The Spirit of EDH – Nissa, Vastwood Hypocrite

Banner

Hello everyone! I’m Literally a Ghost That Pushes Over Candles and welcome back to The Spirit of EDH. This week, we’re slimming down from three colors to one to take a look at a mono-green deck. Well, mostly. Before I get into that more, let us take a look at the decklist:

Creatures (23)
1 x Fyndhorn Elves
1 x Ulvenwald Tracker
1 x Scavenging Ooze
1 x Courser of Kruphix
1 x Eternal Witness
1 x Rhonas the Indomitable
1 x Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
1 x Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma
1 x Karametra's Acolyte
1 x Nylea, God of the Hunt
1 x Oracle of Mul Daya
1 x Thought-Knot Seer
1 x Bane of Progress
1 x Steel Hellkite
1 x World Breaker
1 x Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
1 x Artisan of Kozilek
1 x Void Winnower
1 x Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
1 x Kozilek, the Great Distortion
1 x Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
1 x Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
1 x Emrakul, the Promised End
Spells (36)
1 x Ancient Stirrings
1 x Collective Voyage
1 x Green Sun's Zenith
1 x Sensei's Divining Top
1 x Utopia Sprawl
1 x Broken Bond
1 x Endless Atlas
1 x Life's Legacy
1 x Lignify
1 x Nature's Way
1 x Regrowth
1 x Setessan Tactics
1 x Sword of the Animist
1 x Sylvan Library
1 x Unravel the Aether
1 x Beast Within
1 x Cultivate
1 x Kodama's Reach
1 x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
1 x Song of the Dryads
1 x Transmogrifying Wand
1 x Defense of the Heart
1 x From Beyond
1 x Momentous Fall
1 x Pir's Whim
1 x Asceticism
1 x Shamanic Revelation
1 x Traverse the Outlands
1 x Rishkar's Expertise
1 x Akroma's Memorial
1 x All Is Dust
1 x Boundless Realms
1 x Scour from Existence
1 x Wave of Vitriol
1 x Ezuri's Predation
1 x Praetor's Counsel
Commander
1 x Nissa, Vastwood Seer

Planeswalkers (3)
1 x Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury
1 x Vivien Reid
1 x Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Lands (37)
1 x Ancient Tomb
1 x Blighted Woodland
1 x Eye of Ugin
22 x Forest
1 x Ghost Quarter
1 x Homeward Path
1 x Mirrorpool
1 x Mosswort Bridge
1 x Memorial to Unity
1 x Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 x Reliquary Tower
1 x Scavenger Grounds
1 x Sea Gate Wreckage
3 x Wastes

Animist’s Spellbook

This deck is the epitome of customization. Utilizing the same pieces I have for removal, ramp, and protection, you can replace most of the actual finishers with whatever you fancy. So, for this deck tech, we’re going to talk about the tools mono-green has access to for a deck like this one, then discuss the finishers I have, and finally, we’ll talk a little more in-depth than usual about changing the deck around to suit your own needs!

Nissa herself is more of a utility-piece than a mainstay of the deck. On her front, she makes sure that you hit your land drop after playing her by fetching you up a basic Forest. Once you play your seventh, or later, land, she transforms into a planeswalker. Her plus ability will net you a card, or ramp you if the card was a land, can create a 4/4 to protect herself, and her ultimate animates 36 power worth of lands to toss at your opponent. What this card really offers us is a steady source of card advantage for a mono-green deck and so we will move forward with that idea.

Green Sea

Now, since colorless is not a color, our deck is considered mono-green. In practice, however, the deck plays a little like it has a splash in the form of colorless-costing cards. Cards like Thought-Knot Seer, Kozilek, the Great Distortion, and Mirrorpool we do need access to colorless sources, not just green. It is something to keep in mind while you’re searching up lands that there will be times you need access to two or three colorless mana.

