April 16, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Monday’s Card of the Day is the Force in Secret Force, and Natural Order is the Secret. Of course, it’s only a secret until the first time you cast it, at which point your opponent will be killing any mana elves and other small creatures on sight (because they probably lost that game after you tossed some kind of gigantic thing into play). To be fair, that actually helps your gigantic things in a different way – your opponent may be out of resources by the time they arrive. It feels quite bad when someone counters Natural Order, but even that means they aren’t using it on a big threatening creature itself.
Natural Order has actually aged much better than a lot of green cards from the 1990s, just because so many powerful green creatures have been printed since then. Last week’s Craterhoof Behemoth is the obvious one, but there are ones that blow up the world when they arrive, and even sacrifice targets that resurrect themselves.
A week after reviewing Craterhoof Behemoth, it’s fitting that we hit the Behemoth’s best friend: the infamous Natural Order, part of the “game over lolololol” package any self-respecting green deck in Legacy (mostly Elves) has hiding away. Swapping a green creature for another green creature is an excellent deal, particularly when you can turn an Elvish Mystic or Dryad Arbor into something approximately 62% cuter. It’s an absurdly powerful card overall, and while you can answer it, Elves are more than happy to trade something small into the game ending then and there, and their ability to pop Natural Order into a game-ending swing on or around turn 3 is something to behold.
Constructed: 5 (only in a deck built to make the game end with it resolving; it’s not perfect, but a four-mana “I win” button is more than deserving of a perfect score)
Hello everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day! Today we’re looking at a throwback Green Card that is one of the ‘I Win’ buttons from the early days.
So let’s take a look at this card, Natural Order is from an era when Spells were far more powerful than creatures which is why when it first came out it took quite a while to get noticed. It trades a green creature you have in play for any green creature in your library.
Now at the time when this first came out it’s possibly a very powerful effect but it was running around with cards like Force of Will and Counterspell to nuke your dreams of grandeur of a gigantic creature that could take over the game and eat a creature you have in play. On top of that the fetchable targets you could grab with Natural Order were all susceptible to Swords to Plowshares. So you had countermagic and super efficient removal to deal with whatever Natural Order could grab and that’s in Type 2! (what we now call Standard)
So what changed to make Natural Order such a mainstay of so many formats? Well the world changed.
Not only did spells get weaker, but creatures got stronger. Shroud and Hexproof eventually found their way into green as did Haste. One of the earliest targets happened to be a big ol Progenitus that had Protection from Everything or a Terastadon that could blow up some choice permanents.
Now adays you’re most likely to see this late bloomer spell rocking it’s way in the Legacy Elves deck where it fetches up a massive hastey Craterhoof Behemoth that enjoys swinging for lethal with its uber buff team of elves. It also shows up as a staple in almost any commander deck that’s running green and looking to pop out some big ol’ targets that slams onto the field.
It’s also a cube staple in almost anything Legacy+, it might be too strong for Modern Cubes but it’s definitely not for Powered Vintage which is where my group of spike-sharks like to swim. You definitely need a good bit of Green beef for this card to work, Progenitus, Terastadon, Craterhoof, heck even Primeval Titan is a decent Natural Order target.
It still has the same weaknesses as before, Countermagic eating up your spell and one of your creatures, or Swords to Plowshares/Doomblade getting the other side of a 2 for 1 on something you pull out (unless it’s a Craterhoof or a Progenitus), but with the way creatures are being pumped out with massive ETB Steroids there’s a lot more upside to making the gamble with this card.
Constructed 5/5 – It’s a very narrow card that goes in one deck, but that one deck can be incredibly powerful and this card is the backbone to that deck.
Commander 4/5 – In a format where everyone cheats out wins with crazy combo stuff this card gives gas to the fair Green decks looking just to pound face.
Limited Draft 1/5 – Unfortunately there’s not a lot to really make this card work in Visions or Eternal Masters draft and this card was basically a Green value card. Pick it anyways cause it’s worth the pack
Cube 5/5 – An All-Star in this format, it’s not worth picking over power but snagging it early can set you up for a really potent Green Stompy deck if you can grab some bombs. (Mainly Craterhoof!)
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