Modern Horizons 3 Set Review - Green

(Fanatic of Rhonas | Art by Scott Murphy)

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Colorless | Artifacts & Lands | Allied & Shards | Enemy & WedgescEDH | Reprints | Minotaurs

G is for...

Greetings! Friendly greetings, and welcome to the mono-green set review for Modern Horizons 3! I'm John Sherwood, author of the Digital Deckbuilding series, and your enthusiastic guide to all things green in the third Modern Horizons product from Wizards of the Coast. This set is packed with outstanding cards for the 99 in your green and green+ Commander decks. While there are only two new mono-green Commanders in Modern Horizons 3, they are both winners. Read on to see how this set can breathe some new vitality into the viridescent side your Commander experience.


Eladamri, Korvecdal

We're kicking off this review with a pivotal character from Magic's past. Eladamri was the leader of the Skyshroud Elves of Rath, but his original card, Eladamri, Lord of Leaves only leads 612 decks. The new iteration of Eladamri is primed to lead any creature-centric green deck, and good enough to run in the 99 of any deck looking to cheat out big threats ahead of curve. It's trivially easy to set up Eladamri's activated ability by turn four, leaving two questions: what are you going to cheat out? And will your opponents have the interaction to stop you?

Birthing Ritual

Birthing Pod sired a deck archetype in its own image, and there are tens of thousands of "pod" decks on EDHREC. Out of the top twenty-four Pod Theme commanders, the number that can't use this card is zero. Birthing Ritual is not as good as Birthing Pod, but it's close enough to be a backup, and harder to remove. Outside of dedicated pod decks, Birthing Ritual is a worse version of a card you probably aren't running anyway.



This legendary Treefolk has roots in the original Modern Horizons set, where it first appeared as host of the Dryad planeswalker Wrenn on Wrenn and Six. There are a couple mechanical similarities between these two cards, with enough variation to represent Six as a unique character without Wrenn. Six supplies permanent-based decks with reliable graveyard recursion, and offers additional synergy for lands and self-mill. Those points should earn Six a spot in the 99 of many decks, however I think Six is breaking new ground for mono-green commanders. The retrace mechanic appears on nineteen cards, and Six is the only legendary creature among them. Currently, there are zero mono-green decks under the Reanimator theme on EDHREC. Six presents commander players the opportunity to do something new and novel in the green color identity.

Chittering Dispatcher

Did Blink decks need another token generator? No, but we got one. Not only that, Eldrazi Spawn tokens are also a mana source, which can fuel more blinking with your Eldrazi Displacer. Myriad does a long way to make this card playable outside of blink decks. In a pod of four players, one attack with Chittering Dispatcher will result in at least four creatures entering the battlefield. That's four triggers for Impact Tremors just for turning one creature sideways. Chittering Dispatcher is great value for just three mana. Adrix and Nev, Twincasters, Jaheira, Friend of the Forest and Jetmir, Nexus of Revels are all commanders that can squeeze even more out of this card.

Desert Warfare

Many Magic: The Gathering players ask the question: why wasn't this card in the Desert Bloom preconstructed deck from Outlaws of Thunder Junction? If you weren't asking before, you're probably asking now. I don't think there's a good answer. This card fits perfectly in the that deck's theme and goes hand-in-hand with Hazezon, Shaper of Sand, which was reprinted in that deck. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this card for any commander not named Hazezon. If you are one of the more than 6,800 players with Hazezon decks, then this card was made for you. It returns your Deserts from the graveyard and makes more Sand Warriors. What more could you ask for?

Fanatic of Rhonas

Keep an eye out for for card-shaped lumps in this Snake's body. I'm pretty sure I saw it eat Whisperer of the Wilds and Ilysian Caryatid. I run both of those other cards in my Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma deck, and Fanatic of Rhonas has both of them updating their resumes. As we've seen with Delighted Halfling, not even mana dorks are safe from power creep. Fanatic of Rhonas has combo potential. With the condition of controlling a power four creature, it can make infinite green mana with either Sword of the Paruns or Umbral Mantle. Fanatic of Rhonas comes with its own graveyard recursion in the form of Eternalize, and the eternalized token meets its own ferocious requirement.

Flare of Cultivation

The Flare cycle follows the controversial Modern Horizons pattern of introducing new free spells. Flare of Cultivation is a little dull as free spells go, and honestly that's a good thing. A free Cultivate shouldn't spur any kind of must-play staple frenzy. Many decks simply don't want to sacrifice nontoken creatures for a trivial green payoff. That said, there are decks that can capitalize on sacrificing a creature to Flare of Cultivation. There are about 5,000 Meren of Clan Nel Toth decks currently running either Cultivate, Kodama's Reach or both. Flare of Cultivation gives those 5,000 Meren players a sacrifice outlet on basic ramp spell. Flare of Cultivation can give players similar value with commanders like Omnath, Locus of Rage, Yedora, Grave Gardener and Colfenor, the Last Yew.


