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G

Green mana symbol

“ 

Growth through acceptance

— Mark Rosewater[1]
 ”

Green is one of the five Colors of mana in Magic. It is drawn from the power of forests and embodies the principles of instinct and interdependence. The mana symbol for Green is represented by a tree. On the Color Pie, it is the ally of White and Red, and the enemy of Blue and Black.[2][3] Green's mantra is growth through acceptance, though it has also previously been described as seeking harmony or acceptance through growth, or growth through wisdom.[4][5][6][7] In any case, this describes Green's core philosophy that the world as it is and how it functions is already perfect and that the key to life is to understand your place in it; from this realization and the acceptance of traditional ways rather than trying to change what is natural, Green believes you will flourish as a person and encourage growth within others.[3][8]

In gameplay, Green's bond with nature and its living beings is represented by its capability of adding many lands onto the battlefield - among other mana acceleration & mana fixing tactics - and its command of large overwhelming Creatures, boasting the best curve of creatures out of all the colors. Green can also lead a swarm of numerous small creatures, though at a lesser volume than White. Having a playstyle mostly focused on creatures, Green augments its threats by increasing their size, having them fight and bite enemy creatures directly, and decaying unnatural obstacles like artifacts and enchantments, clearing the way for a blunt but effective win.[9][10]

However, Green's naivety and complacency from its acceptance of the status quo make it over-reliant on its creatures. Specifically, Green cannot directly destroy most creatures, and Green primarily deals with other creatures by using its creatures via fight and bite effects, making Green weak in dealing with creatures with bigger size. Furthermore, Green's draw and threats mostly depend on its creatures. Thus, Green's game plan is easily derailed by removing its high-investment creatures, causing Green to die because of what it only lived for.[10][11]

The current member of the council of colors for Green is Adam Prosak.[12]

Flavor[ | ]

Green is the color most in tune with nature. Whereas the other colors seek to modify the world around them, Green believes that the best course of action is to simply allow nature to take its course. Thus, Green is often seen as the least confrontational of the colors: it does not seek to impose its values on others; it just wants to coexist as peacefully as possible. This does not mean that Green will not defend itself when it feels threatened, but it generally will not seek to impose its opinion on others.

Green therefore also places value on the concept of community. Although it does not take this as far as White does, Green sees intrinsic value in coming together for the benefit of the whole group. It draws this example from nature, having observed such examples as the way that bees gather pollen from flowers to make honey and in doing so allow the flowers to cross-pollinate, or the way that thallids produce saprolings, which in turn nourish the thallids again, embodying the circle of life. Green communities seek to live in the same harmonious way, taking only what they need from others and giving back to them in due course.

Tying in with Green's affinity with nature, another of the color's core principles is strength and the concept of the survival of the fittest. Green sees the struggle between predator and prey as a central part of the natural order and so places great value on strength. When in battle, Green does not favor trickery or evasion to steal the victory, relying instead on pitting its' natural strength against that of its opponents. The strong will triumph, and the weak will fall.[13] Whether Green wins or loses the contest, it has filled its place in the natural order.

Green also relies on instinct. Green embodies this in the primal sense, being the color most attuned to wild animals. However, even Green's more intelligent users dislike overthinking matters, preferring to rely on their gut instinct to make judgments, rather than wasting time thinking about things. This primal aspect can lead to conflict with others, as Green does not restrain the wild animals it is in tune with, allowing them to attack others as their instincts dictate: if they cannot defend themselves, then they are simply filling the role of prey in the natural cycle. Furthermore, Green's reliance on gut instinct and first impressions can make it vulnerable to deception.

One of Green's more negative outlooks is its hatred of the artificial. It dislikes the trappings of civilization, believing that natural laws are the only laws that should be obeyed. It has a particular dislike of magical creations, seeing them as distortions of the real.

As an extension of accepting its role in the world, Green is also strongly fatalistic, trusting in destiny to divine the way things should go. At best, this makes Green a romantic, believing that the good things in life are predestined; at worst, it makes it hostile to the idea of free will and the right of individuals to do as they want instead of as they were born to do.

Rules[ | ]

A Green card is defined as any card that has {G} in its mana cost or any card that has a Green color indicator {CI_G}. Green is the most efficient color as far as creatures are concerned, with one mana creatures that have abilities such as Llanowar Elves and Scryb Sprites to the vanilla 2/2 Grizzly Bears costing two mana (only one of which is Green). Other colors rarely get efficient one-mana creatures or "bears" without drawbacks.

