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Stompy and Mono Green's beginner Primer
By Oscar Tan aka Rakso
STOMPY PRIMER
Oscar Tan aka Rakso
Manila, Philippines
March 2, 2001)

(note: This is a casual deck Primer and sets before Revised and Fallen Empires are not emphasized, though Berserk and Ancestral Recall would automatically be in the deck. This Primer also tries to discuss the mono green creature decks in general although much of the discussion is devoted to the extremely fast Stompy decks. Who ever said that creatures are bad in Type I?)


INTRODUCTION
An old Magic joke: “There’s a fifth color of Magic?”

Years ago, this was true, and green was the color most players looked down on. Other colors had their tricks from Lightning Bolt to Hymn to Tourach to Counterspell to Disenchant and Swords to Plowshares, but green was left as the “creature color”. What was ironic was that the other colors actually had the best creatures: black had Juzam Djinn, Hypnotic Specter and its knights, white had Savannah Lions, Serra Angel and its knights, and blue had Serendib Efreet. In fact, the most noted “green” creature of the time was actually red’s Kird Ape! The other popular green creatures, Birds of Paradise and Erhnam Djinn, ended up being splashed into other decks.

Green simply did not have many things to offer other than mediocre creatures and mana producers. Little by little, however, green’s creature stock was built up by succeeding expansions. By the Mirage block era, players were able to assemble the first popular (though not quite the first) mono green deck: Senor Stompy.

SENOR STOMPY, BRYAN HUBBLE, 9TH PLACE, AUGUST 1997 TEXAS STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Creatures (32)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Rogue Elephant
4 Ghazban Ogre
3 Harvest Wurm
4 Spectral Bears
2 Whirling Dervish
2 Jolrael's Centaur
2 Uktabi Orangutan
3 Lhurgoyf

Pump (6)
4 Giant Growth
2 Bounty of the Hunt

Other tricks (4)
4 Winter Orb

Land (18)
2 Heart of Yavimaya
16 Forest

The deck type emerged in Texas, designed by Bill Macey and Pat Gallagher and refined by the Austiknights team. The deck was extremely aggressive and focused solely on a fast creature-based assault. Bryan described his first game in his Dojo report: “1st game: I go first and drop a Qurion Ranger. He goes and drops a Mountain. I drop a Spectral Bear next turn and he Sirrocos me on his turn. I'm like...‘Whatever, leave those in the sideboard.’ He sees my hand chock full of beatdown and next turn I drop a Winter Orb. He sits back at 2 land anyway for a few turns, then Firestorms 3 of my creatures. I Giant Growth to save one and serve up some Lhurgoyf beatdown a little later.”

The deck had 32 relatively fast creatures, and 1/3 of it’s spells cost only 1 mana. Beth Moursund compared the “mana curves” of the original Sligh decks and the first Stompy decks in her Duelist column “Deck Deconstruction” and showed that Stompy was designed to be even faster:

Sligh: 9-13 1-mana, 6-8 2-mana, 3-5 3-mana, 1-3 4-mana, and 2-3 X-mana
Stompy: 14-17 1-mana, 9-12 2-mana, 2-4 3-mana, 2-3 4-mana, and 0-2 X-mana

The raw speed of the deck is captured in Bryan’s commentary on the second, winning game of his first match: “He drops first turn mountain, followed up by second turn....nothing. It's not all about Stompy being the *worst* deck to get mana-screwed against. He does get a Firestorm off, but Bounty of the Hunt just made itself a green Force of Will on that play.”

If it could not win quickly, its speed would give way to its inflexibility, and its chances of winning would diminish rapidly. Bryan commented, “I think this is probably one of the most competitive decks out there currently and it can beat *anything*. My only true fear is a Falcon/Knight/Armor deck, which has the strongest chance of beating my deck although it's not unstoppable.” (Empyreal Armor in White Weenie could allow the normally slower white deck to race Stompy, and 3-color versions could slow Stompy’s creature assault.)

Svend Geertsen later made the deck world famous after his Worlds 1997 Stompy deck reached the semifinals and was reprinted as a collector’s commemorative deck. It was identical to the above list, and the sideboard consisted of:

1 Bounty of the Hunt
3 City of Solitude
2 Crumble
4 Emerald Charm
2 River Boa
2 Whirling Dervish
1 Uktabi Orangutan

Note that the deck was so focused on offense that the normally excellent River Boa was left in the sideboard in favor of the 3-power for 2-mana Spectral Bears and Harvest Wurms.


STOMPY IN MODERN TYPE I CASUAL PLAY AND A NOTE ON $15 DECKS

Using the same principles as the 1997 deck and the best green cards of the many expansions since the Mirage block, one can create a simple but lethal Stompy deck for casual play.

RAKSO’S CASUAL STOMPY DECK (excludes Berserk and other power)
Creatures (31)
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Elvish Lyrist
4 Wild Dogs
4 Skyshroud Elite
3 Hidden Gibbons
4 Quirion Sentinel
4 River Boa
4 Vine Dryad

Pump (10)
4 Giant Growth
4 Rancor
2 Bounty of the Hunt

Other tricks (3)
3 Winter Orb

Mana (16)
4 Land Grant
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
7 Forest
1 Pendelhaven

This is the basic Stompy structure after adding tricks from later expansions. Decks expecting a power environment with Moxen will likely replace the funny Pendelhaven with a basic Forest, and replace Winter Orb and Hidden Gibbons with more creatures (such as Rogue Elephants with one or two more Forests or Skyshroud Ridgeback) because these are slower against control decks. Adding Mox Emerald and Black Lotus, one should also add a Forest or two more or Quirion Ranger becomes useless.


RAKSO’S CASUAL STOMPY DECK WITH POWER
Creatures (32)
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Elvish Lyrist
4 Wild Dogs
4 Skyshroud Elite
4 Skyshroud Ridgeback
4 Quirion Sentinel
4 River Boa
4 Vine Dryad

Pump (11)
4 Giant Growth
4 Rancor
2 Bounty of the Hunt
1 Berserk

Mana (17)
4 Land Grant
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
7 Forest
1 Mox Emerald
1 Black Lotus


Better creatures can be borrowed from red, though at the expense of vulnerability to Wasteland and a small increase in inconsistency. This would be an interesting twist, and allow the use of Hull Breach when needed.

RAKSO’S CASUAL STOMPY DECK WITH RED
Creatures (30)
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Elvish Lyrist
4 Skyshroud Elite
4 Wild Dogs
4 Kird Ape
3 Quirion Sentinel
4 River Boa
3 Vine Dryad

Pump (9)
4 Giant Growth
4 Rancor
1 Berserk

Others (4)
4 Lightning Bolt

Mana (17)
4 Land Grant
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Taiga
3 Forest
1 Mox Emerald
1 Black Lotus


In a more casual Moxless environment, Winter Orb remains effective against a number of decks and Hidden Gibbons can tempt an opponent to finally cast instant creature removal, and add extra muscle to your next assault (and players just appreciate its novelty) against other weenie decks which can stall your attack. Skyshroud Elite will usually still be useful in casual play due to certain nonbasic lands players just enjoy and the non-basic lands in most Type II decks.

Creature choices vary and there is no single accepted ideal selection, but the number is usually near 30. Very few changes can cause the deck to play differently, however, and the rules of thumb presented in the succeeding sections will hold true for almost all decks. In fact, when reading the history of Stompy in Appendix I, one notes how the Forest counts decreased and various Extended decks gravitated towards the above list as key components were printed (Land Grant, Rancor, etc.). The listed deck, in fact, would come right after Nicolai Herzog’s Masters deck (September 2000) and the Philippine Profeta Green Extended deck (2000) in a timeline or evolution. The only major change is that the Type I deck drops Herzog’s Wastelands and Profeta’s extra Forests (for Rogue Elephant and as a hedge against mono green land destruction) to milk even more speed against Type I decks.

Stompy is (and remains) a deck type that is competitive, simple and easy to play, easy and cheap to build, and simply a lot of fun. It is refreshing for experienced players who want to play a deck without complicated strategies, appealing to players who reminisce about their first creature combats, and a valuable tool for teaching newer players precisely because of its simplicity and straightforwardness.

To demonstrate the extremely low cost of a Type I Stompy deck, Nukaramento once asked the other Beyond Dominia regulars for help in constructing such a deck with a budget of $15. Two hours later, Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs posted the following list:

By Gothmog, the Lord of the Balrogs (Gothmog) on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 12:25 am:
“Depending on what prices you are charged for commons/uncommons/rares, here's an example:

4 Rogue Elephant (10c ea.)
4 Ghazban Ogre (10c ea.)
4 Jungle Lions (10c ea.)
4 Skyshroud Elite ($1 ? ea.)

--> $5.20

4 Briar Shield (10c ea.)
4 Giant Growth (10c ea.)
4 Bounty of the Hunt (50c ? ea.)
4 Rancor (50c ea.)

--> $4.80 + $5.20 = $10.00

9 Forests (0c ea.)
4 Land Grant (10c ea.)
4 Elvish Spirit Guide (50c ea.)
4 Quirion Ranger (10c ea.)

--> $10.00 + $2.80 = $12.80

4 Elvish Lyrist (10c ea.)
3 Mtenda Lion (10c ea.)

--> $12.80 + $0.70 = $13.50

Those are the prices (approx) quoted by my local store.”

Note that the proposed deck does not even use a single rare, and the uncommon Skyshroud Elite is easily replaced. In fact, the most commonly used rare in Stompy is Vine Dryad, which is itself a cheaper rare card because it is rarely playable outside a Stompy strategy.

As Gothmog so clearly demonstrated, any player can replace the uncommon and rare cards in the listed casual deck and replace them with other common creatures from the list in the latter part of this primer. One can even build the deck with just the extra commons of friends and spend nothing!


LIMITATIONS OF STOMPY AND THE CONSEQUENT MANA BASE
Compared to other weenie decks, as mentioned, Stompy has the most inflexible selections for its support spells. White has a diverse array of creature, enchantment and artifact removal as well as the powerful Land Tax/Scroll Rack engine. Black has cheap discard, Sinkhole and creature removal, plus Dark Ritual. Blue has counterspells that slow opponents while weenies attack. Red simply has burn spells that are easily aimed at the player.

As observed in the above decklists, Green mainly has Giant Growth and its cousins, which can be less efficient than Lightning Bolt and its cousins. In addition, though green’s cheap creatures are the most powerful in terms of power to mana cost ratio, they also lack abilities unlike more combat-oriented white weenies. With all these limitations, green must capitalize on its great speed even in Type I, where Moxen can give other decks fast, broken draws.

Mono green decks in general can adopt a more creature-heavy weenie structure of 16-24 land, 10-16 “tricks and 20-34 creatures. More conventional green decks can play fewer land or more expensive spells because of mana elves (Llanowar/Fyndhorn Elves and Quirion Ranger), though the most mana hungry decks with 5- and 6-mana spells play with over 30 mana sources.

The need for raw power in the fastest Stompy decks, however, requires the player to begin playing offensive creatures as early as the first turn instead of stopping to play mana producing Elves to play more or larger creatures later on.

For this reason, as seen in the decklist above, the fastest decks (which this article will focus on) do away with the concept of a “mana curve” and are composed almost exclusively of 1-mana creatures. (This is where green shines. Although it has nothing as good as Savannah Lions or even red’s Jackal Pup in the 1-mana department, it has the deepest bench of 1-mana plays despite their individual drawbacks.) In fact, the fastest decks cannot afford to play more than about 4 2-mana creatures because these will make the deck too slow, and an unlucky draw will give them no first-turn play! These extremely fast decks make special modifications to their mana base.


ELVISH SPIRIT GUIDE
Cost: 2G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Spirit
Set: Alliances
Errata: 2/2. ; Remove ~this~ from the game: Add {G} to your mana pool. Play this ability only if ~this~ is in your hand and only any time you could play an instant. [Oracle 00/02/01]

Flavor Text: We are never without guidance, if we but seek it." --Taaveti of Kelsinko, Elvish Hunter Rulings:
 When using the ability, this is not considered to be "playing a card" for things like Recycle. You are playing an ability. [D'Angelo 98/03/11]
 The ability is a mana ability. It does not get put on the stack. [Bethmo 99/11/22] (REVERSAL)

Because most of their spells cost only 1 mana, the fastest Stompy decks can run with as few as 16 mana sources. In addition, 4 of these 16 lands are replaced by Elvish Spirit Guide. As shown by cards such as Dark Ritual, sacrificing a card for extra mana in the first turn can be worth its weight in gold. Elvish Spirit Guide allows you to play an extra creature on the first turn, which is practically like taking an extra crucial turn. (With Vine Dryad, Stompy decks can thus have three creatures in play by the first turn.) Elvish Spirit Guide serves as an extra creature later in the game when extra mana is useless, and this makes it more desirable than the single allowed Lotus Petal. In addition, Elvish Spirit Guide can also be discarded to fuel Vine Dryad or Bounty of the Hunt.

(Obviously, Mox Emerald and Black Lotus are a must in the deck if one has it. Lotus Petal is less desirable than Elvish Spirit Guide, but still quite usable. Mox Diamond is trickier because most of the fastest Stompy decks have so few land. It was better used in older decks with Harvest Wurm and Quirion Ranger, and is often too cumbersome and inconsistent in the fastest Stompy decks.)


LAND GRANT
Cost: 1G
Rarity: Common
Type: Sorcery
Set: Mercadian Masques

Errata: If you have no land cards in hand, you may reveal your hand instead of paying ~this~'s mana cost. ; Search your library for a forest card, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. [Oracle 00/02/01]
Rulings: You can pay the "reveal your hand" cost even if your hand is already revealed due to another effect. [Barclay 99/11/07]

Next, another 4 land are replaced by Land Grant. It is as good as having a Forest in hand, only it reduces the number of Forests remaining in the deck when used, which is crucial because Stompy does not want or need more than 2 land in play. It also has practically no sources of card drawing, and the closest thing it has is having as little land as possible in the library to increase the chances of drawing creatures and other “business” spells.

Land Grant, however, has other nuances. First, it is better than having a Forest in hand because it can be discarded to fuel Vine Dryad or Bounty of the Hunt instead of a business card. Second, it can fetch green dual lands in addition to normal Forests, which allow a somewhat reliable means to splash cards from Kird Ape for an extra efficient 1-mana creature to Ancestral Recall for card drawing. (Of course, using dual lands means sacrificing the immunity of basic Forests to Wasteland and similar effects, which becomes a concern in a deck with so little land.) Land Grant can, in fact, be used in non-green decks to reliably add green. For example, this gives red Sligh decks access to Kird Ape and enchantment removal such as Emerald Charm and Hull Breach.

The drawback of Land Grant is not quite its alternate casting cost; revealing a hand you will empty by your second turn is not a significant drawback. The actual drawback of Land Grant is that if a wily opponent counters or uses Duress on your Land Grant before you exchange it for a Forest, it may slow you down, and losing even one turn when playing Stompy can be fatal.

Thus, it is best to play Land Grant as soon as possible. If your opening hand contains a Forest and Land Grant, play the Forest and exchange the Land Grant for another one immediately unless you plan to discard it to Bounty of the Hunt or Vine Dryad. This also prevents the opponent from seeing the card you draw next turn, a minor but concrete difference.

The use of Land Grant prevents the use of non-Forest lands if you are using very few actual lands like the sample deck does. Most importantly, this prevents you from playing Strip Mine and Wasteland. If you draw a Wasteland and a Land Grant in your opening hand, you will have no green source during your first turn, which is a fatal delay. The fastest versions of Stompy consider this a fair trade-off, as they aim to win the game before special lands such as Library of Alexandria and Thawing Glaciers can tip the scales against them.


If you are playing a deck with a more conventional mana base that follows the “mana curve” more closely instead of insisting on a lot of 1-mana creatures, then you have more room to play more than basic Forests.

This does not apply to Stompy, but to familiarize players with mono green in general, lands commonly used in green are discussed below.

The most important lands outside Stompy are Wasteland and Strip Mine. These help slow the opponent or destroy key lands, which further enhances green’s speed advantage. Wasteland was unavailable, for example, in Masques-era Type II, and Rishadan Port was used as a substitute in every successful green deck.

Man lands such as Mishra’s Factory and Treetop Village may also be added to provide extra punch and uncounterable creatures. The Factories’ colorless mana and the Villages entering play tapped become less important if they can be played later; note that Village would be fatal in a very fast Stompy deck because it loses a turn while waiting for Village to untap.

A number of Legendary Lands are always fun in casual play. Pendelhaven leads the list, as it helps your lowly 1/1 creatures yet is almost identical to the standard Forest. Note, however, that it cannot power Quirion Ranger, which is a serious drawback felt in opening hand with Pendelhaven as the only land. An old trick, if you have nothing better to use the mana for, is to give the bonus to a 1/1 before enchanting it with Rancor.

Yavimaya Hollows is also fun, though it does not give green mana and is often unnecessary outside casual play. Heart of Yavimaya requires careful examination of your deck. While it helps the deck, it requires the sacrifice of a Forest, which makes it dangerous if it ends up as the only land you draw in a deck with a very low land count, or if it is destroyed. It is best used with Harvest Wurm, actually, and the obscure Ice Age spell Forbidden Lore replaced it in decks without Harvest Wurm.

Thawing Glaciers is useful in much slower decks with larger creatures since it speeds up mana development while removing “useless” land from the deck, but these would be very casual decks.

The promo card Arena is extremely fun to use in a more mana-intensive deck with larger creatures as it gives green an uncounterable method of destroying an opponent’s creatures. One can even declare an attacker, then use Arena before blockers are declared to kill a smaller creature and still deal combat damage to the opponent during the same turn.


GAEA'S CRADLE
Rarity: Rare
Type: Legendary Land
Set: Urza's Saga
Card Text: T: Add G to your mana pool for each creature you control.

Flavor Text: Here sprouted the first seedling of Argoth. Here the last tree will fall." -Gamelen, Citanul elder
Rulings:
 Is considered to have an ability that generates green mana, even if you control no creatures. [WotC Rules Team 99/03/18]
 Urza Block Constructed tournaments (see Rule D.18.6) have banned this card since 99/07/01.
 Note - Also see Legendary Permanents, Rule K.17.

Finally, an important point in building a mana base for mono green is Gaea’s Cradle. Obviously, it is most useful in a deck with many creatures, a criteria most green decks easily meet. It also dazzles many beginners who want to play green, who instantly assume it is the most powerful land green can have.

