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By: romellos, A. Atasoy
Dec 04 2012 1:49pm
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     Hello everyone and welcome to the first installment of the Modern Days series. Here I will share my humble experiences with Modern decks. These decks will be mostly some rogue decks and fun to play for PRE and Casual games. Before "Return to Ravnica" set, my land base didn't support me to play with two or more colored decks in the Modern environment. So I started to play with Mono colored decks. As a beginner to the Modern the obvious choice for me was to play with Mono Red deck variants.

After my RDW days, I wanted to try something different. Something still aggressive but also can provide board control options and some late game strategies. Then I remember, how much I enjoy playing with a Mono green deck during Tempest & Urza times. So think about why not play with Mono Green in the Modern. It is the best time to try Green Stompy decks, after all we got Rancor back in the show.

Then I started to compose the draft skeleton of this deck idea. Here is the first version of this deck.

 

When I started to brew this deck, I wanted to gain card advantage by the creatures with Persist and Undying ability. This way I can attach Rancor and attack aggressively.   

The best candidates with Undying are; Young Wolf and Strangleroot Geist and for Persist I choose Kitchen Finks and Safehold Elite.

Young Wolf  Strangleroot Geist

Young Wolf and Strangleroot Geist are very good beginners for first and second turn range. Young Wolf mostly seems to belong to Pauper instead of Modern. But after tests I clearly saw how effective can it be when combined with the second turn cast Rancor and Noble Hierarch.

On the other hand Strangleroot Geist is much more superior with its Haste ability and creates benefit every time. And the best part is, they came back stronger after they died.

  Safehold Elite  Kitchen Finks

Kitchen Finks and Safehold Elite was my choices for the Persist mechanic. There is not much to say anything new about the Kitchen Finks as it is one of the superstars in Modern.

I include Safehold Elite to this deck to cover the two CMC range together with Strangleroot Geist. My first thought was to provide some benefits with it. But in the end, I wasn't satisfied with it. It's slightly worse that the Young Wolf and its Persistence doesn't come with any extra bonus. So I marked him to be exchanged. But overall it's still a good budget option for Green Stompy deck.

Noble Hierarch  Ulvenwald Tracker

Noble Hierarch is here to provide Mana acceleration and also her Exalted ability will provide Synergy together with the rest of the Jungle folks. If you consider to test the budget version of this deck, you can replace Noble Hierarch with Llanowar Elves.

I said a lot of thing good things about the Ulvenwald Tracker in my previous articles about Standard. And I can clearly say that he is the MVP of this deck. He provides the board control option we need. There are total 30 creatures in this deck and you can easily find your muscle creature to start a good fight. 

Leatherback Baloth  Ohran Viper

I always love to play with the Ophidian and its next generation variants. So I wanted to give a chance to the snow blooded Ohran Viper. It's not much aggressive but can provide an actual card advantage and can destroy nearly every creature (without flying) in the combat.

On the other hand Leatherback Baloth is a pure Green muscle creature. It's simple and destructive. I tested Leatherback Baloth a lot and found it ineffective in the late games and it won't be around while playing against any decks with Path to Exile. So I decided to give a change to another three CMC creature.

I also include Sword and Rancor package to this deck to buff and protect my creatures.

Sword of Fire and Ice Sword of Light and Shadow Sword of Feast and Famine Rancor

I love the Mirrodin Sword cycle and always feel free to include them to any tribal decks. And this is a creature heavy Stompy deck, so why not maximize their power with Rancor. But don't forget that Rancor or Ulvenwald Tracker doesn't work with any creature equipped with Sword of Feast and Famine and Sword of Body and Mind. Currently there are five Swords, but I choose to include 3 of them to the Main deck and 1 to the Sideboard.

My Sideboard options are against any graveyard manipulations & recursions, artifact & enchantment, creatures and Blue decks.

Dismember Relic of Progenitus Krosan Grip Choke

Dismember is the best removal spell ever printed for Green (Black) color. It has life loss drawback, but overall life loss isn't a major issue in this deck.

Relic of Progenitus is good for Graveyard hate. Actually I would prefer to add Grafdigger's Cage for many more applications but it doesn't work well with Undying and Persist creatures.

I include Krosan Grip for its Split Second ability, but found it slow in some games. It's still good against any activated abilities of artifacts.

