Different Flavours of Green, Guilds of Ravnica Deck Techs.

For anyone who knows me, it will come as no surprise to you that I am a big fan of Mono Red and White Weenie strategies. So, I bet most of you would have put money on me playing some kind of Boros Aggro deck in the new Standard season (like I did at the Prerelease). It might surprise you to know that the colour that I am most interested in play this time around, is Green.

Yes, I know. You would have expected me to be a true aggro player through and through. But the truth is that I’ve always been a huge fan of Green decks, going right back to my early days of playing Magic. The first deck I ever built was a Green/Blue Monsters brew, and ramping into Primeval Force or sneaking one out with an Elvish Piper was my bread and butter. Even when I came back into the game years later and I was looking for my first Modern deck I didn’t start off with Burn, but rather Green/White Elves.

So I’ve always liked my Green decks, but why have I picked now as the time to go back to my roots? Well, the Guilds of Ravnica preview stream had a lot to do with it. While I was streaming with my fellow team member Sam Waters, we got to try out a pretty sweet Green/Black Elves deck. After swinging in for over 50 damage and drawing most of my deck, I knew I had to go Green for this Standard season. Now the only question was, what flavour of Green should I play?

My first idea was to go with the Tribal Elf brew, based on my experience with them during the stream. I decided though to go with Green/White Elves over Golgari for a couple of reasons. Firstly, while Black gives you access to Assassin’s Trophy, White has its fair share of potent removal options. Enchantments like Conclave Tribunal allows you to deal with almost any threats, but also prevent your opponents from recycling them with graveyard shenanigans thanks to them been exiled. You also get some amazing sideboard cards like Lyra Dawnbringer and Settle the Wreckage.

The list I came up with was very similar to one suggested by The Mana Source a few weeks ago, however I made a slight alteration to his list. Fast mana and card draw make this deck is capable of is obscene sometimes, and I’ve had a ton of fun tweaking the deck. I choose to included Conclave Guildmage as this elf allows us to have and army in a can, with this little 2/2 able to create 2/2 knight on demand thanks the amount of mana our elves can produce. It can also give our team Trample, which is a sure-fire way to close out the game once we have the team sufficiently pumped up.

Green/White Elves

Creatures (32)
Llanowar Elves
Pelt Collector
Druid of the Cowl
Thorn Lieutenant
Elvish Clancaller
Conclave Guildmage
Marwyn, the Nurturer
Steel Leaf Champion
Beast Whisperer

Enchantments (4)
Conclave Tribunal

Artifacts (2)
Vanquisher's Banner
Lands (22)
Sunpetal Grove
Temple Garden
Plains
13 Forest

Now this list is great, and I’ve had a lot of success with it in the early days of the new meta. I have however, found that it does have some issues. For one the deck is super vulnerable to sweepers like Goblin Chainwhirler and Ritual of Soot. It is also shutdown rather quick if the opponent has a run of target damaged based removal, as each of the individual creatures are rather weak on their own. Now if it has the right pieces it can recover quite well, thanks to the shear amount of card draw the deck is capable of. But sometimes this can be very difficult, especially if your opponent has an active Teferi, Hero of Dominaria.

However, there is another way you can build a Green/White deck in this new Standard season. You can go BIG, as Green Stompy decks have survived the rotation pretty well. They have even got some fun new toys to throw into the mix. Cards like Pelt Collector were made for this kind of strategy, where you just keep putting down bigger and bigger threats until your opponent runs out of answers. The Selesnya version of the deck also has a few extra tricks over the more traditional Golgari brews.

Firstly, Emmara, Soul of the Accord is a miniature power house in this deck. While I cut her from the Elf deck, she feels more at home in this build. For one we have more cards with Convoke in this version of Green/White, so we get more value out of her. Also, we don’t flood the board as quickly, so the 1/1 life linkers are more valuable to us. Speaking of Convoke, let’s talk about Venerated Loxodon. This Elephant was made for Pelt Collector as if we stack our triggers correctly, a convoked Loxodon will put two +1/+1 counters each on our little Experiment One impersonators that help cast it.

G/W Stompy

Creatures (31)
Llanowar Elves
Pelt Collector
Emmara, Soul of the Accord
Thorn Lieutenant
Shanna, Sisay's Legacy
Thrashing Brontodon
Steel Leaf Champion
Shalai, Voice of Plenty
Venerated Loxodon
Ghalta, Primal Hunger

Sorceries (4)
Adventurous Impulse

Enchantments (3)
Conclave Tribunal
Lands (22)
Sunpetal Grove
Temple Garden
Plains
13 Forest

After trying out this particular brew a few times on MTGO, I have to say it certainly fixes some of the issues that our elves where running into. With the inclusion of Shalai, Voice of Plenty, targeted removal is not as much of a problem. We are also not as affected by some of the more mid-range sweepers. However, the deck does have its own issues to deal with. For one, this version of Green/White is a lot slower and doesn’t have the explosive starts the elves can produce. Also, we don’t have as much card draw as the pointy eared warriors and can find ourselves falling behind if our opponent can deal with our threats as we resolve them. But I have to say, the prospect of smashing face with a turn 4 Ghalta is well worth the drawbacks the deck comes with.

Now I know neither of these decks come with a sideboard, but to be honest they were both so similar it just didn’t seem worth repeating them. If I was to recommend a solid sideboard for either deck, I would go with something like this.

(15)
Lyra Dawnbringer
Knight of Autumn
Vine Mare
Settle the Wreckage
Seal Away
Ixalan's Binding
Sentinel Totem

So, which deck would I recommend? Which is the superior build? Well thats pretty much up to you. Both decks are good, and I have had a solid win rate with both of them online. It just comes down to your play style and your local meta. If your up against a ton of control decks I would probably go with the Stompy deck. If however you have a fairly mid-range meta the Elves with be your best friends. The great thing is that both these decks have a lot of the same pieces, so you could try them both and see which one you like the best. Go nuts, it’s a new season and a brewer’s paradise.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s look into Guilds of Ravnica Standard. If you don’t want to miss out on all we do here at Master of Magics please like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do. Now if you will excuse me, I have an idea for a Scapeshift deck in Standard so until next time remember, Good Luck and Have Fun.

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