Hello everyone! As the title says, I’ll be going over the deck with the current highest win rate in events over the past few events: Monogreen Aggro. As far as I can tell, Monogreen has taken BOTH first and second in every major 2022 event barring the first one ran by Insight Esports, an incredible feat for such a new deck.
What makes the deck so powerful? It’s a combination of a strong curve, great threat density, and a myriad of ways to build it. With that, there were six relatively different versions of this deck just last weekend! As a quick aside before we start, all the tournaments for 2022 have been Bo3 while the queue for it is Bo1. This really shouldn’t have a substantial or even notable impact on deck building, but it’s good to keep in mind.
The winner of the Tier 1 games open opted for an extremely low land count list and completely nixing the snow package. Furthermore, Sam opted to play 4 Froghemoth as top end where most Green lists end the curve at 4.
Omri went a more traditional route with 24 lands and the snow package. The main distinction is that he plays 4 Jaspera Sentinel where most previous lists play 0-2.
Brunz somewhat split the difference between Sam and Omri by having 20 lands, but still including the snow package. Furthermore, they also have 4 Jaspera Sentinel and opted to top their curve with Battle Mammoth like the original versions.
Moving onto the Historic open, JayGravy plays Snow Basics but no Faceless Haven, plays Gnarled Professor, Inscription of Abundance, and
Prototypeinsession has a very traditional take on Monogreen with nothing out of the ordinary.
Finally, Chris VanMeter opted to splash Blue in his version for Decisive Denial and board cards. As a quick note for this version, I’m not commenting whether or not playing Blue was correct for this in Bo3, but I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t be for Bo1. Hurting your mana base in a Bo1 format seems like a not great place to be. Nevertheless, still plenty of learn from this version.
So why did I go through the effort to put out all of these lists? When you’re trying to find your optimal version of a deck, I find it best to first aggregate what all the best lists are doing and then figure out the flex slots to your liking. For example, this is the list I was playing last weekend and having strong success with.
To adapt and grow though, it’s good to crowdsource deck construction and learn from the triumphs and misses from other players. I really like my list, but it’s prudent to keep changing it to fit current trends and general consensus. With that, we should analyze what are the most common trends between these lists and what seems to be the flex spots so we can construct the ultimate version.
MOST LISTS PLAY 4 JASPERA SENTINEL
In order to get on the board quickly, 4/6 lists opted to play the full 4 Jaspera Sentinel. Although it’s not the highest impact card, having access to quick mana is always helpful and Monogreen has more 1 mana spells than most other decks making Sentinel more relevant.
EVERY LIST PLAYS 4 SWARM SHAMBLER
Every good aggro deck’s curve has to start at one to gain traction early and get under the opponents. Swarm Shambler is not the most exciting card, but it does fill a few roles. First, it’s a 1 drop. Second, it pairs well with Jaspera Sentinel since it’s an early play. Lastly, it makes great use of the excess mana most of these lists are good at generating.
MOST LISTS PLAY 4 TANGLED FLORAHEDRON
Somewhat in the similar vein as Jaspera Sentinel, having early access to Ramp and an additional land drop in a pinch is pretty helpful in a deck as mana hungry as Monogreen. 5 of the 6 lists played Florahedron (one of them only playing 2) and only one list chose to exclude it. Interestingly enough, it was one of the low land count versions that nixed it.
EVERY LIST PLAYS 4 WEREWOLF PACK LEADER
Not much to say here as that seems to be a given. It’s a great 2 drop that really only Monogreen could play.
EVERY LIST PLAYS 4 RANGER CLASS
This is why aggregating current lists is so helpful even when you think you have a great list. I played 2 Ranger Class as I thought it was a better top deck than proactive play, but that doesn’t line up with general consensus. Playing 4 just makes sense though as the ETB is reasonable, the second level stacks, and it’s so strong you really want it as often as possible.
EVERY LIST PLAYS 4 OLD-GROWTH TROLL
Similar to Werewolf Pack Leader, this is no real surprise. This card is only playable in Monogreen and quite powerful there.
EVERY LIST PLAYS 4 KAZANDU MAMMOTH
More obvious inclusions. Mammoth is a solid 3 drop or a land in a pinch, not much more to ask for.
EVERY LIST PLAYS 3-4
Once again, more obvious inclusions. Esika’s Chariot is absolutely insane and the only real contention is to play 3 or 4. You do want this card every game, but drawing multiples is pretty bad. I don’t think there’s a right number personally and 3 or 4 seems fine.
MOST LISTS PLAY BLIZZARD BRAWL
This was probably the most surprising element of comparing the lists as Blizzard Brawl has been insane for me so far. It’s a 1 mana removal spell that also buffs your creature and makes it functionally unblockable, what more can a card do for you? That being said, it makes sense that the 16 land and Simic version nixed it, but I would consider Blizzard Brawl way too important to cut always. So to see 4 Inscription of Abundance and 2 Blizzard Brawl in JayGravy’s list is super weird to me. I like Inscription, but I can’t imagine it being better than Brawl.
So these are the main similarities between all the lists. Let’s aggregate what we have so far.
