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Paul Hagan's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage

Mono-Green Beats
10-07-05

 

Hey all and welcome back to the deck garage. Last week, I strayed slightly off topic by mentioning the Cowboys and my fantasy football team, Hagan’s Hitmen. It got a small amount of positive feedback, so I’ll stray again.

The ‘Boys lost a close one to the Raiders, bringing the superior of the two teams from Texas to a 2-2 record. Boo to that, but let’s hope they pull out a surprise win over the Eagles this week.

I do have good news, though: the Hitmen handily won their match in Fantasy Football against the Leroy Jenkins Armada, 112-70. The Hitmen now sit with a 3-1 record.

Wandering back on topic, it’s been months since we hit a green deck, so I plucked one out of my inbox this week. Here be the e-mail I received:
------------

Hey, I've been playing Magic for a long time and have a deck that I hope has
synergy. There isn't need to worry about budget here.

The basics of this deck is to obtain threshold, pump out large creatures,
and buff them. If I run into bad situations, use Soul Blast to burn them.
Mana is no problem at all.

Creatures (16)
4 Krosan Beast
4 Metamorphic Wurm
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fyndhorn Elves

Spells
4 Giant Growth
4 Far Wanderings
4 Book Burning
3 Sylvan Might
2 Overrun
2 Break Asunder
2 Fires of Yavimaya
2 Savage Beating
2 Soul Blast

Lands (20)
12 Forest
4
Mountain
4 Karplusan
Forest

 

------------


OK, so we’re working with almost entirely green, utilizing threshold, and pumping creatures to make them hard to deal with.

I’m cool with Llanowar Elves; those guys are always good. Using Fyndhorn Elves as well bothers me a bit though – this deck doesn’t need that much mana acceleration. Instead, why don’t we concentrate on making dudes that can dole out damage?

-4 Fyndhorn Elves

Krosan Beast should probably continue to hang out, since this deck is based around threshold. However, if we are talking about threshold and creatures, then where is the bear? Haha, that’s not even remotely funny, I’m sorry.

+4 Werebear

I’m not digging Metamorphic Wurm so much. He costs a bit too much for the benefit that you get, and I think better things could be done with the mana.

-4 Metamorphic Wurm

From the same block that Threshold came out in, Wild Mongrel made his debut. One of the best two drops ever made, the Mongrel would be a perfect fit for this deck. However, with his inclusion, I am left at somewhat of an impasse. If I include Wild Mongrel, should I include the two big Madness cards, Basking Rootwalla and Arrogant Wurm? What about everyone’s favorite graveyard man, Roar of the Wurm?

I think the best option is to include Basking Rootwalla, but pass on Roar of the Wurm, and Arrogant Wurm. Why? Because Basking Rootwalla is a good enough creature on its own. Roar of the Wurm can be absolutely scary if it goes active, but Roar is far too expensive without Mongrel. Arrogant Wurm, on the other hand, just isn’t that good without a way to discard. I won’t rely entirely on four copies of a card to supply the discard, so Arrogant Wurm can’t make the cut unless there is another discard option.

+4 Basking Rootwalla
+4 Wild Mongrel

After that big change, I really need to cut down on the non-creature spells, else we will wind up with a 70+ card deck. Dats not cool. One of the cards that jumped out at me for immediate cutting was Far Wanderings. Yes, in a deck that wants to hit threshold, it is a good card. However, I would much rather have that land early and have my card do something in case I am already loaded down with lands. Something that helps with this would be a guy like Sakura-Tribe Elder, who has a similar function but can also serve as an attacker / blocker late in the game.

-4 Far Wanderings
+4 Sakura-Tribe Elder

I’m also not a huge fan of Sylvan Might. Or Giant Growth for that matter, but sometimes Giant Growth can still be a mildly scary card. Anyways, why not pull Sylvan Might for a full set of Rancor? It really is the best green pump spell ever printed, so unless the format prevents you from playing it, Rancor should make almost any green deck.

-3 Sylvan Might
+4 Rancor

I’m not digging the amount of pump spells in the deck, though. No need to have Overrun hanging out – your creatures will be big enough to handle matters on their own, and you don’t want to have that many 5-casting-cost spells in your deck.

-2 Overrun

I know this deck operates somewhat off of threshold, but I absolutely detest (new word for this article) any of the option spells like Browbeat, Blazing Salvo, and, yes, Book Burning. Every time, your opponent will choose the option that is better for him or her, meaning your spell wasn’t as effective as it could have been if they hadn’t had an option. I’m not sure how much sense that comes across as making, but it makes complete sense upstairs on my end. Plus, the card really is bad later in the game once you already have threshold.

-4 Book Burning

Another problem I am seeing is that red is really unnecessary in this deck. Savage Beating and Soul Blast have more than one red in their mana cost, meaning you need multiple red sources in play to get their effects. However, almost all of the strengths in this deck come from green cards. In face, aside from Fires of Yavimaya, there really isn’t a reason to have red in the deck. I could go off on a small tangent and make this deck *really* R / G, with cards like Lightning Bolt, Incinerate, and Flametongue Kavu, but I’m not sure that this was the intended direction, especially since before any changes were made, there were only ten red cards in the deck. Instead, I’m going to cut red from the deck entirely in an attempt to make a more effective mono-green beatdown.

-2 Fires of Yavimaya
-2 Savage Beating
-2 Soul Blast

There are only a few of slots left, and way too many cards that could fit into them. Seeing Break Asunder hanging out, I have to assume that our contributer is working against a fair number of artifacts and / or enchantments. Instead of the overcosted Break Asunder, why don’t we include Naturalize?

-2 Break Asunder
+2 Naturalize

The final choice for a card to make the cut is one of my favs: Call of the Herd. It not only provides you with a creature that is of good size for its cost, but it adds to threshold until you see fit to play its low flashback cost. Think of it as a more appropriate Roar of the Wurm (discussed above).

+4 Call of the Herd

Since we went through and eliminated red spells, I should probably cut the four Mountains and Karplusan Forests from the deck, huh?

-4 Karplusan Forest
-4 Mountain

However, don’t think that just Forests could replace these cards. Why don’t we add in Treetop Village and Centaur Gardens in, both of which can be extremely helpful late in the game? Also, I’m going to throw in two forests to bring the total land count to 22.

+4 Centaur Gardens
+2 Forest
+4 Treetop Village

I think that about wraps up work on this week’s deck. Here’s how it turned out:

CREATURE SPELLS (24):
4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Krosan Beast
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Werebear
4 Wild Mongrel

NON-CREATURE SPELLS (14):
4 Call of the Herd
4 Giant Growth
2 Naturalize
4 Rancor

LANDS (22):
4 Centaur Gardens
14 Forest
4 Treetop Village

Hope that helps!

Remember, cheer for the Cowboys (and the Hitmen, but only if you like cheering some writer’s fantasy team), play Magic, have fun, and I’ll see y’all next week.

-Paul Hagan



 

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