Golgari Guildgate 1
Overgrown Tomb 4
Sylvan Caryatid 4
Elvish Mystic 4
Scourge of Skola Vale 2
Mistcutter Hydra 3
Kalonian Hydra 3
Corpsejack Menace 4
Vastwood Hydra 2
Hero’s Downfall 3
Golgari Charm 4
Abrupt Decay 4
This is my version of a monster/control deck that I’ve been playing and evolving since the release of Theros.
It’s concept and design are pretty simple; Build bigger critters and control your opponent’s battlefield. If the draws work in my favor, and I don’t get mana screwed, I average a 71% win ratio and generally place in the Top 10 during FNM.
This deck is built around the Corpsejack Menace, one of the most underrated cards in the Ravnica Block. Corpsejack was built for Hydra deck play. The Elvish Mystic and Sylvan Caryatid are great mana ramps. Generally speaking, I can have a Corpsejack out by turn 3, Kalonian Hyrda by turn four, then a Mistcutter Hydra out by turn 5.
Vastwood Hydra is also a great fit for this deck. When the Vastwood dies, it’s counters are moved to another creature. Triggering the Corpsejack Menace, this means twice the counters on Vastwood will be placed on target creature when the Vastwood dies. If the Vastwood is sacrificed to the Scourge of Scola Vale, four times the number of counters on the Vastwood will be placed on the Scourge if Corpsejack Menace is in play.
The key is to stack the attacking Kalonian Hyrda triggers with the Corpsejack Menace. But make sure you cast your Mistcutter Hydra before attacking with the Kalonian Hydra.
Gild is a great card for controlling your opponents Gods after their devotion turns them into creatures. Abrupt Decay is perfect for dealing with Detention Spheres or a Banisher Priests.
The Golgari Charm is the Swiss Army Knife of this deck. I’ve used it to wipe the board of soldier tokens created by Elspeth and Elemental tokens from the Master of Waves. Hold one in your hand to save your creatures from a Supreme Verdict with the charm’s regenerate ability.
Timing is everything though. If you’re going to destroy the Detention Sphere placed on a Kalonian Hydra, wait until your opponent’s end step. This will put the Kalonian back on your battlefield during their turn, meaning it won’t suffer from summoning sickness during your next turn.
The biggest draw back for this deck is also the reason it plays so well. Centering around the Corpsejack Menace makes the Corpsejack a target. This is another reason to have a Golgari Charm in your hand.