Arbor Colossus

One of my favorite types of decks is full of big, green, stompy creatures.  They have always been a thing, right from the days of War Mammoth and Craw Wurm right up to today.  Other archetypes have changed enormously but the contents of the Mono-Green deck is basically unchanging…lots and lots of creatures. So, with everyone’s favorite creature heavy archetype in mind I thought I would take a moment and share with all of you my version of a Budget Mono-Green deck that is fun to play and ridiculously inexpensive to build.

Mono-Green decks are sort of like a big piece of artillery that everyone can see.  You know that once the cannon fires, if it hits ANYTHING, it is game over, and there really isn’t much you can do about it.  So, you can watch the Mono-Green deck load up and cast ramping spells and creatures and all you’re hoping is that you can disrupt the canon just enough so perhaps it mis-fires, or you can dodge the bullet.  If you can’t shut the deck down it is just a matter of time before some hulking Green beast crushes you underfoot leaving you wondering what freight train just ran you over.

I’ve seen a number of iterations of Mono-Green stompy decks since the release of Theros and while I’m impressed I’m not satisfied.  I want MORE. I want BIGGER! I WANT MORE DAMAGE! And Born of the Gods gives me the perfect tool to drop wild amounts of damage on my opponent and to push mono-green from good to ridiculous. Here’s how.

In the past, Mono-green has been afflicted by the reality that usually big creatures are expensive. So, Green mages have developed all sorts of ways to ramp out lots of mana and then cast their giant fatties.  However, in today’s Standard environment green creatures are leaner and meaner than ever before but can still pack a mighty punch making Mono-Green really and truly something viable and fun.  I’ll go through some of the all stars I’ve picked out for my deck and why you should consider playing them in your Mono-Green deck.

Voyaging Satyr– Is there a better, inexpensive Mana dork than this guy?  Probably not.  He’s just good, and super readily available as an inexpensive creature.  Add in that he isn’t a 1/1 but a 1/2 and suddenly he has a little more upside as well.  This deck needs 4.

Swordwise Centaur– He is solid as a 3/2 for 2 green mana …and a devotion engine in this deck.  While I won’t call this a devotion deck, there are times when this is a useful attribute and well worth the time to put these guys in.  They start the beat down early and give you targets for some of your spells later in the game.  On a side note, you could just as easily play Kalonian Tusker as a 3/3 for 2 green, but I said this was a budget deck.  Sure, Tuskers are only $0.50 a card on Three King’s Loot, but Swordwise Centaur is $0.15…and you likely have a million thanks to any drafts you’ve played or packs you’ve cracked.  Save yourself the money and play the Centaur because you will rarely see any difference in terms of play.

Korozda Monitor– This 3/3 4 drop (2 Green, 2 Colourless) is the meat and potatoes of this deck.  He’s 3/3 and has trample, making him ideal for a Stompy deck of any sort.  Also, his scavenge ability is relevant because if your first one ends up in the yard, oh well, scavenge him onto something else (like another Monitor) and smash away.  With 2 green in his casting cost he is also a solid contributor to devotion.

Thrashing Mossdog– This handy 4 drop gives you a 3/3 with reach.  This is super relevant because this deck will struggle against decks that carry lots of fliers.  The reach can help settle down your defence, and again, when he dies, scavenge his on to a Korozda Monitor and have the 6/6 bring the pain.

Nylea’s Emissary– The 3rd 4 drop in the deck is essentially because he can grant something else you control trample, contributing to the Stompy nature of the deck. If you need him on the battlefield as a creature, that’s fine as well, but he’s exactly the sort of creature this deck wants.

The deck is running a playset of Forced Adaptations.  These can totally take your Korozda Monitor and turn him into an unstoppable beast very quickly and for 1 mana, who can go wrong.

