Today I have the pleasure of going over one of my favorite Standard decks in general right now, Mono Green Aggro. Since Standard 2022, Mono Green has been a mainstay in Bo1 Standard with the power of it’s huge and resilient threats.
What makes Mono Green interesting compared to other aggro decks is, despite having the same general plan, you aren’t as fragile as the other aggressive decks. You are fast (albeit not as fast as other aggro decks), but you are substantially harder to shut down than the other aggressive decks. Traditionally, getting hit with something like The Meathook Massacre is a nightmare for aggro, but for Mono Green, that’s definitely beatable, and in some games, not even relevant as your creatures are so large.
This puts Mono Green in a cool spot where you can play the defensive role in the aggressive matchups as your blockers are so good and a strong aggressor in the slower matchups where their removal may not be as effective as normal.
Overall, I know Mono Green isn’t as popular as the other aggressive decks since it is slower, but when I’m facing a varied metagame, I enjoy having more versatility in my game plan. Let’s take a look at the list.
Generally speaking I say that all good aggressive decks start at 1 mana, but in the Bo3 version of Mono Green, I tend to eschew them. However, for Bo1, I think it’s necessary to play the playset of Ascendant Packleader.
Realistically speaking, this is going to be a 1 mana 2/1 most games. This can grow whenever you cast an Esika's Chariot or Invoke the Ancients, but the idea is that Bo1 is fast enough that having a 1 mana play is just that important. Packleader is never bad, just not the most exciting, but definitely good enough overall.
Since the 1 drops aren’t the crux of the curve, I would say the 2s definitely are. Although just a 1 of in the deck, Tangled Florahedron is nice as a fifth mana dork or an additional land in a pinch, both excellent options in this deck.
Speaking of mana dorks, Sculptor of Winter has been the mana dork of choice as it adds to the Snow permanent count (which is relevant for Blizzard Brawl), synergizes with a Forest enchanted by Old-Growth Troll, and is a 2/2 which is solid body when you don’t need to ramp that turn. Mono Green tries to accrue advantage with ramp rather than pure speed so having a dork on curve is always very nice.
While still 2 drops of course, these fulfill very different roles compared to the mana dorks. Werewolf Pack Leader is an absolute beast of a Kalonian Tusker where it can grow itself in a pinch and draw cards which is insane as it can help push you further ahead when attacking with a few creatures.
Ranger Class on the other hand is more of a slow burn as a 2 mana 2/2 is fine, but investing a little bit more mana lets you grow your board and investing even more gives you a pseudo Future Sight. Although a slower effect like this isn’t at it’s best in Bo1, Ranger Class is so strong that it’s a no brainer inclusion regardless.
Moving up the curve we come to even more heaters at the 3 drop slot. As the lone one of, Jewel Thief has been surprisingly impressive as the 3/3 body is solid at attacking, defending (which is easier given the Vigilance), and recouping some mana with a Treasure to help double spell or accelerate into other spells.
Kazandu Mammoth is a great inclusion as well since it has insane utility between being a mediocre land or a very powerful beater. A 3 mana 5/5 attacker is super scary!
Finally we come to one of the three reasons to stick with just one color, Old-Growth Troll. A 3 mana 4/4 Trample is already a great stat line, but one that’s bad to kill because it can give you a mana advantage and then another 4/4 body later in the game is absolutely absurd. Whether it survives and keeps dealing damage or dies and gives you mana as well as synergizing with Sculptor of Winter and Esika's Chariot.
Finally we come to the top of our curve, which dare I say, is some of the best in all of Standard. To anyone who has played Standard in any competitive sense, you know how insane Esika's Chariot can be. Getting functionally 8 power on a 4 drop where half of it can both grow your board and be harder to kill is clearly an obscene rate.
Now for the second reason we stick with just green, Invoke the Ancients has been absolutely killer for me as 5 mana for 8/10 in stats and keywords is just a huge tempo swing. Furthermore, it synergizes extremely well with Esika's Chariot as you can play Chariot, play Invoke next turn, use a token to Crew Chariot, and then attack and get another 4/5! It unfortunately doesn’t copy the keyword counter as well, but when you can get 12 power on turn 5 between 2 cards, I don’t think there’s any need for worry.
Although we don’t play many spells, both of them are excellent in their own right. Snakeskin Veil is a great protection spell as not only will it save your creature from mostly anything, it even permanently grows it for additional value!
For the final reason we stick with Mono Green, Blizzard Brawl is one of the best removal spells Standard has seen in a long time, especially for a creature deck. As long as you have 3 snow permanents (which is usually lands, but again, Sculptor of Winter counts), you get to kill pretty much any creature, get an additional power for a turn, and then have an indestructible attacker for the turn as well! That is a lot for a single mana and although you have some hoops to jump through, it’s not hard to do and is so powerful when you get to cast it.
Mono Green isn’t as popular as the other aggressive options, but it’s hard to argue that this deck isn’t great with how high the card quality is and how cohesive the game plan is in general.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Keep in mind that Ascendant Packleader will grow if you control an Esika's Chariot when you cast this or you cast Esika's Chariot OR Invoke the Ancients when this is on the battlefield. I make the distinction as you may want to sequence your spells differently to make sure you can grow your Packleader.
- In most decks you prioritize playing Tangled Florahedron as a land rather than a creature, in Mono Green, you probably want to cast it as a creature more often.
- Although it may be tempting, I very rarely activate the ability on Werewolf Pack Leader as it’s generally worse than adding more to the board. That said, if you’re playing around a board wipe, the Trample is relevant, or you really need to draw a card, then you can do it. As an additional note, make sure to pump Werewolf Pack Leader pre combat if you need it to draw a card as it would be too late once you attack.
- I’ve mentioned it twice already, but don’t forget that Sculptor of Winter counts towards Blizzard Brawl for Snow permanents.
- It’s definitely tempting to sacrifice a Forest enchanted by Old-Growth Troll as soon as possible, but I try to hold off as long as possible as the extra mana is generally better than a 4/4 and losing a land. That said, try not to wait too long either as the 4/4 will enter tapped and if you desperately need a blocker, waiting too long may make it ineffectual.
- Similar to activating the ability on Werewolf Pack Leader, I try to avoid leveling up Ranger Class in lieu of deploying more threats. Obviously if you find a spot in your curve, getting to Level 2 is great. The lone exception is if there’s a blocker that’s impeding a lot of attacks and they don’t have enough pressure to punish you for not adding to the board.
Competitive Mono Green Aggro Deck Guide
Want to go the extra mile? For more detailed matchup information and a sideboard guide for best-of-three, check out our companion competitive deck guide on Mono Green Aggro: