Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate Limited Set Card Review: Green
Table of Contents
- Ambitious Dragonborn
- Ancient Bronze Dragon
- Arcane Archery
- Band Together
- Belt of Giant Strength
- Choose Your Weapon
- Circle of the Land Druid
- Circle of the Moon Druid
- Draconic Muralists
- Dread Linnorm
- Druid of the Emerald Grove
- Druidic Ritual
- Earthquake Dragon
- Emerald Dragon
- Favored Enemy
- Follow the Tracks
- Gnoll Hunter
- Hill Giant Herdgorger
- Inspiring Bard
- Jade Orb of Dragonkind
- Jaheira, Harper Emissary
- Lukamina, Moon Druid
- Lurking Roper
- Monster Manual
- Owlbear Shepherd
- Oyaminartok, Polar Werebear
- Poison the Blade
- Prosperous Innkeeper
- Scaled Nurturer
- Skanos, Dragon Vassal
- Split the Spoils
- Sylvan Shepherd
- Traverse the Outlands
- Undercellar Myconid
- Underdark Basilisk
- Verdant Rejuvenation
- Wild Shape
- Wilson, Bear Comrade
- You Meet in a Tavern
- You Line Up the Shot
- Yuan-Ti Scaleshield
- Wrap Up
It’s everyone’s favorite time again! Yeah, that’s right, it’s time for a new draft set, but this time it’s MTG Arena exclusive (fancy, I know). Once I finally escaped from all the trouble I got into in Streets of New Capenna, I started doing some scouting around Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate and I’m here to give you the inside secrets about the crazy adventures that await you there.
First thing to get out of the way, this is an alchemy set so some of these cards were designed for constructed. What’s that mean for us drafters? In the words of Emperor Palpatine, UNLIMITED POWER! I hope you’re prepared to slang some serious card action.
Here’s the usual grading scale:
- 5.0: Disgustingly powerful and basically unbeatable. Either answer it the turn it comes down or just pack up your cards. (Tovolar's Huntmaster, The Meathook Massacre, Starnheim Unleashed)
- 4.5: Incredible bomb that still gives your opponent a slim chance. (Adeline, Resplendent Cathar, Alrund's Epiphany, Grand Master of Flowers)
- 4.0: Great rare or the absolute best uncommons and removal. (Froghemoth, Morbid Opportunist, Skullport Merchant)
- 3.5: Great role filler or removal that you never cut. (Magic Missile, Cathartic Pyre, Battle Cry Goblin)
- 3.0: Good playable that I’m basically never cutting. (Usher of the Fallen, Search Party Captain, Dragon Turtle)
- 2.5: Decent playable and the bar I hope nearly every card in my deck to reach. (Mourning Patrol, Steadfast Paladin, Goblin Morningstar)
- 2.0: Mediocre filler that normally is your 20-23rd card(s). (Contact Other Plane, Mindleech Ghoul, Timberland Guide)
- 1.5: Replaceable, overall bad filler. Could also be decent sideboard cards. (Secrets of the Key, Spiked Pit Trap, Village Rites)
- 1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Secret Door, Mystic Skull, Funeral Longboat)
- 0.5: Very unhappy to main deck this, but maybe it has fringe sideboard applications. (You See a Guard Approach, Bramble Armor, Compelled Duel)
- 0.0: Unplayable in every possible situation. (Mimic, Change of Fortune, Curse of Shaken Faith)
It’s pretty ambitious to think you can just throw this in any deck. It’s a pretty bad take on Clone, but I could still see it having some uses. If you are running a big fatties deck then this can come down at a decent size without even having to still have the other creature alive.
The other way to use it is by looting away or self-milling a bad mamma jamma like Hill Giant Herdgorger into the yard and dropping a 7/7 on turn four.
Ancient Bronze Dragon
Another ginormous mythic dragon has appeared. It’s just so big that its hard to deal with unless they have Grim Bounty.
While this one was disappointing for the EDH crowd, in limited one successful swing is going to turn two other creatures into almost instant lethal threats themselves putting your opponent in “sweeper or no” territory.
