Green Doesn't Suck Now, Dammit!

It was time to try something new. A few months back, I got my hands on a Mox Emerald. This was mostly to get my stripes and complete the Nine. Apart from some dabbling with Vintage Oath in 2005, back when Akroma was the prime Oath target, I've pretty much never used a green Mox. Green/White in particular is the color combination I've played with the least, with a fairly large margin. In over 20 years of Magic, I've only ever owned a single Savannah (I won that and a Plateau in Legacy tournament playing monoblack Necrotic Ooze, and then used it in a 115-card casual Elemental deck before I sold it). But there I was, with the luxury problem of having a green Mox in my collection without a deck to play it in. It was time to go MonoGreen.

So, where to start? Gaea's Touch seemed like the most obviously strong card when we go all-in on forests. It does a pretty good Fastbond impression during the first turns, and after that it functions as a Green Ritual. Turn two Gaea's Touch can give me access to up to 7 mana turn three. It's also pretty sweet to cast turn two Gaea's Touch, use it to play another forest, and then sac the enchantment for two mana to cast a three-drop like Ice Storm or Killer Bees.

With the insane ramp provided by Llanowar Elves and Gaea's Touch, it's very feasible to consistently cast 6-drops. I went for 3 Desert Twisters, 2 Gaea's Liege and a single Force of Nature. If I had access to another Force I'd most probably play it (same is true for Sylvan Library). Craw Wurm was definitely a consideration as well. I rounded off the curve with a pair of Ifh-Biff Efreets, and added a set of Howling Mines to draw some extra cards. When I was finished teching, I realized that I only owned 20 forests, and I wanted to play 23. There is really no excuse not to play Mishra's Factory in the current meta, so I swapped a few forests in the list for a playset of Factories. Maybe a little boring, but it works. The card I felt I missed the most was Fog btw, I couldn't get my hands on legal copies before the tournament. Fog is very strong against the new Atog decks, as well as against WW and other beatdown/berserk decks.

For Atog, one is usually enough.
So, last weekend I was back in Gothenburg to test the deck in a tournament. My girlfriend is on the last legs for the presentation of her master thesis, and would spend most of the weekend in school. I could hence book both Saturday and Sunday afternoons playing Magic. Saturday was a moderately sized Vintage tournament with 14 players. The Vintage scene in Gothenburg have been very healthy for the last year, and we have bi-weekly non-proxy tournaments with skilled players. My Young Mages ended up in second place, losing to Stax in the finals. I knew it was all preparation for the real challenge on Sunday though.

New school?
Sunday then. The tournament takes place at Vasa Gaming, Gothenburgs prime LGS for swinging cards. 11 players had signed up, including a few guys from the Varberg crew; Elof, Munchausen, Brorsan and Sehl. All in all it's a surprisingly strong field, with a lot of sweet guys I meet far too rarely. I get paired against the Bye in the first round. It's a winnable matchup for me, even though I rather would have played someone else. I crack a beer and bother Rafiki who's the working man behind the counter for the day.

In the back: Felipe vs Stalin. Front: Timespiral vs Kalle.
After a gruelling round against the bye, I finally get the chance to go green. My second round opponent is Freespace. He had updated the Atog deck he took to the finals of Playoteket last week and was looking to smash. Without Fog and Crumble, it looks really hard to beat.

Well, if he doesn't have a Berserk, this could work. He always has the Berserk though.
Two Atog attacks later, Freespace has won the match with 2-0. Lucky guy. Killer Bees and the Avenger both showed a lot of power, but the deck simply can't race a 'tog without the nut draw.

I'm paired against Kalle in the next round, and if I know him right he'll be playing something slow and grindy. I go turn 1 Forest, Llanowar Elves, which Kalle follows with turn 1 Mana Vault. I have the Relic Barrier turn two, and Ice Storm for his Mishra turn three. Kalle resolves a Forcefield to keep my Avenger at bay, and proceeds to cast Ancestral and Mind Twist my hand. It is a grindy game, but eventually the forests are victorious.

Gaea's Avenger: The foogey's Tarmogoyf.
Our second game is pretty sweet. Kalle has turn 1 Library of Alexandria, and then one of us scoops in disgust turn 3. It is him. Turns out ramping into Ice Storms and big guys beats a Library.

Green is pretty sweet after all. I look around the tables and realize that I have something like a 5/95 matchup against Elof's DurdleGeddon (this deck cannot beat Armageddon), but other than that I think most decks looks beatable. I get paired against Munchhausen with his Lestree Zoo for the last round of the swiss.

Racing with the slug.
It's a tight and interesting match, and in the end Munchhausen walks away with the 2-1. The sweetest play was probably when he Mana Drained my Desert Twister on his Serendib Efreet. That gave him a total of 12 mana during his next turn, which was enough for a Fireball for 9 and a Fork for the win. Munchhausen ends up in fifth place and gets a Shatter to represent his shattered dreams of top4.

That beta Counterspell was actually pretty much Nm a few hours earlier. A little off center though, so I guess we shouldn't feel too bad. The Adventure's Guildhouse was awarded to the player in last place.
The top4 ended up being Felipe (AtogFlare), Elof (DurdleGeddon), Freespace (AtogSmash) and Sehl (WWu). In the end Sehl managed to beat Freespace in the finals. They have both been showing consistently impressive finishes in the last six months, and it was nice to see one of them picking up a trophy at last. Sehl probably had the best trash talk of this tournament as well, and it was highly entertaining to listen to him between rounds. It also turns out that Atog is the real deal. Felipe and Freespace have really dominated with it in the tournaments since BSK.

Though they couldn't beat the sheer luck of Sehl this time ;)
I'm satisfied with how my deck played, but there are a few modifications to be done. I really should play Crumble and Fog in the sideboard. In particular Fog would have been great in both the matches I lost. I should also cut down on the Killer Bees, four is at least one too many. They usually win the game if unchecked, but they have highly diminishing returns. Another Sylvan Library is also something to look for. All-in-all though, I think that monogreen is a viable (and pretty cheap) deck. You don't really need the Mox or Lotus to ramp the mana here, they are mostly gravy.

Gaea's Liege is soo satisfying to play.
I've heard that both Kungen and Axelsson have teched with monogreen decks as well, and I'm looking forward to a battle royale between our decks. Hopefully as soon as December 20-21, when Freespace will host Frippan Open in Gothenburg. It will be a sweet weekend with Vintage and 93/94 tournaments, and I hope to see a lot of you there!


  1. Great reading mg, and the deck look very sweet! 8)



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