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Nissa, Who Shakes What Zendikar Gave Her

Oathbreaker Competitive Mono-Green Ramp Superfriends Zoo


Nissa, Who Shakes the World alongside Green Sun's Zenith to play literally any highly impacting creature from our library. We explore the two best sides of Green: Giant behemoths and unfathomable amounts of mana.

The reason we want to run Nissa, Who Shakes the World is because we want to gain immediate access to a plethora of ramp. Merely by virtue of her board presence, each Forest effectively has ": Add ", which in of itself is immense power. We run our Signature Spell as Green Sun's Zenith because we want something to dump that mana into. The benefit of GSZ is that we get threats directly to the board. This basically turns the majority of our library into card advantage - All we need to do is pick and choose how to best fill out our space. As an example, I typically find the best 1st drop from GSZ is Hornet Queen because she puts 5x Deathtouch Flyers on the board to protect Nissa from incoming hostility. However, you may find you would like to expand some of your mana resources and perhaps look for an Elvish Archdruid , or maybe you'd like to step up your acceleration and go straight for Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger . The options are there are you can choose based on your immediate demands.

Now, you may wonder why I'm not running Genesis Wave . Here's why:

  • Green Sun'z Zenith allows me to specifically find what impacts the boardstate the best depending on my current situation.
  • Recovering from a boardwipe is easier when most of my big creatures are still tucked away in my library
  • I can tutor out smaller creatures like Priest of Titania or Llanowar Tribe with ease rather than "hoping" I get it off if GW.
  • Early game, I may end up pulling creatures with CMC > X, which does me no good. For example, if I X=7 and pull a Blightsteel Colossus , I don't get it.

It wouldn't be a Green deck without ramp. Here's a basic but powerful and effective combination of ramp singleton cards to put immediate pressure on anyone's game. As an honorary mention, I had Boreal Druid in here initially, but it wasn't until I saw another Oathbreaker deck that I realized Arbor Elf would be far superior thanks to both Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger :)

We also have a copy of Karametra's Acolyte in here because a lot of the heavy hitters have massive devotion and it's nice to get the extra mana where we can.

In addition to these, the land base also has a plethora of goodies at our disposal for massive gains.

We also run Blighted Woodland because it allows us to tutor out two Forests, which with Nissa on the field gives us the next turn when they untap.

Now, you may be asking yourself why we run Ancient Tomb , Shrine of the Forsaken Gods and Temple of the False God ? If we have Nissa, Who Shakes the World out and we replace these cards for a basic Forest , we'd net the same amount of mana? Well you would be right, but there are two key reasons here:

  • We may not always have Nissa out, and so lands that naturally tap for is a real benefit.
  • With Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger , these lands actually tap for .

Now the same holds true for if we are lucky enough to have both Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger and Nissa, Who Shakes the World out as our Forest s will all tap for . The difference here is this:

  • Without Nissa and no Vorinclex, we still have some 2-mana lands
  • With Vorinclex but without Nissa, we have access to a few 3-mana lands and a bunch of 2-mana lands
  • With Nissa and no Vorinclex, we have an entire base of 2-mana lands
  • With both Nissa and Vorinclex, we have an entire mana base of 3-mana lands

And so we find that they complement each other's powers and can both step in when the other isn't available. I find a good balance here, and that is why it is set up this way.

So, we need a means to protect Nissa, correct? Here are our early game drops and why they were chosen:

