Last updated on December 1, 2023
As the primary color for large creatures and mana acceleration, it makes sense that green has access to the best land and creature tutors in Magic. Green tutors take second place to black’s more versatile search effects, but green’s options are still abundant.
If you need specific lands or creatures, green’s got you covered.
What Are Green Tutors in MTG?
Eldritch Evolution | Illustration by Jason Rainville
Tutoring in Magic is slang for searching your library, with green tutors specializing in finding lands and creatures. Land search can be its own extensive topic, so I’ve focused on effects that aren’t primarily land searching. There are lots of great ways to tutor creatures in green, and I lean toward green control Commander rather than the typical mono green EDH strategies.
Get your Panglacial Wurms ready! These are the best tutors that green has to offer.
#33. Evolving Door
I’m still holding out hope that there’s a deck or two out there that can make good use of Evolving Door. It’s a bit of a joke in the Magic community based on how bad this card is, but I think there’s merit in the right deck.
In a mono-color deck that can produce artifact creature tokens, Evolving Door can upgrade those tokens into real creatures from your library. A commander like Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter or Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer can spit out artifact creatures while Evolving Door turns them into actual game pieces.
#32. Weird Harvest
You should always be cautious of being the one who spends mana on a symmetrical effect. Weird Harvest can load your hand up with whatever creatures you want, but it offers that same privilege to your opponents free of charge. Find a way to break parity or be prepared to deal with an onslaught of your opponents’ best creatures.
#31. Time of NeedTime of need
Time of Need used to be a much more prevalent card back when the “tuck rule” existed. Now that commanders can’t be forcibly shuffled away, Time of Need is just another option to find whichever legendary creature fits the game you’re playing.
#30. Traverse the Ulvenwald
It’s true that Traverse the Ulvenwald starts out primarily as a land searcher, but the reason to include it in your deck is its ability to find a creature once you achieve delirium. With four or more card types in your graveyard, Traverse the Ulvenwald becomes a versatile tutor for just about anything you need.
#29. Instrument of the Bards
It’s a bit slow to get going, but Instrument of the Bards works well in decks chock full of legendary creatures. It’s not the most efficient way to search for creatures, but it’s repeatable and refunds you a treasure token if you use it to find legends.
#28. Eldritch Evolution
I’m not over the moon about Eldritch Evolution, but you could do worse for a one-shot way of upgrading something into a larger threat. This works well enough in decks that rely heavily on sacrificing creatures, like those commanded by Meren of Clan Nel Toth or Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest.
#27. Nissa Revane
Unlike the best tutors in other colors, green doesn’t need to fool around with tribal-focused effects. It already has the best generic search effects for creatures, so most of the narrow type-specific tutors are outclassed.
Nissa Revane is an exception because it provides a powerful finisher effect for Elf decks. The +2 ability can gain absurd amounts of life, the +1 can help recycle a copy of Nissa's Chosen, and the -7 is basically game over. Add to this the fact that Elf decks are great for swarming the battlefield and protecting planeswalkers, and you’ve got a tribal-focused tutor worthy of mention.
#26. Sylvan Tutor
Sylvan Tutor is strictly worse than Worldly Tutor. Still, as a backup version of this effect, it does a decent job of finding what you need. It just asks that you wait a turn until you get it. Try combining this with creatures that let you play from the top of your library, like Augur of Autumn or Vizier of the Menagerie.
#25. Fierce Empath
It’s the simple life for Fierce Empath. Go find one of your biggest monsters and leave behind a piddly 1/1 on board. It’s a great way to search up a key card while leaving a body on board for blink or sacrifice effects.
#24. Woodland Bellower
Woodland Bellower is like the reverse Fierce Empath. Instead of playing a cheap creature to tutor up a big threat, Woodland Bellower is the threat. Oh, and it comes along with a smaller non-legendary friend. Eternal Witness is the usual suspect, but grabbing something like Fierce Empath to keep the value train rolling doesn’t sound like a bad idea either.
#23. Threats Undetected
Giving an opponent control over what you end up tutoring isn’t ideal, but at least with Threats Undetected you get to narrow down their choices first. The idea with cards like this is to find four redundant versions of the same effect you’re looking for and make your opponent’s decision basically moot. If you show your opponent Eternal Witness, Greenwarden of Murasa, Deadwood Treefolk, and Shigeki, Jukai Visionary, what are they supposed to choose?
#22. Uncage the Menagerie
Uncage the Menagerie is strangely an X spell that scales well with smaller X values. You can use it to find a single one-mana creature, two 2-drops, 3-drops, and so on. Once you get to values of x=5 or greater, it becomes too cumbersome to reasonably hold and cast all those creatures, so a lot of the value goes to waste.
#21. Garruk, Caller of Beasts
It’s fair of Garruk to make an appearance on this list; they’re the beastmaster after all. This iteration, Garruk, Caller of Beasts helps to refill your hand with creatures, sneaks them into play with its -3 ability, and threatens an ultimate that slams threat after threat on the battlefield.
#20. Summoner’s Pact
Summoner's Pact is the tutor you want if you’re trying to win on the spot. It’ll facilitate finding your Craterhoof Behemoth or other game-winner while leaving your mana completely open. It has the downside of taxing you out of 4 mana the following turn. Of course, if you’re casting Summoner's Pact, you’re usually hoping there isn’t a next turn at all.
#19. Vivien on the Hunt
Vivien on the Hunt might rank a bit higher on a list of green tutors that wasn’t focused on mono green decks. The +2 ability is a known factor in many combos, but they involve fetching non-green creatures. The ability is still useful in mono green decks, but the other underwhelming abilities take this planeswalker down a peg.
