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March 23, 2018

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Daily Dose of Dominaria – Green Legendary Creatures

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Dominaria as I wrap up my talk on the five colours of Legendary creatures in Dominaria.

Green Legendary creatures are often known for adapting themselves or other creatures on the battlefield. Ezuri, Renegade Leader can pump all your other elves. Kodama of the Center Tree‘s power and toughness adapt to the number of Spirits you control. Then there’s Masumaro, First to Live, who grows and shrinks based on the number of cards in your hand. Dominaria continues with three similar Legendary creatures, each with their own way of adapting. It’s time to investigate what each of these creatures will bring to the battlefield.

First off, I want to talk about a 0/0 creature from Dominaria. Don’t worry, it can get quite large. Let’s look at Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar:

I’m a big fan of creatures that get larger the longer the game goes, and Multani is no exception.

Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar makes it so that every card you draw is a live card. You won’t always mind drawing a land late in the game, as it will increase Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar’s power and toughness. An added ability of this card compared to Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer and Ulvenwald Hydra is that you get added power and toughness equal to the number of lands in your graveyard as well. It’s almost like having a Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer added to a Terravore.

It’s nice when an increasing larger creature like this has trample so that you don’t need to worry about some small pesky blockers. Having reach is just a bonus for this card. But where Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar truly shines is in its ability to return it to your hand from your graveyard by returning two lands you control to your hand. A small price to pay to allow you to play it repeatedly.

Next up is another creature that starts with a low power and toughness but has an ability that will allow it to grow, grow, grow! Here is Marwyn, the Nurturer:

Marwyn,-the-Nurturer

Bring on the power of the elves! Here is another legendary creature that could grow over time. This one is bit different than Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar though, since it can only get larger over time and won’t shrink if your other Elves leave the battlefield. The one burning question for this card is, “will there will be enough Elves in Standard to make this worthwhile to play?”

Let me have a look at which Elves I consider at least playable in the Standard format. Servant of the Conduit is always a good candidate for some additional mana ramp. Casting Rishkar, Peema Renegade will allow you to add two +1/+1 counters to Marwyn, the Nurturer. Rashmi, Eternities Crafter fits well into the mana curve the turn after you cast Marwyn, the Nurturer. Cultivator of Blades allows you to build an army to attack with. What does Dominaria hold in store for Elves though?

It does look like there will be plenty of Elves added in Dominaria, including a nice reprint in the form of Llanowar Elves. With all these +1/+1 counters on Marwyn, the Nurturer, you might even be able to cast some larger creatures like Ghalta, Primal Hunger or Polyraptor.

Lastly, we have another first in Magic. I want to welcome the first ever legendary Ape creature, Gruun, the Lonely King:

Grunn-the-Lonely-King

Speaking of candidates for creatures you could cast with all that mana from Marwyn, the Nurturer, a kicked Gruun, the Lonely King is one of them.

Having a 10/10 creature on the battlefield would be imposing to the opposition. It would also mean you would have a 20/20 creature if Gruun attacks by itself. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have trample, so your opponent could always chump block with a 1/1 token. Luckily, there are a few spells to help it with that.

Appeal // Authority is a one mana spell to give it a slight power and toughness boost, but most importantly trample. Putting Cartouche of Strength on Gruun will act as both a removal spell, and a way to trample through some damage. Don’t forget Larger than Life! You will get either an 18/18 trample creature or a 28/28 trample creature if it was kicked. Either way, your opponent will probably need a removal spell to take care of Gruun, the Lonely King, as it is unlikely it will die during combat.

Now that we’ve seen what Dominaria has in store for green Legendary creatures, let me have a look at what Standard currently has for them.

A lot of these green Legendary creatures are ones where you’ll want to build a deck around them to get the most value out of them. For example, using big Dinosaurs for Ghalta, Primal Hunger, or Winding Constrictor to get more out of Rishkar, Peema Renegade. Dominaria continues this trend with some Legendary creatures that you can build decks around. Sounds like it’s time to get the deckbuilding cap on and get to work.

Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Dominaria for the end of Legendary creature week… Or is it? Join me next week as there just might be a few more Legendary creatures in Dominaria. I’ll just say that these next Legendary creatures are pure gold.