Strategy and Gameplay:
Aggro in the ‘05 Metagame – Mono-Nature
March 23th, 2005
For anyone who has played a collectable card game prior
to Duel Masters a one fact is always evident. If you can
obtain useable resources more quickly than you opponent,
you will more than likely win.
it’s simply a matter of outdrawing your opponent such as
in Yugi-Oh (thus the harsh treatment of cards such as
Pot of Greed and Graceful Charity). Perhaps it’s a
matter of more currency than your opponent, allowing you
to play more cards more quickly such as in Magic: The
Gathering – a game in which players are constantly
searching for infinite mana generators. Likely, it’s
both – and this is most definitely the case in the Duel
Today, however, we are simply going to focus on the
civilization best able to help with the production of
currency – that’s mana in Duel Masters talk. No
mono-colored deck is better equipped to produce gobs of
mana than Mono-Green! So, for those players who are
truly worried about being able to cast those creatures
and spells they put into their decks, this is the place
to stop by.
Next to Fire, Nature has the cheapest and quickest
creatures in the game. Often, you will even find
yourself able to use Fire rushing tactics to take your
opponent down before they know what hit them. If that
doesn’t quite work, Nature has some of the cheapest yet
most powerful evolution creatures to finish the job. Few
cards can stand up against the assault of the likes of
Fighter Duel Fang and Barkwhip, the Smasher (check out
my article: “Top 5 Evo’s in the January 2005 Metagame”
if you want to see my arguments relating to this).
Lastly, to ensure you can force your way through those
shields at full speed you have the best mana
acceleration in the game!
Like Fire, Natures quick and deadly creatures can often
be countered by Light, Water and, sometimes Darkness
each of which possess cheap and effective blockers.
These blockers can quickly put a halt on your assault.
In addition, while Nature currently has a one of the
strongest creature removal cards in the game in Natural
Snare, Nature falls short by not giving us any more
creature removal above and beyond that single card!
Basic Build Formula
You may notice something slightly different about the
“Basic Build Formula” I have provided here for you this
week. That’s because the first two criteria for building
a successful Mono-Nature deck are not so easily defined.
Often, the functions of these cards will cross over.
Despite this, I believe there to be a maximum amount of
room you should be dedicating to these specific criteria
and thus that last two criteria do possess a defined
guideline. Be sure to follow the basic build rule of 40
to 42 card deck!
Xx Mana Acceleration Cards
Mono-Green is actually kind enough to break it’s mana
acceleration down into two types – mana-production and
cost-reduction. Mana-production is the creation of mana,
which is permanently placed into your mana pool for use
each turn (barring catastrophic death by the likes of
Mana Crisis, that is). Cost-reduction is the blanket
lowering the of casting cost of spells and/or creatures
that are played.
Let’s start with a quick overview of mana-production.
These are effects that place cards into play in your
mana-zone. Such cards currently include Ballonshroom Q,
Bronze-Arm Tribe, Enchanted Soil, Fighter Duel Fang,
Coiling Vines, Gigamantis, Mighty Shouter, Rainbow
Stone, Silver-Axe, Ultimate Force, Psyshroom, Pangaea’s
Song, and Poisonous Mushroom. Between these types of
cards you have various tactics you can use to produce
lots of mana. Arguably, the fastest means of generating
additional mana are cards that immediately produce mana
from the top of your library or from your hand.
Bronze-Arm Tribe, Fighter Duel Fang, Ultimate Force and
Poisonous Mushroom all fall into this style of play.
Each of these cards place additional mana into your
mana-zone and, for the most part, you don’t have to wait
to meet an outside condition for them to produce that
mana. Nearly all of the rest of the cards fit into
another style of mana-production. With these cards you
will find that you must meet a condition (such as
attacking, having creatures in your graveyard or perhaps
the death of a creature) for them to add mana to your
mana-zone. While this may be a slower means to producing
that additional mana, these cards will often tend to
produce greater amounts of mana. Basically, you are
looking at delayed rewards. The only problem…will you be
alive to reap those rewards.
Cards that provide cost-reduction are much, much fewer
in the current Duel Masters environment. Mono-Green
offers us only Elf-X and Essence Elf. That’s not a lot
of choices and obviously you will need to couple any
cost-reduction strategy you might use with a
mana-production strategy. Either way, each of these
cards can go a long way, especially if you are able to
play more than a single card per a turn!
Examples: Bronze-Arm Tribe, Ultimate Force, and Elf-X.
Xx Three Casting Cost or Lower Creatures
Ah…quick and deadly creatures to help you win games
before your opponent has finished shuffling their deck.
Mon-Green has them aplenty. In addition, such creatures
are also often (but not always) great evo-bait. Also, if
you build your deck right some of these creatures can
cross over into your mana acceleration slots. Think it
over carefully before you choose.
Examples: Burning Mane, Leaping Tornado Horn, and Mighty
Bandit, Ace of Thieves.
8x Support Fatties
Nearly ever deck needs at least a few creatures with the
extra bit of power to push through your opponents
defenses. Mono-Nature is no exception. The great thing
about Mono-Nature is that your “support” fatties will
often serve as much more than just support cards. In
fact, you may find yourself winning regularly thanks to
a combination of their low cost and fantastic mane
Examples: Fighter Duel Fang, Raging Dash-Horn, and
8-12x Support Spells
Mono-Nature simply can’t survive using it’s creatures
alone. In order to ensure consistent wins you will need
to support those creatures with some crucial spells.
Your style of play will very much matter here. More
aggressive players will often drift toward the likes of
Brutal Charge, control players Natural Snare, and
defensive players Mystic Inscription.
Examples: Brutual Charge, Natural Snare, and Mystic
The budget practice deck, once again, follows the
formula I have provided for you. You will notice that
it’s essentially a Beast Folk deck. Frankly, in order to
give you the strongest deck on a budget I possibly can,
Beast Folk became the order of the day.
The sample, primed deck follows in the same footsteps as
my budget deck. I prefer this deck to have been built by
someone other than me and unfortunately I was not able
to find you anything more up to date than Cecillbill’s
version of Zman22674’s Mono-Nature Beast Folk from her
deck lab. Still, this is from Cecillbill, so you know
it’s gotta be good enough to include. The only change I
would make to it would be to include Noifa, however I
don’t believe that card was available when she created
this build. Check it out and enjoy!
Budget Practice Deck:
4x Bronze-Arm Tribe
4x Mighty Shouter
4x Burning Mane
4x Fear Fang
4x Barkwhip, the Smasher
4x Raging Dash-Horn
2x Enchanted Soil
4x Dimension Gate
4x Mana Nexus
2x Natural Snare
Cecillbill’s Sample Primed Deck:
4x Fighter Dual Fang
4x Barkwhip The Smasher
4x Golden Wing Striker
4x Raging Dash Horn
4x Bronze Arm Tribe
4x Steel Smasher
4x Burning Mane
4x Rumbling Terahorn
4x Mana Nexus
4x Natural Snare
Thanks and I hope you enjoyed this installment of “Agrro
Decks in the ’05 Metagame.” In the next installment I
will likely be finally sharing with you mixed
civilization decks. Until then, get it there and toy
around with those all so powerful Nature cards. I’m
positive you won’t be disappointed in them!
P.S. Keep an eye out for another “Gamelot Tournament
Report: w/ Pictures!” from me coming at you later on