Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
The Best Green Mana Ramp Cards in Magic: The Gathering
Of all the five Magic colors, green contains the most ways to "mana ramp", supplementing your regular land resources with other units to increase your mana output and let you play bigger cards faster. But mana ramp comes in many shapes and sizes, offering several variations of the classic "tap for X amount of mana".
Of course, green also emphasizes big creatures, letting you quickly put your accumulated fuel to good use. But with hundreds of potent ramping tools, which units reign supreme?
Here are ten of the best mana ramp units encompassing a variety of different abilities in Magic: The Gathering!
- Elvish Mystic
- Regal Behemoth
- Azusa, Lost but Seeking
- Gyre Sage
- Karametra's Acolyte
- Omnath, Locus of Mana
- Sakura-Tribe Elder
- Somberwald Sage
- Bloom Tender
- Priest of Titania
10. Elvish Mystic
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 1
He's the standard tap for a single mana, but hey, these guys work wonders since you can play them on your first turn. With only a 1/1 power and toughness ratio, Mystic won't be winning many battles, but his tap abilities seize an early advantage by providing additional green mana each turn.
Not only that, Mystic belongs to both the elf and the druid subtypes, offering additional synergies. Similar single-tap cards to examine include "Llanowar Elves", "Fyndhorn Elves", "Arbor Elf", and "Birds of Paradise".
9. Regal Behemoth
Though he costs much more mana than most rampers, Regal Behemoth excels as both a beatstick and a resource manufacturer. With 5/5 stats and trample, this dinosaur (which lizards count as) hits hard and pierces excess damage through blockers.
Even better, when Regal enters the field, you become the monarch. Per the regular monarch effect, you'll draw an extra card at the end of your turn, a helpful hand-replenisher, but best of all, Regal's unique effect also lets you tap lands for extra mana while you're monarch! Your crown can be stolen by a player who inflicts combat damage against you, but even if this happens, you may simply reclaim it in turn, once again attaining extra draws and doubled land resources.
8. Azusa, Lost but Seeking
1/2 stats are rather weak for a three-cost creature, but Azusa isn't geared towards combat. Instead, she offers not one but two additional land plays each turn, drastically speeding up your production if your hand has the location cards to spare.
Alternatively, to ensure your hand doesn't empty, use cards like "Courser of Kruphix" and "Oracle of Mul Daya" to access lands from the top of your deck. And while Azusa sadly lacks the abundant elf subtype, but her human and monk synergies help compensate, and since she's legendary, she can serve as your commander in EDH format, giving a formidable general for any land-oriented deck.
7. Gyre Sage
A 1/2 isn't so bad for just two mana, and this elf druid has the potential to advance further. With the rare evolve trait, Gyre Sage gains a +1/+1 counter whenever a creature enters the field under your control with greater power or toughness than Sage's! Since Sage starts out pretty weak, playing nearly any of green's vast pool of monsters will acquire the counters.
What's this have to do with mana ramping? Well, Sage can tap to add a green mana for every +1/+1 counter you've amassed, making this elf a versatile warrior that can assist with both combat and fuel production.
6. Karametra's Acolyte
1/4 stats aren't great for a four-cost creature, but that four toughness is just high enough to survive the common red "Lightning Bolt" removal or withstand a few -1/-1 counters. Either way, this human druid can tap to add a number of mana equal to your devotion to green! You determine your green devotion by counting the number of forest symbols in mana costs of cards you control, and since Acolyte herself bears one, this should provide at least one (but hopefully far more) each turn.
Use symbol-heavy cards like "Primalcrux" and "Khalni Hydra" to boost your devotion and add incredible amounts of mana, as well as cards like artifact equipment "Lightning Greaves" to grant haste and let you tap even on the turn Acolyte arrives.
5. Omnath, Locus of Mana
While Omnath doesn't tap for mana or offer additional lands, he lets you carry unspent green mana between phases and turns, stockpiling your resources for big plays! This ensures you never waste your ramping efforts, as your fuel will be stored for when you need it.
Plus, Omnath's weak initial 1/1 stats are increased by +1/+1 for each green mana in your pool, skyrocketing him to incredible peaks as you diligently ramp your resources. As a legendary creature, Omnath remains my personal favorite monogreen EDH commander that I definitely recommend experimenting with.
4. Sakura-Tribe Elder
While Sakura-Tribe Elder lacks the elf type and is only a 1/1, his effect lets you sacrifice him, and unlike tap abilities, you can do this even on the turn he arrives (or during your opponent's move). Doing so searches a basic land from your library and places it tapped onto the field, offering additional resources in future turns. Remember, lands are generally much harder to destroy than creatures, meaning your opponent will struggle to check your ramping, and Sakura can search all types of basic lands, not just the forests of green.
Sacrificing Elder also places him into your graveyard, useful in case either play uses a revival, and his snake and shaman types soften the blow of no elf synergies.
3. Somberwald Sage
A three cost human druid with only 0/1 stats, Somberwald Sage is frail and admittedly vulnerable to removals and counters. However, he can tap for a whopping three mana of any color! The only catch is that you must spend this on creature spells, but these often compose the majority of your deck list, so you should have plenty of units to capitalize on.
Since the mana can adopt any hue, Sage works well in both monogreen and multicolor decks, making him a versatile mystic who rapidly fields your strongest monsters.
2. Bloom Tender
A must-have for multicolor decks, Bloom Tender enters the field for just two mana as a 1/1 elf druid who can tap to add one mana to your pool for each color you control! You'll always receive at least one green thanks to her forest nature, but you can amass up to five total mana with a single tap! Just remember that lands don't count regardless of which mana colors they provide; you'll need enchantments, planeswalkers, or other permanents to attain the boost.
1. Priest of Titania
Similar to Tender, Titania is a two-cost elf druid with 1/1 stats, and she simply taps to bestow one green mana for every elf on the field! Counting herself, that's a minimum of one, but with green's bountiful sprites, you can easily attain five or more with each usage! As icing on the cake, this even factors in your opponent's elves, using their creatures to your advantage, and you can rapidly swarm elf tokens with cards like planeswalker "Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury".
With her superb mana ramp, Titania's an easy pick for almost every green deck I craft; fortunately, despite her fierce powers, she's attainable for well under five dollars!
Non-Creature Green Mana Ramps in Magic
While green emphasizes creatures, you can also ramp using potent enchantments. The infamous "Exploration" needs a single mana and lets you play an extra land each turn; cards on the higher end, like "Zendikar Resurgent" (needing seven mana), doubles your land production and offer extra draws when casting creatures.
Sorceries like "Nissa's Pilgrimage" and "Skyshroud Claim" place lands from your deck onto the field, and the "Mosswort Bridge" land can potentially play any card for free! With an incredible array of ramping tools, you'll be casting your aces long before your opponents, but for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of powerful ramp spells, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: How would you rank "Marwin, the Nurturer" compared to "Gyre Sage" in Magic: The Gathering?
Answer: Both are similar, as they're elves who start weak but gain power as you swarm and tap for more mana as they grow. Marwin excels in dedicated elf decks, as she gains a +1/+1 counter whenever one arrives, but Gyre Sage's cheaper cost of two (compared to Marwin's three) wins out in decks that stretch beyond just elves.
Of course, since both are elves, they also work well together, especially in commander format (where you can only include one copy of each creature), so don't feel confined to selecting just one.
© 2018 Jeremy Gill