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Nissa, Ascended Animist MtG Art by Chase Stone

Standard Mono Green Ramp Deck and Sideboard Guide

Learn how to play the Mono Green Ramp deck for Standard in this strategy guide, with card options, best of one version, including all the popular matchups and sideboard guide!

While Green isn’t thought of as the best colour in the current Standard environment, there are ways to make it playable. Green is frequently associated with ramp, stompy, or tokens, and we’re going to take one of those strategies for a spin.

This deck wants to play early creatures to ramp up to Planeswalkers and game-warping threats like Titan of Industry It wants to prey on decks that want to play the long game since it’s going even bigger. With early creatures though, it does not auto-lose against aggro.

Deck Tech

Mono Green Ramp
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $195.81
Standard
best of 3
15 mythic
9 rare
8 uncommon
28 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Creatures (17)
4
Topiary Stomper
$9.96
2
Vorinclex
$14.98
Instants (4)
4
Cosmic Hunger
$1.40
Sorceries (2)
2
Awaken the Woods
$29.98
Lands (25)
24
Forest
$8.40
60 Cards
$262.02
15 Cards
$28.87

Creatures

The vast majority of cards in the deck are creatures and they are the absolute core. Let’s go through them one by one.

This innocuous wall makes the deck tick for a variety of reasons.

Since it’s an 0/3 creature, it blocks early threats really well. It buys you time to set up and stay alive. It’s particularly relevant in faster metagames and Best of One.

On top of that, it’s an incidental piece of graveyard hate. It comes in handy against cards like Memory Deluge, Tenacious Underdog or Phoenix Chick. It won’t be relevant every game, but it’s a nice occasional benefit. If you do happen to play against a reanimator-like shell, it’s all upside.

In the late game, it converts from purely a defensive creature to an actual threat that can trade in combat and put pressure on the opponent.

All the above is outshone though by the ramping capabilities. The whole point of this card’s inclusion in the deck is mana generation. It lets you jump up from two to four mana, enabling early Invasion of Zendikar. This curve is very strong and can out-linear a lot of decks.

Topiary Stomperis a popular card in Five-Color Ramp strategies featuring Atraxa, Grand Unifier. Here it performs a similar function where it provides that extra mana.

On top of that, if you play Invasion of Zendikar on the turn following Stomper, it will be able to get into the red zone.

  • Turn three Stomper finds a land and puts you at four lands
  • Turn four Invasion finds two more lands putting you at six lands
  • You make your natural land drop resulting in seven lands in play
  • Hence, Topiary Stomper’s restriction no longer applies

Nissa, Resurgent Animist made waves in Modern but it also has some useful applications in Standard.

One can look at it as Lotus Cobra, so an effect that gives you mana when you make a land drop. For instance, if you play Nissa on turn three, then on turn four you will have access to five mana thanks to its trigger.

Furthermore, it has a similar clause to Omnath, Locus of Creation where it does matter how many times you’ve triggered it. In this case, if you’ve triggered landfall for the second time, you get to reveal cards until you hit an Elemental or an Elf. In this deck, it’s going to be another Nissa or Titan of Industry.

One could ask – how can you trigger landfall twice without any fetchland effects like Fabled Passage? Topiary Stomperand Invasion of Zendikar are here to help. Stomper works with a land drop and Invasion will do the job even without you placing a land from hand onto the battlefield.

All in all, it’s a blend between ramp and card advantage.

Our big payoff. Titan of Industrydominates boards and both stabilises and turns the corner. By default it’s a 7/7 reach trampler so it’s not afraid of any flying threats or pesky blockers.

In addition, it gets two use two out of four available effects. Most often I use create a 4/4 Rhino Warrior and put a shield counter. However, depending on the situation a different combination might be necessary. You may want to destroy Phyrexian Arena and gain 5 life, or maybe gain 5 life and get another blocker.

There is also a decision of where you put your shield counter and that again will be highly contextual.

As far as I’m concerned, this is exactly where the strength of this card lies. It’s so modal that regardless of the game state, you will be able to pull ahead. As of now, the list has three copies but I am strongly considering going up to full four. Casting Titan after Titan is super tough to come back from, especially for creature decks.

