Going Mythic with Mono Green in Explorer

Lucas Giggs
30/09/2022 · 9 min read

Introduction

Hello!

Today's article is going to be a little different. We're going to leave Magic Online and go to a world that is better known mainly by newer players and has some exclusive formats on the platform. Today we're going to Magic Arena.

I personally play more Magic Online, because it's my main source of income and Arena economy doesn’t allow that. But it has its positive points and is even trying to get closer to the existing formats on MTGO, as is the case of Explorer, which we're going to talk a little about.

Explorer is like Arena's Pioneer format (which actually seems to be Wizards' plan, to turn it into Pioneer, or vice versa, it's not quite clear yet), but without some of the format's strong cards, like Nykthos, Eidolon of the Great Revel and Dreadbore.

Mono Green and the Explorer metagame

Just like in Pioneer, Rakdos Midrange is one of the main decks in the explorer metagame , as is Mono Green. But in Explorer, without Nykthos, Green decks tend to play a lot more aggressively, taking advantage of the presence of eight elves to put pressure on the opponent in the early turns, and trying to abuse Collected Company. The list that I've been playing, which actually got me to Mythic rank in the last two months, is as follows.

Card choices

Llanowar Elves/Elvish Mystic

Llanowar Elves
0.03 Tix
$0.35
$0.35

The strongest play on turn one in Pioneer is still good in Explorer. This deck has multiple creatures with converted mana cost three that can end the game by themselves, and being able to play them a turn earlier is great for the deck's aggressive plan. In matches with a lot of removal  where we need more gas in the late game, we will end up taking out some copies.

Primal Might

Primal Might
0.02 Tix
$0.35
$0.4

This card has seen a lot of play in the old Standard stompy decks, and it has found a new home here. Great as removal and very good as a finisher, with the presence of Steel Leaf Champion and Old-Growth Troll it makes combat a nightmare for your opponent.

Scavenging Ooze

Primal Might
0.02 Tix
$0.35
$0.4

A card that isn't used much in Pioneer, but that plays a key role here against Rakdos and also Abzan Greasefang. Its lifegain ability can also be relevant against more aggressive decks, like Rakdos Sacrifice and Mono Red. This deck also makes a lot of 1x1 trades, and by recycling them with Ooze we get one of the biggest creatures on the battlefield after a few turns.

Werewolf Pack Leader

There's not much to say about this wolf. 3/3 for two mana that easily gives you card advantage. It's one of the best green cards printed in recent times.

Old-Growth Troll

Old-Growth Troll
1.09 Tix
$1.99
$1.68

Although it doesn't have power 5, to enable The Great Henge on turn 4, it's one of the best turn 3 drops. It goes through chump blocks, is resilient, ramps when it's removed, and is one of the best targets for Primal Might.

Lovestruck Beast

Lovestruck Beast
0.06 Tix
$0.35
$0.39

Lovestruck Beast saw some great moments in the past Standard format  and, while it isn't seeing much play in Pioneer, it still has a relevant role in Explorer. The Human token is a great target for our opponents removal, paving the way open for other cards. It's important to have a one-drop on the board, even if it doesn't ramp into higher drops, as it protects other creatures from Liliana of the Veil, one of the strongest cards in Rakdos Midrange. And of course, it is another card that allows us to play The Great Henge earlier in the game.

Rhonas, the Indomitable

Rhonas the Indomitable
0.1 Tix
$8.49
$7.29

Rhonas, the Indomitable, is a huge threat on the board with all of the 4-power creatures, or the ones that can reach it, like Werewolf Pack Leader and Scavenging Ooze. This card has already shown its power in Standard and it would be no different in Explorer.

Steel Leaf Champion

Steel Leaf Champion
$1.99

Steel Leaf Champion is another card that has seen its moments of glory and is even seeing some play in Pioneer currently. An extremely aggressive creature that is hard to block. Having 5 power also matters a lot here.

Collected Company

This card fits the list very well, easily putting a total power of 10+ on the board by turn 3 or 4. And all of them will be really powerful creatures that can end the game really fast in a few swings. Without a doubt one of the best cards in the list, which has already shown its power in multiple formats and which couldn't be absent here.

The Great Henge

The Great Henge
2.68 Tix
$69.99
$63.46

Throne of Eldraine was a memorable edition, with many cards having an absurd power level for the time and changing multiple formats. The Great Henge saw a lot of play in Standard and in this deck it finds a new home. With so many creatures with power 4 or 5, it is easily castable in the early turns, generating an absurd card advantage. It also allows us to gain life and pumps our creatures, which combined with Collected Company can be really disruptive.

Outland Liberator

Outland Liberator
0.03 Tix
$0.69
$0.83

 Artifacts are very present in Pioneer and Explorer would be no different. Is a key removal piece versus Witch's Oven, Fable of the Mirror Breaker, Esika's Chariot, Parhelion II, Fires of Invention, Leyline Binding, among others. Is always good to have at least some copies in the sideboard, since being Mono Green the deck becomes removal-deficient.

Tamiyo's Safekeeping and Heroic Intervention

Tamiyo's Safekeeping
0.01 Tix
$1.79
$1

The deck has a good match against control decks, but even so it doesn't hurt to have an extra resource against global removal like Supreme Verdict and Fateful Absence.

Heroic Intervention
0.39 Tix
$17.99
$14.49

Good options when your plan is not to overwhelm the opponent with The Great Henge but just to force as much damage as possible by crowding the board, in those cases is awesome having these cards as a safeguard to keep up the pressure.

Unlicensed Hearse

Unlicensed Hearse
26.53 Tix
$15.99
$12.54

As mentioned before, Abzan Greasefang is a real and very good deck in the format, and this is the best card against it.