This is not true. In a competitive, fast Stompy deck with mostly 1-mana creatures that empties its hand by the second turn, the extra mana is quite useless (since it can only be used once the creatures are in play, at which point mana is unneeded). Gaea’s Cradle, in addition, encourages a player to play more creatures than necessary. This makes the player doubly vulnerable to mass destruction like Earthquake or Wrath of God because Gaea’s Cradle becomes useless after the creatures are destroyed.

Gaea’s Cradle is used only in decks that can both play the early creatures and use the extra mana during the mid-game. Many casual decks with a few large creatures meet this criteria, but decks that can maximize the Cradle are usually those with “engines” such as those with Recycle, Llanowar Sentinel, Saproling makers, or the “Trinity Green” Skyshroud Poacher-Deranged Hermit combo. (In Type II, Gaea’s Cradle was often paired with white Rebel searchers because they fit the mana-hungry Rebel engine like a glove.) Beware not to use Gaea’s Cradle in just any green deck; it is a card you use none or 4 of because the deck has to be based around it.

There are a few tricks with Cradle as well. The most common is to tap Cradle then sacrifice it to Crop Rotation in exchange for another Cradle to double the Cradle mana. Another nuance is to tap a Cradle for mana before an attack if there is a chance an opponent can use instants to destroy attackers and reduce available mana after the attack. Finally, note that excess mana from a Cradle can be used to create more than one regeneration shield on a creature like River Boa or to activate Treetop Village more than once, just to avoid taking mana burn. The most obvious trick is to play creatures using other lands before using Cradle to get more mana out of the Cradle for the last spell, if necessary.


GREEN’S (SMALL) BAG OF TRICKS
It was mentioned that green is the most inflexible color. This is largely true, but it still has a small array of highly efficient spells that still get the job done and support the deck. (Pump spells like Giant Growth will be discussed at the end, after discussing how the deck works, since they are unique to green decks.)

Note that the most important green spells for Stompy cost only 1 or 2 mana, again following the above discussion on the Stompy mana base. In Magic, the cheapest possible spell for an effect is often the best, despite limitations or drawbacks, and this is most evident in green.


ENCHANTMENT DESTRUCTION

ELVISH LYRIST
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Elf
Set: Urza's Saga

Card Text: G,T,Sacrifice Elvish Lyrist: Destroy target enchantment.
Flavor Text: Bring the spear of ancient briar; Bring the torch to light the pyre. Bring the one who trod our ground; Bring the spade to dig his mound.


EMERALD CHARM
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Instant
Set: Visions

Card Text: Choose one - Untap target permanent; or destroy target global enchantment; or target creature loses flying until end of turn.
Rulings: Note - Also see Modal Spells and Abilities, Rule G.24.

This is a very important component of Stompy because a single nasty enchantment such as Moat can single-handedly defeat the narrow deck. For this reason, Elvish Lyrists are included in decks as they can be slipped onto the board early and can be enchanted with Rancor if needed to attack.

Lyrists are often insufficient (or easily killed) against a number of decks. The 1-mana Emerald Charm is usually the fast enchantment removal of choice after Lyrist, and it can also kill an opponent’s creatures if used intelligently during combat. The only other alternative is Tranquil Domain, though one rarely has to deal with multiple enchantments if one is playing a fast Stompy deck.

Note that the 6 life one gives the opponent using Reverent Silence is often not worth it, and the classic Tranquility and Essence Filter are usable only in a slower deck and not by Stompy. Finally, Tranquil Grove is an interesting permanent for many slower, controllish decks.


ARTIFACT DESTRUCTION

CRUMBLE
Cost: G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Instant
Set: Alpha/Beta/Unlimited

Errata: Destroy target artifact. It can't be regenerated. That artifact's controller gains life equal to its converted mana cost. [Oracle 99/09/03]
Flavor Text: Ashes and dust; dust and ashes. Hope it works before it smashes." --Argivian children's rhyme Rulings:
 If the target artifact becomes illegal before resolution, the player does not gain any life. [Duelist Magazine #5, Page 23]
 Note - Also see Converted Mana Cost, Rule K.8.


UKTABI ORANGUTAN
Cost: 2G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Ape
Set: Mirage

Card Text: When Uktabi Orangutan comes into play, destroy target artifact.
Flavor Text: Is it true that the apes wear furs of gold when they marry?" -Rana, Suq'Ata market fool Rulings: Note - Also see Comes Into Play Abilities, Rule E.3.


SEEDS OF INNOCENCE
Cost: 1GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Sorcery
Set: Mirage

Errata: Destroy all artifacts. The controller of each artifact destroyed this way gains life equal to its converted mana cost. [Oracle 00/02/01]
Flavor Text: I have hidden from the machinations of Zhalfir for centuries. Why should I join your campaign?" --Jolrael
Rulings: Note - Also see Converted Mana Cost, Rule K.8.

The artifact destruction card of choice for green is Uktabi Orangutan, because it provides both immediate destruction and a 2/2 creature. The 3 mana cost is inconvenient, but tolerable because few artifacts are important enough to need to be destroyed in the first few turns. Scavenger Folk, the parallel to Elvish Lyrist, is considered worse than the “Sex Monkey” because it has summoning sickness and cannot be used immediately (and can be killed before it can be used).

Most Stompy decks, however, used the classic instant spell Crumble, and the life gain was negligible. It removes very dangerous artifacts such as Powder Keg. In general, however, because there are fewer artifacts that are dangerous to Stompy (comapred to Moat), enchantment removal is often more emphasized and the slower Orangutan can be considered. A more recent alternative is Hull Breach, as will be discussed below.

Finally, green has a potent weapon against artifact-heavy decks (or against Moxen for decks based on land destruction): Seeds of Innocence.


ARTIFACT/ENCHANTMENT DESTRUCTION

DESERT TWISTER
Cost: 4GG
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Sorcery
Set: Arabian Nights
Card Text: Destroy target permanent.

CREEPING MOLD
Cost: 2GG
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Sorcery Set:
Visions
Errata: Destroy target artifact, enchantment, or land.[Oracle 00/10/24]
Flavor Text: "Mold could catch you." - Suq'Ata insult


HULL BREACH
Cost: RG
Rarity: Common
Type: Sorcery
Set: Planeshift

Card Text: Choose one - Destroy target artifact; or destroy target enchantment; or destroy target artifact and target enchantment.
Flavor Text: Crovax knows we're coming now," said a grinning Sisay. "I just sent the Predator crashing into his stronghold.


Desert Twister is the oldest multi-purpose spell of green decks that could actually cast it, and Creeping Mold’s flexibility made it a staple as soon as it was printed. Jamie Wakefield used this flexibility well and advised: “Creeping mold – handles everything. NEVER use these for land destruction to try and get a lucky win. Never. Save them – honest. If you destroy a random land they will play another. If it is turn four, and they have one land out – yes – kill it. Strongholds – kill them. But otherwise – forget it. Save it for something wrecking you.”

The problem is that these staple spells are completely useless to Stompy because of their high cost. The recently printed Hull Breach may provide a more definitive solution. It is usable even in the most mana-pinching Stompy decks as long as these use 4 Land Grant and 4 Taiga, and this allows them to add 4 Kird Ape as well.


CREATURE DESTRUCTION

CURSED SCROLL
Cost: 1
Rarity: Rare
Type: Artifact
Set: Tempest

Errata: {3},{Tap}: Name a card. An opponent chooses a card at random from your hand. Reveal that card. If the card is the named card, ~this~ deals 2 damage to target creature or player. [Oracle 99/07/21]
Rulings:
 You choose a target creature or player on announcement. You choose the opponent and they pick a card from your hand during resolution. [D'Angelo 99/06/01]
 It does not target the opponent, but you still choose an opponent. [WotC Rules Team 98/02/01]
 If you have no cards in hand, you still have to name a card, but your opponent does not pick one. The card they chose cannot match the card you named, since they didn't get to pick one, so the Cursed Scroll does not deal any damage. [D'Angelo 98/05/18]
 Tempest/Stronghold}/Exodus block format tournaments (see Rule D.18.5) have banned this card since 98/07/01.


MASTICORE
Cost: 4
Color: Artifact
Type: Artifact Creature
Set: Urza's Destiny

Errata: 4/4. ; At the beginning of your upkeep, you may discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice ~this~. ; {2}: ~this~ deals 1 damage to target creature. ; {2}: Regenerate ~this~. [Oracle 99/07/21]


HURRICANE
Cost: XG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Sorcery
Set: Alpha/Beta/Unlimited

Card Text: Hurricane deals X damage to each player and each creature with flying. (This includes you and your creatures with flying.)
Rulings:
 This is not a targeted spell, and so it may be cast when there are no creatures in play. [bethmo 94/06/01]
 Whether or not a creature is Flying is only checked on resolution. [D'Angelo 95/10/05]
 Note - Also see X Costs, Rule K.27.


AEOLIPILE
Cost: 2
Color: Artifact
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Artifact
Set: Fallen Empires

Errata: {1},{Tap},Sacrifice ~this~: ~this~ deals 2 damage to target creature or player. [Oracle 99/07/23]
Flavor Text: Although fragile, the Aeolipile could be quite destructive." --Sarpadian Empires, vol. I


TRIANGLE OF WAR
Cost: 1
Color: Artifact
Rarity: Rare
Type: Artifact
Set: Visions

Errata: {2},Sacrifice ~this~: Choose target creature you control and target creature an opponent controls. Each creature deals damage equal to its power to the other. [Oracle 99/07/01]
Flavor Text: The Zhalfirin war triangle represents a trinity of might, faith, and guile.
Rulings: Does nothing useful if either target becomes illegal before resolution. [Duelist Magazine #17, Page 30]


HAIL STORM
Cost: 1GG
Color: Green
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Instant
Set: Alliances

Card Text: Hail Storm deals 2 damage to each attacking creature and 1 damage to you and each creature you control.
Flavor Text: If they can't take the hail, they'd better stay home." --Arna Kennerud, Skycaptain


This is actually the big problem: Green does not really have creature removal. As Jamie “King of the Fatties” Wakefield himself quipped in a Dojo report, “Have you ever noticed that green can handle everything but creatures?”

The above list is actually the best mono green can come up with, and none of the cards are even close to usable in the fastest, land-light Stompy decks. Again, they try to make up for green’s largest weakness with raw speed.

For the purposes of discussion, however, the options available to slower green decks with more mana are briefly discussed below.

More conventional decks can use the “substitutes,” and pass up the interesting Unyaro Bee Sting. Cursed Scroll, by far, is the most powerful and is a key permanent in many weenie decks since it can reliably deal 2 damage if the controller is holding just one card in hand. However, one can only use it if one has about 5 mana in the midgame, since one needs to cast the spell drawn and activate Scroll.

Masticore is another favorite artifact, despite the upkeep, and Aeolipile is an old card that, today, may well be the poor man’s Cursed Scroll. Triangle of War is an interesting possibility that mimics Arena, mentioned earlier. Hail Storm is an obscure anti-weenie card used in decks with larger creatures. Hurricane is used less as creature kill and more as a finishing card.


CARD DRAWING

SYLVAN LIBRARY
Cost: 1G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Enchantment
Set: Legends

Errata: 0: Draw two cards, then choose any two cards in your hand drawn this turn. For each of those cards, pay 4 life or put that card back on top of your library. Use this ability only during your draw phase and only once each turn.
Rulings:
 Spells and abilities are resolved one at a time, so if you use multiple Sylvan Libraries in one stack, each will resolve in sequence. You do not get to draw all the cards at once then put them all back at once. [WotC Rules Team 94/09/15]
 You may resolve your normal draw before this ability by ordering them on the stack properly at the beginning of your draw step. So you can decide whether or not to draw two cards for this card's ability after seeing your normal draw. [D'Angelo 00/03/03] See Rule A.4.14.
 You can return zero, one, or two cards. [WotC Rules Team 94/09/15]
 If you only get one or fewer draws due to this effect (because the other draws were replaced), you still have to put back 2 cards if possible. Any cards drawn this turn are applicable to this. This makes the Aladdin's Lamp replacement ineffective at escaping having to put a card back, since the Lamp does put a drawn card into your hand. [D'Angelo 97/05/21]
 If you manage not to draw cards or draw less than 2 cards, you do not lose life by not putting the undrawn cards back. Thus, you can use Mangara's Tome to get a card or two instead of drawing and avoid having to put cards back. [Aahz 96/10/21] Abundance can also be used to avoid draws and cause no loss of life. [D'Angelo 98/10/15]
 If you have drawn cards prior to your draw step, they can be ones chosen to be put back using this effect. [D'Angelo 97/03/21] For example, a cantrip (see Rule E.3) draw or an instant used during upkeep.
 If you have several ways to draw during your draw step, you can do them in any order. For example your regular draw, two Howling Mines and a Sylvan Library. You can do the Library first (draw 2 and put 2) back, then your 3 other draws. Or you can do your 3 draws, then the Library (which lets you put back any 2 of the 5 cards you drew). Or you can do some of the draws before and some after the library. [D'Angelo 97/03/21]
 This will count as 2 draws for anything that affects "drawn cards". [D'Angelo 95/07/11]


SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
Cost: 1G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Enchantment

Set: Exodus
Errata: {G},Discard a creature card: Search your library for a creature card, reveal that card to all players, and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library afterwards. [Oracle 99/05/01]


RECYCLE
Cost: 4GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Enchantment
Set: Tempest

Errata: Skip your draw step. ; Whenever you play a card, draw a card. ; At the end of your turn, discard all but two cards from your hand. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Rulings:
 Does not let you draw for cards that are simply "put into play", such as with Eureka. [Aahz 97/11/04] Or Rampant Growth. [bethmo 97/12/02]
 Countering a spell that has been played will not prevent you from drawing the card. [D'Angelo 97/11/10]
 Works when playing a land card from your hand as normal. Does not work if a land is put into play by an effect. [Duelist Magazine #23, Page 23]


COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS
Cost: 4GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Sorcery
Set: Mercadian Masques
Card Text: Draw a card for each creature you control.
Flavor Text: Gerrard knew little of Ramos, the sky god they worshipped. But he felt the power of the chant.


NATURE'S RESURGENCE
Cost: 2GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Sorcery
Set: Weatherlight
Errata: Each player draws a card for each creature card in his or her graveyard. [Oracle 00/02/01]
Flavor Text: Spring follows winter" - Elvish expression meaning "all things pass”


ROWEN
Cost: 2GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Enchantment
Set: Visions
Card Text: During your draw phase, reveal the first card you draw to all players. If that card is a basic land, draw a card.
Flavor Text: "I've dreamt of a second harvest but fear I will not see it." - Asmira, Holy Avenger
Rulings: The first sentence is a continuous ability. You reveal the card when you draw it, during the resolution of any draw effect. The second sentence is a triggered ability (see Rule A.4), and thus will wait until the entire draw effect finishes resolving before you do it. [DeLaney 97/01/28]


Another hole in green’s arsenal is its lack of reliable card drawing. None of the possibilities are usable in Stompy.

Again, however, the possibilities for other green decks are discussed below.

Sylvan Library is included in some decks to help manipulate the library (but this is limited without library reshuffling so you look at three new cards every turn), but can also be used to draw two cards a turn in exchange for 8 life against slow control decks that do not deal damage. This function, however, is more commonly used in control decks.

Survival of the Fittest is a very powerful card that ended up being banned in Extended because it amounts to card drawing with Squee and Krovikan Horror. However, by nature, it is used with utility and not offensive creatures. (A much older card that was subtly used as card drawing was Call of the Wild in creature-heavy decks, but Survival is just better in every way after the printing of Squee.)

More commonly, mono green ends up using a permanent with a key, reusable ability, Cursed Scroll in particular. As mentioned, the fastest Stompy decks do not have the mana to use any of these engines, and the closest thing they have to card drawing is a low land count that translates into more spells drawn.

Incidentally, many beginning players are attracted to Fog. In general, do not use it. It negates combat for one turn at the cost of one of your cards, but does nothing to affect the succeeding turns. It is also a defensive card, something most green decks cannot afford to waste card slots on. The glaring exception is the ability of Spike Weaver, which comes with a 3/3 creature and a reusable ability that truly reliably stalls the opponent in the right deck.


LAND DESTRUCTION

WINTER ORB
Cost: 2
Color: Artifact
Rarity: Rare
Type: Artifact
Set: Alpha/Beta/Unlimited

Errata: As long as ~this~ is untapped, players can't untap more than one land during their untap steps. [Oracle 00/02/01]
Rulings: Lands animated by Living Lands or Kormus Bell are affected by this spell. [D'Angelo 94/06/01]

One could not miss the key artifact of the original Stompy decks: Winter Orb. Mono green decks end up needing very few land or using mana elves. They are less affected by Winter Orb, therefore, and it can help play up their general speed advantage. It is best played after an opponent taps a lot of mana to play an expensive spell. Winter Orb also meshes well with Quirion Rangers, which speeds up Stompy’s recovery from the Orb.

Other players tried the Orb’s younger cousin, Tangle Wire, which can be skewed in their favor by removing fading counters before tapping permanents and by tapping Tangle Wire as one of the permanents.

Outside Stompy, however, true land destruction, is a strategy green weenies can use to support themselves, much like red and black weenies can. Ice Storm, Thermokarst and Winter’s Grasp plus Creeping Mold and Strip Mine/Wasteland make up the arsenal. The purpose is to slow the opponent while creatures attack, especially if one can focus the land destruction on removing one type of land, and not to destroy all his land. A dedicated land destruction deck plays as quickly as the Stompy strategy though instead of a blitzkrieg of creatures, one pummels the opponent’s land, and plays a larger creature in the midgame to seal the victory.

Again, for the purposes of general discussion outside Stompy, dedicated mono green land destruction decks are briefly discussed below.