This is kind of a pricy trick, but getting a permanent bump to your next creature seems worth it to me. It’s also relevant that you get trample on both the trick and the next creature because you can force through some huge damage especially in conjunction with Poison the Blade.
They had me with the art featuring a flying hamster. Beyond that greatness, it’s a pretty solid green removal spell. It is a bite, not a fight and since you can target two of yours it is much less likely that it gets blown out by a removal spell.
Belt of Giant Strength
This doesn’t seem that strong, but I could certainly see it being really annoying to play against later in the game. It does stone cold nothing early and maybe you can equip this to something around turn 5 or 6 while praying they don’t have interaction. It should get you across the finish line when you can make random 2/2s into 10/10s, but I’d recommend having a better game plan than that.
Choose Your Weapon
I love having the option to have flying hate in the main and this isn’t even bad if you just use the trick portion. They never see fourteen coming from Hill Giant Herdgorger.
Please send me a screenshot if anyone manages to use this on Earthquake Dragon to crack someone in the face for the twenty spot. I will give you a guaranteed shoutout on the podcast.
Circle of the Land Druid
If you aren’t playing some self-mill shenanigans then leave this on the sideline. Unless you somehow get a trade, it’s basically a speedbump that turns into a land when it dies. You almost always prefer cards that give you something upfront over ones that give it to you later.
You also might miss on the mill leaving you with a two mana 1/1. No thanks.
Circle of the Moon Druid
The best thing about this card is that it enables pack tactics off of Gnoll Hunter or Hobgoblin Captain when you’re attacking on turn four. It will usually die a horrible death while trading down, but as long as you have some removal, the beats can keep on coming.
It’s also highly annoying on defense because sometimes four in the butt can be awfully hard to get through. Pro Tip: Don’t forget about it flipping and do something like wait until their end step to
A pretty beefy creature that will incentive them to keep taking four damage unless they have no fear of what’s in your deck. You’ll be happy trading this with pretty much anything capable of trading with it as long as you have something to tutor up.
If you have a bomb dragon then this goes up to a 3.0 and if you have no other dragons it drops to a 2.0.
Even though you’re paying Disney prices here at four mana, getting hexproof, untap, and two +1+1 counters is a lot out of a single trick. Sorry removal, not today. Being attacked, oops, right into an ambush with a suddenly huge creature, thank you very much. Just remember that if you get the trick blown out, you lose the creature too.
Speaking of the creature, that is a large snake ready to slither right past chump blockers and slap your opponent silly. I’d rate the first one in your deck as a 2.5, but any others are a precipitous drop in value.
Druid of the Emerald Grove
Four mana 2/2 that draws two cards with potential upside. Sounds good to me. Obviously, the roll is pretty key here as half the time you get a ramp and half the time you just get two lands in hand. The twenty might be worth a victory lap celebration though.
I’m fine with playing one of these if I’m on the Golgari self-mill shenanigans plan. It’s also fine if you have a bomb and some other pretty low-quality cards floating around to replace with this. Outside of those conditions, this can stay at home.
This has that big dragon energy. At first, I thought it was going to be impossible to get this out, but it’s just going to be extremely difficult instead. It’s a great reanimation target and there is enough self-mill and looting running around that you should be able to pull it off. It just doesn’t do anything extra and dies to Doom Blade.
As far as casting it, there are a decent number of dragons floating around, but you need at least seven power worth just to make it reasonable castable. If you already have ten power worth of dragons out, do you really need this too?
A slightly over costed dragon with flying and trample. The adventure would have a lot more potential to be useful if it didn’t say from a noncreature source. Then you could unexpectedly ambush someone attacking with pack tactics or counter a double team. Instead, it’s just meh.
I’m down to have one of these in the starting lineup as an unexpected way to wreck a dragon. While you don’t really want the 2/5 reach if they don’t have a flyer, it’s still better than nothing. I will also be trying to grab a couple of there for the board every time.
That’s a lot of text to say it’s a one mana fight spell. The random +1+1 counters for the rest of the game are going to add up too and it gives you some information about what creatures they still have in their library.
