Mono Green Aggro with Rancor and Dungrove Elder

July 10, 2012 | Posted by Dee

Last month, Carrie Oliver put Mono Green Aggro on the map by winning a World Magic Cup Qualifier (WMCQ) with the deck and then writing some articles about it on Channel Fireball, a popular Magic strategy site.

I trust her advice about the deck because she’s been playing and tuning it for a while. In her latest article, she gives us a version of the deck for post Magic 2013 (M13) Standard.

She added two of the best cards in M13, Rancor and Thragtusk, so I definitely think the deck got better. Check out her decklist below.

Mono Green Rancor Aggro
Creatures (23)
Spells (13)
Lands (24)
Sideboard (15)

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Rancor is perfect for the deck because it shores up the deck’s biggest weakness, a lot of chump blockers. The M13 enchantment gives you a cheap but powerful way to negate the effectiveness of chump blockers.

Trample is green’s version of evasion and it’s really good with big creatures like Dungrove Elder.

A deck like Naya Pod can litter the board with a bunch of creatures and just chump block Dungrove Elder until it gains control of the game with Birthing Pod.

Rancor makes that strategy a lot worse because the blockers just get trampled over. You’re able to deal more damage with your attacks, which allows you to kill your opponent quickly before he can gain control.

Sword of War and Peace gave the deck some evasion but Rancor is better. It’s a lot cheaper and it keeps your creature from being chump blocked by non red or white creatures.

One of the best starts in M13 Standard is going to be turn one mana creature into turn two Strangleroot Geist and Rancor. You’re attacking on turn two for four damage and your threats are resilient to most removal spells.

If your opponent destroys Strangleroot Geist, it comes back as a 3/2 and Rancor goes back to your hand. You can simply spend one mana again to recast Rancor and buff up the creature again.

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Thragtusk is great for the deck because it’s good against a tough matchup, Zombies. The life gain from this creature helps you stay alive versus Geralf’s Messenger and Blood Artist.

Also, Thragtusk can recoup the life lost from Dismember. There’s only one copy of the M13 creature, but you can search for it with the 4 Green Sun’s Zenith.

In the comment section of Carrie’s article, some people talked about adding 1 Birds of Paradise and cutting 1 Llanowar Elves. This seems like a good idea. I think you would rather have evasion than one power.

You have Rancor to boost the power of Birds of Paradise and it can fly over ground creatures like Blade Splicer and Huntmaster of the Fells.

I like Predator Ooze for a couple of reasons. First, it combos very well with Rancor.

Second, it gives you a creature that’s good against Blade Splicer’s Golem token. Because of first strike, the Golem shuts down the trample ability of Rancor when you use it on a creature with low toughness.

For example, the Golem can hold off a Strangleroot Geist with a +1/+1 counter and four Rancors. Even though it’s an 11/2 trampler, it will die to first strike so you won’t be able to deal any trample damage. Predator Ooze is indestructible. First strike doesn’t do anything to it.

Third, Predator Ooze shrugs off pinpoint removal like Go for the Throat and Gut Shot and it survives board wipe spells like Day of Judgment and Slagstorm.

I like Ulvenwald Tracker as a repeated source of removal that can be tutored with Green Sun’s Zenith. The creature combos well with most of the cards in the deck.

12 Responses to “Mono Green Aggro with Rancor and Dungrove Elder”

  1. Drinne on July 10th, 2012 8:07 pm

    I’m not sure how Rancor gives protection from white and red creatures, am I missing something obvious?


  2. Dee on July 11th, 2012 1:24 am

    Hey Drinne,

    I’m talking in short hand. I’ll try to be clearer next time. :)

    What I meant is that it can’t be chump blocked by non red/white creatures.

    I changed the wording from “blocked” to “chump blocked.”

    Does that make sense? I want to be clearer with my writing for all levels of MTG players.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. David on July 11th, 2012 9:40 am

    thoughts on 2-3 mental missteps out of the board to combat basically everything?

  4. Dee on July 11th, 2012 12:43 pm

    Seems too narrow unless you have a lot of Delver decks in your metagame.

    But test it and find out. I could be wrong.

  5. Gabriel on July 18th, 2012 10:19 am

    Hi Dee, my Green Infect was doing good, started out 4-0 on FNM, but got OWNED, by a zombie aggro deck with 4 Lillianas and 4 Obliterators D: Any suggestions? Or do i have to splash blue in to get negates and mana leak on sideboard?

    I also lost to RG aggro but i got mana screwed and then he destroyed one with acidic slime -.-…plus abundant blockers and fast damage helped a lot, thanks again!

    I also have this deck And i like it ^^, having ltos of creatures is awesum :D

  6. Dee on July 18th, 2012 10:28 am

    Hey Gabriel,

    Can you leave a comment with your infect deck on the infect post?

    Then, I can help you on the comment section of that post.

    I don’t want this post to be cluttered with off-topic stuff. Thanks!

  7. Adrian on July 24th, 2012 11:19 pm

    Hi Dee, was wondering if you can do a breakdown on the sideboard. Am a bit of a loss on what all the cards do. I know Thragtusk would be good vs Zombies. Ratchet bomb vs Tokens and Thrun vs Delver. Crushing vines is also ok but what about Garruk, Beast withing etc? Cheers.

  8. Dee on July 26th, 2012 6:44 pm

    Beast Within: ramp and control

    Crushing Vines: Delver (this kills equipment, Delver, and Restoration Angel)

    Garruk Relentless: control, probably mirror match to kill Tracker

    Ratchet Bomb: tokens

    Prey Upon: other Birds of Paradise decks

    Thragtusk: Zombies, red burn, decks with mass removal

    Thrun, the Last Troll: counterspell decks like Delver

    Triumph of Ferocity: control

    Wolfir Silverheart: decks with Bonfire of the Damned

    I hope that helps!

  9. Tony on July 29th, 2012 1:09 am

    Hey Dee,

    I was wondering what you would use in lieu of birds and dungrove once they rotate?…

  10. Dee on July 30th, 2012 2:38 am

    You can replace Birds with Arbor Elf, but I don’t think there will be a good replacement for Dungrove in Return to Ravnica (the new set that brings in the rotation in October).

    Return to Ravnica is a multicolor themed set so it won’t have a card like Dungrove that needs to be played in a Mono Green deck to be effective.

    Unfortunately, Dungrove is one of the most important cards in the deck so I think the deck will get a lot worse after the rotation.

  11. NiHell on August 13th, 2012 11:47 am

    If Vinelasher Kudzu is reedited it might be the replacement for Dungrove although not the perfect replacement :o

  12. Daviss on August 22nd, 2012 1:53 am

    you could replace dungrove with prim hydra thats what i am using cause i dont have any dungrove. that would help?