Throughout the history of Magic: the Gathering, green has inarguably been one of the stronger colors available. There is no shortage of mono-green cards out there that have famous (and infamous) reputations.
So if you’re looking for a color with a relatively strong history, you can’t really go wrong with green. But in which sets was there a particularly high concentration of green power?
We’ve done some research to find the best MTG sets for green. We’ll show you our findings below.
An Intro to Green Mana
Let’s start by looking at what green mana is like in general. What makes it so strong, and how does it play?
In terms of mechanics, green tends to specialize in ramp (building up mana), large creatures, artifact and enchantment removal, and tokens. This is a wide net of useful themes, which means that green is surprisingly flexible.
Because of its wide range of strategies ranging from basic to advanced, green is one of the most beginner-friendly colors. Creature decks in particular are great for novice Magic players, which is something green is best at.
Recent years have made green into an increasingly dominant color. Alongside blue (which has also historically been an immensely powerful color), green is arguably the strongest color in the game.
When it comes to flavor, green is predictably linked to nature. Given the high number of creature cards green is comprised of, this is unsurprising. Expect to see lots of animals and verdant green forests in the artwork.
Read Next: Best MTG Sets for White
Best MTG Sets for Green
In our search for sets we defined as the “best” for green, we looked for those with a high concentration of strong green cards. The following were a few we came up with that possess multiple extremely powerful options.
There are many notable green cards that weren’t available in the below sets. If we felt there were green cards from outside these sets that deserve mention, we included them in the Honorable Mentions section later.
That being said, let’s show you what we picked…
As a member of the almost mythical Urza’s block, Urza’s Saga is already one of the most powerful sets in Magic’s history. It’s not surprising that it would make an appearance on this list, given its overall level of strength.
There are numerous insanely strong green cards in this set, though, which is why we’re picking it. Exploration, for example, is a green enchantment that will let you play an extra land every turn. Then there’s Argothian Enchantress, a creature that allows you to draw a card every time you manage to cast an enchantment.
The main reason we couldn’t resist adding it to this list, though, is a little card called Gaea’s Cradle. This is one of the most broken land cards ever printed, allowing you to tap it for one green mana for every single creature your control. In green, a color that excels at casting creatures and creating tokens, this can easily generate massive amounts of mana for you.
- An overall extremely powerful set, not just for green.
- Contains some of the strongest green cards ever printed, such as Gaea’s Cradle.
- Cards from this set are generally quite valuable.
- Finding boosters or boxes for this set will be virtually impossible, since it’s quite old. The link we provided above was for a single booster.
Most Notable Green Card: Gaea’s Cradle
Worldwake is another set historically renowned for its high power level. Plus, because it was a fairly small set, you stand a good chance of opening something beefy in your booster packs.
This was kind of a surprise addition for us. We didn’t realize it had so many good green cards in it, but it does. You might potentially get some crazy cards like Omnath, Locus of Mana or one of our old favorites, Leatherback Baloth (pictured near the beginning of this post) from a pack.
- Like Urza’s Saga, Worldwake has an overall high level of power.
- As a smaller set, odds of drawing rare cards are a bit greater.
- Has a surprising number of excellent green cards.
- The original Jace, the Mind Sculptor comes from this beloved set.
- Extremely difficult to find boosters or boxes for.
- Can be awfully expensive due to its rarity.
Most Notable Green Card: Omnath, Locus of Mana
In comparison with the former two sets on this list, Throne of Eldraine is relatively recent (read: it came out in October 2019). It had an interesting theme that focused on fairytale elements, so the cards have an almost whimsical feel to them.
It certainly wasn’t the strongest set to come out in recent memory, but it wasn’t the weakest, either. In fact, it contained numerous useful cards that people loved, like the infamous Embercleave.
The set also introduced the interesting Adventure mechanic, which we’ve written about in more detail in our guide to how Adventure works.
- Features the fun Adventure mechanic, which essentially allows you to send some cards on an “adventure.”
- Has numerous interesting color themed cycles.
- Included some three-color knights, which were honestly pretty neat.
- It really centered on guilds, so there was a little less flexibility in limited formats as players would be forced into choosing a guild to build around.
- The Brawl decks pushed at the time were a serious failure – not that this is likely to impact your decision to buy from the set or not.
- Has not held its value very well.