The following evergreen keywords are associated with the color Green (as well as the colors they share it with):[14][15]

Mechanics[ | ]

Animate artifacts[ | ]

In older artifact sets, Green was either relegated to being anti-artifact or ignored artifacts for other themes. Starting in The Brothers' War, R&D Pie decided that animating artifacts felt like appropriate Green space, especially for sets with loud artifact themes.[16]

Anti-flying[ | ]

Green has the fewest flying creatures. However, Green is the best when it comes to dealing with flying creatures (anti-flying).[17] Green has cards that remove flying from a creature until end of turn (e.g. Canopy Claws), cards that deal damage to creatures with flying (from Alpha’s Hurricane to numerous versions like Windstorm), cards that destroy creatures with flying (a flying creature with Gloomwidow's Feast and Plummet, all flying creatures with Whirlwind), punishing an opponent for having flying creatures (Wing Storm), and the keyword reach (e.g. Giant Spider).

What few flying creatures Green has are usually birds, insects, and other small animals like Birds of Paradise, Killer Bees, and Uktabi Drake that makeup for their physical weakness with useful abilities. Planar Chaos took a brief look at an alternate color pie arrangement in which Green had more air power.

Artifact and Enchantment Destruction[ | ]

Along with White, Green is hostile toward artifacts and enchantments: Since Green cares about the natural and the real, it has little patience for unnatural objects and illusionary glamors. Quick removal was originally White's domain with the iconic spell Disenchant, but over the years it shifted more towards Green, and by 8th Edition, Naturalize had become the game's iconic artifact and enchantment remover. Green was also the first color to receive a mass enchantment removal spell, Tranquility, but this ability has moved to white with more efficient cards like Tempest of Light and Patrician's Scorn (though with the printing of Back to Nature in M11 the pendulum may be returning to Green). Creatures such as Scavenger Folk and Elvish Lyrist show off this side of Green. Several cards in the Mirrodin blocks grant protection from artifacts to Green creatures.

Like White, however, Green also may take a positive stand towards enchantments. Argothian Enchantress and Verduran Enchantress allow you to draw a card each time you play an enchantment, while Yavimaya Enchantress gets +1/+1 for each enchantment in play.

Card Drawing[ | ]

Though it ranks far behind blue in terms of drawing power, Green has card drawing as a minor theme, representing the color's reflective, inward-focused side. Harmonize, Sylvan Library, and Verduran Enchantress show this side of Green. Since Rise of the Eldrazi, this theme seems to have become stronger with spells like Pelakka Wurm, Momentous Fall, Hunter's Insight and Garruk's Packleader seeing print. Oftentimes, Green's card drawing is dependent on one's board position: some of its card drawing spells allow you to draw cards equal to the number of permanents you control of a certain type, while others allow you to draw cards whenever a permanent (especially a creature) enters the battlefield, dies, or deals damage.

Creature tokens[ | ]

Green has traditionally had considerably more spells or abilities that put one or more tokens into play, fitting in with its theme of a community of creatures as well as its strategy. The most common of these is the 1/1 Saproling, which can be generated through spore counters (Thallid) or a set number outright (Saproling Symbiosis). Other common creature tokens in Green include 1/1 Insects (Beacon of Creation), 3/3 Beasts (Garruk Wildspeaker), and, more recently, 2/2 Wolves (Howl of the Night Pack). Generating creature tokens benefits the numerous Green spells and abilities that reward players for having more creatures (Scion of the Wild).

Fight[ | ]

Two target creatures each deal damage equal to its power to the other creature.

Fight effects, introduced in Innistrad, are Green's variant of creature removal. For a long time, Green's only way of killing creatures was beating them in combat, which was highly conditional and often useless against utility creatures that were rarely selected to attack or block. Fight effects were created to give Green answers that still involve using the player's creatures, representing the "survival of the fittest" mentality.

Starting with Oath of the Gatewatch, Green also receives so-called one-sided fight effects, where only one creature deals damage equal to its power to the other. This was done to reduce the risk of players losing the fight spell and their creature when the opponent can respond with a pump spell or another trick.

