Dragon’s Maze has only been out for just over a week, and Magic players as a whole are just getting a feel for the new set. Its impact on Standard, Modern, and perhaps the eternal formats will soon be felt, and it’s imperative to know exactly what one is dealing with when one cracks a booster of Dragon’s Maze. Moving on from my impressions of the red cards, here is my rundown, card by card, of the monogreen portion of the set.
Battering Krasis – Moving on from the funky typeline, which I can appreciate solely for the fact that it’s a green Fish and thus proves that aquatic creatures don’t only have to be blue, this is a deceptively good beater, despite its weak starting stats. You should probably be dropping a creature on your next turn after you play this, meaning it likely swings starting as a 3/2 trampler, and that trample gets more and more relevant as this gets bigger and bigger. This is the kind of threat you ignore at your peril.
Kraul Warrior – Yes, more obscure flavor references! Kraul were name-dropped in one Planeswalker’s Guide article about the Golgari and then never brought up in the cards, and finally we get to see what an unaligned Kraul looks like. Their society does sound fascinating, and the card itself is quite respectable – a bear when you need one early-game, which is on par for green common creature stats, and a fatty when you feel like sinking the endgame mana into it.
Maze Behemoth – Trample is kind of the go-to five-seconds-of-thought ability for green, which is probably why it’s showing up in multiple instances in a set with such small representation for monogreen. Regardless, this is one of the Maze cycle with the most relevant abilities to grant en masse to your multicolor creatures, right up there with Maze Glider. Trample, after all, is a form of semi-conditional evasion, and works great with a couple of fat multicolored creatures on the board that can’t punch through defenses.
Mending Touch – A perfectly fine combat trick, but kind of a disappointing one – with all of the other good combat instants in this block it feels as though a green mana should buy a little bit more than regeneration. Still, at least it’s no, well, Regenerate with its are-you-kidding-me two-mana cost. And saving your best creature is all kinds of satisfying.
Mutant’s Prey – This is technically one-mana instant-speed removal in green, though of course it can’t be used turn one anyhow, even though it is conditional. There are like a million ways to get +1/+1 counters on creatures in this block, so go nuts using those pumped creatures to throw around damage to creatures on the spot instead of just as dumb beaters.
Phytoburst – Sorcery speed does limit this one’s uses quite a bit, as your opponents will see whatever attacker you boost with this coming a mile away and block accordingly, but wowee that’s +5/+5 for two mana, which is certainly no small thing – 5 damage represents a quarter of a starting life total in most formats. Good Limited combo when splashed into colors that get more evasive creatures (say, blue).
Renegade Krasis – Perhaps one of my favorite evolve creatures that the Simic have gotten, this guy can single-handedly turn an evolve-creature-based deck from a sorry bunch of understatted and overcosted dudes into an army of the scariest fatties in the entire block. I’ve heard stories of very, very good results with it at the Prereleases.
Saruli Gatekeepers – You wouldn’t know it at first glance, but this might be the best green common in the entire set. This is the secret Limited star of Dragon’s Maze: A 7-life advantage and a 2/4 body can mean the game in aggro-versus-aggro slugfests, which, let’s face it, many a Return to Ravnica block Limited game degenerates into.
Skylasher – Most people’s biggest gripe with this card is that it isn’t a Spider. Holy wow, that’s a lot of abilities – though, here’s the thing, none of them is particularly backbreaking on its own. I’m sure a lot of old-school players appreciate the nod to the “unsolvable” green creatures of the days of yore, like Scragnoth, and Skylasher only functions optimally under very specific conditions – most days, it’s a reasonably efficient beater and blocker.
Thrashing Mossdog – Some more reach, and the last hurrah of scavenge. The body on this is a good piece of defense, and you’ll certainly appreciate being able to shove those three +1/+1 counters onto some beater late-game. A fine way to fill out a midrange slot for a midrange-loving guild.