Green Staples

February 26, 2015

By Dodo Bird Commander writer Ryan Zeitz


Hey there Commander players, Rhyno here charging at you with my top 3 green staple cards. By staples I’m talkin’ about those cards that you should shuffle up in every green deck regardless of what type of deck it is. But I won’t further stifle you in a thicket of introductions, let’s beat down!

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#3 – Sylvan Library












If you haven’t heard, green’s pretty strong at drawing cards in Commander; blue’s not the only color that gets to stockpile its hand with ramp, answers, and bombs. Taking the cake from among green’s great card draw options like Greater Good, Harmonize, and Praetor’s Consel, is Sylvan Library, which grabs top honors due to its closeout cost, incredible value for the mana invested, and ability to reorder the top of your deck.

Speaking of that ability to rearrange the top of your deck, and specifically change the top card, Sylvan Library really excels with cards that check that top card, such as Future Sight, Oracle of Mul Daya, Courser of Kruphix, Garruk’s Horde, and Scry lands and spells. Additionally, this top-of-library manipulation gels with many abilities in Magic, like Kinship, Clash, Parley, and Manifest. Add in deck search and fetch lands, and you’ve got some serious card finding firepower.

Let’s talk about that loss of 4 life. It might seem steep at first, but the first time you pay 4 life to dig into a timely answer for that aggravating Deadeye Navigator across the table, you’ll be grateful you had the option to lose the life. And, Commander is a format with double the life, so 4 life might not be quite as painful as it at first seems. Heck, if you’re building the right style of deck, you might even be able to leverage the controlled life loss with Dethrone cards like Scourge of the Throne, or with Death’s Shadow. That might seem like a bit of a stretch, but incidental interactions like this come up all the time in Commander.


#2 – Tooth and Nail












I don’t have to tell you how bonka-bonkers this card is. It’s a wild way to tutor two tankish critters and toss them directly onto the battlefield–no fuss, no limitations as to size, and the ability to close out a game with style and swiftness. I’ll not say more; but rather give you a list of delicious Tooth and Nail concoctions to try out for yourself:

  • Regal Force + Avenger of Zendikar
  • Vigor + Pestilence Demon (Cool right?)
  • Realm Razer + Tyrant of Discord (How about a one-sided Akroma’s Vengeance?)
  • Mikaeus the Unhollowed + Triskelion
  • Palinchron + Deadeye Navigator (Ugh, really dude?)
  • Kikki-Jikki + Zealous Conscripts
  • Woodfal Primus + Melira, Sylvok Outcast, with a sac outlet on the battlefield (KaBOOM!)
  • Sharuum the Hegemon + Phyrexian Metamorph (If you can leverage infinite enters- and leaves-the-battlefield triggers)
  • Horizon Chimera + Drogskol Reaver, with Laboratory Maniac in your deck
  • Heartless Hidtseugu + Gisela, Blade of Goldnight (How could you be so heartless?)
  • Anything + Eternal Witness to go in for seconds 


#1 – Genesis Wave












This card really encapsulates the essence of battlecruiser Magic: let’s spill a horde of permanents onto the battlefield, show off with a multitude of simultaneous enters-the-battlefield triggers, and hope to have flipped a haste enabler to unleash our loyal deck on our best friend’s filthy face. And it ain’t hard to rocket up to a big Genesis Wave in green, with access to ramp spells like Mana Reflection, Vernal Bloom, Karametra’s Acolyte, Boundless Realms, and Gaea’s Cradle.

And if one Michigan Big House Crowd-size wave wasn’t enough for you, you have my permission to make em’ see double with Riku, Chandra the Firebrand, Wort Boggart Auntie, Twincast, Reiterate, Reverberate, or Echo Mage.

Finally, here’s a quick side note for you Mimeoplasm and Sidisi players–you can dig up Genesis Wave with blue-black’s toolbelt of 3-cost Transmute tutors including Drift of Phantasms and Dimir Mahinations.

Those are my picks for the top 3 green staple cards. What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Which green staple cards do you never leave home without?


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