- 4 Jaspera Sentinel
- 4 Swarm Shambler
- 4 Tangled Florahedron
- 4 Werewolf Pack Leader
- 4 Ranger Class
- 4 Old-Growth Troll
- 4 Kazandu Mammoth
- 3-4 Esika's Chariot
- 4 Blizzard Brawl
So this is already 35-36 playables so realistically you can just throw in 24-25 lands, be done, and have a very solid version of the list. However, we should analyze the potential flex spots as well so you can tune this exactly to your liking.
This is one of the more contentious options in Monogreen. It is a Ramper like Tangled Florahedron that can also attack, but is limited to only being a ramper when you already have a land. My list included Lotus Cobra, but I’ve been personally unimpressed. It’s good when you have a land obviously, but when you don’t it feels like blank cardboard. I feel like Florahedron would serve better.
Only Sam opted for Beeg Frog, and I don’t think it’s a spot that’s going to catch on. The card is solid and it’s going to be disgusting when you’re ahead, but the risk of playing it when you can’t connect with it seems a little too high. Furthermore playing four 5 drops in a deck that is already relatively mana hungry may make hands more clunky than intended.
I like Battle Mammoth more than Froghemoth, but I don’t think it’s amazing. If you look at my first version of this deck versus my second, I went from 4 to 1 copy of ol Mammoth and cutting them seems reasonable. You functionally never want to Foretell this in lieu of casting something proactive so that’s rarely going to be relevant. So, is a 6/5 Trampler that recoups value when something you control is targeted good enough? Well, yeah it certainly can be. It’s a powerful card, but it is relatively clunky and Monogreen isn’t looking to play these grindy games.
We didn’t see much of the Professor in these lists, but it makes substantially more sense in Bo1 than Bo3 as we have free sideboard slots that these players didn’t. I played 4 Professor and was relatively happy with them, but realistically the Lesson cards didn’t matter too often and I was just more happy to play a 4 mana 5/4 Trample. That being said, Expanded Anatomy was really pulling weight for me when it did matter so it’s a mixed bag.
You would mostly play this since it’s a hasty 6/6 Trample, but the ability to double counters shouldn’t be underestimated either. However, I wasn’t particularly happy playing 5 drops in my Monogreen build so I doubt I would want a 6.
Only two lists played Snakeskin Veil, but I really like the inclusion. It’s a small combat trick at absolute worst and a complete blow out at best for a very small investment.
I still am adamant that this likely isn’t a 4 of, but this could be great as a 1 to 2 of. None of the modes are super exciting by themselves, but kicking it is excellent value which makes this a better top deck in the late game rather than something you want to see multiple copies of.
It may seem like a given that you want Faceless Haven, doubly so if you’re playing Blizzard Brawl, but the choice isn’t as obvious as I first assumed. Although it is powerful, drawing multiples can severely hamper your curve development and this plays extremely poorly with Werewolf Pack Leader and Old-Growth Troll. I still think you definitely want to play at least a few copies, but now I’m not positive what the correct number is or if you should even play it at all.
In a similar vein to Faceless Haven, how many Lair to play is a tough question to answer. If you nix the Snow package then the answer is likely 4, but I don’t think you should nix the Snow package. With that, this is a Green source, but it doesn’t help towards your Blizzard Brawl count and it can come into play tapped unlike your other lands. With that, I think I would opt for around 2 copies, but I’m not sold that’s the correct amount.
So we got through all the similarities and all the potential flex cards in these lists. Putting all this into practice I tried out a few different builds with what I gathered and came up with a list I’m happy with for right now.
Definitely not ground-breaking, but it put into practice almost everything previously discussed. The one decision I really can’t get behind is playing 4 Jaspera Sentinel as it’s such a bad top deck, awful in multiples, and not that high impact in general. I think 2 is a great number as you still have a solid shot of having a 1 drop in your opener, but Sentinel consistently underperformed for me in Monogreen.
On the other hand, Snakeskin Veil has consistently overperformed for me and has been a blowout multiple times against a variety of decks. If I was facing significantly more mirrors I would probably opt for more Jaspera Sentinel or look towards Inscription of Abundance, but I like this current build.
I’m opting now for 22 lands as this iteration of the deck plays significantly more mana sources and I still want enough ways to turn on Blizzard Brawl, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I could even go lower on lands. All in all, I think this is a great place to start if you’re looking to play Monogreen.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Curve is king. Although you want to play out the creature half of Kazandu Mammoth and Tangled Florahedron, if it makes your curve better, play them as lands.
- Never buff up Swarm Shambler over playing something proactive. This is something that’s nice to use, but generally not a necessity.
- Don’t level up Ranger Class most of the time over playing something proactively, but getting to Level 2 is also very important. You have to balance how good your play is versus how impactful getting to Level 2 earlier is quite often
- This may not sound like a tip, but ensure you actually have 3 Snow permanents out when looking to trade up with Blizzard Brawl. Me and multiple opponents have messed this up multiple times since playing this deck.
- Old-Growth Troll can make a 4/4 token of itself after it dies when you sacrifice the Forest it’s attached to. I see many players forget about this ability as well as the option to copy it with
- Although it doesn’t feel great, don’t be afraid to play out multiple
Esika’s Chariot. 4 mana for two 2/2s is still a decent deal.