Kaldheim is here at last! Standard feels like a breath of fresh air and everyone is trying their new brews. But just because a new set has dropped, doesn’t mean decks that have been great will suddenly fall from grace. In fact, I think most of them just got even better. The one I will be talking about is Mono Green Food.
The list was already tight with not a lot of wiggle room for innovation. However, Kaldeim busted through the door like a Phyrexian tyrannosaurus bent on destruction. Of course, I am talking about Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider.
This card is a monster… Literally… All jokes aside, during spoiler season, everyone I knew was talking about this card. It was mostly about how cool it was to see a Phyrexian again and if there would be more, but I was always thinking it would be cool to cast the beast off Castle Garenbrig with The Great Henge in play and go crazy casting larger threats.
I was aware that this was more cute than effective, and if I was already going off like that then I was already in a winning position to begin with. Then I saw Blessing of Frost….
It was at this moment that Vorinclex became real to me and I knew the deck could be a contender. What is important to note about Blessing is that after you put the counters on your creatures you draw a card for each creature you control with power 4 or greater. This is huge for this deck even without Vorinclex in play as you can refill your hand very quickly without The Great Henge.
Are these cards worth it?
Vorinclex is just better than Kogla, the Titan Ape in my current opinion. Kogla just felt so clunky. Sure, he could be a removal spell when needed, but not having trample really limited this card in my eyes. Vorinclex is s 6/6 trample and haste threat that we can slam as early as turn 3. Any deck that is not packing Heartless Act is just in a world of trouble if that happens. So, in short, the Phyrexian dino gets my seal of approval.
Blessing of Frost is a weird card in this deck, for sure. But it is exactly what this deck wanted. Being able to draw even just one or two cards when we are running low is welcomed. It is also a redundant engine with The Great Henge, they complement each other well. The Great Henge helps when you are building your board, while Blessing of Frost benefits what you already have in play.
Rampaging Brontodon was only played main because slots needed filled and a lot of the top decks were already playing a ton of enchantments and artifacts that could be great targets. But now I think this deck has a more proactive game plan and feels more flushed out. The long necked dino can chill in the sideboard for when he is needed. Vivien tried to be a hedge against control style decks but in all reality just came up short. Making 3/3s just feels bad compared to boosting your board, drawing cards and bashing. Also, with such a comparably high land count, she was inconsistent at allowing us to cast off the top of the deck. She is undeniably powerful though, that is why I relegated both copies to the sideboard instead of the 1-1 split.
Making the list
The list wasn’t hard to create. It was simply just a matter of cutting the niche filler in the main and moving them to the sideboard and replacing them with the new toys, cards like Vivien and Thrashing Brontodon specifically. These cards were made to hedge game 1s since this deck is very sideboard dependent. But as you will see, we retain the correct numbers on important hate cards ensuring that this deck did not get weaker.
This is my Mono-White Aggro build that I recommend in the current meta:
Playing the Deck
The deck plays just like it did before. Ramp to the big boys and smash away. If anything, it is even easier to do. I never play my flip cards as lands unless I must because playing out a Tangled Florahedron that doesn’t get removed is basically playing two lands that turn. This can allow you to Castle Garenbrig out a large threat faster which is what we want to be doing.
Playing Kazandu Mammoth on 3 followed up by a land drop leads to a turn 4 The Great Henge. I see a lot of players play the Mammoth as a turn one or turn two land when they don’t have other plays and end up missing out on the all-powerful turn four Great Henge. Think of Mammoth as redundant copies of Lovestruck Beast in this regard. Most of the time it ends up being even better because it doesn’t require a 1/1 creature being in play to attack.
I would mulligan any hands without a mana accelerant or a good curve. We are not aggressive, nor is our late game as powerful as the control decks. Green Food is a midrange deck and should be viewed as such. While the deck is at its core “play big dudes and smash.” Be smart about how you play the deck and the choices you make. Consider the pros and cons of running out a Troll King, other creatures or The Great Henge first and act appropriately.
Cards for Consideration
The main deck is really tight, and it is hard to find room for other cards so this will mostly consist of sideboard cards.
