As one of the core five colors in MTG, it’s safe to say there are a lot of green cards. In fact, to date, Wizards of the Coast have printed over 3,900 green cards! While this is already a staggeringly high number, that’s not even counting the 1000+ multicolored cards as well.
Making up around 15% of all the MTG cards ever printed, there are certainly plenty of mono-green MTG cars to choose from. Unfortunately, and somewhat unsurprisingly, however, not all of them are good. Some cards, in fact, such as Wood Elemental, are in the running for being the worst of all time!
Thankfully, while it’s not impossible to redeem Wood Elemental, most green MTG cards are a lot better. Green does have a reputation for having the biggest and best creatures, after all. While this is a widely regarded truth within MTG, it does beg the question, which green card is best? Luckily for those asking that question, we have this list of the best mono-green MTG cards to provide the answer!
So, without any more waffling, let’s get right into the list and break down the top 10 best green cards in MTG!
Honorable Mention | Dredge All Stars
Before we get into the list properly, we can’t resist talking about a few cards, which almost made the cut. Curiously, each of these cards fits the theme of dredge. Excelling in putting cards into the graveyard, these three cards each created format-breaking, ban-worthy, decks. Unfortunately, however, since they are only standout in these build-around lists, they don’t make the full list.
Oath of Druids | Upon first inspection, Oath of Druids might not seem like a very dangerous MTG card. While this is definitely true if you’re trying to play it in Commander, it does enable numerous devastating combos. For instance, pair Oath of Druids with Laboratory Maniac or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, then you’ve got an easy win. Due to this, Oath of Druids was unsurprisingly banned in Vintage, before that format became Legacy.
Hermit Druid | Just like Oath of Druids, Hermit Druid is, or rather was, spectacular as putting your entire library into your graveyard. All you needed to do to accomplish this was have a deck without basic land. Since non-basic lands exist, this is very easy to do, allowing Hermit Druid to be an incredibly consistent combo. As a result of this it was banned alongside Oath of Druids in Vintage, and then Legacy.
Golgari Grave-Troll | Last and by certainly no means least we have to talk about Golgari Grave-Troll. Synergizing with dredge strategies, Golgari Grave-Troll can become a massive threat that just doesn’t go away. Able to regenerate and return to your hand, Golgari Grave-Troll is simply phenomenally powerful. Alongside this, its own dredge ability to mill six cards instead of drawing makes this card even more of a menace. Due to this incredible all-around strength, Golgari Grave-Troll has been banned in Modern since it’s inception. It’s even restricted in Vintage too!
13 | Gaea’s Cradle
To kick off this list, we have an MTG card that’s technically not even green. Sure it looks green, and you’ll play it in green decks, however, don’t let those details fool you. As astute players will know, land is colorless, so the most we can give Gaea’s Cradle is this honorable mention.
Despite that important detail, we couldn’t resist talking about Gaea’s Cradle in this list as it’s just too good. Providing one green mana for each creature you control, Gaea’s Cradle is always useful and gets absurd in the right deck. When played alongside go-wide strategies such as Elves, for instance, Gaea’s Cradle becomes a true mana-generating powerhouse.
Thanks to this incredible power, Gaea’s Cradle sees play in a huge number of decks. Unsurprisingly given the slow and wide nature of the format, the majority of these are Commander decks. According to EDHREC, over 71,000 decks use Gaea’s Cradle within the 99, however, many players might want that number to be higher.
Beyond just being one of the best, green, not exactly green, cards in existence, Gaea’s Cradle is also phenomenally expensive. Topping the charts at the most expensive green-ish card in existence, copies will set you back at least $950. This is thanks to the card being part of the deeply controversial Reserved List. Unfortunately, as we alluded to before, this can make playing Gaea’s Cradle rather difficult, as not everyone can afford one on paper.
12 | Heroic Intervention
Now that the green not green card is out of the way, we can begin this list properly. In doing this, however, we’re already being a bit cheeky, as Heroic Intervention is somewhat of a subversive choice. Contrary to what you might expect from green, Heroic Intervention isn’t a fantastic ramp engine or a colossal threat. Despite this, however, it’s nonetheless important. After all, without it, the threats you play may be completely ineffectual.
By providing not just Indestructible but also Hexproof to all your permanents, Heroic Intervention protects you against most board wipes in MTG. Admittedly, board wipes such as Sunfall can still get through the cracks, however, this is the exception, not the rule. In most cases, Heroic Intervention is the defacto protection spell that you want to use.
