Everyone's excited about the possibilities the coming months of this year - marking twenty years of Magic - will bring. Nevertheless, I continue to roll along with my spoiler analysis of every card in Gatecrash, and as of this article, I'm finished with the monocolor cards in the set. Yesterday I did part one of green, and here is part two.
Ooze Flux - A quintessential rare enchantment for Johnny, this one makes those now-familiar X/X green Ooze creature tokens in an eccentric way. This goes well with Simic by itself with how it works with evolve triggers, but a part of me is convinced this was put in as thematic glue for Simic/Selesnya and Golgari/Selesnya decks.
Predator's Rapport - A variant on Soul's Grace, with the bonus that it can potentially grant you much more life from the same creature and the drawbacks of costing one mana more and only being usable on your own creature. The usefulness of this card is, of course, conditional on how many big creatures you have, but the fact that you can gain enough life off it to totally ignore the depredations of aggro decks can't be ignored.
Rust Scarab - This is a sort-of-not-really mirror to Slate Street Ruffian, and/or possibly a member of a mega-mega-cycle with Drelnoch - take your pick. Anyway, as I pointed out with regard to Naturalize, artifact and enchantment removal is extra relevant in this environment, and while the body isn't spectacular for green it's still strong for its cost.
Scab-Clan Charger - A 2-power creature for four mana is downright shameful in green, but this is okay defensively if you use it as a creature, and if you discard it for bloodrush it's a much better value. An extra 2 power on an attacker for two mana might not seem like much, but that toughness bonus is going to be very relevant in turning disadvantageous combat situations to advantageous ones. 4 extra toughness is good enough to hold off all but the fattest of blockers.
Serene Remembrance - Back in the day, Gaea's Blessing was an exceedingly important combo piece. This hearkens back to that time while also being cheaper and not recurring your entire 'yard so you don't wind up shuffling back in stuff you don't want. In terms of one-mana noncreature spells in green, this is doing everything you could possibly want of it. It also pretty beautifully hoses scavenge and every other graveyard strategy in Standard right now courtesy of Innistrad block.
Skargg Goliath - This is in the fine Terra Stomper tradition - green tends to get more bang for its buck than it seemingly deserves at high mana costs. This is good as a finisher on its own, but the bloodrush ability is pretty good even for a seven-mana combat trick. I honestly think this is underrated - there are plenty of viable ways to build a Limited ramp strategy to get this out in this environment.
Slaughterhorn - Sure, this might not be as good in combat trick terms as good old reliable Giant Growth, but the 3/2 body for three mana this has isn't half bad. This is definitely going to see plenty of play in Gatecrash Limited green aggro builds.
Spire Tracer - Reverse-reach is definitely a good way to give green evasion that isn't trample or intimidate. In the first few turns, this will be effectively unblockable against 80% of Limited decks - pity it's so small. Still, it's definitely a good bloodrush target, which is surely why it's in one of Gruul's colors.
Sylvan Primordial - Stat-wise this is definitely one of the best of the Primordial cycle. In terms of both its keyword - reach - and its enters-the-battlefield trigger it's defensively oriented like Luminate Primordial is and it can't even remove creatures, the most usual type of permanent-based threat, but this one can thankfully nuke planeswalkers and accelerates your mana to boot, effectively allowing you to power out your "real" finisher a turn after casting it.
Tower Defense - Innistrad's Grave Bramble was not to be the only Plants vs. Zombies reference snuck into Magic; this neo-Solidarity is not only a Limited-relevant defensive combat trick, it's the best present a Doran, the Siege Tower EDH deck could possibly ask for. Fire away!
Verdant Haven - The green enchant land in this set is a more expensive Fertile Ground that comes with a minor life bonus, which I suppose is fair. This Limited environment isn't exactly lacking for better mana fixing options than this, but you can't ever have enough of that in a multicolor block, and this accelerates you as well.
Wasteland Viper - Technically, in terms of stats and abilities for its mana cost, this is the single most efficient bloodrush card out there. Its bloodrush ability actually isn't spectacular on an unblocked attacker but has the singular advantage of killing basically any blocker for only one mana. This is definitely a good way to spend your first turn green mana in Gruul.
Wildwood Rebirth - Disentomb, but faster, and in a color that typically doesn't get that effect, this only really makes sense alongside bloodrush. That instant speed suddenly becomes a lot more relevant when you're reusing your creature cards in your 'yard as combat tricks. Gruul could have a lot of fun with this.