Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
The Best Green Planeswalkers in Magic
Magic's green faction emphasizes mana ramping and hefty creatures, and its planeswalkers offer numerous ways to accumulate mana or empower your monsters. Some also provide lifegain or draw cards, giving a wide range of helpful abilities.
Remember, you can only control one planeswalker of a given name (even in separate forms), but since green offers numerous characters in addition to mainstays Nissa and Garruk, you can easily field multiple spellcasters. But with over a dozen mystics available, which cards reign supreme? These are the 10 strongest green planeswalkers in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Vivien Reid
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 5
Vivien costs several mana but enters with five loyalty, and her +1 lets you pull a creature or land from among the top four cards of your deck, essentially offering a less-random draw. -3 skillfully destroys any artifact, enchantment, or creature with flying (useful considering green's aerial weakness).
Then, ultimate -8 grants an emblem giving your creatures +2/+2, vigilance, trample, and indestructible. This amazing boost lasts indefinitely, drastically strengthens your squad, and can be accessed immediately if you harness the loyalty-increasing "Doubling Season" enchantment (which just happens to be green).
9. Garruk, Caller of Beasts
Garruk's cost is high and loyalty low, but he offers three tempting effects. +1 pulls all creatures from the top five cards of your deck to your hand, an excellent replenishment tool, and -3 plays one green creature from hand for free, avoiding the fees of costly behemoths like "Worldspine Wurm."
Then, -7 grants an emblem letting you field a creature from your deck whenever you cast one, adeptly avoiding both the searching and mana required to cast your aces.
8. Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
Considering her surprisingly low cost, Nissa arrives with a fair amount of loyalty and nice ability spread. +1 creates a 0/1 plant token, useful as a throwaway blocker, while -2 adds a +1/+1 counter to all creatures you control, skillfully boosting your entire army.
Ultimate -7 also impresses, gaining life and drawing cards equal to the number of lands you control. You'll find few better warriors at such a low price, although you can upgrade Nissa with a little more mana...
7. Nissa, Worldwaker
I've always resisted land-to-creature strategies, as they make your lands vulnerable to creature removals. That said, Worldwaker's +1 turns a land into a 4/4 with trample for the turn, strong enough to overpower even my bias.
Still, you'll likely want her alternative +1, which untaps up to four forests! Four extra resources drastically improves your speed and almost negates Worldwaker's cost; just remember you can only use the effect on forests, meaning she's best for mono-green decks. Ultimate -7 fields any number of basic lands from your deck and turns them into similar 4/4 tramplers, but Worldwake's excellent +1 remains her real selling point.
6. Garruk Wildspeaker
Wildspeaker offers a cheaper alternative to Nissa's Worldwaker form. While his +1 can only untap two lands, they can be of any type, and his lower cost lets you access him sooner. Additionally, -1 places a 3/3 beast token and -4 grants your creatures +3/+3 and trample for the turn.
While he can't untap as many forests as Worldwaker, Garruk is less expensive and offers better secondary effects, making him a prime force in any green deck.
5. Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury
Freyalise's biggest disadvantage is her poor starting loyalty, but her +2 will soon amass more. It creates a 1/1 elf token that can tap for a green mana, offering mana ramp, potential blockers, and synergies with the abundant elf clan.
Meanwhile, -2 serves as an excellent removal, annihilating any artifact or enchantment, and -6 draws a card for each green creature you control. With ramping, token swarming, removal prowess, and card advantage, Frey offers a bit of everything, and as icing on the cake, she's one of few planeswalkers who can serve as commander in EDH format.
4. Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
Vivien has a lower mana cost than many planeswalkers, although she needs at least three green, and enters with a respectable four loyalty. +1 is great, spreading two +1/+1 creatures among either one or two creatures and granting them trample for the turn. -3 is also a useful removal, having your creature deal damage equal to its power to another creature or planeswalker, and -5 adds a creature from your sideboard to your hand.
Although her "ultimate" is less explosive than some, it's still a nice tutor that makes sideboard relevant even in best-of-1, and it's really just the bonus on top of her consistent creature buffing.
3. Nissa, Who Shakes the World
Nissa costs several mana but enters with five loyalty. More than any of her actual loyalty effects, her biggest benefit is letting your forests tap for an additional green, which can double your mana output! Remember, non-basic forests like "Breeding Grounds" also receive the boost.
Meanwhile, +1 untaps a land you control and can have it become a 3/3 elemental with vigilance and haste. Not only does this help maintain blockers, you can also use it aggresively or simply tap the land for two more mana. If you build to -8, Nissa plays any number of forests from your deck tapped and grants an emblem that makes your lands indestructible, helpfully protecting the man-lands she's created.
2. Vivien, Monsters' Advocate
Like Nissa, Vivien has an excellent passive effect, letting you look at your deck's top card and play it if it's a creature. That's a great way to maintain card advantage, especially when you tweak your top card by shuffling with fetch-lands and other tutors.
Vivien is also ridiculously hard to swing at despite only three starting loyalty since her +1 creates a 3/3 elk token with your choice of trample, reach, or vigilance. With just a few turns, that's a formidable army on its own. Or, if you cast a creature, -2 lets you play another cheaper creature from your deck for free, further overwhelming foes with a swarm of monsters.
1. Nissa, Vastwood Seer/Nissa, Sage Animist
This transforming card begins as a weak 2/2, but offers elf synergies and searches a forest from your deck upon arrival, making Nissa's creature form worthwhile on her own. Plus, when you control seven or more lands, Vastwood Seer automatically shifts to Sage Animist, entering with three loyalty.
Her handy +1 reveals the top card of your deck, fielding it if a land and adding it to your hand otherwise, an appreciated draw that can potentially grant a free land play. -2 creates a legendary 4/4 token and -7 untaps six lands and morphs them into 6/6 creatures. All are useful effects that earn Nissa a spot in my own green structures, and despite her top-tier status, she's pretty affordable for a planeswalker (who often run double or even triple digits), costing less than seven dollars!
Supporting Planeswalkers in Magic
In addition to today's cards, try pairing green with other colors for additional aces like blue/green "Nissa, Steward of Elements" and "Kiora, Master of the Depths."
Green planeswalkers remain powerful tools that are generally well-protected by the faction's massive monsters, and since the faction contains the aforementioned "Doubling Season" enchantment, it's easy to multiply starting loyalty and quickly access your ultimate effects. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of emerald mystics, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill
You on November 23, 2019:
I have Garruk primal hunter