Something close to what you're looking for: Mono Green Control.
Has Land Destruction, Eternal-Command lock, and my personal favorite version during testing has Root Maze in the main. You can find my post with the decklist here.
MGC plays a lot like Ponza but many of us have decided to stay mono-green for a number of reasons including playstyle, budget, consistency, and/or simply just to pay homage to the original decklist.
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May 25, 2018For those who aren't aware, someone on r/ModernMagic subreddit asked about the current state of Mono Green Control. Neilson chimed in and mentioned that he plans on taking his most recent build to his regionals on June 2nd. Hopefully we'll get an update soon afterwards.Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
Another interesting note -- Neilson brought up trying out Silent Arbiter, a card I don't think anyone here has considered yet. Could be a good blocker able to slow down some of the more aggressive decks. KCommand is a popular card though and an easy way to kill Arbiter.
May 19, 2018I'm using a bunch of Obstinate Baloths in the sideboard to bring in against some of these more aggressive decks. I'll usually substitute out a bunch of LD spells (and Root Maze in my build) since they don't do as well punishing the decks that only need a few lands. I haven't really played much against Hollow One but it seems like Grafdigger's Cage could help against the recursion aspect of their deck. Seems like we have main deck cards that can already answer the actual Hollow Ones like Reclaiming Vines and Acidic Slime. But if they get enough HOs/Flameblade Adepts out early we may just be too slow. Baloth seems like a decent sideboard card against them too. He gains life to counteract the aggression, is a 4/4 to trade with Hollow One, and is basically cast for free if you get hit with a Burning InquiryPosted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
Curious to hear what you're working on. Sounds like it could be something with Hardened Scales perhaps...? Nature's Way seems like it would be strictly better than Rabid Bite for your new brew. Maybe give that a try.
I think going towards a Devotion-centric deck doesn't really allow for many LD spells/resource denial, which is my personal favorite aspect of the deck. Since you'd need permanents to stay on the battlefield in order to increase the Devotion count you'd probably want more creatures, planeswalkers, and/or enchantments rather than Instants or Sorceries. Seems like with this style you'd also be leaning more towards a Ramp deck of sorts rather than a Control deck. Either way, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on how you'd morph the deck to make it a more Devotion-based Control style.
May 16, 2018What sort of decks are you getting "run over" by?Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
It seems like there is a lot of Aggro in the current meta. Just a quick look at MTGGoldfish's Metagame page, it shows that Humans, Affinity, and BR Hollow One are the three top decks percentage-wise. MTGTop8 has Aggro at 53% in the last two months but it seems like that number may be a bit skewed since it has Jund and a few other Midrange decks sprinkled into the list. Even so, it looks like decks are looking to close out the game faster overall.
I think that unless we see a rise in decks that hate out Humans and Hollow One we're going to have to either shelve the deck or tune it to better deal with aggression. I'd really prefer not to ditch the deck though. Unfortunately Green has very little in terms of removal and the best we've got to work with now is Dismember and Beast Within unless we want to start incorporating some fight spells (Prey Upon, Epic Confrontation, etc.) but frankly, our creatures aren't that great for 'fighting' -- except for Acidic Slime. The other option would be branching into another color and I'm worried that if we do that, we might as well start building Ponza or GBx lists....
Something I stumbled upon that looks cool (but is most likely too janky/has too many moving parts) is Frontier Siege. On Khans we can gain up to 4 extra mana per turn. On Dragons we can turn a Hornet Queen into a tutorable sweeper. If you run Hornet Nest as an aggro roadblock, you can turn those Insects into removal too. Obviously there's the downside of only applying to flying creatures. Maybe Destructor Dragon can be thrown in as an additional Bramblecrush effect. Sounds cool but I could see this throwing off our main gameplan. Still, its fun to throw some new ideas out there
May 10, 2018Yes, Noble is mostly a better option than Mystic. She can't chump and kill an X/1 like the other elves can but is that really a big concern? lolPosted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
If you've got them, surely make the substitution. But I don't think the Exalted trigger is worth the current ~$80 per copy price tag (at least for someone like me who is playing on a semi-budget) if you don't already own them.
May 7, 2018I could see Wall of Roots being a decent substitution for STE if you're seeing lots of aggro like goblins. I wish Wall of Blossoms was Modern legal. Some UW Control lists run Wall of Omens so why can't we? lolPosted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
I think a huge Goyf is something we're going to have a hard time stopping early game and we may just have to stall until we get down an Acidic Slime or Hornet Queen. I think an interesting sideboard card to test out would be Hornet Nest. Its not necessarily good against decks that run removal like Path to Exile or Terminate but I could see it being helpful in match-ups with lots of creature combat or damaged based removal.
