Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Building a Christmas Deck in Magic
Whether you're getting festive for the winter holidays or simply enjoy pairing forests with mountains, the green and red factions in Magic unite to offer a variety of brutal effects. Green and red both wield powerful creatures, but you might be surprised to see how many efficient sorceries and instants the pairing contains.
From planeswalkers to monsters to one-off spells, these contrasting colors offer some of the game's strongest cards. But with hundreds of red-green spells, which units reign supreme? These are the 10 best red and green (and no other colors) cards in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Samut, the Tested
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4
Samut offers a planeswalker with three useful abilities and a fair starting loyalty of four. Her +1 grants up to one creature the valued double strike trait for the turn, letting it deal both first strike and regular combat damage, essentially hitting for twice the pain!
-2 only deals two damage, but you can spread it among any creatures or players as you like, a nice method to finish off weakened foes, and her ultimate -7 searches and fields two creatures/planeswalkers from your deck! An excellent trait, and conveniently just low enough that, if you use green's "Doubling Season" enchantment to double her initial loyalty, Samut can both immediately use and survive this trait.
9. Hull Breach
Green and red offers several excellent artifact punishers. For just two mana, Hull Breach lets you either destroy an artifact, destroy an enchantment, or do both! Of course, you'll ideally want to remove two threats, but unlike some cards (looking at you, "Decimate"), the ability to target only one helpfully prevents you from having to annihilate your own units.
Since sorceries don't remain fielded, once Breach's effect is complete, it'll be trashed, useful for meeting the graveyard-fill requirements of cards with "threshold," "delirium," or "spell mastery" effects.
8. Xenagos, the Reveler
Like Samut, Xenagos is a planeswalker who costs four mana. His biggest failing is a disappointing starting loyalty of three, but his three great effects more than compensate. +1 adds an amount of red and/or green mana equal to the number of creatures you control, an excellent mana ramp that rewards you for swarming your field.
But what if you don't have creatures, or were just hit with a field wipe? Not to worry, as Xenagos's 0 ability places a 2/2 (two power and two toughness) red and green satyr creature token on your field, useful for both combat and empowering Xenagos's first trait. Finally, his ultimate -6 exiles the top seven cards of your deck, letting you place any creatures and lands among them onto your field, a powerful tool that often signals game over.
7. Xenagos, God of Revels
Not just a planeswalker but also one of the game's several powerful god cards, Xenagos costs a hefty chunk of five mana and doesn't count as a creature until your devotion to red and green hits seven, meaning you have at least seven red/green symbols in the mana costs of permanents you control. Thankfully, this counts Xenagos himself, so you only need five more to access his fierce 6/5 stats.
Whether he's a creature yet or not, Xenagos is indestructible, and at the start of combat on your turn, he grants another creature haste and +X/+X (where X is their power) until the end of the turn—a huge boost that lets your other units attack immediately with double strength. To have Xenagos quickly become a creature and participate in combat himself, use cards with numerous mana symbols like...
6. Boartusk Liege
Boartusk Liege's variable red/green symbols let you spend mana of either type to cast him, making him easily accessible even if your land draws haven't been diverse. For four mana, he enters as a sturdy 3/4 with trample, letting him bleed excess battle damage through blockers. Additionally, he bears the popular goblin subtype (plus warrior for good measure), synergizing with red's most abundant clan.
That's already a strong unit, but then Liege grants your other red and green creatures an extra +1/+1 stats. This makes him a surprisingly valuable support, and if an ally bears both hues, they'll receive a total of +2/+2!
5. Voltaic Brawler
One of the best energy-collecting cards in the game, Voltaic Brawler works well both alongside his energy-needing peers or on his own. He enters with an excellent 3/2 stats for his low price, gaining you two energy counters when he arrives.
From there, you can either save your counters for other effects (they're universal), or use them as fuel for Brawler's ability, letting you spend one when he attacks to give him +1/+1 and trample for the turn. Thus, for two rounds, you can attain a 4/3 trampler you only spent two mana on! As icing on the cake, he carries the human and warrior subtypes, granting several interesting combos.
4. Vexing Shusher
An anti-counter spell rivaling even white's fierce "Grand Abolisher", Shusher arrives with a solid 2/2 stats considering his low cost, and he accepts either red or green mana for his summon. Not only does Shusher bear the goblin and shaman subtypes, he can't be countered, excellently bypassing blue's counterspell prowess.
Plus, by spending one red or green mana, Shusher can make another target spell immune to negation, letting you reliably brandish your arsenal even against a counter-happy blue deck.
3. Ancient Grudge
While Ancient Grudge only needs red mana for its first casting, its flashback effect from the graveyard requires a single green resource. Either way, Grudge simply destroys a target artifact at instant speed, letting you shatter an opposing relic before your opponent can tap it.
It's as simple as that; Grudge provides two removals for just three mana, which can helpfully be split over multiple turns if needed.
2. Artifact Mutation
Like Grudge, Mutation is an instant-speed artifact check, this time needing one red and one green mana. Mutation not only destroys its target, but prevents the artifact from regenerating, helping ensure the threat is truly gone for good. Additionally, you create X number of 1/1 saproling creature tokens, where X is the CMC of the destroyed relic! This lets Mutation scale surprisingly well in the late-game, smashing a treasure while swarming your field with several monsters.
You'll encounter artifacts in just about every build due to their colorless nature; I use Mutation whenever available to both punish relics and stock my field. Thankfully, despite its rarity, Mutation is surprisingly affordable, costing well under three dollars!
Needing one mana of any type and one red/green, Manamorphose accepts a variety of different resources. When cast, you simply gain two mana in any combination of colors and draw a card. So, you spent two mana and lost a card to gain two mana and draw a card—what's the point?
Well, you've altered your mana into whatever colors you need, and you've placed an instant into your graveyard, helping meet your fill conditions. Manamorphose also handily supports cards with surge, whose mana costs are reduced if you've previously cast another spell that round. With this spell, at worst, you've replenished your mana and drawn a new card, but at best, you've set yourself up for other combos without hampering your resources.
How to Support Red/Green Decks in Magic: The Gathering
Red's offensive forces combine with green's big creatures and mana ramp to provide a fierce duo that ruthlessly batters foes with its beefy creatures. With several checks against blue's countering, you're well-set to defend against island-dwellers, but watch out for aerial units, as many red and green creatures lack flying. Use reach (often found on spiders) to block these foes, or ramp to afford red's high-cost dragons like "Scourge of the Throne" and "Hellkite Tyrant."
But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of green/red spells, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill