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By: jay85, Jay Nelson
May 28 2015 11:00am
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 I just love it when I find a deck to write about that is not only competitive but also affordable. Sure, the tier 1 decks are the cream of the crop and if you want to compete at the tournament level they're almost always your best option. But the problem is not everyone can afford the cards required to build those decks. So when I discover something, like what I'm about to show off, that can hold its own in a competitive environment and not break the bank at the same time, I jump at the opportunity. 

 Today, it's all about the vanilla creatures.

 

 I was on the fence on what to call this list; I've seen many names for it: Monogreen, Stompy, Monogreen Aggro, Green Devotion, and even simply named G. I decided to just go with Monogreen Aggro, but probably the closest name to use is Stompy, after it's Pauper cousin. But in the end it doesn't matter what the heck I call it. This deck speaks for itself.

 The game plan is simple: cast creatures, attack with said creatures, win.

 

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Experiment One Dryad Militant

 Experiment One is a pretty good one drop, especially in a deck like this because most times you will be hitting your opponent for four damage on turn two with the help from a Strangleroot Geist. The longer the game goes, the bigger your Experiment One gets. Not only that, but he also has some resiliency against spot removal and sweepers like Supreme Verdict thanks to his regeneration ability. Team him up with Rancor and you can still swing for three at the very least after removing his counters to regenerate him.

 I believe Dryad Militant is worse than Experiment One, but that doesn't mean she won't still have advantages in Modern. Her out on the battlefield makes Snapcaster Mage worse, as well as make it more difficult for your opponent to delve for Tasigur, the Golden Fang or Murderous Cut.

 

Strangleroot Geist Dungrove Elder

 These two creatures are hard for most opponents to deal with 'cause they usually won't have the right answers for them. When it comes to Strangleroot Geist people will need something like Path to Exile or Anger of the Gods just to efficiently deal with him. The Geist's haste ability is also important because it allows us to become very aggressive in the early game. This guy, along with Dryad Militant or Experiment One, means your opponent is taking four damage on turn two. How good is that? Pretty darn good. Think about why Goblin Guide is proven to be such a powerful creature. the simple fact that he deals four damage by turn two, which is huge for a burn player. The synergy of Strangleroot Geist and Experiment One is the same thing, except you aren't potentially giving your opponent chances to hit his land drops.

 Dungrove Elder also poses problems for your rivals. In a format that runs a ton of spot removal and very little sweepers, a creature with hexproof might as well be indestructible. Dungrove Elder is also your safest creature to use Aspect of Hydra on since you can't get two-for-one by your opponent destroying it with Abrupt Decay or Lightning Bolt when the Aspect of Hydra is still on the stack.

 At first I thought 21 Forests was a little much for a deck like this one that curves out on turn three, but it didn't take me long to realize that you really do want to play a Forest each and every turn because it makes the Treefolk bigger and bigger. I never thought I would say this, but flooding out is actually ok when playing a deck like this. "Man, I drew another land. I guess my Dungrove Elder now has to become a 5/5." Yeah, I'm sure opponents will be feeling your pain when you flood out.

 

Leatherback Baloth Kalonian Tusker

 Who would've thought a deck running eight vanilla creatures could be competitive? I know if someone told me that I couldn't help but be at least a little skeptical. But the truth of the matter is this deck is strong, and the reason for its strength partly lies in these two creatures. For starters, both these beasts are bigger than their converted mana cost, which is just good value. You are getting more than you are paying for. That alone is a good deal. But what's the best part? It's the fact that Kalonian Tusker costs double green and Leatherback Baloth three green. In a deck using devotion cards like Aspect of Hydra, you'll be getting at least +5/+5 onto one of your attackers with just one of each of these guys on the battlefield.

 Another creature worth thinking about is Garruk's Companion because he has trample built into him. He would be a good choice to use Aspect of Hydra or Vines of Vastwood on when the board is at a stalemate.

 

Vines of Vastwood Rancor Aspect of Hydra 

 Vines of Vastwood is our defense against spot removal, basically giving one of our creatures hexproof. Pay the kicker and Vines becomes a pump spell. But the value doesn't stop there. Play this spell on your opponent's creature in response to them attempting to enchant or pump it. The main use for this tactic is against Twin decks when they are trying to enchant a Pestermite or Deceiver Exarch with Splinter Twin. Vines pretty much gives their creature shroud, which will counter Splinter Twin.

 A problem with this deck is when your opponent can match you creature for creature. We need a way to get damage through. That's where Rancor comes in. Rancor is a hard card for your opponents to deal with once it resolves.

 Aspect of Hydra is a great finisher. Play out your creatures, get your rival's life total low, and then end the game with Aspect of Hydra.

 

Scavenging Ooze

 Sometimes I wish there was a different spell we could be using instead of the Ooze. I've found in a lot of matches he just isn't good enough. But then I play a game where he becomes the MVP and I'm so glad he was in the main. Against control type decks that utilize a ton of spot removal or sweepers, Scavenging Ooze allows us to get value out of the creatures that were destroyed. He's also very good against Snapcaster Mage decks because we can just eat whatever our opponent is trying to flash back.

