Dragon’s Maze Set Review – Part 5: Green, Selesnya & Simic by Grant Hislop

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Dragon’s Maze – MTG Return to Ravnica set 3/3

Dragon’s Maze Set Review – Part 5: Green, Selesnya & Simic by Grant Hislop

Whew. Nearly there. Previously, we’ve looked at four of the colours and eight of the guilds, so it’s time to finish things off, before we get looking at building decks for Dragon’s Maze Standard. Obviously, it’s PTQ season, so my interest is very much around Standard, so that’s where the majority of my Magic time is being devoted. I’m grateful for the influx of new cards, as while I’m not as sick of the format as some people, new toys are always nice, and anything that mixes it up will be welcome.

Onwards!

Battering Krasis

Battering KrasisThis is obviously just one for limited, but it’s very solid. The Simic deck wants as many Evolve creatures as it can get its grubby little hands on, and this isn’t any different. It Evolves Cloudfin Raptor on curve, and that’s basically the most important thing. It’s not really particularly exciting, but it does its job very well, and will be played a decent amount.

Kraul Warrior

This looks like a limited mana sink to me, and nothing else. Grizzly Bears are fine, and this is no different. As I’ve said many times before though, many games of limited come down to who’s used their mana better, and if Kraul Warrior gives you a chance to use six mana that you might otherwise have wasted, it’s hardly going to be a bad thing, is it?

Maze Behemoth

Is anyone surprised that the Green one has and gives trample? Show of hands? This one is a reasonable curve topper, but the set doesn’t seem quite as multi-coloured as I was expecting. Personally, I thought this set was going to be entirely multi-coloured, while obviously it’s not.

Mending Touch

This is, in no way, ever worth a card.

Mutant’s Prey

Mutant's PreyIt’s removal for Simic, and at least very few other decks are going to want it too, so you should be able to get a couple of copies of it. For Constructed purposes, we already have Prey Upon, and how narrow that is combined with how good Standard mana is means that that sees no play, making me comfortable declaring this variant unplayable.

Phytoburst

Generic limited pump spell. This is the biggest one, so it’s the one you have to be most aware of. Obviously, you’re used to playing around Bloodrush creatures by now, so that should be easy. Ahem. Basically, you need to remember that two open mana represents up to +5/+5, and play accordingly. Nice and easy.

Renegade Krasis

This is the Evolve Lord, and it’s a good one. I don’t expect this will see much Standard play, as the majority of the other Evolve creatures aren’t very good, but in a dedicated deck, this will be solid. I view this as very similar to Hand of the Praetors from a couple of years ago, and would expect it to follow a similar trajectory.

Saruli Gatekeepers

Ugh, lifegain on the green one. I suppose it makes sense. This is probably ok in the five colour control decks that just want to stall the game until their stupid bombs can take over the game, but it’s still very low impact.

Skylasher

SkylasherSadly, this is just too low impact to see any play. It would have been a decent sideboard card when Insectile Aberrations ruled the sky, but it’s a little too late now. If the format ever goes back that way, then this would be an option, but as is, there’s very little demand for this type of card. Wolfir Avenger is considerably better, and sees very little play, as an example.

Thrashing Mossdog

It’s a Hill Giant with Reach, and a late game mana sink once it dies. I’m very interested. As someone who’s basically addicted to value, the scavenge mechanic appeals to me very much. This card is very solid in any green deck, regardless of having the Golgari guild symbol on it.

Advent of the Wurm

This strikes me as being one of the better cards in the set. I initially thought it was a Sorcery, and I thought it was good, but it’s actually an Instant, which makes it soooo much better than I originally thought. I expect to see this in some sort of Bant Delver of Secrets deck, where it’ll combine with Snapcaster Mage to cause people headaches all day. While a 3/3 for two isn’t impressing anyone in these Modern times, a 5/5 for four with Flash is probably good enough. I love this card, and can’t wait to try it out.

Alive // Well

This is awful. Everything from the art to the abilities just screams ‘horrible’. Nils Hamm is usually one of my favourite artists, but this is just awful. Five mana for a 3/3 and some life is just way below the curve, and isn’t worthy of consideration.

Armored Wolf-Rider

Armored Wolf-RiderSelesnya’s really not doing too well in this set. For one of the more popular colour combinations, there sure isn’t much going on in the text boxes of many of its cards. A five mana 4/6 is really good in limited, where it matches up well with most of the other creatures people are playing, but it’s never going to see the light of day in Constructed, for obvious reasons.

Bronzebeak Moa

This is very good with Flash creatures, but four mana for a base 2/2 is a bit steep. I like the card, but I’m probably being too ‘best case scenario’ with it. Solid in limited, where it will frequently be attacking as a 5/5. I like the idea of using this in a deck with Lingering Souls, and curving this into both ends of the Souls, and attacking for 14. Shame there’s no evasion…

Emmara Tandris

This is absolutely awful. Many of the Guild Champions are bad, but this one takes it to the next level. It’s as if they don’t want it to see play at all. At least Selesnya got Voice of Resurgence and Advent of the Wurm, or this would be an almost entirely dead section.

