There are a lot of fantastic staples that you’ll want to include in most of your green Commander decks. Cards like Harmonize, Beast Within, and Eternal Witness are well-known and well-loved, but when playing a mono-color deck you don’t have access to the easy tools from other colors. You have to think outside the box. So in this article I’ll discuss some of the best ways to support a mono green Commander deck.
A lot of the cards in this article are expensive mana-wise, but it’s important to remember that green is the single best color with regard to ramp, so keep that in mind for my picks.
You can build Commander decks around any theme or strategy, and mono-green isn’t an exception. This article won’t discuss specific strategies, because that’s up to the deckbuilder. However, there are three things that every EDH deck needs to be successful:
- a good mana base
- strong utility cards
- game finishers
Let’s dive into some of your best options for each one.
Just because you’re in one color, that doesn’t mean you can just put 36 Forests in your deck and call it a day – to keep up with multicolored decks, you have to ramp. Being in mono-color, however, does mean you never have to sacrifice much to play several colorless mana rocks, like:
Other decks might need colored mana rocks like Arcane Signet, but that’s not the case here. This section will describe some of the other options available specifically to a mono-green plan.
Mana dorks like Llanowar Elves and Birds of Paradise are favored by all decks that play green as efficient ramp. However, there are a couple of options that only really work in mono-green, but work really, really well.
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary effectively doubles the number of forests you control, leading to some explosive turns. Karametra’s Acolyte allows you to take advantage of the strong devotion mono-color decks feature by turning it into mana.
Fetching lands is generally a less powerful but more consistent way to ramp. Hermit Druid tutors for basic lands (which you’ll always have a lot of). Oracle of Mul Daya pulls them from the top of your library, allowing you to draw into better spells.
Skyshroud Claim is one of the best ramp spells for mono-green because it puts two Forests into play untapped, meaning it isn’t a dead turn like Cultivate or Explosive Vegetation are when you cast them on curve.
Caged Sun is clearly designed for mono-colored decks, but in mono-green, it shines well above the rest. It’s much easier to ramp up to than in other colors and gives you twice as much mana to dump into a Protean Hydra, for example.
However, you still have plenty of useful cheaper options you can use. Here are just some examples:
- Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
- Temple of the False God
- Jungle Basin
- Blighted Woodland
- Tranquil Thicket
- Castle Garenbrig
In most multicolored decks with green, green is just your source of big creatures and ramp. In a mono-green list, it also has to be your source of protection, removal, card draw, and so on. This section will describe some of the less aggressive mono-green options for protecting your game plan. It’s a longer one, so I’ll split it up into a few sections.
Green often struggles with good card draw, but Lifecrafter’s Bestiary’s first ability helps set up better draws. Since green is all about casting creatures, it’s second ability helps you obtain them.
Sometimes you don’t even need to draw. Cards like Eldritch Evolution, Chord of Calling, and Green Sun’s Zenith tutor whatever creature you need into play. You can also use Birthing Pod-adjacent effects like Yisan, the Wanderer Bard to cheat out big creatures.
Green provides you with a number of big creatures, but sometimes you can’t turn them sideways for fear of getting attacked in return. Seedborn Muse eliminates this problem by turning your attackers into blockers, while avoiding tap effects like Capture Sphere. Of course, it also provides lots of mana if you can spend it on your opponents’ turns.
Hornet Queen, on the other hand, gives you five blockers in the air and on the ground that nobody will want to attack into; find a way to recur Hornet Queen to keep your side of the board as uninviting as possible.
Having lots of good creatures won’t help you if an opponent deploys a boardwipe. Heroic Intervention will protect you against most board wipes once, while Asceticism makes you pay to save each creature but can be done repeatedly.
Temur Sabertooth protects itself for two mana while bouncing another creature to your hand – a rare effect in green, and powerful when combined with Hornet Queen, Acidic Slime, or other powerful ETB effects.
Protecting your creatures is one thing, but in commander (and Magic in general), interaction is key. Ultimately, past Beast Within, you have limited options.
Back to Nature is a versatile piece of artifact and enchantment removal, as well as providing limited graveyard hate. Bane of Progress is a board wipe for artifacts and enchantments, and leaves a big body behind. Scavenging Ooze provides you with repeatable graveyard hate while buffering your life total and growing itself.
Green is known for its numerous fight effects, from Prey Upon to Ram Through to repeatable effects on creatures like Thorn Mammoth. Perhaps the best creature removal in green, however, is Song of the Dryads. It’s especially nasty to play on someone’s commander, where you can nullify its abilities and prevent it from being re-cast.
One of the other difficulties green faces is speed. You can ramp, but you risk running out of tempo, especially since green is vulnerable to removal. Concordant Crossroads helps eliminate some of those fears by letting threats attack on the turn they come down.
Mono-green rarely cares about doing things on opponent’s turns, so City of Solitude can slow the game down to your pace while disrupting your opponents’ turns. Alternatively, you can speed up your own deck with cards like Yeva, Nature’s Herald and Vivien, Champion of the Wilds, casting creatures on your opponents’ combat or end steps.
Game Finishers / Win Conditions
In the last section we talked about the less aggressive tools green has to offer. This section is the opposite: the most aggressive and powerful options to slot into your mono-green deck; cards that can win you the game outright or at least turn the tide.
How can we start off with anything but the hugest of creatures? Worldspine Wurm is a disgusting threat to play, assuming you can get to eleven mana. A 15/15 trampler that dies into three 5/5s AND lets you redraw it is in its own league of value. Pair it with Avenger of Zendikar to create a wide board, turning your dead late-game land draws into buffs
Vigor is another option: it protects your creatures from damage and turns your board from a snowball into an avalanche.
Craterhoof Behemoth is in a league of its own – you can tutor for it out of nowhere and turn your whole board sideways, often winning the game immediately. Speaking of tutoring, you can cast Tooth and Nail with its entwine cost to pull Craterhoof out of your deck with another mean creature like Vigor, put them onto the battlefield, and watch your opponents scoop.
But green is not just known for huge creatures. It’s also distinguished by cheap cards with a lot of value and efficiency. Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig, Questing Beast, and Steel Leaf Champion are just monstrous threats to play early, often overtaking your enemies quickly and with ease.
No matter how large or numerous your creatures are, however, sometimes you just need that extra push to deal with issues like lifegain decks. If you lack morals, Triumph of the Hordes is that push. It can get your creature in and sweep your opponents up in a wave of infect. You’ll be happy to play this—and everyone else will be very sad. (Overrun is a less degenerate option that is similarly only really good in mono-green.)
There are myriad good green cards out there, but when it comes to a successful mono green Commander deck, you have to get creative. Finding the tools, support, and win conditions is a daunting but rewarding task.
I hope the sections above give you some inspiration. What are your favorite mono-green cards and commanders? What great cards did I miss? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
If you like playing green in Commander, you should definitely check out Commander Collection: Green, as it contains 8 very good cards that you might use. Some where even mentioned in this article.