  • Deadly Recluse : I run a Gruulfriends deck in Modern where I have a playset of these and Thornweald Archer , listed below. They are GREAT at stopping any creature in their tracks because nobody wants to trade their 4/4 for a 1/2 or a 2/1.
  • Hornet Nest : Again, I've literally had combat crawl to a stop merely because people don't want to give me tons of flyers. You can't even bolt the dang thing, and I love that!
  • Kessig Recluse : While a lot better creatures can take this slot, for me the ability to have another Deathtouch / Reach creature with generous devotion is too good to pass up. Not to mention a 2/4 body is actually pretty sturdy, especially on a T3 drop.
  • Leatherback Baloth : A solid T2 drop. Nothing else to say here.
  • Predator Ooze : Yet another Indestructible blocker that later becomes an offensive force to reckon with
  • Scavenging Ooze : As a great utility card and a chump blocker in a pinch. Likewise if you find you have a few extra mana left over and can grab him with GSZ, literally why not?
  • Steel Leaf Champion : Another T2 play that our other Elves care about plus high devotion. Perfect!
  • Thornweald Archer : As mentioned above, I've personally had great success using these as chump blockers; Not to mention he's another Elf for my tribe.
  • Unyaro Bees : Let's be honest here, a T2 flyer with what is effectively Flamebreath, only better and in green? Not to mention full devotion? Not only can this thing dish out immense damage very quickly in a deck like this, it also is a T2 blocker in the air if need be. Perfect.

With these cards, we find a decent barricade between our opponent and Nissa as nobody wants to lose their big creature to a 2/1 spider.

Here comes the fun part; The meat of the deck! In this section we will discuss what creatures are chosen and why they have been chosen. We can further break down the Bombs into several different subcategories, giving us access to a plethora of play styles and responses depending on the current boardstate.


Sometimes you honestly just need to go wide. Between Gaea's Cradle and Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun , going wide additionally benefits us by opening up a ton of mana. If you find your opponent is going wide as well, throwing down an entire army of chump blockers for the cost of one creature is amazing. I'd like to give an honorable mention to my beloved Myr Battlesphere . He unfortunately didn't make the cut as I also need to consider devotion to green with regards to Karametra's Acolyte and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx .

  • Avenger of Zendikar : Because a board presence is always useful and he helps recover from wipes
  • Hornet Queen : As a first line of defense to protect Nissa, a slew of deathtouch fliers is always a great option in my book. Normally she doesn't see a lot of play because she is a difficult creature to hard cast, but in a deck like this I think she'll find a perfect new hive
  • Hydra Broodmaster : The nice thing about Broodmaster is that you can wait and dump mana into her when you have a lot more open. You can also do this in response to removal. Suppose you end up accumulating 22x . To cast Green Sun's Zenith for the first time and tutor out Broodmaster, it'd cost you a total of 7x . This leaves you open with 15x , which is a solid 7x 7/7 Hydra tokens. That's not too bad at all!


Given the speed and aggressive nature of this format, it would be ideal to have something with both Trample and Hexproof, if not at least just Hexproof. There are plenty of Planeswalkers who have kill abilities, an entire library of spells to kill or bounce, and even more ways to manipulate circumstances in our opponent's favor. To smooth these bumps out, you may find bring out some Hexproof creatures is well worth the investment.

  • Archetype of Endurance : Because the only thing worse than one creature with Hexproof is everything getting Hexproof while stripping it all away from our opponent's creatures.
  • Carnage Tyrant : A giant dinosaur who can be cast from our hand just as easy with added protection from counter spells? Yes.
  • Siege Behemoth : So let me get this right, he says: "Chump blockers? What chump blockers?" AND he has Hexproof??


So, the theory here is simple: A creature is only as good as it's board presence. Sometimes creatures die, and that sucks. Green doesn't really have recursion. However, it does have a handful of behemoths that are shuffled into their owner's library rather than being sent to the graveyard. To keep our Zoo going and our habitats healthy, here are some of the more deadly creatures that fit this theme.

  • Blightsteel Colossus : An alternate win condition that is super hard to remove? Sign me up all day.
  • God-Eternal Rhonas : The global Vigilance anthem is amazing, but what's even better is his ability to keep coming back for more. This means when he dies, we can Green Sun's Zenith the next turn to get more Vigilance out of him and keep the stampede going.
  • Worldspine Wurm : When he dies we get three giant 5/5 tokens, we shuffle him back into our library, AND when he's on the battlefield we nail down some sweet, sweet devotion - all on a creature who can win the game all by itself?? Absolutely freaking yes!


Sometimes you just want access to some seriously hard ramp while also having tremendous creatures. For those situations, we turn to the following:


These creatures basically make the rest of our creatures a force to reckon with, you know, more so.


