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Budget Magic: $97 Mono-Green Stompy (Modern)

Hey there, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! Mono-Green Stompy is a classic budget archetype. In fact, it was one of the very first Budget Magic decks we ever played, back in 2015. Over the past seven years, it has gotten some huge upgrades like Steel Leaf Champion and Werewolf Pack Leader. Yet, Modern has also gotten a ton faster and added a bunch of powerful removal spells like Fatal Push, Leyline Binding, and Unholy Heat. Are the upgrades enough to let Mono-Green Stompy compete in 2022 Modern? Is our sneaky Groundbreaker tech enough to steal some wins? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Budget Magic: Mono-Green Stompy

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The Deck

Mono-Green Stompy is an aggro deck. Its goal is to play the most efficient and powerful green creatures possible, protect them with Vines of Vastwood, pump them with Rancor and Aspect of Hydra, and beat our opponent down for the win!

The Creatures

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For an aggro deck, getting a creature on the battlefield as quickly as possible is important, so we have three different one-drops in our deck. Dryad Militant is a holdover from the original 2015 version of the deck, as a Savannah Lions with the upside of lightly hating on the opponent's graveyard, but the other two are new additions to the deck. Pelt Collector replaces Experiment One, growing the same way but with the upside of triggering when creatures enter the battlefield and die and eventually gaining trample. It's pretty easy to get it up to a 3/3 early in the game, and it can become as big as 5/5 thanks to our high-powered three-drops. (It works especially well with Groundbreaker, which will grow it twice—once when it comes into play and once when it sacrifices itself on our end step.) Speaking of Savannah Lions with upside, our last one-drop is Hexdrinker. Its base rate of being a Savannah Lions is fine in an aggro deck, and we can slowly upgrade it into a 4/4 and eventually a 6/6 mini-Progenitus if we have some extra mana, although leveling up can be risky since our opponent can always kill it in response. Still, since we don't have a ton of card advantage, it is very possible we'll run out of cards in the late game, which makes Hexdrinker a nice mana sink.

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The big new addition to the two-drop slot is Werewolf Pack Leader. Back in 2015, we were playing Kalonian Tusker, which is basically the same card as Werewolf Pack Leader but as a vanilla creature. Werewolf Pack Leader's ability to draw us cards and even pump itself makes it a Kalonian Tusker on a ton of steroids. Otherwise, Strangleroot Geist offers haste, and our opponent often has to kill it twice thanks to undying, while Scavenging Ooze isn't above the curve on stats, but the flexibility of offering lifegain and graveyard hate and growing itself throughout the game makes it solid against a lot of different decks.

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Finally, for three mana, we have Steel Leaf Champion and my favorite super-old new addition to the deck in Groundbreaker. Steel Leaf Champion just offers good stats, a bit of evasion, and three green mana symbols, which is important for a reason we'll talk about in a minute. As a 5/4 for three, it's pretty above the curve, even in 2022 Modern. As for Groundbreaker, one of the biggest problems with Mono-Green Stompy in 2022 is that the format is overloaded with powerful removal. In a world of Solitude, Fury, Fatal Push, Unholy Heat, Prismatic Ending, Leyline Binding, and friends, it just isn't that easy to keep creatures on the battlefield. Groundbreaker—probably better known as the green Ball Lightning—avoids this problem by not trying to stay on the battlefield. It comes down with haste and trample, hopefully smashes the opponent for six damage, and then sacrifices itself, which sort of makes it like a weird green burn spell that needs to attack to deal damage. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of Groundbreaker is that opponents don't expect Mono-Green Stompy to hit for that much hasty damage, which often makes Groundbreaker a great way to close out the game by surprise if our opponent lets their life total get a bit too low.

Other Stuff

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Rounding out our main deck are a few spells to help buff and protect our creatures (and also Dismember, as a removal spell that we can cast in a Mono-Green deck thanks to its Phyrexian mana cost). Aspect of Hydra is one of the best and scariest cards in our deck, pumping a creature equal to our devotion to green for one mana at instant speed, which often means it's giving a creature +5/+5 or more for one mana. Look at a typical curve for our deck. A one-drop on Turn 1, Strangleroot Geist or Werewolf Pack Leader on Turn 2, into Steel Leaf Champion on Turn 3 gives us six green pips on the battlefield, meaning a single Aspect of Hydra will give +6/+6 on Turn 4. If we can also play a Groundbreaker on Turn 4, it will be +9/+9, which hopefully will be enough to kill our opponent on the spot! Ideally, we'll build a big board of creatures, swing out, and use Aspect of Hydra on whatever creature goes unblocked to finish the game!