The latest in a long line of 'goyfs, Polygoyf is Tarmogoyf improved for multiplayer games. For one more generic mana, you get trample and myriad in addition to Tarmogoyf's original power and toughness text. There are also more card types in 2024 than there were when Tarmogoyf debuted with Future Sight in 2007. Which equals more potential power and toughness for Polygoyf and Tarmogoyf. I don't think Polygoyf will cause a stir in Commander the way Tarmogoyf did in its heyday, but it's nice to see a new addition to the Lhurgoyf creature type. Especially one with some keywords to help it make an impact in a full Commander pod.

Primal Prayers

A new Aluren! Primal Prayers is one of the new cards improving accessibility to effects constrained by the Reserved List. Primal Prayers has two key differences from Aluren. First, Primal Prayers both gives and requires energy counters. By itself, Primal Prayers can only be used twice, but there are plenty of ways to get more energy counters, even without playing a dedicated energy deck. In fact, Primal Prayers won't be found in many dedicated energy decks, because none of the energy commanders have green in their color identity. Second, Primal Prayers is not a symmetrical effect. Similar to Aluren, Primal Prayers enables a variety of loops that can win games. Unlike Aluren, Primal Prayers doesn't risk giving free value to opponents.

Rampant Frogantua

While the art of Rampant Frogantua includes a reference to Chub Toad, everything about Rampant Frogantua is bigger and better. For the same mana cost, you get a 3/3 body with the potential to trample its way to your victory. Rampant Frogantua can support self-mill and land strategies, at the same time it can pressure your opponent's' life totals. This card is growing on me as I'm writing this, because it will be growing on the battlefield as the game progresses. Muldrotha, the Gravetide players take note: you can use Rampant Frogantua to ramp and fill your graveyard with permanents.

Sage of the Maze

WotC has been trickling out better three-mana mana rocks in recent years, and I suspect Sage of the Maze follows the same design trend. This three-mana mana dork is an excellent color fixer, and then it carves out a niche as a great creature for Maze's End decks. While any deck looking for creature-based ramp and fixing could use this card, I think it's worth trying to identify a threshold where a deck actually wants this card. In other words, how many Gates does a deck need before you choose Sage of the Maze for its Gate synergy? I would put that number around ten, so you have decent odds of getting at least one Gate in play to untap Sage of the Maze and make more mana.

Sowing Mycospawn

This grotesque eldritch mushroom is a solid role-player in green-adjacent decks. Note this card's triggered ability allows you to fetch any land, and that land enters untapped. That's a pretty good effect for four mana on a handy 3/3 body. The kicker is good too, exiling a land for just two additional mana. Unfortunately, one of those two mana must be colorless. It isn't a hard cost to pay in most decks, but you should consider whether or not you can reliably pay it before including this card in a list.

Springheart Nantuko

Before I say anything about the substance of this card, I'm taking advantage of this opportunity to tell EDH community I love Bestow. This was one of the best mechanics to come out of Theros block, and it makes me smile every time a bestow card has a chance to be relevant in a game. Springheart Nantuko will be relevant, with a landfall ability that can scale to your available resources. Use it by itself to pump out 1/1 bugs, or bestow it to turn your landfall trigger into a sort of Bramble Sovereign. Making copies of your best creature is always useful, and there are some options that can easily accrue extra value. You only have to copy your Lotus Cobra once, before the next one is basically free. After that you're off to the races. Springheart Nantuko doesn't have to be in a dedicated landfall deck. If you're playing enough lands to reliably make a land drop every turn, then this card is worth consideration.

Tarmogoyf Nest

I wasn't playing Magic when Tarmogoyf shook up the Pro Tour and the secondary market, but Rhystic Studies published a great video about it. Knowing the history of Tarmogoyf, the creation of Tarmogoyf Nest says a lot about the progression of the game. In case you didn't catch it from my earlier jab at the Reserved List, I care a lot about card accessibility. That's why I love Tarmogoyf Nest; this card makes an iconic creature, once infamous for its inflated price tag, accessible to everyone. Now you can play as many Tarmogoyfs as you want, limited only by the in-game resources of two mana and a tapped land. In my opinion, that's Magic as it should be. Stepping off my soapbox, this card would be right at home in any deck that wants to make a variety of tokens. Try it out with Rhys the Redeemed, an elder statesman of token decks in Commander.

