Selvala, Explorer Returned

With the release of Vintage Masters on MTGO and Conspiracy in paper on the horizon, Magic players everywhere have a lot of spoilers to look forward to. During any spoiler season, Magic players constantly sit at their computers, refreshing pages continuously in hopes that they’ll catch that new, broken card.  But that’s just how Spoiler seasons work, we want more of the new and less of the…not so new. I won’t say old because Journey into Nyx came out less than a month ago, it’s by no means old yet. I’m just as guilty of doing this as every other Magic player, and this morning, I was rather pleased. Not only had cards been spoiled for Vintage Masters, but one of the cards spoiled will also be in Conspiracy. I fan girled…fan boyed? I was excited, how about that? Not only was this spoiler exciting to me because it was going to be in Conspiracy, it also happened to be in my favorite color combination: White/Green.

Selvala, Explorer Returned - Conspiracy Spoiler


Selvala, Explorer Returned is undoubtedly “Group Huggy”, and she gives one hell of a hug. Introducing a new mechanic in the process, Selvala enjoys giving gifts she gathered during her adventures, and while giving your opponents a card seems like a major drawback, you have to remember that people play Temple Bell all the time and that’s how I see her. I see her as being a much, much better Temple Bell. I mean think about it. They both cost 3 mana–though Selvala requires colors–they both allow your opponents to draw one card whenever you activate their abilities, the biggest differences lie in the fact that Selvala gives you significantly greater benefits than your opponent’s receive. The potential to gain an additional four green mana upon any activation is insane, and though she’s been spoiled for less than 24 hours at this point, numerous individuals I’ve spoken to seem to be underestimating this little elf. I don’t see her as being a card playable in either Legacy or Vintage, but for Commander, she’s more than good enough. When I saw Selvala, I began analyzing her immediately, thinking of her applications from the get go, but I’ll admit that at first, Selvala’s ability seemed somewhat underwhelming. I looked at her and thought “Oh, neat. Another group hug card for Phelddagrif” without taking into consideration her applications outside of a group hug shell, but on my drive to work, it hit me just how busted of a ramp spell she could potentially be. Take into consideration that under prime conditions, with good enough luck, you could potentially play an 8-drop such as Terastodon or Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger on turn 3. TURN 3!

Here’s the line of play:

Turn 1: Plains, Sol Ring
Turn 2: Forest, Selvala
Turn 3: Land, Activate Selvala, everybody reveals a non-land card, play Terastodon, blow up your opponent’s lands.

Or better yet, you could play a Myojin of Life’s Web on turn 3 and clear your hand of Creatures all together. That’s a 9-drop. On turn 3. And then some.

I believe that this little elf has a multitude of uses, and statistically speaking, I don’t expect her to ever produce less than 2 mana in a four-man game. Do I believe she’s worth building around? Probably not, but she is worth playing in any White/Green deck in my opinion.

As always, thank you for reading. Feel free to leave comments, ideas, and feedback in the comment section below, and look forward to more articles in the coming weeks.

Evan Erickson

Author: Evan Erickson

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