Green can reliably begin destroying land by turn 2 if it plays a mana elf on turn 1, and dedicated mono green land destruction was a viable Extended strategy (it is weaker in Type I due to Moxen):

ORIGINAL LEGION LAND LOSS, MANUEL BEVAND, LATE 1997
Disruption (16)
4 Creeping Mold
4 Thermokarst
4 Winter's Grasp
4 Stunted Growth

Damage (6)
3 Triskelions
3 Cursed Scrolls

Mana
4 Llanowar Elves
2 Fyndhorn Elves
4 Wall of Roots
4 Mishra’s Factory
4 Wasteland
14 forests

Sideboard:
4 Barded Foliage
4 Uktabi Orangutan
4 Tranquil Domain
3 Autumn Willow


LEGION LAND LOSS, ALAN COMER, TOP 8 IN TWO PRO TOUR QUALIFIERS, LATE 1997
Disruption (21)
4 Thermokarst
4 Winter’s Grasp
4 Creeping Mold
1 Kudzu
4 Icy Manipulator
4 Stunted Growth

Damage (7)
3 Erhnam Djinn
4 Triskelion

Mana (32)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fyndhorn Elves
3 Wall of Roots
4 Mishra’s Factory
4 Wasteland
13 Forest

Sideboard:
1 Tranquility
2 Tranquil Domain
4 Uktabi Orangutan
2 Natures Wrath
1 Tsunami
3 Barbed Folliage
1 Storm Seeker
1 Serrated Biskellion

This deck is radically different from Stompy (note the Kudzu!) as it is a defensive deck that focuses on disrupting the opponent until better creatures can join the Elves and Factories in dealing damage. Unlike aggressive Stompy decks, these old decks had Wall of Roots and Icy Manipulator that doubled as creature defense. Even older decks were red/green, but the printing of Winter’s Grasp gave the Extended version enough land destruction to go mono green. When Mercadian Masques was printed, later Extended decks added Rishadan Port to practically double the number of Wastelands in the deck.

Stompy can use a similar strategy with less land destruction spells to slow the opponent while efficient small creatures chip away. Some newer incarnations of Legion Land Loss even added Natural Order and Verdant Force to quickly get a very large creature before the opponent could recover from the loss of land.


FALLOW EARTH
Cost: 2G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Sorcery
Set: Mirage
Card Text: Put target land on top of owner's library.
Flavor Text: ...and when the farmer awoke the next morning, all the seeds from his field were once again in their sacks." --Afari, Tales


PLOW UNDER
Cost: 3GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Sorcery
Set: Urza's Destiny
Card Text: Put two target lands on top of their owner's library.
Flavor Text: To renew the land, plow the land. To destroy the land, do nothing. -Druids' saying
Rulings: The owner decides the order the two lands are stacked there. [Urza's Destiny FAQ 99/05/25]


STUNTED GROWTH
Cost: 3GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Sorcery
Set: Ice Age
Errata: Target player chooses three cards from his or her hand and puts them on top of his or her library in any order. [Oracle 00/02/01]
Rulings: This is not a discard effect and will not trigger Psychic Purge. [D'Angelo 95/10/06]


A subcategory of green land destruction are the “delay” land destruction spells: Plow Under and Fallow Earth. Instead of destroying the land, they return them to the top of the opponent’s library. This is important because it effectively stalls the opponent by one or two turns by replacing his next draw or draws with land. In discussing the Trinity Green (discussed in Appendix I) deck on Neutral Ground, Paul Jordan commented, “Plow Under, Fallow Earth, and Tangle Wire are some of the best tempo cards available in (Urza-era) Type 2. Each one is a Time Walk at worst, and usually better.”

This strategy combines with green creatures and Stunted Growth and the artifact Mishra’s Helix to create a variant of land destruction. Again, instead of a fast creature swarm like Stompy, this sort of deck disrupts the opponent first and plays an undercosted large creature to seal the win. (Incidentally, Plow Under is better than Stunted Growth when the opponent has no hand, making the latter much less useful against fast decks.)

For example, this deck combined the incredible mana production (note the 40 various cards that support mana production!) of Urza-era green with land destruction and delay spells :

GREEN CONTROL, MICHAEL LEFEVRE, 1999 WASHINGTON STATE CHAMPION (TYPE II)
Disruption (13)
4 Plow Under
2 Mishra's Helix
4 Creeping Mold
3 Desert Twister

Damage (7)
2 Masticore
2 Child of Gaea
3 Deranged Hermit

Others (2)
2 Crop Rotation

Mana creatures (15)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Priest of Titania
4 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
3 Yavimaya Elder

Land (23)
1 Dust Bowl
13 Forest
3 Gaea's Cradle
4 Rishadan Port
2 Treetop Village

Sideboard:
3 Defense Grid
2 Distorting Lens
1 Masticore
3 Thran Foundry
2 Thran Lens
2 Dawnstrider
2 Tranquil Grove

Again, while this strategy is completely different from more creature offense-based green decks, elements of it (like 4 Fallow Earth) can be incorporated.

One example is this old deck from Jamie Wakefield, from the days before Verdant Force (complete with the 62 card, 26 land signature):

MONO GREEN LAND DESTRUCTION, JAMIE WAKEFIELD, APRIL 1998
Creatures (23)
4 Llanowar Elves
3 Pincher Beetles
4 Jolreals Centaur
4 Uktabi Orangutan
2 Lhurgoyf
4 Scragnoth
2 FORCE OF NATURE!!!

Land destruction (11)
3 Fallow Earth
4 Winter’s Grasp
4 Creeping Mold

Others (2)
2 Hurricane

Mana (26)
4 Wild Growth
18 Forests
4 Wastelands

Sideboard
3 Lifeforce
3 Roots of Life
4 Wall of Roots
4 Natural Spring


PLAYING THE STOMPY DECK
Stompy is one of the easiest decks to understand because it is fairly straightforward and there are few tricks one has to master. How the deck is played is based directly on how aggressive the version is.

In the most aggressive versions like the sample deck at the beginning of the article, one has to play creatures as quickly as possible (hence spells like Elvish Spirit Guide) and begin the offense as soon as possible. Again, you have traded speed for flexibility. (And even more flexible and control-oriented mono green decks like Jamie Wakefield’s Secret Force applied pressure early.)

However, in general, speed does not mean playing more creatures than necessary, called “overextending.” Three creatures on the board (or two more than the opponent has) is a maximum for Stompy, or else it will be too vulnerable to mass kill such as Balance, Powder Keg and Earthquake. If the opponent has no mass kill or if you will lose the game anyway if you do not swarm him with everything you have, disregard this rule, however.

Play creatures before anything else, unless it is absolutely necessary to play another spell such as Emerald Charm. Do not worry about holding mana open for other spells like Giant Growth early on.

The first thing a Stompy player learns is how to deal with an opponent’s blockers. One immediately learns to ignore them as much as possible. If one has three creatures, for example, and the opponent has a large blocker, a Stompy player will often attack, allow one creature to die and play another creature to replace it. Control of the board is less important for Stompy than dealing damage, so never be afraid to lose creatures to blockers. In some cases, in fact, the opponent may assume that you have a Giant Growth in hand and refuse to block anyway. (Whether or not to use the Giant Growth is discussed in the next section.)

One does have to be wary about certain blockers and be conscious of their abilities. A common example is Mogg Fanatic, which can block an attacker, deal damage, then sacrifice itself to kill a second attacker. This can single-handedly slow your offense.

If the opponent manages to deal with the initial rush, the Stompy player may find himself on the defensive. If he is the one in danger, he cannot afford to attack, and finds himself in the awkward position of having to play defensively with an aggressive deck. Even in this situation, the objective is not to neutralize the opponent’s attackers. It is always to create an opening so that the opponent does not leave enough blockers and allow you to counterattack in your turn.

A common strategy here is to “chump block” or sacrifice a blocker to stop an attacker. One can block a large attacker with a more expendable creature such as Wild Dogs, Ghazban Ogre or Skyshroud Ridgeback, or a weaker creature such as Elvish Lyrist or Llanowar Elves. One can then counterattack next turn with the higher-power creatures while leaving another weak creature to block the large attacker.

Another strategy is to “gang-block” or block a larger attacker with more than one creature. This is especially good if the larger attacker does not have the power to kill all of the blockers, which allows you to trade a smaller creature for the larger attacker. One has to be careful, however, if the opponent can destroy one of the blockers and allow the attacker to kill all the remaining blockers. If this is a possibility, one can try to block the attacker with more high-toughness creatures than necessary. Using low-power creatures like Wild Dogs, however, allows the attacker to destroy more creatures than it normally would.

In planning a counterattack, one can use Quirion Ranger to untap a creature during the opponent’s turn to create a surprise blocker, or play instant-speed creatures such as Vine Dryad. One can also play a Vine Dryad or similar creature at the end of the opponent’s turn to create a surprise attacker that can be boosted with Rancor and other pump.

Note that the primary defensive ability of green creatures is regeneration. When available, try to play creatures with this such as River Boa last because one is forced to hold mana untapped to use the ability, especially when it is needed to block. Opponents who need to deal with a regenerating blocker will often use multiple spells to force a player to tap out, and beware of this when the blocker is crucial. Also note that regenerating taps a creature so an opponent can force a blocker to regenerate, tapping it and allowing a large attacker to deal damage.

Finally, note that regeneration rules have changed to use “regeneration shields” that have to be placed on the creature before it actually receives damage. This makes regenerating creatures an outlet for excess mana from sources such as Gaea’s Cradle, Priest of Titania and Rofellos. In situations when an opponent tries to tap one’s mana using Rishadan Port, Mishra’s Helix or Icy Manipulator and any similar situation, always remember to tap the land for mana first and use the mana to create a regeneration shield. This, at least, puts the mana to some use.


FINISHING THE OPPONENT WITH PUMP

GIANT GROWTH
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Instant
Set: Alpha/Beta/Unlimited
Card Text: Target creature gains +3/+3 until end of turn.


RANCOR
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Enchant Creature
Set: Urza's Legacy

Errata: Enchanted creature gains +2/+0 and has trample. ; When ~this~ is put into a graveyard from play, return ~this~ to its owner's hand. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Flavor Text: Hatred outlives the hateful.


BOUNTY OF THE HUNT
Cost: 3GG
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Instant
Set: Alliances

Errata: You may remove a green card in your hand from the game instead of paying ~this~'s mana cost. ; Three target creatures get +1/+1 until end of turn. You may target the same creature more than once with this spell. [Oracle 99/11/01]
Rulings:
 Only creatures which are to receive at least one +1/+1 counter are considered targeted by this. [D'Angelo 99/08/01]
 Note - Also see Alternate Cost Spells, Rule E.1.
 Note - Also see Mana Cost, K.18.


BRIAR SHIELD
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Enchant Creature
Set: Weatherlight
Card Text: Enchanted creature gets +1/+1. Sacrifice Briar Shield: Enchanted creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn.
Flavor Text: In all its forms, the forest is the elves' best protector.


MIGHT OF OAKS
Cost: 3G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Instant
Set: Urza's Legacy
Card Text: Target creature gets +7/+7 until end of turn.
Flavor Text: Suddenly, she couldn't see the acorns for the trees.


FORBIDDEN LORE
Cost: 2G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Enchant Land
Set: Ice Age
Errata: ~this~ can enchant only a land you control. ; Enchanted land has "{Tap}: Target creature gets +2/+1 until end of turn." [Oracle 00/02/01]


Another old joke about why green was the worst color of Magic was coined because there was supposed to be an informal cycle of “threes” in the original Magic set. Black got Dark Ritual which produced 3 mana, blue got Ancestral Recall which drew three cards, red got Lightning Bolt which dealt 3 damage.

Green got Giant Growth. (Of course, White got Healing Salve which just gives 3 life, but it got other things.)

Still, the ability to pump creatures complements green’s creatures nicely. However, like burn spells, they cannot be mindlessly used on the opponent as soon as they can be cast.

They require some thought to use, especially where combat damage is involved. They can either be used defensively to save creatures from lethal damage or offensively to deal more damage to the opponent. Obviously, they are less direct compared to red’s damage spells because they cannot be cast on a player directly.

Regarding the first, one has to judge carefully whether a creature is worth saving. This choice is usually made against red damage spells played at the end of your turn. Often, it is better to simply play another creature the following turn unless there is an opening you can exploit that would make it better to have your creature survive to attack or unless the creature is particularly important (a Quirion Ranger against red land destruction, for example). Otherwise, you will be trading one card for your opponent’s card to save a creature, and because Stompy has virtually no card advantage, this seemingly even trade is not even.

A different situation, however, is when the red player bolts one of your creatures during your attack phase. In this case, you will still be exchanging one card for one of your opponent’s to save your creature, but your creature will survive and deal 3 extra damage, which is what you want the pump spell to do in the first place. This is usually a much better deal.

Note that given this, against red, this means you want to hold off playing your pump spells until they are forced to burn your creatures. If you play the pump spell first, the opponent can respond with a Bolt, killing your creature and neutralizing the pump spell. (Until Fourth Edition, spells that dealt damage were resolved last, meaning Giant Growth would take effect before a Lightning Bolt dealt damage, regardless of the order the spells were played. Note that this is no longer the case.)

In many other cases, the issue will be whether or not to use a pump spell to kill an opposing blocker. In many cases, this is not worth it, and pump is better used on unblocked creatures to deal damage to the opponent and bring him closer to 0 life more quickly. In some cases, however, one will estimate that one cannot deal enough damage to the opponent. One’s strategy, then, will be to attack again in the following turns, and exchange a blocked creature and a pump spell for a powerful blocker that could kill one Stompy creature a turn.

The obvious rules of thumb for this is to always play the pump spell after blockers are declared, to give the opponent as little information as possible (otherwise, he could sacrifice a lowly 1/1 to your Giant Growthed creature to buy time). Next, if the attacker could deal enough damage to the blocker on its own, play the pump spell after damage goes on the stack. This gives the opponent less opportunities to save his own creature or alter the result of the combat.

Finally, if a blocked attacker has Rancor, it is easier to decide to pump it instead of the unblocked attacker as the excess damage tramples, unless all the damage from the pump spell is needed on the opponent. Rancor can be used to bluff in certain situations. For example, if an opponent plays a first-striking knight that can kill many of your creatures, he may just block the Rancored creature thinking that first strike will kill your attacker, and a timely Giant Growth will kill the knight and still allow the trample damage to spill over. Obviously, Rancor’s trample is very important to consider with pump spells.

Against opponents who will not kill creatures with damage and will rarely have blockers, the decision is easy: As soon as one has no other creatures or spells to play, play the pump on unblocked attackers regardless of the opponent’s life total. Since one has no relevant tricks to anticipate, it is important to deal the damage as soon as possible instead of hoarding the pump, especially when one has the limited mana of the fastest Stompy decks and cannot play a lot of spells in the same turn. Two notes, however. First, against walls, it is often a losing proposition to use a pump spell to kill a wall, unless it has power and kills your attackers. Second, do not be tempted to use a pump spell to give you more life from Swords to Plowshares; you rarely need the life.

In building a deck, one cannot have too many pump spells because they do not do anything on their own and require a creature on the board to be useful. While pump spells add speed after your creatures have been played, drawing a pump spell if an opponent has managed to kill all your creatures is never good. Most decks from the 1997 World Championship to the sample deck at the beginning of this article use 6-8 pump spells only or a ratio of 1 pump spell for every 3-4 creatures, excluding Rancor from the count.

Rancor is arguably the best support spell in green, and it has made its mark on the color. Creature enchantments are generally bad, because killing the creature results in the loss of the creature enchantment as well, which is 2 of your cards for one of your opponent’s. Opponents can also kill a creature in response to the enchantment (and this is a common way to kill Rancor, since it will not enter play because its target becomes illegal, and it will not return from the graveyard because it never entered play). Rancor, however, can be reused after a creature dies.

Rancor is important because it permanently increases the power of your creatures. This is especially important for weaker creatures like Quirion Ranger and Elvish Lyrist, because they suddenly become threats instead of weak 1/1s. It also gives trample, which works well with pump spells and stops an opponent from sacrificing smaller creatures to buy time. Place on a 3-toughness creature like Vine Dryad, Rancor creates a creature that opposing weenie creatures have trouble dealing with by themselves.

Giant Growth is the staple pump spell because it adds 3 power for only 1 mana and is an instant. Bounty of the Hunt is often the next choice because it can be cast without using mana. It is also the most versatile pump spell when creature combat becomes heavier, as it can add an extra +1/+1 to a blocked attacker and use the rest to boost an unblocked one, or boost two different attackers and kill two different blockers. It can also defeat mass damage spells like Firestorm and Earthquake.

The next choice is often Briar Shield. This also gives 3 power for 1 mana, but suffers from the creature enchantment problem and informs the opponent beforehand which creature you can pump. Note that the opponent can kill the creature in response to Briar Shield or in response to its activation. However, it boosts the power of a creature while unused and this results in a crucial extra 1 or 2 damage before it is used. Note that if a creature is one point away from lethal damage, Briar Shield cannot save it because the creature will lose 1 toughness when Briar Shield is sacrificed, and the creature will die before the +3/+3 effect resolves. Briar Shield is much better, however, than Seal of Strength, which also loses the element of surprise but does not deal any extra damage before it is used.

Many other pump spells exist but few are as good. Symbiosis and Armor of Thorns are two of the better ones used in past Type II decks.

(A special note has to be made about Might of Oaks. This is a powerful spell but is clearly too slow for Stompy. When played, it is rarely used to save a creature since it is used to deal 7 damage to the opponent and end games quickly. It makes for a very amusing casual deck especially with Gaea’s Cradle and Berserk. It also has the funniest art in all of green.

Another special note is Forbidden Lore, which was actually in the Top 10 of Inquest Magazine at one point. It is slower, has less surprise value, and has been made obsolete in Stompy decks by Rancor, but it remains a fun card like Alliances’ Heart of Yavimaya.)

Finally, Type I gives Stompy the favorite pump spell of all time: Berserk. A few notes need to be made about this obviously powerful spell. First, it is often played with other pump spells to further increase the bonus, but always play the other pump spell first and allow it to resolve. If the opponent responds to the play, you still keep the Berserk for later use. Second, note that it also gives trample, a secondary ability that is needed in some situations. Finally, note that it can be used to kill an opposing attacker when absolutely necessary at the expense of extra life.


TOP STOMPY PICKS
The gauge for a Stompy creature is that its power must be greater than its mana cost (or at the very least, equal). An additional criteria for the fastest decks is that it should cost only 2 mana, or be a very, very good 2-mana creature (and such decks cannot afford more than 4 of these). There are many other green creatures that cannot be listed, but any Stompy structure can be filled by 1-, 2- or 3-mana creatures whose power is generally at least equal to their mana costs.

One may look at the decklists in the history appendix, incidentally, and become confused due to the seeming lack of agreement in creature selection. Two things must be noted. First, expansions came out one by one, and some cards became obsolete due to a newer card (or, were better replaced by an older card, and Pouncing Jaguar is the best example).

