Tonight on the mothership, we hear from two writers concerned with pure efficiency from their creatures, and get our first glimpses at two incredibly strong green creatures. First, Mike Flores's Top Decks shows off an evolver that can also ramp to game-ending amounts of mana in a worryingly short time. Then, Jacob Van Lunen's Perilous Research gives us possibly the greatest trampler of our time, and almost certainly the best way for Gruul to fill up its four-mana slot. Let's meet Gyre Sage and Ghor-Clan Rampager, then check back here for my initial comments.
Gyre Sage - If you are sitting opposite this in just about any situation, you had better remove it fast. It'll only take a few turns before a Gyre Sage can get out of control. At 1 power, pretty much any creature drop in ensuing turns is going to trigger evolve, and that same holds true with one or two +1/+1 counters on this creature. That is to say, when it can tap to generate one or two green mana. If you let one of these stick around until about turn 5, suddenly you'll be looking at an opponent who's throwing around nine mana thanks to the power of the evolve ability. That's not to mention how threatening of an attacker or blocker she can be with all of those counters, or the fact that there are plenty of ways other than evolve to put +1/+1 counters on a creature... like, say, scavenge, which is partially in-color for Gyre Sage. Bottom line: This is a scary mana generator nearly on par with Return to Ravnica's Deathrite Shaman.
Ghor-Clan Rampager - This is both a Limited and Constructed bomb because it can do only two things but does them both very well: Smash face, and enable other creatures to smash face. As Van Lunen points out, the bloodrush ability of this creature is essentially an uncounterable Colossal Might that grants 2 extra points of a toughness bonus and trample, with the slight drawback of only being able to be used on attackers. That pump ability might be the majority of this creature's appeal, but it's impossible to discount a 4/4 for four mana with an always-relevant combat ability at uncommon. If you are drafting and even remotely thinking of playing red-green, this is your first pick, and if anyone else at the table is going that route, consider hatedrafting this.
What do you think of these beatdown-tastic creatures? Let me know in the comments.