Archive for December, 2010
To say that this first real article of mine has been long overdue is like saying that Heidi Klum is hot. No adjectives can describe how gorgeous Heidi is. Same goes for this article which should have been written, at the very least, 4 months ago. Anyway, I’m here to discuss one of the things that I love about Magic The Gathering: the color Green.
I started playing around the time when Ice Age came out and I really can’t remember when or where or how, but I’ve been fond of Green spells since then. I have this vague memory of playing a mono-green deck which included cards like Rogue Elephant and Giant Growth against a very well-built stasis deck (It was years later when I realized that this matchup was like Michael Jordan against EJ Feihl). I can’t remember how many times I’ve lost games to that deck but there was one thing I was sure about: I never lost faith in Green magic. I continued building either mono-green decks or two-color decks with Green being one of the colors. Eventually, my friends and I had to quit playing Magic at one point or the other, and almost all of us stopped when Urza’s Saga came out (yup, we didn’t know back then that we quit at the time when one of the most powerful expansions of Magic came out). We got back to playing Magic last year and the first thing that popped in my head? “I want to build a mono-green deck!!!” Since I’m an adult now with a good-paying job compared to the penniless high school student back then, I have more options now as to what cards I would like to use or what decks I would like to build, for that matter. However, I’m still in loved with Green spells as I was 15 years ago. I think the main reason for this is that I’m able to appreciate the strengths of Green magic much more compared to other MTG players. With that in mind, I’ve created a list of the things that I love about Green. These items are pretty obvious to long-time/veteran/pro MTG players but I wrote this for the newer players in mind, with the hopes that they would want to play aggro than control.
- Mana Acceleration
- Mana is important in Magic games as air is to humans. It is a fact that most games are won or lost either because someone has lots of mana (mana flood) with no spells to cast or is lacking in mana (mana short) with lots of spells in hand. More often than not, we would want to be in the former and not the latter situation. Green magic is the color that could provide lots of mana in the shortest possible time. To be in a situation where you have an available 3 mana on turn 2 is nothing to sneer at. This is not an unusual scenario especially for mono-green decks and more often that not this provides a great deal of advantage.
For starters, Green has staple spells like Rampant Growth and Harrow. There are also mana-producing creatures such as Llanowar Elves and Birds of Paradise. Then, we have a legendary land that is Gaea’s Cradle. Hard-casting Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is really a piece of chocolate cake for green mages. Need I say more??
- Cost-efficient creatures
- Green is Nature, and Nature is the mother of all creatures. From elves to wolves and beasts and squirrels, there is never a shortage of creatures in the realm of green. Often times, these creatures would have low mana cost and yet they usually have nice abilities (like Tarmogoyf). Trample and Shroud is also part of Green’s arsenal. What’s better than Shroud? One-way shroud!(Silhana Ledgewalker) Unlike creatures of other colors which would usually have drawbacks, green has been and will always remain at the top of the food chain when it comes to defeating opponents by way of combat damage.
- Artifact/Enchantment Removal
Sure, playing Mono-Red is real fun, what with all the burn spells and other stuff but what happens when a card like Leyline of Sanctity hits the table? How about Mono-black which has all the creatures of darkness like vampires, ghouls and zombies but will stare helplessly against an opponent’s Ratchet bomb? Green can destroy artifacts and enchantments with ease. Common spells like Naturalize and Nature’s Claim are great additions to a casual deck and a card like Krosan Grip has seen tourney play ever since it was printed. In fact, Krosan Grip is so good that Green is usually splashed in a deck so that this can be included in the sideboard. But wait, there’s more! It wouldn’t be complete if we won’t state creature cards that can destroy artifacts and/or enchantments such as Acidic Slime and Viridian Zealot.
There you have it, the top 3 things that I love about Green. I can add other things to that list but I think those are the most note-worthy. I hope that I’ve provided enough insight as to why I play Green, and why you should start playing Green as well.
Untap, Upkeep, Draw
How does one choose a color or colors in Magic?
When you first start playing MTG, you’re like an infant. You’re a blank slate. You have no preference for color, strategy or meta-game. However, you are shaped by the people and experiences around you as you start. Do you remember being killed off in three turns with a pure Red Deck? Do you recall feeling helpless against Blue’s counterspells? What about feeling helpless against an overwhelming stampede of Green beasts? How about feeling all-powerful with White’s mass destruction spells? And what about the smelling your opponent’s fear of your Black zombies? Oh, and don’t forget the quasi-confused feeling of facing a colorless artifact deck.
Think back to your first games. The games where you just borrowed someone else’s deck and have someone look over your shoulder and asking him/her, “Am I doing this right? Should I attack now or should I cast Giant Growth first?” “If my 2/2 Black Knight blocks a 2/2 Grizzly Bear, will it survive?” Really now, no one begins to play Magic by reading the rule book. You get curious first. Someone entices you to watch, let’s you play with his/her deck. He/She helps you. You win your first game with help. Then you win your first game without any help, but still using someone else’s deck. It’s a combination of all these experiences that shape your style and color preference for Magic. This is what sets you up for making your first deck.
Then you start experimenting with the gameplays and themes offered by the other colors of Magic and you empathize with colors and their styles and you learn to adopt them. You also learn to adapt to their nuances, their weaknesses and quips. You learn to love beting down your opponents to the ground with larger-than-life creatures. You get to savor the frustration you see on your foe’s face when their spell just goes to nothing. You feel omnipotent when you kill off all the creatures on the battlefield.
Your choice of color reflects how you strategize. In fact, I’d even venture a guess that the very nature of your choice of color/s reflect how you deal with life in general.
Think long and hard and tell me I’m wrong.