Oh my – this is very exciting. Selvala has returned! This time in a glorious Mono-Green version!
This has sparked a great amount of interest in the EDH communities, and for good reason! Selvala is unique, even if she’s not necessarily the most powerful. The debates going on revolve around whether Selvala can truly shine as a Commander and be built-around, or if she has more value as a role-player in the 99. Time will tell, but there’s much to take advantage of here with proper deck-building. Selvala does help opponents, but their creatures have to be larger than yours. Some decks barely run any creatures at all! Not to mention that she also has a great synergy with Leovold, Emissary of Trest! Sign me up.
Keep in mind that Selvala’s ability adds any kind of mana to your pool, many have missed that when first reading over the card. This means that the card also has additional synergy in EDH archetypes such as Animar, Soul of the Elements, and Omnath, Locus of Mana. Well, we can really say almost any deck playing green at this point, since many of them can utilize Umbral Mantle for infinite any-colored mana and +2/+2 activations.
From what I’ve gathered on EDH Forums and reddit discussions, the sky is the limit on Selvala. Everyone is excited and can’t wait to either add Selvala to their existing deck or to build a new one around Selvala. It also will have many uses across the spectrum of traditional 1v1 Commander, Multiplayer Commander, and maybe even Duel Commander.
I’m much more interested in the traditional 1v1 style of gameplay, and more recently Duel Commander. Let’s look at a decklist built around Selvala, Heart of the Wilds with that in mind. Here’s spastika‘s list from MTGSalvation:
The deck is focused on producing a large amount of mana extremely quickly, and powering out large creatures as fast as possible. It’s similar to a Channel combo deck and uses a core set of cards:
This features many different ways to utilize Selvala’s ability and generate a copious amount of mana, such as responding to Phyrexian Dreadnought’s ability on the stack to either hard-cast Emrakul, or play a Tooth and Nail entwined for Surrak+Emrakul and essentially win on the spot. All of this could easily happen by Turn 4, and sometimes earlier. I think this is a fantastic direction to take with Selvala, and I love how many back-up plans there are in the event that Selvala is destroyed, or in circumstances when you don’t have an explosive hand. It is also built with Selvala’s other ability in mind, and will rarely if ever let your opponent draw a card from Selvala.
Selvala surely has many applications across many variations of EDH/Commander. The excitement is absolutely warranted. It’s one of the better explosive ramp creatures we’ve seen in a long time, and many players want to immediately start building decks. I think it’s absolutely worth acquiring for your collection, but I’d still urge folks to wait on buying. If you simply can’t wait, you can at least know that you’re buying a great card. Foils on the other-hand, might be very desirable right away, and they may continue to stay that way with beautiful art and all-around utility. Waiting usually is a good idea, and even necessary, but when it comes to foil versions of a card like this I don’t think any time is ever really a bad time to try and acquire one for your collection.