Mono Green Food Standard Deck Guide
Aren’t you guys hungry for some guides, like I am? Well fret not, dear people, Papa Sorq has got something delicious for you that fits the theme: Mono-Green Food! This deck has impressed me quite a bit because the cards don’t look super strong on paper but it does have some good matchups into popular decks (most notably Rogues and Gruul).
Without further ado, let’s get started!
This midrange deck is trying to be a ramp a little bit as well; Wolfwillow Haven, Gilded Goose and Tangled Florahedron are your early starts to get your important spells out earlier. I want to point out that this is one of the few decks where the Goose is good in: If you try to play this in normal ramp shells you will get disappointed pretty quickly, but if you got something to do with the excess Food tokens this becomes one of your best cards.
Wicked Wolf helps you get board control so you can protect your Vivien and Feasting Troll King is your hard-to-kill top end. I want to point out that while this deck may not be tier 1, it’s very fun to play and has game against practically everything, including some of the best decks in the format (I’ll mention the specifics later under “sideboard guide”). That’s due to the nature of midrange decks and this one in particular, as you can out grind a lot of opponents with the help of Trail of Crumbs while Wicked Wolf and the Food tokens help you against aggressive decks while being almost impossible to answer.
Card Choice Explanations: Main Deck
4 Gilded Goose: This card, as explained, is insane in this deck. If you remember the times when Oko, Thief of Crowns was still legal, you should know how powerful this can be when you actually have something to do with your Food tokens other than ramping once. This enables Wicked Wolf and Trail of Crumbs while ramping you, basically everything that you need in this deck. I hate that this dies to Bonecrusher Giant and everyone and their mother is playing that card right now – but it’s still a one mana threat that will at least leave a Food behind if they kill it.
It’s also part of your perfect draw where you play this card on turn 1 into Trail of Crumbs and then you can start generating card advantage basically for free. Do not keep card in your hand in an attempt to dodge Bonecrusher Giant or something like that. You need it.
2 Ram Through: Two copies doesn’t seem like much but remember that we still have Wicked Wolf to control the board, and with the size of our creatures we force our opponents to react to our game plan anyway. You need some amount of removal, but I hate playing too many non-creatures or non-permanents with Trail of Crumbs, The Great Henge and Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate. It’s also that kind of removal that requires you to have some bigger creatures already, which means that’s not early game removal even though it costs only two mana. Because of that, I am only playing two in the main.
3 Scavenging Ooze: I think this is my 5th or something guide that includes Scavenging Ooze, so you should already know that this card is just great. Short version: This is one of the best two-drops that was ever printed in Magic, period, and it’s well positioned in the metagame against Dimir Rogues and Rakdos Kroxa. Three copies should be more than enough since you’re going to find additional cards with Trail of Crumbs and it’s a card that’s better a bit later on in the game anyway.
4 Tangled Florahedron: The original list (by Kvartek) did not play this, but I have good reasons. First of all, I wanted additional ramp cards to get going. Second, this allows us to play more creatures because we can swap these with lands. Because of that, The Great Henge gets monumentally better! Usually 2 mana mana dorks aren’t great because unless you’re curving out with them early, they do practically nothing later. Florahedron is a Modal-Double-Faced-Card, but it’s still bad in the late game. With the Great Henge out this will instead turn into a cantrip when it should be useless and that makes it so much more exciting! You also sort of “oversaturate” your opponent’s Bonecrusher Giant, where it will become much less likely that they have one for this when they already used one on Gilded Goose. I’ll explain a bit more about the Henge later.
4 Trail of Crumbs: This is one of your grindy pieces, but this one is much harder to interact with because it’s much cheaper than something like Vivien for example and it has the enchantment type which naturally dodges a lot more removal cards. This is insane with Gilded Goose on turn 1, as already mentioned, and it’s also amazing when you get Feasting Troll King back from the graveyard. This card is integral to the deck, so I would highly recommend you to play all 4.
4 Wolfwillow Haven: This is a ramp piece that doesn’t get hit by Bonecrusher Giant, making it 12 ramp pieces to work with. It’s not a creature so it doesn’t work well with Vivien and the Great Henge, so I don’t like that, but it’s also a permanent that you can sacrifice to your opponent’s Doom Foretold, which is pretty popular right now. You could maybe shave 1 or 2 if you wanted, but I like having the security of practically drawing ramp every game that I play.
2 Kazandu Mammoth: We can replace these with basics, so this will make it less likely to flood as well as screwing. It’s not super good in this deck otherwise because beating early is not really our game plan, but it’s awesome to have lands that work with The Great Henge. I would play all four copies if it wasn’t for the Tangled Florahedron’s and I don’t want to have too many more tapped lands.
