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CardShark Content - Mike Lanigan (4/13/2005)

[Editor's note: I've determined why the forum links disappear! If I have to go in and edit the article because I messed something up, the forum link disappears. I'll try to avoid that in the future and see if I can't get it fixed. If you want to discuss this article, go here:
http://www.cardshark.com/content/view_article.asp?article_id=3662 ]


Hello everyone, I am back to give everyone another deck option for their Standard Friday Night Magic Tournaments. After a great deal of analysis of the current environment, I have seen that it is a control heavy environment. Some of the control decks that are popular right now are mono blue control, tooth and nail, G/B cloud, U/G control, Kikki Control (R/G), U/W control (or mono white), Ponza (or any mono red control deck), and Mono Black Control. The philosophy behind most control decks is to do something to stop your opponent’s deck’s strategy and then play a finisher.

The following is a general outline of a color and what it tries to do to stop your deck: red – burn all your creatures till you run out, destroy your lands, and then burn you, black – kill all your creatures or kill your hand and then play a large creature that you can’t handle, blue – counter everything you play then let you play a good creature, take it with the shackles, and beat you with it, white (artifact also) – use mass removal to kill all your creatures then lay a large creature that you can’t deal with, and finally green – kill your lands or put them on top of your library to slow you down and then play creatures that kill you.

We have all these different types of control decks in the metagame right now so any standard deck you build should be able to handle this. Probably the best deck right now is mono blue control (the all counters deck I spoke of last week not my fun version which I split for first at FNM this past week in case anyone is curious). So as with any tier one deck, you need to prepare your deck to face this deck as well as other decks you expect to face.

So with the control environment we are in right now I wanted to play a fun deck that could handle the different control decks. I looked at all the colors for this deck and I came finally to green and here is what I came up with:

Mono Green Aggro:
4x Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
Birds of ParadiseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mana Birds
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

4x Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe ElderSet: Commander
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Sakura-Tribe Elder: Search your library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

4x Viridian Zealot
Viridian Zealot
Viridian ZealotSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Artist:
Kev Walter
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1G, Sacrifice Tel-Jilad Zealot: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

4x Humble
Humble
HumbleSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
18
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Target creature loses all abilities and is a 0/1 creature until end of turn.
IEJ1ZG9rYQ==
4x Troll Ascetic
Troll Ascetic
Troll AsceticSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Troll Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
135
Artist:
Puddnhead
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Troll Ascetic can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control. 1G: Regenerate Troll Ascetic.

3x Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.

4x Molder Slug
Molder Slug
Molder SlugSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
125
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
4
Toughness:
6
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices an artifact.

2x Kodama of the North Tree
Kodama of the North Tree
Kodama of the North TreeSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Shishizaru
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
Text:
Trample Kodama of the North Tree can't be the target of spells or abilities.

1x Iwamori of the Open Fist
Iwamori of the Open Fist
Iwamori of the Open FistSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
R
Number:
130
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Trample When Iwamori of the Open Fist comes into play, each opponent may put a legendary creature card from his or her hand into play.

1x Isao, Enlightened Bushi
Isao, Enlightened Bushi
Isao, Enlightened BushiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
R
Number:
129
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Isao, Enlightened Bushi can't be countered. Bushido 2 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +2/+2 until end of turn.) 2: Regenerate target Samurai.

1x Dosan the Falling Leaf
Dosan the Falling Leaf
Dosan the Falling LeafSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
R
Number:
205
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Players can play spells only during their own turns.


2x Time of Need
Time of Need
Time of NeedSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
247
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Text:
Search your library for a legendary creature card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

4x blanchwood armor

1x Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
Okina, Temple to the GrandfathersSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
280
Artist:
Keith Garletts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. G, T: Target legendary creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

21x Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.


Now I wouldn’t leave the readers with just a deck list so here’s the card choices and reasoning behind them.

Card by Card Analysis:
Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
Birds of ParadiseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mana Birds
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.
– This is your only one casting cost creature and it helps you get mana to play your bigger creatures fast.

Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe ElderSet: Commander
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Sakura-Tribe Elder: Search your library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.
– He is an amazing blocker against other Aggro decks and he helps generate mana as well

Viridian Zealot
Viridian Zealot
Viridian ZealotSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Artist:
Kev Walter
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1G, Sacrifice Tel-Jilad Zealot: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
– This guy is your main deck answer to artifacts and enchantments. Everyone thought that you would not need main deck answers to artifacts after ravager died however they were wrong. At the top of the must kill list is the Vedalken Shackles
Vedalken Shackles
Vedalken ShacklesSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
164
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
You may choose not to untap Vedalken Shackles during your untap step. 2, Tap: Gain control of target creature with power less than or equal to the number of Islands you control as long as Vedalken Shackles remains tapped.
and the Jitte along with many others.

Troll, Budoka, and the North Tree – These guys are all grouped together because their function is the same. Against a control deck you want your creature threats to be things that they have trouble handling. These creatures do not let your opponent target them. This means that red can’t burn them, black can’t kill them with their spot removal, and blue can’t bounce them or shackle them. This is a huge benefit to you when you are playing against control decks all tournament long. After testing turn two troll is extremely hard to deal with for any of these control decks.

Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.
– She lets you get back your time of need, blanchwood armor, tribe elder (to get more mana) and creatures that your opponent has been able to get rid of.

Molder Slug
Molder Slug
Molder SlugSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
125
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
4
Toughness:
6
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices an artifact.
– As I stated earlier, artifacts are a huge part of the metagame still and he really puts a stop to them. He is also a big beater for your deck.