However, the really spicy pieces are six cards that can only be described as back breaking.  The first is one out of the M14 Core set that was largely overlooked.  It isn’t flashy, but it just ends games.  Yup, you got it…Fireshrieker.  This seemingly innocuous 3 mana artifact gives something double strike.  Now, we all know that Double strike is powerful, but how powerful is it?  Trust me…on creatures with trample it straight up ends games…like…immediately.  So, a pair of Fireshriekers make the deck and give you an enormous ability to do damage.  The final 4 spells are from Born of the Gods and are one of the few spots where this deck actually cares about devotion.  Aspect of Hydra gets good reviews at Draft, so why not apply the same logic to constructed and put 4 in this deck?  It would mean that any creature with Trample would be able to do a devastating amount of damage and really turn the heat up on an opponent.

As a little demonstration let’s see what this deck can do.

Turn 1- Play Forest, pass the turn.

Turn 2- Play Forest, tap out, cast Swordwise Centaur.

Turn 3- Play Forest, tap out, cast Fireshrieker, Attack with Centaur.

Turn 4- Play Forest, tap out, Cast Korozda Monitor,

Turn 5- Play Forest, equip Fireshrieker on Monitor, cast Aspect of Hydra on Monitor, attack with the team. At this point The Monitor is 3/3 double striking and gets +4/+4 from the Aspect of Hydra…meaning he’s hitting for 14 points of trample damage.  That’s huge! And if the Centaur can sneak through as well it’s game over…or at the very least you are in the driver’s seat.  As always, this is against a goldfish with no responses, but the potential exists for this deck to deliver a wild amount of damage.

So, without further delay, here’s the deck list.


Mono-Green Stompy- Budget Standard

The nice piece with this deck is the cost to you in order to build.  Many budget decks put the threshold for overall cost at $2/card or maybe $50-75 for the whole deck.  This deck comes in at …under $20! Yup, for a crisp $20 dollar bill you to could be the proud owner of a ridiculously stompy mono green build.  However, this deck is like the old beat up Honda Civic you bought as a 17 year old kid…it’s straight forward, it works, and it gets the job done.  However, you could totally trick this deck out with some fun additions that will push your price tag up, but still keep it very affordable.

The first addition is a no-brainer…add in a couple of Arbor Colossus.  This gigantic 6/6 for 5 (2 colourless and 3 green) is an almost automatic include once you are prepared to open up your wallet and go a tad pricier.  He’s big, he kills fliers, he gets bigger when he’s monstrous, and is a huge devotion engine for your aspect of hydra.  He’s the first guy off the bench for sure.

Next, if you want to go a little further, is the Bow of Nylea.  This Swiss Army knife of an artifact does a little bit of everything with its various modes, but the real fun is giving everything you have deathtouch when you attack.  Who really wants to put something in front of a deathtouch creature?  Not me…so it makes combat super awkward and something most opponents will seriously re-evaluate.

The third addition is something that usually gets forgotten is Deadbridge Goliath.  He’s big at 5/5 for 4 and when he dies (as you likely hope that he does) you can scavenge his +5/+5 on to another creature giving you an instant WMD that will need to be answered.  Plus, he’s cheap to pick up because everyone has opted to play Poly (aka Polukranos) for the same 4 mana.

After that, the choices are up to you…do you want to play spells that draw you cards?  Hunter’s Prowess or Warriors’ Lessons are options.  How about just more damage?  Don’t forget Giant Growth. Want to kill things in the air? Plummet is always an option.  Are the Gods or other enchantments causing you grief?  Fade into Antiquity.  Need to kill a creature?  Pit fight or Time to Feed.  You can cover all the bases and the deck still doesn’t break the bank!

So, if you are looking for a very inexpensive deck to build and enter the realm of Standard, feel free to give this little guy a test drive and see what you think.  He’s fared pretty well for me in a number of match ups, and when your big fat stompy guy flattens an opponent the satisfaction is well worth it. So, give it a try and let me know how it goes for you and what changes you made to the deck…I’m always keen to hear how decks change and evolve.

So, until next time, keep it fun, keep it safe…keep it casual.

Bruce Gray