It doesn’t get much cleaner than Shared Summons. If you’re looking for two specific creatures and you’re willing to pay five mana to find them, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
#17. Fauna Shaman
Fauna Shaman takes one of the top cards on this list and puts it in creature form. It’s a much more balanced version of that effect, and Fauna Shaman pulls double duty as a creature tutor and a discard outlet. It sets up your graveyard and your hand at the same time, it and doesn’t ask for much in return.
#16. Primal Command
Tutoring a creature is only a fourth of your options with Primal Command. You can also choose some combination of gaining life, messing with an opponent’s non-creature permanent, or nixing someone’s graveyard. Cast it enough times and you’ll learn that it’s almost always correct to choose tutoring as one of the four modes.
#15. Vivien, Monster’s Advocate
Vivien, Monsters' Advocate has a great package of abilities, providing both card advantage with its static abilities and board presence with the loyalty abilities. Ikoria’s take on the planeswalker plays offense and defense well enough, creating Beast tokens with keyword counters tailored to the board state.
#14. Wild Pair
Answers to artifacts and enchantments are more prevalent these days than they’ve ever been, so it’s hard to justify a 6-mana enchantment that does nothing on its own. Wild Pair meets the threshold if your deck is built to take advantage of it. Every creature you cast has the potential to come with an equally threatening buddy, so long as their total power and toughness line up.
#13. Pattern of Rebirth
Pattern of Rebirth is designed to be an unfair card, so you should absolutely do unfair things with it. The goal is to land this on a creature you don’t care about, sacrifice it or have it die some other way, and cheat your best creature into play with no stipulations. It’s an aura that makes the table nervous, so be careful about the potential blowout of running it out into an opposing removal spell.
#12. Green Sun’s Zenith
Constructed all-star Green Sun's Zenith works wonders in Commander. For just a one mana premium, you get your pick of the litter from among creatures in your library. Green Sun's Zenith even shuffles back into its owner’s library to potentially draw and reuse down the line. Thanks to the existence of Dryad Arbor, it can also be played on turn one to find an additional land.
#11. Yisan, the Wanderer Bard
Yisan, the Wanderer Bard is a well-known cEDH commander with the potential to work up a mana value chain towards larger and larger threats. It’s often paired with mana denial effects, which it circumvents with its activated ability.
#10. Chord of Calling
Chord of Calling is an anything-goes tutor with no restrictions on what type of creature you can search for. As an instant straight-to-the-battlefield tutor, Chord of Calling gives you the surprise factor and can sometimes be cast while you’re tapped out thanks to convoke.
#9. Birthing Pod
Another popular combo engine, Birthing Pod asks you to climb a ladder of different mana value creatures by sacrificing the previous one in the chain. It functions similarly to Yisan, the Wanderer Bard, but on a permanent, that’s a bit harder to interact with.
#8. Worldly Tutor
One of the early Mirage tutors, Worldly Tutor demonstrates green’s strengths by being one of the best spells in the game for searching up creatures. As a strictly better version of Sylvan Tutor, Worldly Tutor lets you make your choice at instant speed, which gives you time to make a more informed decision.
#7. Natural Order
For four mana, Natural Order takes your worst green creature on the battlefield and turns it into the best green creature from your library. That’s it, no additional strings attached. If that sounds unreasonable, that’s because the card is intentionally broken. Just remember that you’ll lose out on your sacrificed creature if an opponent has a counterspell.
#6. Finale of Devastation
Finale of Devastation is almost always going to be an improvement over Green Sun's Zenith. For additional green mana, you get to search your graveyard in addition to your library. You also have the option to spend twelve or more mana to tack on a game-ending stat boost to your creatures. It doesn’t shuffle back for reuse like Green Sun's Zenith does, but you’re usually hoping to end the game on the spot when you cast it.
#5. Defense of the Heart
Defense of the Heart and the cards above it push the boundaries of how powerful green tutors can be. This card turns four mana and a little bit of patience into your two best creatures so long as the conditions are met.
Your opponents usually have one turn cycle to do something about it. If they can’t, you’re usually in a commanding position. Sometimes your opponents will have to kill their own creatures just to make sure they have fewer than three by the time your upkeep arrives.
#4. Survival of the Fittest
Survival of the Fittest is the unfair older cousin of Fauna Shaman. Take the delayed tap ability, fragile body, and once-per-turn characteristics of Fauna Shaman and throw them out the window. Survival of the Fittest lets you continuously feed creatures into your graveyard, usually setting you up for a mass reanimation spell.
#3. Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail takes all the power of Defense of the Heart and lets you have that effect on your own terms. Entwining this spell will cost you nine mana total, but winning the game is usually worth nine mana. I’ll leave you to brainstorm just how many ways you can win by putting any two creatures on the battlefield at the same time.
#2. Crop Rotation
Crop Rotation is an absolute bomb. It can pull out any land from your library, not just basics, which makes it an essential part of any land-based strategy. The cost of losing a land is also negligible since your lands-matter deck almost certainly plays some amount of land-recursion anyway! This is my one exception to my definition which excluded land-searching cards.
#1. Protean Hulk
Protean Hulk served a long stint on the Commander ban list, and for good reason. The stats on the card don’t matter so much as the ability to grab multiple creatures from the deck when it dies. Along with the now-banned Flash, “Flash Hulk” decks ran rampant between 2017 and 2020 when both cards were legal in the format together.
Mean, Green, Creature-Tutoring Machine
Defense of the Heart | Illustration by Rebecca Guay
Green has so many more options to search its library, and this list outlines the best of the best. With creature tutoring being a core identity for green in Magic, expect to see more of these effects in the future!
Do you have a favorite creature-tutoring effect? What tutors are you looking forward to adding to your creature-heavy decks? Let me know in the comments! As always, make sure to follow Draftsim on Discord and Twitter.
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