Last updated on December 1, 2022
Colfenor, the Last Yew | Illustration by Filip Burburan
There are more than a hundred treefolk out there in Magic’s Forests, and a lot of them are regularly played in green-based Commander decks, usually tribal themed. Heavily inspired by Lord of the Rings’ Ents, they’re slow, defensive, ever-watching, and powerful if you let them roll and do their thing.
But what are the best treefolk in Magic? Take a seat, stay a while, and listen to my story about treefolk in MTG!
What are Treefolk in MTG?
Woodfall Primus | Illustration by Adam Rex
Treefolk is a creature type, mainly in green but also in black and white. They usually have higher toughness than power and are the creature of choice to make a big defensive creature.
Ironroot Treefolk was printed in Alpha, and Lorwyn made treefolk into one of the more iconic tribes by cementing its identity and printing treefolk lords. In these rankings I’m considering creatures that have the treefolk type and that are mostly played in EDH. Treefolk don’t see much play outside of Commander.
With that in mind let’s go straight to the rankings!
#32. Treefolk Harbinger
As a 0/3 Treefolk Harbinger doesn’t do a lot, but at least it has 3 toughness to go with the theme. The ability lets you set up your draw to find lands as needed or a good treefolk to draw next.
#31. Ebony Treefolk
A 3/3 for three isn’t the worst, and Ebony Treefolk has a pump ability. I’d only cast it if I needed to raise the treefolk numbers a bit.
#30. Dauntless Dourbark
Dauntless Dourbark is a big trample creature in a green deck full of treefolk and Forests. It’s not unusual to cast it as a 6/6 or 7/7 trample for four.
#29. Wickerbough Elder
Who doesn’t like a Naturalize effect on a creature? Wickerbough Elder even gets bigger after the use. Pauper folks know this treefolk well.
#28. Dungrove Elder
Dungrove Elder has hexproof and can grow fast. It’s not difficult to have a 6/6 hexproof or greater. Besides, treefolk as a tribe need cheap creatures.
#27. Bosk Banneret
A 2-drop that makes all treefolk and shaman cheaper. Bosk Banneret is also a good blocker in the early game.
#26. Canker Abomination
A mix of horror and treefolk, Canker Abomination has -1/-1 counter synergy, which can be relevant for -1/-1 counter commanders like Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons. It’s a 6/6 treefolk for four at best with no synergies and if someone hasn’t got a creature.
#25. Weatherseed Treefolk
Weatherseed Treefolk. Never. Dies.
Granted, it’s a 5/3 for five mana and it doesn’t have the treefolk toughness synergy, but if you’re into a threat that stays around, then go for it.
#24. Fendeep Summoner
Fendeep Summoner threatens to make two blockers at instant speed provided you have enough untapped Swamps. But be aware that you can lose two lands doing that.
#23. Indomitable Ancients
Indomitable Ancients is huge in a deck that usually cares about the stats. Mind you, Gigantosaurus is a 10/10 for five mana.
#22. Seedguide Ash
Talk about ramp! You search for three Forests and put them on the battlefield tapped if Seedguide Ash. This is a creature your opponents aren’t destroying very soon, I guess.
#21. Rootless Yew
Rootless Yew is a 5/4 that tutors another treefolk when it dies. Yes, it tutors any creature. In Kaldheim Draft it had a target in Ravenous Lindwurm, but you can realistically get any big creature.
#20. Gnarled Professor
A big creature that draws you a card, even if that card is a lesson. But there are enough good lessons to make Gnarled Professor a flexible card be it answering a threat, casting Mascot Exhibition, or searching for a land.
#19. Sheltering Ancient
In a Commander game where you have at least three opponents, Sheltering Ancient’s downside is lower than in a two-player game. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to put one counter in a turn, then two, and so on… Maybe it’s time to have a plan-b in case it stays for too long.
Decks with a dedicated self-mill component can cast Ghoultree for cheap, even at two or three mana. An important card in original Innistrad Draft, this card can be played in Golgari (BG}) or treefolk decks needing an extra beater.
#17. Leaf-Crowned Elder
Leaf-Crowned Elder is a 3/5 that sometimes casts a creature for free from the top of your library if it’s a treefolk or shaman. Maybe you can make a shaman deck with expensive creatures and abuse this.
#16. Timber Protector
Timber Protector is a treefolk lord with good stats, which also grants indestructible to everyone.
#15. Yedora, Grave Gardener
Yedora, Grave Gardener turns each of your creatures that dies into a Forest. I think it’s cool and on theme. It may be a boost if you have expensive spells to play. And treefolk usually count the number of Forests you have in play, so there’s also that.
#14. Kurbis, Harvest Celebrant
Speaking of lots of mana, Kurbis, Harvest Celebrant checks a lot of boxes in treefolk decks. It’s a mana sink, can be a giant pile of +1/+1 counters in the late game, and protects your +1/+1 countered dudes.
#13. Ezzaroot Channeler
Ezzaroot Channeler is a 4/6 reach for six, which can block most rare fliers very well, and that can gain you two life and ramp each ramp. You could have a turn where all your creatures cost three to four less to cast in a more dedicated lifegain deck.
#12. Faeburrow Elder
Let’s say I’m playing Faeburrow Elder in a Doran, the Siege Tower deck. The Elder will be a 3/3 vigilance creature that taps to add three. And you can play it in 5-color decks too.
#11. Verdeloth the Ancient
Verdeloth the Ancient is a bomb and a saproling/treefolk lord. You can cast this 4/7 and lots of small tokens as long as you have enough mana, which is awesome for your treefolk Commander deck.
#10. Abominable Treefolk
Abominable Treefolk is probably seeing more play in decks that care about snow permanents. It’s also blue, which is problematic for Abzan () Commander decks like Doran and Colfenor. It’s a big creature with trample that can lock another creature for a turn.
#9. Kalonian Twingrove
You get two big creatures that continue to grow for six mana. You can even blink Kalonian Twingrove to make more tokens (or use Esika's Chariot).
#8. Orchard Warden
Orchard Warden is a lifegain machine in a treefolk-heavy deck, especially with lots of creatures that have 5+ toughness.
#7. Ulvenwald Observer
Ulvenwald Observer will draw a lot of cards in a deck full of 6+ toughness creatures on top of being a life insurance to lots of creatures you control. Your opponents usually aren’t into giving cards away.
#6. Willow Geist
A 1-drop treefolk is very good for curve, and Willow Geist has synergy with a lot of stuff going on in the graveyard, from flashback to delve to disturb. It also gains some +1/+1 counters too. One delve spell will turn this 1-drop into a big creature.
#5. Woodfall Primus
Woodfall Primus enters the battlefield and immediately destroys a noncreature permanent, and yes it can blow up lands. And you can do it again while having a 7/7 trample if it dies.
Cards in reanimator decks need to have immediate impact on the board to see play, and this card delivers. And it’s even more destruction guaranteed you make copies of it.
#4. Sapling of Colfenor
Another interesting option for a Golgari () commander that cares about toughness. Sapling of Colfenor attacks and you draw a card and gain some life in the process as long as you put creatures with higher toughness than power in your deck, which you’re already doing anyways. Just revealing a 2/5 will net you three life and a card. It’s also indestructible, which always helps getting in the red zone.
#3. Unstoppable Ash
In a deck that cares about toughness with Doran, the Siege Tower as a commander, every blocked creature in your deck gets +0/+5? Deal.
Unstoppable Ash attacks as a 10/10 trample for four mana on curve after casting Doran. Granted, you’ll need a cheap treefolk to champion, but changelings can be used as well.
#2. Doran, the Siege Tower
One of the first Abzan creatures to be Constructed playable, Doran, the Siege Tower was a novelty in its time. And considering that it’s a 5/5, it saw play in many stompy decks while nerfing opponent’s creatures.
And Doran was popular as a commander too since it was one of the only good options for Abzan commanders for so long. Not to mention that it’s a commander that’s fairly easy to build, abusing creatures with higher defense like 0/5 and 1/6.
#1. Colfenor, the Last Yew
An interesting Abzan commander, Colfenor, the Last Yew is a 3/7 that lets you return a creature with less toughness from the graveyard to the battlefield when any creature dies. Colfenor also recovers anything with toughness 6 or less, which is saying something. Any creature dying will recover something if you mill enough creatures.
Best Treefolk Payoffs
Assault Formation is redundant over the “Doran” effect and can pump toughness.
Cards like Kin-Tree Invocation can make a huge creature while cards like Grim Contest are almost unconditional removal if you have a big creature.
Generic tribal cards like Metallic Mimic can be a low-drop in a treefolk deck.
Rootgrapple and Lignify are treefolk spells, and they’re also removal if you need it.
Asceticism will give your creatures hexproof and the possibility to regenerate key treefolk before a board wide.
Changelings are interesting because treefolk are usually expensive, so cards like Masked Vandal and Chameleon Colossus lower the curve and add versatility.
Murmuring Bosk is an Abzan treefolk-themed land.
Abzan Beastmaster is interesting because you’ll probably draw an extra card per turn with your big toughness creatures.
Non-treefolk cards like Skinshifter and Unhallowed Phalanx have high toughness and synergy with the rest of the toughness-matters theme. Catapult Fodder can be a cool combo to explore.
Ramp and play lots of Forests with Nissa's Pilgrimage and Cultivate since there are treefolk that count the number of Forests you control.
Dungrove Elder | Illustration by Matt Stewart
There are lots of fun stuff to explore in a treefolk tribal deck. And this tribe always gets something here and there, even though it’s not one of the main tribes in Magic.
Commanders like Doran, the Siege Tower and Colfenor, the Last Yew are very popular and have lots of decklists online. Not to mention that they’re obvious houses for a lot of the treefolk discussed here.
What are your favorite treefolk in the game? Are you hoping they print some more of these Forest-dwellers, or are you eager to move on to some other tribe? Let me know in the comments below or join the discussion in the Draftsim Discord.
I hope you enjoyed this. Until next time, folks!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: