I’m back with part two about the mono green deck. You can read part one if you want more info at some of the different card choices I looked at while building it as well as some strengths and weaknesses of green. It’s no secret that the green card pool does not provide what is necessary for a top tier tournament deck. What is also not a secret is what green does provide: many awesome cards to put together a super fun casual deck. In this post we’ll look at what I ended up building as a deck and how it worked out against other decks.
I ended up having twenty five mana sources which I didn’t think I’d need originally. In order for the deck to work most efficiently, I basically just need to get four mana available by turn three to get an Ifh-Biff, Erhnam, or Juggernaut out. Usually that means I put down a Llanowar Elves, Elves of Deep Shadow, or Sol Ring in the first or second turn. I don’t rely on the Sol Ring since it’s restricted but I really need to make sure I have at least one green mana source in my opening hand to cast one of the Elves. I often had trouble making sure I had a forest in my opening hand. I was often having to mulligan only to still not draw a forest. So twenty five mana sources it is. I had a total of fifteen green sources but I constantly was having trouble getting forests. Weird.
This deck above is what I used to test it out. There were some serious issues with this build. I had to play it a bunch to figure it out though. There was a meet up planned at the regular place but it ended up falling through. No worries though. I still got to play against Nick and then on Skype with Dave.
The main issue I ran into a bunch of times was the lack of green mana in the opening hand. As I mentioned, I was constantly having to mulligan. I shouldn’t have played as long as I did with the deck without putting a few more forests in. It’s funny, some decks it seems certain cards always show up while others don’t. I feel like one out of four times I get the single Sol Ring in my opening hand. Other decks I get it maybe one in twenty times in my opening hand? Can’t say exactly. But that’s what it feels like. The Sol Ring being constantly drawn certainly helped. I was also always getting the Strip Mine and Factories. Which are good. But no forests. How do such things happen?
So to get the matches, I first played against Nick with his U/R Burn variant deck. I ended up winning two out of three games but it wasn’t easy. He also doesn’t have any Power in the deck but it’s packed with Lightning Bolts, Chain Lightnings, and Psionic Blasts.
In the first game I had trouble getting to four mana and then when I finally did, I didn’t seem to draw any four mana creatures for a while. This whole time Nick was taking three life from me each turn with a Serendib Efreet. I did eventually get an Ifh-Biff Efreet out but he Bolted it right away.
The second and third game the deck worked a bit more like it was designed to work. I was able to get forests in the opening hand with one or two Elves for mana as well. I think it was in the second game where I got four Ifh-Biffs out. Not all at the same time, but consecutively. Each one was Bolted!
After playing with Nick I jumped on Skype and battled a mage with a larger card pool than what Nick has available to him. I knew playing against Dave would be more challenging because his decks often have Power.
Dave played a variant of Dead Guy Ale. It had some typical staples from black and white and then had Sedge Trolls added in. The Trolls proved to be super effective against my deck. We played a total of six games and I only won one of them. I struggled with getting to four mana most of the time but Dave also just had some effective cards like Mind Twist and Sinkhole which really broke my deck down. Also, two of the games he was able to get a Su-Chi out on the first turn!
As we planned on game six being the last as it was getting late, I somehow drew exactly what I needed for the deck to work the way it was designed. Fortunately, in this game, he didn’t Sinkhole or Mind Twist. I got a few Erhnam Djinns and Juggernauts out and pummeled for the win. When the deck works like that, those games are outliers. It’s more often a struggle to get to that four mana mark and make sure I have one of those four mana creatures to cast.
After playing against Nick and Dave I had to replace some cards. I took out the Elvish Archers as they ended up not doing much. I took out the Giant Growths which I’m not totally sure was the right decision yet. I also took out an Icy Manipulator and a Desert Twister. In place of those I added two Avoid Fates mainly to defend my Ifh-Biffs. Those guys never get to do anything as they pretty much get removed somehow 100% of the time I’ve played them. I put in one Crumble, one Disk, and then three more forests. I’m not totally sold on the Avoid Fates though. In the first build of the deck I had three or four of them to defend from removal but maybe only once had one in my hand when I needed one.
Is the deck more effective now? Not really. It’s pretty much the same. Nick thinks there is a way to make it better than it is. He might be right. I’m not really worried about it though as I think I’m just going to keep it as it is. It’s pretty fun to play. If I was really serious about making it competitive I’d splash in another color or two. Maybe I’ll do that eventually.
I threw a sideboard together quickly. Gaea’s Avenger is pretty awesome. I don’t know how effective it really is but it could potentially be a heavy hitter against certain decks.
So there you have it. Green decks are cool. Casual cool. What else is going on besides green decks being fun? A few things. Over at The Enchanted Forest LG has a new post on a couple Enchantress decks. Verduran Enchantress is a pretty cool card that I’ve never used but want to. A Swedish group of Old School players has a pretty cool website up. It has a really awesome page with pictures and info on a ton of different 93/94 deck archetypes. Definitely check that out.