After a couple of pretty intense pieces of writing, I’m happy to return to looking at my pet deck: Mono-Green. I’ve been playing with it online, and I have a few updates to the list if you are thinking of playing it before the release of M13.
I have been holding off on discussing potential changes to the list post-M13 until I had the full spoiler. This means some people have tried to beat me to it, but I’ve been unhappy with their attempts so I shall share mine with you.
I think there are two distinct ways to go with Mono-Green at the moment, but don’t worry—they both involve only Forests and four Dungrove Elders (I am not a fan of going bigger into Titans, one [card kessig wolf run]Wolf Run[/card], and one Mountain).
Here is the first version, which some will liken to the Fight Club decks from Block:
This is the deck I have been playing online. As you can see, Wolfir Avenger is gone. While it’s useful for stressing counter spells, and somewhat Vapor Snag proof, they have been mediocre everywhere else.
In my quest for replacements, I thought I would try the old Predator Ooze/Ulvenwald Tracker synergy. People kept bringing this up, but I was reluctant for a host of reasons. For one, Ooze is very slow, which makes it just so painfully bad against Vapor Snag, and I don’t like having dead cards in my starting 60 against the most prevalent deck in the meta.
Additionally, Ulvenwald Tracker is mana-intensive, only a 1/1, and takes a turn to get going. To get the actual combo up and running takes an investment of many turns, that just doesn’t look like it’ll work in a format where people attack with [card delver of secrets]3/2 fliers[/card] and make [card blade splicer]4 power[/card] on turn two!
Let me just apologize to the people that suggested it—Sorry.
This version of the deck (once it gets going) just shreds any creature-based decks. Before, I felt that this deck was slightly out-gunned by Naya Pod as it does cleverer things. Now, though, assuming you play around Zealous Conscripts to avoid dying to your own Ooze, you can just pick off all of their exotic, colorful creatures at your leisure.
If you happen to have a Tracker on turn 1, it stops them playing Birds of Paradise, which can put a real damper on their game plans.
You can also pull cute stunts against [card huntmaster of the fells]Huntmasters[/card]. I tutored one in against a board stall (which, oddly, it’s rather good as sorting out) which included a Huntmaster. My opponent went, “ah ha! I shall simply pass my turn and kill the little blighter,” which, sadly for him, doesn’t work—you can respond to the flip trigger. Poor guy.
What has surprised me more is the sheer power of Tracker against Delver. In multiple matches I have simply tutored for both and they can’t draw enough Snags to stop them from coming online—at which point they play few enough threats that the game is basically over. The online meta is becoming increasingly Gut Shot heavy, and I’m sure that will help them out in this situation—but do not underestimate this card. I certainly won’t again.
My concerns that Ooze could be dead against Delver have turned out to be somewhat unfounded. Don’t get me wrong, I still board it out—but if it lands early, they often have to resort to [card vapor snag]Snagging[/card] it just to avoid dying, rather than for the tempo swing they want it for.
There have been some problems with Ooze I did not expect. Against Zombies, it feels like it should be strong, but they have an awful lot of ways to kill it: Dismember, Tragic Slip, and Geth’s Verdict.
What’s worse is that sometimes they clone and then kill it, leaving you in a most undesirable position. As such, I have been taking the Ooze out against Zombies despite it otherwise looking good on paper.
Speaking of Dismember, it has been a valuable addition to the list. It works overtime killing just about everything, but particularly 3/4 fliers (who shall remain nameless).
I think it was Brian Kibler who pointed out recently that Delver is playing Dismember to deal with opposing [card restoration angel]Angels[/card] (oops, guess I named it after all), so why isn’t everyone else? That man is a genius. I wouldn’t want more than two, but they have made attacking into 4 mana a much less stressful experience.
As I mentioned earlier, Gut Shot is becoming an increasing menace in Delver lists, and as such I wanted to remove some of the dependence on mana dudes. The list now runs 24 Forests and only 2 Birds of Paradise.
Yes, I know that’s two dudes less for only one extra land, but it’s how the numbers worked out. One problem with this is that Birds were very good at holding Swords, and their absence has surprisingly weakened the equipment. Thus, I’m more inclined to board out my equipment when the color protection isn’t relevant, e.g. versus Naya.
This deck really struggles against Terminus.
Playing against Terminus is a frustrating experience. Regeneration? No good. Undying? No good. Indestructible? Ha! Don’t make me laugh. All of our protection against Day of Judgement goes out the window with the miracle. Luckily control (with Terminus) is not dominating the meta, or it would be time to cut down our Forests and make way for some Plains.