Land Destruction[ | ]

Land destruction is traditionally strongest in red, but Green has land destruction as a minor theme, representing nature's ability to wear down anything. Creeping Mold, for instance, is an iconic Green card. Other notable Green land destruction cards include Feast of Worms and Mwonvuli Acid-Moss. In Alpha, Green was given Ice Storm, a land destruction spell equal in power to Red's Stone Rain, but it was removed from the core set after Unlimited.

Life gain[ | ]

Green is the color of life; hence, it is not surprising that Green is the second-best color for gaining life (behind its ally, White). Classic examples of life gain in Green include Stream of Life, Dosan's Oldest Chant, Fruition, Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen, Retreat to Kazandu, and Nissa's Renewal.

Luring[ | ]

All creatures able to block this do so.

Green has many spells and creatures that (lure) force opposing creatures to block, Lure being the iconic card. More creatures with the provoke ability appeared in Green than in any other color. This ability can be used to force opponents to block smaller creatures so larger ones can get through (e.g., Elvish Bard and Prized Unicorn); as a means of creature removal, making smaller creatures die to more powerful ones (Hunt Down); or both (e.g., enchanting a Thicket Basilisk with Lure is a popular tactic).

Mana[ | ]

Green is one of the fastest colors of Magic. From tutoring for lands, creatures that produce mana, and mana fixing; Green has the best selection of helping itself out to cast spells quicker and is used as a secondary color in two-color decks for mana purposes.

Mana production[ | ]

Green is the top color of mana production and acceleration. It has in its arsenal; land tutors (e.g. Harrow, Sylvan Ranger, Sakura-Tribe Elder), creatures that produce mana (e.g. Birchlore Rangers, Birds of Paradise, Gemhide Sliver) and enchantments that increase their lands mana production (e.g. Heartbeat of Spring, Overgrowth, Wild Growth). Also, Green can break the "play one land each turn" rule with certain cards (like Explore).

With enchantments[ | ]

Green is the color with the most aura — enchant lands (and 1 enchant forest specifically — Utopia Sprawl) that when that land is tapped for mana, the mana production increases.

As green is the lead in mana production, the red card Mana Flare was functionally moved to Green as Heartbeat of Spring. It was thought that it would see print in a core set as Mana Flare was, but that never happened. It took over 15 years for it to finally be reprinted in Double Masters.

With creatures[ | ]

By far, Green has the most creatures that can produce mana. From the Boreal Druid which can tap for {C} up to Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary which can tap to add {G} for each forest you control; Green has a wide selection from creatures that can produce more than one color to creatures that can filter for another color.

With tutors[ | ]

Green is famous for its land-tutoring capability. Some search for a forest, some for any basic land while the most popular, like Crop Rotation, search for any land.

Playing additional lands[ | ]

Green is the only color with creatures that can break the "play one land per turn rule" (Rule 305.4 Main Phase). Green has creatures that allow you to play an extra land each turn. Green also has the enchantments Exploration and Fastbond which allow it to play additional lands each turn and Burgeoning which allow it to play a land whenever an opponent plays a land.

Mana fixing[ | ]

Green also specializes in mana fixing: It has numerous cards that produce mana of other colors (Birds of Paradise) or fetch lands other than forests (Rampant Growth) and creatures once cast bring a land onto the battlefield (Farhaven Elf). Many five-colored decks use Green as their base, including some of the preconstructed theme decks from the Invasion block.

Shroud and Hexproof[ | ]

All other colors, particularly Green's two enemy colors, Blue and Black, specialize in removing creatures from the fight through death, temporary banishing, or other methods. To counter this, many Green creatures have developed an ability to be untargetable by spells or abilities, which was later keyworded as Shroud. Examples include Kalonian Behemoth and Argothian Enchantress. Many other creatures can be targeted by spells or abilities, but only ones that their owner controls. This ability, seen on creatures such as Thrun, the Last Troll, Dungrove Elder, and Plated Slagwurm, was once nicknamed "Troll Shroud" or "Super Shroud" but has recently been keyworded as Hexproof. There are also creatures such as Gaea's Revenge, that can't be targeted by certain kinds of spells or abilities, such as non-Green ones. These abilities are often shared with Blue.

Regeneration[ | ]

Many creatures in Green can survive extreme beatings with an ability known as Regenerate. This ability can be activated, usually through a mana cost such as {G}, when a creature is about to be destroyed. The said creature becomes tapped, is not destroyed, and all damage it has taken is removed. This ability is very common in Trolls (Cudgel Troll, Golgari Grave-Troll) and Snakes (River Boa, Mire Boa), but it is also seen on a large number of other creatures (Gorilla Chieftain). This is an ability that Green often shares with Black.

