First things first: this primer, and the whole idea of Mono Green Stompy being actually playable in Modern, comes from a thread in MTG Salvation created after Hans Christian (Ljungquist) placed 5th out of 307 players in the Bazaar of Moxen tournament. Here is the beautiful list:

Hans Christian Ljungquist's Stompy

LANDS (22)
22 Forest

CREATURES (22)
Dryad Militant
Experiment One
Kalonian Tusker
Leatherback Baloth
Scavenging Ooze
Strangleroot Geist
Thrun, the Last Troll

SPELLS (16)
Beast Within
Garruk, Primal Hunter
Giant Growth
Prey Upon
Rancor
Vines of Vastwood

SIDEBOARD (15)
Skylasher
Oxidize
Pithing Needle
Torpor Orb
Choke
Thragtusk

We can find some footage of him playing the deck right here. I must admit I don’t quite understand some of his plays, but then again it’s round 8 of a really testing tournament, and we all make some mistakes after playing 7 rounds. He is a great player who went 7-0 in Bazaar of Moxen, which is more than I have ever achieved.

A Natural Budget Deck

182After that, the thread has been incredibly popular and has stayed at the top of the subforum. This comes to prove what I suspected: there are a lot of players who love mono green, and this was an idea waiting to take form: a lot of us had already toyed with it. The thread, by the way, is located in the Budget subsection of the forums for purely economic reasons: this is not a cheaper version of another deck and there is nothing more expensive we want to play. Tarmogoyf, for example, is a great card and the most efficient green beater, but it just does not fit in this deck. This archetype is budget per se, which is great.

WHAT THE DECK DOES

185Stompy is an old archetype. There have been several successful Stompy decks through the ages, and what they have in common can be summarized in three points: efficient creatures, pump spells, classic aggro strategy. In Modern we find some great creatures, some of which provide a way to interact with the current meta, which helps this deck a lot.

CARD OPTIONS

And here we go. We will now detail some options Modern has for this kind of deck:

Creatures

1 CMC

214Dryad Militant: A real must in this deck. Not only is she a 2/1 for one, which is still good even though a lot of time has passed since Savannah Lions, but she makes life difficult for a lot of decks that play with their graveyard, and renders our opponent’s Snapcaster Mages almost useless.

Experiment One: A solid option. He grows big with any other creature in this deck, and two evolve triggers should not be difficult to achieve. There is also some removal protection built in, as it can regenerate.

Nettle Sentinel: One of my favourite cards in the Pauper version of Stompy. It is Modern legal, it is a 2/2 for one, and the drawback is seldom a real drawback.

Skarrgan Pit-Skulk: Another Pauper all-star. This one has built-in evasion, and wins games like it’s nobody’s business.

2 CMC

Garruk’s Companion: Mono-green means efficient creatures, and 3/2 trample for 2 is one hell of an offer. The trample part is really relevant.

Kalonian Tusker: 3/3 for two used to be amazing and required two colours. Now it doesn’t. How the times change. This is one of the reasons for playing Modern stompy, and an auto 4-of in my opinion.

170Scavenging Ooze: One of the expensive cards in the deck, as it is amazing in all the formats it is played in. I find it a necessary card, and a minimum of two should be played, going all the way to four, depending on your meta/playstyle/budget.

Silhana Ledgewalker: I am deeply in love with this girl right here. Not to efficient in the body department, being a lowly 1/1, but no Path to Exile is messing with her, and no mere Tarmogoyf is going to block her. Solid option.

Skylasher: Because ‘Destroy target Delver of Secrets’ didn’t sound well. This is blue hate that could be considered for the mainboard.

127Strangleroot Geist: You are so much playing 4 of these bad boys. I don’t even think I need to explain myself, but I will, because even talking about Strangleroot Geist is cool. This 2 CMC creature may look like a 2/1 haste, which is already cool, but it hides inside a 3/2 haste creature, which is even cooler. The feeling of attacking without having to worry is priceless. 4 of these. Seriously. Four. A fifth one to hang in a frame at the entrance of your house and prove you’re part of the Strangleroot elite.

Talara’s Battalion: Looks really cool, and I’m really tempted to play it. The big question here is the condition, which makes it a horrible topdeck sometimes. Still, 4/3 trample for two is the kind of stuff we want.

Viridian Zealot: So you thought you needed to go multicolour to find a Qasali Pridemage? You were absolutely right, as this is no Qasali Pridemage. It is a good option though, Naturalize on a stick.

3 CMC

Courser of Kruphix: The all-star from Theros block could find a home in this deck against other aggro decks. Still, I don’t quite see this working, as we want to be playing more efficient threats. I love the small mana acceleration and card draw though. Mixed thoughts about this one. It’s almost 20€ now anyway, so think about it.

Dungrove Elder: Can become huge lategame, and has built-in protection against spot removal. Still, in the early game it is not exactly amazing. The synergy with Courser of Kruphix though. Also, playing with Ents, you know? If this is not the dream of any green mage, I don’t know what is.