 

Dismember

 When you play a monogreen deck your removal package is pretty slim, and pickers can't be choosers. In this deck you will always be paying four life in order to cast Dismember, but sometimes it is well worth the trade in life when you are facing Infect or Twin. It should be noted that if you cut Dismember then the price of this deck is significantly lower (costing you less than 20 tickets). If you don't want to spend the money on Dismember then your best replacement choices would probably be spells like Prey Upon.

 

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 photo Naturalize_zps7zaco8tk.png Creeping Corrosion

 Mostly these are for dealing with Affinity. Naturalize can also be brought in to destroy Eidolon of the Great Revel, Aether Vial, and even Ghostly Prison.

 

Skylasher

 Flashing in Skylasher against a Delver deck equals good times. In a battle of insects the Skylasher wins, hands down. I also bring it in against Control and even Twin. If your opponent is lazy and doesn't make enough Pestermites or Exarchs, then flash this guy in and buy yourself one more turn. To count on the Twin player to screw up like this is a Hail Mary, but it doesn't matter because Skylasher is still good enough to bring in just to stop your opponent from tempoing you out with Pestermite or Snapcaster beats.

 

Feed the Clan Obstinate Baloth

 I don't play Limited or Standard so I don't get to play with new cards very often. I love it when a deck includes cards from a new set. Feed the Clan is one of those new cards that fits right into an older format like Modern. Gaining 10 life against Burn is awesome. Unfortunately Burn has received a new card, as well. It's Atarka's Command, and it kind of trumps Feed the Clan. I'm not sure yet if we should be trying to gain a butt load of life all at once. Seems easy for Burn to counter it with Skullcrack or the Command. It may be better to try and gain a lot of life over a period of time. It would be harder for them to prevent the lifegain if we were to gain life in small doses rather than in one gluttonous take. I'm not sure yet, but one thing I am sure of it's that resolving Feed the Clan will usually mean Burn loses, and I do like that.

 Obstinate Baloth is another card that can gain us some life, though I'm sure he is in the sideboard more as a hoser against Liliana of the Veil. Invite him to the party against Burn, as well as against Jund and Junk.

 

Pithing Needle Relic of Progenitus Beast Within

 These cards fill out our sideboard and can be used against a lot of the more fringe decks we may face. Pithing Needle is excellent against Planewalkers, Grim Lavamancer and manlands like Stirring Wildwood and Celestial Colonnade.

 Relic of Progenitus is against graveyard shenanigans like Dredgevine, UW Gifts, and can also be used against Snapcaster Mage and dudes with delve (Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Gurmag Angler).

 If you've read my article showcasing Living End then you know I'm not a fan of Beast Within. I didn't like it in that deck and I don't like it in this one either. But with that said, I understand the importance of sometimes being able to destroy a problematic permanent like Oblivion Stone. In a mono-colored deck, especially monogreen, we need something that can stave off threats that we otherwise can't handle. 

 

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 I have to say, this deck was a beast. I really enjoyed taking it into the daily event. It's aggressive and can pack a powerful punch. It still irritates me that I kept the hand that I kept in the last round. I feel this deck can give you some 4-0's quite easily, but hey, sometimes you make mistakes. I'll just have to get over it and move on.

 This isn't the only way to build a Stompy deck, either. I've seen some lists running Garruk's Companion or Avatar of the Resolute and I think moving forward I am going to replace Kalonian Tusker for the Avatar. In Modern a 3/3 isn't much better than a 3/2 since they both die to Lightning Bolt anyways, and most of the time Avatar of the Resolute will be a 4/3 or a 5/4 thanks to Experiment One and Strangleroot Geist. Also, the Avatar has trample which will come in handy when you need to punch damage through and haven't drawn a Rancor. And reach is really good when you need to stop a flipped Delver of Secrets. The Avatar of the Resolute is just a better creature and I wish I had seen the decklists running him instead of Kalonian Tusker before I had built the deck. Oh, well...

 All-in-all, I think this deck is well worth its cost. Cash out in a daily or two and you will already be ahead. It's a great investment for those testing the waters in Modern. Monogreen Aggro is fairly forgiving, so you won't be punished for making a mistake (unless you keep a bad hand like me), and it is enjoyable to play.

That's about it for this week. Thank you for reading and watching!

2 Comments

BlastodermMan's picture
5

Really enjoyed the article. Quick question. Round 3, game 1, your opponent was at 13 and you had 2 Experiment One, each a 3/3, one Leatherback Baloth and one Dungrove Elder (freshly cast). Your hand included 1 Vines of the Vastwood and 1 Aspect of the Hydra, and you and 1 mana available. You swung with the Experiment Ones and Baloth, for 10. You opponent was at 13. He cast Repeal, targeting one of the Experiment Ones. Why didn't you Aspect in response, pumping one of the other attackers by 6, and resulting in lethal damage?

Simple, I was lazy and didn't by jay85 at Fri, 05/29/2015 - 21:33
jay85's picture

Simple, I was lazy and didn't count, realizing I would've dealt exact if I had done it the way you suggested. What's funny is I usually spot my mistakes when I watch my replays, but even this one I missed. Good catch and thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'm glad you enjoyed the article!