Magic the Gathering: Arena - Daily Reward Grinding Deck (Golgari)



@stHeretic and a few of our IRL buddies were having a discussion about how best to farm the daily wins in Magic the Gathering: Arena yesterday. I commented that my Golgari Saproling deck (Black/Green) based off the pre-made deck Saproling Swarm has felt rock-solid at spamming games on the ladder to get my daily wins, so I decided to track my game progress today with time stamps along the way and at key wins (like #4 for the last instance of 100+ gold for a win) to see how long it took to get all 15 daily rewards. My decklist was as follows:

3 Slimefoot, the Stowaway (DAR) 205
9 Swamp (M19) 269
1 Woodland Cemetery (DAR) 248
3 Saproling Migration (DAR) 178
8 Forest (M19) 277
3 Yavimaya Sapherd (DAR) 189
2 Deathbloom Thallid (DAR) 84
3 Poison-Tip Archer (M19) 220
2 Spore Swarm (DAR) 180
2 Costly Plunder (XLN) 96
3 Fungal Infection (DAR) 94
3 Vicious Offering (DAR) 110
3 Tendershoot Dryad (RIX) 147
2 Twilight Prophet (RIX) 88
4 Foul Orchard (M19) 251
3 Vraska, Golgari Queen (GRN) GR8
2 Memorial to Folly (DAR) 242
1 Forest (RIX) 196
3 Sporecrown Thallid (DAR) 181

In an effort to see how truly fast things could be, I settled on a self-imposed “no mulligans” rule; given the variety of win conditions in the deck, I figured it’d probably be alright and a fun challenge. I also decided I wouldn’t scoop unless I would die the following turn, so I took every loss the distance. My rank was a little less than halfway through Bronze 1 when I started; my results were as follows:

Start Time: 10 October 2018, 1207 CDT

  1. Win
  2. Win
  3. Win

Timestamp: 1218 CDT

  1. Win
    • really slow opponent who was never ahead but used 2 timeouts and dragged the game out, 4th win (last one worth 100+ gold), finished at 1232
  2. Win
  3. Win

Timestamp: 1242 CDT

  1. Win
    • long, hard-fought game vs. Boros, finished at 1300
  2. Win
  3. Win

Timestamp: 1310 CDT

  1. Win
    • Rank Up to Silver 4
  2. Win
  3. Loss
    • Terrible draws, still stuck on 3 lands turn 7 vs. Gruul Stompy/Dinosaurs despite a decent opening hand
  4. Win
    • another long, hard-fought game vs. Boros

Timestamp: 1338 CDT

  1. W
  2. Loss
    • would have taken a mulligan, also vs. Stompy (which is a hard win for this deck on a good draw)
  3. Loss
    • single-land hand, would have taken a mulligan, vs Aurelia/Mentor-based Boros
  4. Win
    • 2nd-hardest game of the day, very long match vs Dimir Pirates, finished at 1408
  5. Win

End time: 1413 CDT
Four wins time: 25 minutes (550 gold, 22 gold/min)
Total time: 2 hours 6 minutes (750 gold and 6 ICR, ~6 gold/min)
Record: 15-3 (83.3% winrate)

Despite being in Bronze 1, moving well into Silver 4, and maintaining a >80% winrate, I never once faced a Silver player; most opponents were Bronze 1 and 2, with a handful in Bronze 3 and even a pair in Bronze 4. This is likely to do with the deck strength based matchmaking currently in use rather than a traditional elo system.

The beauty of the deck having a number of viable openers and methods to build a winning army is I don’t feel like I have to mulligan often (throughout this series, there were only 2 games I for sure would have taken a mulligan on, and 2 others I would have considered a mulligan given the option).

I used a handful of mythics in my deck that might prove problematic or intimidating to commit to for anyone wanting to run the exact decklist (I am currently out of mythic wildcards thanks this deck), but I think subbing in Murders for the Vraskas and a card of your choice for the second Twilight Prophet would probably be fine and not overly-impact the deck’s effectiveness. The Tendershoot Dryads are non-negotiable rares (in my opinion) as they are an excellent win condition more often than not, so the commitment for the budget version of this deck would be 2 rare wildcards (for a pair of Tendershoot Dryads) and 5 uncommon wildcards (to sort out the other key players: Slimefoot, the Stowaway and Sporecrown Thallid). Memorial to Folly is also optional, but it’s only uncommon and it single-handedly saved one of the games for me while only costing me 2 additional uncommon wildcards. Lastly, for the big spenders (or those who love the Golgari Swarm) it’ll take 4 mythic wildcards if you want to get the Vraskas and an additional Twilight Prophet.

I won’t be able to go 15 wins deep every day in the near future, but I’m going to keep a running log of when I play and how my run to 4 wins goes for the next few days; if you have any ideas for improving the deck, or a decklist you’d like to contribute to the discussion, feel free to drop a comment.

Catch y’all on the Planes,

Individual Days’ Results

Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

Aggregate Results

  • These are compiled from every game I’ve played this deck on the ladder from 10-15 October 2018 (no cherry-picking)

Record: 31-10 (75.6% winrate)
Four wins time (average): 36 minutes (~15 gold/min)

Magic the Gathering: Arena - Early Singleton Deck (Selesnya)

Day 2 results

Start Time: 11 October 2018, 1559 CDT

  1. W vs. Bronze 1 Azorius Artifacts
  2. W vs. Bronze 1 Gruul Dinosaurs
  3. W vs. Bronze 1 Izzet NPE?
    • turn 5 concede
  4. L vs. Bronze 2 Golgari Exploration
    • nasty combo; was completely controlled once it was up and running
  5. W vs. Bronze 3 Mono-black NPE?
    • turn 5 kill

End Time: 1645 CDT
Total Time: 46 minutes (~12 gold/min)
Record: 4-1 (80%)

About 40% into Silver 4, and still no sign of any Silver-tier players despite another 80% winrate day. I’ve decided to add player tier and opposing deck makeup to the metrics I’m keeping to look for various trends as well as to see how long it takes for higher-tier players to pop up. People in the later afternoon seem to play a bit slower, and 3 of those 5 games took actual effort. I didn’t hold myself to any rules like “no mulligan” and such, but ended up not taking any as my hands were all pretty solid. The Golgari Exploration deck managed to get up and running before I could kill him, and once it was I was hard-contained with no solution, so I conceded at 26 health knowing it’d be a waste of time to press on after trying to sneak a solution through for 5 or 6 turns.


