Mining Modern - Budget Steel Leaf Stompy

Feature Article from Corbin Hosler
Corbin Hosler
5/7/2018 11:00:00 AM
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I've talked before about how it feels like I'll never run out of decks for Mining Modern. Between new sets revitalizing old archetypes, creating entirely new ones or just causing a seismic shift in the Modern metagame, it seems there will always be another deck to record with.

Which makes it a little less surprising that I've never recorded with Mono-Green Stompy despite it having been on my radar for actual years at this point. And it turns out that was for the best, because Mono-Green Stompy is no more. This is Steel Leaf Stompy now, and it stomps quite well.

And, you know, Ghalta, Primal Hunger. Nothing stomps harder than that.

The best part? The entire deck clocks in at under $100, an absolute steal (leaf)for a deck capable of taking down FNM.

This deck has existed on the fringe of Modern for years, but it may finally be getting its time in the limelight thanks to a few recent cards printed. The one-of Ghalta, Primal Hunger is basically all the fun you have in Modern, but it's also quite easy to cast the card on turn three and use it to end the game on turn four.

But even that doesn't change the deck quite the way Steel Leaf Champion does. The Dominaria standout is already making waves in Standard, and now it makes the move to Modern, where it teams up with distant cousin Leatherback Baloth to provide what is frankly an absurd top end for this already aggressive deck.

Mid
Low
 Steel Leaf Champion
$4.20
$0.03
Store QTY Price  
StayaWhileGames 1 $0.03
Play House 1 $3.00
Hero Comix 1 $3.00
Gardner Game Knights 1 $3.06
CobbMagicCards 1 $3.11
Jessejamescards 1 $3.11
Card Pro Games 1 $3.19
mtgmintcard 2 $3.39
Swan Sales 2 $3.40
Rex Yofays Deals 2 $3.49
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Steel Leaf Champion Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

The plan is straightforward but powerful. Play an aggressive one-drop in Experiment One, which grows up to be quite the beatdown, or the utility Dryad Militant or Kessig Prowler, which offer two power for one mana while having their own upsides. You follow that up with a big two-drop, either Strangleroot Geist, Kalonian Tusker or the patently silly Avatar of the Resolute, which is a huge creature that for some reasons comes attached to trample and reach. At the top end you find the Baloths, Steel Leaf Champion and Groundbreaker, which are giant bodies that can end the game in a hurry.

The best part of the creature base is how interchangeable many are. All have their own advantages and disadvantages – undying from Strangleroot Geist is huge – but at some point they just exist to flood the board and give a body to the host of finisher pump spells you play. Rancor is, well, Rancor – it's been the one of the scariest auras ever since it was printed back in Urza's block. Vines of Vastwood does its best Infect impression here, serving chiefly to protect your big creatures but doubling up as a pump spell to end the game.

But nothing tops Aspect of Hydra. A forgotten card from Born of the Gods, it turns out to be the perfect fit here. Our deck makes roughly infinite devotion to green, which means this is often +6/6 or more when you cast it to end the game in the Blink of an Eye.

Throw in some solid sideboard options – and it's hard to overstate how huge Damping Sphere, another soon-to-be mainstay from Dominaria, is for this deck – and you have a deck more than capable of keeping up with some of the top decks in the format. I've watched this deck go 5-0 at FNM several times, so if beating all your friends with a budget brew is your thing, well, Ghalta away.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88




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