WHY Green sucks in T1

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: WHY Green sucks in T1

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Saturday, May 25, 2002 - 07:05 pm:

There is a good reason that green is widely accepted as the worst color in magic, its not exactly a secret either. Green is supposed to have the best creatures yet, as seen in Rakso's last article, its critters are not much better than other colors' and its not nearly enough to make up for the color's other weaknesses. Of course, this all could have been very different, i now present to you 3 cards that should have been green and how it would have affected magic.

1) Ancestral Recall
It was recently confirmed by Randy Buehler that Ancestral was originally going to be a green card. Then at the last minute they changed it to blue because someone apparently thought that the color needed more than just counterpells. Its quite obvious how this has shaped magic, if Ancestral had stayed green, every control deck would be forced to splash for it and it is likely that future card-drawing would also have been green. Truly this was what doomed green from the start.

2) Yawgmoths' Will
This one is obvious, green is the color of recursion, from Regrowth to Restock, Holistic Wisdom and the like, green is supposed to bring things back to life. Sure, black was always able to reanimate creatures but no other black card i know of can recur instants and sorceries, which is funny because thats what makes Will really broken. You just change the name to Multani's Will and presto, you have a powerhouse card that is in flavor with the rest of the color.

3) Morphling
If green is supposed to be "the creature color" than why does blue have the best creature ever printed? Blue already had some nice flyers like Mahamoti Djinn, Silver Wyvern and Rainbow Efreet, along with all the most broken cards in the game; did it really need Morphling? A quick name change and a few modifications to his abilities (to stay in flavor) and you still have the best creature in the game. Sure he wouldnt be as dominating without the flying but he would still be the best finisher available, heres how i would have made Morphling green:

Gaea's Crusader - 3GG
Crusader cannot be the target of spells or abilities.
Attacking does not cause Crusader to tap.
(1) Crusader gets +1/-1 until end of turn.
(1) Crusader gets -1/+1 until end of turn.

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Saturday, May 25, 2002 - 07:17 pm:

I would just like to mention that i, like many of you, love playing green no matter its inherent weakness. Theres nothing quite like taking down Keeper with Stompy.

By Redman, Relentless Leader of Scrubs (Redman) on Saturday, May 25, 2002 - 07:36 pm:

While those cards are somewhat ok for other colors (Morphling, if blue, should have had U: Return to hand/top of library rather than untagetable , imo) I think perhaps the most glaring off color flavor error since Serendib Efreet was Back to Basics. 2G would make _far_ more sense.

By HengeWolf, Druid Anarchist (Wolf) on Saturday, May 25, 2002 - 09:29 pm:

Believe it or not, the problem of the colors being inherently unbalanced is one of the reasons I like magic a lot less than I should, or used to. As someone else mentioned, I too love green despite the fact that it sucks. It annoys me though that the colors are so skewed. It also annoys me that R&D has taken so long to realize this . . . but at least they're slowly moving away from their "blue is best because it's blue" mentality. Still, blue is, by definition of what it's "flavor" is, the best. Green, by definition, worst. They should change the definitions, but I don't see that happening any time soon. It's unfortunate.

I have a hard time grasping why they didn't make Ancestral (and other future card drawers) green. That tiny oversight has probably done the most to skew the game clear up to the present day. If green was the color of card drawing, and not blue, wouldn't that make so much more sense? Green gets Wrathed . . . it draws and recovers. Green could play enchant creatures without suffering inherent card disadvantage. The whole fiasco of Giant Growth-type cards being substandard might have been remedied if green could draw more. Most importantly, greens complete lack of suitable removal spells MIGHT be made up for if it could overwhelm an opponent with superior card drawing. Green, the color of growth, could make it's hand, mana, and creatures bigger. I makes sense to this observer. Blue would still have bounce, evasion/fliying, and counters. That is a paradigm shift I'm just dieing to see.

I wonder what it would take for them to make the switch? Probably that proverbial R&D bus, I suppose. :)


By Stephen Menendian (Smmenen) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 01:17 am:

To be perfectly honest, I think White is worse than Green.


By Acolytec (Acolytec) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 01:21 am:

I love green too. Every once and awhile it gets a really good card that is worth building a deck around. Oath, dryad, sylvan etc. Granted, it seems that you have to couple the cool green card with blue to get a tier one deck in t1, which is very unfortunate. Damn would magic be so much cooler if green had morphling and ancestral.

