Mono Green Stompy Standard Deck Guide

Gemrazer Art by Svetlin Velinov
Gemrazer Art by Svetlin Velinov

Gruul mirrors got you down? Want to actually feel favored against Gruul? I got you covered. I’m here with a new deck guide on an old archetype, Mono Green Stompy. Although the Food variant has been more popular on ladder, Mono Green as a whole has been in a bit of a slump recently. Gruul has functionally replaced Mono Green as it gets access to Edgewall Innkeeper, great board cards, and most importantly, Embercleave.

My testing partner, Chris Kvartek, was experimenting with Mono Green Food, but felt it could be slow or not proactive enough. Wicked Wolf is extremely well positioned, but if you didn’t draw them, Gruul could be a very challenging matchup. Furthermore, more Gruul lists are adopting a split of The Great Henge and Embercleave to bolster their ability to grind later in the game. With that, Chris realized he wanted to go faster, and came up with this.

Although neither of us were able to do well in the Arena Open Day 2, this deck worked like an absolute dream in the Bo1 Day 1 and on ladder. Chris went 7-0 and I went 7-1 in Day 1, both on our first attempts with the same maindeck shown here.

What did I lose to, you ask? Well, it was four-color, 80-ish cards, no Yorion, Fruits of Tizerus Control. No, I am not kidding. In that vein, if you are interested in Bo1 play, Mono Green is an excellent choice and I would not change anything for Bo1. On the last day of the season, I found myself in the percentages and pretty dejected. However, I figured I was going to play Mono Green in the Bo1 portion, I may as well see if I can climb with it as well. Fortunately for me, I went on a massive win streak with it and was able to secure a spot for this month’s qualifier! Not just that, I had quite strong success with Mono Green in Bo3 as well with an impressive 5-1 record against Gruul in Mythic! Enough of that though, let’s get into card choices.

CARD CHOICES

2 Garruk, Unleashed: 4 mana Vivien this is not, but Garruk still pulls his weight regardless. Playing a 3 drop and slamming a Garruk is an extremely difficult curve for most decks to beat, especially if they are on the controlling side. His minus allows you to get more dudes if that’s necessary and the ultimate is quite close to game winning. That being said, we found ourselves minusing Garruk often as getting multiple 3/3s and a few pumps always felt very good.

2 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate: This is a great 5 mana walker that doesn’t feel broken! Thank you Wizards! Getting 3/3s every turn that can’t be Heartless Acted is super nice, and 26 creatures is a decent amount to chain a few of them off the top. The real kicker with Vivien is the synergy between Stonecoil Serpent and her -2 ability. Stonecoil Serpent is 0 mana on the battlefield, but on the stack it’s however much mana you invested into it. With that, there’s been a large amount of games where I minused Vivien, cast a Stonecoil for 5+ and snag a Questing Beast for lethal! She’s extremely good in functionally every matchup.

4 Kazandu Mammoth: It’s hard to say if Mammoth is better here or in Gruul, but at least you get to actually cast Mammoth more often than not in this version. Mammoth is half of the 3 drops that let us Turn 4 The Great Henge, which is the best sequence this deck can muster. Furthermore, Mammoth is very good with Garruk and Gemrazer to get Trample when he gets the land buff.

4 Stonecoil Serpent: This versatile snek has been held back for a little bit with the prevalence of Glass Casket and Skyclave Apparition, but he holds a Gemrazer better than anybody. It works with Swarm Shambler, is an additional 1/1 for Lovestruck Beast, and works well with Vivien and Ram Through. It’s still not the best positioned, but it works very well in the deck.

4 Swarm Shambler: Don’t let this little guy fool you, Shambler pulls some real weight. It’s nice having a plethora of early plays and gives you something to do when you have a few extra mana lying around. Furthermore, having this out with a Lovestruck Beast functionally guarantees Lovestruck can always attack which is super nice. The little layer of removal insurance is also incidentally good, especially if you can have The Great Henge out.

4 Scavenging Ooze: Scooze is probably the best 2 drop in Standard but is often held back by a deck’s ability to have a lot of green mana. Obviously, with only playing Green, we get to use Scooze to it’s fullest! Excellent at eating Escape cards or growing huge with all the creatures dying in combat, we’re more than happy to play the full amount.

4 Lovestruck Beast: This card is just busted and helps enable a turn 4 Henge. I imagine most people groan when they see a Turn 1 Heart’s Desire, and I can’t blame them.

4 Gemrazer: This is probably the biggest reason we were sold on playing Monogreen. With all the Henges and Cleaves flying around, having an aggressive deck that can actually answer those seemed important. A lot of green mirrors degenerate into who can draw their legendary artifact first, so having good maindeck answer is absolutely huge. There have been so many games against Gruul where they resolve a turn 4 Henge but with no followup; then I just mutate Gemrazer onto a small creature and they just lose on the spot. 

2 Questing Beast: The scary wall of text. Questing Beast is not the best against Gruul or Rogues, but it’s very good otherwise, hence why there’re only 2 copies in the main deck. Not much to say about him, he beats well.

4 Ram Through: Instant speed removal that can also randomly be a burn spell? Insane.

3 The Great Henge: With all the bans that have happened, I said that The Great Henge is now the best card in Standard. We considered playing 4, but drawing multiples is very bad, so you really can’t do that. Get this out ASAP and make all your creatures cantrip!