May 7, 2018Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
You know you can just Edit your last post(s), right? Anyway..
You want early pressure? or early defense? Control decks aren't usually built with 'early pressure' in mind. Reid Duke's old(er) article on the Mothership about control decks mentions that "Control decks are concerned with tempo only as it relates to defending themselves" as well as " All you want to do is survive, develop your mana, and generate card advantage. " I think our biggest concern is ramping into our LD spells rather than dropping threats/defense. And since there's a good chance our LD spells aren't getting any better/cheaper, our deck needs get to 4 mana faster than the opponent so we can cut them off resources. Modern is very much a Turn 4 format and if we durdle around in the early game, we can very well lose to a lot of decks.
I think the mana storage aspect would be nice but I could also see a situation where you'd float mana to go into combat and get blown out by removal, losing all your mana for your 2nd Main play for the turn. You could give it a try in your flex spot.
Something similar I had thought about: Managorger Hydra. But I'm wondering if we're just better off playing creatures that have an immediate impact as soon as they're played.
I don't think it is a terrible inclusion but remember, we want to keep our Forest count high for Arbor Elf and Utopia Sprawl. Karsten's math on hitting the right colors states that we should want at least 14 untapped green sources for a Turn 1 play and 20 untapped green sources for an Arbor Elf + Utopia Sprawl (double green) play on Turn 2.
I'm also not sure when we'd want to be activating the ability. Our typical curve is pretty mana efficient and we don't usually have 2-3 excess mana until we get into the late game.
Not sure what you mean here. That planeswalkers are a problem for us? Or that we should be running planeswalkers?
I think banking on Steel Hellkite to come down to deal with a Liliana means that you're not in a good spot against an opponent. Quite a few of us are running Bramblecrush for planeswalker removal if necessary. Primal Command can also reset a planeswalker that is dangerously close to ultimate. I think my inclusion of Treetop Village helps my deck have a little more reach if something like Liliana comes down.
May 5, 2018WARNING: Wall of text ahead. Apologies in advance.Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
Any reason you guys aren't running Treetop Village? I've got 3 in the list I'm using and I've seen little downside. Yes, there have been one or two instances where I had wished to draw an untapped green source instead, but most of the time it has not impacted playing spells on curve. If anything, it's been helpful when we sometimes have those "do nothing" turns -- when we're playing just a bit off-curve and it can chip in a little bit of damage in the meantime. Or in the later game when we need to start closing out the game with attackers and have extra mana to spend.
Here's my current list:
Like Capt. Nick, I've still been a fan of Cloudthresher. We really have no way to touch smaller fliers (like Spirit Tokens) or a way to play outside of Sorcery speed to catch our opponent by surprise and 'Thresher does help a bit. I really do like having Hornet Queen in the main and I could see eventually shaving a copy of 'Thresher for The Queen. I sometimes struggle to regularly hit 7 mana though, especially against faster decks.
I've been trying out Root Maze in the main and I like it overall but I'm also a little on the fence about it. It's pretty great against most decks by punishing fetches and keeps people mana starved when we start bouncing/destroying lands and they can never make up lost ground. The downside for us is pretty minimal since we have dorks/Sprawls to sort of balance out the slowed mana production. We usually tend to build up extra lands with cards like Acid-Moss and STE too. The thing I don't really like about it is finding the right time in the game to play it. The optimal time is obviously Turn 1 when we're on the play. But at times when we're not on the play I contemplate whether or not to play a Turn 1 dork/Sprawl instead. If I play dork first, sometimes Maze gets stuck in my hand as I continue to curve out and by then it doesn't really make an impact. If I play Maze first, I risk stumbling on my own mana while the opponent slowly creeps ahead. The other obvious downside is that it isn't good in multiples. Or when in topdeck mode. It also doesn't do much to stop decks that don't rely on fetches or are mono-colored.
On no Ewit -- I don't know how I feel about that, though I will admit that sometimes 4 seems like it could be too many. I could see potentially trimming to 3 (definitely no less) in order to avoid having too many in the opening turns. Yes, putting a 2/1 into play and blanking an opponent's next draw seems underwhelming when they can just play cards from their hand but the fact of the matter is that they're not drawing more spells. And we're putting more threats/bodies into play in the meantime. Eventually their hand will get empty and they'll have to just sit and watch us play Magic while they can't. I also feel like EWit does more for us than just looping Primals too. She gets back anything from our graveyard that's been discarded or destroyed and that means opponents potentially have to burn through twice their discard or removal. EWit is about as close to Snapcaster Mage as we're going to get in green. Even if EWit is only good for Primal looping, playing multiple Primals is our own way to get card advantage/draw gas and sometimes keep our lifetotal high against more aggressive decks. If I were to cut a looping aspect of the deck, it would probably be the Stampeding Serow/Stampeding Wildebeests/Roaring Primadox before I touch Eternal Witness.
