Before I get into my rating for each card, here’s a brief overview of my Zendikar Rising Draft Guide rating system.
- 1 – Bad card or only useful in the sideboard
- 2 – Passable, but not something I would pick early or often
- 3 – A solid card I’m happy to pick most of the time
- 4 – Powerful cards that provide a lot of value on their own
- 5 – Cards that will almost always win the game if your opponents can’t deal with them
Now that we know how I’ll be rating each card, let’s get straight into the ratings.
Zendikar Rising Draft Guide – Green
Adventure Awaits – 2
You’re going to need a lot of creatures in your deck to make Adventure Awaits worthwhile. A decent filler, but I’d avoid picking any up during the first half of the draft.
Ancient Greenwarden – 4
Doubling up on triggers is powerful, making Ancient Greenwarden an amazing reason to go into the landfall archetype. With that said, I wouldn’t necessarily label Ancient Greenwarden a game-winning bomb, since it’ll take a few turns to get the landfall engine going.
Ashaya, Soul of the Wild – 5+
Speaking of game-winning bombs, Ashaya is definitely one. This creature may just look like a big dumb beater, but there’s way more value than you think. Not only does this elemental ramp you extra green mana, but it also allows your creatures to trigger landfall!
Broken Wings – 1.5
A slightly above average sideboard card.
Canopy Baloth – 3.5
A 4 mana 6/4 attacker is very mana efficient and will get the job done. Although Canopy Baloth doesn’t fulfill any party requirements, the beast packs a punch.
Cragplate Baloth – 4.5
Cragplate Baloth may be a little expensive, but having hexproof and haste is worth it. Your opponent will be forced to defeat this 6/6 in combat, which won’t easy.
Dauntless Survivor – 2
If this card didn’t fulfill a party requirement, I’d rate it a lot lower. But since it is a warrior and offers some +1/+1 counter synergy, it’s a fine playable.
Gnarled Colony – 2.5
Personally, I think the game devs should’ve just made Gnarlid Colony a bear. Doesn’t it just look like a bear to you? Plus, it’s a 2/2 and is perfect on theme.
Inscription of Abundance – 4
The instant-speed flexibility this card has for 2-mana is great. It can help you win combat, keep you alive, or remove one of your opponent’s creatures.
Iridescent Hornbeetle – 2.5 / 3
Make sure to have the cards to support Iridescent Hornbeeetle if you plan on picking it up. Despite this card being an amazing +1/+1 counter payoff, its mediocre stats and inability to fulfill a party requirement makes me hesitant to rate it highly.
Joraga Visionary – 3.5
A solid common creature that fulfills all the important aspects of a creature in this set. It’s a wizard, replaces itself, and has the stats to trade decently well in combat.
Kazandu Nectarpot – 1.5
In other sets, this card would normally be an okay defensive unit. However, there’s a lot of 3 power units in Zendikar Rising, and this card also lacks any party support. Some decks will benefit from the life gain, but a majority will see this card as below average filler.
Kazandu Stomper – 2.5
6-mana 6/6 trample units have always been playable. They don’t blow your opponent out of the water, but definitely get the job done. In terms of Kazandu Stomper, losing a life to gain the extra landfall triggers is a slight upside.
Lotus Cobra – 3.5
The best part about Lotus Cobra is being able to dip into other colors. This card helps you fix your mana effectively, while also providing you with much-needed mana ramp. Overall, a solid inclusion for pretty much every green deck out there.
Might of Murasa – 1.5
Unfortunately, Might of Murasa might spend a lot of time on the sideboard. If I’m paying 3 extra mana to kick this card, I would hope that this combat spell would at least give my unit trample.
Murasa Brute – 2
With several 3-toughness creatures in Zendikar Rising, 3-power ends up becoming very relevant. However, since Murasa Brute is just a dumb beater with no abilities, it’s an average filler card.
Murasa Sproutling – 3.5
See, this is exactly what I’m talking about. A 3-mana 3/3 with some abilities. Murasa Sproutling may not be a relevant creature type, but the elemental has solid stats and can recur a kicker spell. A great pickup.