3 Castle Garenbrig: Sometimes an extra mana. Cool.

3 Crawling Barrens: The other card that really sold us on the list. I had my first foray with Crawling Barrens a month ago with 8 Shark, and it felt excellent there. However, Barrens feels infinitely better when combined with other aggressive creatures. For it’s purposes, it is a worse Mutavault, but that’s also an insanely high bar to clear, so we happily take Crawling Barrens.

17 Forest

Before I move to the sideboard, let’s address the elephant in the room. Why no Primal Might? A big distinction between this list and other Monogreen lists is the lack of Primal Might. Although Primal Might is a great card, there’s a strong reason for it’s exclusion. The three best creatures in Standard right now are Theive’s Guild Enforcer, Lovestruck Beast, and Kroxa, Titan of Hunger (in no particular order). All of these cards are really bad to kill with Primal Might, either you’re 2 for 1ing yourself to do so, or you have to spend all your mana and now can’t attack with your huge creature if they have any additional blockers. The card is still good and could see it’s inclusion again in the future, but it seemed too clunky for our liking.

SIDEBOARD

Fiend Artisan Art by Yigit Koroglu
Fiend Artisan Art by Yigit Koroglu

2 Chainweb Aracnir: Not the most exciting card, but it’s solid against Rogues which can be a tougher matchup compared to Gruul, so here’s a little crawling friend.

2 Ranger’s Guile: The innocuous killer itself. Green creature strategies can fall prey to having their large creature get killed by a cheap removal spell, so this looks to level the playing field. Ranger’s Guile actually felt excellent throughout all of our testing, but there aren’t many matchups where it comes in, so it stays to 2 for now.

4 Fiend Artisan: We really wanted to shore up the Rogues matchup, so we decided 2 mana 5/5s was a decent way to do that. Even in post board, if you have the ability to try to empty your graveyard against Rogues, you should do it, but this is great insurance if you find that you can’t.

4 Oakhame Adversary: There’s a lot of Gruul decks and other various green decks, so this gets to come in a lot. Although this isn’t the highest impact card since Gruul can generally remove it or trade with it pretty easily, it’s such a low cost and there are games where they can’t afford to stop it as well. Also it’s small, but it’s an excellent mutate target for Gemrazer as well.

1 Questing Beast: Good against non Gruul and Rogues decks.

2 Elder Gargaroth: You want this against every creature matchup that can’t easily remove it. Green Baneslayer Angel is still very good.

MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARD GUIDE

GRUUL AGGRO

InOut
+4 Oakhame Adversary-2 Garruk, Unleashed
+2 Elder Gargaroth -2 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate
-2 Questing Beast

The biggest reason to play Mono Green is the favorable Gruul matchup. Gemrazer matches up very well against their strategy, especially when the matchup tends to revolve around The Great Henge. Try to keep their board clear and go over the top with your Henges and Gargaroths. 

DIMIR ROGUES

InOut
+2 Chainweb Aracnir-2 Garruk, Unleashed
+2 Ranger’s Guile-2 Swarm Shambler
+4 Fiend Artisan-4 Gemrazer

The biggest detractor from playing Mono Green over Gruul is the Rogues matchup is definitely harder since we don’t have Ox of Agonas, but it’s definitely seen less play because of Gruul’s dominance. That being said, Rogues still struggle to beat a strong curve from their opponents, so just mulligan into a proactive plan and you should be ok.

RAKDOS MIDRANGE

InOut
+2 Ranger’s Guile-4 Gemrazer
+1 Questing Beast
+1 Elder Gargaroth

Another point goes to Monogreen over Gruul! Gruul has a complete knockout card in the form of Klothys, God of Destiny, but Monogreen is extremely strong against Rakdos as we can grind more effectively. Playing multiple strong creatures into a Henge or a Planeswalker is something Rakdos isn’t really equipped to deal with.

MONO RED AGGRO

InOut
+1 Ranger’s Guile-2 Garruk, Unleashed
+1 Questing Beast-2 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate
+2 Elder Gargaroth

10 more points to Monogreen! Although Monored doesn’t see much play in tournaments, it’s a very popular ladder deck, and with a much cleaner mana base, Monogreen has a very strong Monored matchup. Although Gruul also has a good Monored matchup, it can easily lose if it has a clunkier draw. 

BLUE YORION DECKS

InOut
+2 Ranger’s Guile-4 Stonecoil Serpent
+1 Questing Beast
+1 Elder Gargaroth

There are different styles of Blue Yorion, but functionally all of them play Glass Casket and Skyclave Apparition, so boarding out Stonecoil Serpent is a pretty obvious move. I think Gruul probably has a better matchup against the Blue Yorion decks, but I felt this matchup was very favorable nevertheless. If they are playing the Green versions of this deck like Abzan, you can cut Swarm Shamblers for Oakhame Adversary.

That’s all that I have for today! If you like my content and want to see more of it, you can check me out on Twitch! Have a great day!

DoggertQBones

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is a streamer and high ranked Arena player. He has one GP and PTQ Top 8, has 3-0d 3 professional draft pods, and loves writing and teaching!

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