Green loves big mana. The only thing it loves more than having tons of mana is having things to spend it on. That’s where planeswalkers come in. They’re expensive, usually in the four to six mana range, they provide powerful card advantage and tempo maneuvers that green so desperately needs, and they can turn the tide of any game they’re in.
So today I’ll be supplying you with a ranking of the top 15 green planeswalkers. You’ll see some familiar faces today, like the usual Garruk and Nissa, but you’ll also see some cards you’ve yet to play with or against that just might slot into that new Commander brew you’ve been working on.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Nissa, Who Shakes the World | Illustration by Chris Rallis
Planeswalkers are a card type that are like no other in the entire game. You pay a set mana cost for a legendary noncreature permanent with various activated abilities. Each planeswalker comes into play with a number of “loyalty counters” as depicted in the bottom right, which are used to pay for each ability. Some abilities generate loyalty, while others cost various amounts.
Each planeswalker is unique but they typically have an overall theme or style. Some love drawing cards and have abilities that work around that, while others prefer to make tokens or distribute +1/+1 counters.
Planeswalkers are incredibly powerful and can only be destroyed through combat or cards that can target them like Abrupt Decay or Lightning Bolt. This makes them incredibly resilient, and they can completely take over a game if left unanswered.
Starting off today’s list of the best green planeswalkers is Arlinn, Voice of the Pack. While this planeswalker is entirely restricted to working with wolf and werewolf creatures, it does so better than any other card.
Arlinn’s passive ability is very strong, buffing each wolf and werewolf as they enter. This is best used with tokens since this usually just hits a few bombs at six mana. That’s where the only activated ability comes in, which generates 2/2 Wolfs (or, should I say, 3/3s).
Only two planeswalkers in and we’re already talking about Garruk. Garruk, Caller of Beasts costs and comes in at four loyalty counters, which is pretty beefy in both respects as far as planeswalkers are concerned.
This card’s strength comes from its ultimate ability, which you’ll be desperate to get off in any given game. It supplies you with an emblem that turns each creature spell into a Natural Order without the sacrifice, with no restrictions. That’s incredible!
Next up is Vivien, Arkbow Ranger, a 4-mana planeswalker that comes in at four loyalty counters. This is a creature-based planeswalker through and through that loves to distribute +1/+1 counters to your creatures, which it’ll use to your advantage.
Its second ability is quite strong. For three loyalty counters you can have one of your creatures deal damage to another creature or planeswalker equal to its power. This is the primary method of removal in most green decks, so not only is this very on theme with its mana cost it’s also synergetic.
In the #12 spot today is Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter. This planeswalker interestingly only has one activated ability, which gives a creature a single a +1/+1 counter.
It’s the passive ability that really makes Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter shine. It turns every creatures with a +1/+1 counter into a mana dork, which is superb in Selesnya () tokens or counters deck. This card can actually be mana positive with enough creatures, which is pretty awesome for a planeswalker.
Next up is Wrenn and Seven, one of the heavier hitters on today’s rankings. Coming in at five loyalty counters for , this version of Wrenn gives you plenty of options all revolving around lands.
The first ability, a +1, puts all lands from the top four cards of your library into your hand. This is great for hitting your fifth or sixth land but it works better with the other abilities on the card. The second ability puts all lands from your hand onto the battlefield tapped. This can get you a second land drop at worst, or flood your board in any landfall deck at best.
But the third ability is where Wrenn and Seven really shines. It makes a Treefolk token with power and toughness equal to the number of lands you control. If you started off by +1’ing then you’ll likely get at least two of these tokens. Very worth it.
The ultimate ability, which costs a whopping eight loyalty counters, returns all permanents from your graveyard to your hand and gives you no maximum hand size for the rest of the game. This is a pretty sweet ability, especially if you’re playing something like a Gruul lands deck that has seven fetches in the graveyard waiting to be played.
Garruk, Unleashed is starting off the top 10 today, and for good reason. This iteration of Garruk comes in at four loyalty counters for just and has a +1 ability that gives one of your creatures +3/+3 and trample.
This is a great aggressive ability, but I’ve found that you’ll be more often use its second ability to generate a 3/3 Beast token to defend Garruk. This ability also gives Garruk a loyalty counter should the opponent still have more creatures than you, which is a great defensive perk.
Its ultimate ability just tutors out any creature from your library onto the battlefield. While it doesn’t give it haste you won’t need it if you’re looking for something as powerful as Craterhoof Behemoth to close out the game.
The first (but not the last) Nissa to appear on this list is Nissa, Worldwaker in the #9 spot. This is your run-of-the-mill Nissa planeswalker. It costs , comes in at three loyalty counters, and the +1 makes your land an elemental. The second ability, also a +1, lets you untap four Forests, which is incredibly powerful in the right deck and helps pay for the cost of the card in the first place.
The ultimate ability tutors out all basic lands from your deck and puts them onto the battlefield as 4/4 tramplers. This is a ridiculous ultimate and is only held back by the fact they don’t have haste. If you manage to have something like Urabrask the Hidden or any other haste-giving creature in play, then you’re sitting pretty.
In the #8 spot is Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, a 3-mana planeswalker that comes in at three loyalty counters. Its first ability is a +1 that just puts a little 0/1 Plant onto the battlefield. That may not seem too powerful, but it’s this Nissa’s second ability that makes use of it.
The second ability distributes a +1/+1 counter to each creature you control. This comes in handy if you’ve managed to assemble an army of Plants through the first ability, or possibly through Avenger of Zendikar.
The ultimate ability is a -7 that gains you X life and draws you X cards, where X is equal to the number of lands you control. Classic green planeswalker right here. This is by far the most powerful ability and it works wonders in any lands EDH deck.
#7. Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate
Next up in the #7 spot is Vivien, Monster’s Advocate. Vivien has two activated abilities as well as a passive ability that lets you look at the top card of your library at any time on top of letting you cast creature spells from there. It comes in at three loyalty counters for but has a decent way to protect itself by generating a 3/3 Beast with vigilance, reach, or trample with its +1.
Its other ability is just great. It lets you tutor any creature out from your deck when you cast your next creature spell that turn with the same cost. This isn’t too good for finding Avenger of Zendikar or Craterhoof Behemoth, but it can be a nice way to find Questing Beast or Saryth, the Viper’s Fang.
#6. Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury
Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury comes in at three loyalty counters for , which isn’t much but is quickly bolstered by a decent +2 ability. Its first ability just gives you a 1/1 Elf Druid mana dork. Nothing too crazy, no 5/5 land elementals or 3/3 beasts here, just a little elf.
But Freyalise’s second ability is great. It’s an excellent utility ability that costs two loyalty counters and destroys an artifact or enchantment. And its ultimate draws you a card for each creature you control, which is exceptional in elves.
Freyalise is an elf commander at heart. It’ll be well protected by all the elf creatures you make, and its abilities, while mediocre on their own, work great in conjunction with any elf deck. It brings what those decks need most: card draw and utility.
Nissa, Vital Force is a 5-mana walker that comes in at a whopping five loyalty counters and can turn lands you control into 5/5 creatures with haste until your next turn. That’s classic Nissa, and getting a 5/5 blocker on top of having six loyalty counters on the first turn makes for a very resilient planeswalker.
Nissa’s second ability, which costs three loyalty counters, just returns any permanent in your graveyard to your hand. This is nothing to really write home about but can become pretty useful if you end up needing your Craterhoof Behemoth or other dead bomb creature a second time.
Nissa’s ultimate ability gives you a permanent emblem that turns all of your land cards into cantrips! This isn’t the most amazing emblem I’ve ever seen but you can get it on the first untap with this planeswalker in play, which can make for some incredible ramp in the end game.
I see this as especially powerful in a format like Commander, where you can get Vital Force out on turn 3 and have the emblem on turn 4. It’s great in any lands deck, which always plays green.
Next up in the #4 spot is Vivien, Champion of the Wilds. Vivien only has two activated abilities but comes in at four loyalty counters for only and has a passive ability that gives all your creature spells flash. This is an incredible start and makes up for its mediocre +1 that gives your creatures reach and vigilance.
Vivien’s other ability looks at your top three and lets you exile one face down, putting the other two on the bottom of your library. If that face down is a creature card, you can cast it. This is another “meh” ability on its own that’s so much better when you take into account that you can cast it at instant speed. Three mana to have flash creatures is already good, and the abilities here are just icing on the cake.
Garruk Wildspeaker was one of the best Garruk cards for a long time. It’s a 3-loyalty walker that only costs , which means it can be well protected by being at four loyalty after activating a +1 or creating a 3/3 with its -1.
This Garruk’s ultimate ability is also really strong and can be activated as soon as the second untap with the card in play. That’s very refreshing from some of the heavier planeswalkers in Magic, and its ability is surprisingly strong. It’s basically a mini-Craterhoof Behemoth giving all of your creatures +3/+3 and trample until end of turn.
It’s probably enough to win if you’re playing a very conventional green deck and maybe have some dorks plus one or two big creatures (on turn 5, too!)
In a close race, Nissa, Who Shakes the World is in the #2 spot. While it only has two activated abilities, this iteration of Nissa has a passive that generates an additional whenever you tap a Forest for mana.
Its first ability animates one of your lands into a 0/0 elemental and puts three +1/+1 counters on it. It’s also untapped and given vigilance and haste to make for an effective creature that you don’t need to sacrifice its mana to use.
Nissa’s ultimate ability, a whopping -8, gives you a permanent emblem that gives your lands indestructible and tutors out all Forests from your deck onto the battlefield. That’s incredible from a ramp standpoint alone even if it’s a “win-more” ability, and it’s better once you start turning all those new lands into creatures themselves.
In the #1 spot, as many of you may have expected, is Garruk, Primal Hunter, one of the most powerful planeswalkers ever printed and by far the most powerful in green. I find that a lot of green planeswalkers have mana values that are just too high, often in the 6+ range, and seeing one for five is just great.
This iteration of Garruk has the ability to protect itself by generating a 3/3 Beast in addition to gaining a loyalty counter. That’s the most important part of what makes a planeswalker good. If you’re playing the card and then activating an ability only for it to die, the ability has to be very good to make up for the cost of the card.
Garruk’s second ability, a -3 that draws cards equal to the greatest power among creatures you control, is also very strong. This can often be a draw 4 or draw 5, which is exceptional in green. And Garruk’s last ability is just as powerful as the first two. You generate 6/6 Wurms for each land you control, which will likely be seven or eight by the time you activate it. That’s a basically guaranteed kill as long as your opponents don’t have a Cyclonic Rift waiting.
Wrenn and Seven | Illustration by Bram Sels
That wraps up just about everything I have for you today! Green planeswalkers are some of the most powerful in the game, especially when you’re lucky enough to activate one of their ultimate abilities.
What did you think of the rankings? Did you enjoy and agree with them? Were there any I might’ve missed or that you disagreed with? Let me know down in the comments or over in the official Draftsim Discord!
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