Most Notable Green Card: Questing Beast
New Phyrexia was another set that honestly surprised us when we decided to include it on this list. You might not expect a set that was thematically about the downfall of the artifact plane, Mirrodin, to the invading Phyrexians to be so loaded with dominating green cards.
But loaded it was…One of its cards, Birthing Pod, is so influential that it has its own archetype in the game. Another one, Triumph of the Horde, is an amazing green finisher card. Then there’s Beast Within, which to this day remains one of green’s best removal cards.
- Full of impressive cards – both green and other colors.
- Great set for fans of Phyrexians.
- Has some strong mechanics, such as Proliferate.
- There are some who would argue that the Phyrexian mana mechanic is broken.
- Booster packs and boxes are rare and therefore expensive.
Most Notable Green Card: Birthing Pod
If you appreciate Asian-inspired themes, you’ll love the artwork and mechanics from the Champions of Kamigawa set. This is another one that kind of came out of the left field for us – we honestly would have expected to put Zendikar or similar sets on this list.
The green cards in Champions of Kamigawa include a handful of Commander staples, though. Examples include Kodama’s Reach and Sakura-Tribe Elder, cards that will help you gain a solid mana lead.
We also want to mention Azusa, Lost but Seeking, a card that allows you to play not one but two extra lands on your turns. Needless to say, there are plenty of solid green cards here to add to your collection.
- Has a few must-have cards for building Commander decks.
- Gorgeous artwork and themes inspired by Asian cultures.
- Includes the fun dragon spirit cards for every color.
- An extremely slow set, so not well-suited for faster games.
- A lot of the cards have very narrow uses.
- Many cards cost too much mana for their functions.
Most Notable Green Card: Azusa, Lost but Seeking
We were torn between Ultimate Masters and Double Masters when creating this list. As masters sets, both are quite strong, but we wanted to avoid including too many of them in this post. In many ways, Masters sets are low-hanging fruit because they’re supposed to have the best of the best.
Eventually, we settled on Ultimate Masters as our one Masters pick. It has a solid collection of some of the best green cards ever. Keep in mind that they’ve been reprinted for this set, so they are not originally from Ultimate Masters.
Some examples of what you can look forward to in this set include Golgari Grave-Troll, which is one of the strongest dredge cards ever printed and Fauna Shaman, which is absolutely insane for tutoring.
- Contains some of the best cards from across Magic’s history.
- Each booster box came with a box topper card, which made them appealing to purchase at the time of release.
- Has a slew of Magic’s strongest green cards.
- More expensive than other booster boxes.
- Did not include any fetch lands, like fans at the time of release hoped.
Most Notable Green Card: Tarmagoyf
There are some cards that aren’t necessarily included in the sets we picked above that are still far too important not to mention. We’re dedicating the following section to some of green’s most amazing members.
Getting to play an additional land by itself is a really good effect… But this card also allows you to look at the top card of your library, providing with you with valuable information.
As if that weren’t enough, you’ll also get to play that top card from your library if it’s a land, which does two things: it’s almost like being allowed to have an eight-card hand and it eliminates that annoying issue of constantly drawing land cards when you don’t need them.
Of course, there is a downside to everyone else getting to see the top card of your library, too. However, we think the other benefits provided by Oracle of Mul Daya outweigh this drawback.
Primeval Titan embodies two huge green strengths: large creatures and, of course, ramp. For one thing, you’re getting a 6/6 creature with trample, which by itself is worth the mana cost.
Beyond that, you’re getting some insane ramp with Primeval Titan. You’ll get two lands when it enters the battlefield, and then any two lands every time it attacks. It’s little wonder that it ended up being banned in a number of formats, including Commander.
Are you looking for a card you can use to slay your opponents on the battlefield? Consider adding Craterhoof Behemoth to your collection.
To this day, it is one of the best finishers for green. It has held that title almost exclusively for years. This is because it gives both itself and all your creatures trample and +X/+X when it enters the battlefield.
So here’s your plan: have a bunch of creatures out. Cast Craterhoof Behemoth. Then smash everyone else on the battlefield with your newly unstoppable army.
Any list about some of the more influential green cards in Magic’s history would be remiss if it didn’t mention Scapeshift. This card, pictured above, was part of a combo with Field of the Dead that broke the Standard format for a period of time.
It also pairs well with cards that have Landfall triggers, or abilities that are triggered by lands coming into play. In other words, it’s very easy to use Scapeshift to create broken combinations that leave your opponents in the dust.
