Argothian Treehouse
Andy Van Zandt



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Argothian Treehouse

with Andy Van Zandt

Mirrodin Limited: Green is Control

Yes, you heard me.  I'm tired of people who are (in my eyes) misplaying and
incorrectly theorizing about green.  You say you were trying to draft the
green beatdown deck?  Did it start with a trolls of tel-jilad, and then get
two immediate fangren hunters and some myr?  Then you should have been
"trying" to do something else.  Fangren Hunters are good in the common slot,
don't get me wrong,  but so are myr enforcers... and everyone gets those. 
Everyone also get equipment, which usually stops your fangren cold.  To be
an actual "beatdown" card, he either needs to come out very early,  or he
needs LOTS of backup to keep him alive while he's swinging... equipment,
predator strikes, trolls of tel-jilad.  Usually, he needs both.  Yes, he'll
get in the beginning swings...  then the ground will stall.  and you're

Which brings me to the point, actually.  You're green.  You can auto-stall
the ground.  That Fangren Hunter is an even better wall than he is an
attacker.  Here's another mistake people make-  they chalk up the
pro-artifact guys as offensively good.  This is wrong for several reasons. 
Yes, the chosen will get off two swings,  but then they stop forever when
any non-artifact dude comes down...  and you can't equip your guy (they can
equip theirs),  so until that wurmskin forger comes down,  he's busy tending
the garden.  The archers have a bit more shelf-life on the offense, but they
also come down much later,  so you're lucky if you get off the two hits with

Is this to say that they're bad cards?  Heck no!  They're great!  At
stalling the ground,  and the air in the case of the archers.  That's what a
control deck wants.  Stop everything, and give me some time to breath and
set up my either -superior card quality- or -greater card advantage-.  Now
you say "hey, green's not blue!", to which I say "Au contraire!".  Green has
the best and most artifact kill.  In mirrodin,  this is often BETTER than
countering stuff.  It's by and large creature kill,  and most of the
non-creature threats are... yup, artifacts.  "But card advantage!?"  you
say,  "yes." I say.  Viridian Shaman and Journey of Discovery being the most
notable pieces of the puzzle.  Now I'm sure you think I'm an idiot for
advocating the journeys,  but hear me out.  They do gain card advantage.  It
is "just" land.  But this "just" land is not a bad thing,  especially if
you're splashing a third color,  or have some expensive spells.  More
importantly though,  this thins your deck,  which gives you better card
quality from your draws late game,  which is what you were trying to achieve
with your ground stall.  Cast a couple journeys and you've probably reduced
your odds of drawing land to less than 1 in 4,  and that's a significant
change (since normally your chances are GREATER than 1 in 3).  You don't
want to draw land late game.

Now on to winning...  this is where your better card quality usually comes
into play,  and is usually dependent on your second color.  white, blue, and
black all give you air dudes,  and predator strikes make your air dudes win
out,  usually even against opposing equipped wingers.  Barring that,  a
couple of good rares can bring you a quick victory...  Plated Slagwurm is
usually at worst a 3 for 1,  maybe more with an instant trick to keep him
alive,  or something to make him trample or fly over the regenerators. 
Tower of Murmurs is another good thing people don't use enough...  it
usually wins for you if you get to use it three times,  or at worst, 4-  so
that's a good unblockable clock.  One of, in my opinion, the best things
though, is the Trolls of Tel-Jilad.  All your green guys regenerate,
including your new 5/6.  This lets you serve, serve, serve.  Plus he's
uncommon, so it's a bit more reasonable to see one of them in a draft.  If
you don't see him,  you'll probably see and/or get passed multiple
Bloodscents...  another vastly underestimated card.  Yes, lure is better,
yes, this doesn't even need to be instant.  But if you ground stall,  and
you're green,  odds are that you can scrap together 20 points of damage with
your other creatures while your copper myr or tel-jilad exile takes one for
the team.  Bloodscent is also useful earlier in the game...  if they've got
a trouble creature,  it's a bad piece of creature kill if necessary,  but
moreover,  if you've got a really big fatty (from equipment, from wurmskin
forger, or from being named "plated slagwurm", or whatever), you can usually
4 for 2 with this card.  More card advantage for ya.

Another couple tidbits,  Slagwurm armor (see?  goes with green) lets you
propagate that ground stall pretty quick, and lets your hunter be a
nuissance on offense (see my previous article).  Once you've got the ground
stall, Viridian (and see?  to go with your Viridian shaman) Longbow gives
you a viable win condition OR gives you card advantage by machine-gunning
their team.  Yeah,  I know,  I'm telling you to use a lot of "bad" cards. 
Just trust me here,  this is actually one format I've played a lot of.

To summarize:  Stall ground with fatties, pro-artifact creatures, and
regenerating exiles (exiles are not as good as they first appear, but they
still stall the ground).  Gain card advantage and card quality.  Figure out
your win condition.  Win.

Questions? Comments? Criticism?  Free oversized cards you want to send me? 
Shoot me an email.  Or a christmas present.

You can reach Andy at:

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