Limited Card Pool Update: (no) Lay of the Land & Fertile Ground
A limited card pool needs constant trimming, if it’s not to grow out of bounds, since every new set brings a few newcomers which do not replace other cards.
I have already followed the philosophy not to give Green TOO easy manafixing (that’s why I eliminated Birds of Paradise). It is okay that this is one of Green’s strengths, but I don’t like it when it reaches the point that you start to play Green because you can play other colors with it, and not because you want to play Green.
That is why I make sure that in my limited card pool Green does not get excellent mana acceleration and excellent manafixing on the same card, and that manafixing comes with a little cost. I still have Sakura-Tribe Elder, Sylvan Scrying, Evolution Charm, Civic Wayfinder, Kodama’s Reach and Ondu Giant at my disposal (in addition to manafixing available to all colors, like the cycle including Sylvan Bounty, lands like Evolving Wilds and artifacts like Coldsteel Heart, of course), which is plenty even in an environment where Green is defined by playing well with others. Then, for pure acceleration in Green, there are Arbor Elf, Wild Growth, Vine Trellis, Greenweaver Druid and Overgrowth (and Copper Myr, kinda).
Lay of the Land was an excellent card for Green-based domain decks, but I have removed that theme (together with 5-colored cards) from my pool, and now I don’t want green manafixing so easy to come by – you should spend two mana for it, and you shouldn’t get one mana back immediately, as with Fertile Ground, while accelerating. I know from my drafting experience that snatching up a couple of manafixing cards you would play anyway, even if you were to stick to two colors, will almost automatically lead to including splashes. I feel, however, this shouldn’t be an automatism, but require a conscious decision, and making sure green manafixing is just a tad bit more unwieldy helps. This also means that green players will not automatically pick splashable strong cards, which muddles up signalling (very important with just 4 players) and leads to a 5-color-Green-archetype in way too many environments.