The other creature payoff. It has an entirely different nature than Titan of Industry.

Vorinclex // The Grand Evolution is cheaper than Titan so it’s much more castable early in the game. It also tutors out more lands albeit it does *not* put them on the battlefield. Similarly to Titan though it has reach and trample.

The real reason to play it though is the backside. Once you’ve ramped enough, you will be able to flip it into The Grand Evolution which is absolutely backbreaking. It’s not uncommon to flip double Titan off the first chapter which is already game over. If, much to everyone’s shock, it is not, there are two more effects pushing you further ahead.

Noncreatures

There is a surprisingly high number of noncreature spells in the deck but they are all key.

Awaken the Woodsis an interesting card that is a hit or miss. It does not really create an unbeatable army since even seven 1/1s is blocked easily. If you can pair it with Nissa, Ascended Animist then it gets much better but that’s the main really powerful scenario.

Usually though it’s a way to ramp in preparation for the subsequent turn. Forest Dryad tokens are affected by summoning sickness you will only be able to use them on the next turn. If you play it early for, say, x=3, you’re setting yourself up to having nine mana on turn six. It’s not bad.

If you want more in the deck, always consider it a 5+ mana spell, as casting it super early would result in just 1-2 of those tokens. While comparable with Invasion of Zendikar, they are killable contrary to actual lands.

Boosted Oath of Nissa. We get to look at five cards and take any permanent from among them. Considering there are literally just four non-permanents in the deck, you will always get something to choose, as in any imaginable pile a maximum of four out of five would be Cosmic Hunger. The math might change post-board though.

That said, it’s a powerful card selection tool that allows you to take whatever the current missing piece is, be it ramp, lands, or payoffs.

You can attack it down and flip it into Belligerent Regisaur and that’s just a nice icing on this already delicious cake.

Another battle. I’ve spoken a bit about it already. It’s a four-mana spell that puts two lands directly into play.

Its low three health points can easily be attacked down by Topiary Stomperor even Armored Scrapgorger to flip it into a 4/4 vigilance haster that provides even more mana.

Both invasions are great ways to convert immediate value and utility into actual threats that can attack and block.

Arguably the best payoff next to Titan of Industry Thanks to its Phyrexian cost it can be played earlier if necessary but can be a big topdeck late when the full cost can be paid.

What’s super strong about it is that it makes a huge threat as its *plus* ability. Making an 8/8 Horror right upon entering the battlefield makes the opponent have to deal with both Nissa and the token. If left unchecked, she will produce those huge creatures every single turn, demanding a key answer turn by turn.

The Naturalize mode will come in handy occasionally but it’s more of a nice-to-have.

The ultimate can be used immediately if she’s played for the full retail price. I think of it as Overrun that can close the game immediately. It works great with the previously mentioned Awaken the Woodsthat provides you with a big number of creatures.

Interaction

Cosmic Hunger is the best variation on fight effects that one would hope for.

First, it does not actually fight but deals damage to the target so it always survives the exchange.

On top of that, it targets creatures but also Planeswalkers and battles. It adds a whole new layer of flexibility to the card.

Last but not least, it’s an instant so you can always respond to opposing removal by casting it, or blow up opponent’s multi-block in combat.


Best of One

Mono Green Ramp Best of One
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $170.6
Standard
best of 3
12 mythic
13 rare
7 uncommon
28 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Creatures (18)
4
Topiary Stomper
$9.96
Instants (4)
4
Cosmic Hunger
$1.40
Sorceries (2)
2
Awaken the Woods
$29.98
Lands (25)
24
Forest
$8.40
60 Cards
$244.16

The Best of One version is more heavy on Polukranos Reborn.


Budget

While the mana base is super budget friendly, the main deck includes both setup pieces and payoffs that are mythics or rares. Changing cards like Titan of Industry into uncommon alternatives would severely diminish the power of the deck.