Temporary growth[ | ]

+X/+X until end of turn

Green's growth spells (such as Giant Growth, Monstrous Growth, etc.) provide boosts to power and toughness together, not strictly just power or toughness. Green has creatures (such as Briarhorn, Ghost-Lit Nourisher, etc.) that can provide a temporary boost to another creature. It also has creatures that gain a temporary boost when blocking (such as Gang of Elk, Giant Badger, etc.).

Trample/Super Trample[ | ]

"If this creature would assign enough damage to its blockers to destroy them, you may have it deal the rest of the damage to the defending player."
".....may assign combat damage as if it were not blocked."

Green creatures' main way of getting combat damage to the opponent (also known as Evasion) is by dealing damage to creatures until they die, then getting the excess damage to the opponent. This ability, known as Trample, is seen on such cards as Primeval Titan, Endless Wurm, and Khalni Hydra. There are also some cards (Rhox, Tornado Elemental, and Deathcoil Wurm) that assign combat damage to a player as if they were not blocked. This ability has been nicknamed "Super Trample".

Uncounterability[ | ]

this can't be countered

One of Green's enemies is blue, and as such Green has developed precautions against some of Blue's favorite tactics. Along with Red, Green has several creatures or spells that cannot be countered (such as Scragnoth[18]) or that interfere with counterspells (such as Insist).[19]

Untap[ | ]

Particularly untapping a land (Argothian Elder, Ley Druid), but also untapping other types of permanents (Elder Druid).

Venom and Deathtouch[ | ]

whenever this creature blocks or becomes blocked, destroy the opposing creature at the end of combat
whenever this creature deals damage to a creature, destroy that creature

Green has the most creatures with the Venom (or Basilisk) ability, named after the card Venom. Of the 18 creatures that naturally have the Venom ability, 11 are Green (61%), 5 are Black (28%) and 2 are multi-colored (11%) both of which require Green in their casting cost.

Deathtouch is a keyworded version of the Venom ability with a slight difference in wording that allows it to work outside of combat. Green shares deathtouch with black.

Venom and Deathtouch are a few of Green's creature removal abilities.

Poison[ | ]

whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, that player gets a poison counter; a player with ten or more poison counters loses the game

Poison is similar to venom/deathtouch in theme, but affects the defending player rather than other creatures. Like deathtouch, Green shares poison with Black.

Interactions with other colors[ | ]

Agreements[ | ]

Green and White[ | ]

In White, Green sees another color interested in benefiting the community, rather than taking advantage of others, in opposition to their shared enemy in Black. They see great benefit in servicing the needs of the community and living in harmony with each other. They also both have a strong spiritual side and see individuals as subservient to a higher purpose (though Green prefers it to be fate or nature while White prefers it to be deities or abstract concepts like codes of honor). At worst so great are the joined forces of connection and dogmatism that assimilation becomes a priority, denying the individual their sense of self.

Green and Blue[ | ]

In Blue, Green recognizes the desire for evolution and growth. The two share a passion for improvement and value the importance of the learning process. Whilst Green disagrees with Blue's desire to speed up and interfere with the natural process of change, it nonetheless appreciates the underlying desire to build upon what exists to create something better.

Green and Black[ | ]

Green appreciates Black's pragmatic view of death. Both the colors see death as a natural part of life and do not look to prevent it from happening (at least, to others), instead, they look to recognize the necessary function it serves. Green also respects the value that Black places on strength, as both colors believe that life involves conflict and the strong will prevail.

Green and Red[ | ]

Both Red and Green place a high value on instinctual behavior, dislike overthinking and do not agree with being bound by artificial laws. Both colors also dislike deception, preferring to fight their enemies face-to-face, although Red does enjoy a good trick. Both colors look inwards, often manifesting as a shared appreciation for beauty (more creative on Red's side and more aesthetic on Green's). At worst, Red's violence and Green's instinct can lead to systems where the strong kill the weak.

Disagreements[ | ]

Green versus White[ | ]

Green dislikes White's emphasis on civilization and creating laws. Green believes that the only important laws are the universal laws of nature, those of civilization are arbitrary and go against people's instincts. For example, if someone took an apple from another person's tree, White would chastise them. Green would not, as it would not see the tree as anyone's property, but would recognize that the "thief" was hungry and obeying their instincts.

