– Zendikar Rising
October 19, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Ancient Greenwarden was obviously intended to combine with the various big landfall effects from the other Zendikar blocks – Avenger of Zendikar obviously comes to mind. I’m also tempted to recall the various powerful (sometimes cruel) combos involving replaying lands with sacrifice abilities. If even a single use of Wasteland, or even just Field of Ruin, can be devastating, what’s the word for doing it turn after turn? Six mana is a long time to wait for that effect, of course, and there are much easier ways to do it than cheating the Greenwarden out early. I think its main niche will be Commander: there are already decks out there that like to confuse everyone with the number of triggers they make, and another one on top will be fun. Not to mention the multiple uses of cards like Memorial to Unity or Krosan Verge!
if it ain’t green I’m not interested
Combining the effect of Crucible of Worlds with just a splash of Yarok, Ancient Greenwarden’s got some interesting legs about it in a format where green gets all of the fun toys. Doubling landfall triggers can be a surprisingly potent tool, since a lot of the landfall abilities are softly balanced around requiring set-up to fire, and things like Valakut from the original Zendikar can be really rude when doubled. A 5/7 with reach is also a pretty decent body; it can smash in a pinch, but it’s an effective blocker in many cases, and an effect like that is not worth risking in combat. Six mana is a bit awkward in most decks, but this Standard (and other formats) has shown that six mana does not necessarily mean turn six, and creature support gives Ancient Greenwarden a fair bit of leeway in terms of how it can be used. I think it might see a spot of Modern play in Prime Time decks, but it’s got enough going for it to maybe pop into Standard.
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