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leyline-of-abundance-by-noah-bradley

Historic Mono Green Ramp Deck Guide: Unbeatable Board States Starting Turn 3

Do you love slamming huge threats well before you're supposed to? So does DoggertQBones! Find out the best way to build Mono Green to completely overwhelm your opponents!

Hello everyone!

Today I have the pleasure of bringing you a deck hot off the presses of the Historic and Explorer Anthologies that I wasn’t positive I would be writing about. I was confident, but you can never truly know how good a deck is without trying it, right? Around two weeks ago, I wrote a premium article on the top 5 off meta decks I expected to be competitive with the release of the Anthologies. Since you’re here, you can infer that Mono Green was indeed part of the 5, but I actually had it fifth as I was the least confident on it’s success.

Well not only has the deck been an absolute blast to play, it has felt excellent so far. The starts you are able to get with the deck are truly unparalleled in Historic which makes it equally fun and fearsome. Without further ado, let’s dive right into the list!


The Deck

(H) Mono Green Ramp
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $206.97
Historic
Ramp
best of 3
8 mythic
17 rare
4 uncommon
31 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (12)
Creatures (21)
1
Gilded Goose
$2.49
4
Llanowar Elves
$1.56
4
Elvish Mystic
$3.96
4
Paradise Druid
$1.56
4
Elder Gargaroth
$71.96
Enchantments (4)
Lands (23)
60 Cards
$313.88
15 Cards
$34.37

Main Deck

As I spoke about in the article, the cards that make this deck at all operational is the existence of turn 1 mana dorks. In the past, we were forced to play 4 Llanowar Elves (which is great) and 4 Gilded Goose (very not great) to make this deck at all consistent, and considering I haven’t seen this deck on ladder in a few years, that tells to how it went. However, with the addition of Elvish Mystic, it’s a whole new deck. While Gilded Goose would let you accelerate one thing out, you often found yourself waiting to cast things at normal speed the rest of the time. With 8 shots of a turn one powerful mana dork, it’s much easier to facilitate the best starts possible.

Despite me talking poorly of the golden goose, I decided having one copy in the deck was still reasonable. While not nearly as good as its Elven counterparts, having a 9th dork in a pinch further increases consistency and the Food generation can be relevant in racing situations.

The one drops aren’t the only mana dorks we’re playing! Even though I have nine of them for one mana, we have eight more to work with! While nothing spectacular, Paradise Druid is a modest dork that’s tough to kill. One of the most frustrating play patterns that can happen with this deck is all your dorks get killed and you’re left with threats rotting in your hand. While Paradise Druid obviously can’t mitigate that single-handedly, having a ramp source that you can keep protected for as long as possible is very nice.

Next up we have another modest offering with Llanowar Visionary. This 3 mana Llanowar Elves doesn’t seem exciting, but one that replaces itself is much better than it seems. In a deck that is so writhe with threats, every additional card can draw us into a game winning card.

So counting all the mana dorks and lands, we’re playing a ridiculous FORTY sources of mana (23 lands + 17 dorks, obviously this isn’t exact, but forty looks so much better in bold, don’t you think?) So obviously, this is an egregious amount of mana. Furthermore, you may be thinking that this is way too much considering dorks are typically bad draws in the late game. Well, one card completely changes that equation.

This card is nuts and is the whole reason I’m writing this as a Historic deck guide rather than an Explorer one. For those who don’t know why I don’t play this in Explorer, it’s because it got banned in Pioneer some time ago as it was too good. First off, getting it in play turn 0 is such a colossal threat to the opponent. If you have Leyline into one drop, you can accelerate into a Karn, Great Creator on turn 2 or easily start slamming 5 drops on turn 3. Sure, you need to have it in your opener, but having a four of in your opening hand is far from rare. You may think that if you don’t have it in your opener and draw it later that it’s a bad draw, however that’s also not even close to true! I’ve had many games I played this on turn 3-5 which helped almost double my mana and run away with the game afterwards. Well what happens if you have a Leyline, all dorks, and lands? Then you just start spamming the activated ability until you draw something better or the game ends! This card really does it all and is the biggest reason to play this deck in Historic over Explorer despite it being a much higher power level format.

So we have disgusting amounts of mana generation, what are we playing all of this mana for?

You better believe we have a bunch of payoffs!

Since the A-Unholy Heat nerf, Elder Gargaroth has been one of my favorite threats in Historic. Near unkillable now, Gargaroth absolutely dominates board states and requires an immediate answer whether the opponent is the quickest aggro deck (especially if they’re aggro) or the slowest control deck. Being able to attack and accrue a solid resource while coming in for 6 is just nuts!

A nod to the Pioneer deck, Karn, the Great Creator is used to great effect here. Mono Green typically has very little card selection due to color pie restrictions, but Karn helps circumvent that with a robust wish board to give us helpful cards no matter the scenario we’re in.

For those who played Standard a few years ago, you definitely know the absolute terror that is Nissa, Who Shakes the World. Doubling your mana is scary enough, but also creating a seemingly unending fleet of 3/3s makes this the scariest card to play ahead of curve.

For the final threat of the deck, we have to go big with Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. Admittedly, Ugin has been relatively hit or miss in this deck as there are a lot of matchups where it can be hard to resolve. That being said, Ugin will also bail you out of situations no other card could and getting to 8 mana isn’t exactly hard in this deck!

While normally I would move onto the Matchups and Sideboarding section, we have to go to the sideboard to break down what we have there as well!

