Green is dumb, …right?
So green is all about sticking forests on the table and slapping down big fat creatures that are generally accompanied with the words "Oh no, not AGAIN!"Well sometimes it is, and then again, sometimes it isn't. Once people have played Magic for a couple of months they start to notice that green has a common theme, play "big" creatures and hit 'em hard. It takes a couple more months before people start to see WHY people play these decks, I mean everyone knows Blue Nether is the best deck at the moment, so why play a BlastoGeddon Deck?
The answer is simple, if you have a deck that can constantly place your opponent under pressure from turn zero (that's right don't forget Vine Dryad!), it means they're on a clock. It's also a good idea to run something that's proven, even if it is weak against certain decks, as you know how it performs and what to expect.
On the other hand your giving a great advantage to your opponent if you play a standard deck and don't change it at least in some small way. For instance I played Geddons, Creeping Moulds and Ports! So my deck could be selective about land destruction if my opponent was suffering from mana screw, especially after I had Geddoned.
Green can be complex, anyone who has played enchantress will know straight away what I mean by this! What mainly brings people to green is the way in which a right draw can lead to a massive amount of critters on the table beating away at the opponents life total. But what is the point in emptying your hand of cards if on turn 3/4 it gets perished away? The people who shrug often overlook things like this and say green is "easy" anyone can win with green. Perhaps but anyone could win with a deck of only 100 land cards if you played like a plank and never attacked them!
Green is the fastest way of increasing mana production and many decks that require huge amounts tend to employ Elves and Birds. You might say that Black has the same chances of speed and mana production with Dark Ritual, but black can only use the ritual once, green can use it's mana again every turn. Green also has the largest, fastest and the most annoying creatures (I mean 4 for a 5/5 creature that's untargetable !! Please!), add to that the ability to regenerate and trample, and your looking at the most aggressive colour out there.
Green decks are also easier to build than any other colour, needing less rare's that are normally easy to get hold of. Remember a green deck can include other colours, working well with both red and white make it worthwhile remembering just what it can achieve. Couple this with the spell cost, only a few key cards rely on double green mana, and green shows its more friendly to a mixture of colours, meaning that early removal, counters and burn actually make little difference to the green player, even helping swing the game in greens favour.
So why does green get so much stick? I'm afraid it's obvious, most people who are heavily into the game consider green easy, so when they lose to a green deck they think it was thrown together five minutes ago (and maybe most are), feel that the only reason they lost was due to the green player top decking, or they had a bad draw. It doesn't seem to occur to them that maybe they lost because the green player had thought about playing x,y,z deck but decided that the green had the best chance.
Recently with the reduction in round time to 50 minutes green has started to show its true colours. Often winning game one and losing game 2, this would be the end for 90% of decks but green by virtue of its speed can play game three and, with the knowledge of what was sided in against them in game 2, can often pull off the win!
So we have a colour that is fast, stable, consistent and excepts splash colours, with these thoughts it's no surprise that green is still the dominant choice for many tournaments, just as white was a couple of years ago.
So the next time you see someone lay a forest, just think for a few moments… …He might be about to unleash some new deck design.. or maybe, just maybe.. They're playing the odds.
Shane 'Chain' Mussell.
"We do now, what must be done now.."