Meanwhile, Rancor offers a bit of pumping and also trample, making it a great way to get big creatures like Steel Leaf Champion past blockers, while Vines of Vastwood not only pumps but also gives us a way to fizzle targeted removal spells thanks to the pseudo-hexproof it offers. Oh yeah, one last thing on Vines of Vastwood: it's worded in a really odd way. If you read it carefully, you'll notice it says "target creature can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control." Since it doesn't specify that we can only use it on our creatures, this means we can use Vines of Vastwood on our opponent's creatures to fizzle one of their own abilities! For example, a Hammer Time opponent flashes in a Colossus Hammer and tries to equip it with Sigarda's Aid. We can Vines of Vastwood in response, to fizzle the hammer equip! So while the main reason we have Vines of Vastwood in our deck is to pump and protect our own creatures, it's important to keep in mind that using it on an opponent's creatures is a game-winning line in some situations!


Record-wise, we finished 2-3 with Mono-Green Stompy, although, if you actually watch the games we played with the deck, you'll see that all of our losses were incredibly close. Each went to three games, and with a bit more luck, we easily could have won at least one (and maybe two) more games. As such, even though 2-3 isn't a great record, the deck felt like it was probably a bit better than its record suggests.

As far as changes to make to the budget build of the deck, I wasn't all that impressed with Scavenging Ooze. It mostly felt too slow, even in matchups where we really wanted graveyard hate, like against Living End. On the other hand, Groundbreaker was both hilarious and surprisingly strong. Next time I take the deck out for a spin, I'm planning on dropping the Scavenging Oozes and adding two more Groundbreakers and maybe one more land.

So, should you play Mono-Green Stompy in 2022 Modern? I think the answer is maybe. The deck felt decent for a budget deck despite its slightly losing record, and we did get to see the archetype's power. Aspect of Hydra is absurd; the new additions, like Werewolf Pack Leader, Steel Leaf Champion, and Hexdrinker, were great; and Groundbreaker was a solid surprise finisher. On the other hand, we also got to see the archetype's downsides. Against Rakdos Midrange, we came incredibly close to winning only for our opponent to find a Fury to kill our board and stabilize, and we saw other new removal spells like Leyline Binding help keep our Cascade opponent alive. Basically, Mono-Green Stompy felt like a solid budget archetype but like it was fighting a pretty hostile meta. I think the deck could 5-0 a league when we hit the right matchups and get the right hands, although it also seems possible to run into a bunch of Fury and Solitude and 0-5. I think that this is a good option if you like beating down with green creatures and throwing around pump spells, or if you have the original Mono-Green list from 2015 and are looking to upgrade, although I'm still not 100% sure just how competitive Mono-Green Stompy is in 2022 Modern.

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To get Mono-Green Stompy down near $50, we take a page from the 2015 Mono-Green Stompy book by adding Experiment One and Avatar of the Resolute to the deck over Hexdrinker and Scavenging Ooze, giving us a bit of a +1/+1 counter subtheme. We also have to cut some of the more expensive cards from the sideboard, like Torpor Orb, Heroic Intervention, and Thrun, the Last Troll, although, thankfully, they are pretty easy to replace with Snakeskin Veil for protection and Creeping Corrosion to fight artifact decks. All in all, I don't think there's a huge drop in power from the budget build to the ultra-budget build, although some of the sideboard cards might be missed in specific matchups, and Hexdrinker does occasionally win a game by itself if our opponent doesn't have removal and we can level it up fully.

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Finally, for our non-budget build, we manage to sneak a little bit of red mana into the deck with the help of fetch lands and shock lands so we can play a playset of Blood Moon in our sideboard, which should help us pick up free wins against some greedy decks. While the creatures in the deck stay mostly the same, we do get one big addition in Endurance which gives us some main-deck hate against graveyard decks. Otherwise, we get some fringe upgrades, like Force of Vigor as our sideboard artifact hate and Choke to fight control decks over Thrun, the Last Troll. The only problem is that the upgrades bring the cost of the deck from under $100 to over $700. I definitely wouldn't recommend spending that much money just to upgrade Mono-Green Stompy, although this does seem like a sweet build.


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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