Second, the second Extended environment where Fallen Empires and the Dark were banned is very different from Type I because Fourth Edition and Lightning Bolt were also banned. This gave 3-toughness creatures such as Rogue Elephant, Vine Dryad, and a few others an advantage because red could only kill them with Incinerate. In Type I, however, all Stompy weenies can be killed by every burn spell in a Sligh deck, making the drawbacks of the 3-mana creatures worse than they were in Extended.


The best green weenie ever printed, sadly, is in Portal:

JUNGLE LION
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Creature
Set: Portal

Card Text: 2/1. ; Jungle Lion can't intercept.
Flavor Text: The lion's only loyalty is to its hunger.
Rulings:
 All tournament formats have banned this card because it only appears in Portal.
 When played under non-Portal rules, the text should be read as "~this~ can't block." [D'Angelo 00/06/05]
 Note - This card had no creature type. If played with non-Portal cards, it should be played as creature type Lion. [D'Angelo 00/06/05]

Artist: Janine Johnston
Released: 5/1997


These, however, are the best of the best in Type I when raw speed is needed:

GHAZBAN OGRE
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Ogre
Set: Arabian Nights

Errata: 2/2 ; At the beginning of your upkeep, if a player has more life than any other, that player gains control of ~this~. [Oracle 99/09/03]
Rulings: If there is a tie for highest life, the Ogre does not switch controllers. [D'Angelo 98/06/03] ; It checks the life totals during the resolution of the ability. [D'Angelo 98/06/03] ; The Ogre's changing of controllers is a new effect each upkeep so it will take precedence over any other control effects. This means that using Control Magic on a Ghazban Ogre won't guarantee that you keep it. [Duelist Magazine #7, Page 98]

Artist: Jesper Myrfors
Released: 12/1993


One of the original Stompy creatures, the speed of Stompy makes allows it to circumvent the drawback except against red. Note that no “top” creature came from the original set, which says something about why it took so long for mono green to gain popularity.


KIRD APE
Cost: R
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Ape
Set: Arabian Nights

Errata: 1/1. ; ~this~ gets +1/+2 as long as you control a forest. [Oracle 98/07/01]
Artist: Ken Meyer, Jr.
Released: 12/1993

The original “green” weenie was actually red, and can be used in Stompy if one uses 4 Land Grant and 4 Taiga. This mana base can support Hull Breach as well as utility to replace Emerald Charm, Crumble, Uktabi Orangutan and similar narrow or expensive spells.


QUIRION RANGER
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Elf
Set: Visions

Errata: 1/1. ; Return a forest you control to its owner's hand: Untap target creature. Play this ability only once each turn. [Oracle 99/07/01]
Flavor Text: "Respect the earth, for it will one day be your shield and another day your blanket." - Liefellen, Quirion exarch
Rulings: It can target an untapped creature. [D'Angelo 97/06/04]

Artist: Tom Kyffin
Released: 2/1997

This is arguably the green weenie with the most subtleties. The main use of its ability is to substitute for the mana production of Llanowar Elves. It can return a tapped Forest and gain the controller an extra mana when the Forest is replayed. If another mana producing creature is in play, it can also untap that creature, doubling its mana production.

The innocent untap ability has many other nuances, for example. It can return Forests to the hand to circumvent land destruction or speed up recovery from a Winter Orb, boost a Maro, play tricks with Balance, pay the discard for Fallow Wurm or Mox Diamond, avoid Rack damage, and so on. The untap ability can do many things from gaining an extra colored mana from a Birds of Paradise to creating a surprise blocker. It is most important when Spectral Bears is in the deck.

With Rancor in a deck, the low power of Quirion Ranger ceases to be a drawback.

Note, by the way, that the return of the Forest is a faster-than-instant ability because it is a cost of the untap ability (and the Ranger can simply untap itself even if it is already untapped). This means that it does not quite use the stack and cannot be responded to by a Strip Mine or by additional burn if used to pump Maro or Multani.


ROGUE ELEPHANT
Cost: G Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Elephant
Set: Weatherlight

Errata: 3/3. ; When ~this~ comes into play, sacrifice it unless you sacrifice a forest. [Oracle 99/07/01] Flavor Text: When are the trees like grass?" - The One Thousand Questions
Rulings: Note - Also see Comes Into Play Abilities, Rule E.3.

Artist: Steve White
Released: 6/1997

A very good spell, it must be noted that the drawback can be too difficult to use in a deck with too few actual Forests, especially if one expects a lot of Lightning Bolts.


STRAW GOLEM
Cost: 1
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Artifact Creature -- Golem
Set: Weatherlight

Errata: 2/3. ; When an opponent plays a creature spell, sacrifice ~this~. [Oracle 00/02/01]
Flavor Text: Don't look at me. I didn't build it." - Hanna, Weatherlight navigator
Rulings:
A creature spell is any "Creature" or "Artifact Creature" spell. [D'Angelo 00/03/09] Older cards of type "Summon" also count.
Note - This card had no creature type and now is creature type "Golem". [Oracle 00/02/01]

Artist: Bryan Talbot
Released: 6/1997

This creature becomes better than Kird Ape in an extreme environment filled with near-creatureless control and combo decks. Few environments are as extreme, however.


SKYSHROUD ELITE
Cost: G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Elves
Set: Exodus

Errata: 1/1. ; ~this~ gets +1/+2 as long as an opponent controls a nonbasic land. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Flavor Text: Civilization is a conspiracy to disguise the mutilation of nature." -Skyshroud elite creed

Artist: Paolo Parente
Released: 6/1998

The “green Kird Ape” against almost any deck, since Wasteland is used in almost all Type I decks. Even in casual play, competitive Type II decks are often loaded with non-basics. Note, however, that a desperate opponent can use his Wasteland and declare itself as the target before sacrificing to pay the cost, just to shrink the Elite.


ELVISH LYRIST
Cost: G
Color: Green
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Elf
Set: Urza's Saga

Card Text: 1/1. ; G,T,Sacrifice Elvish Lyrist: Destroy target enchantment.
Flavor Text: Bring the spear of ancient briar; Bring the torch to light the pyre. Bring the one who trod our ground; Bring the spade to dig his mound.

Artist: Rebecca Guay
Released: 10/1998

Stompy’s primary hedge against Moat and other dangerous enchantments. Rancor makes the low power bearable when its ability is not needed.


WILD DOGS
Cost: G
Color: Green
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Hounds
Set: Urza's Saga

Errata: 2/1. ; At the beginning of your upkeep, if a player has more life than any other, that player gains control of ~this~. ; Cycling {2}. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Rulings: Note - Also see Cycling, Rule A.11.

Artist: Terese Nielsen
Released: 10/1998

The “fixed” Ghazban Ogre, it is slightly better because it can be cycled when facing decks it cannot be used against (namely red). The 1 toughness is a drawback against a few decks that can trade less important 1/1 creatures with it (such as Llanowar Elves, for example).


HIDDEN GIBBONS
Cost: G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Enchantment
Set: Urza's Legacy

Errata: When an opponent plays an instant spell, if ~this~ is an enchantment, ~this~ becomes a 4/4 Ape creature. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Flavor Text: When these apes want something, it's a matter of gibbon take.
Rulings:
When it turns into a creature, it no longer counts as an enchantment. [Urza's Saga Rule Page]
It changes into a creature even if the spell is countered. [D'Angelo 99/05/01]
It becomes a creature when the spell is played (which means announced), which is before the spell resolves. A Disenchant cannot be used to destroy this card, since it will no longer be an enchantment when the Disenchant resolves. [D'Angelo 99/02/13]
Note - All cards of type interrupt have errata to be of type instant.

Artist: Una Fricker
Released: 2/1999

Depending on the environment, Hidden Gibbons can be very good. Their main drawback is that their activation is dependent on the opponent. This is often not a problem against control decks, because almost all their creature removal consists of instants, and this either gives an early 4/4 or stops the opponent from dealing with the other creatures. Almost all early search cards and tutors are also instants, and the Gibbon’s 4 toughness is an added problem for red decks.

The problem comes with decks that can play creatures first and block the early creatures with them, thus avoiding activating Hidden Gibbons early. Against these decks, however, Hidden Gibbons provides muscle in creature combat. The largest problems for Hidden Gibbons are still Balance or Powder Keg, since a control deck can activate the Gibbons then use either spell to destroy it along with the rest of the swarm.

In any case, the Gibbons are one of the more novel spells available and are quite fun to play, if only to taunt the opponent into playing an instant.


HIDDEN HERD
Cost: G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Enchantment
Set: Urza's Saga

Errata: When an opponent plays a nonbasic land, if ~this~ is an enchantment, ~this~ becomes a 3/3 Beast creature. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Rulings:
When it turns into a creature, it no longer counts as an enchantment. [Urza's Saga Rule Page]
Does not trigger on lands put into play by a spell or ability. [DeLaney 98/10/05]

Artist: Andrew Robinson
Released: 10/1998

Tech from Beyond Dominia’s Matt D’Avanzo, this spell is the best available 1-mana creature in an environment with power decks. However, it is a very big liability against mono-color decks that have a lot of basic land, or when not drawn early.


SKYSHROUD RIDGEBACK
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Beast
Set: Nemesis

Card Text: 2/3. ; Fading 2 (This creature comes into play with two fade counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter from it. If you can't, sacrifice it.)
Rulings: Note - Also see Fading, Rule A.14.

Artist: Carl Critchlow
Released: 3/2000

An interesting pick that requires explanation. To many players, it reads: Opponent loses 4 life. Normally, this is not good enough. In Stompy however, it is, especially when you consider that an opponent is reluctant to waste removal on a creature that will die by itself, anyway. It is also difficult to block because of its 3 toughness. This and opponent’s reluctance to waste removal on it make it even more threatening when enhanced by pump spells.

There really are better creatures, but this is passable to fill out the last 1-mana creature slots when all the better creatures are already in the deck.


ELVISH ARCHERS
Cost: 1G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Summon Elves
Set: Alpha/Beta/Unlimited

Card Text: 2/1. ; First strike
Flavor Text: I tell you, there was so many arrows flying about you couldn't hardly see the sun. So I says to young Angus, ``Well, at least now we're fighting in the shade!''
Rulings:
Note - Also see First Strike, Rule A.15.
Note - In Fifth Edition (and before) this card was of creature type Archer.
Note - The Alpha printing version of this card was a 1/2 creature.

Artist: Anson Maddocks
Released: 8/1993

An old staple of green and red/green decks, it was the best 2-mana creature for a long time, especially when compared to Grizzly Bears. It has been superseded by River Boa, but the first strike is still useful in more casual environments with first strikers that can hold off most other Stompy creatures.


WHIRLING DERVISH
Cost: GG
Color: Green
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Dervish
Set: Legends
Errata: 1/1, Protection from Black. ; At end of turn, if ~this~ dealt damage to an opponent this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on it. [Oracle 00/02/01]
Rulings:
If it damages the opponent multiple times in a turn, it gets a +1/+1 counter for each time. [D'Angelo 98/06/08]
Note - Also see Protection, Rule A.24.

Artist: Susan Van Camp
Released: 6/1994

Too weak for general play, it was used by Stompy decks when black decks were expected, as it single-handedly destroyed many of these in its time. Powder Keg and Cursed Scroll, however, now provide some black decks with solutions to the dreaded Dervish.


SPECTRAL BEARS
Cost: 1G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Bears
Set: Homelands

Errata: 3/3. ; Whenever ~this~ attacks, if defending player controls no black cards, it doesn't untap during your next untap step. [Oracle 99/07/23]
Flavor Text: I hear there are Bears-or spirits-that guard caravans passing through the forest" -Gulsen, Abbey Matron
Rulings:
It checks for black cards only at the time you declare attackers. If there are any, it won't trigger. [D'Angelo 99/08/01] See Rule A.4.15.

Artist: Pat Morrissey
Released: 10/1995

This underrated creature is still one of the best green 2-mana plays of all time. In its time, it played well against black Necropotence decks. Quirion Ranger negates its drawback.


RIVER BOA
Cost: 1G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Snake
Set: Visions

Card Text: 2/1. ; Islandwalk. G: Regenerate.
Flavor Text: "But no one heard the snake's gentle hiss for peace over the elephant's trumpeting of war." - Afari, Tales
Rulings:
Note - Also see Landwalk, Rule A.22.

Artist: Steve White
Released: 2/1997

Arguably the best green 2-mana creature of all time. The regeneration is less relevant in Type I against Diabolic Edict and Swords to Plowshares, but it is added resilience against red. Combined with the Islandwalk ability, it was and still is a headache for most blue decks because it cannot be blocked and cannot be destroyed by Nevinyrral’s Disk and Powder Keg.


HARVEST WURM
Cost: 1G
Color: Green
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Wurm
Set: Weatherlight

Errata: 3/2. ; When ~this~ comes into play, sacrifice it unless you return a basic land card from your graveyard to your hand. [Oracle 99/11/01]
Flavor Text: The wurm's weave" - Elvish expression meaning "plowed fields
Rulings:
Note - Also see Comes Into Play Abilities, Rule E.3.

Artist: Stephen L. Walsh
Released: 6/1997

This is a classic Stompy creature that is less used because it requires the player to use cards that place Forests in the graveyard. These were commonly Mox Diamond, Rogue Elephant and Heart of Yavimaya.


HIDDEN STAG
Cost: 1G
Color: Green
Rarity: Rare
Type: Enchantment
Set: Urza's Saga

Errata: Whenever an opponent plays a land, if ~this~ is an enchantment, ~this~ becomes a 3/2 Beast creature. ; Whenever you play a land, if ~this~ is a creature, ~this~ becomes an enchantment. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Rulings:
When it turns into a creature, it no longer counts as an enchantment. [Urza's Saga Rule Page]
Does not trigger on lands put into play by a spell or ability. [DeLaney 98/10/05]

Artist: Berry
Released: 10/1998

This is a good high-power creature that can be played once 2 mana is in play, since Stompy decks should be able to survive on 2 mana. However, it does not interact with Quirion Ranger, and becomes useless unless drawn early.


QUIRION SENTINEL
Cost: 1G
Color: Green
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Elf
Set: Invasion

Card Text: 2/1. ; When Quirion Sentinel comes into play, add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Errata: No Errata for this card.
Flavor Text: All elvenkind stood against Phyrexia. The Quirion nation deployed its most spiritual adepts, who wielded the power of their native soil.

Rulings:
You get the mana whether you want it or not. If you can't spend it, you'll take mana burn. [Invasion FAQ 00/10/03]
Note - Also see Comes Into Play Abilities, Rule E.3.

Artist: Heather Hudson
Released: 10/2000

First floated for discussion on Beyond Dominia by Oscar Tan aka Rakso, Quirion Sentinel is practically a Savannah Lions on the first turn if one draws a Forest and an Elvish Spirit Guide. The extra mana is invaluable to a Stompy deck as it is like gaining an extra turn, or at least part of it, due to the very low mana costs of the creatures.


VINE DRYAD
Cost: 3G
Color: Green
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Dryad
Set: Mercadian Masques
Card Text: 1/3. ; Forestwalk. (This creature is unblockable as long as defending player controls a forest.) You may play Vine Dryad any time you could play an instant. You may remove a green card in your hand from the game instead of paying Vine Dryad's mana cost.

Artist: Jeff Laubenstein
Released: 10/1999

Vine Dryad was originally used in Type II Stompy decks to speed up Gaea’s Cradle. In Type I, however, it provides an additional first-turn creature that is very powerful with Rancor. Its instant ability is invaluable for blocking opposing weenies or disrupting the opponent’s calculations before your attack. Always play it during the opponent’s end of turn, and it will begin play during your turn without summoning sickness.

Note that both Elvish Spirit Guide and Land Grant can be removed to pay for Vine Dryad. If another spell must be used, it is often best to remove a pump spell in the early game to avoid losing a valuable creature, though one should avoid removing Rancor in this way.


RUSHWOOD LEGATE
Cost: 2G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Dryad
Set: Mercadian Masques

Card Text: 2/1. ; If an opponent controls an island and you control a forest, you may play Rushwood Legate without paying its mana cost.
Artist: Mark Romanoski
Released: 10/1999

This was first used as a sideboard card in some Type II decks. If one expects a lot of blue, this becomes one of green’s best creatures, especially when going second. It speeds up blue even more and is difficult to kill with Powder Keg. At worst, it can still be cast late.


OTHER GOOD PICKS

These creatures are rarely playable in true Stompy decks, but are the best available for mono green in general. Note that a number of the Stompy creatures described above are in turn unplayable in slower, more conventional mono green decks.


LLANOWAR ELVES
Cost: G
Color: Green
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Elves
Set: Alpha/Beta/Unlimited

Card Text: 1/1. ; Tap to add green mana to your mana pool. This tap can be played as an interrupt.
Flavor Text: Whenever the Llanowar Elves gather the fruits of their forests, they leave one plant of each type untouched, considering that nature's portion.

Artist: Anson Maddocks
Released: 8/1993

The classic green first turn play, it allows green to circumvent the fundamental Magic restriction of one land per turn, allowing decks to play larger spells faster. With its clone, Fyndhorn Elves from Ice Age, a reliable array of 8 Llanowar Elves makes decks like Legion Land Loss (listed earlier) consistent. However, the basic rule of thumb is that if a green mana producer costs more than 1 mana, it is useless. This is because it cannot be played first turn and delays the playing of the other spells.

There are only thee exceptions: Wall of Roots (which is primarily a wall and because it can be used during both your turn and the opponent’s to power an ability like Survival of the Fittest’s), Rofellos and Priest of Titania (because both produce far more than 1 mana).

Note that because the fastest Stompy decks use few spells that cost more than 1 mana, the classic Llanowar Elves are unnecessary.

Incidentally, some players prefer playing 2 Llanowar and 2 Fyndhorn Elves instead of 4 of either to avoid obscure spells that affect permanents of the same name.


BIRDS OF PARADISE
Cost: G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Summon Birds
Set: Alpha/Beta/Unlimited

Errata: 0/1, Flying. {Tap}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
Rulings:
Note - In Fifth Edition (and before) this card was of cretaure type Mana Birds.

Artist: Mark Poole
Released: 8/1993

Another classic green creature, the Birds are commonly used only in decks with 3 or more colors. Their main drawback is that they cannot attack, while Llanowar Elves contribute some damage to the offense. In longer games that have degenerated into stalemates, however, wily players will play Rancor or place Spike tokens on their Birds to use their flying to end the game.


