Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
– Theros Beyond Death
March 11, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Cards like this always get a lot of attention for their Commander applications, seeing as green’s main contribution to that format tends to be ramp and color fixing. But I’d like to point out that he actually does more than that. He interacts very well with domain, pushing cards like Tribal Flames to their maximum performance even in nominally two-colored decks. He helps you get the most out of creatures like Wild Nacatl in decks that lack shocklands. He even lets you play psychological games with your opponent: your deck might be using him just for extra lands, but they might be expecting all sorts of crazy off-color splash cards. Or vice versa, for that matter.
Exploration and Prismatic Omen stapled together on a body that is 62% more killable is an interesting prospect, but Dryad of the Ilysian Grove still has a fair bit to offer, particularly in formats with neither of those cards. Being a creature offers its fair share of upside as well, being able to be tutored for and cheated out more readily, and a 2/4 is good for holding back attackers. It’s not an all-star, but both effects are very strong on their own (and especially added together), and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove has a fair bit to offer to many decks, even in Constructed formats (where I can envision Field of the Dead/Valakut Prime Time decks being satisfied with it).
Hello everyone and welcome to Pojo’s Card of the Day!
Today we’re looking at a manly dryad that knows what he’s got going on and isn’t afraid to show it!
Today’s topless hunk is Dryad of the Ilysian Grove and he’s quite an amalgam of cards that seem stapled to each other. The Enchantment Creature and P/T of Courser of Kruphix, the additional land on each of your turns from Oracle of Mul Daya, and making those lands every basic land type of Prismatic Omen!
So with a bit of mix of the creatures that came before, where does this guy stack up?
Unfortunately he has a little bit of everything and doesn’t do it well enough to warrant the strengths of his predecessors.
Courser of Kruphix may not have been able to play an additional land but her bulky body and gaining a little bit of life with every land drop meant she could be a huge asset in a defensive manner. Also providing card advantage by playing lands from the top of the library is pretty huge too and makes her a valuable asset across most formats today.
Likewise, Oracle of Mul-Daya might not be a defensive card but the raw card advantage that comes from her playing additional lands from the the top of the library was a powerhouse, and she goes super well with cards like Jace the Mind Sculptor.
Finally, Prismatic Omen is a bit sturdier in its existence as it is only susceptible to enchantment removal, while your opponents can easily put a crimp in your gameplan by tossing a removal spell in the direction of this guy.
So in Constructed this guy is probably going to be a hard pass in Standard… and Pioneer, there aren’t a lot of 5-color decks running around that desperately need vulnerable mana-fixing and Niv to Light has much better options in Pioneer by saddling itself with direct mana fixing in the form of Sylvan Caryatid, that has the benefit of Hexproof. However he has had some success in Modern by turning on Valakut early by turning everything in to Mountains!
In Limited, I think you have much better options than this guy if you’re not already in Green and if you’re in Green I wouldn’t necessarily put him at the top of the list and would look for more resourceful commons before settling on this guy.
Commander might want him, but that’d be in 5 color commander decks, or just a super budget version of Oracle of Mul-Daya, but in all honesty I would just go with Prismatic Omen in a 5 color Commander Deck or Cultivate/Kodama’s Reach if I’m looking for more options outside of Oracle of Mul-Daya.
Cube is also not to excited on this guy, unless you’re at the way low end of power level and even then it’s a really difficult argument to make in this guys favor. The only thing he’s got going for him is the body of Adonis!
Constructed 2/5 – Sees niche play as a Valakut Weapon in Modern
Commander 1/5 – There’s much better options for 5 color decks and ramp decks.
Limited 2/5 – A decent guy that turns on constellation, but there’s a lot juicier cards in this format.
Cube 1/5 – Oracle of Mul-Daya is already a contentious topic on whether or not it should be cut and this guy doesn’t even hit that level of power!
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