By Stephen Menendian (Smmenen) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 01:26 am:

Oh yeah, and unrestrict Berserk NOW.


By HengeWolf, Druid Anarchist (Wolf) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 02:25 am:

White worse than green? If you mean that tournament White Weenie is worse than Stompy . . . well maybe. I'm not actually qualified to make that judgement, since I don't follow the tournament scene. From a casual standpoint, I used to watch mono-white tear people up with far more regularity than green ever did. Army of Allah is a beating!

Other than that, white gets cost effective creatures (or at least it did), global destruction, and the ability to kill any kind of permanent. These features often show up in multiples on the same card, such as with disenchant. WotC may have dropped the ball and still made white suck for a good while, but it's inherent strengths and weaknesses put it way ahead of green. At least that's how I see it. I think if you just take a look at everything that's been printed for white and green, there's really a lot more tier 1 white cards than there are green.

Hehe, I remember when Berserk wasn't restricted . . . just barely. Unrestricting it might not be a bad idea, because now from what I hear it doesn't even get used. Yes, it would allow oops-I-wins, but they'd be GREEN oops-I-wins! :)

Would unrestricting Berserk unbalance the format? Could someone who's a little more up on the Type 1 tournament scene comment?


By 3rd Wheel in Legend's Love Triangle (Yamo) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 03:35 am:

Am I the only one who's happy the way things are? I like two things about Magic: Blue cards and winning. I never liked green and never wanted to. The whole elves, fairies, normal animals (in a fantasy game? what's the point?), and Captain Planet-type eco-nonsense is just so...lame. I want to play Magic: the Gathering, not Hippie: the Non-Bathing. Plus, Magic would be no fun if there was no "gimp color" to snicker at. Right?

By Will, the Walking Dude (Walking) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 10:09 am:

Yeah, I'm going to chime in in favor of (somewhat) the status quo. Blue wihtout card drawing would be totaly worthless. Think back to basic theory, threats are better than 1-1 answers. Counters are 1-1 answers. The only reaosn control decks could or can exist was because the color wiht counters could also draw cards and the card advantage let it overcome the inherent weakness of a reactive stratagy. If blue was not the color of card drawing there would not have been any good control decks. Magic would have been a boring mindles/semimindless beatdown game and would have died out. Via Blue.

By Sylvester (Sylvester) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 10:50 am:

No, you would ahve U/g(/w) control decks.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 01:34 pm:


To be perfectly honest, I think White is worse than Green.


Only to someone who doesn't sideboard very well.

By Israel Casanova (Casanova) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 02:14 pm:

And doesn't make any good decks, for that matter.
Well, in my opinion, green is simply stupid and no, despite what you think it can't recover from a reset... c'mon, with monoblue you counter what you can and get an emergency Morph thanks to your 4 Ophidians 4 Impulses, Ancestral, FoF, Library and Walk... and with Keeper, you Balance, then drop the Abyss.
Stompy plain sucks.

By Israel Casanova (Casanova) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 02:22 pm:

And white has the best weenie in Magic, and the best removal in Magic, and one of the most broken card drawing engines in Magic (Tax-Scroll), and excellent control cards like Moat (tho it belongs in few decks...), and life gain (nothing good, but something it can help... Gerrard's Wisdom was used in its time)
Green has... fat, a few good weenies, a lot of mediocre weenies, Sylvan Library, Regrowth and Oath (it had to have something good...) and... well, fat. It needs help from other colors because it hasn't got answers to nothing. The only thing white can't handle are instant and sorceries... and it can play around almost all of them, not counting you can splash blue for that :P

By HengeWolf, Druid Anarchist (Wolf) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 02:29 pm:

Yamo, I hate to tell you but your argument is pure opinion. To me, blue is lame. That means blue shouldn't get any good cards, so I can snicker and laugh at it! Right? That's how your argument sounds.

I don't like elves either, because to me they are probably the most hackneyed of all fantasy concepts, along with dwarves. If you are J.R.R. Tolkien, you're allowed to use elves and dwarves. I'll even let D&D slide since it was one of the first "fantasy" games. Every other game out there should just be a little more original. Even in many of my D&D campaigns, I've either warped the Dwarves and Elves back into their original germanic counterparts (more as spirits than anything), or left them out altogether.

