Golgari Monsters Historic Deck Guide: You Don’t Need to Be Gruul to Smash
Hello everyone! I’ll admit it, I have a problem. My problem is that I can’t stop playing Collected Company decks in Historic and I don’t want the cure. Initially piloted by Devon (d00mwake) O’Donnell in the Zendikar Rising Championship, GB is looking to play big creatures and smack your opponent to death before they can even think of recovering. Let’s take a look at the original list.
Now that’s scrumptious. As you all know by now, I’m a big junkie for not just Collected Company, but also The Great Henge in Historic so this deck is right up my alley. This has a similar feel to GW Company, but instead of interacting with the opponent, we’re using huge creatures to kill them quickly before we have to interact.
Although this deck doesn’t necessarily want to grind, with a staggering 14 creatures that can enable a 4 mana (or cheaper) Henge, this deck casts Henge better than GW could ever hope to. I played a few matches with it and I really liked the power level of the deck and the base felt strong so no major adjustments needed. However, it wouldn’t be a Bob article without me tuning up the deck a bit. Let’s take a look at what I ended up on.
As I said, the base was really good so very little needed changing. The things that I was cognizant of when playing was that Gilded Goose did not feel good and I wanted more interaction for my post board games than the original sideboard had.
Before we talk about card choices, I don’t want to forget about my Best of One readers as well since I feel this deck could have real legs there. For Bo1, here’s how I would build GB Henge.
The concept is still the same, but we take out some Scrapheap Scroungers that are better for a longer game, Heart of Kiran which is not great from behind, and bring in Brain Maggot which can help stymie an opponent looking to kill you quickly. You could add more removal to the deck, but you don’t want to detract from your main game plan of Collected Company and Henge too much as this deck is very capable of quick wins as well.
Let’s talk about the card choices for the Bo3 version, but nearly everything here will apply to Bo1 as well!
4 Kazandu Mammoth
I love this big, woolly idiot as it can be a Forest in a pinch or a great beater when you need it.
4 Llanowar Elves
Best 1 drop creature in Historic and perfect in a deck with 14 3 drops.
4 Pelt Collector
Ideally you’re starting off with Llanowar Elves every turn 1, but things won’t always work that smoothly. Although Pelt Collector isn’t as strong of a 1 drop, it can scale up with your threats very quickly and you can have it be a larger and larger attacker with every turn.
4 Scavenging Ooze
You better believe I’m always playing 4 Scavenging Ooze when I’m allowed to. It’s not amazing on turn 2, but it’s excellent against any graveyard nonsense and is good for eating random creatures that died later in the game.
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
The terror of Kaladesh standard. Scrounger is a threat that is so hard to stop for any extended period of time as it only asks for 2 mana and to exile a creature for it to come back again. There is an awkward contention between Scrounger and Scavenging Ooze so just be mindful of how many creatures you eat out of your own graveyard.
2 Rhonas the Indomitable
Rhonas wears many hats in this deck and everyone looks good on them. Rhonas is great off Company, gives your largest threats more power and trample, is unbeatable in combat, and helps cast The Great Henge. You really don’t want to draw more than 1, but the first copy is usually quite good.
4 Rotting Regisaur
Regisaur isn’t as exciting as it was in Standard, but it still works really well in this deck with Collected Company and The Great Henge. It’s not ideal if you discard a card and they kill it, but you also get free wins when your opponent can’t answer this quickly since it just chunks every turn.
4 Steel Leaf Champion
Not much to say beyond this is a very powerful 3 drop with a great static ability. Being able to dodge small chump blockers is a huge boon for this card.
4 Collected Company
In a deck with 14 3 drops and 30 total hits, Collected Company is obviously a powerful card. If you ever get blessed enough to go The Great Henge into Collected Company, you’ll be rolling in the value.
2 Heart of Kiran
Gilded Goose was not at all what this deck wanted and I wanted a proactive threat that worked well with the rest of the deck. Although you can’t hit this off of Collected Company, Scrapheap Scrounger, all of your 3 drops, and potentially Pelt Collector and Scavenging Ooze can all naturally crew this. This deck can get blown out by an Extinction Event so having a strong threat that can dodge that is very powerful.
3 The Great Henge
This card is so busted in Standard I don’t get why more people don’t realize that it’s good in Historic too. This is supremely easy to cast in this deck as all of your 3s easily lead into a Henge the next turn and functionally no deck can out grind the value of the Henge.
21 Lands + 4 Kazandu Mammoth
2 Fatal Push
Good against any deck playing small creatures.
2 Primal Might
More versatile removal that only asks you to have one decently sized creature on board.
For when you need to take cards out of your opponent’s hand that you’ll have a hard time beating
4 Brain Maggot
See above, but now with an adorable 1/1 attached.
2 Questing Beast
Some matchups are going to be about killing the opponent before they can enact their game plan, this is what it’s for.
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Boat is excellent in any matchup where board presence is king. When the deal 3 on ETB and attacks is relevant, Boat is a great inclusion.
MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARDING
|+2 Questing Beast||-4 Rotting Regisaur|
As exciting as it can be to have your Rotting Regisaur killed after the trigger activates, I think you are better served having different options. Like all other creature decks, balancing having enough pressure to win, but not so much you get blown out by a board wipe is the name of the game. Furthermore, sticking a Henge is priority number 1 as, if you accomplish that, you’re very likely to win.
|+2 Primal Might||-4 Scavenging Ooze|
|+4 Thoughtseize||-4 Rotting Regisaur|
|+4 Brain Maggot||-1 Heart of Kiran|
|+2 Questing Beast||-3 The Great Henge|
This matchup can be very challenging as Krenko and Muxus are just so ridiculously good against you, but with 8 Thoughtseize effects, some removal, and a really good clock, the matchup is definitely manageable. Keep their Krenkos and Muxus off the board or kill them before they can be relevant.
|+1 Primal Might||-4 Rotting Regisaur|
|+2 Questing Beast|
|+1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship|
This matchup seems bad on the surface because Claim is so good against you. However, it’s actually pretty even as you have so many threatening creatures to beat them down with, Henge is amazing against them, and Mayhem Devil is not super insane against you. Nevertheless, it’s going to be about adding as much power to the board as possible and trying to beat thembefore they can establish a lock on you with Mayhem Devil and/or Cauldron Familiar.
|+2 Fatal Push||-1 Pelt Collector|
|+2 Primal Might||-4 Scrapheap Scrounger|
|+4 Thoughtseize||-2 Rhonas the Indomitable|
|+4 Brain Maggot||-2 Heart of Kiran|
|-3 The Great Henge|
This matchup is a classic case of you don’t need to win, you just need to not lose. Our game plan works really well against Engine because the deck is both quite fast and disruptive so finding a way to win is no issue, you just need to stop them from doing their thing first as they can also kill very quickly uninterrupted. Focus on interacting with them rather than pure speed.
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