Last updated on December 28, 2020
Nissa, Sage Animist | Illustration by Wesley Burt
Planeswalkers have come a long way since they were first introduced in MTG. They weren’t always a thing, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at how they tend to dominate the meta nowadays.
We’ve currently got two planeswalkers banned in Standard and just about every format has at least one of ‘em banned or restricted. Oko, Thief of Crowns pops up in Standard, Modern, Brawl, and Pioneer’s banned lists, to absolutely no one’s surprise. My point is that planeswalkers are kind of a big deal.
Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury | Illustration by Adam Paquette
Our dear old main characters come in all colors and flavor, and this isn’t our first stop in their rodeo. But I wanna focus on a specific breed of planeswalker today. Can you guess what it is? I sincerely hope so since it’s in the title.
That’s right! Green planeswalkers. When it comes to green in Magic, we’re usually talking creatures. Big creatures, small creatures, medium creatures, mana-ramp creatures, trampling creatures, creatures with counters… You get the idea. And planeswalkers of the green variety tend to facilitate that with abilities focused around adding counters and getting new creatures on the board, whether from your library or through tokens.
Green tends to be all about nature, so all this really comes as no surprise. Obviously, when we mix green with other colors, we get some interesting mingling. Let’s take a look at what I mean.
Complete List of Green Planeswalkers
Before we get too far into what green planeswalkers can do, how about we just look at them? There are quite a few, especially when you count multicolor planeswalkers with green thrown in and not just pure greenies. Which is exactly what we’re gonna do.
Want the dirty details? You’re in luck! That’s what I’m gonna go over here. Don’t worry, we’re gonna take a look at the art and whatnot right after this if you’re more of a visual learner.
Ready for the pretty stuff? I know I sure am! Let’s do this.
Some Very Scientific Rankings
It’s time for my favorite part! Let’s rank stuff. We’ve got quite a few categories to cover, and I’ll let you know what’s what for each according to my jank ass and why you should care. Or not. I can’t tell you what to do.
For the most part, these are gonna stick to pure green planeswalkers. Except, of course, for our lovely multicolor category. Ready? Go!
Mana Ramp Beasts
Third Place: Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter
Okay, so Jiang isn’t revolutionary or anything, and you kinda need a somewhat decent board to keep him alive. That, or access to counters by other means. If you’re building a counter-focused deck, though, which fits right in with green and mana ramp, he’s a nifty little addition.
Jiang’s starting loyalty is a measly 3 and he has no plus abilities, which is definitely a downfall. But if you can add counters in other ways like I mentioned then you’ve suddenly got access to more mana which you can use to add more creatures to your menagerie which you can use to both protect Jiang and obliterate your opponent.
Second Place: Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury
Freyalise is great because she’s got other uses on top of her mana ramp potential. Her plus ability gives you some 1/1 elves to tap for some sweet green mana, and it’s a +2. Her minus ability handles any troublesome artifacts or enchantments your opponent tries to throw at you, and her ultimate will no doubt land you a bunch of extra cards in hand.
First Place: Nissa, Who Shakes the World
It wouldn’t be a mana ramp rank if we didn’t talk about Nissa. This card is an absolute beast. You can’t combine her with other mana ramp planeswalkers since they focus on creatures that tap for mana. Instead you get to just straight up double your Forest-based mana. That’s pretty intense. Couple that with her whopping 5 starting loyalty and you’ve got yourself a sweet deal.
Her plus ability also lets you turn your undoubtedly plenty of Forests into (essentially) 3/3 creatures with vigilance and haste. Then, her ultimate renders your lands indestructible and has you dump any Forests you haven’t played yet onto the battlefield. If you can manage to get to that point, the game is pretty much over.
Third Place: Nissa, Worldwaker
Ah, Nissa again. Maybe I’m just biased ‘cause I like her, but she seems to top the charts everywhere in some capacity or another. Honestly the only reason she’s third here is ‘cause she doesn’t make tokens, so if you’re looking for token-related synergy, she’s not your girl. I know that’s cheating, which is why she’s last. Sorrynotsorry.
Her starting loyalty is a standard 3, but she’s got two separate plus abilities alongside her ultimate instead of a plus and a minus. The first +1 turns one of your lands into a 4/4 creature with trample on top of its land status. The second untaps up to four Forests, which can be very useful in balancing spell-casting with attacking using your shiny new 4/4 Forests. Her ultimate allows you to not only throw all your remaining basic lands onto the battlefield, but it also turns all of them into 4/4 creatures with trample.
Second Place: Garruk, Primal Hunter
Primal Hunter is a decent token maker, and not a bad card all around. He only starts with 3 loyalty and his plus ability is a measly +1, but it’ll get you where you’re going with a 3/3 token each use. His -3 ability will typically be at least a 3-card draw if you need it, potentially more depending on how you’ve managed to play so far. And then his -6 ultimate gives you a big ol’ 6/6 for each land you control. Not bad. Not bad at all.
First Place: Garruk Relentless / Garruk, the Veil-Cursed
Garruk is a great token maker in general, which is why he grabs two spots in this list. The first of a few transforming planeswalkers, I just really enjoy this card. Just not when I’m playing against him.
His initial form has a starting loyalty of 3 and no plus or minus abilities, which makes him a bit unique. Instead, both his loyalty abilities cost “0.” One gives you a 2/2 token, while the other deals 3 damage to a creature. In exchange, though, that creature then damages Garruk equal to its power. As long as he isn’t outrighted murdered, Garruk transforms basically as soon as he takes any damage.
His final form, the Veil-Cursed, is pretty sweet. Just be careful you don’t kill him before he has a chance to shine, ‘cause he carries over his predecessor’s loyalty count. Manage it, though, and you get a +1 ability for a 1/1 deathtouch token, always a nice addition. His -1 ability allows you to pretty much exchange one creature on the battlefield for one from your library (though it goes to your hand). And his ultimate gives all your creatures trample and +X/+X until end of turn, where X equals the number of creatures in your graveyard.
Third Place: Huatli, Radiant Champion
A typical 3 starting loyalty starts off our multicolor rankings with the beautiful Huatli. Her +1 ability, though, is really something. Not only do you get the +1, but each creature you control gives her an extra loyalty boost. If everything else is lining up for you, she’ll be in double-digits in no time.
Her -1 ability gives a creature +X/+X for the turn equal to the number of creatures you control, which is pretty sweet. As you can guess by now, I’m sure, Huatli is great for a creature-focused deck. Her ultimate only emphasizes this further, giving you an emblem to draw a card whenever you get a new creature on the battlefield.
Second Place: Arlinn Kord / Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon
Ooh, another transforming planeswalker! I just really like the concept of these, okay? It’s pretty cool. Arlinn is much easier to transform than Garruk and much less risky. It’s just a matter of strategizing when you’re okay with losing her OG form’s +1 ability. It gives a creature +2/+2, vigilance, and haste for the turn, which is pretty sweet. Her transforming ability is a 0-cost that also creates a 2/2 token.
Once you have decided to transform her, though, you get Embraced by the Moon, which has a +1 ability to give all your creatures +1/+1 and trample for the turn. Her -1 deals 3 damage to any target, but also transforms her back to the simple Arlinn Kord. Skip it, though, and you get to her ultimate for an emblem that gives all your creatures haste plus a tap ability to deal damage equal to its power to any target. Potential game-ending stuff, here.
Honorable Mention: Xenagos, the Reveler
Xenagos is a beauty, at least in my eyes, so I couldn’t not mention him anywhere. Typical 3 starting loyalty, but his +1 adds red and green mana in any combo equal to the number of creatures you control. Potentially really great to get a super big boi on the field or even pull of an epic combo. He has no minus ability, instead his middle is a 0-cost to make a 2/2 token with haste, which could serve to fuel his plus ability.
Finally, his ultimate basically exiles a handful of cards from your library and then dumps any lands and creatures from there onto the battlefield. Sounds good to me!
First Place: Vraska, Relic Seeker
Okay, look. Vraska is actually my favorite ever. I love her so much. So, maybe I am a little biased to give her first place, but I don’t care. She’s bomb and I’m sticking to my guns.
Into the card itself, though! Vraska enters with a whopping 6 starting loyalty, which is just great if you ask me. Her plus ability is also a +2, which creates a 2/2 token with menace. Very nice. Her -3 ability can take care of any particularly nasty artifacts, creatures, or enchantments your opponent throws down while also giving you a bit of mana ramp potential with a Treasure token.
Finally, her ultimate is my absolute favorite thing ever. Just plop your opponent right on down to 1 life. Easy peasy. And with her starting loyalty of 6 and her plus ability of +2, you could get there in just two turns. Damn.
Actually the Most Powerful
Third Place: Garruk Wildspeaker
Garruk is great ‘cause he’s got a little bit of everything. His +1 ability covers mana by untapping a couple lands, -1 gives you a 3/3 token, and his -4 ultimate nets your creatures +3/+3 and trample until the end of the turn. He only comes in with 3 loyalty, but his +1 could help you amp up your defense to keep him on board long enough to fuel all sorts of shenanigans.
Second Place: Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury
I might be a bit biased, ‘cause I generally love everything Llanowar, and Freyalise is no exception. She’s more expensive and still only comes in with 3 loyalty, but her plus ability gives you +2 while providing some mana ramp elves. Artifacts and enchantments can mean the end of the game if you don’t have a way to get rid of them, so her -2 ability is a welcome addition. Those coupled with her -6 ultimate have the potential to let you lay absolute waste to the field in one turn.
Honorable Mention: The Banned One (Oko, Thief of Crowns)
Look. We all know Oko is broken. That’s why he was banned. But he’s broken because damn can he kill a game. Everything is a 3/3 Elk and I hate myself all of a sudden. Go figure.
First Place: Nissa, Vastwood Seer / Nissa, Sage Animist
Look’it this! It’s Nissa, and she’s a transforming planeswalker. Nissa doesn’t waste anything here. She starts off as a 2/2 creature, but her CMC of 3 isn’t awful and she comes with an extra Forest when you play her. Keep her alive long enough to get to seven lands and her true power comes into play as she switches to her Sage Animist form.
More mana at your fingertips with her +1, and her -2 gives you a lovely 4/4 in Ashaya, the Awoken World. The -7 ultimate is pretty sweet too, allowing you to not only untap six lands but they’re now also 6/6 beasts.
And with that, I’ve covered everything I care to about the green planeswalkers. Personally, I usually lean towards black as my main color since deathtouch and graveyard shenanigans are the most fun thing ever to me, but green isn’t far behind.
Vraska the Unseen | Illustrationby Aleksi Briclot
When it comes to planeswalkers between each color, it’s kind of hard to compare. In a general sense, green can certainly hold its own. But a lot of the planeswalkers’ abilities tend to be very useful in certain situations with certain synergies, and just about useless in others.
That’s not unique to green, though, or even planeswalkers. That’s just how MTG works. Synergy is king, and a well-synergized deck is always going to be better than a deck that has “powerful” cards randomly cobbled together with no thought to anything other than their status.
That’s another conversation for another day, though. As always, we greatly appreciate all of your support, no matter what form it takes! *CoughcouchPatreoncoughcough* Sorry, did you say something? Weird. Maybe it was the wind…
Feel free to drop me a comment down there. What do you think of my rankings? I’ve said it before but jank is my true love, so my opinions can get a bit skewed. Do you think I’m way off base with some of these selections? Let’s talk.
Anyway. That’s all I’ve got for you today. Thanks for your attention and stay safe out there!