We run three other Planeswalkers, each specifically chosen for their mana-producing abilities.

Simple: We are not actually looking to use any Planeswalker's ultimates. Basically the Planeswalkers were chosen for their abilities to either untap lands or to generate dorks. We have zero intention on using any other abilities on their cards, and thus do not need Doubling Season .

As for Parallel Lives and by extension Second Harvest and any other similar cards out there I may be missing or forgetting, again while going wide is great we are also seeking to impact the boardstate by abusing Green Sun's Zenith . By slipping in even a single Parallel Lives , we diminish a slot another highly impactful creature might be able to take up. We also have zero way to tutor out these types of cards, and so they sit as duds in the library if we never draw into them.

Now, for cards such as Cryptolith Rite , we don't want it in here for the exact same reasons; No ability to tutor it out and it becomes a dud slot since it can be taken up by a creature we can easily tutor out. Besides, our ramp is good enough ;)

I'd love to have something as a draw engine in here, such as Elemental Bond , but again it only helps if it's actually out. We also don't really need to draw if we are abusing GSZ. Basically, because we run GSZ as our Signature Spell, we can cut down on a lot of cards that would take it's place. It's just highly efficient this way.

  • ( O_O) ....
  • ( o-o) ....
  • ( ._.) ....

That's a good question.

What it comes down to is one basic part: I don't have enough room. In order to maximize the deck's flexibility, I need at least two creatures in each aspect that I can fulfill. Tokens are held by Avenger of Zendikar , Hornet Queen , and Hydra Broodmaster as an example. Then there is ramp, devotion, combat tricks... everything has a solid base and every creature has a place.

Now, I can put Eldrazi Titans into the combat tricks place, but here's the thing on that: I lose out on devotion.

Because I want high devotion (Three or more symbols if possible, such as on Worldspine Wurm ), I need to look specifically for green creatures.

I did make the exception for Blightsteel Colossus , honestly for several reasons:

  • Trample + Indestructible = extremely hard to stop. Neigh impossible with Archetype of Endurance on the field.
  • His tucking ability moves him to the library rather than the graveyard. I have a few other creatures that do that as well.
  • Infect = alternate win condition. Not really needed, but hey a second win condition outside of Craterhoof Behemoth is always welcomed!
  • His massive cost may lack in devotion, but it makes up for it in his massive body if I tutor out Selvala, Heart of the Wilds .
  • He's not as hated as the Eldrazi Titans. I find that when people play those, there is generally a lot of groans and bad vibes going around. Not many people run Blightsteel, so when he hits the field there is generally a happier vibe. Just overall better for the community, in my opinion.

I may reconsider Blightsteel Colossus as there are Eldrazi Titans that shuffle the entire graveyard back into our library - thus effectively rebuilding from a boardwipe. If I were to do that, there are two possible slots I can replace:

There is one issue however; All Titans care about when they are cast. Since GSZ cheats them out, I don't get their casting trigger. So, it's probably going to be a hard no on them. Sorry :/

He was in the original draft and may yet return. Probably take over Moldgraf Monstrosity 's spot if I am being honest here.

As a user in my comments section pointed out, I completely missed the fact Blightsteel Colossus can not be tutored out by Green Sun's Zenith , haha. Oops, my bad :) So Vigor is back in the game!! :D

I have decided to add Dryad Arbor into the list because I get so much utility out of her being on the field. Between being another +1/+1 for Craterhoof Behemoth 's anthem, being able to be untapped by my Planeswalkers, and being able to be tutored from Green Sun's Zenith since she is a creature, I just can not pass up this great addition to the deck :)


Updates Add


Date added 1 year
Last updated 3 months

This deck is Oathbreaker legal.

Rarity (main - side)

13 - 0 Mythic Rares

19 - 0 Rares

6 - 0 Uncommons

7 - 0 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 4.45
Tokens 1/1 Insect, */* Hydra, Nissa, */* Wurm, 1/1 Elf Druid, 0/1 Plant, 4/4 Beast
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Revision 11 See all

3 months ago)