Beyond just keeping your permanents safe in response to a board wipe, this useful instant can be surprisingly aggressive. Combined with an admittedly not-green Day of Judgement, or a similar board wipe, Heroic Intervention can allow you to swing in for the win. That is, provided your opponents don’t counter your carefully crafted plan.
Thanks to its effectiveness in protecting creatures, Heroic Intervention is played in a staggering number of Commander decks. In fact, according to EDHREC, it’s the sixth most-played green card in the format, appearing in almost 350,000 decks! Unfortunately, in competitive formats, Heroic Intervention isn’t played nearly this much, however, that’s no reason to dismiss its power.
11 | Delighted Halfling
Considering they are one of the most iconic cards in green, it feels rude not to put Llanowar Elves on this list. Unfortunately, however, Delighted Halfling is simply better in almost every single aspect.
For starters, Delighted Halfling is able to generate any color of mana which is always incredibly useful. Admittedly, this can only happen when you’re casting a Legendary creature, however, that’s what most of the best spells are. Alongside this major benefit over Llanowar Elves, Delighted Halfling also makes Legendary spells you cast uncounterable, which is supremely useful in green.
Unfortunately, when you’re not casting a legendary spell, Delighted Halfling can only produce colorless mana. This may seem like a major downside in mono-green decks, and it certainly will matter, however, it’s ultimately not the end of the world. After all, what are Forests for if not providing a healthy supply of green mana?
As if Delighted Halfling hasn’t done enough to claim their spot on this list already, they’re also a better body than Llanowar Elves. Able to block 1/1 creatures without dying to them, Delighted Halfling definitely has more utility than the most iconic mana dork. That is, at least, so long as you don’t factor in the creature type.
As a Halfling Citizen, the typal prospects for Delighted Halfling are rather slim. Llanowar Elves, on the other hand, are incredibly useful in Elf Typal (yes, we did just say Typal), as they help further the deck’s interconnected synergies. Due to this detail, you may find yourself playing Llanowar Elves or its other variants, a lot more often. At the end of the day, however, Delighted Halfling is just a better card.
10 | Exploration
First printed in Urza’s Saga, Exploration offers green decks one of their favorite things: ramp. Allowing you to play an additional land one each turn, Exploration can massively accelerate your game plan. No matter which format you’re in, this is an incredibly useful ability to have. So much so, in fact, you may want to pair it with similar cards such as Dryad of the Ilysian Grove!
Considering they are incredibly cheap and self-explanatory, there’s not much that can be said about Exploration. It’s just a good card! It lets you get to your massive threats a little bit faster, which is exactly what green decks want to do. In order to contradict what was just said, however, it’s worth noting that Exploration does have a downside.
For maximum effectiveness, you’ll always want to be playing two lands each turn when Exploration is in play. Keeping that up, however, is easier said than done, as green doesn’t have oodles of draw. Subsequently, after the first few turns, Exploration can quickly become useless, as you only have so much land to play.
Despite this rather substantial drawback, Exploration is still an incredibly useful card. It does, however, have some fierce competition, Burgeoning, for instance, offers a similar strong land-playing ability that even beats Exploration in Commander. Alternatively, Fastbond has a similar effect which requires you to pay life for additional land.
While both of these cards could steal the 10th spot in this list, Exploration is the most consistently playable card. This is partly because you don’t have to rely on your opponents, and partly because Fastbond is banned almost everywhere!
9 | Finale of Devastation
To earn its spot on this list, Finale of Devastation offers two amazing effects in one neat package. First and foremost, the best of these effects is to tutor any creature from your library, onto the battlefield. While you must pay GG extra to facilitate this, the effect is nevertheless incredibly powerful and endlessly versatile.
Alongside the ever-useful tutor effect, Finale of Devastation becomes a game-ending threat once enough mana is pumped in. Admittedly, this effect doesn’t come cheap, as X needs to be over 10 in order to activate this effect. Once you’ve crossed that threshold, however, then the game is practically over.
Providing your creatures with +X/+X and Haste, Finale of Devastation can certainly be appropriately devastating. Before you swing in for the win, however, it’s worth sourcing a Trample enabler. After all, it would be a crying shame to have all your massive threats chump blocked.