I also wanted to spitball some potential card ideas. Some may be bad, but at least we can say we've thought about it. No need to address them all but it'd be interesting to hear thoughts on anything worth testing:
- Somberwald Stag/Territorial Allosaurus/Foe-Razer Regent -- Tutorable "removal" with Primal. Stag may be too fragile to survive entering the battlefield and Allosaurus' kicker may a bit to costly if we need it early. Regent may be too costly too
- Channeler Initiate -- Early mana dork that can turn into a mid/late game 'threat'. 2 mana is realatively costly though. And 3/4 probably isn't strong enough.
- Jadelight Ranger -- I played an earlier version with Ranger in it and liked it. Potentially a 4/3, Scry 2 for 3 mana. Not exactly a budget friendly addition though. (around $10 a pop as of now)
- Mold Shambler -- I think this is run in Pauper LD decks. Maybe too puny/low-powered for Modern
- Verdurous Gearhulk -- On its own its an 8/8 Trampler for 5 mana. Can also buff our 1- and 2-powered creatures and we can rinse and repeat with bounce creatures in play
- Brutalizer Exarch -- A mini Primal Command on a 3/3. Repeatable with bounce
- Woodland Bellower -- Tutors EWit straight onto the battlefield and leaves a 6/5 body
- Pelakka Wurm -- 7/7 Trample, 7 life, draw a card. What more could you want?
- Sylvan Primordial -- Acid-Moss on a 6/8 with Reach
Thanks for reading! Keep up the hard work brewing!
Apr 10, 2018Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
Yea, no, that little bit about having mana dorks was more in response to what you were saying about how "dork removal puts us so behind" and how the original list was built with that in mind. I was speaking more in regards to using EWit to get back our more impactful creatures or whatever slots people are trying to make for creatures like Thrun, the Last Troll or Dungrove Elders. I guess I was trying to say instead of trying to blank the removal, why not just use EWit to get back whatever has been removed. Its not like we're only limited to the 4 copies in the deck since we have main-deck access to Primal Command's shuffle and grab effects. I think those creatures can be fine additions but I'd be careful not to water-down the deck for fear of removal when we're already built to be fairly resilient.
As for watered-down, I agree that Raptor combo would probably take up too many slots dedicated to our main objective. Just figured I'd keep throwing stuff out to see what sticks.
I think Sylvan Caryatid is something to try out but I don't think I'd drop all the Turn 1 ramp cards. I feel like with only Tribe Elder and Caryatid you'd risk limiting your sub-optimal draws in favor of protecting your optimal draw when you actually have it. For instance, with a 'classic' build, you can very well not have a dork on T1, find it T2, and potentially still have the 4-mana play on T3. If you miss a T2 Caryatid/Steve in a no-dork build then you never have the T3 4-mana play. Also, in the no-dork version, you'll always require 3 lands on T3 while a build with mana-elves can make it work with less. I think the lines/probabilities are pretty complex with the 'classic' build so its hard to really tell. I think at the very least I'd keep in Utopia Sprawl since it's least susceptible to common removal. I'd be interested to see how it works out for you.
I'm really enjoying exploring all these new options
Apr 10, 2018I get not wanting our creatures to die to removal but doesn't Eternal Witness help to fight through those removal spells? Just EWit back our creatures and then we can even EWit back the old EWit and keep doing it over again. And if we run out of EWits in the deck, we can kamikaze them (if they've survived getting on the board) and just Primal Command to shuffle them back in and search one up. Have you guys found that this isn't enough in the way of resiliency?Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
I understand that our dorks will take the brunt of the removal spells but I think that was the reason the original list played the extra Elvish Mystics/Llanowar Elves (so that we're not only relying on T1 Arbor Elf) and Sakura-Tribe Elder (so that we have a T2 play if we don't have Utopia Sprawl).
Something that I've thought about that goes along with the resiliency aspect -- Deathmist Raptor/Den Protector combo. Deathmist Raptor is a relatively cheap CMC creature that can play both offense and defense for us. Den Protector is almost another Eternal Witness and can potentially get back Raptors for free if we're using the ability. She's got a bit of evasion too. The downside is that the 'combo' can require a bit of setup and can potentially be mana intensive but I also think both cards can play well on their own. Also, finding places to cut in the deck can be a hard task. Most of our lists seem pretty tight. I doubt we could spare some space.