I do like forests though, and I like the concept that drives green, which is nature and life. If you think that's lame, well, you can take your plastic McDonaldLand world straight to Hel.

No, I'm not being serious, before someone mistakes this for a flame. In a way, I'm allowed to be indignant I suppose. I'm currently attending college to attain a Biology degree, probably followed by a Masters in Ecology. You're hitting too close to home! :)

And even as an ecologist, I thought Captain Planet was lame. But then, I think all "super-heroes" are . . . it's just an insipid way to go about making any point, regardless of what it is. It's a shame that people equate respect for the environment with that show . . . among other things.

But back to the point of the post . . . the colors should be balanced. It's 5 color magic, not "blue and the rest." Maybe it all gets down to opinion, but I have to say I feel an opinion in favor of balancing the colors just makes more sense.

I know it's hard to break out of the "blue=card drawing" box, but in any format with real dual lands, it would just mean blue would have to splash another color instead of reaching some kind of apex as mono-blue BBS. Honestly, I think the answer is that card advantage is too important a concept to allow one color to monopolize it. I could play a magic in which every color had some card drawing. Or, eliminate card drawing/card advantage altogether. THAT would make the game more like chess. I'd much rather see the drawing ability spread around a little more rather than eliminated though. I just think that giving some colors inherent card advantage, and others inherent disadvantage, makes about as much sense as giving one color creatures that deal damage, and one that does not.

No more arguments from me, since what it gets down to is that someone like Yamo thinks the game is awesome and plays it all the time. I only think it could be awesome, so I play very little. I had a brief "golden period" in which I had one hel of a good time playing this game, and I made a bunch of friends while doing so, some of whom I'm still friends with to this day. So magic means a lot to me, just incidentally, if for no other reason. It is funny, that looking back I just happened to have the opportunity to enjoy the game as much as I did based almost entirely on the people I played with. I didn't know about counterspells until almost a month after I started playing, and never saw a counter deck until I'd been playing almost a year. Rather than just saying, "wow, new strategy, better start using that one," I just said "That seems stupid, I think I'll ignore it." I'm hardheaded like that.
Originally, it all came down to the fact that I liked the mental image of removal spells electrocuting, burning, scaring, destroying rather than just tapping two blue and announcing the spell never even existed for a moment. Yes, I get into the themes of the game more than the game itself. I'm still peeved they took "summon" off the creature cards, and now you don't "cast" spells, you "play" them.

I came to magic through Dungeons & Dragons, which is a game you can change in any way you want to suit your tastes. I don't think it's possible for me to just 'accept' ANY game as it is. There will be, for me at least, ALWAYS some way to make it better. Even if they reprinted every good Type1 card tomorrow . . . I'd then have plenty to say about color balance. Balance the colors, and I'd move to creature types and themes. Although, a type1 reprint and color balance would drastically reduce my ability to criticize. :)

I have assumed the role of Dungeon Master for years while playing D&D, I know what it is to create your own worlds. Even when I'm a player in an RPG, WE are the ones who are really making the game. Maybe that's what I don't like about magic, that it's not directly in our hands. I also tend to be creative, and I've found that I'd usually rather assimilate something I enjoy and twist it into my own creation rather than just stay happy with it as it is. If only I had more time and good playtesters, AND a printing press, I would've made my own card game years ago.

Smash the status quo! Rip the system! Uh . . . never mind.


By Stephen Menendian (Smmenen) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 08:54 pm:

Rakso said: Only to someone who doesn't sideboard very well.

Uhh, that statement doesn't make sense. Over the course of the extended season which decks were best? Oath, Grow, Super Grow, and Trix. Green is in three of them, white in one. In t2 what is white in? Nothing. In limited, white isn't horrible, but green is much better. In type one, white and green are about equal with White having only a slight advantage.

Therefore, I stick with my origional statement: white is the worst color in magic.

Stephen Menendian

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 11:12 pm:

Stephen does indeed have a point, but saying "white sucks just as bad as green" isnt exactly a positive comment about magic. Basically, Blue and Black are very good, Red is only good because its brutally fast, and then Green and White are splashed for utility or to help round a deck out. And dont start shouting about Stompy and Parfait, because although i like both very much, they arent exactly dominant.

Side Note: Something i have discovered through testing is that Stompy, while very good at beating tier 1 decks, suffers greatly when faced with rogue decks. In a control heavy metagame i firmly believe stompy is a good choice, coming in right behind Suicide as far as aggro decks go, but in a more varied and unexpected metagame i think Sligh is a better choice. Az, dont flame me.

By Kirdape3, the Court Jester of Beatdown (Kirdape3) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 12:09 am:

Stompy dies horribly to mass removal. If there's not a lot of that in your area, you should win. Otherwise, play decks that can win with one creature and can win like Suicide or Stacker.

By Max, the Mana Drainer (Max) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 10:46 am:

Green Ancestral? Please, be serious.

Blue is the color of card drawing, not green.

If you tell me that Morphling should have been green or Back to Basics should have been green, then I perfectly agree with you, but please stop telling that Ancestral Recall should have been green.

Blue forever.

Max, the Mana Drainer

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 11:09 am:


Rakso said: Only to someone who doesn't sideboard very well.

Uhh, that statement doesn't make sense. Over the course of the extended season which decks were best? Oath, Grow, Super Grow, and Trix. Green is in three of them, white in one. In t2 what is white in? Nothing. In limited, white isn't horrible, but green is much better. In type one, white and green are about equal with White having only a slight advantage.

Talk about wacked...

First, someone is quoting Extended strategy when caught making a dumb comment about Type I.

Second, someone quotes blue-based Extended decks with a couple of green cards each to show that green is strong.

Third, we go back to the usual defense, "That statement can't be understood." At least go use, "Prohibit is better than Powder Keg" or something.


Side Note: Something i have discovered through testing is that Stompy, while very good at beating tier 1 decks, suffers greatly when faced with rogue decks. In a control heavy metagame i firmly believe stompy is a good choice, coming in right behind Suicide as far as aggro decks go, but in a more varied and unexpected metagame i think Sligh is a better choice. Az, dont flame me.

Um... note what aggro decks have to give up to have better chances against control? :p

By BrianB, the Patron of Elves and Silly Combos (Brianb) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 11:49 am:

The point is that back when ancestral recall was printed, there was no "color of card-drawing". They were still dividing up the ability pie--what abilities would be in flavor for what color. Underestimating the impact of drawing cards on the game was the #1 reason that the colors ended up so unbalanced. Another reason is that although green was supposed to be the beatdown color, it never really got the best creatures. It got good common creatures, but in constructed, commonality doesn't matter. (The misconception that commonality would be a big factor in constructed play was a huge contributor to balance problems). Green is supposed to get good pump effects, but its only potentially great one is restricted, and beatdown decks can't effectively take advantage of restricted cards.

By AHappyClown (Clown) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 03:39 pm:

Smmenen, white's the worst color in Magic, eh? Where do you live? I'm going to come to your house and cram basic Plains down your throat...

By Tracer Bullet, Better than Spiff (Tracer) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 08:17 pm:

Yeah, White really is superior to Green. Honestly, White has the best creature kill, some of the best creatures (Savannah Lions), broken cards (Balance, Land Tax), and utility spells (D-Blow and Seal).

By Matt D'Avanzo, Paragon of Vintage (Matt) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 11:20 am:

Balance: broken, but is best used in non-white decks like Keeper.

Land Tax: broken in and of itself, but commits you to running basic lands (which means you're either playing sucky WW, mediocre Parfait, or something awful with different basic land types).

StP: still the best 1-for-1 targeted removal ever. However the stock of targetted removal in the Morpling era is not what it was.

Savannah Lion: extremely overpowered card, but what deck does he get played in since WW and Zoo are both generally terrible decks? The best thing I've seen him in is a _mostly red_ slighish deck with white added.

Disenchant/Seal/etc.: the fact that the previously 4 standard Disenchants of "The Deck" have been replaced by one D.Blow means what? I means that something once considered incredibly vital to have on turn 1-2 is now a necessary evil/just-in-case 1-off that has been ditched for a varient that can cycle because it's so dead most of the time.

Moat: again, mostly used in non-white decks. It's also gone from being a 2-of mandeck card to a SB card, to something that is barely used anymore. Creatures are either two fast for WW2 or don't exist in a higher enough number to support running a moat main.

I have to come down on the side of green. White plays more of a role as a sideboard color than anything else. Furthermore there is no good white deck, but at least green has Stompy.

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 01:52 pm:

Its sad that the best cards Green and White have to offer just get splashed into Blue-based decks. Both colors are in need of a power boost but i still think White has individually more powerful cards than Green.