Follow the Tracks
I am really high on these lands since they guarantee you an actual spell which you will be wanting by the time you can activate them. While a three mana ramp spell is usually too expensive, knowing you will get a card back later makes this worth it.
Another flashback to AFR that will have some people cringing about some of the beatdowns Gnoll Hunter laid on them. This keeps growing and growing, both making it harder to deal with and easier to trigger. This is a great addition to the two drop slot in your deck, especially with all the large green creatures floating around.
Hill Giant Herdgorger
It’s Linda’s cousin Larry. Reminiscent of Ravenous Lindwurm so a bunch of us just affectionately started calling him Larry during the AFR days. Plus he just looks like a Larry.
A big ol chonker with some free life thrown in is a great curve topper and awfully hard to deal with. Larry puts in work.
You can usually find better four drops, but there are definitely some times when you want this guy. Need some life to untap Lurking Roper or trigger Celestial Unicorn, then he’s you man. The +2+2 can push some extra damage through or even enable pack tactics.
Jade Orb of Dragonkind
There are more dragons floating around in green to take advantage of this, but it’s still not the type of card I’m looking to play.
Jaheira, Harper Emissary
At least the hexproof from enchantments can protect her from Seatower Imprisonment and similar shenanigans. It’s also just a good stat line for a two drop that is really difficult to block since it can flip to something bigger.
While it’s nice to be able to pop something off when you flip it, the giving two other creatures counters version or hitting face for three can be pretty relevant too.
Lukamina, Moon Druid
A 2/2 for three that gets a basic land when it comes into play is just straight up a good card on its own. All of its specializations are great and if they manage to deal with it, it just comes right back to the battlefield. Seems fair.
It does have the drawback that you have to get to six land before you get to start specializing. You really can’t go wrong when you’re flipping this as a 4/4 flying life link is going to win almost any race or giving your entire side a Glorious Anthem with trample should be ample to get the job done if you’re wide.
Lurking Roper sounds like my average opponent on Arena. I would much rather be playing this, than dealing with them.
That’s a whole lotta stats for only three mana. You do really need to make sure you have the cards to back it up though with Prosperous Innkeeper being a major star with the roper giving it pseudo vigilance by untapping it after every attack.
We still don’t know if it is the alchemy version or the regular version that will be in draft packs. The only difference is that you have to use the ability as a sorcery on the alchemy version. That’s actually a huge difference because it prevents you from surprise blocking or getting to play something after a sweeper.
I guess it’s Elvish Piper in book form, but unless you have some serious monsters you aren’t going to want to be playing this.
I’m sure everyone is aware that creatures that draw a card when they come into play are good. If you missed the memo., go play a game of SNC and I’m sure you’ll figure it out. This chonky boi with trample would almost be worth it without the card so yes I will happily play as many of these as I can get my grubby hands on.
Not that hard to trigger as all it takes is just this and a Hill Giant Herdgorger. It’s nice in the late game if you are on a stalled board of if you are just trying to keep the gas flowing. Basically this plays a role in any green deck with chonkers and doesn’t make the cut if you’re playing a lower curve.
Oyaminartok, Polar Werebear
Extremely efficient creature that creates a food whenever it deals damage. This is the only way to produce food in the set, otherwise his second ability could be pretty nuts.
Should you splash blue for this ability, probably not unless it’s free because there’s a good chance you never get a chance to use it. Hopefully you have an Undercellar Myconid or treasure floating around to take advantage of it.
Poison the Blade
This should play better than Bladebrand because green tends to have giant creatures that lead to multiblocks and tramplers that deal huge damage with this. The other thing that green does is small dorky creatures which is another thing that plays well with deathtouch.
While I question how well I would fit in a hobbit inn, this is still a great utility creature that I want around. Incidental life gain can be pretty powerful for such a small initial investment especially with Celestial Unicorn. You even get a treasure thrown in to ramp or fix any color you need.