Matchups and Sideboard Guide

Esper Legends

InOut
+4 Kappa Tech-Wrecker-4 Nissa, Resurgent Animist
+3 Sandstalker Moloch-2 Nissa, Ascended Animist
+3 Polukranos Reborn-2 Awaken the Woods
-2 Invasion of Zendikar

Game one we will try to go over them as far as possible and block early pressure with Armored Scrapgorger. Unfortunately, Topiary Stomperwon’t be able to block in the very early game and Nissa, Resurgent Animist doesn’t block profitably in general. Cosmic Hunger will still work with Stomper so that’s a good thing.

Post-board I add a lot of combat-relevant creatures. Kappa Tech-Wrecker has deathtouch, Sandstalker Moloch has four power and provides a surprise blocker with card advantage attached, and Polukranos Reborn is just difficult to attack through. We change into a quasi-stompy deck with very potent late game.

Five-Color Ramp

InOut
+4 Kappa Tech-Wrecker-4 Cosmic Hunger
+2 Tamiyo's Safekeeping-2 Topiary Stomper

In this matchup we need to go over them. While it might be tough to grind through Atraxa, Grand Unifier, we might out-linear them. Thankfully most of our ramp is immune to removal so them dropping Sunfall shouldn’t be game over.

Kappa Tech-Wrecker will shine when it exiles Leyline Binding and frees up our threat.

Mono Black Aggro

InOut
+4 Kappa Tech-Wrecker-4 Nissa, Resurgent Animist
+3 Sandstalker Moloch-2 Nissa, Ascended Animist
+3 Polukranos Reborn-2 Awaken the Woods
-2 Invasion of Zendikar

Similar approach to Esper Legends. We side in a lot of combat-relevant threats to keep the board under control. Cosmic Hunger will be particularly useful at answering Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.

Don’t keep hands that fold to Tenacious Underdogand one piece of removal. You cannot hope that they will only have reactive spells.

Esper Control

InOut
+3 Sandstalker Moloch-4 Cosmic Hunger
+2 Tamiyo's Safekeeping-1 Topiary Stomper

A classic control vs ramp scenario. One huge piece of advice is that you shouldn’t keep jamming once spell a turn into their open mana because you will be able to counter most of them. You have to set up situations where you get to multi spell or force them to play a mass removal, after which you deploy a big threat.

Sandstalker Moloch facilitates that plan since you can flash it end step and make them either counter it or let it through in the hopes that they will get to counter something else. Then, though, the decision is yours whether you’ll even put anything else on the stack.

Dimir Midrange

InOut
+3 Sandstalker Moloch-4 Cosmic Hunger
+2 Tamiyo's Safekeeping-1 Topiary Stomper

Similar to Esper Control but here Moloch is even more useful, as it will have multiple opportunities to trade with opposing creatures like Faerie Mastermind.

If you feel like the version you’re playing against is particularly creature-heavy, you can leave some Cosmic Hungers in.

Tips and Tricks

  • Against decks with Graveyard Trespasser, it’s good to hold up Armored Scrapgorger to exile whatever their Trespasser targets.
  • You can block a creature with Armored Scrapgorger, and after the blocks have been declared, activate it so that it gets the third oil counter and gets the buff.
  • When you’re counting Topiary Stomper’s blocking capabilities, remember to add the land it itself will fetch out.
  • You can use Topiary Stomper’s search ability to trigger Nissa, Resurgent Animist’s landfall.
  • If your opponent makes your creature smaller in response to Cosmic Hunger, less damage will be dealt. It’s because the power of the creature isn’t locked in upon putting it on the stack.
  • Nissa, Ascended Animist token is permanently X/X when X is Nissa’s loyalty when the ability is activated. It does not change dynamically like Urza's Saga tokens would.

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Skura
Skura

Also known as Skura or IslandsInFront on Twitter and YouTube, Filip started his career upon the release of Gatecrash and has been passing the turn in all formats ever since. He coaches and creates written and video content, mainly centered around the control archetype. He is passionate about Magic game theory and countering spells. Outside of Magic, he is a fan of snooker/pool, chess and Project Management.

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