One of the greatest attributes Green has is an emphasis on the basics. Green make creatures. Green make bigger creatures. Green smash puny man face with bigger creatures.
Green often gets a bad rap by veteran players unless they’re talking about the tourney-heavy Thragtusk-like creatures of the color. Green isn’t less relevant of a color. Rather, it’s more that Green is, on the whole, the least likely to do really wonky things. As the color of the natural world, its ideological worldview is centered around engaging and maintaining itself through those means. It inherently doesn’t trust artificial and mystical constructs because they can’t be procured through natural means. It’s why Green is adept at smashing artifacts, dispelling enchantments, and encouraging continued growth of the land.
This is also why Green is the beatdown color. When it wants to flex its magical muscle, Green prefers using, well, muscle. And bone. And sinew. And probably large teeth or spines. Better yet – both.
It’s not that this tactic is bad: creatures overall have been progressively better and better over the years. The stigma instead comes two-fold. First, it’s a very transparent strategy. Players know that most of the time Green is going to use its greatest advantage – creatures – as its win condition. Whether it’s swarms of tokens or giant elementals, and regardless of what sort of surprise pivot it makes in doing so, the end goal is always for you to be crushed underfoot. That said, Green also does this really, really well. You have to hope you can stop them.
The second part of the stigma is that it’s largely the domain of the Timmy personae. Sure, every color gets big splashy cards, but Green gets a disproportionate share of them. As a result, it has the most to offer a Timmy player. There’s nothing wrong with that of course; the issue stems from the rest of the player base. Johnnies like to combo, and while it’s possible in Green, it’s not as as easy as in other colors. Similarly, Spikes like Green’s aggressive creature cards and land ramp for competitive play (see again Thragtusk, Primeval Titan, etc.), but they balk at what else the color does because giant scary monstrosities are usually not key to winning a game in five or six turns.
They are, however, quite useful for longer games.
Today we have: Moldgraf Monstrosity
Name: Moldgraf Monstrosity
Focus: Creature Reanimation
Highlights: As we can see, nature rewards the patient. Mammoth creatures in Green are almost commonplace once you reach the 7-CMC or higher plateau, and so the Moldgraf fits the, erm, mold, just fine. An 8/8 trample is nothing to scoff at in any format. Still, while it makes for a respectable foe on the battlefield, the card doubles its usefulness with its death trigger.
A trait that Green has that can often be overlooked, as strange as it sounds, is that it’s almost as good at Black at retrieving things from the graveyard. The primary difference is that Black can manipulate anyone’s creatures (but usually only creatures), whereas Green can retrieve practically anything of their own. Think of it as your personal compost pile. The result is highly useful in single-use cards like Recollect, but most of the time, it has to return it to your hand first. The Moldgraf instead pulls a distinctly Black trick in returning it directly to the battlefield.
It’s such an uncommon trait, in fact, that it could be considered a color bleed. There are only three Green cards that will return something from the graveyard to the battlefield, and two of those are only capable of returning themselves. Moldgraf Monsrosity is the only Green card that can return something else.
Sure, it does come with a cost as it has to die, it’s random, and it gets exiled. Even still, in a Commander game having a beatstick creature is handy. Losing it to a board wipe or costly combat and being able to regain two other creatures is even more handy. In that, he is certainly one useful bugger.
Keep an eye out for us to be regularly featuring other more accessible-but-worth-it Commander cards going forward. In the meantime, we’ll keep the light on for you.
You can discuss this article over on our forums!
Do you have a particular Commander card to suggest for us to shine a future Spotlight on? You can send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org