this is just going to get you butchered. I tried to look at this from a fresh perspective, but even then it just didn’t meet the minimum standards for playability.

Limited: 3.0

The vast majority of the time, this is just going to be a Hill Giant, though the times that it’s more make it worth playing. Once your opponent has seen it, it’ll be a little harder to wreck them, though bluffing it can pay off.

Glissas Scorn

Constructed: 2.0

If you want a way to kill an artifact, there are a ton of better options available. The “2” is only for Block purposes, where you might actually want to curve this into Viridian Corrupter into Slice in Twain.

Limited: 3.5

Shatter of Sparks, woohoo!

Glistener Elf

Constructed: 2.5

Oh boy, here we go. Poison “combo” decks finally have a 1-drop, which is huge. I don’t think this will catapult them into tier 1, but they have a shot now. I guess someone in R&D was glistening to the calls for poison to be good, since this is what it needed. Even in Legacy, the mono-green poison dream lives, thanks to cards like Invigorate and Berserk.

Limited: 2.5

In a poison deck, the beats start early. You would much rather pay a little more mana and get an evasive guy, but that isn’t always an option, and Glistener Elf puts on equipment like the best of them. Even by himself he can get a few shots in on the play, making him a solid addition to the team.

Greenhilt Trainee

Greenhilt Trainee

Constructed: 1.0

This guy is 10 times the card Bloodshot Trainee is…because 10 times 0 is still 0.

Limited: 1.5

Ok, I lied. He’s actually significantly worse than the Trainee. You go through all this work to make him large, and then you still need other guys to bash with in order to get value. Plus, if you could give him +2 power, you could just cut out the middleman and equip your other guys instead of fussing around with this guy.

Leeching Bite 

Constructed: 1.0

Gut Shot and Mortarpod have managed to leech all the value out of this, since even green decks can kill things now. As fun as it might be to take a bite out of crime, leave that to cards that won’t make you throw up when you draw them.

Limited: 3.0

I love cards like this. They aren’t broken, so you can pick them up late, and they take some amount of cunning in order to really be awesome. This should lead to some sweet stories, and I look forward to playing with it.

Maul Splicer

Constructed: 1.0

Anyone crazy enough to try this is just going to get mauled. Seven mana is just too much for a 1/1, even if she does come with Brodie and his buddy TS.

Limited: 2.5

Trample really isn’t that awesome on a 3/3, but seven power for seven mana is still more than fine. This is the first splicer that really gives you an incentive to find a way to bounce it, though there doesn’t seem to be a way to do that without spending a card. I’m also pretty sure that there isn’t a “Golem” deck, but all the cards are good on their own, so mise.

Melira, Sylvok Outcast

Constructed: 1.0

I don’t see this working out very well as a sideboard card. If it didn’t take away infect, it would be an awesome hoser for block, but playing a 2/2 for 2 that just gains you a bunch of life against one very specific deck isn’t going to cut it.

Limited: 1.5

I like this well enough against infect, and it does hose a few spells, though I’d much rather sideboard it in than start it. It isn’t the end of the world if you run it maindeck, but I try and draft awesome decks, not decks described as “not the end of the world”.

Mutagenic Growth

Constructed: 2.5

Poison Poison Poison! At least, that’s who I assuming will be using this card, since most decks aren’t particularly interested in a Giant Growth, free or not. The engine is slowly assembling, and I have good cause to believe that turn two kills might happen in Standard now.

Limited: 3.5

Zombie Cutthroat is back, and he’s angry! At least with Zombie Cutthroat you knew what you were getting into; with Mutagenic Growth, you have to consider this card at ALL TIMES, a fact I’m already annoyed with. It isn’t like the best card in the world or anything, but for those who like to play around as much as humanly possible, it is always going to screw up potential combat situations.

Mycosynth Fiend

Constructed: 1.0

I know what these suicidal poison decks are fiending for…a three mana 6/6 vanilla guy without infect. Yeaaaaaah.

Limited: 3.0

Assuming you can poison them, this isn’t a bad addition to the squad. Even the most dedicated of poison decks won’t mind playing a 4/4 for three, and the dedicated poison decks are the decks where he will shine. You are going to need at least six or seven poison dudes before he becomes sweet, though the midcombat Virulent Wound (in an otherwise non-poison deck) can lead to some nice combats.

Noxious Revival

Constructed: 1.0

This card is more obnoxious than it looks on first glance. As a combo enabler, I guess it’s passable, though there aren’t many awesome combos to be found right now, but the obnoxious part is reviving their terrible cards to make them skip a draw step. Either way, the card isn’t going to make any waves; instead of regrowthing a good card at the cost of a draw step, just play more good cards.

Limited: 1.0

I would have to have multiple really good cards before I play this, and even then I’d have second thoughts. Knowing you are going to get 2 for 1’ed is rough, and I see no reason not to avoid it at all costs.

Phyrexian Swarmlord

Constructed: 1.0

Good lord is this thing expensive. SIX MANA? You do know that the Titans also cost six, have better abilities, and trigger right away? I thought Phyrexians were supposed to make things evil, not sucky.

Limited: 3.5

Good luck beating this guy if they get to untap with it, at least against poison. If you pick this up early, it offers a good a reason as any to draft infectors, and even in a poison-light deck is isn’t the worst. If it ever hits them, they probably just lose, and 4/4 is a quite reasonable size.

Rotted Hystrix

Constructed: 1.0

This card is just rotten. That might not be hysterically funny, but it’s true.

Limited: 1.0

Sometimes you just need a wall, and sometimes you don’t draft a very good deck. The two are often related.

Spinebiter

Constructed: 1.0

The only thing this guy is going to be biting are his fellow proxy cards, since he looks like he will make a perfect Primeval Titan.

Limited: 3.0

Infect decks aren’t going to want a ton of six-drops, but they’ll make room for ones as backbreaking as this guy. Besides the obvious value of a ¾ infect beater, the fact that he can easily finish them off is pretty awesome. Many a game is going to be won or lost on the back of the Spinebiter.

Thundering Tanadon

Constructed: 1.0

I can’t think of any deck that would rather play this than Moltensteel Dragon, even green decks. Birthing Pod shenanigans are all well and good, but you need your cards to have some lightning, not just useless thunder.

Limited: 3.5

Iwamori of the Open Fist at common? I’ll take it, and so will your opponents when you bash with this on turn 5. Non-green decks will play this more often than not, though it isn’t an auto-include.

Triumph of the Hordes

Constructed: 1.0

If you want to poison them, all your guys better already have poison, making this the exact opposite of a triumph, and actually downright horrdeble.

Limited: 3.5

This is a lot of damage out of nowhere, especially if you have a few huge non-poison guys sitting around. I’d still rather draft a poison deck if I had this, but much like Tainted Strike it gives you a reason to throw an Alpha Tyrranax in the mix.

Viridian Betrayers

Constructed: 1.0

This is like a split card, where both halves are completely unplayable.

Limited: 2.5

I’m not a huge fan of these guys. For them to really be good, they obviously need infect, since a 3/1 for 1GG isn’t interesting at all, but they can’t get the party started by themselves. Even when you do get them going, they die to just about anything, making me wonder what the point of putting in all that effort was. They are still going to see play in any dedicated poison deck, just because they still are a 3-power poison guy, but I don’t expect them to be awesome.

Viridian Harvest

Constructed: 1.0

This isn’t a very nourishing card, and would still be horrible even if it just straight up gained six.

Limited: 0.0

I’d be willing to wager that this is going to be one of the most common last picks in the set, even above basic lands. At least those do something, whereas this just sits there looking…weird.

Vital Splicer

Constructed: 1.0

It is vital that you don’t try and make a Golem deck in Constructed, unless by “Golem deck” you mean “RUG with 2 Precursor Golems”.

Limited: 3.5

Unlike trample or vigilance, regeneration is an actual good ability. Infect may make a mockery of it, but that doesn’t stop this guy from being awesome against everyone else. If there is a Golem deck in Limited, this is a big incentive to draft it.

Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

Constructed: 1.0

Neat, once you have 8 mana you can make a ton more! This isn’t exactly a ramp spell, and even the land destruction aspect is probably irrelevant, considering how expensive and mana hungry this guy is to cast in the first place.

Limited: 2.0

Eight is a lot more than seven. Like, two to three turns more, which really puts this guy in perspective. The same problems I mentioned in the Constructed part apply to his abilities in Limited, so I’d suggest you lose your voice and not make a huge effort to find it.

Top 5 Green Commons

5. Glistener Elf
4. Leeching Bite
3. Mutagenic Growth
2. Thundering Tanadon
1. Glissa’s Scorn

It’s pretty hard to argue with a removal spell, and the 5/4 trampler makes a solid case for second. Glistener Elf is the most variable card on the list, and Leeching Bite is probably a little speculative, though I’m looking forward to figuring out exactly how good it is. It’s tough that two of the best commons in green go in any deck, especially since green doesn’t usually have a wealth of good commons to begin with.

Top 5 Green Cards for Constructed

5. Glissa’s Scorn
4. Mutagenic Growth
3. Glistener Elf
2. Birthing Pod
1. Beast Within

I really like Beast Within, and expect to see it played in a few different decks, as well as being huge in block. Birthing Pod and the two poison cards are less of a sure thing, though I hope they find good homes in Standard, just for the format’s sake. Overall green didn’t get a ton of action, but a card as good as Beast Within is something to be satisfied with.

I’ll be wrapping up the set next time, as I go over artifacts, lands, and the lone multicolored card that managed to sneak in!

LSV