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June 24, 2019

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Daily Dose of Core Set 2020 #6 – Going Green

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Core Set 2020 where we are starting week number two of preview season with an all-green episode. Green has always been my favourite color to play with as I’m a fan of creature heavy decks. Core Set 2020 doesn’t disappoint by providing two great creatures for me to talk about today. On top of those creatures is the return of the planeswalker Vivien. Vivien has taken over from Nissa as the go to green planeswalker for Core Sets and you won’t hear any complaints from me.

Let me start off by talking about the one Hydra we seem to see in every Core Set. Here is Voracious Hydra.

There are a couple things I like about this Hydra that set it apart from previous Hydra creatures that we have seen. First, is that it starts off at 0/1, so you get a little extra toughness which helps. Next, it has trample. That might not seem like much, but there are some Hydras out there that you can make as large as you want, but they just get blocked by a 1/1 Soldier with no consequence. Finally, I like the versatility of its enter the battlefield trigger. If you need to remove something from the battlefield you can have it fight a creature (that extra toughness comes into play here). Let’s see how the power creep of X mana fits with this Hydra if you choose to double its +1/+1 counters.

– X = 1, 2/3 Trample
– X = 2, 4/5 Trample
– X = 3, 6/7 Trample – This is the largest 5 mana trample creature in the game without a drawback for 5 total mana.
– X = 4, 8/9 Trample – This is the largest 6 mana trample creature in the game without a drawback for 6 total mana.

Next, is a Dinosaur that really doesn’t like the colour blue. Here is Shifting Ceratops.

This is a creature that has been made to defeat Esper Control. Thanks to its inability to be countered plus having protection from blue, it dodges almost every card in that deck. The only removal it doesn’t avoid is Kaya’s Wrath, Despark, and an ability from Ugin, the Ineffable. It starts with a very good 5/4 base stats for only four mana. On top of that it can gain multiple abilities for only one mana. Giving it reach will protect you from most flying creatures you will see in Standard. Giving it trample will allow you to go over any 1/1 chump blockers they have. Finally, giving it haste will allow you to cast it on turn five and immediately remove a card like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria off the battlefield.

In the past Vivien planeswalkers have been about card advantage, this time, Vivien is out to do some damage. Here is Vivien, Arkbow Ranger.

This has a colour intensive mana cost which means you won’t be splashing it many decks. It starts with a strong 4 loyalty for only four mana. Let’s break down the abilities of this planeswalker.

[+1]: Distribute two +1/+1 counters among up to two target creatures. They gain trample until end of turn. – Adding two power to battlefield should not be overlooked. It’s interaction with cards like Incubation Druid make this ability that much better. You can go get some more creatures with Growth-Chamber Guardian. Giving your larger creatures trample will help you get through some chump blocks.

[-3]: Target creature you control deals damage equal to its power to target creature or planeswalker. – This is a great ability for green to have to kill off creatures or planeswalkers without losing a creature of their own. Overall, green doesn’t have many ways of dealing with planeswalkers so having this will allow them to finally clear the battlefield against Jeskai Planeswalkers or Esper Control.

[-5]: You may choose a creature card you own from outside the game, reveal it, and put it into your hand. – This is a great ability that looks like an ultimate, but can be activated the turn after you cast Vivien, Arkbow Ranger. Remember that “outside the game” means in your sideboard. This still allows you to get that sideboard creature you might need to deal with a threat. Creatures like Knight of Autumn or Biogenic Ooze can help you take over a game.

There you have it folks, three green cards to help you build a Mono-Green Stompy deck to overwhelm your opponent. This will open Mono-Green to more options than it had before Core Set 2020. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Core Set 2020. Join me again tomorrow as I look at the return of Leylines to Standard.