One of the best parts of Magic the Gathering for a lot of players is casting big creatures and watching them stomp all over your opponent. If this is what you want, then green is the color for you. With lots of cards to help ramp up your mana pool, green decks are fast-moving and you can cast huge creatures before your opponent gets a chance to.
Budget commanders are the ones you can grab for around six dollars or less. There will always be the expensive staple commanders for each color, but if you’re not looking to spend a heap of money (which we all know is very easy to do in the commander format) here are some budget options to consider for mono-green.
10 GARGOS, VICIOUS WATCHER
As long as there have been big creatures in Magic: The Gathering, there have been hydras. They are one of the quintessential tribes in green and Gargos, Vicious Watcher is a great choice if you are looking to put together a hydra tribal deck. Its main point of attraction is the ability that makes hydra spells you cast to cost four less mana.
This means that you can cast a lot of the big hydra cards like Genesis Hydra and Hydra Broodmaster for as little as two mana. As many hydras have X in their cost, Gargos will take care of the first four X mana you want to spend. On top of that, when a creature you control becomes the target of a spell, Gargos fights a target creature you don’t control.
9 YEVA, NATURE’S HERALD
Yeva, Nature’s Herald, deviates slightly from other green commanders in that she leans on an ability not very prevalent in the color; flash. Her ability allows you to cast green creature spells as though they had flash. As green cards don’t rely on this mechanic a lot, you have to get a little inventive with your deck build.
This ability is great to get blockers onto the battlefield, or you can use it with creatures like Manglehorn that lets you destroy a target artifact when it enters the battlefield. With so many ways to generate mana in a green deck, you can be sure to have some during your opponents’ turns to react to their moves.
8 MARWYN, THE NURTURER
Marwyn, the Nurturer should be a consideration if you’re looking to build an elf tribal deck. Elf decks can be made super cheap or very expensive, so Marwyn is a good start if you want to build on a budget. Whenever another elf enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on Marwyn, the Nurturer.
Her second ability is a powerful mana tap ability that lets you add a number of forests to your mana pool equal to Marywn’s power. You can pair this with aura cards like Hydra’s growth, that multiplies your +1/+1 counters or other creatures that work off the elf tribal theme, like Elvish Archdruid.
7 YISAN, THE WANDERER BARD
Yisan, the Wanderer Bard’s power is dependent on how long you can keep him on the battlefield. By tapping him and paying one forest and two generic mana you can put a verse counter on Yisan. Then, you search your library for a creature card with a converted mana cost equal to the number of verse counters on him and put it onto the battlefield.
The first couple of times you use this ability, you can search for smaller creatures like Llanowar Elves to help you build your mana pool. If you manage to keep Yisan around long enough, you can cast some truly powerful creatures without having to spend the mana for them.
6 SACHI, DAUGHTER OF SESHIRO
Perhaps one of the cheapest commanders you’ll find, Sachi is not going to be anyone’s first choice. But that’s what budget deck building is all about. Finding cheap cards that can be powerful, despite their unpopularity. Sachi is a four mana 1/3 snake shaman, with two abilities. The first, gives other snakes you control +0/+1.
Not great, but her second ability is a good way to build a budget mana ramp deck as it gives all shamans you control the ability to tap in exchange for two forest mana. Luckily, in green, there are a lot of shamans that already have tap abilities to help generate mana, so pairing this ability with a card like Sakura-Tribe Scout will help you stockpile mana quickly.
5 THRUN, THE LAST TROLL
Thrun, the Last Troll, is a great commander option if you want to build a green Voltron deck, which can be pretty fun given how many great auras there are in green. Thrun is a 4/4 that costs four mana. It can’t be countered, can’t be the target of spells or abilities your opponent controls, and for one forest and one generic mana you can regenerate it.
Those abilities essentially nullify one of the downsides of Voltron, which is getting cards to protect your commander. Thrun does that all by itself so you are free to load up it with powerful equipment and aura cards like Bear Umbra.
4 NYLEA, KEEN-EYED
First thing’s first, god cards are always a solid choice for a commander since they have indestructible. Nylea’s main ability is that creature spells you cast cost one less mana to cast. This is a pretty consistent theme in green decks; make creatures that cost a lot of mana, cost a little bit less.
Nylea’s second ability costs one forest and two generic mana. It lets you reveal the top card of your library and if it’s a creature card, you can put it into your hand. Like a lot of green decks, this one will be creature heavy. So if you have lots of mana, but a sparse hand, use this ability a couple of times to help pump some creatures into play.
3 RISHKAR, PEEMA RENEGADE
Rishkar, Peema Renegade is another great choice for a budget elf tribal commander. It also doubles as a helpful mana ramp due to its abilities. When Rishkar enters the battlefield, you can put a +1/+1 counter on up to two target creatures. Each of your creatures with a +1/+1 counter also has the ability to tap for a forest.
Since green is all about lots of mana and power, it makes sense that there are a lot of cards that pair well with +1/+1 tokens. There are instants like Inspiring Call that let you draw cards for each creature with a +1/+1 counter and creatures like Avatar of the Resolute that gains +1/+1 counters based on how many creatures already have them.
2 EZURI, RENEGADE LEADER
Ezuri, Renegade Leader is the most expensive elf commander on this list and also the most versatile. Since you’re playing green, it’s likely you’ll be generating a lot of mana. Ezuri is the most elf focused out of the three elf commanders on this list.
For one forest, you can regenerate a target elf, making sure that the creatures that give you the most advantage on the battlefield, stay on the battlefield. Secondly, for three forests and two generic, you can give all elf creatures you control +3/+3 and trample until the end of the turn, so you can swing for massive damage.
1 GORECLAW, TERROR OF QAL SISMA
If you want to play big creatures and make them even more powerful than they already are, Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma is a great budget commander option. While in play, creature spells you cast with power four or greater cost two less mana to cast.
On top of that, whenever Goreclaw attacks, creatures you control with power four or greater get +1/+1 and gain trample until the end of the turn. This commander gives you a lot of versatility in terms of the strategy you want to run by ensuring that you can get your powerful creatures onto the battlefield quickly.
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