Mono green has several big weaknesses that are seemingly unforgiving and render this deck unviable.
- No initiative cards
- No strong and game winning spell cards (not quite true but we'll touch on this later)
- No mana 6 cards outside of curse of atrophy (lol)
- Arguably the worst color at generating gold
The first 3 points are really major and glaring weaknesses in the constructed meta. Green does not have many spell cards because green is THE creep color. Green thrives off large creeps and going wide. However, when cards like Annihilation, At Any Cost, Coup de Grace, Duel, etc. exist and it can be hard to ever go wide or set up a board. This problem is compounded by the fact that green can never win initiative, meaning a mono green player will often have to lose massive value in a lane to cards like Annihilation or pass in a previous lane just to hold initiative, therefore giving up the previous lane instead. HOWEVER, there are ways around this, allowing mono green to actually play the game instead of being a big blue button clicking bot:
- DEPLOYMENT: if you want to play mono green you WILL have to learn how to perfectly deploy.
- JUST DON'T GIVE A F*CK ABOUT INITIATIVE (except when you have to)
- THE FAKE OUT: a.k.a. will I race to 80 this game?
I cannot stress enough how important deployment is for green. I will be spending the most time in this part discussing deployment because it's that important for this archtype. Bad deployment is much more unforgiving for green than other colors and blink dagger is NOT an answer. Blink dagger sets up plays for mono green but it does not fix mistakes for mono green. So what does good deployment look like?
Well as always, it depends but there a few key factors to take into consideration when in the deployment phase listed in order from most important to least important.
- Is it going to be mana 4 or 5 this turn and are Rumusque Blessing and/or Mist of Avernus in play?
- Is there an empty lane and/or can my opponent lock me out of a lane with initiative and spell cards?
- NEVER overcommit to a lane unless you're winning the game that turn in that lane.
- Hero passives
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH IS POTENTIALLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS ENTIRE GUIDE
The first two deployments on mana 4 and 5 are potentially game changing because these are the turns when Mist of Avernus, Rumusque Blessing, and to a lesser extent, Unearthed Secrets are going to be netting the most value. These 3 cards are all key cards and if you draw them early you should be using them to push an early lead. If you draw Rumusque Blessing in your opening hand you should be looking to hit a 2 hero Rumusque Blessing on turn 2 (mana 4) 99% of the time, EVEN IF this means leaving a lane empty because the hero in that lane died turn 1. As a result, on turn 2 (mana 4) or turn 3 (mana 5) you should be looking to deploy your hero in the lane with AT LEAST one other hero and preferable the lane with the most creeps in it. Getting a big Rumusque Blessing off on turn 2 or 3 CAN BE GAME WINNING and this is the #1 thing I look for when deploying early with Rumusque Blessing in hand. This is a big paragraph because I'm really not joking. Doing this is essential to consistently winning with mono green and this is the first thing you need to learn how to do properly when learning to play mono green. Everything I said so far also applies to Unearthed Secrets and Mist of Avernus but are less important. For Unearthed Secrets, if you played it early you want it to get as much early card draw as possible. This means trying to ensure that the opponent can hit your tower in that lane. You also want to maximize mist value, especially on heroes since those attack buffs will be permanent. The ideal situation is lane 3 having an alive hero and getting double creep spawn with Mist of Avernus on the lane, and then deploying lane 3 and using Rumusque Blessing on that lane for a super buffed early lane that will steam roll into a victory. However, it can be okay to deploy away from a Mist of Avernus lane. Often your opponents will deploy to defend a Mist of Avernus lane, and deploying elsewhere (regardless of creep spawns) can fake out your opponent and let you win the other two lanes.
Point #2 is obvious and a normal fundamental that all players engage in. Make sure you have heroes in all lanes to play cards and if you are forced to choose between being locked out of one lane or another, think carefully about the benefits and risks of each. However, the fact the green lacks initiative makes it extra important to think about this. You don't have ways to get back initiative and it's very possible that the opponent will start every lane with initiative in a single round. As a result, you may deploy thinking you have only lost one lane, but then you find yourself losing all your heroes in 2 or even 3 lanes. It's better to be locked out of one lane for sure than to risk being locked out of all the lanes.
