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Mono Green Aggro Budget Highlander By Tyler Woolley

Hello, and welcome to a new article series regarding everyone’s favorite quirky format, Canadian Highlander!

Canadian Highlander has gone through a ton of evolution locally here in Victoria, and I feel like it can be tough for the locals to remove themselves from our meta game, which is high powered, with a huge percentage of the decks containing dual lands , power 9 and other pricy, hard to obtain cards.  However, when we were building our community, it was not like this at all.  It was actually rare to see a piece of power played against you, and not just because of how many points they were.  Back in these days, deckbuilding was a great challenge, as there was no data at all to go off of, other than some wacky 100 card singleton lists from MTGO.  Our group played for years before power became commonplace, so please, do not let this deter you from building a deck, and inviting your friends to do the same.  The reason expensive cards have become so commonplace now is simply a testament to both how great the format is, and how much people have enjoyed playing and building their pet decks.  CE power and other staples have skyrocketed in price, and are now unattainable for a portion of people who may be interested in playing our terrific format.  So what are these players to do?  When they post decks for assistance, the major deck builders of the format may offer help, but the help might be way outside of the price range of both them, and of their playgroup.  To aid with that, I am starting a semi regular column here, to assist with cheap deck building, along with identifying staples within these decks, and ways to upgrade the deck as the format grows within your playgroup, or as you are able to devote more funds to the deck.   For our first offering, I wanted to start with something aggressive.  While Mono red would be the default choice, I wanted something a little spicier, and with a little more diversity.  I present to you, the mono-Green Aggro Machine!


With a total cost of under 130 dollars (USD using TCGplayer  Median pricing data), this is a great start into highlander at a very low cost.  Not only that, but this deck clocks in at the FULL 10 points!  Let’s discuss some of the thought that went into building the deck.

My inspiration for the decks comes from two main sources.  1) one of the highlander OG’s Mike Harrison used to play a version of this deck back in the vintage (no points) highlander days, and would absolutely smash everyone.  I believe he once won 3 or 4 tournies in a row, some matches against broken combo decks stuffed full of power.  And 2) it throws me back to one of my very favorite standard decks, mono green Scryb ‘n’ Force, from time spiral era standard (Shout out to Sean Tambo). Mono green aggro has one very simple goal: Smash your opponent with creatures that are hyper efficient for their mana cost, and/or suit up one of your many evasive/protected threats to push through blockers.   There are many different routes you can take this kind of deck down, (land destruction sub-theme, tribal elves) that you can absolutely explore as well, but for now I’ve stuck to the most basic, cheapest version that still packs a mean punch!

First off, lets talk about our point spread.

(5) Natural order:  Natural order is an absurd magic card.  In this deck, (as with many others) its main function is going to be getting a craterhoof behemoth to end the game in short order.  In a pinch, it can fetch you enchantment/artifact removal from reclamation sage, graveyard hate from scavenging ooze, or a pseudo cryptic command effect from Timbermare.

(3) Sol ring.  In a non budget world, this would be a Mox emerald, but sol ring still fits in great here.  It allows you to deploy your 4 and 5 drops well ahead of schedule, or allow you to play multiple spells in the same turn early in the game.

(2) Strip mine  Strip mine gives the deck some “free” win potential.  Going mana elf into a 2 drop and a strip mine on turn 2 is a devastating sequence that a lot of decks will struggle to catch up to.

Next lets talk a little bit about potential matchups!


Your creatures will generally be larger than others, and you are not taking any damage from fetch lands or shocklands, which lets you race well. Prioritize suiting up a creature and starting to race ASAP., as you should be able to keep up with any other aggressive deck speedwise but they may have access to removal, which you dont.


Tempo decks should be among your best matchups.  A lot of your threats are hexproof, or uncounterable, which leaves tempo decks in an awkward spot to try to keep up with your board presence.


Combo decks are likely your worst matchup. , as you will generally have trouble interacting with them outside of a small amount of artifact hate.  Even if you are up against combo-control , you just have to go as fast as possible, and not worry about if they have a wrath of god effect.  Try to kill them before they can develop the game into an inevitable state.


Control decks are a bit of a mix between combo and tempo.  You have great threats that line up well against control, but you also have sequence them properly, and not overextend into a board sweeper.  Use your haste creatures sparingly, and use the flash creatures to your advantage to make them play on their turn as much as possible.

Non budget options for the deck:

Monogreen really benefits from the best equipment.  Adding jitte (at the expense of removing strip mine pointswise) would be a good upgrade, as well as sword of fire and ice, and sword of feast and famine.  Noble Hierarch is the best possible accelerant for the deck, and would be a welcome addition to our ramp suite.  Also the notorious Tarmogoyf, which has plummeted in price, but is still quite expensive, would be right at home as an efficient 2 drop.

Monogreen does contain a number of format staples that you want to have in your highlander collection, especially if you tend to enjoy playing green.  It is a fun, aggressive deck that can hang a loss on any deck if they don’t come prepared.

Did I miss any of your favorite green beaters in the list?  Did you like or dislike this article as a whole?  Let me know in the comments, on facebook or via twitter (@oldubzy)  Thanks for reading!