Thief of Existence

This draft rare probably won't to break into the Commander format with any kind of regularity. Everything about it is irregular, from the mana cost to the paragraph in its text box. It can remove artifacts, battles, enchantments or planeswalkers. So it's versatile, but that versatility is limited to targets with low mana value. The odd mana cost on Thief of Existence will limit its inclusion in mono-green decks. Decks with multiple colors are more likely to have a colorless mana source, but they also have better options for removal. Many players will also shy away from Thief of Existence because it can give an opponent an extra card in hand. All things considered, I'm betting this card lives in more bulk boxes than deck boxes.

Uncommons & Commons

Bridgeworks Battle and Disciple of Freyalise

I'm lumping these cards together because they are both part of a new lineup of Modal Dual Face Cards. MDFC's, love 'em or hate 'em, are undeniably versatile. The option to have a spell or a land on one card functionally adds extra cards to a Commander deck. These new ones can even be an untapped land if you're desperate enough to bolt yourself. Bridgeworks Battle gets additional versatility points for being both a pump spell and a fight spell. Meanwhile Disciple of Freyalise is a sacrifice outlet, lifegain and card draw on a stick. Six mana might seem like a lot, but the card is doing a lot.

Collective Resistance

Fans of horizontal cycles will celebrate Collective Resistance making a fourth "Collective" card with the escalate mechanic, including three white, black and red sorceries from Eldritch Moon. Of course cycle fans are also completionists, and they'll be clamoring for a blue "Collective" with escalate in upcoming sets. Collective Resistance is arguably better than its older peers, just by virtue of being an instant. The pool of green instants that protect a creature has grown a lot since the release of Tamiyo's Safekeeping. Gaea's Gift gives more keywords and a +1/1 counter that sticks around, but Collective Resistance is more versatile with the removal options. Tyvar's Stand is still the best pick for Commander in this particular card pool, because the X spell can easily knock players out through commander damage.

Lion Umbra

The first time I read this card, I was pleased to see a two-mana aura that grants good keywords, a sizeable stat bonus and saves a creature from dying. I'm glad I read the card twice, and now I'm invoking the public service announcement cliche on this card. Lion Umbra only works on modified creatures, which means it will be fine in enchantress and +1/+1 counters decks, but I wouldn't put it anywhere else. Equipment decks have better things to do than play green, so this shouldn't be seeing any use there either. Don't put this in a deck that is not consistently modifying creatures; it will be dead in your hand.

Colossal Dreadmask

This is the latest spin on the Colossal Dreadmaw meme, and I am here for it. I'll offer just enough fair criticism to point out that there are better things you can be doing than casting Colossal Dreadmask. There are better things you can be doing than paying five to equip Colossal Dreadmask. Completely tossing objectivity and practicality aside, there's a home for this card in the hearts and decks of players who sometimes just want a reason to smile.

Evolution Witness

The latest adaptation of Eternal Witness might be my favorite. Evolution Witness is repeatable graveyard recursion with +1/+1 counter synergy, and three creature types. Plus, thanks to it's adapt ability, you can cast this on early turns and wait until you need to get something out of your graveyard any time you have priority. This could be to save your reanimation target from graveyard hate, grab an instant you need in a hurry, or just as an exercise in responsible mana use on your opponent's end step. This is a great card, and it will do great things.

I was playing Modern when the first Modern Horizons set dropped, and was fully invested in Commander by the time we got the sequel. Regardless of the format I'm playing, these sets continue to impress me with exciting design, interesting lore references and the occasional chuckle. Modern Horizons 3 is a worth addition to the game, and the offerings in green do not disappoint for Commander. I'm personally looking forward to sleeving up Eladamri, Korvecdal, both to scratch a little Vorthos itch and to improve an existing deck. Do you have plans for Eladamri or Six? What are your favorite green picks from MH3? Tell us what you think in the comments, and check out the rest of MH3 set reviews on EDHREC and Commander's Herald.

John Sherwood loves interaction, turning creatures sideways and interacting with sideways creatures. His deck building mantra is, "Run more lands." He has been a devoted Commander player since Zendikar Rising.

EDHREC Code of Conduct

Your opinions are welcome. We love hearing what you think about Magic! We ask that you are always respectful when commenting. Please keep in mind how your comments could be interpreted by others. Personal attacks on our writers or other commenters will not be tolerated. Your comments may be removed if your language could be interpreted as aggressive or disrespectful. You may also be banned from writing further comments.