However, Point #2 needs to be balanced with Point #3. Never overcommit, especially when Annihilation is in play. When playing mono green for the first few times, you may feel like the best move is to take out towers before my opponents can deal with the lane. This thinking will often net you one tower, but it almost always leads to losing the game. Taking out a tower on mana 5 is great, but if you had to commit 3 heroes to that lane and then you get Annihilation the next turn, expect to see the loss screen. When deploying, resist the urge to race down towers fast, as mono green can actually survive long games and isn't about creep rushing towers. Mono green is about patience and reacting to your opponent, not rushing 80 on the ancient with creep spam and all-ins.
Finally, consider hero passives. Drow Ranger is the big one, because the +1 damage is very important to have maximum uptime on. As a result, always look to deploy Drow Ranger in a lane where she won't instantly die. The exceptions to this are the above 3 points. Chen is another big passive. If you think Chen will be surviving in a lane for a long time, you need to think ahead as to where you're going to need the creep steal the most, especially since Chen will only get 1 steal off most games.
B.) JUST DON'T GIVE A F*CK ABOUT INITIATIVE
There are times when you want to hold initiative and pass, but one of the early mistakes I made when learning mono green was PASSING TOO MUCH. You really only need to hold initiative when you need to get off Intimidation, Gust, Hand of God, or an 8+ mana creep. There several other instances when you should hold initiative but you will learn those with practice and they are less important. These 4 are the big ones. If you're not looking to play one of these in the near future, DO NOT worry about initiative. In fact, mono green often wants to be playing reactively after your opponent uses mana. This lets you safely set up Savage Wolf or respond with a proper creep block. Probably 50% of my losses to mono red are due to me actually having initiative when I didn't want it, and letting my opponent set up an uncontested Red Mist Pillager. Learn to stop caring about initiative because if you care about initiative, you're going to hate playing mono green. You will get Annihilated game after game by mono blue. You will get Primal Roared every mana 7+ by mono red. You will get Coup de Grace every round after mana 6 against black. Don't worry about it. Mono green doesn't give a f*ck about those spell cards. Trust me. If you're that worried, skip to Part IV: Match Ups.
C.) The Fake Out
When I first started playing mono green, almost all my wins came from going 80 in one lane. If green can set up a wide board it can ramp up damage super fast with Mist of Avernus, Emissary of the Quorum, Drow Ranger, and even tech cards like Arm the Rebellion coming into play. Not to mention Thunderhide Alpha hitting for a whopping 25. If the opponent doesn't have Annihilation then this can be unstoppable. But my winrate at this period in time wasn't great and I found that better players would either stop me from getting an out-of-control wide board in one lane, or they would just 40 the other two lanes faster.
Now, over 60% of my wins come from taking out two towers as opposed to going 80 in one lane. I've found that the best way to play mono green is to always threaten 80 while rarely ever going for the 80. By doing this, you can often cause the opponent to overcommit their resources to the lane that threatens 80. Meanwhile, you send all your heroes over to the other two lanes for an easy win, rather than going for a base race that relies on you praying for good arrows and creep spawns. There was a period in time where I truly believed green's main win condition was going 80 with Emissary of the Quorum or Thunderhide Alpha or Mist of Avernus. All I found was 50/50 coin flips on creep spawns and arrows deciding if I won or lost. If you don't like arrows, don't play in a way that relies on arrows. Going 80 with mono green often relies on arrows. Bear in mind though, that you will need to go 80 some games, and sometimes the opponent will let you. It's important to always threaten the ancient but it should not be your primary goal. And as mentioned earlier, you never want to overcommit to a lane, and trying to force 80 often results in overcommitting to a lane.
This part of the guide requires the most explanation but is the least important unless you truly plan on converting to mono green. The next 3 parts are considerably shorter or at least more digestible to read, so skip to those if you want to get to the juicy stuff on heroes, cards, and matchups.
SneakyPanda is the best mono green player in Artifact. He turns memes into dreams.