2 Thrashing Brontodon: I played two more Mammoth’s in this spot, but Bronto-Dad and Gemrazer is actually pretty good right now! It’s a big body that blocks well against Gruul and for the simple price of only 1 more mana you get to disable their massive Embercleave turns! It also has applications against the Doom Foretold + Elspeth Conquers Death decks as well. The reason why this is amazing is the fact that it is an enchantment + artifact hate card that you can draw off Trail of Crumbs or Vivien; and it cantrips you with the Henge out.
4 Wicked Wolf: This is easily one of the strongest cards in the deck and some decks are just not able to beat this when you have this on the battlefield with some Food tokens out. The fact that you control the board easily with this is one thing – but the other thing is that you can eat Food without tapping mana, making Trail of Crumbs easy to use. That card might be the main reason to play Food, so it’s an easy full inclusion.
1 Elder Gargaroth: Well, first of all, this is just a strong card, but you already knew that. When it enters the battlefield and survives you’re pretty much winning and it’s a huge wall against aggressive decks. The other reason is that you can easily fish this out of your deck when you use your -2 ability on Vivien after casting Feasting Troll King and that’s just such an unbelievable board swing.
Long story: I’ve never seen Vivien be so good in a deck like in this one. If you use the -2 after casting a Troll King and getting Wicked Wolf and Elder Gargaroth into play you usually just win the game. Because we play so many creatures, this sort of works as a pseudo Experimental Frenzy in our deck, too. This pressures your opponent insanely while it protects itself pretty well and creatures massive value.
Short story: “Whenever I see Vivien being cast, it just completely rolls over the opponent” – Martin Juza, November 1, 2020, after seeing Vivien being cast and completely rolling over the opponent.
4 Feasting Troll King: This is one of the cards that impressed me the most because I didn’t think much of it at first. First of all, this basically costs 5 mana most of the time because of your Castle Garenbrig. Should one of your ramp spells survive, this will easily come down as soon as turn 4, and that’s just absolutely game breaking. Remember that your opponent basically needs to kill this twice because of the Food that it generates. Since Food is important in this deck anyway, it also synergizes so well with our other cards. This will be your best blocker and attacker, making it an easy 4-of inclusion.
2 The Great Henge: *Surprised Pikachu Face*: This card might be decent! In all seriousness, the original lists of Mono Green Food didn’t play this because it lacked some creatures, but I just had to change the deck so that we could play this. It’s just such massive value and so tough to beat when it hits the battlefield. Suddenly, your 2-drops and 1-drops aren’t bad in the late game anymore and it works so well with Vivien, too (because you can keep chaining off the top of the library).
Usually, when you play a lot of lands, this will get much worse; but the fact that we can add some MDFCs and add to our land- and creature count just makes this absolutely amazing. You’ve seen it being good in Gruul; but it’s also pretty strong here. Obviously it can be clunky sometimes, so I just want to play 2.
4 Castle Garenbrig: I’ve never seen Castle Garenbrig be that essential to a deck like in this one. It’s just so important to slam your Feasting Troll King a turn earlier and I’ve won most of the games because of this. I mean, think of it: It’s “free” ramp, because your opponent can’t kill it. In some ways, this makes it so that your curve ends at 5 even though the Troll King costs 6.
Card Choice Explanations: Sideboard
Tormod’s Crypt: This card will come in against Rakdos Kroxa and Dimir Rogues. It’s especially nice against Rogues, because it goes under their countermagic and you can just keep it in play and pop it when they decide to use their Drown in the Loch to negate that for practically 0 mana. It only does that once though, so I don’t want too many.
Ram Through: Additional removal for some creature matchups.
Scavenging Ooze: Bring this in against graveyard decks.
Thrashing Brontodon: Bring this in against, you know, important enchantments and artifacts.
Garruk, Unleashed: I’m still not sure about this one and you could definitely cut it. It’s nice in some fringe matchups where you need to get through their board when they gum it up with tons of smaller creatures. There are not a lot of those, but quite honestly we have too many sideboard slots. Our main deck is already teched for the meta and mono-green does not have too many options in only one color anyway.
Oakhame Adversary: This is amazing against Gruul even though it can’t block Brushfire Elemental because it helps you get on board without spending too much mana. That’s basically it: it’s a super efficient threat that helps you control the board, which is the most important thing in that matchup. Of course, this also helps against the few mono-green decks.
Questing Beast: Card’s absurd, and it will come in in every matchup where you need evasion + haste.
Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate: To complete the playset for the grindy matchups.
Cards I don’t play
Chainweb Aracnir: Has this card ever done something against Rogues? I always see this card to be extremely underwhelming. It doesn’t remove enough out of the graveyard and spending so much mana for that body is just not strong enough. There’s also the fact that you can have it in your hand and do nothing because it needs to die first. I’m not saying that you don’t want to improve your Rogue matchup, but I’m also sure that including this spider does nothing at all.
