Last updated on January 12, 2021
The Great Henge | Illustration by Adam Paquette
Today we’re back in Historic, about to cover yet another mono-colored deck. This time around, it’s Mono Green’s turn to shine. Having covered red, blue, and black already, we’re about to close our color
Mono Green is a fantastic deck in Historic. I believe it’s one of those decks that’s not respected as much as it should be. When looking at win rates in BO3, it’s consistently pushing 57 to 67%. These are numbers you rarely see in BO3. Of course, these are rates taken from a pool of games among all the ranks in MTGA, bronze to mythic.
But that’s enough talk. Let’s get into this powerhouse of a deck.
Pelt Collector | Illustration by Zoltan Boros
Similar to the Standard Gruul deck I covered a while ago, this deck revolves around getting a very solid turn 1 to 4 curve, ending in getting The Great Henge onto the field as soon as possible. After this, each non-token creature that enters the battlefield cantrips.
Because we’re in Historic, we’ve got a lot of 5-power creatures that help reduce the Henge’s cost down to just four mana. This means that it’s relatively easy to get this artifact onto the battlefield by turn 3 or 4, partially thanks to Llanowar Elves. On top of that, high toughness creatures makes mono red burn out.
You want to be as aggressive as possible with this deck. There are far too many Historic decks that combo win in a single turn, so you should never allow your opponent to build up a board state. Force them to interact with unfavorable blocks and the like and you’ll carve yourself a path to victory.
The deck comes with its share of weaknesses, though. It’s pretty difficult for it to interact with large board states. With only four copies of Primal Might in the mainboard, picking off creatures or planeswalkers is usually not an issue. Still, if you’re up against a deck that swarms like goblins, you can get in trouble.
There aren’t too many Esper and Azorius decks in the format right now, so you don’t have to fear board wipes as much as you usually would. However, consider getting some Heroic Interventions into the deck if there’s a meta shift.
The deck has two 1-drop slots. Llanowar Elves to provide an early source of ramp and Pelt Collector as an aggro creature that keeps growing in power almost every time a new creature lands on your side of the battlefield. Lovestruck Beast has a built-in ability to create a 1/1 human, so it’s technically a third 1-drop.
Next, we have two respectable 2-drops. Scavenging Ooze, which helps to keep graveyards clean of threats thanks to its activated ability, and Barkhide Troll, a solid 3/3 creature with some built-in protection effects.
The 3-drop slot is the most exciting. We have an abundance of creatures that can act as 5-power creatures to reduce the cost of The Great Henge and attack for massive amounts of early damage. Lovestruck Beast, Rhonas the Indomitable, Steel Leaf Champion, and an honorary 5/5 due to the landfall triggers: Kazandu Mammoth.
As seen in the card text, each of these creatures has some interesting built-in effect. Keep in mind that both Rhonas and the Beast require other creatures on the field to attack, though. Rhonas’ ability is also a great way to give a giant creature like Steel Leaf Champion trample.
Kazandu Mammoth can also serve as an emergency land source if you’re missing land drops. Steel Leaf Champion is competitive because it can’t be blocked by a large portion of the meta. If you drop this down on turn 2, it could take your opponent quite some time to catch up.
When you finally put down your fourth mana source, it’s time to cast your win conditions. First we’ve got Collected Company. Since all our creatures are under three CMC, you’ll rarely be in a situation you don’t find at least two powerful picks.
The Great Henge, as has been made abundantly clear, is an honorary 4-drop since it tends to have its cost reduced far enough to fall into this category. The Henge rarely disappoints, giving you a constant stream of card advantage.
We also run four copies of Turntimber Symbiosis and Primal Might. The latter is our go-to removal spell, while Symbiosis is excellent for creating even more giant creatures. Symbiosis can also be played as a land, so it fits in perfectly.
We run another utility land, too: Hashep Oasis. This card can end games, mostly if you can string together some abilities like Rhonas the Indomitable buffing and giving trample to a creature plus the +3/+3 the Oasis provides. A 10/10 trampling elf attacking? No problem, Rhonas will hook you up.
A mulligan with this kind of deck is simple:
- Have three sources of land; since we’re mono-colored, it rarely matters which lands.
- Have a proper curve with at least two castable creatures in the first three turns.
Preferably, you want to have The Great Henge in hand early. It’s one of our main win conditions, after all. You’ll likely only see it in about two-thirds of your games with no way of fetching it, though. Sometimes you’ll have to roll the dice and just try to brute-force your win the stompy way.
Sideboarding with this deck is straight-forward and very result-oriented. We have a bit of everything in here.
Graveyard, Goblin, and Collected Company Matchups
This does mean you shouldn’t play Grafdigger’s Cage on curve! Generally, you want to play this card after you have already established a board with CoCo yourself. However, if your opponent is about to finish their combo, get it into play before that.
Mono Red and Targeted Control Matchups
Blue Counter Matchups
Two copies of both Elder Gargaroth and Shifting Ceratops can replace Collected Company against blue decks with a lot of counter magic and sometimes decks that run Grafdigger’s Cage. Two copies of Ram Through can replace Pelt Collectors.
And finally, Thrashing Brontodon to deal with artifacts. This card usually replaces one copy of Rhonas the Indomitable and three copies of Barkhide Troll. Sometimes you can also swap out Primal Might instead against decks that don’t run planeswalkers or creatures.
First of all, I want to mention all the elves in the mono green elves decks out there! I’ve gotten this question a few times now and, while I think elves is a great Historic deck in BO1, it simply doesn’t cut it in BO3.
Next, Questing Beast. In a turn 3 meta where Collected Company exists, the Beast is too much risk. The card is amazing, but since CoCo can’t fetch it, it simply can’t live in our lush forests. However, you could add it in the sideboard instead of Elder Gargaroth.
Castle Garenbrig may seem like an auto-include, but since we run relatively few forests thanks to Turntimber Symbiosis, the Castle can make the deck inconsistent. On top of that, we don’t run any four or higher CMC creatures in the mainboard so it’s rarely useful. You could safely add one or two copies at most.
Rhonas the Indomitable | Illustration by Chase Stone
Stomped to Smithereens
Mono Green is simple and packs a punch. It can leave a sour taste in your opponent’s mouth at times since it’s surprisingly quick. With a decent hand, you’ll have The Great Henge on the field by turn 3, at which point your opponent needs to pull off some amazing tricks to make a comeback.
Lots of players love Mono Green decks. It baffles me that a deck with such a tremendous competitive track has so few people playing it right now. Maybe many are in love with the power that Embercleave gives them in the Gruul route.
Mono-colored decks are great for newer players under normal circumstances because of the easy-to-access mana base. Sadly, this particular deck is chock-full of rares and mythics, so it’s not budget friendly. However, if you’re short on wildcards, you can tune it down a bit by reducing the number of Turntimber Symbiosis’ in favor of forests. While the spell is great, you rarely cast it. If you do end up crafting the full version, though, you’re in for a lot of fun!
Either way, I hope this quick guide was useful to you, and if it was, make sure to let us know! We’ll soon cover the final mono-colored deck: mono white lifegain, so be sure to check Draftsim regularly so you don’t miss it. Also be sure to check out our amazing MTGA tracker, Arena Tutor.
Take care and see you soon!
Elder Gargaroth | Illustration by Nicholas Gregory