Top 10 Green Anti-Flying Spells in Magic: The Gathering

Updated on December 19, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

Flying and Reach in Magic

The blue and green factions are polar opposites when it comes to creatures—green creatures have big power and toughness ratios but rarely contain flying. Meanwhile, blue creatures tend to be weaker but often have flying, making them unblockable except by other flyers or creatures with reach.

So no matter how bulky green's troops are, they can struggle against aerial assaults—how can you best defend their ranks? Here are the ten best anti-flying green spells in Magic: The Gathering!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hurricane mtgSquall Line mtg
Hurricane mtg
Hurricane mtg
Squall Line mtg
Squall Line mtg

10. Hurricane/Squall Line

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): X

These two spells have the same effect, but with different costs and timing. Hurricane only operates at sorcery speed, but is cheaper at X+1; Squall Line activates as an instant, but requires X+2 mana.

But whether you prefer a lower cost or instant speed, the effect remains constant, dealing X damage to each creature with flying and each player. Not only is this a solid anti-flying countermeasure, it's one of few green spells to directly damage opponents (and you), offering a red-like potential finisher.

Emerald Charm mtg
Emerald Charm mtg

9. Emerald Charm

CMC: 1

For just one mana and with instant speed, Emerald Charm lets you choose one of three effects. You can either untap a permanent, destroy an enchantment, or have a creature lose flying until end of turn. Both the first and third abilities can catch attacking flyers off-guard; untap a reach unit for a surprise blocker, or simply have the attacker lose flying to let anyone block them.

Jagged-Scar Archers mtg
Jagged-Scar Archers mtg

8. Jagged-Scar Archers

CMC: 3

Perfect for tribal decks, Jagged-Scar's power and toughness become equal to the number of elves you control; counting herself, that should be at least 1/1. Swarm elves to skyrocket her stats, then put them to good use with her tap effect, dealing damage to a creature with flying equal to Jagged-Scar's power.

This is similar to the fight mechanic except the opponent won't hit back, letting Jagged-Scar safely snipe aerial enemies.

Thornweald Archer mtg
Thornweald Archer mtg

7. Thornweald Archer

CMC: 2

For just two mana, Thornweald Archer wields decent 2/1 stats alongside elf synergy. More than that, he has both deathtouch and reach, making him a perfect blocker for aerial threats (and grounded ones when need be).

Kraul Harpooner mtg
Kraul Harpooner mtg

6. Kraul Harpooner

CMC: 2

Harpooner's biggest disadvantage is that he lacks elf synergy, instead carrying the insect and warrior subtypes. However, he compensates with excellent 3/2 stats, reach, and his undergrowth effect. On entrance, this gives Harpooner +X/+0 until end of turn (where X is the number of creatures in your graveyard), then he can fight an opposing creature with flying.

Now, the enemy unit will hit back and possibly kill Harpooner, but it's a good way to trade a low-cost troop for a bigger threat. And if you find a way to give Harpooner haste, he can capitalize on his temporary boost by swinging that turn.

A mainstay in my own green decks, Harpooner is also surprisingly cheap, costing well under a single dollar!

Ezuri's Archers mtg
Ezuri's Archers mtg

5. Ezuri's Archers

CMC: 1

One mana for an elf with 1/2 and reach is already tempting, but Archers really shines against flyers, getting +3/+0 for the turn when blocking one. Similar to Harpooner, this only increases power and not toughness, so Archers might not survive the exchange, but you're getting four blocking damage (alongside tribal support) in ideal scenarios.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Spidersilk Armor mtgTower Defense mtg
Spidersilk Armor mtg
Spidersilk Armor mtg
Tower Defense mtg
Tower Defense mtg

4. Spidersilk Armor

CMC: 3

Up until now, we've seen many units that help fend off flyers, but maybe you want all your creatures to do so. For that use, Spidersilk Armor, which simply grants your team +0/+1 and reach, providing a small toughness bonus plus the constant ability to guard flyers.

You might also consider "Tower Defense", whose reach boost only lasts a turn, but is cheaper, gives +0/+5, and can surprise opponents thanks to instant speed.

Cloudthresher mtg
Cloudthresher mtg

3. Cloudthresher

CMC: 6

Cloudthresher's numerous symbols make him hard to splash outside green, but he rewards you with fierce 7/7 stats plus reach and flash, letting you cast him as an instant. He also provides a Hurricane-like effect on entrance, dealing two damage to each creature with flying and each player.

This might not be enough to kill all flyers, but it's a nice bonus on top of everything else. You can also evoke Cloudthresher for four mana, which activates his entrance effect, then sacrifices himself. Top it all off with elemental synergy for a versatile card.

Tornado Elemental mtg
Tornado Elemental mtg

2. Tornado Elemental

CMC: 7

Tornado has higher cost than Cloudthresher, but his more-lenient symbols work better in multi-color decks. He's a 6/6 elemental, and though he lacks reach, he hits all flyers for six damage on entrance, more than enough to kill most foes.

Tornado is also one of few "super-tramplers" who can assign combat damage as though not blocked, preventing foes from thwarting his direct attacks.

Whiptongue Hydra mtg
Whiptongue Hydra mtg

1. Whiptongue Hydra

CMC: 6

Whiptongue trades Tornado's super-trampling for a lower cost and superior effect, outright killing all creatures with flying. Plus, for each flyer destroyed this way, Whiptongue gains a +1/+1 counter, often propelling his base 4/4 stats above Tornado's 6/6 and synergizing with proliferate decks.

Whiptongue also has reach, so he can actually block flyers who arrive later, and his hydra subtype has some support (albeit not as much as elf and elemental).

Which card do you prefer?

See results

Recommended Reach Creatures in Magic

Today we've seen many spells that counter flying, whether with direct damage or cheap blockers that power up against it. But if you're only somewhat concerned about facing aerial decks, you can take the middle road by simply using creatures with reach; favorites include "Sylvan Primordial" (banned in commander), "Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar", and "Arbor Colossus".

And even green has the occasional flyer, like "Hornet Queen" and "Jugan, the Rising Star", but for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next set of anti-flying spells, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hobbylark.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)