Nissa’s Zendikon – 2
I don’t particularly like this card. It puts you behind one mana, and you’re going to need 5 mana available if you want to attack right away. With that said, I wouldn’t completely dismiss the potential of Nissa’s Zendikon in landfall decks. 4/4 with reach actually does a great job at dealing with several flyers in the set, and being able to bring your land back to your hand once it dies is relevant.
Oran-Rief Ooze – 4.5
Oran-Rief Ooze is gross. It might just be a dumb beater, but it’s a very powerful and mana-efficient dumb beater.
Rabid Bite – 3.5
Amazing common removal for green.
Reclaim the Wastes – 1
I wouldn’t waste your time with this card. You’re better off just including another creature and playing lands off the top of your deck instead.
Roiling Regrowth – 3
Not every deck will need to include Roiling Regrowth into their deck, but it is great ramp and fixing. Plus, you’re triggering landfall twice off this card at instant-speed. Combo Roiling Regrowth with an unblocked Canopty Baloth and you’ll be dealing tons of damage.
Scale the Heights – 2.5
I’ve seen several draft decks play Scale the Heights, and although it doesn’t do anything extremely impactful, it does provide strong value. It enables several different archetypes and replaces itself, so I’m happy to have one copy most of the time.
Scute Swarm – 5
Scute Swarm can take over the game fast, especially if you get to the late game. You’re going to need a way to buff up your units to make Scute Swarm worthwhile, but there are several common spells which can help you out with that. The swarm is coming!
Skyclave Pick-Axe – 2.5
Despite being a weak late-game card, Skyclave Pick-Axe is one of the better equipment in the cycle. Just remember to equip this card first before playing a land drop!
Springmantle Cleric – 2
Realistically, you’re probably only getting 2 or 3 +1/+1 counters on Springmantle Cleric. Potentially getting a 5-mana 5/6 isn’t very exciting, making Springmantle Cleric a below-average playable.
Strength of Solidarity – 1
I like that Strength of Solidarity gives +1/+1 counters, however, this is just a risky win-more card.
Swarm Shambler – 3.5
Paying 1-mana to grow this card every turn isn’t a heavy investment, so it gets big pretty fast. Overall, Swarm Shambler provides a solid amount of value and replaces itself, but it won’t necessarily win you the game.
Tajuru Blightblade – 2.5
A solid playable that’s also a Rogue!
Tajuru Paragon – 4
Tajura Paragon is a reliable 2-drop that turns into card draw in the late game. Most of the time, I’m happy to drop this as a 2 drop just to help fill my party requirements. This card really does get the party started!
Tajuru Snarecaster – 2.5
A solid filler card that increases in value when played against flyers.
Taunting Arbormage – 3
Taunting Arbormage is awesome, as an effect like this can usually just win you the game outright.
Territorial Scythecat – 3
Territorial Scythecat might be a little fragile, but I think the value it provides is very worthwhile. Not only does it have trample, but it also synergizes with counters and landfall decks.
Turntimber Ascetic – 2.5
A decent playable that gives you some life gain synergy.
Vastwood Surge – 3.5
Vastwood Surge is pure value. It triggers landfall twice, ramps, and can potentially be a win condition in the late game. What’s not to love?
Veteran Adventurer – 4
The stats on this creature are absurd. Pick this up whenever you get a chance.
Vine Gecko – 3.5
I wouldn’t fully build around Vine Gecko, but it is definitely a worthwhile inclusion. There are some strong kicker cards in every color, so having the option to make them all cheaper is very impactful.
Bala Ged Recovery – 3.5
Brings back the best card in your graveyard or comes down as a land. Modal cards are great!
Kazandu Mammoth – 5
I would never cast Kazandu Mammoth as a land since this elephant is pretty much a 3-mana 5/5.
Khalni Ambush – 4
The flexibility of having a removal spell or a land in one card is amazing.
Tangled Florahedron – 3.5
A solid mana-dork modal card.
Turntimber Symbiosis – 4
Most of the time, I’ll be casting this as a land. However, the spell component can really help you out-race your opponent in the late-game.
Vastwood Fortification – 3
A single +1/+1 counter is a very minimal effect but can prove to be useful in some scenarios. Again, the fact that Vastwood Fortification can come down as land is what makes it good. Without the land component, it would be a terrible card.