Of the five key areas of Magic: The Gathering’s New Phyrexia, the green-aligned Hunter Maze is perhaps the most straightforward. Ruled over by the Praetor Vorinclex, the Maze operates on a hierarchy of brute force, with the core green principle of ‘survival of the fittest’ at its heart.
This is well-trampled ground for green in Magic, the colour of big creatures and crushing combat steps, and Phyrexia: All Will Be One doesn’t disappoint when it comes to delivering on these core values. It doesn’t stop there, however, developing a strong poison theme that rivals, and often surpasses, that of the other colours. Of all the green cards in the set, these ten are our natural selections.
10 Venerated Rotpriest
One of the most exciting multi-format prospects from All Will Be One, this deadly Druid is far scarier than its humble mana cost implies. Coming down for just one mana, with a 1/2 toxic 1 body, the card is a solid early play in any poison-focused deck. Things really kick into gear when you consider its second ability, however.
Giving your opponent a poison counter each time a creature you control is targeted by a spell, the Rotpriest has the potential to fully poison your opponent in a single turn with the right setup. Many are speculating a new take on Modern Storm featuring this card and Ground Rift, and that may well take off, but even when played ‘fairly’ this is a huge boost to any poison deck.
9 Bloated Contaminator
An expertly-named creature, the text box on this Contaminator is literally bloated with abilities and upside, particularly when you consider its low mana cost. A 4/4 trampler for three with toxic 1 is already great, all but guaranteeing your opponent a poison counter each turn. The ability to proliferate at the same time, though, is the lime green icing on the cake.
This lets you not only develop your poison plan faster, but also tap into sub-themes like oil and planeswalkers without giving up on your creature quality. It’s a powerful card, and a new yardstick for how pushed creatures in Magic have become.
8 Green Sun’s Twilight
Part of the Sun’s Twilight cycle, a fun callback to the extremely popular Sun’s Zenith cycle from Mirrodin Besieged, Green Sun’s Twilight lives in the shadow of its Zenith counterpart to a large extent. Look beyond this, however, and you’ll find it to be a flexible, powerful option for any creature-focused deck.
When cast for five or less mana, this will draw you two cards at best, putting it on par with cards like Divination. When cast for six or more, though, it becomes both a ramp spell and a means of cheating huge creatures into play. The latter option is, of course, much more attractive, but the fact that the former option exists gives the card more use in more situations.
7 Armored Scrapgorger
A real multi-tool of a card, Armored Scrapgorger fulfills several valuable functions in one neat package. Firstly, it’s a mana dork, coming down for two mana and tapping for a mana of any colour. This is a solid rate, and with three toughness, it won’t just die to any given removal spell.
But wait, there’s more! Each time you tap the Scrapgorger, you exile a card from a graveyard and put an oil counter on it, giving it an element of incidental graveyard hate as well. Finally, once three counters have been stacked up, it gains +3/+0, making it into a viable attacker that still gets to eat cards from graveyards when it attacks. It’s a card that does so much, nearly every green deck will find a use for it somewhere.
6 Nissa, Ascended Animist
Perhaps the most tragic of all the Compleated planeswalkers in the set, Nissa’s ascended form is a cruel affront to her nature, and nature in general. It does, however, come with an excellent set of abilities, so don’t pass it up in disgust just yet.
The flexible mana cost offered by her compleated ability is a great immediate benefit, letting Nissa hit the battlefield any time from turns five to seven, and her first two abilities give you very efficient ways to protect her and get rid of problematic permanents. Her ultimate is a classic game-ender, and can even be used immediately if you pay full price, making it a refreshing change from the planeswalker norm.
5 Tyrranax Rex
Probably the most classically green card in the set, Tyrranax Rex is a huge, hulking monster that can absolutely devastate an unprepared opponent. The combination of ‘can’t be countered’ and ward 4 here makes the Dinosaur tough to deal with either on or off the board, while its trample, haste, and high stats make it imperative that your opponent does deal with it.
Even without toxic 4, this card would likely still be playable, as a pure beatstick for decks capable of ramping to seven mana consistently. With toxic 4 though, it’s a card that will guarantee the swift end of any game in which it’s cast.
4 Unnatural Restoration
It’s fitting that cards in Magic that let you recycle cards from your graveyard are often green; it balances out the colour’s raw brutality with an eco-friendly sheen. Unnatural Restoration is a new proponent of this proud tradition, letting you get any permanent card in your graveyard back for just two mana.
This is solid by itself, but what really puts this card over the top is the incidental proliferate attached to it. Aggressive poison decks may struggle to rack up those last few counters following removal and board wipes, and this card neatly provides a solution to all of their mid-to-late game problems.
This fearsome Fungus is a masterclass in multiplicity. Weighing in at a 3/2 for two mana, its base stats are solid enough for most green decks to consider, and its suite of abilities are versatile enough to properly reward any that do.
The ability to remove artifacts and enchantments is useful in nearly every matchup, while the proliferate ability supports specific strategies like oil and poison particularly well. It’s a card with both generic and niche applications, which means it’s destined to see play in a wide range of decks.
2 Thirsting Roots
A textbook example of a card that’s good early and good late, Thirsting Roots serves two valuable functions in green decks. The first ability here lets you grab any basic land from your deck, which can be very effective early-game in order to ensure your colours are fixed and your curve is secure.
The real draw of the card is the ability to proliferate for just one mana, however. Even in a low-value scenario, giving your opponent a poison counter for one mana is very efficient, and can even be enough to end the game; There’s nothing quite so cruel as landing the killing blow on your opponent with a one-mana ramp spell.
1 Thrun, Breaker Of Silence
Thrun’s new incarnation is, somehow, even more comically hard to remove than its predecessor. He can’t be countered, he can’t be targeted by any non-green effects, and he can’t even be destroyed at all on your turn; in short, he’s a deadly puzzle for your opponent to solve.
And they’d better solve it quickly, because with 5/5 stats and trample, Thrun will be Breaking your opponent’s life down to nothing in just a few turns, leaving them sitting in stunned Silence. As rough and resilient as nature itself, Thrun is one of the most deeply green cards in All Will Be One.
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