Sideboard

If you’re facing any creature strategy, you’ll be thrilled to have these on hand. Whether you use this as a cheapish removal spell, a huge threat, or both, Hydra can help you stabilize against fast starts.

On the other side of the spectrum, Shifting Ceratops is there for those pesky Blue decks that may give you issues. Having four uncounterable threats against Control is unbelievably powerful as your opponent will be constantly terrified to tap out against this deck and this is such a strong way to punish their hesitance. Of course you can bring this in against more decks than just Control! I’ve brought it in against Izzet Phoenix, Blitz, Merfolk, and even some creature decks just for more blockers. The versatility of Ceratops shouldn’t be underestimated.

Beyond Leyline of Abundance, this is the only other card stopping this deck from being a direct port to Explorer. You aren’t going to have this be a lock in too many matchups, but being able to completely turn off the opponent’s ability to win, even temporarily, is awesome.

Green doesn’t destroy permanents typically, but Meteor Golem can! You generally only take this in dire straits, but you’ll be happy to have it when you need it.

When you need to yeet a graveyard out of existence in a hurry.

For all your Pithing needle needs!

I almost always see Grafdigger's Cage in this slot, but I like Runestone more as it actually stops Indomitable Creativity and Transmogrify.

This is my most common grab from the sideboard as it does so much! Between killing creatures to immensely pressuring the opponent and/or their planeswalkers.

A way to severely cripple opponents who are already behind, making each spell cost two more is absolutely brutal and will make it near impossible for them to catch back up.


Explorer and Bo1 Historic

Although I think Leyline is an important card for the deck, I’m sure this will still function well in Explorer as well. If you wanted to try it there, here’s how I would build it.

(E) Mono Green Ramp
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $221.86
Explorer
best of 3
8 mythic
17 rare
4 uncommon
31 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (12)
Creatures (22)
2
Gilded Goose
$4.98
4
Llanowar Elves
$1.56
4
Elvish Mystic
$3.96
4
Paradise Druid
$1.40
4
Elder Gargaroth
$71.96
Artifacts (3)
Lands (23)
60 Cards
$328.02
15 Cards
$33.87

Since you don’t have access to Leyline, adding in more powerful 4 drops to ramp into early seemed smart. Esika's Chariot is still enrfed in Historic so I avoided it, but it’s still full powered in Explorer! Then to replace Platinum Angel I put in Treasure Vault which was the 8th wishboard target I was interested in that was cut to make room.

For Best of One, I honestly wouldn’t recommend this deck. Combo is too prevalent and I don’t think this is fast enough in most matchups to offset the speed of the most popular decks. If you are really insistint on playing this in Bo1, I would just play this 60 and then remove the Hydras and Ceratops from the sideboard giving you 7 wish board targets.


Matchups and Sideboard Guide

Voracious Hydra Art by Wayne Reynolds

Unlike pretty much every other deck I’ve ever written a guide on, the gameplan and boarding for this deck is so linear that it doesn’t necessitate a full breakdown to understand.

The only cards you are ever boarding in are Voracious Hydra and/or Shifting Ceratops. As I said in the breakdown, you want Voracious Hydra against creature decks specifically and you’ll want Ceratops against Blue strategies. In both cases, I just board out all of the Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. While powerful, if the opponent’s deck is polarizing enough to make you want to sideboard, Ugin is generally going to be too clunky to be good. Generally this is a straight swap, but you will have the rare situations where you’ll want to bring in Hydra and Ceratops. You would do this either when you’re facing specifically Merfolk or a deck that’s fast enough where you want a few additional blockers.

For simplicity sake, we’ll just say how to board against Merfolk. Once again you’re boarding out the Ugin, but I also board out the Gilded Goose and 3 Karn, the Great Creator. While Karn is obviously powerful, not having an immediate board impact in a matchup where the opponent gets on board very quickly is a pretty big liability. That said, I keep one in as, generally speaking, it’s going to be a better top deck in the late game compared to Gilded Goose.

If you’re facing something like Mono Red where you may want the additional blockers, you can follow similar boarding, but I wouldn’t board in all 4 Shifting Ceratops. Going for 2-3 and boarding out Karns to make room is the most reasonable option to me.

In terms of gameplan, you ramp and slam threats. There really isn’t much more to it and the only real nuance is playing around interaction, but realistically, you’ll rarely have the ability to play around much anyway. So if you like slamming threat after threat like I do, this is the perfect deck for you.


Tips and Tricks

Nissa, Who Shakes the World Art by Chris Rallis
Nissa, Who Shakes the World Art by Chris Rallis
  • Don’t forget about Karn, the Great Creator passive that shuts off artifacts. This can be vital against certain strategies like Sacrifice or Oni-Cult Anvil and you need to prioritize keeping it alive over grabbing cards.
  • Don’t be afraid to just wrath the full board away with Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, even if you’ll lose a lot of permanents.
  • When you have a Leyline of Abundance out, all your creature lands produce additional mana as well! If you activate a Faceless Haven that’ll generate two mana and all Forests animated with Nissa, Who Shakes the World will create 2 or 3 depending if Nissa is still on board.
  • Keeping a hand of dorks and lands can be ok if you have any semblance of a payoff whether that’s a Leyline of Abundance or even a few Llanowar Visionary. Generally I would avoid keeping top heavy hands hoping to draw into ramp though.

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DoggertQBones
DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

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