Maximizing Your Deck on a Budget - Mono Green
How do you do, fellow kids? Are you ready to ramp harder than Tony Hawk? I can't hear you! I said...ARE YOU READY TO RAMP HARDER THAN TONY HAWK!?
Today we're going to look at the best cards for a mono green commander build with budget in mind - and trust me there are a lot of them. This list could have easily been 30 cards. Over the past year, Wizards has pushed green to be, arguably, the most powerful color in magic. Cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns, Veil of Summer, and Once Upon a Time defined Eldraine Standard, and now we're seeing Uro and Nissa, Who Shakes the World continue that trend with the Bant and Sultai decks. But that's Standard, and this is Commander, so let's get into the list, shall we?
We're going to start out with a few auto-includes for ramping:
Cultivate ($0.81) - At just under a dollar, this card is great. For two colorless and a green, you get to search your library for to basic land cards, put one on to the battlefield and the other into your hand. This ramps you a turn, and ensures you don't miss your next land drop. Playing Cultivate on turn three always feels great but, you won't hate drawing this card any time in the early game. I highly recommend running it in all decks that have green since it can also be a good source of fixing. Kodama's Reach is another green card that has the exact same casting cost, and ability but, at $1.99 is double the price. I'd bet if you search your bulk hard enough, you've got one or both of these lying around.
Explosive Vegetation ($0.98) - Another card at just under a dollar (thanks to a Mystery Booster reprint). Explosive Vegetation is a sorcery that costs three colorless and a green to search your library for two basic land cards and put them onto the battlefield tapped. Think about Cultivate on turn 3 and Exploding Veggies on turn 4, you're going to have one heck of a turn 5 with a potential for up to EIGHT mana! As with cultivate Explosive Vegetation can also serve as fixing in a multi-color deck that's running green. I'd definitely recommend picking up this card if you don't already have it.
Tempt with Discovery ($1.30) - Tempt with Discovery is another four mana sorcery (three colorless and a green) for ramping but, it's got the potential to be fun and interactive as well. Tempt with Discovery says " Tempting Offer — Search your library for a land card and put it onto the battlefield. Each opponent may search his or her library for a land card and put it onto the battlefield. For each opponent who searches a library this way, search your library for a land card and put it onto the battlefield. Then each player who searched a library this way shuffles it." If all three of your opponents search for a land, you could end up putting four additional lands onto the battlefield on turn for. That's crazy.
Now that we've hit on some ramp all-stars let's talk about interaction. One might think that green has difficulty interacting with opponents because it has a lack of counterspells and hard removal. Well I'm gonna show you a few cards that disprove that line of thinking.
Krosan Grip ($2.53) - Nearly three dollars, and worth every penny. Krosan Grip is an instant for two colorless and a green that has split second. Split Second says "As long as this spell is on the stack, players can't cast spells or activate abilities that aren't mana abilities". So essentially, Krosan Grip cannot be countered or interacted with in any way while it's on the stack. So what does it do? Well, it destroys target artifact or enchantment. That may not sound so special, or even out of the ordinary for green but, it's the Split Second ability that makes this card worth running. Trust me, games are won and lost because of this Split second ability. Be sure to pick this up if you don't have it already.
Beast Within ($1.49) - Beast Within is an automatic include for any green deck. It's just hard removal for any problem permanent on the board - the only downside is that the permanent's controller creates a 3/3 Beast token for their troubles. Not enough of a downside to not run this card. For two colorless and a green you get an instant that says "Destroy Target Permanent" essentially. If that 3/3 Beast goes on to beat you later in the game, well, that's how it goes sometimes. I'd love to hear that story though!
Acidic Slime ($0.20) - For three colorless and two green, you get a 2/2 creature with deathtouch. But, that's not all! When Acidic Slime enters the battlefield you can destroy target artifact, enchantment, or land. The reason Acidic Slime makes this list is that last part. Green doesn't have many ways of dealing with lands, so aside from running the cards we've previously talked about like Ghost Quarter and Field of Ruin, this is a nice option to have. The deathtouch makes it a nice chump blocker or attack deterrent once you've got the value off the enter the battlefield (also known as ETB) trigger.
Alright, just over halfway there so I'm going to spend these last four card slots on various effects that I think you'll find valuable in the course of a commander game. We'll cover some recursion, card draw, and some all-around good creatures.
Managorger Hydra ($3.16) - Managorger Hydra is one of my favorite commander cards so I had to put it on the list. For two colorless and a green you get a 1/1 with trample. Yeah, that's right, a 1/1.....with trample. See why it's one of my favorites? Okay, here's why it's good. Managorger Hydra gets a +1+1 counter every time an opponent casts a spell. If you stick the hydra on turn 3, it gets out of control really fast and unless one of your opponents were lucky enough to draw into some removal early you could get some serious damage in before the hydra can be dealt with. I highly recommend running this card.
Eternal Witness ($3.53) - For two green mana and a colorless, you get a 2/1 creature that returns target card in your graveyard to your hand. This is top tier recursion right here. The ability to get back a key creature or combo piece that got destroyed, even a removal spell or card draw spell is just great no matter how you slice it. Adding the 2/1 creature to it is just gravy. At one point, this card reached $8.00. You definitely need to be running this card if your deck is running green.
Shared Summons ($0.90) - With Worldly Tutor being so expensive ($18.99), we need a creature tutor effect for our budget constraints. Shared Summons is that card. For three colorless and two green, you get an instant that says "Search your library for two creatures with different names, reveal them, and then put them into your hand. Shuffle your library." In a singleton format like commander, finding two creatures with different names shouldn't be an issue so just get the two best creatures in your deck, or find situational piece like Acidic Slime. If you really want to go big, find your best creature and Eternal Witness, then play the Witness to get back Shared Summons.
Guardian Project ($3.91) - For three colorless and a green you get an enchantment that says "Whenever a nontoken creature enters the battlefield under your control, if it doesn't have the same name as another creature or a creature card in your graveyard, draw a card." In a singleton format, this means you're going to draw a card every time a nontoken creature enters the battlefield under your control. This card is amazing in Commander and Brawl, and will be a singleton staple in green forever. There are not a lot of options for card draw in mono green, especially at budget prices. This card is a superstar at that, run this card!
Today's list is ultra budget, with the ten cards coming in at a whopping $18.81! Or, roughly the cost of one Worldly Tutor. This gives us plenty of budget to work with so as always, I've got a few suggestions. Nissa, Who Shakes the World ($5.95) will double your mana production and turn your lands into 3/3's. Scavenging Ooze ($4.56) will help keep opponent's graveyard strategies in check and Kenrith's Transformation ($0.16) is just great creature removal, especially when it target's an opponent's commander since it doesn't actually remove it from the battlefield allowing them to replay it. 13 cards to vastly power up your mono green Commander deck for under $30, $29.48 to be precise!
Alright, that's going to do it for today's blog. Be sure to join us in Discord to discuss this list further. As I said, this could have easily been 30 cards since there are so many to choose from. I look forward to hearing your suggestions and talking about all of this further.
Stay safe, and be well.