When you draft it, just take it as if it’s a mana dork. That 0/2 body is certainly not doing much attacking or blocking beyond chumping these days. There are a decent amount of dragons, but I doubt you will have enough to factor the two life bonus into drafting this.
Skanos, Dragon Vassal
I want to be higher on this, but the front isn’t that great on its own and it’s not cheap to specialize. There are also a lot of really good cards competing for the spots at the top of the curve and you can only fit so many of them.
I’ll give you that attacking in with this and giving a random flyer an extra four attack can be pretty great. It’s just really clunky if you are not the aggressor.
It can get crazy once you flip it though as the flying version can almost end the game on the spot and the lifelink one can put you completely out of range of anyone even considering a race.
Split the Spoils
There are going to be times when you’re like, “OF COURSE THEY HAD THAT CARD!”. Most of the time it’s going to be slow and mediocre. Since your opponent chooses, you never get to get back the permanent that you REALLY want. Getting the second and third best cards in your graveyard can still be nice sometimes.
Sylvan Shepherd is the Websters Dictionary definition of replaceable creature. Not enough sources of life gain, call up Shep to hop in the game. Curve too high, I bet Shep will be around to help.
The ultimate pack three pick twelve, but I still need a playable card. Oh sweet a Sylvan Shepherd, card 23 get in there.
Traverse the Outlands
I want to say this is a constructed plant, but I can certainly see times where ramping out five more land for one card can be worth it even later on. I think I’m going to bet Chris on this and make him try it.
This ends up with 3/4 worth of stats on a mana ramper for three mana. It does have to die to get that second 1/1, but at least it still has a use when you don’t need the mana anymore.
I am a big fan of getting a chump blocker when you tap out to play your mana dork because it makes it much more likely you will live to unleash your monster on the battlefield.
I want this if I am playing BIG ol green monsters. It’s great for stalling or discouraging them from attacking you. It also combos nicely with Band Together to kill basically anything.
I just don’t want this in any aggressive deck because the one power is a huge hinderance on my beatdown.
I had to reread this one a few times. Let me get this straight, I pay eight mana and I get to put between four to seven creatures from my deck onto the battlefield. That certainly seems like it’s going to end the game or be one helluva good time. Plus it lets me feed my gambling habit.
Floridamun described this as the intersection of a meme and a bomb. He went with Beme or Momb, but we might need to workshop that one.
I didn’t like this in AFR and I don’t like it any more here. The mode you almost always use is the hexproof which leaves your creature as an unimpressive 1/3 for the turn. It’s certainly not the trick that Snakeskin Veil was.
Wilson, Bear Comrade
Wilson is such a polite and refined bear, definitely the kind you can invite to a party where he will kindly fill the warrior roll. Easy to fit into the curve and can turn into a huge threat later. He’s even kind enough to leave something behind for you when he passes away.
I feel the need to point out the blue version has trample and can’t be blocked. Sooooo…. ummmm…. what?!? Totally relevant for Ram Through though, which is of course not in the set.
You Meet in a Tavern
Me casting this: Nothing
Opponent casting it: Oh look 5 creatures!
Both sides of this really want you to be playing a creature heavy deck so if you’re short on spells, but long on critters feel free to show up to this meeting. I just hope its not one of those meetings that I am expected to be wearing pants.
You Line Up the Shot
This grade only applies to the first one in your deck. It’s really nice to have access to either of these effects with the option to cycle for only one mana. Having a couple more in the sideboard can’t hurt either.
This has a decent amount of versatility whether it’s as an all-in attack that your whole side lives through or protecting something in response to a removal spell. You can even just tutor up a random creature if they cast something that costs three or less. It does just enough that I want it in my deck
Green is looking really good heading into Baldur’s Gate. It has some serious beef ready to stomp all over your opponents. It is pretty light on removal, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you combine it with either Red or Black.
Another great option is to run the Selesnya life gain deck which is an extremely synergistic, but relies on overpowering your opponent without many good ways to control the board.
Simic? We don’t talk about Simic.
I’ll be back tomorrow with my limited review of Alchemy Horizons: Baldur's Gate Artifacts, Lands, & Multicolor.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
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