GRANGER GUILDMAGE
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Wizard
Errata: 1/1. ; {W},{Tap}: Target creature gains first strike until end of turn. ; {R},{Tap}: ~this~ deals 1 damage to target creature or player and 1 damage to you. [Oracle 99/07/01]

Flavor Text: Leave no mouth agape, no stomach unfilled. --Granger Guild maxim
Rulings:
 Note - Also see First Strike, Rule A.15.

Artist: Dan Frazier
Released: 10/1996

This is a very underrated card because it is one of the few ways (with Land Grant and Taiga) that green can deal damage. If white mana is available, it can also surprise an opponent that forgot about the less used ability.


MTENDA LION
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Lion
Set: Mirage

Errata: 2/1. ; Whenever ~this~ attacks, the defending player may pay {U}. If that player does, prevent all combat damage that would be dealt by ~this~ this turn. [Oracle 99/07/01]
Flavor Text: The lion drank that lake right up! In thanks, he gave Siti the power to speak with lions and make them leave the goats alone." --Afari, Tales

Artist: Stuart Griffin
Released: 10/1996

This creature is better against non-blue decks, though too many Type I decks use blue. It is often less useful against control because it allows the blue player to pay 1 blue mana a turn to slow the offense. Though this slows the blue player as well, green is in more trouble the longer the game drags on, and the extra time may allow the blue player to find a nasty anti-weenie solution such as Powder Keg or Balance.


POUNCING JAGUAR
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Cat
Set: Urza's Saga
Card Text: 2/2. ; Echo
Flavor Text: One pounce, she's hungry - you die quickly. Two, she's teaching her cubs - you're in for a long day.
Rulings:
Note - Also see Echo, Rule A.12.

Artist: Daren Bader
Released: 10/1998

Pouncing Jaguar was an Urza-era Type II staple but echo is one of the worst possible abilities in a Stompy deck because it reduces all or most of the mana available in the following turn. This is almost equivalent to losing the next turn, especially considering how little land Stompy uses. It may be useful in slower decks, or if nothing else is available, but it slows the deck.


DEEPWOOD WOLVERINE
Cost: G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Wolverine
Set: Mercadian Masques

Card Text: 1/1. ; Whenever Deepwood Wolverine becomes blocked, it gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
Flavor Text: The jhovalls are depleting its food sources, the Mercadians are eroding its home, and you're wondering why it's angry?.

Artist: Ray Lago
Released: 10/1999

This hard-to-block creature was used in Type II when rotations removed the Urza block green creatures. It is bearable, but it can only deal 1 damage a turn, which is too slow for the fastest Stompy decks.


GROUNDSKEEPER
Cost: G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Druid
Set: Mercadian Masques

Card Text: 1G: Return target basic land card from your graveyard to your hand.
Flavor Text: Whereas the rebels fight to defend the land, they work to renew it.
Artist: Alan Rabinowitz
Released: 10/1999

Not powerful by itself, it is the best friend of cards such as Stormbind and Masticore.


KAROO MEERKAT
Cost: 1G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Meerkat
Set: Mirage

Card Text: 2/1. ; Protection from blue.
Errata: No Errata for this card. Flavor Text: Be like the meerkat, my daughters: ever vigilant, true to your own, and wary of strangers." --Nabil Alamat, Suq'Ata merchant Rulings:
Note - Also see Protection, Rule A.24.
Artist: Janine Johnston P/T: 2/1 Released: 10/1996


SKYSHROUD WAR BEAST
Cost: 1G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Summon Beast
Set: Exodus

Errata: */*, Trample. ; As ~this~ comes into play, choose an opponent. ; ~this~'s power and toughness are each equal to the number of nonbasic lands the chosen opponent controls. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Rulings:
You choose one opposing player on casting and it only affects that one player. This target is not changed even if this card changes controllers. It becomes a 0/0 creature if the target player leaves play. [Barclay 98/06/10] See Rule M.1.3.
The power and toughness are continuously recalculated. [D'Angelo 98/10/19]
Note - Also see Trample, Rule A.27.

Artist: Jim Nelson
Released: 6/1998

Hilarious against the right decks.


MUSCLE SLIVER
Cost: 1G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Sliver
Set: Tempest
Card Text: 1/1. ; All Slivers get +1/+1.

Flavor Text: The air was filled with the cracks and snaps of flesh hardening as the new sliver joined the battle.
Rulings:
Yes, it does give the +1/+1 bonus to itself. [D'Angelo 97/11/10]

Artist: Richard Kane-Ferguson
Released: 10/1997

It is a 2/2 by itself, but has the bonus of becoming a 3/3 when its friend shows up.


ACRIDIAN
Cost: 1G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Insect
Set: Urza's Saga

Card Text: 2/4. ; Echo
Flavor Text: The elves of argoth were trained to ride these creatures, even when their mounts traveled upside-down.
Rulings:
Note - Also see Echo, Rule A.12.

Artist: rk post
Released: 10/1998

The poor man’s Albino Trolls were not so bad.


ALBINO TROLL
Cost: 1G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Troll
Set: Urza's Saga
Card Text: 3/3. ; Echo. 1G: Regenerate Albino Troll.
Rulings:
Note - Also see Echo, Rule A.12.

Artist: Paolo Parente
Released: 10/1998

Although this was one of the most powerful green weenies of Urza-era Type II, echo causes Stompy to practically lose a turn, which is fatal in a faster environment.


ROFELLOS, LLANOWAR EMISSARY
Cost: GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Elf Legend
Set: Urza's Destiny
Card Text: T: Add one green mana to your mana pool for each forest you control.
Artist: Michael Sutfin
Released: 6/1999

A powerful mana producer in decks with more Forests. Unbelievable with Quirion Ranger. Still has 2 power and is a decent attacker.


MULTANI'S ACOLYTE
Cost: GG
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Elf
Set: Urza's Legacy

Card Text: 2/1. ; Echo. When Multani's Acolyte comes into play, draw a card.
Rulings:
Note - Also see Comes Into Play Abilities, Rule E.3.
Note - Also see Echo, Rule A.12.

Artist: Edward P. Beard Jr.
Released: 2/1999

Powerful, but restricted by its echo. Stronger in Elf decks with Recycle.


QUIRION DRYAD
Cost: 1G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Dryad
Set: Planeshift

Card Text: 1/1. ; Whenever you play a white, blue, black, or red spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Quirion Dryad.
Flavor Text: Never underestimate the ability of natural forces to adapt to unnatural influences." - Molimo, maro-sorcerer

Artist: Don Hazeltine
Released: 2/1/200

Powerful, just not in mono-green.


KILLER BEES
Cost: 1GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Summon Bees
Set: Legends

Errata: 0/1, Flying. ; {G}: ~this~ gets +1/+1 until end of turn. [Oracle 99/09/03]
Flavor Text: The communal mind produces a savage strategy, yet no one could predict that this vicious crossbreed would unravel the secret of steel.

Artist: Phil Foglio
Released: 6/1994

A rare green flyer that kids especially loved. It is mana intensive and is often played last. Resolve each activation individually or the opponent can respond to all the activations and kill the 0/1 before it is pumped.


THELONITE DRUID
Cost: 2G
Color: Green
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Cleric
Set: Fallen Empires

Errata: 1/1. ; {1}{G},{Tap},Sacrifice a creature: Until end of turn, all forests you control become 2/3 creatures that are still lands. [Oracle 99/07/23]
Flavor Text: The magic at the heart of all living things can bear awe-inspiring fruit." --Kolevi of Havenwood, Elder Druid

Rulings:
The most recent land animating ability takes precedence, so if the Druid were used to make your Bayous into 2/3 creatures and then a Kormus Bell were put into play, they would become 1/1 instead. [WotC Rules Team 94/12/15]
The land animation ability does not wear off if the land stops being a Forest. It continues until the end of the turn. [WotC Rules Team 95/11/10]
Can sacrifice the Druid to itself. [Duelist Magazine #5, Page 123]
Only affects Forests that are in play when the effect resolves. [Aahz 95/11/22]
Extended tournaments (see Rule D.15) have banned this card since 99/10/01.
Note - Also see Changing a Permanent's Type, Rule K.5.

Artist: Margaret Organ-Kean
Released: 11/1994

A powerful card of early casual mono green decks.


ELVISH RANGER
Cost: 2G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Elf
Set: Alliances
Card Text: 4/1.
Flavor Text: How can any Human hope to match our skills? We are children of Fyndhorn, and its sap runs in our veins." --Taaveti of Kelsinko, Elvish Hunter---AND---"No one may fault an Elvish Ranger's heart, but the simplest frailty may fell even the proudest warrior" --Kaysa, Elder Druid of the Juniper Order
Artist: Terese Nielsen
Released: 6/1996

A fast weenie of its time, it has been superseded. Female version still boasts the best card art in Magic.


PHYREXIAN WAR BEAST
Cost: 3
Rarity: Common
Type: Artifact Creature
Set: Alliances

Card Text: 3/4. ; If Phyrexian War Beast leaves play, sacrifice a land, and Phyrexian War Beast deals 1 damage to you.
Flavor Text: Deal with the spawn of Phyrexia cautiously; only with time may we control them." --Arcum Dagsson, Soldevi Machinist---AND---"Knowing its origins, how could they have thought they could control it?" --Sorine Relicbane, Soldevi Heretic

Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz
Released: 6/1996

Still one of the best 3-mana creatures in Magic, though green has more alternatives than other colors.


FORATOG
Cost: 2G
Color: Green
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Atog
Set: Mirage

Errata: 1/2. ; {G},Sacrifice a forest: ~this~ gets +2/+2 until end of turn. [Oracle 98/07/01]
Flavor Text: Five hundred years to grow-barely a minute to eat.

Artist: Mark Poole
Released: 10/1996

A finisher in older green decks. Remember to resolve each sacrifice individually, or an opponent can respond to all the activations with a single 2-damage spell and kill the Foratog before the bonuses resolve.


UKTABI ORANGUTAN
Cost: 2G
Color: Green
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Ape
Set: Visions

Card Text: 2/2. ; When Uktabi Orangutan comes into play destroy target artifact.
Flavor Text: "Is it true that the apes wear furs of gold when they marry?" - Rana, Suq'Ata market fool Rulings:
Note - Also see Comes Into Play Abilities, Rule E.3.

Artist: Una Fricker
Released: 2/1997

One of green’s best artifact destruction spells. Replaced by Crumble in decks that cannot handle the 3 mana.


FALLOW WURM
Cost: 2G
Color: Green
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Wurm
Set: Weatherlight
Errata: 4/4. ; When ~this~ comes into play, sacrifice it unless you discard a land card. [Oracle 99/07/01]
Flavor Text: The wurm's wake" - Elvish expression meaning "ruined crops
Rulings:
Note - Also see Comes Into Play Abilities, Rule E.3.

Artist: Stephen L. Walsh
Released: 6/1997

The partner of Harvest Wurm is more difficult to use, but a deck can be made with the pair using Mox Diamond, Heart of Yavimaya, Rogue Elephant and Quirion Ranger.


LLANOWAR SENTINEL
Cost: 2G
Color: Green
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Elf
Set: Weatherlight

Errata: 2/3. ; When ~this~ comes into play, you may pay {1}{G}. If you do, search your library for a card named Llanowar Sentinel and put that card into play. Then shuffle your library. [Oracle 00/10/24]
Flavor Text: The forest has as many eyes as leaves." - Mirri of the Weatherlight
Rulings:
Note - Also see Comes Into Play Abilities, Rule E.3.

Artist: Douglas Shuler
Released: 6/1997

A very powerful spell in a color that can produce a lot of mana quickly.


SERRATED BISKELION
Cost: 3
Color: Artifact
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Artifact Creature
Set: Weatherlight

Card Text: 2/2. ; T: Put a -1/-1 counter on Serrated Biskelion and a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
Flavor Text: Whereas I was created to protect, the biskelion was created to destroy." - Karn, silver golem

Artist: Ron Spencer
Released: 6/1997

A flexible creature that was used by green decks of its time to provide some degree of creature control.


SPIKE FEEDER
Cost: 1GG
Color: Green
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Spike
Set: Stronghold

Errata: 0/0. ; ~this~ comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it. ; {2},Remove a +1/+1 counter from ~this~: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature. ; Remove a +1/+1 counter from ~this~: You gain 2 life. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Rulings:
It dies as a state based effect just after you remove the last counter when announcing its ability to remove a counter and right before any other spells or abilities can be used. There is no way to sacrifice it or do anything else with it before it dies. [D'Angelo 99/06/01]
It is possible to sacrifice it to a mana ability such as Ashnod's Altar at the time you remove the counter for the ability that also has a mana cost because you can do this to pay the mana cost for the same ability. [D'Angelo 99/07/26]

Artist: Heather Hudson
Released: 3/1998

Though this creature is often used when expecting green, it is a decent mid-range creature. Aside from gaining life, it can play “spike tricks” by altering the stats of its companions, especially in response to a damage spell or during combat. When Spike Feeder is about to receive lethal damage in combat, always distribute its counters or gain life. When blocking, always use the abilities after damage is dealt.

Excess mana can be avoided with Spike Feeder by removing one counter and placing it back onto itself.


MIRRI, CAT WARRIOR
Cost: 1GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Summon Legend
Set: Exodus

Errata: 2/3, First Strike, Forestwalk. ; Attacking does not cause ~this~ to tap. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Flavor Text: N/A Rulings:
Note - The Anthologies version of the card has a toughness of 2 when it should be 3. This is an error. It also has a silver rarity symbol when it should be gold.
Note - Also see First Strike, Rule A.15.
Note - Also see Landwalk, Rule A.22.
Note - Also see Legendary Permanents, Rule K.17.

Artist: Daren Bader
Released: 6/1998

Although she is too expensive for the fastest Stompy decks, Mirri is one of the best 3-mana creatures in green. She can single-handedly stop an opponent’s weenie swarms, and can wreak havoc on another green deck.


SIMIAN GRUNTS
Cost: 2G
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Apes
Set: Urza's Legacy

Card Text: 3/4. ; Echo. You may play Simian Grunts any time you could play an instant.
Flavor Text: These monkeys mean business.
Rulings:
If you play this when only instants are legal, it is still a creature spell and not an instant. [Urza's Legacy FAQ 99/02/03]
Note - Also see Echo, Rule A.12.

Artist: Pete Venters
Released: 2/1999

This spell is played like Vine Dryad, but can kill unsuspecting attackers. Unless using it to block, always play it at the end of the opponent’s turn.


YAVIMAYA ELDER
Cost: 1GG
Color: Green
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Druid
Set: Urza's Destiny

Card Text: 2/1. ; When Yavimaya Elder is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library. 2, Sacrifice Yavimaya Elder: Draw a card.
Rulings:
Searching for lands is optional. If you forget, you cannot go back later even if it is something you usually do. [D'Angelo 99/06/01]

Artist: Ray Lago
Released: 6/1999

This card can exchange itself for 4 cards (1 is the opponent’s) if it is sacrificed after it deals combat damage. It is very useful for smoothing the mana of slower decks, and one should try to hold 2 mana open when it is on the board.


MEGATHERIUM
Cost: 2G
Color: Green
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Beast
Set: Mercadian Masques

Card Text: 4/4. ; Trample When Megatherium comes into play, sacrifice it unless you pay 1 for each card in your hand.
Rulings:
Note - Also see Trample, Rule A.27.
Artist: Paolo Parente
Released: 10/1999

Stompy decks can be constructed to empty their hand by turn 2, and if this and a Forest are in your hand on turn 3, then this is an excellent creature.


ERHNAM DJINN
Cost: 3G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Djinn
Set: Arabian Nights

Errata: 4/5 ; At the beginning of your upkeep, target non-Wall creature an opponent controls gains forestwalk until your next upkeep. [Oracle 99/09/03]
Rulings:
If there are no creatures your opponent controls to target at the beginning of your upkeep, ignore this ability. [D'Angelo 00/02/25]
If you have more than on Djinn, you can have all of them target the same creature with their ability. [D'Angelo 96/12/10]
In multiplayer games you can choose a different player's creature each time it is used (see Rule M.1.4). [Duelist Magazine #4, Page 64] You are forced to pick a creature that some opponent controls if there is at least one creature in play that is a legal target. [Aahz 96/06/13]
Extended tournaments (see Rule D.15) have banned this card since 99/10/01.
Note - Also see Landwalk, Rule A.22.

Artist: Ken Meyer, Jr.
Released: 12/1993

The classic green fat creature. It has been superseded by Blastoderm in most cases, however.


LHURGOYF
Cost: 2GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Summon Lhurgoyf
Set: Ice Age

Errata: */1+*. ; ~this~'s power is equal to the number of creature cards in all graveyards, and its toughness is equal to that number plus 1. [Oracle 00/02/01]
Flavor Text: Ach! Hans, run! It's the Lhurgoyf!" --Saffi Eriksdotter, last words
Rulings:
A "creature card" is a Creature card or Artifact Creature card. [D'Angelo 99/05/01] Older cards of type Summon are also Creature cards.

Artist: Pete Venters
Released: 6/1995

A prominent green creature that substituted for Erhnam in Type II. Noted for its flavor text and power in multiplayer.


YAVIMAYA ANTS
Cost: 2GG
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Swarm
Set: Alliances

Errata: 5/1, Trample, Haste. ; Cumulative Upkeep - {G}{G}. [Oracle 99/07/23]
Flavor Text: Few natural forces are as devastating as hunger." -- Kaysa, Elder Druid of the Juniper Order
Rulings:
Note - Also see Cumulative Upkeep, Rule A.10.
Note - Also see Haste, Rule A.18.
Note - Also see Trample, Rule A.27.

Artist: Pat Morrissey
Released: 6/1996

The green Ball Lightning.


STAMPEDING WILDEBEESTS
Cost: 2GG
Color: Green
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Wildebeests
Set: Visions

Errata: 5/4, Trample. ; At the beginning of your upkeep, return a green creature you control to its owner's hand. [Oracle 99/07/01]
Flavor Text: Prayers for rain are answered with the thunder of hooves.
Rulings:
The upkeep effect is not targeted. So it can affect a creature with Protection from Green, for example. [Duelist Magazine #18, Page 29]
You choose a creature and return it all during the resolution. This means that if you have two Wildebeests, there is no way to end up returning only one creature. [D'Angelo 99/07/10]
Note - Also see Trample, Rule A.27.