Choke here is a little occasional SB option. I have played with it before the "Return to Ravnica" set. But currently change it for many more applications.

There is also one Sword of Body and Mind in the SB of the first version deck. Later I have changed it with Sword of War and Peace.

So after my trials with the first version of this Stompy deck, I made some adjustments and started to participate with the below second version deck.

 

There is moderate changes in the Main deck and SB options. I remove Safehold Elite and Leatherback Baloth and substitute them with Tarmogoyf and Dungrove Elder

After the price increase of Wasteland, I sold them and made a short term investment with Tarmogoyf. This was the first time I have played with Tarmogoyf and continue with them for the next upcoming 3 months until I sold them for the RtR cards.

Dungrove Elder  Tarmogoyf

There are total 15 Forests in this deck and according to test games, I played with 5 or 6 forests per game as average. So even this average makes Dungrove Elder better than Leatherback Baloth. And he also comes with Hexproof, which creates huge differences in the games. If you're going to play more budget version of this deck you can replace Ohran Viper or Kitchen Finks with Leatherback Baloth. As Baloth and Elder will still provide you very aggressive combination.

Tarmogoyf is actually not that good in this Mono Green deck. I only thrust to my opponents to make it bigger while including it to this deck. As Tarmogoyf really shines in the multicolored decks, full with Fetchland, Instants and Sorceries. I admit that it provides so much benefit, but in some games it was like 1/2 or max 2/3. I will go through the budget replacement options for Tarmogoyf in a while with the review of 3rd version.

Finally there are slight revisions in the Sideboard section to create more mobility for this deck.

Naturalize  Creeping Corrosion  Surgical Extraction

Naturalize will be a faster solution rather than the Krosan Grip and also include one Creeping Corrosion for the Robot threat.

There is an increase in the graveyard recursions with the Return to Ravnica set. And I believe that Surgical Extraction can be a good tool against them together with the Relic of Progenitus.

I played with this second version deck nearly for the past three months in the PRE tournaments. And I can clearly say that this deck done well in the PREs. These are first place trophies I won from the Blippy's Eurodrive and WAFTT Modern PRE tournaments playing with the Green Stompy. I know that this isn't a Tier 1 deck, but still effective and fun to play with.

  

  

Currently this Mono Green Stompy deck lost some efficiency after the release of RtR set. More exactly, only one card is causing some issues against this deck. And it is Deathrite Shaman. The new cousin of Grim Lavamancer with more tricks under his sleeve.

Deathrite Shaman

And I started to face Deathrite Shaman nearly everywhere. Last surprise for me to see him in the Tron deck.

After I liquidate Tarmogoyf, I review my replacement options for 2 CMC range and these are my best candidates to try.

Mayor of Avabruck Scryb Ranger Viridian Zealot

Finally I decided to continue with two Mayor of Avabruck and one Scryb Ranger for two Mana Casting range. And add one Thrun, the Last Troll for some extra pressure.

Mayor of Avabruck is a really interesting card. Sometimes he can change the course of the game just by himself. After his transformation, you will get more and more value. And his Werewolf form also has synergy with Young Wolf

We used to see Scryb Ranger in the GW Hate decks. She already proved herself that can provide some tricks.

Thrun, the Last Troll

There are 23 lands and four Mana accelerators in this deck. So to provide 4 or 5 Mana per game isn't that much harder. That's why I wanted to give Thrun, the Last Troll a chance to see how he will do.  His benefits are can't be countered, Hexproof, regenerate and good body. I can't ask for more.

And after these final adjustments, here is the third and latest version of the Mono Green Stompy deck.

 

Here are two videos of my latest games from Where Angels Fear To Tread # 34 (2nd December 2012). I did 3-1 in the Swiss and my loss was to the Melira Pod deck.  

My first video is from the second round. I faced budget Tron deck. Actually it was a weird game for me as I didn't expect to win this one, but Mayor of Avabruck really shined and saved the day. 

The second video is from the fourth round, against the Merfolk deck. It was a normal game.

 

WRAP UP:

Playing with Mono Green Stompy deck in the Modern PREs during the past three months was a pleasant and entertaining journey for me. I have to admit that, I didn't expect expected much from this deck at the beginning. But sometimes appearance can be deceiving.

See you next time, while I continue to explore the lands of the Modern. I will review my experiences playing with the RDW and Rakdos Burn decks.

 

12 Comments

I remember playing with you by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 12/04/2012 - 23:07
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I remember playing with you in an early development phase of this deck, when you found out that Ohran Viper doesn't have deathtouch. :)

Wasn't there a version with Predator Ooze, too? I remember the Tracker taking advantage of the Ooze's indestructibility and growing factor. It seems it should be really good in this deck.

Another trick you might consider is Oran-Rief. An open Oran-Rief when a Kitchen Fink comes back means a mini-Melira combo. And in general, you'll have plenty of advantage to mill from Oran-Rief, especially while wolf-breeding with the Mayor (I actually would put 1-2 Masters of the Wild Hunt as a top-of-the-curve creature, rather than Thrun which is just Elder #5 here).

As we discussed in-game, I have a version of this deck that mainly trades the swords and 1 land for 4 Garruk Wildspeeker. It's not tested, and it'd probably need more 1-drop accelerator (namely Llanowar Elves over Young Wolf) to be sure to have a turn-3 Garruk into a 2-mana creature, into next turn overrun with 3-4 creatures on board, which might well be good game vs. slow decks.

It's a shame that Ohran Viper by romellos at Wed, 12/05/2012 - 08:36
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It's a shame that Ohran Viper doesn't have a deathtouch ability :)

Predator Ooze is a good creature, but I'm still not sure about the next direction I should run on this deck. The latest update has been just a minor.

I will try Master of the Wild Hunt over Thrun as it also has applications with fighting. And I still didn't have a chance to test Garruk Wildspeaker. I think, I can cut young wolf to inclue 3 Llanowar elves and 1 Garruk W. for the first trial.

I actually forgot to test the Oran-Rief in this deck. Thanks for your suggestion. I will try this one too.

If you're going even more by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 12/06/2012 - 04:47
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If you're going even more midrange, you have all my encouragement because midrange is where I live. :)

I just watched the first video, and wow, that was really wolfapalooza! You might want to enhance the recording quality a bit (it's something I'm going to do with my own recording) because as it is, the P/T of the creatures aren't easily readable.

Word of advice if you never played with the Master in a deck where there are other Wolf creatures: be always aware of how many wolves you have there, since the Master taps them all. I once was trying to make way by killing some 2/2, and ended up tapping a Wolfir Silverheart bounded with another Wolf in the process. :) I learned since then that the right moment to use the Master's ability on your turn is during the declare attacker's instant step, when the only wolves involved will be the ones that didn't attack (mainly the one that the Master just summoned for the turn).

Mono G stompy is my favourite by Psychobabble at Wed, 12/05/2012 - 00:09
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Mono G stompy is my favourite deck in pauper, I've had a fair bot of experience with the archetype (albeit in a much different format). Tbh, this deck doesn't look nearly agressive enough for my liking. At least in my conception, every card in the deck - apart from possible accelerants - needs to earn its place through raw beatdown potential. On that basis the following creatures don't seem to have a place in the list:

Mayor of Avabruck [not enough tribal synergy, and I can't realistically see this flipping often]
Scryb Ranger [sideboard card at best]
Ulvenwald Tracker [replace with pump spells]
Ohran Viper [ditto]

I'm also not convinced that dungrove elder will often be big enough to matter in a 15 forest deck, but I could be wrong.

Green decks should, imo, use combat tricks instead of slow cards like tracker and ohran to get through blockers - and if you're beating down hard enough, then you don't need to worry about utility creatures. The advantage of tricks is that they can alternatively be used as protection against burn, and can also just go to the face if the coast is clear. You have access to some awesome pumps in modern. Vines of Vastwood, groundswell, mutagenic growth, revenge of the haunted, gather courage, have you tried using some of these? Not at all sure what the right mix might be, but they seem at least worth exploring.

Also, have you looked at Skaargan Pit Skulk? Provided you can attack with something on turn 2, he can be awesome in combination with pump spells/equipment/rancor (adding nettle sentinel would help here, giving you 8 one drops that attack as 2/2s, and an additional 4 that you'll usually be able to attack with).

Anyway, I might be completely misreading the format (although if a card with the power level of young wolf can fit in the deck, I feel that I'm not too far off), but I'd be interested to see if a more agressive type of green beatdown deck would work.