The Open Fist, Isao, and Dosan – These creatures are your Time of Need
Time of Need
Time of NeedSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
247
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Text:
Search your library for a legendary creature card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
“tool box.” You just tutor for whichever one you need in your…time of need. Open Fist functions as a big beater against tooth, white weenie and really any deck. Isao you actually do not want to tutor for against mono blue, which would be the logical reason. He is really extra trolls for your deck and also good for most situations except shackles decks because he regenerates for colorless mana. Dosan is in the deck specifically for the mono blue match up because it is the most popular deck right now. If you can get Dosan to resolve, it creates major problems and gives you your window of opportunity. You can also time for the North Tree who is a beat stick and wrecks a lot of decks.

Time of Need
Time of Need
Time of NeedSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
247
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Text:
Search your library for a legendary creature card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
– see previous

Blanchwood armor – Since this deck cannot play the great equipment in the environment right now it needs something to speed up the game in your favor. For example it is great turn two on a birds against tooth because you should out race them and to block white weenies flyers. It is good against all other decks on any of your creatures because it makes them very big and hard to handle.

There is some controversy about this deck. The debate is whether to run main deck molder slug or run the broken equipment instead. I’d go for the build that I have presented, but if you are not in that boat then here is a list I put together for those “must have equipment” players.

Mono Green Aggro (with equipment):
4x Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
Birds of ParadiseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mana Birds
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

3x Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe ElderSet: Commander
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Sakura-Tribe Elder: Search your library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

4x Troll Ascetic
Troll Ascetic
Troll AsceticSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Troll Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
135
Artist:
Puddnhead
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Troll Ascetic can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control. 1G: Regenerate Troll Ascetic.

3x Viridian Zealot
Viridian Zealot
Viridian ZealotSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Artist:
Kev Walter
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1G, Sacrifice Tel-Jilad Zealot: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

3x Fangren Firstborn
Fangren Firstborn
Fangren FirstbornSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
75
Artist:
Tim Hildebrandt
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Fangren Firstborn attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on each attacking creature. In the Tangle bad is often followed by worse.

4x Karstoderm
Karstoderm
KarstodermSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
U
Number:
77
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Karstoderm comes into play with five +1/+1 counters on it. Whenever an artifact comes into play, remove a +1/+1 counter from Karstoderm.
/Open Fist/Emperor Croc./Green Genju (or some combination of these)
2x Kodama of the North Tree
Kodama of the North Tree
Kodama of the North TreeSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Shishizaru
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
Text:
Trample Kodama of the North Tree can't be the target of spells or abilities.

1x Jugan, the Rising Star
Jugan, the Rising Star
Jugan, the Rising StarSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
217
Artist:
Shishizaru
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying When Jugan, the Rising Star is put into a graveyard from play, you may distribute five +1/+1 counters among any number of target creatures.


3x Beacon of Creation
Beacon of Creation
Beacon of CreationSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
82
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Put a 1/1 green insect creature token into play for each forest you control. Shuffle Beacon of Creation back into its owner's library instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

3x Plow Under
Plow Under
Plow UnderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Put two target lands on top of their owner's library.


4x Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Fire and IceSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
148
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Equip 2 Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from red and from blue. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card and have it deal 2 damage to target creature.

3x Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's JitteSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Legendary Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, put two charge counters on Umezawa's Jitte. Remove a charge counter from Umezawa's Jitte Choose one — Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn; or target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn; or you gain 2 life. Equip 2


23x Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.



The way I see it is that if you play the slug instead of the equipment then they can’t kill your Jitte with theirs. Also mono blue has to counter the slug cause even if they steal it they still have to sac an artifact so you still win. One thing I really love about this deck is when you play the Budoka, Troll, or North Tree against any deck they are struggling to find an answer and if they can’t find one then you should win the game. Green has always been one of my favorite colors and I really think that this deck could do well in the environment that we are in right now.

Tips on playing the deck:
(1.) I have found with this deck that if you can get a second turn troll from first turn birds against most decks, that spells game over for them. Also if you do get the troll down early remember to defend him because he is your game winner. An easy way to do this is to make use of your second main phase. So, to do this just attack with the troll with out playing any creatures or spells so you have mana open to regenerate. Then if you did not have to save the troll, cast more creatures or whatever you need to.

(2.) Another tip if your opponent has a big creature on the ground block with the tribe elder and then with damage on the stack, sac him to get a land. Then “regrow” him with the witness and play him again to block and sac again. If you do this while at the same time attacking with your other creatures, it generates a huge advantage for you.

(3.) If you are playing against another Aggro deck, I have found that the best strategy is to tutor for the open fist, play him, and then put the blanchwood armor on him making him huge. Most decks cannot handle him because he keeps getting bigger and he has trample so they can’t just chump block him.

(4.) If you have a blanchwood armor on any of your creatures you can play and sac the tribe elder and keep getting him back and replaying him with the witness so that your mana keeps getting larger so that your guy keeps getting larger also.

So remember that anytime you are playing green make sure that you include the troll or he will be mad at you. Well I hope everyone has enjoyed this week’s article. The deck overall is very solid against the entire field. It has a good match ups with pretty much everything in the field right now and is very fun to play. So if you are looking for a new standard deck to play this may be the deck for you. Test it and see what you think, you may be surprised at the results. See you later for more Standard decks!!! : )

If you have any questions about the deck email me.


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