107Leatherback Baloth: Incredible vanilla value, and a must in the deck. It’s funny how three mana can seem a lot in modern though, so I’m not saying auto 4-of, but a couple should be included. A big argument in favour of mono-green.

Slaughterhorn: This 3/2 creature doubles as an uncounterable pump spell and has a very nice synergy with Scavenging Ooze. Is this enough to be in the deck? Playtesting will say, but it’s an interesting idea.

4 CMC

Thrun, the Last Troll: Big and resilient, this will stick and will stay on board, while we beat face with it. An incredible card, and most probably an obligatory 1-of in the deck.

Spells

1 CMC

Aspect of Hydra: A recent addition to the Modern pool. Great when it’s good, but it could be +1/+1 too. I’m not sold.

Giant Growth: No, really. This card is still good. Unconditional +3/+3 will save your creatures and will make them hit harder and trade with bigger threats. Combat tricks straight from 1993.

Prey Upon: We tend to have the bigger creatures, so this is removal mostly. A bit risky, but removal.

Rancor: This is card is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Running any less than 4 would be a huge mistake. This not being your favourite card ever would also be a huge mistake. Printing this was probably also a mistake, but hey, Delver of Secrets, you know?

Ranger’s Guile: This is good. This saves creatures. Still, I get the feeling they played it safe when printing this card. Good, not great.

193Vines of Vastwood: If you haven’t played this card yet, you probably don’t get what’s so great about it, but have faith. This is so enormously good you will start getting this warm, fuzzy feeling every time you have it in your hand. Nothing can happen to you, because Vines of Vastwood is there to save you, and then punish the opponent for trying to hurt your precious creatures.

3 CMC

Beast Within: I don’t exactly know how this fits in green, but here it is. Destroy a permanent for three mana. Woah. You’ll have to deal with a 3/3 later, but hey, your deck is all about dealing with the opponent’s creatures. But wait! there’s still more. Blow your own lands EOT for a 3/3 flash creature. Destroy your own Strangleroot Geist EOT and make your opponent deal with 6 damage where there used to be 2. Shenanigans everywhere, kids.

Bow of Nylea: This helps in a lot of situations, and has to be tested. Your critters will charge into battle knowing they will at the very least trade, which is nice.

Sideboard

Choke: Landing this after a Cryptic Command must be so nice.

Creeping Corrosion: Affinity is easy to hate out, and we need to do that, because they’re fast and evasive.

Dismember: This deck tends to start off fast, and our life total is not something we should worry about until things start going very bad. Remove those blockers!

Great Sable Stag: Not bad in the efficiency department, and great hate against blue and black decks.

Guttural Response: Grin-inducing. For us, at least. The opponent will say, I guarantee that, ‘green is not supposed to have counterspells’.

Kitchen finks: Not very aggressive, at least in this context, but still it comes back from the death and helps you against aggro opponents.

Obstinate Baloth: Very useful in some matchups. And it’s a huge creature, which is what this deck is about.

Oxidize: Kill more artifacts!

Pithing needle: The ever-present sideboard card. This is always nice to have.

Thragtusk: Two creatures in one, plus lifegain. Not efficient enough for the mainboard, but definitely good against Jund and other removal-heavy matchups.

Torpor Orb: One card. It kills the two most popular combos in Modern. Pretty good.

Unravel the AEther: Wurmcoil Engine does not leave tokens behind if it doesn’t go to the graveyard.

BUILD YOUR STOMPY

So, how do we go about making our own mono green Stompy deck? Netdecking is an option, but I find it always nicer to use the different options to make our own recipe. From here on, I expose my personal opinions, and what I will bring to this week’s tournament at my LGS. Let’s get to it!

LANDS (22)
20 Forest
Treetop Village

CREATURES (22)
Dryad Militant
Experiment One
Kalonian Tusker
Leatherback Baloth
Nettle Sentinel
Scavenging Ooze
Strangleroot Geist
Thrun, the Last Troll

SPELLS (16)
Beast Within
Bow of Nylea
Dismember
Giant Growth
Prey Upon
Rancor
Vines of Vastwood

SIDEBOARD (15)
Skylasher
Nature’s Claim
Pithing Needle
Torpor Orb
Dismember
Scavenging Ooze
Thragtusk
Creeping Corrosion

What I did in my build was lowering the average CMC a bit, so I could be a bit more sure I would have the spare mana to play pump or removal. This also looks a bit more agressive in the first game. Preboard, the deck could probably work with one less land, but instead of that I chose to introduce a couple of Treetop Villages, which tend to survive wrath effects and are good targets for our pump. In the sideboard we can find answers to some problems we might find in the current meta, with Thragtusk as a curve topper that answers removal with more bodies.

So, here it is, a nice, budget deck that looks really promising. I’m going to try it out extensively during this week and update this with some matchup analysis. Meanwhile, I’d like to hear your opinions on the deck. Something missing? Something doesn’t feel right? Say it in the comments!

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