Trostani’s Summoner

Trostani's SummonerIt’s so expensive, but I’m imagining this in Modern in a Reveillark deck. Admittedly, at that point, there are better things to be doing, like some sort of shenanigans to just win the game rather than just getting some creature tokens, but still. I don’t expect this will see much play outside of EDH tables. Look how much play Maul Splicer saw, as a similar card.

Unflinching Courage

Hello Armadillo Cloak. This is fine, but I doubt Armadillo Cloak has aged particularly well. I see this as being a sideboard card against the red decks, but that’s about it. I’d love to be proved wrong, as I’m a big fan of the cloak. I’m really not a fan of functional reprints, as I love playing with old bordered cards where I can, so it’s disappointing on a personal, pedantic level that they couldn’t just reprint the original, for whatever reason.

Voice of Resurgence

This is my favourite card in the set. I don’t know that it will actually see that much maindeck play, as the format seems quite hostile to it, but any time control starts to pick up, this is the obvious foil. I doubt it’s going to be prevalent enough to warrant its current pricetag, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was between £12-15 come M14’s release.

I expect this to see play all the way up to Legacy, where people are terrified to Brainstorm for fear of making too many Elementals, with the obvious home being Maverick. I’m very interested to see how this card plays out.

Selesnya Cluestone

Copying and pasting:-

Selesnya CluestoneHalf Signet, Half Mind Stone, this cycle is interesting. Obviously, the Blue ones are likely to be better than the non-Blues, due to the types of deck that would want artifact mana acceleration and card drawing typically being Blue, but it’s possible that these could see play in Rakdos and Golgari combinations, thinking entirely about decks that are already seeing play – RWB Faithless Looting, and Golgari Predator Ooze / Ulvenwald Tracker, specifically.

Not overly exciting, as they cost just a little too much. Keyrune’s didn’t really see much play, and they strike me as being better anyway.

Selesnya Guildgate

We’ve seen this before, and as it’s not a new addition to the format, I won’t insult you by repeating the obvious.

Beetleform Mage

See the many comments made previously re: mana sinks in limited. This one is no different, and the ability to turn into a 4/4 flier at will is pretty sweet for only two mana a turn. Very nice.

Bred for the Hunt

This is pretty bad. Evolve decks need to have creatures, not do nothing Enchantments. I’m very unimpressed.

Give // Take

This is fine for limited, if a little expensive. It’ll act as a pump spell and keep the gas flowing in the late game. The cost is too prohibitive for Constructed though, as is the case for the majority of the split cards.

Krasis Incubation

Krasis IncubationFor the most part, I suppose this is just going to be an arrest, but I suppose in the lategame, you could start incubating your own creatures and getting them out of hand. This is interesting, if a little slow. The Simic guild didn’t get much removal last time around, so it’s interesting to see that there’s actually a decent amount for them in Dragon’s Maze.

Plasm Capture

I’ll need to play with this to see how good it is. I think it’s more Rewind than Mana Drain though, which doesn’t bode particularly well. The fact that you can cast this on turn four then immediately cast Angel of Serenity, Griselbrand or Nicol Bolas Planeswalker is pretty exciting, but I’m not sure how often that’s likely to come up. I’ll need to experiment a bit before making a judgment.

Progenitor Mimic

As it’s so expensive, I expect this one will be for limited and EDH only. EDH players love Clones, and the only thing better than one Clone is a self replicating Clone. I don’t expect this will see much constructed play, and as much as I’d love to have a constant stream of Angel of Serenities or Craterhoof Behemoths, for example, I don’t much fancy the chances of this being good enough.

Species Gorger

Species GorgerThese effects are always interesting. If you can build your deck to take advantage of a constant stream of ETB creatures, you’ll find his drawback an advantage. There’s a decent amount, and I’d love to see a constantly looping Gruul Ragebeast, but really, at that point, you should be winning the game anyway. We’ll see how it plays out. Initially, I’m a fan.

Vorel of the Hull Clade

My vote for second worst of the Guild Champions. This is really slow, really clunky and really underpowered. At least it’s unplayable, so I won’t get confused between this and Varolz, who’s actually good.

Simic Cluestone

Copying and pasting:-

Simic CluestoneHalf Signet, Half Mind Stone, this cycle is interesting. Obviously, the Blue ones are likely to be better than the non-Blues, due to the types of deck that would want artifact mana acceleration and card drawing typically being Blue, but it’s possible that these could see play in Rakdos and Golgari combinations, thinking entirely about decks that are already seeing play – RWB Faithless Looting, and Golgari Predator Ooze / Ulvenwald Tracker, specifically.

Not overly exciting, as they cost just a little too much. Keyrune’s didn’t really see much play, and they strike me as being better anyway.

Simic Guildgate

We’ve seen this before, and as it’s not a new addition to the format, I won’t insult you by repeating the obvious.

Top 5 Constructed cards I’m interested in:-

1. Voice of Reason
2. Advent of the Wurm
3. Plasm Capture
4. Unflinching Courage
5. Progenitor Mimic

Stay classy mtgUK, and we’ll be back to business as usual next week. I lost in the semis of a PTQ with a somewhat interesting deck, and I’d like to write about that.

Grant

What do you think is the best Green (inc. Selesnya & Simic) card from Dragons Maze, and why?

Best MTG Dragons Maze Green Selesnya Simic Card

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