Are you playing a green deck with counters or tokens in it? Then you might want to consider forking out the cash to grab yourself a Doubling Season.
Despite having been printed a few times, the cost for this card generally remains high because of how useful it is. It works amazingly with a range of themes, including planeswalkers, tokens, and +1/+1 counters.
We’ve said a few times throughout this article that green is amazingly good at ramping. Nyxbloom Ancient epitomizes that concept, effectively tripling your mana output.
Imagine if you had something like Thrann Dynamo, which taps for three mana. Now, with Nyxbloom Ancient, that taps for a whopping nine mana. Beware when you play Nyxbloom Ancient, though – someone’s likely to target it right away.
Titania, Protector of Argoth is the kind of card you build entire decks around. She allows you to retrieve land cards from your graveyard, which seems like a niche use initially.
But then consider the fact that every time one of your land cards is put into a graveyard, Titania makes a 5/3 green elemental token on the battlefield for you. This gives you incentive to cycle your own lands through your graveyard – or, at the very least, reason to turn dreaded land destruction into a tool for you.
Want to have extra fun? Pair her with Doubling Season to make an unstoppable elemental army that will have everyone else at the table scrambling for a board wipe.
Have you ever been in the middle of a Magic game and found yourself desperately wishing for one specific creature in your deck to save the day? We know we’ve crossed our fingers hoping to draw a particular card from our library before – chances are, you have, too.
Green Sun’s Zenith makes it so you don’t have simply hope. It allows you to search for a creature with a converted mana cost equal to whatever additional mana you choose to pay and put it on the battlefield. What’s more, rather than going into your graveyard after performing this miracle for you, Green Sun’s Zenith gets shuffled back into your library, giving you the possibility of drawing it again.
Does this card seem familiar? You could be forgiven for feeling déjà vu here, because it’s essentially another version of Green Sun’s Zenith, but with a twist.
Like the aforementioned card, Finale of Devastation will allow you to search for a particular creature card in your library and play it. The twist is that, if said creature has a converted mana cost of 10 or greater, all creatures you control get a number of +1/+1 counters equal to that creature’s converted mana cost and haste.
This is a finishing move, hence the name “Finale of Devastation.” Use it to get one of your biggest creatures out, then swing for the win with the added benefit of haste.
We’d call this one the ultimate tutor card. It’s simple, straightforward, and easy to use while being simultaneously hard to master.
For one mana, you can cast Worldly Tutor at any time (because it’s an instant) and find a creature card in your library. The reason why this is so good is because it promotes deck consistency, giving you something else you can rely on.
“Food Chain” is a really fitting name for this card. It’s a combo piece; the effect is free to activate and you’re always netting mana from it. As long as you can continually cycle through your creatures with it, you can use the mana you gain from removing them to cast even more creatures.
It’s a popular card in competitive EDH combos. What’s especially broken about it is that you can technically use it to “devour” tokens. The converted mana cost of tokens is technically 0, but it gives you the creature’s converted mana cost plus one, so you could generate an army of tokens and give them all to Food Chain for a huge mana boost.
You can also easily turn Food Chain into an infinite combo with creatures that you can cast from exile, such as Squee, the Immortal.
The wording might seem murky to a beginner at first, but Channel basically just lets you pay life points for mana. To novices, this seems counterintuitive – why would you want to sacrifice life points? Wouldn’t that make you lose the game?
Not necessarily. Your life is just another resource to tap into, considering that you don’t lose the game until you’ve dropped to zero (and in some cases, not even then). In Commander, a format where you already start with more life than usual, Channel would be deadly – if it weren’t already banned in the format.
We should mention that Channel was part of an infamous duo, Channel/Fireball. Fireball allows you to pay X mana to do X damage to any number of players and creatures. With Channel, of course, you get more mana to pay the X cost with.
This was quite a list for us to make. Unsurprisingly, green has shined in a lot of sets, and narrowing down our choices was extremely difficult. After doing that, of course, there were a bunch of cards we just couldn’t skip discussing.
With that being said, asking us to choose only a single set that we define as the best for green would be a gargantuan struggle. With some thought, we can settle on Ultimate Masters, but primarily because it’s easier to find than, say, Urza’s Saga.
Which sets do you think green was good in? If there are any we didn’t mention, let us know with a comment.