Last updated on April 6, 2021
Gilded Goose | Illustration by Lindsey Look
With yet another season soon coming to an end, many of you are looking for a way to cross that top 1200 finish line in the Mythic queue. Maybe you’re trying to grind your way to a high enough rank to get some of those sweet season rewards.
To do that, you need a good deck. One deck in particular is incredibly strong and consistent: Mono Green Food. Do you like to have giant creatures and a consistent deck? Given its simplicity, Mono Green is definitely something you should check out!
Food token | Illustration by Lucas Graciano
Mono Green Food revolves around having an excellent mana curve that allows you to play up to 6-drops relatively easily thanks to our Castle Garenbrigs. The first few turns, you’ll be setting up with various ramp and Food generators, but as soon as you hit 3-mana, the fun starts as you drop strong creatures with potent effects.
We’re currently in a Standard environment where board wipes are used. A lot. Thankfully, Extinction Event and Shatter the Sky aren’t as good against us since we have plenty of 4+ power creatures and a mix of even and uneven casting costs. A sweeper shouldn’t put you in a position where you’re unable to make a comeback. Since we have plenty of 6-drops, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon becomes a lot less potent after already using its minus.
Our 1-drop slots are here to set up our primary strategy. Witch’s Oven and Gilded Goose both create Food tokens. The Oven achieves this by sacrificing your creatures, sometimes in response to removal, and creating one or multiple tokens. In contrast, the Goose makes one upon entering the battlefield. Gilded Goose can also generate a token by tapping itself and spending two mana.
Lovestruck Beast, while being a 3-drop itself, has a built-in sorcery adventure that allows us to create a 1/1 human creature for just one mana. So this is our third honorary 1-drop.
I’ve already explained the presence of Ugin in the metagame, making a full-on aggro strategy somewhat difficult for mono green. Instead, we’re forced into midrange. I still want to leave you with some notable aggro options in case you feel extra adventurous, though.
Edgewall Innkeeper and Stonecoil Serpent are both great cards that fit into the 1-drop slot. You might need to add a few extra adventure cards to make the Innkeeper worthwhile, but you should be able to occasionally get an additional draw even with just the four copies of Lovestruck Beast.
Our 2-drops cover a range of functions. Scavenging Ooze helps us empty graveyards against Rakdos and Dimir decks. Trail of Crumbs gives us card advantage whenever we crack a Food token. Tangled Florahedron is versatile since you can either play it as a land or a 2-drop ramp creature.
The Trail is explicitly beneficial because we’ll be creating and cracking Food tokens pretty regularly with creatures like Feasting Troll King, Gilded Goose, and Witch’s Oven. Whenever we do, we get to put a permanent from the top two cards of our deck into our hand for just one mana.
Since we only run permanents in this deck, you’ll always hit something, even if it’s just lands. The ability to hit lands with Trail of Crumbs shouldn’t be ignored, though, since it really helps push out the 6-drops.
Lovestruck Beast is both a 1-drop and 3-drop in this deck, thanks to its built-in adventure. Since we need a 1/1 on the battlefield for it to attack, you may end up in situations where you’re a bit stuck after the 1/1 human gets destroyed. If this does happen, at least you have a 5/5 blocker as a consolation prize.
One of the better creatures in the deck is Kazandu Mammoth. This card is a solid 3/3 creature and it gets +2/+2 until the end of the turn whenever a land comes into play. This combos nicely enabling a turn where you can get one of your The Great Henges on the board early.
A 5/5 mammoth will reduce the cost of the henge by five mana, making it an easy on-curve cast since it will only cost four mana to cast. The same applies with a turn 3 Lovestruck Beast. You might want to cast the Beast without the adventure just to get your Henge out sometimes.
Thrashing Brontodon is, like many Standard environments before it, the top artifact and enchantment removal in mono green once again. This card could easily be replaced by Gemrazer, but the flexibility of sacrificing itself during your opponent’s turn can be pretty useful. For example, you can snipe something like Embercleave, completely negating a mono red power turn.
Only one of the 4-drops is currently in the mainboard. Depending on if we move away from an artifact/enchantment heavy meta, you might want to swap in the Questing Beast copies from the sideboard with our Thrashing Brontodon. As long as Embercleave is legal in the format, I don’t think we can ever justify that, though.
Wicked Wolf is excellent at keeping the board clean and dodges removal with its built-in indestructible effect. It’s this latter effect that makes the Wolf incredibly viable in this meta. Its fight effect is excellent, especially against mono red. Removing a creature on-curve can halt their progress quite a bit.
We finally reach the end of our curve. This is the part I’m most excited to get into because of all the fantastic deck tech! In our Ugin-heavy meta, cards like The Great Henge are perfect to get out as early as possible. While you can cast it relatively cheap, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon will have a tough time dealing with it since they can’t use its ability for minus nine and exile it easily.
Each time a nontoken creature enters the battlefield, not only do you get a +1/+1 counter on the Henge, you also get to draw a card. This allows Mono Green Food to compete in the late game where a regular aggro deck would be forced to forfeit. In other words, once The Great Henge has been dropped on the field, heads will start to roll because you’re going to absolutely flood the board with incredibly hard to deal with creatures.
Kogla, the Titan Ape is yet another card similar to Wicked Wolf that allows you to fight an opponent’s creature upon entering the battlefield. Like the Wolf, this card can give itself indestructible by returning a 1/1 human to your hand. Luckily Lovestruck Beast can produce those with its adventure.