Ramping Up to Threats

1 x Fyndhorn Elves
1 x Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
1 x Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma
1 x Karametra's Acolyte
1 x Oracle of Mul Daya

1 x Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury

1 x Ancient Tomb
1 x Blighted Woodland
1 x Eye of Ugin
1 x Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 x Utopia Sprawl
1 x Collective Voyage
1 x Broken Bond
1 x Sword of the Animist
1 x Cultivate
1 x Kodama's Reach
1 x From Beyond
1 x Pir's Whim
1 x Traverse the Outlands
1 x Boundless Realms

Selvala, Heart of the Wilds – A creature that acts as ramp that also can be a steady source of card advantage? Sign me up! Now, Selvala does have the downside of drawing your opponents cards if they play the largest creatures, but because you’re playing green, that shouldn’t really be a problem. Selvala then Goreclaw draws you a card and sets you up for Kozilek the following turn, provided you have 5 lands. That’s some strong ramp.

Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma – Speaking of Mother Bear, Goreclaw is an insane piece of ramp that can double as a pseduo-finisher. Every creature that costs 6 or more mana gets the 2 mana discount from Goreclaw with only one exception, Bane of Progress, and she also decreased the cost of both Thought-Knot Seer and Nylea, God of the Hunt. In addition to her ramping power, Goreclaw can also grant trample to all your big threats, if you didn’t draw Nylea or Rhonas, and allow you to crash in for leathal.

Broken Bond – One of several cards that serve two functions, Broken Bond is a Rampant Growth that you can only play if you also have a target to Naturalize. Thankfully, due to mana rocks, this isn’t difficult early and still serves a strong purpose. The dream is alive and well to Naturalize your opponents Sol Ring and ramp yourself.

Traverse the Outlands and Boundless Realms – These cards serve two purposes. In addition to ramping you a lot, by increasing your land count to nearly every basic you have in the deck, it also thins your deck out significantly. Green has card draw, sure, but not an overabundance of it. This means filtering your draws is a very real benefit of these cards and being able to play two Eldrazi titans in a turn is just another function of them.

Foreseeing Your Future

1 x Courser of Kruphix
1 x Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
1 x Oracle of Mul Daya
1 x Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
1 x Kozilek, the Great Distortion

1 x Vivien Reid

1 x Memorial to Unity
1 x Sea Gate Wreckage
1 x Sensei's Divining Top
1 x Endless Atlas
1 x Life's Legacy
1 x Sylvan Library
1 x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
1 x Momentous Fall
1 x Shamanic Revelation
1 x Rishkar's Expertise
1 x Praetor's Counsel

Courser of Kruphix and Oracle of Mul Daya – Playing lands off the top of your library is one of the most consistent forms of card draw that green has access to. Instead of drawing a land next turn, you can play that land off the top and draw something else. This means you had access to two cards instead of just drawing the land normally, which helps you get better access to the rest of your deck. This isn’t even counting other powerful interactions with cards like…

Sensei’s Divining Top and Sylvan LibraryNissa, Sage Animist‘s first ability allows you the ability to draw an extra card or ramp yourself a free land. With cards like these, you can make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck, putting back a land to get it out of the way, effectively netting you a second draw. This same trick is repeated with Courser and Oracle as well, putting nonland cards into your hand and the lands back so you can play them off the top.

Sea Gate Wreckage – Running out of cards is a very real danger with decks that have access to so much mana. Consistent card draw is an important tool to have access to, and Sea Gate Wreckage is one of those. Sure, you can only draw if you’re empty-handed, but when you are empty-handed, you’ll be happy that you have access to card draw every turn, even past what your commander offers.

Praetor’s Counsel – The power of a mass-Regrowth can’t be understated. After some time has passed, this card can easily be a draw-10 or better. When you can ramp into a card like this and keep a full grip with cards like Kozilek, the Great Distortion or be able to immediately rebuild from a wrath, you know you’ve found real power.

Odds, Ends, and Removal

1 x Ulvenwald Tracker
1 x Scavenging Ooze
1 x Eternal Witness
1 x Thought-Knot Seer
1 x Bane of Progress
1 x Steel Hellkite
1 x World Breaker

1 x Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

1 x Ghost Quarter
1 x Homeward Path
1 x Mirrorpool
1 x Mosswort Bridge
1 x Scavenger Grounds
1 x Ancient Stirrings
1 x Green Sun's Zenith
1 x Lignify
1 x Nature's Way
1 x Regrowth
1 x Setessan Tactics
1 x Unravel the Aether
1 x Song of the Dryads
1 x Transmogrifying Wand
1 x Defense of the Heart
1 x Asceticism
1 x Akroma's Memorial
1 x All Is Dust
1 x Scour from Existence
1 x Wave of Vitriol
1 x Ezuri's Predation

Ulvenwald Tracker, Nature’s Way, and Setessan Tactics – Green has two types of creature removal, one being fighting. Ulvenwald Tracker is repeatable fighting, Nature’s Way allows you to get in for a solid hit of damage, and Setessan Tactics can turn your board into a wrath on someone’s end step. In each of these cases, its important to have your big creatures already out to pave the way for a single swing.