I strongly feel the kind of by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 12/05/2012 - 06:13
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I strongly feel the kind of deck you're envisioning would translate in Modern into an Infect deck (with some blue synergies of course). No need to try and do 20 damage when you just need 10.
Romellos is trying to buy himself some mid-to-late-game potential here. I saw this deck in action a lot in the past months (as I use to play in all the free events he plays in, essentially), and it's more mid-range than it seems.

I see what you mean with by Psychobabble at Wed, 12/05/2012 - 18:35
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I see what you mean with infect, but at least in pauper the achilees heel of infect is always that it has so few worthwhile creatures, and they're so vulnerable, that it's a deck which can fall off the rails quickly against removal. With more resilient undying/persist creatures (young wolf, geist, finks etc.), as well as hexproof, mono G stompy is a deck that's less likely to roll over and die to a well timed lightning bolt. I dunno if it's the same with modern or not, but again, the fact that he has young wolf in his list makes me think that this is at least a consideration. Strangleroot geist looks like it'd be awesome in this context too.

if he sticks with the midrange route, I'm not convinced by Master of the Wild Hunt over thrun. Hate to be the "dies to bolt" guy but, well, "dies to bolt" :). And it costs 4 mana.

As for mayor, as long as your opponent has any instants or flash available, you only have partial control of him flipping and spending an entire turn to do nothing (when you don't even have an instant you can use your mana on in your opponent's turn) is a pretty huge beating. If you're looking for a 2-drop replacement, would vinelasher kudzu do anything? Kind of a poor mans 'goyf?

Infect in Modern isn't by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 12/06/2012 - 04:09
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Infect in Modern isn't tier-1, but it's consistent enough to get the job done. I think it's also the only deck in the meta with the potential for a turn-2 win. Vulnerability issues are partially solved with Vines of Vastwood and Apostle's Blessing.
Then again, doesn't undying/persist get the same exact issues? You pump your creature, they kill it, you lost everything but a returning body. You don't end in such a better spot all things considered, and still have the "20 damage to go" problem in front of you, and no way to grab some lucky turn-2 win on game 1. I believe that's the main reasoning behind the choice of Infect over other extreme aggro strategies in Modern.
Also important: in Modern lifegaining is EVERYWHERE. An insane amount of decks run Kitchen Finks. Soul Sisters is uber-popular. Infect doesn't care about any of that.

In my own monogreen mid-range deck (which is like the big brother of Romellos's, with the curve entirely moved up one notch) most of the times my Masters of the Wild Hunt laugh at Lighting Bolt. :)

Thank you very much for your by romellos at Wed, 12/05/2012 - 08:58
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Thank you very much for your comments. I agree %100 to you that this deck doesn't have the aggressive approach as it's Pauper cousin. My deck is mostly a Midrange aggro-control deck as I wanted to have some late game strategies.

Mayor of Avabruck: He was my latest addition. I'm still not sure about his place in this deck. But you can control his transformation cycle if you want.
Scryb Ranger: Still on trial, but you can do some tricks with it and also gain extra mana if you don't draw new land.
Ulvenwald Tracker is one of the best cards in this deck as he provides the board control factor against opponent's key creatures.
Ohran Viper: I admit that it's slow and mostly I sent 1 piece to SB.

There are lots of very good pump spells in Modern. But I think they belong to the Infect deck rather than to this Midrange deck.

I hear Psychobabble's by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 12/06/2012 - 04:07
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I hear Psychobabble's concerns about transformers though. In fact, I rarely play with them myself (although I like the mechanic in theory). For one, I never really understood all the craze about Huntmaster of the Fells. Maybe it's one of those cards you have to play with before you really get it. Did you ever happen to do that?

The best transformer to me (beside Garruk Relentless) is still Daybreak Ranger (which is only for RG builds, of course).

You might like Troll Ascetic by KaraZorEl at Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:10
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You might like Troll Ascetic for its hexproof ability.

For sideboard options, Thorn of Amethyst hoses control and storm like there's no tomorrow.

Not sure what you can do against red deck wins. Chalice of the Void? For me, I can't play Modern unless I'm playing white because Leyline of Sanctity wins games all by itself.

With your persist and undying creatures, a singleton Essence of the Wild might be backbreaking for Jund.

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