Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stupid Green Burn

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Stupid Red Burn archetype. Essentially you just pack as many Lightning Bolts, Lava Blasts and other really efficient burn spells into the deck. Keep the land count as low as possible and turns 1 through whatever, you just sling burn at your opponents dome,  ignoring virtually everything your opponents does. You let them know that right from the first land drop they’re in a race with you.

Stupid Green Burn, a simple deck idea a friend and I came up with, is the Mono-Green equivalent to Stupid Red Burn. Thanks to Planar Chaos’s tampering with the color pie, Green began to get a bit of Haste. Green already is known for its creature buffs... Giant Growth = Lightning Bolt? Not quite, but close.

Here’s the list:

4 Uktabi Drake
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Primal Forcemage
4 Boggart Ram-Gang
4 Ground Breaker
3 Timbermare

4 Might of Old Krosa
3 Evolution Charm
4 Giantbaiting
3 Gift of the Gargantuan

23 Forest

Well, lets start with the creature base. Most of the creatures have haste - only the Llanowar Elves and Primal Forcemages are excluded. Llanowar Elves in a monogreen deck should be no mystery. The Forcemages will bite the dust a whole lot more than you’d like them too, but they’re really worth it. They either eat a removal spell that would otherwise cost you a Groundbreaker, or they’ll net you and extra 3 damage or more. They beef up Groundbreakers and Timbermares quite nicely. Also, imagine this play:

Turn 1: Forest, Llanowar Elves, go
Turn 2: Forest, Primal Forcemage, go
Turn 3: Forest, Giantbaiting, tap your two elves to Conspire it, swing with two 7/7 Giant Tokens

Nice! And that happens quite often. Usually if your opponent lets you resolve a creature with the Forcemage still on the table, they’re in real trouble. The remaining guys are pretty self-explanatory, being the cream of the crop when it comes to Green dudes with Haste. Don’t worry too much about Echoing the Drakes. Cast ‘em on turn 1 if you have no other plays, but I prefer to save them for Turn 2, so I can Might of Old Krosa, getting in for 6 in the air, turn 2. It’s a rare opponent that can do anything about that. Even if they have removal, they’re going to save it, because they know you can’t pay Echo. Or, if you have the Forcemage, and a couple of Drakes, wait until you drop the Forcemage, then swing for 10 in the air on turn 4. Timbermare is great, as he is virtually impossible to block. And, like the Drakes, he rarely gets hit with removal if you don’t already have 6 mana up.

As for the spells, they too are fairly obvious, with the possible exception of Evolution Charm. I have to thank my friend Steven for this little piece of tech. It’s quite versatile, and all modes of the spell can be relevant. The land search is the least exciting and you’d rather not use it in that way, but sometimes the deck just needs it. Fair enough. The ability to give a creature flying can really make a difference. It lets Groundbreakers get past First Strike, for example. It’s just a way to force through damage, if you think your opponent is keen to start blocking. The most common use, for me at least, is to retrieve Groundbreakers or Drakes from the ‘Yard. This allows you to confidently play the Echo creatures even if you can’t pay the Echo. Think of those two creatures as one-shot Burn spells, not creatures. Don’t wait until turn 6 to drop the Mare. You can just get it back!

Giantbaiting is exceptionally well-suited to this deck. I do try to make sure I can Conspire it before I cast it, but I will cast it for one Token if I must. It’s basically just Green’s closest immitation of a burn spell.

Might of Old Krosa should nearly always be cast Main Phase, to maximize its effect. If you only need two more damage to finish your opponent, then by all means, go instant speed! But really, I prefer to just wait until my opponent isn’t able to block, or cast it on a Groundbreaker or Timbermare. Doubling them up on a Groundbreaker is particularly a fun (albeit risky) play.

Gift of the Gargantuan is a bit iffy. It was originally Harmonize but the 4 mana CC was awkward and difficult. I’m still not sure I really like Gift, but I need SOMETHING like it, and that’s the best effect I could find for the mana. I haven’t really been disappointed with it, so I’ve been happy to keep it in.

Basically, the deck plays very much like a mono-red burn deck. You can’t worry about the long game, as this deck doesn’t really have much long game, a typical trait of the archetype. That’s just an inherent risk in making the deck as aggro as possible. That’s not to say it can’t win past turn 6, but it’s difficult. Evolution Charm allows you to recycle a key threat, but that’s about it. If this deck had a sideboard, I’d probably put some Hurricanes or something in, as that’s the closest Green gets to an X spell finisher.


This is an old deck, and I wrote this little article up way before I actually started this blog. The blog was supposed to have been started much, much earlier but some personal stuff got in the way and I had to delay it for a while. In the mean time, I have a bunch of stuff pre-written and ready to go... I just use it as a mine for content when I run dry of inspiration...

That's not exactly why I posted this one, however, as I simply wanted to share the deck and see if I could drum up feedback on how to update it. Green is still getting a bit of Haste now and then, but I'm open to other ideas. Obviously Vengevine would be a phenom in this deck, as he is in almost ANY deck, but I don't have them, and can't afford them just yet. Putrefax seems cute with the Might of Old Krosa and Primal Forcemage pumps... I could also consider adding black for Tainted Strike (on a Groundbreaker, that's just sick!)

I dunno, what am I missing? I'd like to rebuild this deck somehow, but I'm looking for ways to change it up a bit...

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