Lignify and Song of the Dryads – The other type of removal green has access to for creatures is turning things into trees. Lignify cuts off all their abilities, turning them into a relatively useless 0/4 and Song of the Dryads can turn any permanent into a Forest. In some situations, these can be even worse than just removing or exiling something, since they don’t have the option to just re-cast their commander. They have to have removal for your enchantments, or their commander can just be stuck as a tree for the game.

Regrowth and Eternal Witness – Regrowth effects are another powerful part of green’s arsenal. Being able to replay your removal, get back a dead creature, or find a land that was just destroyed is something only green can do. Sure, other colors can get back a subset of card types, but green is the best at getting back any card type you have.

Bane of Progress, Steel Hellkite, Ugin the Spirit Dragon, All is Dust, Wave of Vitriol and Ezuri’s Predation – What green does not have a lot of is sweepers. The good news is a combination of the sweepers green {does} have and some colorless answers work great together. Bane of Progress and Wave of Vitriol deal with a surplus of artifacts and enchantments, Ezuri’s Predation will take care of any creature with 4 or less toughness, with some other benefits and caveats, Steel Hellkite can wipe all of a certain converted mana cost off an opponent, and Ugin and All Is Dust will take care of anything that even dares to have a color. Between these and the ability to regrow them, you should never be at a loss for one.

Bombs and Bomb Replacements

For my Green-C deck, I’ve chosen to include Eldrazi as my finisher of choice. Not because they’re the most effective at it, as Craterhoof alone is a more bog-standard finisher for a reason, but because of the story ties between the Eldrazi and Nissa. I always liked the idea of Nissa wielding the Eldrazi to destroy her foes after having released them, hypocritical though it may be. For this reason, I included all five legal Eldrazi titans, as well as Void Winnower, Artisan of Kozilek and World Breaker.
Your choice of finisher can be anything from “what I have in my binder” to a total shift of theme. If you’re going to drop the colorless splash, consider one of the following:

Big-Land themes, with Crash of Rhino Beetles, Ulvenwald Hydra, Budoka Gardener, Multani, Yavimaya’s Avitar, Nissa Worldwaker, Kalonian Twingrove and Scute Mob

Mono-green Devotion, with cards like Gigantosaur, Primalcrux, Cloudthresher, Khalni Hydra, and Reverent Hunter backed up by Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and some land tutors.

Living-Lands themed with Sylvan Advocate, Sylvan Awakening, Earthen Arms, Nissa, Vital Force, Nissa Worldwaker, Vastwood Animist, Waker of the Wilds, and Rude Awakening

Otherwise, cards like Triumph of the Hordes, Craterhoof Behemoth, Thunderfoot Baloth, Rampaging Baloths and Woodfall Primus are all solid, generalist inclusions.

Parting Thoughts

Mono-colored decks sometimes have a bad reputation for being too narrow, or not having enough room to move around much. While it is true that a lot of your support pieces will tend to look the same as another mono-colored deck of the same color, everything else is as flexible as you want it to be. It truly can be as custom built as you want, even your threats are flexible!

So tell me, what did you think? Did I offer information you thought was helpful, raise some insights you might not have thought of, miss stuff you thought I should mention, or any other thoughts I didn’t call out? Leave a comment below to let me know, or you can haunt me directly on Twitter (@FrigglishTGhost) or spook my email (AMillionDifferentColors@Gmail.com).
Make sure you join me next week, where I’ll be talking about Nissa! The flip-walker, of course.

Until then, may the Spirit of EDH possess you with creativity.
— Literally a Ghost that Pushes Over Candles

Stay up to date on everything MTG Deck Techs:

Comments

Comments are closed.