Feasting Troll King, on the other hand, is an incredibly strong card that’ll keep returning from the graveyard when it gets destroyed in exchange for three Food tokens. You’ll usually be able to revive it at least once since it creates three Foods when it enters the battlefield. Sadly, it doesn’t create more tokens when it re-enters from the graveyard, but that’s why Witch’s Oven can be valuable. Sacrificing a Troll King with the Oven will create two tokens, after all, making it a great response to a board wipe.
Regardless, since both Kogla and the Troll King cost six mana, it’s difficult for Ugin to deal with them. Personally, I like to keep one in hand if I expect an Ugin play and I drop it down right after they’ve already used their minus ability once. Both of these creatures have seven power as well, making The Great Henge cost only two mana to cast. Technically a free cast since the artifact can tap for two mana.
I really miss the days where we could play a mono green aggro strategy with a curve that ends at four mana, but it feels good to play such giant creatures for a change. It’s very reminiscent of olden days’ green decks.
As for lands, since we are Mono Green, we have Castle Garenbrig. This card is capable of producing six mana by tapping itself plus four other mana sources. A great way to get your 6-cost creatures on the battlefield early, especially in combination with our ramp creatures and The Great Henge.
Secondly, thanks to Bonders’ Enclave, we have a relatively cheap source of card draw in times of need. Some may call Enclave a trap since it only produces colorless mana. Since we’re not playing cards like Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig needing three green, though, I’ve never found myself in a situation where I wished it was a regular Forest instead.
Oh, and since you can activate the Enclave during your opponent’s turn, you can even bluff removal like Ram Through, even though we don’t run a single copy of that card. Sometimes you just need to bluff in MTG.
Rules of the Mulligan
Mulligans with this Mono Green deck follow these rules:
- Make sure you have at least three lands, one of which produces at least one green mana.
- Make sure you have a 3-drop of some sort, either Kazandu Mammoth or Lovestruck Beast.
- Have either Gilded Goose or a 2-drop
A great hand has The Great Henge in it as well, but keep in mind some decks run Agonizing Remorse, so it may get exiled from your hand. I’ve won games where I kept Lovestruck Beast and The Great Henge, putting the artifact on the board on turn 4 and going wide casting creature after creature in following turns thanks to the card draw.
The majority of our sideboard consists of cards to fine-tune the deck between games. Since we’re trying to do so much of everything in terms of ramping, destroying creatures, destroying enchantments or artifacts, etc., you’ll end up in matchups where there are one or more cards that aren’t doing anything for you. We have multiple additional copies of Thrashing Brontodon, Scavenging Ooze, Witch’s Oven, Feasting Troll King, and Kogla, the Titan Ape to fix that. Just slot into the mainboard and enhance your strategy.
Chainweb Aracnir is an excellent card against mill decks or anything that forces you to discard cards. Being able to escape from the graveyard with multiple +1/+1 counters gives you a great value play for just five mana. Since mill decks tend to contain a lot of flying rogue creatures, this spider’s enter the battlefield trigger can be great to remove some key pieces on their side of the board and have a beefy blocker with reach.
Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate would have been in the mainboard but, again, there’s Ugin doing Ugin things. It’s pretty sad how many of our toys we can’t bring to play because of one card, isn’t it?
Against non-Ugin decks, you’ll need to decide to either drop some of the lower curve creatures or a creature or two at the end of the curve. Against aggro decks, I tend to drop a Feasting Troll King or two. If you follow up a Vivien play after a board wipe, you can rebuild by creating a 3/3 beast. The following turn, you’ll be able to fetch some lower CMC cards directly from the deck and put them on the battlefield by casting a 4- or 6-drop creature in combination with Vivien’s minus two ability.
In a best-case scenario, you want Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate together with Questing Beast, because using the minus two into one of your 6-mana plays granting a free Beast is potent. Especially since Kogla, the Titan Ape can fight and pave the way for a Beast to connect damage unblocked.
Tips and Tricks
A great thing to remember is that, if you have a Trail of Crumbs on the board already, use your Gilded Goose to generate one mana by cracking a Food token. You can then use this mana for the Trail’s trigger. This is great to pull off on turn 2 if you happen to not have a 3-mana play yet.
Another trick I like to use is to hold priority when casting Wicked Wolf because the Wolf will fight target creature upon entering the battlefield. Before it fights, you can now chain-sacrifice Food tokens to make your Wolf bigger plus giving it indestructible, since each Food you sacrifice gives it a +1/+1 counter. Sometimes you can even get rid of a 5/5 or 6/6 doing this.
Full of Food
Tangled Florahedron | Illustration by Randy Vargas
I think Ugin, the Spirit Dragon needs to be banned in Standard. Most of the build decisions in this deck is because of that card, after all. It is a bit of a shame for the die-hard fans of mono green aggro, but a Gruul aggro strategy is still viable thanks to Embercleave. I’ll cover that deck in the future, so keep an eye out for that!
I like that we don’t need to run removal spells in the deck because two of our creatures already have built-in removal effects by fighting. Overall, the deck can handle strategies like Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger quite well since Kogla, the Titan Ape can destroy it. I am kinda curious to see what Kaldheim will bring us to improve our strategy, but even if there’s nothing noteworthy in that set, it’s pretty safe to assume that this deck will hold its ground for many months to come.
Either way, thank you for taking the time to read today’s guide, and I hope you have an absolute blast playing this deck. See you all next time with another deck tech!