Artist: Randy Gallegos
Released: 2/1997

The predecessor of Gating creatures was not a traditional green creature, but was later used to combo with the “comes into play” abilities of creatures such as Uktabi Orangutan and Wall of Blossoms and to reuse Spike Feeders and Weavers. The resulting “Stupid Green Deck” was very good against red decks.


MASTICORE
Cost: 4
Color: Artifact
Rarity: Rare
Type: Artifact Creature
Set: Urza's Destiny

Errata: 4/4. ; At the beginning of your upkeep, you may discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice ~this~. ; {2}: ~this~ deals 1 damage to target creature. ; {2}: Regenerate ~this~. [Oracle 99/07/21]
Artist: Paolo Parente
Released: 6/1999

One of green’s few ways to deal with opposing creatures in decks that can afford it.


LUMBERING SATYR
Cost: 2GG
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Beast
Set: Mercadian Masques

Card Text: 5/4. ; All creatures gain forestwalk. (They're unblockable as long as defending player controls a forest.) Errata: 5/4. ; All creatures have forestwalk. [Oracle 99/11/01]
Flavor Text: The satyr carves the path that all of Rushwood follows. -Cho-Arrim saying.
Rulings:
Note - Also see Landwalk, Rule A.22.

Artist: Alan Pollack
Released: 10/1999

Another Erhnam replacement of its time. It is an important card against another green deck because it can be held back until enough creatures are amassed for one deadly, unblockable attack. Many other decks cannot exploit the drawback.


BLASTODERM
Cost: 2GG
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Beast
Set: Nemesis

Card Text: 5/5. ; Fading 3 (This creature comes into play with three fade counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter from it. If you can't, sacrifice it.) Blastoderm can't be the target of spells or abilities.
Rulings:
Note - Also see Fading, Rule A.14.

Artist: Eric Peterson
Released: 3/2000

Though too slow for Stompy, it is simply the last word in green fat.


SKYSHROUD POACHER
Cost: 2GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Rebel
Set: Nemesis

Card Text: 2/2. ; 3, Tap: Search your library for an Elf card and put that card into play. Then shuffle your library.
Flavor Text: It's OK. They're just elves.

Artist: Ron Spencer
Released: 3/2000

Used solely to put Deranged Hermit into play by some decks. With this, once need not pay echo on the Hermit because the tokens are enough to swarm an opponent without mass removal.


HUNTED WUMPUS
Cost: 3G
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Beast
Set: Mercadian Masques

Card Text: 6/6. ; When Hunted Wumpus comes into play, each other play may put a creature card from his or her hand into play under his or her control.
Flavor Text: Just one can feed a dozen people for a month.

Artist: Heather Hudson
Released: 10/1999

Risky if the opponent has a Morphling in hand, but the drawback is negligible in a control-dominated environment. Some players enjoy this card.


KAYSA
Cost: 3GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Summon Legend
Set: Alliances

Errata: 2/3. ; Green creatures you control get +1/+1. [Oracle 99/07/23]
Flavor Text: Kaysa speaks as the Elder Druid, but the Yavimaya recognizes only one voice: its own.
Rulings:
Note - Also see Legendary Permanents, Rule K.17.

Artist: Rebecca Guay
Released: 6/1996

The green Crusade of casual play.


DERANGED HERMIT
Cost: 3GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Summon Elf
Set: Urza's Legacy

Errata: 1/1. Echo ; When ~this~ comes into play, put four 1/1 green Squirrel creature tokens into play. ; All Squirrels get +1/+1. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Rulings:
The Squirrel tokens get the bonus, so they are effectively 2/2 creatures until the Hermit leaves play. And they get bigger if multiple Hermits are in play. [DeLaney 99/02/10]
Note - Also see Comes Into Play Abilities, Rule E.3.
Note - Also see Echo, Rule A.12.
Note - Also see Token Creatures, Rule K.25.

Artist: Kev Walker
Released: 2/1999

One of the most lethal green fat creatures printed, it comboed with cards like Skyshroud Poacher and Opposition.


WEATHERSEED TREEFOLK
Cost: 2GGG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Summon Treefolk
Set: Urza's Legacy

Errata: 5/3, Trample ; When ~this~ is put into a graveyard from play, return ~this~ to its owner's hand. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Rulings:
Note - Also see Trample, Rule A.27.

Artist: Heather Hudson
Released: 2/1999

It is often too slow to be useful, but it is extremely hard to kill and some green decks use just one for the midgame.


SAPROLING BURST
Cost: 4G
Rarity: Rare
Type: Enchantment
Set: Nemesis

Card Text: Fading 7 Remove a fade counter from Saproling Burst: Put a green Saproling creature token into play. It has "This creature's power and toughness are each equal to the number of fade counters on Saproling Burst." When Saproling Burst leaves play, destroy all tokens put into play with Saproling Burst. They can't be regenerated.
Rulings:
Note - Also see Fading, Rule A.14.
Note - Also see Token Creatures, Rule K.25.

Artist: Carl Critchlow
Released: 3/2000

One of the most powerful green cards ever printed, it became the mainstay of Masques-era Fires of Yavimaya red/green decks. Produce tokens at the end of the opponent’s turn for surprise value. Without Concordant Crossroads or Fires of Yavimaya, the greatest damage is done by producing 2 tokens. The cumulative damage adds up to 20.


THORN ELEMENTAL
Cost: 5GG
Color: Green
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Elemental
Set: Urza's Destiny

Card Text: 7/7. ; Thorn Elemental may deal its combat damage to defending player as though it weren't blocked.
Flavor Text: Rain from this storm leaves you pinned to the ground like an insect.
Rulings:
You decide when assigning combat damage. [D'Angelo 99/06/01]
You assign damage to blockers, or to the player. You cannot split it up. [Urza's Destiny FAQ 99/05/25]
You can decide to assign damage to the defending player even if the blocking creature has protection from green or damage preventing effects on it. [D'Angelo 99/07/28]
If a creature with banding blocks the Thorn Elemental, the defending player decides whether or not the Thorn Elemental deals damage as normal or to the defending player "as though it weren't blocked". [bethmo 99/09/22]

Artist: rk post
Released: 6/1999

Rarely cast using mana. Some decks simply cannot defend against this.


VERDANT FORCE
Cost: 5GGG
Color: Green
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Summon Elemental
Set: Tempest

Errata: 7/7. ; At the beginning of each player's upkeep, put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play under your control. [Oracle 99/05/01] Flavor Text: Burl, scurf, and bower, Birth fern and flower.
Rulings:
Verdant Force's controller gets the tokens. [D'Angelo 99/06/01] That is the controller at the beginning of upkeep. [DeLaney 99/06/13]
Note - Also see Token Creatures, Rule K.25.

Artist: DiTerlizzi
Released: 10/1997

According to popular writer Jamie “King of the Fatties” Wakefield, this was “the best fattie ever printed.” As he wrote on the Dojo in June 1998 in one of his first Secret Force (his signature deck that revolved around Natural Order and Secret Force) articles: “Godzilla, a lot of the Living Death decks and a lot of just plain reanimator decks are based on the fact that Verdant Force is the best Fattie ever printed.”

He added, “The best card ever printed for green. Do not look at this guy as just another fattie. He comes with built in (Diabolic) Edict protection, (is) too huge for Sligh to kill, and everyone in other colors is basing their decks around him – so why not us?”

Although it lacks trample, it can use the tokens to swarm an opponent or as free chump blockers ever turn, which made it a good choice for black reanimation (which Jamie referred to, a decktype from Secret Force’s time called Godzilla). Insane in multiplayer, incidentally.


NOTE ON “UNTARGETTABLE” CREATURES

BLURRED MONGOOSE
Cost: 1G
Color: Green
Rarity: Rare
Type: Creature - Mongoose
Set: Invasion

Card Text: 2/1. ; Blurred Mongoose can't be countered. Blurred Mongoose can't be the target of spells or abilities.
Flavor Text: The mongoose blew out its candle and was asleep in bed before the room went dark." -Llanowar fable
Rulings:
It can be targeted while on the stack. The "can't be targeted" ability only works while it is in play. [Invasion FAQ 00/10/03]
Counterspells can be played that target it, but when they resolve they simply don't counter it since it can't be countered. [Invasion FAQ 00/10/03]

Artist: Heather Hudson
Released: 10/2000


JOLRAEL'S CENTAUR
Cost: 1GG
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Centaur
Set: Mirage

Errata: 2/2, Flanking. ; ~this~ can't be the target of spells or abilities. [Oracle 99/07/01]
Flavor Text: What need have I for cavalry when I can have horse and rider both in one?" --Jolrael
Rulings:
Note - Also see Flanking, Rule A.16.

Artist: Junior Tomlin
Released: 10/1996


PINCHER BEETLES
Cost: 2G
Color: Green
Rarity: Common
Type: Creature - Summon Insects
Set: Tempest

Errata: 3/1. ; ~this~ can't be the target of spells or abilities. [Oracle 99/05/01]
Flavor Text: No fair! Since when does a bug get ta munch on me?" --Squee, goblin cabin hand

Artist: Stephen Daniele
Released: 10/1997


DEADLY INSECT
Cost: 4G
Color: Green
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Insect
Set: Alliances
Card Text: 6/1. ; Cannot be the target of spells or effects.

Flavor Text: Beautiful, indeed--but one sting could fell a Giant in a heartbeat." --Taaveti of Kelsinko, Elvish Hunter---AND---"There is no time for pain when this beast leaves its terrible sting." --Jaeuhl Carthalion, Juniper Order Advocate
Rulings:
The no-target ability work only when it is in play. So it can be targeted in the graveyard or while being cast. [bethmo 96/08/21]

Artist: Scott Kirschner
Released: 6/1996


AUTUMN WILLOW
Cost: 4GG
Color: Green
Rarity: UnCommon
Type: Creature - Summon Legend
Set: Homelands

Errata: 4/4. ; ~this~ can't be the target of spells or abilities. ; {G}: Until end of turn, target player may target ~this~ with spells or abilities as though it could be the target of spells or abilities.[Oracle 00/10/24]
Flavor Text: We must break her limbs and rattle her brains." --Grandmother Sengir
Rulings:
Does not cause enchantments on it to be removed when the ability is activated. An enchantment in play is neither a spell nor an ability. [Duelist Magazine #9, Page 37]
This card cares about who is targeting it rather than who controls the spell/ability that is targeting it. So if a card you control lets the opponent choose the target (Preacher for example), the opponent is considered to be the one targeting it. [Duelist Magazine #9, Page 61]
This spell can be countered. The ability does not work until it enters play. [D'Angelo 95/11/15]
The ability which allows a player to target this card with spells/abilities overrides all effects which prevent such from happening. Thus, you can use the ability to get around Dense Foliage because this effect will be newer. [Aahz 97/06/16]

Artist: Margaret Organ-Kean
Released: 10/1995

Untargetability is actually a mixed blessing for green decks. While they cannot be hit by creature removal, they also cannot be hit by pump spells. This means they are weaker against blockers, and the 1 toughness of many of the above is a problem for them. They are also more expensive than normal creatures. (Incidentally, they form the core of control decks based around The Abyss or Drop of Honey.)

Jolrael’s Centaur was a popular choice in its time because it was very difficult to block, and its flanking combined nicely with red spells. Blurred Mongoose is actually more useful in decks with burn that can clear a path for it. Autumn Willow was the grandmother of untargetable creatures and is still fun in casual play.


APPENDIX I: History of mono green

Mono green has had a long and colorful history, despite green’s former reputation as the fifth of four colors of Magic. After several expansions improved its creature base, Jamie “King of the Fatties” Wakefield commented in December 1998:

“It takes a long, long time to get good at playing Green, and as many know - I finally was able to achieve modest success with the color with my Secret Force deck. Rick Saunooke and David Montgomery worked hard on the deck with me, fine tuning it to a thorn’s point and improving on it even after I had won a tourney with it. I’ve taken the deck to four finals now. Rick Saunooke won a tournament with it. David Montgomery won a tournament with it. I received email about how a guy won a $500 tournament with it. The success was staggering. Well, staggering for a deck that I built. And staggering for a mono green deck!

“Nationals come and go. Seth Burn’s Stupid Green Deck (his name, not mine) puts two people in the top eight, and a third at ninth place. In Nationals. With mono green.

“Raphael Levy wins a Grand Prix with Legion Land Loss. Another mono green deck.

“Two weeks ago at Comics and Collectibles (The Magic center of the universe according to Alan ‘eeyoo’ Webster and I have to agree : - )) they have their first Extended Tournament of the season in preparation for the upcoming qualifiers. Legion Land Loss, Stompy, and Secret Force, all make it to the top.Three green decks in the tourney. Three green decks in the top eight. Two green decks in the top four. One Green deck in the Finals.

“I get mail this morning from Chris Warren (BugBind on IRC) telling me he has won his last two tournaments he’s been in with his BattleBrooch deck. Another amazing mono green creation.

“What the?”


“A more complete timeline of mono green” by Geoffrey Kirsch on the Dojo lists the first popular mono green deck as the Ice Age-era “Winnipeg” from Canada:

WINNIPEG, 1996
Creatures (36)
4 Fyndhorn Elves
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fyndhorn Elder (?)
4 Scryb Sprite
4 Grizzly Bears
4 Elvish Archers
4 Whirling Dervish
4 Leaping Lizard
4 Erhnam Djinn

Pump (4)
4 Giant Growth

Land (20)
16 Forest
4 Mishra's Factory

Although the creatures are mediocre by present-day standards, the basic Stompy structure, mana curve and strategy are clear in the deck.

Mono green next appeared with Canadian Gary Krakower at the 1996 World Championships, in what was recognized by Duelist magazine as one of the most unusual decks of its time:

KRAKOWER’S GREEN HORDE, 1996

Creatures (30)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Scavenger Folk
4 Elvish Archers
4 Whirling Dervish
3 Woolly Spider
2 Leaping Lizard
4 Ernham Djinn
4 Yavimaya Ants
1 Force of Nature

Pump (4)
4 Giant Growth

Land (26)
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
18 Forest
4 Mishra's Factory.

This deck emphasized the larger creatures, which was logical given the weaker weenies of the time. Elvish Spirit Guide made its appearance, though this early deck could not abuse it as well in the first turn, unlike modern Stompy decks.

These decks evolved as more creatures were added. The next version was made popular by Shane “NEV” Neville from Canada, and named the revision after his hometown in Saskatchewan.

BATTLEFORD, EARLY 1997
Creatures (28)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Scryb Sprites
4 Mtenda Lion
2 Elvish Archers
2 Whirling Dervish
2 Foratog
4 Jolrael's Centaur
2 Ernham Djinn
4 Yavimaya Ants

Pump (8)
4 Armor of Thorns
4 Giant Growth

Others (2)
2 Desert Twister

LAND (22)
18 Forest
4 Mishra's Factory


The later expansions of the Mirage block made Senor Stompy possible. The more expensive creatures disappeared (Erhnam Djinn later rotated out of Type II) and more efficient small creatures were played. The next evolution was Senor Stompy at Worlds.

SENOR STOMPY, SVEND GEERTSEN, 1997 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Creatures (32)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Rogue Elephant
4 Ghazban Ogre
3 Harvest Wurm
4 Spectral Bears
2 Whirling Dervish
2 Jolrael's Centaur
2 Uktabi Orangutan
3 Lhurgoyf

Pump (6)
4 Giant Growth
2 Bounty of the Hunt

Other tricks (4)
4 Winter Orb

Land (18)
2 Heart of Yavimaya
16 Forest

Sideboard:
1 Bounty of the Hunt
3 City of Solitude
2 Crumble
4 Emerald Charm
2 River Boa
2 Whirling Dervish
1 Uktabi Orangutan


As Senor Stompy was being refined in Type II, the mono green deck that arose in Extended was Legion Land Loss, a deck that used the consistent speed boost of 8 Elves and green land destruction spells to form a fast, disruptive deck. The original deck was played by Frenchman Nicolas Labarre that became unplayable after it lost its Strip Mines. His friend and member of the team Legion, Manuel Bevand, created the first version of LLL by adding Wastelands and Winter’s Grasp (which made mono green land destruction feasible as Thermokarst and Creeping Mold were the only spells available before Winter’s Grasp). What resulted was an effective but relatively cheap (it ran no dual lands, among other things) Extended deck.

As described by Manuel in the archive of Team Legion, “This deck is simple to understand. Early elves and Wall of Roots provide mana for an attempt to freeze the opponent down before he can cast any spells, using tons of LD and Stunted Growth. Plenty of artifacts provided what green lacks the most, creature defense. Triskelions were especially amazing to stop hordes of knights run by the PT Jank decks wave. The good LLL player would concentrate on LD early, ignoring the blows and jabs, and finally recovering with Arrows and Triskelions. Erhnams Djinns were just added because, heh, why not use the broken cards?

The Legion members tried many modifications to the design as noted in the land destruction portion of the primer. One of the more radical changes was seen in the version of Canadian Gary Wise:

GARY WISE, LEGION LAND LOSS, JANUARY 1998
Creatures (18)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fyndhorn Elves
4 Eladamri, Lord of Leaves
4 Jolrael's Centaur
2 Triskellion

Disruption (20)
4 Winters Grasp
4 Thermokarst
4 Fallow Earth
4 Creeping Mold
4 Stunted Growth

Others (4)
4 Cursed Scroll

Land (18)
14 Forests
4 Wasteland


Across the Atlantic in Toulouse, France, his teammate tried:

LEGION LAND LOSS, RAPHAEL LEVY, GRAND PRIX LYON CHAMPION, JANUARY 1998
Creatures (19)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fyndhorn Elves
4 Wall of Roots
4 Ernham Djinns
3 Triskelions

Disruption (18)
4 Winter Grasp
4 Themokarst
4 Creeping Mold
4 Stunted Growth
2 Icy Manipulator

Others (1)
1 Recycle

Land (22)
4 Wasteland
4 Mishra's Factories
14 Forests

Sideboard:
2 Tranquil Domain
2 Uktabi Efreet
3 Serrated Biskelion
4 Storm Seeker
4 Barbed Foilage


In Type II, the new block eventually made for new possibilities. Some versions of Battleford, for example, evolved into BattleBrooch, with Null Brooch covering holes that green’s defenses could not address:

BATTLEBROOCH, C. WARREN, DOJO DECKS TO BEAT, SEPTEMBER 1998
CREATURES (22)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Quirion Ranger
4 River Boa
1 Mirri, Cat Warrior
4 Trained Armodon
2 Fallow Wurm
3 Lhurgoyf

Others (13)
4 Cursed Scroll
4 Creeping Mold
1 Survival of the Fittest
4 Null Brooch

Mana (25)
4 Wild Growth
14 Forest
4 Quicksand
3 Wasteland

Sideboard
3 Emerald Charm
2 Hall of Gemstone
2 Lifeforce
2 Phyrexian Furnace
2 Spike Feeder
1 Tranquil Grove
3 Uktabi Orangutan


Green evolved into a much slower, more defensive variant designed by Seth Burn to combat red decks. The power of Stampeding Wildebeests and later creatures was harnessed and two of its players, Bryce Currance and Ryan Kelly, eventually played each other in the semi-finals of the 1998 US Nationals. Bryce went on to win. One unorthodox card it used to good effect was Eladamri’s Vineyard, which sped up its creatures while handing mana burn damage to red decks that could not use the mana. (This is suicidal against many other decks, however.)

