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By: kelvinmai, Kelvin Mai
Oct 14 2013 11:48pm
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Apology for Absence


First thing's first and that would be an apology for my lack of writing articles in the past couple weeks. There is no one else to blame but myself for that. It has to do with both me being busy with a new job and being somewhat uninspired to write or brew. But I'm back now and I'll be pumping out as many decks as I can and the first one is something that I think is a very sweet brew.


Last week at FNM I saw my shop keeper piloting a mono green deck like nothing I've seen before. When you think of mono green in today's environment you think the heavy aggro deck with Scavenging Ooze, Deadbridge Goliath and even Kalonian Tusker. It's a deck where all the power and toughness is above the curve so it can hit hard and fast. But the deck that I saw had strange things in it like Nyxthos, Voyaging Satyr and Reverent Hunter. So naturally my interest was piqued. I watched as many matches as I could and studied the deck without looking through it because what's the fun in that? The following day I saw this little deck tech on starcitygames so I knew it had a chance in standard. And from there I started brewing and tweaking the deck to my liking.

So how should I intrigue you into playing this? Well I'll tell you the god hand and the reason I want to play this deck and it's the hand that will give you a turn three Worldspine Wurm. So turn one you put down a forest and use it for your Elvish Mystic, nothing too trivial there. Next turn pump out a couple Burning-Tree Emissarys and end with a Voyaging Satyr. Given that there are at least two burning-trees you now have access to 6 devotion. So activating Nykthos the following turn will give you 6 mana but you can untap that land with your satyr and use it again with the mana you just made and netting you 10 total. That's one shy from the wurm but you forget that Elf from turn one and bam there you go, 11 mana on turn 3. It's a very unlikely hand but it's a hand that I want to always be playing for. Not to mention the fact that you can generate a massive amount of mana any time throughout the game so Polukranos' monstrous is literally a board sweeper.

Ok so I mentioned the coolest thing that can happen with this deck with the wurm and mana dorks but I didn't mention anything else about all this extra fluff. Like why do we need everything else and why only 2 wurms and 3 nykthos instead of the full set? Well the answer to the latter is that the wurm plan is very unlikely so I didn't want a full set when it will turn into a dead card so often and the Nyx land is because you want access to actual colors. Now onto the fluff, the reason for all these creatures is that you still want your deck to be operational even without the nut draw. So in here we have some good creatures on curve. We have the usual Polukranos which has been a staple in every single green deck ever since Theros came out but I think we should delve deeper into my other options for the deck.

 Mistcutter Hydra
I'm sure everyone understand Polukranos but why this hydra in the deck too? Well it's simple we have a deck that has very volatile mana, we have no idea how much mana we're going to have on turn 4 for instance. It could be three and it could be seven. This is where the hydra fits like a glove, he offers us a solution to our problem. This little creature is always on curve and will always be castable when we draw him, assuming we have more than one land. The fact that he can't be countered and is pro blue is only a plus on his side. 

 Boon Satyr 
Now I know everyone has been raving about this card ever since it was spoiled and I still don't think he's all that good. Both him and Hero's Downfall are cards that I think are overrated because there are just better versions of them: Loxodon Smiter and Dreadbore, respectively. However I'm starting to come around to them because there are some interesting interactions that both of these cards can do. And this deck is a clear example of that. The flash on this guy makes him a very good creature in your hand because it can evade sweepers like Supreme Verdict by being played right after the fall out. And the bestow has a steep price but it serves as a great mana sink whenever we get to the point where we have nothing else to do with our mana.

 Reverent Hunter 
This is the perfect three drop creature in this deck. It is just like the hydras in that it's size is always a variable and a risk but it's a the reward for taking the risk is very high. It also synergizes very well with our deck's concept of abusing Nykthos. At best he's a really big creature for a small investment and in one playtest I was able to win on turn 4 with two of these guys. One being a 4/4 and the other being a 5/5. But at worst he's a three mana 2/2 and one of the worst top decks to get after a board wipe.

 Arbor Colossus
The colossus isn't the best creature for this list but it is definitely a big one. The biggest reason why we play this creature is because of it's mana symbols it helps immensely on the devotion costs on both the hunter and the land. Another reason why I chose this card is because it's a 5 drop and this deck is chock full of every other mana costed creature. So it's nice to have something at the 5 slot. In addition it is a good combatant against fliers and this format has things like (Arcangel of Thune) and Stormbreath Dragon as finishers. With a simple activation of this guy's monstrous effect you'll be able to shoot these trump cards out of the sky.

 Nylea, God of the Hunt
I was actually concerned when including her because of my whole theme of budget cards but she is very necessary in the deck. Sure we have a lot of creatures and they're big but if you haven't noticed yet, almost none of them have trample so the deck would do pretty bad against chump blockers. Decks like white weenie could chump until time and we don't want that, instead we want to close the game quickly and Nylea is the only card that I came up with that can do it. Because of her ability to give all your creatures trample, you can easily end those games. But this god as a creature is also no joke either and it's incredibly easy to turn her into one with our subtheme of devotion.

Sideboard and Alternate Options

This deck is a beast to play against if you're going aggro but not so much against midrange and control. The other two archetypes have something removal and that's something that can throw a wrench into our plans. Both Nykthos and Reverent Hunter rely on creatures being on the battlefield for them to be useful and in match with good removal like Doom Blade or Supreme Verdict, the hunter is the first thing to be taken out. The land can luckily still tap for colorless and it's not completely useless without devotion. Worldspine Wurm is somewhat a contender to be sided out against these match ups too because of the fuel that it requires. Other than those six cards I'm at a loss at what needs to be taken out but I'm sure there are some others that can and need to be taken away from the deck. Now what sideboard options can you include to fight the big guys out there?

Experiment One  The Aggro Plan
One way to fight midrange and control decks is to be faster than them. And what better way than transforming your deck into the usual monogreen aggro deck to fight them. All the cards pictured above are great green cards and are all above the curve so you can hit hard and fast. Experiment One is a great option as it can easily get bigger especially in a deck like this. If you are going this route it's simple which other cards you'd want to take out, for example the mana dorks like Elvish Mystic no longer needs to be in the deck.

Pithing Needle Pithing Needle
This little needle has been a staple in almost all sideboards. It just does so much! It stops planeswalkers so you don't have to worry about control decks powering a Jace to dig deeper or a Domri to make flying-double-striking-hexproof creatures or even chump blockers from the new Elspeth. On top of that it stops activated abilities so that Scavenging Ooze is going to stay as a puny 2/2. 

Pit Fight Pit Fight
Pit Fight is one of the few instants or sorceries that I actually advise. You're creatures are already big so this is almost always a one sided removal spell. Hunt the Hunter almost took the spot here because it is the cheapest fight card in standard but it is a very conditional card, being only able to hit other green creatures. The boost on the card is nice but it's not relevant most of the time with creatures that we are able to power out. In addition Pit Fight is so much better being an instant.

Garruk, Caller of Beasts Garruk, Caller of Beasts
Garruk is one of the not so budget options and can even be mainboarded. Remember when I mentioned the turn 3 worldspine wurm? Well there's an even more unlikely hand that can power out the wurm on turn 2. But even without this incredibly lucky hand this planeswalker makes a great addition to the deck. Your deck is comprised of almost all creatures so his plus ability will always be able to fill up your hand so then you can drop out more threats. His minus ability can put out even more creatures when you're tapped out, and those creatures put out this way aren't casted so they can't be countered. And his ultimate can bring out whatever creature you can possibly want at that very second. Garruk is perfect for this deck and each of his three ability screams Worldspine Wurm. And the fact that he costs 6 isn't all that bad since the deck can get to 6 mana very quickly.

 Kalonian Hydra
Yes, yes this option is far from budget but it is the best ender for a deck like this. After all it's very hard to lose if you drop this guy onto the battlefield. And once you have this, Polukranos and Mistcutter Hydra you can just call your deck the tribal hydra affair. This, like Garruk, is a main deck card that I advise you to save up for if you want to get serious with this deck. It can easily replace the gimmicky Worldspine Wurm or even the deck's current 5 drop Arbor Colossus.

 Nylea's Disciple
This is a trap card, don't go anywhere near it. It may have it's uses but it's place is not in this list. It looks like a fancy card that you may want to group up into this deck because of it's devotion and life gain. But in reality the only time you would want life gain is against the aggro decks which you already have a good match up against that there's no need for you to put this guy into the mess. He would also eat up your sideboard slots which you need to combat the things you are actually weak against. 

Well that's all I have for this week, I hope you guys enjoy this big green monster of a deck. I'm sure there's more to be done with it like the sideboard before it can be truly competitive but it's definitely a start and it's a very fun deck to play.


Perhaps you should retitle by Paul Leicht at Tue, 10/15/2013 - 07:15
Paul Leicht's picture

Perhaps you should retitle your series "brewing on a bigger than average budget" or something akin. Many of the cards in that deck are fairly pricy, especially right now. Give them a couple months and many may hit the bargain bins but right now they going for multiple tix.

I think the deck is still by ricklongo at Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:32
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I think the deck is still quite inexpensive when you compare it to other standard builds. Nylea and Polukranos are the biggest offenders, so maybe a solution would be to suggest budget-friendly replacements.

The deck still comes in at by xger at Tue, 10/15/2013 - 13:49
xger's picture

The deck still comes in at around $80, which is a fair bit higher than most budget builds. Just because other standard decks are super expensive doesn't mean anything cheaper is budget.

As for the deck, it seems fun if clunky.

Yeah, I apologize for that. by kelvinmai at Wed, 10/16/2013 - 01:05
kelvinmai's picture

Yeah, I apologize for that. Cards were still coming online as I wrote this so I looked at paper prices for most of them. And like Paul mentioned I have full faith that a lot of the cards will become bulk within the coming months.

Green Deck by Yosemite at Tue, 10/15/2013 - 18:51
Yosemite's picture

I like the worldspine wurm. I was think of something similar but I wanted to include sylvan primordial, I was thinking of turn on elvish mystic, followed by two burning-tree emissary then a reverent hunter. 7/7 on turn turn. follow with sylvan for a land destruction plus added land two you.

How do you think that would work.

That sounds great actually, by kelvinmai at Wed, 10/16/2013 - 01:07
kelvinmai's picture

That sounds great actually, it could definitely substitute for some of the money cards like Nylea. Good catch I completely forgot about the primordials.

spelling by Yosemite at Tue, 10/15/2013 - 18:52
Yosemite's picture

Sorry for the spelling errors.

Nice article, again. Glad to by rpitcher at Thu, 10/17/2013 - 14:54
rpitcher's picture

Nice article, again. Glad to see you back writing after the short absence.

I agree with the comments about this not being "budget". There are some more affordable fat green dudes to consider before spending big $$$. I've been running green hypermana decks in the One Buck Challenges with some success. Garruk's Horde, Giant Adephage, and Skarrg Goliath are big tramplers with handy abilities and they won't break the bank.

A quirk in the OBC rules allows the use of the rare devotion land, but I am not paying the cash for it. If I continue with hypermana, I'll try to focus on something like Karametra's Acolyte. Gyre Sage might work in a budget version as well, keeping in mind it does not boost mana at all until evoled.