Tormod’s Crypt: I think this will become a staple if the Rakdos Sacrifice deck gains any stream. But there aren’t really any other graveyard decks to look out for now, so I have not included it in my list as its functions are narrow
Garruk, Unleashed: I think this card is fine and I have flip flopped on playing 1 copy over a Viven. But I think Viven’s ability to play cards off the top is just more valuable.
Ram Through: Oh yes, Ram Through. I remember when I was a big supporter of this card way back in my old mono green video and article and most called me crazy until it blew up. I think this card is still fantastic. But the list is just too tight for it right now and with only a handful of trampling threats I just don’t think it makes the cut… Right now, at least, card is still great in my opinion.
Matchups and Sideboard Guide
Gruul Adventures / Mono Red
|+1 Wilt||-3 Trail of Crumbs|
|+3 Thrashing Brontodon||-2 Witch’s Oven|
|+1 Primal Might|
I grouped these decks together because they are basically the same. They just wanna play Embercleave and smash us or take our creatures with The Akroan War. We bring in Wilt and Thrashing Brontodon to take care of that. Primal Might serves as added removal. We cut Witch’s Oven because it is slow at what it does and easily taken care of. Trail of Crumbs is also just slow, and we have other ways of gaining advantage. Outside of Embercleave they have little late game.
|+1 Wilt||-4 Lovestruck Beast|
|+3 Thrashing Brontodon||-4 Wicked Wolf|
|+2 Questing Beast|
|+2 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate|
They are looking to grind with us and drag us out into deeper water. Try to not let that happen. Wicked Wolf has little targets worth its slot, and Lovestruck is cumbersome since the 1/1 is easily removed. In there place we bring in the Wilt or Thrashing Brontodon package to take care of their stuff and Questing Beast to smash in and be a nuisance. Vivien gains us incremental advantage. The biggest trick is having Oven ready to save a Troll King that is about to be the removed by a Elspeth Conquers Death.
|+4 Chainweb Aracnir||-3 The Great Henge|
|+2 Scavenging Ooze||-3 Trail of Crumbs|
This match up is abysmal game one and why I don’t like to play this deck in Bo1. After boarding it becomes a lot more manageable. Chainweb Aracnir is hard for them to deal with especially when we loop escaping it with Witch’s Oven. Scavenging Ooze does a fine job of cleaning up the graveyard and becoming a real threat that they must deal with. The Great Henge will rarely resolve and with their removal picking off our threats it is just wasted space most of the time, so I remove it. Trail of Crumbs also doesn’t really do anything, so I cut it as well. Troll King becomes our most valuable threat since we can loop them with food tokens. So, if something is going to be removed just sac it and save the food tokens for later use.
|+2 Questing Beast||-4 Lovestruck Beast|
|+2 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate|
This is mostly Dimir Control. But I could see some new builds popping up. Lovestruck is just a liability. If the token or other 1/1 is removed, then it just doesn’t do anything. Questing Beast is not only a powerful threat but also pressures any planeswalkers. Even Ugin after sweeping the board fears a top decked Questing Beast most of the time. Viven generates a constant board and allows us to cast from the top of our deck which is almost like drawing extra cards.
|+2 Scavenging Ooze||-3 Trail of Crumbs|
|+1 Wilt||-3 The Great Henge|
|+3 Thrashing Brontodon|
This matchup is still up in the air since it is the newest deck. Its builds vary, and if it becomes more popular, I can see adding in some Tormod’s Crypt to take care of it. But for right now I think Ooze is good enough. I think the best way to win this matchup is just attack it head on before Immersturm Predator becomes too big to deal with. The Akroan War is their best card against us. That is why I bring in Thrashing Brontodon and Wilt. Witch’s Oven can also be used to remove whatever it is that they try to take from us.
Mono Green Food isn’t going anywhere. If anything, it just got stronger. I think the new cards are powerful and really streamlined the deck. Moving the Niche cards to the board really help consistency and allow us to play the new powerful additions from Kaldheim.
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