By AHappyClown (Clown) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 02:24 pm:

Why does everyone have to rag on Parfait? It's far from mediocre if built properly.

By 3rd Wheel in Legend's Love Triangle (Yamo) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 12:45 am:

It's also far from good if built properly. ;)

By Tracer Bullet, Better than Spiff (Tracer) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 01:06 am:

I hate to agree, but I have to.

On the whole White/Green thing........

Tell me, one thing that green does best? Recurse cards, and that's it. It's only card drawing mechanism is good, but not amazing. It's creatures are consistantly good, but not amazing. It doesn't have creature kill, and has only 2 really useable enchantment kill spells. It has NO support, and almost no versitle sb cards.

If you want to debate which makes a better mono color deck, that's cool. However, as to which color is more playable overall, I don't think there's a comparison.

By Kirdape3, the Court Jester of Beatdown (Kirdape3) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 01:33 am:

We're forgetting something, and that's the shot in the arm that Green's gotten over the last three years or so (since the EXPLOSION known as Exodus). White hasn't been able to keep up in Type One because there really are no comparable cards to Survival, Oath, and Call of the Herd. Green's versatile enough to win with, having solid control and aggro cards; I only wish that white could get some cards that would restore the color.

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 01:35 am:

Im gonna build a GW aggro deck and take it to a tourney! Ive always wondered what it felt like NOT to make Top 8.

By AHappyClown (Clown) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 02:12 pm:


When built and played properly, Parfait is a savage beating. Not to sound arrogant or like a Random Miser, but I think it may actually be tier 1 material.

Unfortunately, the only person on here who has any experience playing against my version is CrazyCarlWinter so nobody can really back me up except for him.

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 02:27 pm:

Parfait is a definite beating against aggro, no question, but it has a much tougher time with control. Sure it can run Keeper out of counters with a really good hand but thats not counting on the brokeness that can happen and its almost impossible to run MonoU out of counters with Parfait. I like the deck quite a bit but its not tier one, only Keeper, OSE and MonoU are truly that good.

By AHappyClown (Clown) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 03:04 pm:

The thing is that I totally own MonoU and the matchup against Keeper and OSE is favorable, plus it doesn't lose to random.dec. To be honest, it has a more difficult time against good aggro decks than control.

By CooberP, the Aura Fracturer of B2Bs (Cooberp) on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 11:51 am:

HappyClown--there is nothing Parfait has that Enchantress doesn't, and even I'm not getting exactly 50/50 with Keeper anymore. It's glacially slow, has an brokenness factor of zero, and DIES to Mind Twist.
I believe you have done as well with it as you say--I used to think Enchantress reamed Keeper when I was testing online. Then I brought it to NG for a couple of weeks and lowered my expectations to sanctioned results of about 50%. Now that they've all figured out how to play me, I'm having trouble matching that. I just don't think you're playing against the best Keeper players, that's all.

By AHappyClown (Clown) on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 01:39 pm:

All of my testing is done in real life, I've never been able to get apprentice to work.
I do agree that I haven't been playing against the best Keeper players, that's why I was planning on bringing my bad mofo down to NG for a run against real Keeper players. Unfortunately, I guess NG stopped the $250 Type 1 tourneys so I can't find anyone with a car who wants to go down. *sigh*

There are things that my build of Parfait has that Enchantress doesn't though. Most importantly a mana base that is immune to non-basic hate and Humility with many-a-Replenish backup. I also have 2 Wraths, although it's not the big deal. As a result, Morphlings die to Parfait just as easily as any other creature I might face.
Secondly, my drawing engine does not die to Edict and can be easily recurred if destroyed or countered.

As a side note, the deck is capable of quick wins. The other day I went beatdown on a Sligh player and won by about the 10th turn. I finished him off well before the next door OSE vs. OSE match was finished.

By CrazyCarlWinter (Carlw) on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 07:55 pm:

In all honestly, though I have a burning hatred for the Great White Wonder, I also respect it. It is VERY good vs. control decks(except for when you randomly start playing bad, which is less and less often now i might add) and is immune to most global removal(after board). However, if Mind Twist resolves, it's only so bad if Tax/Rack is out, but yes, it's pretty brutal b4 that.

I'll build it on apprentice(whenver i decide to get it again) and smack people around on bdchat ;) jk, but anyone interested in playing give me a jingle after i play a few games with it.


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