More modern casual decks have evolved this deck by taking advantage of Squee. A lone Squee allows the deck to use Survival of the Fittest as much-needed card drawing, and 4 copies make Type I versions of Stupid Green more powerful.

STUPID GREEN DECK, BRYCE CURRANCE, 1998 US NATIONAL CHAMPION
Creatures (25)
4 Llanowar Elves
3 Wall of Blossoms
4 Wall of Roots
2 Uktabi Orangutan
4 Spike Feeder
4 Spike Weaver
4 Stampeding Wildebeests

Others (12)
4 Cursed Scroll
1 Survival of the Fittest
4 Creeping Mold
3 Desert Twister

Mana (23)
4 Eladamri's Vineyard
15 Forest
4 Wasteland

Sideboard
4 Emerald Charm
2 Null Brooch
3 Scragnoth
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Uktabi Orangutan
4 Winter's Grasp


This shift to larger creatures was actually made popular by Jamie Wakefield and his “Secret Force” developed when Tempest was released. It centered around Natural Order and Verdant Force, “the best fattie ever printed,” with the original deck sporting Lure of Prey or Jamie’s “green Dark Ritual”

What is Secret Force? Jamie described, “This is a green deck that has the cards to handle all the major threats out there – and apply tremendous beatdown. All in one deck. I hope you like it.”

The deck was introduced on the Dojo with no great fanfare. In fact, in his June 1998 report about a visit to Shawn “Hammer” Regnier’s card shop, he recalled, “‘MONO GREEN!!!’ Rodney shouts into the phone. ‘You tell me we should make a good impression and you’re going with mono Green?’”

The response to the curious deck was unexpected. In Jamie’s words, “I have received over 50 emails so far – and the message is less than 8 hours old. Some people don’t even have the message on their news server yet!

“I have a Pro Tour Player on the list who has had phenomenal success on the Pro Tour, and I also have people who want to play it in their Nationals! That’s the best! I would be thrilled if someone I am mailing to today actually found this worthy to take to their Nationals. I have about 30 people who swear my deck will never see the inside of a card shop because they only play for fun. And I have a lot of people that say they will play it this Saturday in the local Type Two.”

Jamie certainly expected nothing from the deck, and merely wrote, “Lets hope this Beast lives up to the hype. Anyone got a good name? So far – I call this ‘Living Death in Mono Green.’”


NATURAL ORDER
Cost: 2GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Sorcery
Set: Visions

Errata: As an additional cost to play ~this~, sacrifice a green creature. ; Search your library for a green creature card and put that card into play. Then shuffle your library. [Oracle 99/07/01]
Flavor Text: ...but the price of Mangara's freedom was Asmira's life.
Rulings: The sacrifice of a green creature is part of the play cost and is paid on announcement. You do not have a choice to pay this cost zero times or more than one time in order to multiply the effect. [D'Angelo 97/01/28]

Artist: Terese Nielsen
Released: 2/1997


LURE OF PREY
Cost: 2GG
Rarity: Rare
Type: Instant
Set: Mirage

Errata: Play ~this~ only if an opponent played a creature spell this turn. ; Put a green creature card from your hand into play. [Oracle 00/10/24]
Rulings: Does work for artifact creatures played by your opponent. [D'Angelo 99/07/10]

Artist: Andrew Robinson
Released: 10/1996


ORIGINAL SECRET FORCE DECK, JAMIE WAKEFIELD, JUNE 15 1998
Creatures (24)
3 Quirion Ranger
4 Llanowar Elf
3 River Boa
4 Uktabi Orangutan
4 Spike Feeder
2 Barishi
4 Verdant Force

Others (10)
4 Natural Order
2 Lure of Prey
4 Creeping Mold

Land (26)
4 Wasteland
4 Quicksand
18 Forest

Sideboard
3 Lifeforce
3 Roots of Life
4 Wall of Roots
4 Natural Spring
(1 unlisted card)

This was the original deck, complete with the Wakefield quirk of 62 cards, 26 land and no mana curve to speak of. (As Eric Taylor explained this idiosyncracy: “The Wakefield deck has 62 cards and 26 lands (at 41.9%) as it was given on high from the Principles of Fat. The number of the lands in the Wakefield deck is 26 and this is the number and so it was spoken.”

Through the internet, it quickly endeared itself to players who shared Jamie’s love for fat, and Natural Order and Lure of Prey made for interesting cards. As Jamie said, “With Lure of Prey and Natural Order, its good to draw something fat – and its good to not draw it. No longer do you have to worry about – Damn I drew my Verdant Force – now I have to hope I get eight mana to cast him. No. If you don’t draw it – go get it – if you do draw it – lure it out.”

He elaborated on Natural Order as a rare green trick: “Lure of Prey – the forgotten green power card. This thing is so good it is unreal. If you read the text carefully – it doesn’t say you have to play this card when they cast a summon spell. It says – on any TURN they play a summon spell – which means that your Verdant Force and Giants are now a Benalish knight!!!

“The smart player responds like this – ‘Cast a pup?’

“You – ‘o.k.’ – do nothing – you have until as late as his discard phase to actually cast Lure of Prey.

“Same turn –

“‘Cast a Lancer, Vroom! Here he comes green boy!’

“’Lure of Prey – block with my GIANT ! – HO HO HO! Midgets! You think you can stand in my way?’”

Like a kid holding a Shivan Dragon, he added, “Try to apply as much early pressure as possible if holding a Lure of Prey and something fat. When you get to four land – do not play anything else out if they are playing a creature deck. They will have to play a creature eventually to either block, or to try and kill you. Then you Lure of Prey.”

Secret Force and Stupid Green Deck showed how green could take on a slower, controlling personality that could hold its own (as long as combo decks are not a factor, since green has practically no defense against them except speed, which the control green decks forego). Rob Kinyon, who helped playtest the original Stupid Green Deck, commented on the Dojo, “You have to understand one thing - THIS IS A GREEN CONTROL DECK.” He elaborated, “This is Cuneo Green, not Stompy. If you win before turn 10, it's a miracle. Winning on turn 15-18 is normal. Remember, establish your Weaver lock, then kill them with the Wildebeest or Scroll. It's not a race.” Secret Force combined creatures that served as both excellent offense and defense with the best of a small but effective pool of removal such as Uktabi Orangutan and Creeping Mold.

In Jamie’s words, “Have you ever noticed that when you build a utility green deck – that you can handle everything the opponent throws at you, but you still lose because you don’t have any disruption, or any room left for fat creatures? Green’s best fat creatures are its really, really fat creatures.

“Like Verdant Force.

“I’ve finally been able to make a green deck that feels that it is ready for everything.

“And –

“And – has the capability to get two Verdant Forces on the board by the fourth turn. Which has happened twice (maybe three times? Not sure.) in sanctioned play so far.”

Stupid Green Deck had the Stampeding Wildebeests engine (which, in addition to the green utility creatures, allowed Wall of Blossoms to repeatedly serve as card drawing) instead of the Natural Order engine, but shared the same control elements.

Both, incidentally, were quite lethal against red and it’s direct, single-minded strategy. Jamie noted: “The best move this deck has ever done – Playing Sligh.

“Wild growth on a Forest from first turn, have just played my third land – he plays a (Suq’Ata) Lancer, I say o.k. He attacks with Lancer and Fanatic. I cast Lure of Prey, Verdant force – block the Lancer. Untap all my stuff cause he’s done, get a token, sac the token for Natural Order, Verdant Force – two by the fourth turn. Against Sligh.”

Secret Force was revised many times, and the revisions came together in the Extended versions. Natural Order fit the deck so well that in Extended, it even fetched a Sliver Queen that could be used against Sliver decks. Lure of Prey, however, had to be left out because there were a number of near-creatureless decks. (Of course, Secret Force’s slow speed and weakness against combo decks prevented it from growing in popularity in the format that was soon dominated by Trix.)

SECRET FORCE, JAMIE WAKEFIELD, PRO TOUR NEW YORK BOSTON QUALIFIER CHAMPION, JULY 1999 (EXTENDED)
Creatures (27)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fyndhorn Elves
3 Elvish Lyrist
4 Wall of Roots
3 Uktabi Orangutan
4 Spike Feeder
2 Spike Weaver
3 Verdant Force

Others (11)
4 Creeping Mold
4 Natural Order
3 Overrun

Land(22)
3 Wasteland
3 Gaea's Cradle
16 Forest

Sideboard
3 Tsunami
4 Choke
4 Root Maze
3 Lifeforce
1 Sliver Queen


Type II Stompy, meanwhile, was at its peak with the efficient weenies of the Urza Block, and they readily took advantage of Gaea’s Cradle in place of old tricks. Three Stompy decks made the Top 8 of the 1999 World Championships.

STOMPY, MATT LINDE, SEMIFINALIST, 1999 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (TYPE II)
Creatures (26)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Elvish Lyrist
4 Wild Dogs
4 Albino Troll
4 Pouncing Jaguar
4 River Boa
2 Uktabi Orangutan

Others (12)
4 Cursed Scroll
4 Giant Growth
4 Rancor

Land (22)
4 Gaea's Cradle
14 Forest
4 Treetop Village

Sideboard
3 Choke
2 Constant Mists
1 Hurricane
2 Overrun
3 Thran Foundry
2 Uktabi Orangutan
2 Weatherseed Treefolk


STOMPY, RAFFAELLE LO MORO, TOP 8, 1999 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (EXTENDED)
CREATURES (29)
4 Rogue Elephant
4 Wild Dogs
4 Ghazban Ogre
3 Quirion Ranger
4 Pouncing Jaguar
3 Hidden Gibbons
4 Skyshroud Elves
3 Spectral Bears

Pump(11)
4 Giant Growth
3 Bounty of the Hunt
4 Rancor

Mana (20)
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
16 Forest

Sideboard:
4 Albino Troll
2 Crumble
3 Emerald Charm
1 Hidden Gibbons
1 River Boa
4 Sphere of Resistance


The wonderful new green creatures even allowed versions of Stompy to be played in Urza Block Constructed:

MID-RANGE GREEN, PAOLO CRUZ, FINALIST, GRAND PRIX LISBON, 1999
Creatures (26)
4 Pouncing Jaguar
3 Elvish Lyrist
4 Wild Dogs
3 Rofellos, Llanwar Emissary
4 Albino Troll
3 Cradle Guard
2 Ticking Gnomes
2 Masticore
1 Child of Gaea

Pump (10)
4 Rancor
3 Symbiosis
3 Might of Oaks

Disruption (3)
3 Plow Under

Land (22)
18 Forest
3 Treetop Village
1 Yavimaya Hollow

Sideboard:
1 Powder Keg
2 Ring of Gix
2 Bloated Toad
1 Harmonic Convergence
2 Multani's Decree
2 Lull
2 Splinter
3 Spreading Algae


Stompy decks continued to be popular in 2000 while the powerful Urza Block weenies remained legal to power it.

MIKE LONG, TYPE II PORTION, 2000 MAGIC INVITATIONAL
Creatures (26)
3 Elvish Lyrist
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Pouncing Jaguar
4 River Boa
4 Albino Troll
2 Uktabi Orangutan
3 Masticore
2 Hunted Wumpus

Others (11)
4 Giant Growth
4 Rancor
2 Creeping Mold
1 Crop Rotation

Land (23)
11 Forest
3 Gaea's Cradle
1 Dust Bowl
4 Rishadan Port
4 Treetop Village

Sideboard
3 Forest
2 Uktabi Orangutan
4 Wild Dogs
1 Creeping Mold
2 Acridian
3 Cursed Totem


TANGLE STOMPY, IVAN TAM, HONG KONG NATIONAL CHAMPION, JUNE 2000
Creatures (23)
4 Llanowar Elves
3 Elvish Lyrist
3 Pouncing Jaguar
2 Wild Dogs
4 Elvish Archer
4 River Boa
3 Albino Troll

Pump (11)
4 Rancor
4 Giant Growth
3 Invigorate

Others (6)
4 Tangle Wire
2 Hurricane

Land (20)
2 Rath's Edge
3 Gaea's Cradle
15 Forest

Sideboard
3 Spreading Algae
3 Harmonic Convergence
4 Vine Dryad
3 Uktabi Orangutan
2 Blastoderm


The last popular mono green deck before Invasion was known as Trinity Green, and it abused the Skyshroud Poacher / Deranged Hermit combo and green’s delay spells. It was actually developed independently by a number of groups around the world, but named after a pub in Europe. It first appeared as a surprise deck in the 2000 Norweigian National Championships, with three placing in the Top 8. It was immediately adopted by players across the Atlantic for the US Nationals, which was held a week later.

TRINITY GREEN, LASSE LARVANKO, 2000 FINN NATIONAL CHAMPION
Creatures (27)
4 Birds of Paradse
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
2 Priest of Titania
2 Blastoderm
3 Masticore
4 Skyshroud Poacher
4 Deranged Hermit

Others (10)
4 Tangle Wire
4 Plow Under
2 Fallow Earth

Land (23)
4 Rishadan Port
3 Gaea's Cradle
16 Forest

Sideboard
3 Carpet of Flowers
1 Meekstone
1 Cursed Totem
4 Thran Foundry
1 Splinter
2 Uktabi Orangutan
2 Fallow Earth
1 Masticore

One of the original decks that placed in the Top 8 of the Norweigian Nationals was played by Sigurd Eskeland, and it was an exact copy. His original sideboard was:

4 Ticking Gnomes
1 Blastoderm
1 Fallow Earth
2 Creeping Mold
3 Splinter
2 Smokestack
1 Masticore
1 Reverent Silence

Though it seems quite far from Stompy and uses more expensive creatures, it actually played closer to Stompy than to the slower control green decks presented earlier. Paul Jordan described the deck on Neutral Ground, “This deck can have explosive starts, with amazing mana production from 10 mana creatures, in addition to 4 Rofellos and 3 Cradles. That's 17 cards dedicated to fast mana, almost 1/3 of the deck. After that, the deck focuses on disrupting and big creatures (or, more accurately, lots of smaller creatures- or even more accurately, LOTS of BIG creatures).” Mirror matches had an added twist: there are 7 legendary cards in the deck.

Players eventually added red to give the deck more flexibility. (The Poacher / Hermit combo would later be removed, and the deck that evolved was christened, “Son of Hermit.” Some jokingly referred to Trinity Green as the “Grandfather of Hermit.”)

ANGRY HERMIT, AARON FORSYTHE, TOP 8, 2000 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
CREATURES (27)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
3 Yavimaya Elder
4 Avalanche Riders
3 Masticore
3 Skyshroud Poacher
4 Deranged Hermit

Others (8)
4 Arc Lightning
4 Plow Under
Land (25)
11 Forest
2 Mountain
2 Gaea's Cradle
4 Karplusan Forest
4 Rishadan Port
2 Treetop Village

Sideboard
2 Ancient Hydra
4 Blastoderm
2 Boil
1 Masticore
1 Splinter
3 Thran Foundry
2 Uktabi Orangutan


Green lost many of its best weenies after the Urza Block rotated out. By the time Invasion entered, however, it had the best big creatures in Type II (Blastoderm, Jade Leech, Kavu Titan, Saproling Burst), and these formed the backbone of the powerful Fires red/green deck that used Fires of Yavimaya to speed up the fat. Fires was used where Fervor and Concordant Crossroads never were simply because green had never seen such powerful fat before, relative to the environment.

FIRES, SEAN MCKEOWN, POST-PLANESHIFT TEST VERSION
Creatures (18)
4 Chimeric Idol
4 Blastoderm
4 Flametongue Kavu
4 Saproling Burst
2 Shivan Wurm

Removal (5)
3 Assault/Battery
2 Ghitu Fire

Others (4)
4 Fires of Yavimaya

Mana (33)
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Llanowar Elves
10 Forest
5 Mountain
4 Karplusan Forest
4 Rishadan Port
2 Dust Bowl

Fires seemed vaguely similar to Trinity Green and other decks that were overloaded with mana to try for explosive development. In the case of Fires, it did not even use small creatures as these would only interfere with its mana development (remember that Stompy-style creatures paled in comparison to Masques-era Type II’s large creatures). If Trinity wanted a Poacher then a Hermit, Fires wanted a first-turn Elf or Birds, a second-turn Fires, a third-turn Blastoderm and a fourth-turn Saproling Burst.

In a Mindripper article, Sean showed how the version smoothed by Planeshift additions shows this strategy in its mana curve (which is not quite a curve):
1cc: 11 (Llanowar Elves, Birds of Paradise, Assault)
2cc: 0
3cc: 8 (Fires of Yavimaya, Chimeric Idol)
4cc: 8 (Blastoderm, Flametongue Kavu)
5cc: 6 (Saproling Burst, Shivan Wurm)
6cc: 0
Xcc: 2 (Ghitu Fire)


Stompy, however, remained very impressive in Extended. In the Philippines, popular player Francis Profeta was identified with the archtype, and his deck became a benchmark for speed decks. A unique metagame made for several differences, however. Legion Land Loss and Pande-burst were the eventual winning decks, and a lack of Trix decks removed the need for main deck Elvish Lyrists (these were ineffective against Pande-burst).

PROFETA GREEN, FRANCIS PROFETA, 2000 PHILIPPINE EXTENDED SEASON
Creatures (29)
4 Wild Dogs
4 Ghazban Ogre
4 Rogue Elephant
4 Pouncing Jaguar
4 Skyshroud Ridgeback
4 Llanowar Elf
3 Spectral Bears
2 River Boa

Pump (11)
2 Giant Growth
2 Seal of Strength
3 Bounty of the Hunt
4 Rancor

Mana (20)
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Land Grant
12 Forest

Sideboard
4 Winter Orb
4 Albino Troll
1 River Boa
3 Crumble
3 Emerald Charm

Actually, when asked about why he chose the creatures listed contrary to the theory presented in this primer, Francis admitted that he just used his spare cards. He also noted another aspect of the metagame: “Hirap kasi makakuha ng baraha kaya nagwork ang deck ko. (People had a hard time finding Extended cards, and that’s why my deck worked.)” This just showed the strength of the Stompy structure, however. Francis had been in the Top 20 of the Philippine Constructed rankings for a long time, and remained there after playing in the 2000 Extended season with a pile of spare commons. (He was #12 in the country as of the first draft of this primer, and #9 in the composite rankings.)


Many of the other mono green archtypes discussed earlier were represented in the first Masters tournament in September 2000. This was the first big Extended tournament after Dark Ritual and Mana Vault were banned in the format in an attempt to balance the Trix (Illusions of Grandeur / Donate combo) decks that nevertheless entered the tournament with Mox Diamond replacing Dark Ritual. This was also the debut of Tradewind-Survival, the streamlined blue/green version of the powerful Type II RecSur decks.

STOMPY, NICOLAI HERZOG, MASTERS 2000
Creatures (25)
2 Pouncing Jaguar
4 Wild Dogs
4 Skyshroud Elite
4 Ghazban Ogre
3 Rogue Elephant
4 River Boa
4 Vine Dryad

Pump (10)
4 Giant Growth
4 Rancor
2 Wild Might

Mana (25)
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Land Grant
4 Wasteland
13 Forest

Sideboard
4 Rushwood Legate
2 Cursed Totem
2 Lumberng Satyr
4 Emerald Charm
2 Winter Orb
1 Uktabi Orangutan


SECRET FORCE, TREVOR BLACKWELL, MASTERS 2000
Creatures (32)
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Llanowar Elves
3 Elvish Lyrist
4 Priest of Titania
4 Wall of Roots
2 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
1 Skyshroud Poacher
1 Lumbering Satyr
2 Masticore
1 Squallmonger
4 Deranged Hermit
1 Woodripper
1 Verdant Force

Others (8)
4 Natural Order
4 Plow Under

Land (20)
13 Forest
3 Gaea's Cradle
4 Wasteland

Sideboard
1 Woodripper
1 Uktabi Orangutan
3 Emerald Charm
3 Tranquil Grove
3 Choke
2 Null Rod
2 Masticore


LEGION LAND LOSS, RAFFAELE LO MORO, MASTERS 2000
Disruption (16)
4 Winter's Grasp
4 Thermokarst
4 Creeping Mold
4 Stunted Growth

Others (10)
2 Masticore
4 Wall of Blossoms
4 Cursed Scroll

Mana (34)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fyndhorn Elves
4 Wild Growth
4 Rishadan Port
4 Wasteland
14 Forest

2 Masticore
3 Choke
3 Spike Feeder
3 Uktabi Orangutan
4 Serrated Arrows

In the Philippines, Francis Profeta was looking forward to playing Stompy in Extended after the bannings that eliminated Trix, Pande-burst and Survival decks. He opined, “Lalo na ngayon wala nang Survival, Replenish, at Necropotence, magiging lamang ang Stompy Green. ‘Wag lang ma-Force of Will ‘yung Land Grant tapos wala kang hawak na lupa (Especially now, without Survival, Replenish, and Necropotence, Stompy Green has an advantage. As long as your Land Grant does not get Force of Willed when you are not holding land in your opening hand. Smile.)”

Stompy remains a cheap, easy-to-use and fun deck to play. However, players must be cautioned not to expect too much from it as its inflexibility and single-mindedness keep it out of the top tier of competitive Type I decks. Regular Matt D’Avanzo from the control-heavy Neutral Ground metagame reiterated this in a post to Beyond Dominia while the draft of this primer was being reviewed in public:

By Matt D'Avanzo (Matt) on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 12:09 pm:
“Stompy vs. Keeper?

This is my Stompy deck...

4 Hidden Herd
4 Skyshroud Elite
4 Wild Dogs
4 Elvish Lyrist
4 Rogue Elephant
4 Quirion Ranger
4 River Boa
4 Rancor
4 Giant Growth
2 Bounty of the Hunt
1 Regrowth
1 Berserk

4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Land Grant
10 Forest
1 Mox Emerald
1 Black Lotus

I'm not saying this is the best version of Stompy ever, but it's pretty good and a turn 4 kill if you don't disrupt it. I run one Edict, Balance, and Abyss and I still usually win game one. I've lent this deck out to people and played it in tourneys--aggro decks can be tuned to be fast, but unless they pack serious disruption they only win if they are lucky. I will not balance (desperation aside) unless it's very early (they still have something of a hand) or I have Ancesral/Will/a tutor/something in my hand.

I NEVER said Suicide Black is faster than stompy (Hatred aside, but I woudn't play with it in Type I unless my area was total combo). What I said was that it has the speed of a good aggro and disruption in the form of Sinkhole, Hymn, and Duress. Mono-black (because it has disruption) and Zoo (because it draws cards) are the only aggro decks I really respect. The others can win, but like I said they basically sit there hoping the other player doesn't draw/play X.

–Matt”


APPENDIX II: GREEN 5-COLOR

GREEN 5-COLOR, CATHY NICOLOFF, 1997 FLORIDA REGIONALS CHAMPION
Creatures (26)
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Granger Guildmage
4 River Boa
1 Karoo Meerkat
4 Whirling Dervish
2 Jolrael's Centaur
3 Maro

Spells (18)
2 Armor of Thorns
4 Incinerate
4 Arcane Denial
3 Winter Orb
2 Terror
2 Disenchant
1 Armageddon

Land (16)
4 Undiscovered Paradise
3 City of Brass
9 Forest


The primer emphasized that green had so few tricks except for pump spells like Giant Growth that Stompy was forced to win through sheer speed. An obvious solution is to add spells from another color, something facilitated by Birds of Paradise (and in more recent times, Land Grant).

In the 1997 Florida Regionals, Cathy Nicoloff won with such an idea. Cathy credited the design to Matt Place, who also named the deck, with help from Daniel Burdick, Nate Clarke and herself. That Type II tournament consisted mainly of blue decks that were mainly either Draw-Go type decks with large flyers or decks that revolved around the Winter Orb / Dream Tides combo.

Green 5-color was a slow deck based around green creatures and a lot of utility. Quirion Ranger alone could have accounted for half the tricks. It allowed the casting of Armageddon with just 1 land by bouncing Forests and untapping Birds, it boosted Maro at faster-than-instant speed, and it defeated Dream Tides and Winter Orb all by itself.

In its time, the deck looked quite funny. As Cathy wrote in the Legion archive, “I think the main reason that it was not played more is because nearly everyone who saw it unanimously thought it was a pile of garbage. I received more than a few disparaging comments during the swiss round at Regionals.”

What was interesting was that the creatures provided a lot of the utility, with Whirling Dervish and River Boa amazing against black and blue decks, respectively (the Karoo Meerkat acted as a fifth Boa of sorts). The spells were very straightforward, though a less obvious note by Cathy in the Legion archive was that Terror not only killed opposing fat creatures, but destroyed dangerous Walls of Air and Suq’Ata Firewalkers as well. Though Arcane Denial was a very bad card, it rounded out Green 5-Color’s tricks with a panic button against mass destruction.

An important note about the deck was that it was actually slow and control-oriented. Cathy explained, “If this deck is played like a weenie swarm, it will die rather quickly to mass creature removal. The idea is to trickle out the weenies until your opponent deals with them. I spent a lot of matches against R/U attacking for one over and over again. By the time we had exhausted that avenue, I was able to build up to a Winter Orb and a Maro, which made me glad I saved cards in my hand.”

Erik Lauer added, “The deck plays incredibly slow for a ‘mono-green’ deck, what with the quirion ranger throwing forests back into your hand and the Undiscovered Paradise going back too, so even if you wanted, there is little chance of playing your entire hand out by the 4th or 5th turn, which I suppose it good. The deck prevents you from misplaying it by rationing the mana sources.”

As interesting as the deck may seem, however, it was strictly a metagame choice against the blue decks. Eric Taylor opined that the removal in Type II then made Green 5-color possible. Red had less burn spells and was less inclined to use one on Birds of Paradise, which would not normally be good but was effective against Green 5-color. In addition, Swords to Plowshares was not legal, which made playing a Maro and bouncing Forests to make it bigger a far less risky play. He added that there was less mass destruction like Wrath of God played, and that land destruction was also not a factor (note that Green 5-color had so few land).

Erik Lauer added that spells that destroyed 1 toughness creatures such as Serrated Arrows were also not in the environment (note Cathy’s emphasis on Suq’Ata Firewalker). He explained that the deck’s greatest weakness was its reliance on creatures for mana, and that a red deck that could kill the Birds and use Pillage to destroy the City of Brass or Undiscovered Paradise.

Indeed, this was something that the deck’s worst fear, the 4-color Black deck, could easily do. Cathy commented on the July-September 1997 Type II: “In the current environment, there's so much black I can't imagine why people would want to play it… Contagion is too devastating against this deck and, like I said, there's so much black in the environment it's probably too risky to attempt to play it. Five color green succeeded when the environment was control-based, with slow Thawing Glacier decks and big blue flyers. It doesn't succeed in very fast environments, with speed black weenie, four-color black decks and tons of mono red.

“I haven't played the deck since Regionals (I disassembled it the next day, somehow accurately guessing that it would never do that well again). I'm not qualified to comment on how it does in the current environment, except I played against a couple of them in the State Championships (I was playing 4 color black) and crushed them with Contagions and Incinerates and Nekrataals and Man O Wars. Fallen Askari is simply the bane of five color green.”


While it never did achieve the same success, as predicted, many players were interested enough to continue tinkering with the archtype and adding new spells:

GREEN 5-COLOR, DOJO DECKS TO BEAT, FEBRUARY 1998
Creatures (26)
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Quirion Ranger
2 Llanowar Elves
3 Granger Guildmage
3 River Boa
3 Jolrael's Centaur
1 Lhurgoyf
2 Maro
2 Derelor
2 Man-O-War

Spells (18)
4 Incinerate
2 Terror
1 Diabolic Edict
2 Giant Growth
3 Memory Lapse
3 Armageddon
3 Winter Orb

Land (18)
2 Undiscovered Paradise
4 City of Brass
3 Gemstone Mine
9 Forest

Sideboard
3 Gloom
3 Warmth
3 Scragnoth
3 Karma
3 Tranquil Grove

The same listing included a rough 5-color Black deck (later refinements removed counters and Propaganda from this deck and played up the creature removal and the ability of Shadow Guildmage to recycle the comes-into-play abilities of key creatures, and such a deck won the World Championships):

5-COLOR BLACK, DOJO DECKS TO BEAT, FEBRUARY 1998
Creatures (18)
2 Shadow Guildmage
4 Black Knight
3 Knight of Stromgald
2 Dauthi Horror
1 Necratog
3 Man O’War
3 Nekrataal

Spells (21)
3 Diabolic Edict
4 Incinerate
2 Disenchant
3 Memory Lapse
3 Propaganda
4 Winter Orb
2 Armageddon

Land (21)
4 Undiscovered Paradise
2 City of Brass
2 Gemstone Mine
2 Underground River
11 Swamp

Sideboard
3 Perish
2 Coercion
2 Boil
2 Pyroblast
2 Disenchant
2 Knight of the Mists
2 Tranquil Domain


Several expansions later, the power and splashability of Tradewind Rider from Tempest gave rise to a new class of 5-color green (though these were mainly green/blue decks). These were attributed to Andrew Pacifico, who named the deck “Flagpole,” after what he called his Wall of Blossoms. (Others referred to the deck simply as 5-Color Tradewind.) It was an interesting deck. Andrew dubbed the single Disrupt as his trademark, and this actually forced players to slow their play because they feared that there was more than 1 in the deck.

5-COLOR FLAGPOLE, CHARLES KORNBLITH, FINALIST, JUNE 1998 JUNIOR SUPER SERIES
Creatures (17)
3 Birds of Paradise
4 Wall of Blossom
3 Man O’War
3 Uktabi Orangutan
4 Tradewind Rider

Counters (8)
4 Mana Leak
3 Counterspell
1 Disrupt

Others (13)
2 Firestorm
1 Earthquake
3 Legacy’s Allure
4 Impulse
3 Armageddon

Land (22)
2 Undiscovered Paradise
2 City of Brass
2 Gemstone Mine
2 Reflecting Pool
5 Forest
5 Island
4 Quicksand

Sideboard
4 Chill
3 Light of Day
2 Earthquake
1 Lobotomy
3 Phyrexian Furnace
2 Disenchant

The deck Andrew used to win an Eastern Division Junior Super Series Qualifier (several months older than the listed deck) was similar but had 2 Dismiss and 1 Whispers of the Muse. Charles’ win actually had a story as interesting as the Flagpole deck, as he reported on the Dojo in November 1998: “I’m a freshman in high school, and the week before the JSS was finals for my school. As I had to study, my playtesting for the tournament was really limited. In fact, I only got one day to playtest against real people. I tried to figure out the field as best I could by looking at tourney reports on the Dojo, and while there, I saw a report for a 5c Tradewind deck.

“It looked like with a few changes, it could beat what I needed it to. I built it and just started drawing 7 (goldfishing?) and it looked good. So I typed it out on Apprentice and played it against my friends. It got rocked by decks that I thought I could beat!

“Hmmm.…Now in desperation for a good deck, I started e-mailing people, including Andrew Pacifico, the guy that made the original 5c tradewind. Now this is all like 2 days before I leave to Florida, so I didn’t expect anything much, if any, feedback. Instead everyone got back to me with advice and Andrew, this guy….We’ve never even met and he’s giving me advice on changes, what he’s going to play, and what the field should be like. So the night before I leave, I make some more changes, pack my stuff, and study for my History Final.”

Soon afterwards, Urza’s Saga rotated in and the Mirage block and the beloved Impulse rotated out. Tradewind Rider and Flagpole remained popular. One funny addition was the unlikely Tradewind Rider / Gilded Drake combo.

5-COLOR FLAGPOLE, CHAD ELLIS, NOVEMBER 1998
Creatures (18)
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Wall of Blossoms
3 Spike Feeder
1 Mirri, Cat Warrior
4 Tradewind Rider
2 Spike Weaver

Counters (6)
4 Force Spike
2 Mana Leak

Others (9)
4 Legacy’s Allure
2 Lobotomy
2 Winter Orb
1 Stroke of Genius

Mana (24)
2 Fellwar Stone
2 City of Brass
2 Thran Quarry
8 Forest
7 Island
2 Gaea’s Cradle
1 Wasteland

Sideboard
2 Lobotomy
4 Propaganda
1 Congregate
3 Pyroblast
3 Disenchant
2 Gilded Drake

This was actually a rough deck being tested in the earliest days of Urza’s Saga. Chad wrote on the Dojo that one quirk survived the rotation, “Against control the Stroke is a great way to draw a counter during their discard phase. The idea is basically borrowed from Andrew Pacifico's original Flagpole deck, which would use Whispers to tap mana/draw a counter and then Armageddon on his own turn, needing only one counter to back it up.

Reminiscent of Andrew’s original Disrupt, Chad added, “Using Spikes and Leaks partly reflected the low mana environment I hoped to create with the Worbs (Winter Orbs) and partly the speed I was expecting. Force Spiking a Priest of Gix, an Academy Deck's first Mana Vault, or Counter-Phoenix's turn-three Intuition is more important to the deck than worrying about turn eleven spells if I haven't succeeded in establishing control.”

Other Tradewind-based green decks were created in this time period, with a number using the synergy of Tradewind Rider with Armageddon and even Stasis.


GREEN 5-COLOR, TOM VAN DE LOGT, TOP 8, 1998 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Creatures (26)
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Quirion Ranger
3 Granger Guildmage
4 Wall of Roots
4 Jolrael's Centaur
3 Maro
4 Tradewind Rider

Spells (16)
4 Mana Leak
3 Propaganda
3 Incinerate
3 Armageddon
3 Winter Orb

Land (18)
4 Undiscovered Paradise
3 City of Brass
2 Gemstone Mine
9 Forest

Sideboard
4 Disenchant
4 Pyroblast
4 Hydroblast
2 Terror
1 Propaganda


In Type I casual play, dual lands and spells such as Tithe and Land Grant eliminate the need to use green and Birds of Paradise as the base color for a 5-color deck. After the Flagpole decks, its next appearance was possibly as an archtype in Invasion Limited, before the addition of Planeshift reduced the chances of opening packs with Harrow and Fertile Ground.

Part of the character of the original Green 5-Color deck survived in the archtype, as Mike Pustilnik detailed in his introduction to Invasion draft: “A 5CG draft deck consists of (hopefully) half Green cards, with the remaining cards split among the remaining four colors. The Green cards that give you access to mana of the other colors make the 5CG deck work. These cards include Harrow, Quirion Elves, Quirion Trailblazer, Nomadic Elves, and Fertile Ground. Harrow is the best of these, and if you are committed to a 5CG strategy, then Harrow is a first pick.

“A 5CG deck can and should play all the best cards in the other colors, even if they require two different non-Green colored mana. Plague Spores and Barrin's Spite, for example, belong in a 5CG deck.

“Choosing how many of each basic land to play in a 5CG deck can be difficult. You should play at least one of each basic land, so you can get it with Harrow. If about half of your cards are Green, then a reasonable mana configuration is 8-4-3-1-1 (8 forests). If you have fewer Green cards, then you might have to play more land in order to ensure that you get the colored mana that you need early on. This will increase the chance of a mana flood and weaken your deck. If many of your cards are white and blue, for example, then you might have to play 6 Forests, 6 Plains, 5 Islands, 1 Mountain, and 1 Swamp (for nineteen lands total).

“One huge advantage of 5CG is that cards that depend on the number of different basic land that you control can operate at maximum effectiveness. The uncommon Ordered Migration and the common Strength of Unity are especially good, and you should try to draft three to four of these.”


APPENDIX III: ELVES?

APPENDIX IV: THALLIDS?

APPENDIX V: FAERIES?

Read More Articles by Oscar Tan aka Rakso!

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