Green versus Blue[ | ]

Green sees Blue as the enemy of nature, seeking to create its artificial world order that overrules what already exists. Green sees blue as an individual so obsessed with technology that it has forgotten what being human is. Green sees this as an absolute violation of the natural world that must be stopped. Furthermore, Blue's emphasis on knowledge and thought goes against Green's value of instinct, with Green seeing Blue as overly cerebral when a quick reaction is necessary. Finally, Blue's reliance on deception, trickery, and indirect conflict goes against Green's value of true, honest might.

Green versus Black[ | ]

Green's other enemy is Black, which it hates for its parasitic nature. Unlike Green, Black seeks to exploit others for its benefit, depriving others of the means to live out of pure greed. Additionally, Black's use of undead shows a flagrant disregard for the natural order of life that Green finds abhorrent.

More recently this conflict has been framed as Free Will vs. Determinism, Green believes in a predetermined way things naturally occur and "ought" to be - whereas black believes it has the free will to do whatever it needs to do for power.

Green versus Red[ | ]

Green dislikes Red's chaotic, destructive nature. Although Green appreciates Red's reliance on instinct, Green dislikes the short-sighted impulsiveness of Red that often leads it to destroy or permanently use up resources. Green also distrusts Red's acceptance of change, especially dramatic ones that pose a risk of harming their environment and the world. If Red were to go about their daily business, they could burn the world down to a speck of dust on a whim of pyromania. Because of this Green needs to take precautions against Red to ensure their natural world's survival.

Green-aligned tribes[ | ]

Humanoid/intelligent races

Monstrous/subservient types

Creature classes:

Trivia[ | ]

  • The green spells with the highest converted mana cost (that are modern legal) are Ghalta, Primal Hunger and Thrasta, Tempest's Roar (Both have a mana value of 12)
    • Realistically, both Ghalta and Thrasta will almost always be cast for far less mana.
    • Disregarding modern legality, the highest mana value card is Earthquake Dragon, with a mana value of 15.
  • Strongest Green Creature: Yargle and Multani (18/6)
  • Toughest Green Creature (legal/non-token): Impervious Greatwurm (16/16)
  • Most expensive Green card: Alpha edition Birds of Paradise ($3,000.00 U.S. as valued by Star City Games)
  • Most expensive Green card not from an early core set: Arabian Nights Drop of Honey ($1,200.00 U.S. as valued by Star City Games)

References[ | ]

  1. Mark Rosewater (August 18, 2023). "Drive to Work #1062: Red-Green-White"
  2. Mark Rosewater (October 21, 2002). "It's Not Easy Being Green". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b Mark Rosewater (August 10, 2015). "It's Not Easy Being Green Revisited". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (June 24, 2018). "Do you think the Green philosophy would be better summarized as “Destiny through Growth”? The phrase “Acceptance through Growth,” as someone identifying with Green, never personally made much sense to me.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. maro254. Twitter.
  6. Mark Rosewater (August 13, 2014). "I'm a bit confused on the actual ideologies of the five colors. Is there any way I could get a quick summary of them?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  7. Mark Rosewater (February 2, 2015). "Whatever It Takes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (August 18, 2023). "Drive to Work #1062: Red-Green-White"
  9. Wizards of the Coast (Accessed April 3, 2024). "Where to Start". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. a b Mark Rosewater (October 18, 2021). "Mechanical Color Pie 2021". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater (June 14, 2024). "Drive to Work #1146: Color Weaknesses"
  12. Mark Rosewater (February 13, 2024). "Who has taken up the green role?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  13. Devin Low (September 29, 2006). "Where’s the Beef?". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Mark Rosewater (February 17, 2019). "How big an issue is it if three colors all shared...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  15. Mark Rosewater (February 19, 2019). "How big an issue is it if three colors all shared...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  16. Chris Mooney (November 1, 2022). "In older artifact sets, Green was either relegated to being anti-artifact or ignored artifacts for other themes.". Twitter.
  17. Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Mark Rosewater (July 25, 2022). "Magic Design A to Z, Part 3". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Wizards of the Coast (February 24, 2004). "Green's uncounterable creatures". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Mark Rosewater (March 15, 2015). "Characteristic and iconic creatures for each color?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
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