Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Drawing Cards With the Green Faction
Like most card games, maintaining hand advantage is crucial for victory in Magic. Without supplementing your once-per-turn draw, you'll eventually run out of spells and lands, limiting your progress each turn. Thankfully, while most draw abilities belong to blue, you'll find options in every faction; today we'll examine the best mono-green hand replenishers.
Like many green spells, these units often depend on your creatures, though some work independently or rely on enchantments. But with dozens of draws available, which reign supreme? These are the ten best green draw engines in Magic: The Gathering!
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4
Granting what's normally a blue ability to green, Harmonize excels because it's independent of other cards, meaning it's still effective even after suffering a nuke. Pay four mana, two of which can be colorless, draw three cards.
Bam, just like that, you're restocked for a mid or late-game resurgence, helping maintain your ability to play both a land and a spell each turn.
Similarly to the infamous "Skullclamp" equipment, this inexpensive aura attaches to any creature, letting you draw twice when that unit dies—two cards for one mana is an excellent bargain. You can even attach Bequeathal to an enemy troop, reaping the same benefit when it falls.
Combo with self-sacrificing units like "Sakura-Tribe Elder" for an easy hand boost, but watch out for removals that exile or bounce creatures rather than kill them.
8. Greater Good
Greater Good takes four mana to cast, and whenever you want to activate it, you have to sacrifice a creature. Fortunately, you can do this at instant speed, letting you toss units in response to removals that would kill them anyway, or after blocking an attacking enemy but before combat damage occurs.
Whenever you forfeit a creature this way, you draw cards equal to its power, then discard any three from your hand. This works best with creatures of at least three power, who won't increase your hand but tweak it and set your graveyard, and anything more will provide a net gain. Greater Good also works well with stolen creatures; take advantage of them for a turn, then toss them before they return to their owners.
At first glance, Recycle doesn't seem amazing, as it has two downsides: you skip your draw step and have a maximum hand size of just two (as opposed to seven). However, whenever you play a card, you get to draw one. Note this works with lands in addition to regular spells, ensuring continuous replenishment no matter what you draw.
Combined with spells like "Aluren," you can cycle through 10+ cards in a single turn, and if you use the popular land "Reliquary Tower," you'll have an infinite hand size, negating the two-max drawback.
6. Regal Force
For his hefty price, Regal Force's 5/5 stats are only average, but he offers a powerful gain for swarm-happy decks: when he enters the field, you draw a card for each green creature you control. Counting himself, that's at least one, and you'll likely acquire several more, especially if you've been rapidly fielding elves or tokens.
Plus, since the ability activates whenever Regal enters the field and not just when cast, it triggers if he's revived or otherwise gimmicked into play.
5. Shamanic Revelation
Frost distributes +1/+1 counters equal to the snow mana you put into it (and even has the snow type itself), then draws for each creature you control with four or more power.
Revelation is costlier at five mana, but draws per creature you have regardless of power, with the bonus of four life per creature with 4+ power. Plus, these are some of the cheapest cards today; nab Revelation for around a dollar!
4. Glimpse of Nature
Yet another creature-dependent spell, for a single round, Nature lets you draw a card whenever you cast a creature. Even just two units means you've nabbed two draws for one mana, and you can often obtain more, especially if your deck contains many low-cost soldiers.
Simple, cheap, and less vulnerable to counterspells than high-end engines, Nature's a staple in many green commander decks.
3. Argothian Enchantress/Enchantress's Presence
Several green cards let you draw when you cast an enchantment, but they generally require three or four mana, where Enchantress only needs two, even allowing a colorless slot. Sure, she's a puny 0/1, but she's not designed for battle, hanging back and replenishing your hand as you cast auras, sagas, and other enchantments.
Sadly, she lacks the elf subtype, but compensates with shroud, preventing all players (including you) from targeting her, making her challenging for opponents to remove.
Presence costs more mana, but as an enchantment itself, offers additional synergy in enchantment decks.
2. The Great Henge
CMC: 9 (reduced by your strongest creature's power)
Great Henge is much cheaper than it looks, with its cost reduced (to a minimum of 2 green) by your strongest creature's power, and since Henge can immediately tap for 2 mana and 2 life, it's basically free if you have 7+ power.
More than that, whenever a non-token creature enters your field, Henge draws a card and gives that creature a +1/+1, turning literally any creature, green or not, into a cantrip.
1. Sylvan Library
The unrivaled king of green draws, Library only needs two mana and excels in any theme. At the start of your draw step, this enchantment lets you draw two extra cards (for a total of three). If you do, you then choose any two cards you drew that turn and either place them on top of your deck or pay four life for each one you choose to keep.
If you have the life to spare (and you usually do in commander), this grants an insane number of draws each turn, and it's nice that you get to look at them before deciding what to keep. Even if you're low on life and put two back, you're still essentially replacing a random draw with a choice of any of your top three cards, in itself a worthy manipulation.
More Green Draws in Magic
Today we emphasized spells that can draw at least two cards, but you'll also find many green aces that draw or search a single unit upon arrival (like "Wall of Blossoms" and "Nissa, Vastwood Seer"), skillfully replacing themselves in your hand. You can also partner green with blue for draw-related effects on spells like "Urban Evolution" and "Growth Spiral."
Of course, colorless staples like "Skullclamp" and "Infiltration Lens" work as well for green as they do anywhere, further increasing your options. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of green draw tools, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill
GhaltaIsKing on July 08, 2020:
How does well Rishkar’s expertise do? It lets you draw cards for 6 and then lets you cast a card with cmc 5 or less.