Garruk’s Harbinger: This guy just doesn’t do enough. Thieves’ Guild Enforcer blocks it well and it gets hit by Lullmages Domination anyway. The matchup where it should be good, it’s usually not. It’s just not easy to get some early hits in, so I’d rather not play that card.
Gemrazer: I explained why I liked Thrashing Brontodon a lot and I think that it’s just slightly worse, because it requires you to have a creature out. To be quite honest I haven’t tried them whenever since I added Tangled Florahedron, which is another cheap creature, so you could try this for sure!
Matchups and Sideboard Guide
|+1 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate||-2 Thrashing Brontodon|
|+1 Ram Through||-1 The Great Henge|
|+1 Tormod’s Crypt||-1 Elder Gargaroth|
|+1 Scavenging Ooze|
This is a good matchup for us. They have a hard time beating Trail of Crumbs, and when they mill your Feasting Troll King and you get it back out of the graveyard it feels like you’ve already won the game. As with tempo decks in general, they usually struggle when you get some early cheap ramp or card advantage pieces out and that’s where our deck shines. Their advantage is that they have cheap counters and removals; our advantage is that they pretty much need to counter every card that we have, because they can’t really ignore them, especially Wicked Wolf.
|+1 Thrashing Brontodon||-2 Kazandu Mammoth|
|+1 Ram Through||-1 The Great Henge|
|+1 Primal Might||-2 Trail of Crumbs|
|+4 Oakhame Adversary||-2 Tangled Florahedron|
This is another good matchup, even though they can sometimes overrun you with quick Brushfire Elemental + Fabled Passage + Embercleave starts. They are quite fast and you don’t have efficient early removal, but your huge creatures make up for it. Wicked Wolf is also pretty tough to beat for them, because it can survive Embercleave attacks, even some damage goes through.
Try to play your Bronto-Dads smartly because they will be your late game insurance to not lose against surprise Embercleave or The Great Henge. I’m cutting one Henge because it’s tough to get out against them before dying. Kazandu Mammoth doesn’t block well, so I’ll just cut it too. Trails are too slow to play early, and Florahedron gets worse when you cut Henges.
Non-Selesnya Yorion Decks
I’ll just make a summary here, because there are too many versions of Yorion. An exception is Selesnya Yorion, because that deck is more similar to ours than to the typical Yorion deck.
|+1 Thrashing Brontodon||-2 Ram Through|
|+2 Questing Beast||-1 The Great Henge|
|+1 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate||-1 Elder Gargaroth|
|+0-2 Run Afoul, based on their number of Dream Trawler||-2 Tangled Florahedron|
These matchups are close, because Skyclave Apparition and Elspeth Conquers Death are good against us. The thing is just that we have a lot of threats and it’s tough for them to get back on board when they fall behind a bit. Some quickly ramped out Viviens or early Trail engines are helpful here. This is not a good matchup, but you’ve got the tools to fight. I like to cut one Henge because it’s tough to resolve and it gets hit by ECD, but it’s still insane sometimes and will win a few games on the spot.
|+1 Thrashing Brontodon||-2 Wolfwillow Haven|
|+2 Oakhame Adversary||-1 Scavenging Ooze|
|+1 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate||-1 Elder Gargaroth|
This is actually a bad matchup, but it’s still close enough since our decks are similar but Yorion allows them to get even more value from their cards. Not only do they have Skyclave Apparition and Elspeth Conquers Death, they are also able to out-grind you with their own Trail of Crumbs much easier. It’s basically a mirror match where they tend to the better cards in White. I cut some Wolfwillow Haven because the games tend to get long and even though early ramp can help you get ahead early, it sometimes doesn’t even do too much when they just answer your ramp with Skyclave Apparition.
|+1 Garruk, Unleashed||-2 Thrashing Brontodon|
|+2 Questing Beast||-2 Kazandu Mammoth|
|+1 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate||-2 Wolfwillow Haven|
|+1 Primal Might||-1 Elder Gargaroth|
|+1 Tormod’s Crypt|
|+1 Scavenging Ooze|
This is a good matchup for us. They just can’t keep up with all the value that we generate and aren’t fast enough to pressure us. Scavenging Ooze will keep Kroxa from escaping, and they just have trouble dealing with The Great Henge and Trail of Crumbs.
One thing that can be a bit scary is Liliana, Waker of the Dead, because it’s actually quite hard to pressure it against their removal spells and we do not have much haste besides Questing Beast, which is why I am adding them here. Elder Gargaroth is not great against great removal, so I’ll generally cut it. Basically the name of the game is to have as much of your grindy cards as possible.
I didn’t cover a lot of matchups, but the metagame has narrowed down a lot in the past few weeks. I still hope that my explanations might help you in the matchups that are not listed; If you still have trouble sideboarding against some decks, leave it in the comments and let me know, I’ll try and answer as quickly as possible.
As always, stay healthy, especially in times like these, and thank you for reading my article!