Ultimately, even when you exclude the potential buff ability, Finale of Devastation is definitely worth a spot on this list. Tutor abilities, especially once that put cards on the battlefield, are just endlessly useful. Subsequently, it’s no wonder that over 100,000 Commander decks include this aptly named War of the Spark spell.
8 | The Great Henge
As we said in our list of the best green draw cards, The Great Henge is an absolute unit of a card. While this is certainly an apt description for this substantial mana cost, it’s also more than fitting for the abilities. Between card draw, ramp, and providing buffs, The Great Henge does it all and it does it very well.
Being included within almost 120,000 Commander decks, it’s safe to say the consistent draw when playing green spells is a fan favorite. Alongside that, I can personally attest to winning countless Historic games all thanks to The Great Henge. This is thanks to the sheer volume of draw it provides to mono-green.
When you have efficient mana generation like Gaea’s Cradle or Wirewood Channeler at your disposal, The Great Henge can allow you to play most of your deck in a single turn. In doing this, you’ll likely hit a game-winning card like Craterhoof Behemoth which seals the deal. Even without this, however, The Great Henge is no slouch thanks to the buffs it provides.
To make it even better, The Great Henge isn’t just a late-game draw engine into an easy win. Instead, this card can be played surprisingly early thanks to its cost-reduction ability. As you might imagine, this makes The Great Henge even more useful in all manner of green decks.
7 | Natural Order
As we’ll cover numerous times throughout this list, tutors are some of the best spells in MTG. Out of all the ones available in green, Natural Order is definitely one of the best. Unfortunately, however, that’s not the case all the time.
Unlike many of the other green tutor spells, Natural Order will only ever cost four mana and a cheeky sacrifice. On the one hand, this can obviously be incredibly useful, as it allows you to cheat out massive threats early. On the other hand, however, Natural Order’s effectiveness is much more limited, as it’s wasted on cheaper targets.
In theory, this may not seem like a major problem, as playing an Apex Devastator on turn four is incredibly powerful. That being said, however, cheating out a 10-mana bomb isn’t as useful as you might think in green. Sure, it’s always to do, but green has so much ramp at its disposal that it doesn’t need Natural Order.
If we consider non-mono-green decks for a second, suddenly Natural Order gets a whole lot stronger. Rather than fiddling about with the complicated mana costs of expensive creatures such as Atraxa, Grand Unifier, Natural Order can simply plop this card into play. This makes them incredibly useful in a wide range of decks that don’t have mono-green’s ramp.
While it is still a very powerful card in its own right, most MTG players know it’s not a must-have. Subsequently, it’s only included in around 40,000 decks at the time of writing. While this is a lot less than other entries on this list, it’s definitely not to be scoffed at.
6 | Green Sun’s Zenith
At first glance, Green Sun’s Zenith might appear to be just a worse version of Finale of Devastation. After all, it doesn’t have the game-ending ability that activates after pumping enough mana in. While this is true, Green Sun’s Zenith is one mana cheaper, which can mean the world in MTG.
When in your hand, Green Sun’s Zenith allows you to play any creature in your deck for one G more. Similarly to Finale of Devastation, this allows you to find a much-needed piece of early ramp or a late-game threat. Whatever you need, Green Sun’s Zenith is able to find it at minimal extra cost. As if that wasn’t good enough, after being cast, it gets shuffled back into your deck, allowing it to be used again.
Currently and somewhat unsurprisingly, Green Sun’s Zenith sees the most play in the most tutor-loving format, Commander. For a brief stint, however, Green Sun’s Zenith was also a powerhouse in Modern. By searching up Dryad Arbor on turn one, Green Sun’s Zenith could provide early mana advantage which was difficult to come back from. As a result of this effective combo, Green Sun’s Zenith was banned in Modern.
5 | Craterhoof Behemoth
Similarly to The Great Henge, there’s a soft spot in my heart for Craterhoof Behemoth. Alongside it being weirdly adorable, this is again thanks to the inordinate number of games it has won for me. Typically, as soon as Craterhoof Behemoth comes into play, one, if not all of your opponents are in serious danger.
To enable this surprisingly common scenario, all you need to do is have a sizable board in play. From here, Craterhoof Behemoth will do all the work, buffing all your creatures while also giving them Trample. Unlike Finale of Devastation, this prevents your newly buffed threats from getting nullified by an army of chump blockers. As a result of this, it can be very hard to survive this aptly named mahoosive beast.
Despite being an absolutely immense threat, Craterhoof Behemoth isn’t an auto-include in Commander. In fact, according to EDHREC’s statistics, they’re only used within around 85,000. While this is a good deal lower than past entries in this list, there’s no denying that if you want a game to end quickly, Craterhoof Behemoth is one of the best ways to do it.
4 | Veil of Summer
Unlike most of the cards on this list, Veil of Summer isn’t about playing the biggest and best creatures in all MTG. Instead, Veil of Summer is effectively a counterspell… in green. Considering counterspells are predominantly only found in blue, this may seem rather out of the ordinary, and you’re not wrong.
Thankfully, while Veil of Summer definitely is a bend to MTG’s color pie it’s not a complete break. This is thanks to the card only providing hexproof against blue and black, alongside making your spells uncounterable. While this effect is definitely a bit unique, it’s not uncommon for green spells like Tyrannax Rex, to be uncounterable.
Now that we’ve addressed the uniqueness of this card, it’s high time we say that Veil of Summer is seriously strong. When played at the right time, Veil of Summer can effectively remove green’s biggest weakness of being countered. Subsequently, it’s no wonder that they see a lot of play in Commander and Modern.
Alongside having a firm place within both these formats, Veil of Summer has also been banned on multiple occasions! One of these was even a rare Standard ban, since in late 2019, green was overwhelmingly dominant.
3 | Sylvan Library
Previously topping our list of the best card draw in green, it would be rude not to put Sylvan Library on this list as well. After all, it is an absolutely incredible card that provides green with some much-needed card draw and consistency. As much as it is my favorite color in MTG, this is something green sorely lacks.
Allowing players to look at, and even draw, the top three cards of their library each Sylvan Library is phenomenally useful. Sure, getting to draw more than one card may cost you four life each, however, in Commander that can be well worth paying. Beyond the card drawing capabilities, it’s always useful to know what’s coming up in your deck next. As, even if you don’t like what you see, you can always use a shuffle effect to change that.
Thanks to the consistency it provides, Sylvan Library is included within a staggering number of Commander decks. At the time of writing, they’re currently within the 99 of 194,000 decks, making them the 16th most popular mono-green card around!
2 | Once Upon a Time
As we move toward the end of this list, you might have noticed that the best green cards are getting banned in more and more formats. This is certainly the case for Once Upon a Time, which has been banned in five formats to date! In case you need a quick refresher, these are Explorer, Historic, Modern, Pioneer, and Standard.
To earn this litany of bans, Once Upon a Time offered frightening consistency in most 60-card formats. This is thanks to it being completely free to cast, as long as it’s the first spell you cast. Thanks to this effect, Once Upon a Time effectively dramatically expands your opening hand, which helps to enable all manner of early-game synergies.
Thanks to this incredible strength, which is even good when you’re paying for it, Once Upon a Time was absolutely everywhere. Proving to be a menace in Modern, Pioneer, and Standard, this consistency didn’t make an interesting metagame. Subsequently, over time, Wizards banned it from each of these formats.
Nowadays, Once Upon a Time sees very little play. In Commander, for instance, it’s only used in around 7000, as the effect isn’t nearly as useful. Similarly, the card sees rather minimal play in Legacy, as it’s simply not needed for the best strategies. Despite these dismal play numbers today, Once Upon a Time definitely made an impact on MTG when it was around.
1 | Channel
Banned or restricted in every single MTG format, there’s no debate about Channel’s place on this list. No matter which way you look at it, Channel is the best green card that’s ever been printed in MTG. Why? Because it allows you to generate immense amounts of mana and devastate your opponents.
Famously synergizing with Fireball, this combo enabled worryingly consistent kills on as early as turn one in Vintage. As if this wasn’t enough, Channel works wonders with any X-cost spell such as Finale of Devastation. By putting on 19 mana on turn two, you could tutor and buff any green card in your deck. Unsurprisingly, no matter which format you’re playing, this would be exceptionally difficult to deal with.
At the end of the day, while Channel is almost definitely the best green MTG card in existence, you can’t exactly play it. Outside of casual tables where anything goes, the only format which allows Channel is Vintage. Even in this ultra-expensive, fast, and competitive format, Channel is restricted, only allowing one copy to be played. Since this nullifies its incredible combo potential, Channel doesn’t see much play at all. It is still an incredible card though.