That said, any control deck is a bit awkward for the deck. As such, I have added Triumph of Ferocity in the sideboard. An awkward, slow card to be sure—it wants to be played just when we want to be casting Dungove Elder, but it does allow us to keep our hand stocked, making sweepers that little bit less painful.
Here’s a sideboarding guide for the deck. As always, everything is flexible, and you need to take into account any oddities in your opponents deck. For example, take out more Strangleroot Geists against a Blade Splicer heavy Delver, as he can’t handle 3/3 first strikers.
I don’t own copies of Garruk, Primal Hunter online (actually, I own very few cards online), but I have wanted to work on a build centered around him. To my great delight, a Mono-Green list made the Top 8 of the online PTQ this weekend, playing just that—which brings me to the next version of my favorite deck.
Mono-Green by SUKE
This isn’t what my exact 75 would be, but I didn’t want to change it here since I want to give credit where credit’s due. This version of green doesn’t mess around starting pub room brawls, it just makes really big things.
I think I would call this Big Daddy Green.
Garruk, Primal Hunter allows the deck to go bigger without resorting to Primeval Titans and one-of lands. Very much like the Dungrove Elder decks of old, it takes advantage of the ever growing Elder to draw a vast number of cards. And, well, I don’t need to tell anyone how good drawing cards is.
By running Garruk, the deck has a much better long-term prospect against control. He’s also a much better choice against Delver than Garruk Relentless as his loyalty is greater than a single [card Restoration Angel]Angel[/card] hit after an activation.
It’s been a while since I played against a Garruk, Primal Hunter, but I seem to recall that him landing on turn 3 and just making 3/3 Beasts every turn was a pretty painful experience.
I can definitely see some problems with the laneswalker in the current meta…
Yeah. Letting them draw (atleast) three cards seems like a bad plan. Still, you can always just suicide him for card draw the turn you play him.
I’m not a big fan of the one-of Phyrexian mana spells, and I want all four Green Sun Zenith’s, so here is my version of the list:
Big Daddy Green
I hope to try this out soon, mostly because I have never had an excuse to draw seven cards from a planeswalker before.
This version of the deck is stronger against control thanks to Garruk helping to keep it in the game after sweepers, but weaker than the Ooze version against Naya. Drawing that one-of Overrun will probably help. I’m also reluctant to keep Garruk in against Zealous Conscripts.
I would also favor this version in the mirror—again due to the card draw, and the more reliable land drops. In the mirror you really want to have the bigger Elders. Still, if the Oozes get going, there might be nothing you can do, though three Batterskulls after board will be really annoying/helpful—depending on whose side you are on!
At the moment, with Delver and Naya’s greater presence in the meta than control and mono-green, I would stick with the Fight Club version, but if things change then this is a really sweet way to go.
Of course there is another possibility here:
Daddy’s Fight Club
It’s the same list, just with the Fight Club package in the board. Genius!
Seriously though, losing the sideboard space might be too expensive—but it could just work.
Mono-Green in the Future
It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize how happy this deck is to gain access to Rancor. The reason Revenge of the Hunted first made the list was to give our lovely, huge Dungrove Elders trample. What use is a 6/6 when Moorland Haunt makes a chump blocker each turn? When it later turned out to be a complete blowout against our creature-playing opponents, that was a really nice side-effect and not one I am looking to replace.
I did, however, mention that in my current list the Swords had started to lose value. Well, who needs evasion when you have trample? I appreciate that Swords do more than give evasion, but recently that’s mostly all I’ve wanted. I also don’t think you have room to play both Rancor and Swords.
Fight Club 2013
As you can see, I’ve gone with a more Fight Club than Big Daddy version of the deck here, because the idea of putting Rancor on an [card predator ooze]Ooze[/card] makes me smile (and my opponents quake in fear).
I am really pleased we finally got an Obstinate Baloth back in Standard!
Sometimes (mostly against red decks), you just want to Zenith for some life gain, and it just wasn’t there. Now we can run a Thrugtusk as a most excellent target. His other ability will provide us with some good value, but I am not excited about this card against Delver like some people are. It costs five! Not where I want to be against Delver, even if Vapor Snag does give me a 3/3.
Why does it seem every point comes down to Vapor Snag?
Well, until Vapor Snag is gone, we are stuck with Dungrove Elder, so I guess I’ll keep running the big Treefolk. If you want to really go against Vapor Snag, you could try out this list—but I make no promises. Until next week say hi @onionpixie.
Can’t Touch This