Apr 9, 2018Maybe the other guys here can correct me if I'm wrong but I wouldn't say this deck is "better" than Ponza. I would say that it does a similar thing but plays differently. It may have been in this thread (or somewhere else) where someone described Ponza as being a Tempo/Aggro deck that uses Stone Rains and Blood Moons to cut the opponent off mana for a few turns while they land Bloodbraid Elf (also good at finding more tempo cards) and Stormbreath Dragon/Inferno Titan to finish out the game. I think our deck is centered more around using land destruction to lock an opponent out of playing Magic altogether -- destroying all their lands then keeping them from drawing action by placing the lands they still have back on top of their deck with Plow Under and Primal Command lock. Ponza does have tournament results to back up it's competitiveness. But Mono Green Control did get 3rd in an 86-man IQ. That may not be very impressive or could even be just a fluke but I would hope that at the very least it means that the deck can compete against some of the Tiered decks out there.Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
Yes, I think that going from mono-colored to multi-colored definitely adds more to any deck simply because adding an additional color essentially gains you access to 25% of all the Modern-playable cards that you couldn't play before. Unfortunately with Fetchlands/Shocklands being in Modern, there are very few advantages that mono-colored decks have over multi-colored decks. These being:
- Painless mana -- you're not taking damage from Fetches or Shocks so your life total will remain high
- Consistency -- you're not having to worry if you'll have the right mana combination to cast your cards
- Budget -- Dual lands are relatively pricey. Stomping Ground and Wooded Foothills are each around $20/copy
TL;DR: No, I don't think this is better than Ponza. This deck is similar but a bit different. Yes, I think that adding Red could gain you access to more cards and make the deck more resilient if you choose to go down the multi-colored path. As for the players who want to stick with Mono Green for the (unfortunately small) list of advantages mono-colored decks provide, I think we should aim to try and leverage those advantages -- like looking at cards that require more G in their mana cost or cards that punish multi-color/fetch/non-basic lands.
Apr 5, 2018Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
If you're looking for a decent budget version of Carnage Tyrant, maybe try Plated Crusher, Terra Stomper, or Gaea's Revenge. At least until the price changes.
Apr 4, 2018Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
I don't want to sound like 'that guy' but cracking a Fetch into Fatal Push will still kill a Courser btw. Otherwise, yes, I do think he's rather good in those capacities but like ARK, I'm not really a fan of him in the deck (according to my playstyle, that is). If it works for you, more power to ya. Definitely works well with Fetches and Trackers
I've noticed this too but I don't think it was clear to me until you wrote it out. Even when I've got someone in an EWit/P-Command loop, I find myself just wanting to search up another EWit (or if they're all gone, then a bounce creature) rather than a big finisher. I am still a little tempted to find some sort of one-of "slam-dunk"/"windmill-slam" creature that we can play that'll basically signal to our opponent "Yea, it's probably best to just scoop now". Like casting Emrakul usually does but without being as mana-intensive. I don't really expect us to ramp into THAT much mana. 'Hoof seems like a good example. I think Prime-Time usually gives off that vibe. Eh, maybe that's just me...
I think "improving the consistency of the baseline" is the way to go. Most decks in Modern aim to win on -- or at least heavily sway the game in their direction by -- Turn 4 and we need to do our best at interrupting that by optimizing our LD/oppression package. So maybe my desire for a big "I win" creature will have to wait.
Agree. "Bolt the Bird" is a valid way to slow or stop decks like ours and I think skimping on mana dorks could get us into hot water. I do really appreciate the fact that Tribe Elder can get us ahead on mana without having to stay on the board. He's a really great chump-blocker too. Definitely goes above and beyond
I think this was my main gripe with Garruk; He wasn't making an immediate impact. I think immediately down-ticking is ok but less-than-ideal and immediately upticking to produce 2 or 3 mana doesn't help us much since we don't really have any impactful 2 or 3 mana plays (except if you're playing Courser and/or Tracker, which I'm not). I think I'm going to give Nissa a try and see how it goes.
Mar 29, 2018Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)Quote from Worldsaverinc »The problem with full mono-green is that we have very few ways in green to take control of an out of control board state.
Green doesn't have the control tools to play from behind very well.
Obviously we don't have the tools to wipe the board so I wonder if our gameplan when that happens is to just try and 'stem the bleeding' with chump blocking then keep counter-attacking with a big fatty. Something like using Beacon of Creation or Fungal Sprouting to create a line of defense and swinging hard with something huge and evasive like Ghalta, Primal Hunger or Terra Stomper (Obviously there are plenty of card options here. Green is full of fatties)
Mar 29, 2018Yea, to me personally it feels like we should try and prioritize Ramp (getting to Turn 4 and more-so Turn 5) so we can switch gears into ensuring mana denial with Plow Under and Primal Command.Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
Unfortunately, I think if Aggro holds a large percentage in the sphere that you play in, shelving the deck may be the only option. Control generally folds to Aggro most, if not all, of the time
What sort of Aggro decks are you seeing? What decklist are you using?
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