Kraul Harpooner

Kraul Harpooner
0.03 Tix
$0.35
$0.25

We still don't have Skylasher in Explorer, but this insect does a pretty decent job against Spirits, a deck that is very present in the format and can eventually kill a Niv Mizzet Reborn or a Phoenix Chick.

Questing Beast/Shifting Ceratops

Questing Beast
0.96 Tix
$8.49
$5.78

More options against those decks where you need to put more pressure over your opponent. The beast is great at dealing with our opponents planeswalkers while keeping their total life under pressure. It is also "immune" to The Wandering Emperor which is also a plus in many matches. Shifting Ceratops really shines versus Spirits where it can be a real threat for them.

Shifting Ceratops
0.2 Tix
$0.35
$0.5

Sideboard guide

Below I will list the top decks of the format and how to sideboard against them.

RAKDOS MIDRANGE

  • - 2 Llanowar Elves
  • + 2 Primal Might

One of the main reasons to play the deck is to have a good match against one of the best decks in the format. Cards like Collected Company and, mainly, The Great Henge are almost unbeatable against this deck, which focuses a lot on making  one-for-one trades. We added more removal to deal with creatures like Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse (even with the possible drawback of losing the creature in the fight) and we took out some of the weaker cards (a couple of elves).

RED DECK WINS

  • - 2 Llanowar Elves
  • + 2 Primal Might

This is another favorable match-up, especially with the presence of Lovestruck Beast which can't be removed by Lava Coil and Abrade. RDW has historically had bad match-ups against decks with very large creatures and this deck has many of them. In addition, Scavenging Ooze provides the role of lifegain after resources have been expended. There are many cards that generate value, he rarely is able to keep up. Some cards like Goblin Chainwhirler can be tricky to deal with in combat, so we even took out some elves to minimize his impact. Against versions with Anax and Embercleave, we also want some copies of Outland Liberator to minimize the chance of having an unfavorable combat.

UW CONTROL

OUT:

  • - 2 The Great Henge
  • - 2 Primal Might
  • - 4 Lovestruck Beast

IN:

  • + 1 Tamiyo’s Safekeeping
  • + 2 Heroic Intervention
  • + 2 Shifting Ceratops
  • + 2 Outland Liberator
  • + 1 Questing Beast

Another match that I believe to be good for the deck. The ideal is to curve and play a heavy 3-drop on turn 2. Lovestruck Beast is a vulnerable card, because depending on another 1/1 to attack can be dangerous against Portable Hole. Passing a turn without attacking is a way to lose this game, so we add some Outlanders that attack for 3 vs the classic draw / go scheme that UW control usually tries to play. Having protections against wrath, and creatures with intimidate that kill planeswalkers is really helpful in this matchup.

ABZAN GREASEFANG

OUT:

  • - 4 Lovestruck Beast
  • - 1 The Great Henge

IN:

  • + 2 Unlicensed Hearse
  • + 3 Outland Liberator

A tough match-up in G1 if we don't get a Scavenging Ooze out soon, but it gets better post-sideboard. The good news is that a lot of lists don't run any removal in the main, so starting with Elf->Ooze is a really good plan, because it gets big enough that there's no really efficient way for Abzan to deal with it. Against versions with more removal like Assassin's Trophy, the Henge plan isn't really good, since even if we fill the board with our creatures, we will still be exposed to attacks from the air with Parhelion.

RAKDOS SACRIFICE

OUT:

  • - 4 Llanowar Elves
  • - 1 Rhonas the Indomitable

IN:

  • + 3 Outland Liberator
  • + 2 Primal Might

A difficult match depending on the number of creatures stolen and how much damage the Mayhem Devil does. We want 4 Primal Mights because we need to take the devil off the table anyway. We don't care much about Witch's Oven and Cauldron Familiar because we have creatures with evasion. Collected Company shines by putting surprise attackers at the end of the turn and The Great Henge is also almost unbeatable, generating resources, power and life.

MONOBLUE SPIRITS

OUT:

  • - 4 Collected Company
  • - 1 Lovestruck Beast
  • - 1 The Great Henge

IN:

  • + 2 Primal Might
  • + 2 Kraul Harpooner
  • + 2 Shifting Ceratops

Mausoleum Wanderer's presence makes Collected Company almost uncastable, so it's not a good plan here. Resolving a Ceratops gives you a very good advantage, as it makes his combat phase much harder. Keeping the pressure is also key here, your attacks are much better and you have enough resources to keep you alive from the aerial attacks.

MIRROR

  • - 2 Scavenging Ooze
  • + 2 Primal Might

It's essential to open with an elf here, because playing a creature on turn 2 puts a lot of pressure on him. The board usually gets locked, so cards like Collected Company and The Great Henge put you ahead of the game. The best creature to unlock the game is Rhonas, which can attack and is favored by being indestructible and with a deathtouch, always taking some creature in combat. If possible, remember to keep Boseiju in hand, to use it against The Great Henge and also against their Lair of the Hydra.

MonoGreen Stompy is a very aggressive deck, with resiliency and resources to grind any deck in the format, especially Rakdos Mid. I believe it to be a great choice for the Explorer. Until next time!

If you liked this article maybe you will also find interesting on of the following ones Standard Esper Midrange Guide By Mogged, How to beat the Standard metagame with Esper Midrange by Mogged

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Lucas Giggs
MTG Streamer
Hi, my name is Lucas de Almeida Hervás. I'm 31 years old, married, and I live in Indaiatuba/SP, Brazil. I've been playing Magic the Gathering since 2009, but I've been making a living off of it since 2019 through leagues and tournaments on Magic Online. For those who don't know me, I'm 2.17 meters tall, hence the nickname "the tallest Magic player in Brazil."

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Published: 2022-09-30 00:00:00

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