What’s the exchange rate for my Hearthstone cards?


There is none, but considering the above was accomplished based on free cards and a $5 investment in the “new player mtx bonus” thingy (not sure if it actually mattered, but I did do it), you should give the game a try on the free and see what you think.





Day 3 results

Start Time: 12 October 2018, 1543 CDT

  1. L vs. Bronze 1 Dimir Surveil
    • Mana flooded
  2. L vs. Bronze 1 Simic Mermaids
  3. W vs. Bronze 2 Mono-blue Control/Surveil
  4. W vs. Bronze 2 Dimir Pirates
  5. L vs. Bronze 1 Golgari Saprolings
    • Mana flooded
  6. W vs. Bronze 1 Simic Mermaids
  7. W vs. Bronze 3 Izzet Control/Burn

End Time: 1629 CDT
Total Time: 46 minutes (~12 gold/min)
Record: 4-3 (57%)

Welp, today was a much less kind day. 2 losses to mana floods in what might have otherwise been winnable games and another to a colossal misplay on my part (I misunderstood an interaction and died for it; the game wasn’t going amazingly, but I wasn’t necessarily dead to rights either). Players were moving a bit faster this afternoon, and the mana floods were easy concedes for me (turn 5 holding 5-6 mana still despite playing one every turn both times) as my opponents were off to the races and dealing damage and I was staring at a my huge tracts of land. Again, no sign of any Silver-tier players, and I actually lost some rank given all my opponents were lower than me (less for winning; bigger penalty for losing) and my record wasn’t great. Despite this, it took the exact same amount of time today as it did yesterday, even though I got in two additional games. Hopefully I got all the mana floods out of my deck for a couple days so I can just play some normal games; today dropped my aggregate winrate below 80%, and that just feels bad.


I love this write up and the usefulness of this thread but I’m sad that my hilarious song drop didn’t garner any reaction.


Full disclosure: I haven’t listened to it yet; I will react accordingly when I get off work tomorrow.


Thanks for the post. I started playing 2 days ago and was a bit overwhelmeld since the last time i played magic was like 20+ years ago :wink: I tried to get all the cards but still miss a view but the deck allready works more often then not.

so far i think i maybe have like 50% wins but i dont keep track like you do. still rank bronze 4.


Just had a nice evening session…80% wins :slight_smile: Do you think this deck could be modified to be competitive in singleton?


I run G/W in Singleton to combat the Rat Colony decks and to give myself a few more win options and sustain (white life gain is so stronk). The deck style is similar (lots of little things with a few key players) and uses some of the major pieces from this Golgari deck. The trouble with running this specific style is you’re really banking on having a ton of Saprolings out along with Poison Tip Archer and/or Slimefoot and one of your big win conditions like Tendershoot or Twilight Prophet; getting that to happen when there’s only one of each in the deck is unreliable, at best.

I’ll toss a thread up later this evening with the deck list I ran during the opening weekend Singleton tournament (should be relatively-easy to acquire cards) and @mention you on it :wink:


5/7: p. good


Day 4 results

Start Time: 13 October 2018, 2036 CDT

  1. W vs. Bronze 2 Gruul Dinosaurs
  2. W vs. Silver 4 Simic Mermaids
    • #feelsgoodman
  3. W vs. Bronze 2 Mono-black Graveyard
  4. L vs. Bronze 1 Mono-red Dragons/Rekindling Phoenix
  5. W vs. Bronze 1 Golgari Saprolings

End Time: 2110 CDT
Total Time: 34 minutes (~16 gold/min)
Record: 4-1 (80%)

Despite (or perhaps in spite of) it being a Saturday evening, tonight went quite well. I had my hopes up for a clean sweep, but Rekindling Phoenix is a really tricky card to deal with, and I got a slight mana-drought that put me behind and didn’t let me threaten it. Usually I can pick a single Phoenix off by forcing him to block with it and then using Fungal Infection (which I had in hand) or Vicious Offering on the 0/1 token after it dies, but alas it was not meant to be. Still, the games tonight went faster (finished over 10 minutes faster than the previous 2 nights) and taking down the first Silver player I’ve seen on my Golgari deck (playing that cancerous Simic Mermaids no less) felt like this:

Tomorrow I’ll have to play the morning crowd before going into work since I’m working late tomorrow and early Monday; it’ll be interesting to see if anything’s different during that time slot.


Day 5 results

Start Time: 15 October 2018, 2253 CDT

  1. W vs. Bronze 2 Mono-green Stompy
  2. W vs. Bronze 1 Orzhov Vampires
  3. L vs. Bronze 2 Dimir Surveil
    • mana screw (started with 2 in hand, ended with 4 on the board)
  4. W vs. Bronze 2 Boros Mentor
  5. L vs. Bronze 4 BUW Control
    • unable to case even a single spell
  6. W vs. Bronze 2 Selesnya Ajani

End Time: 2322
Total Time: 29 minutes (~19 gold/min)
Record: 4-2 (66.6%)

Despite having to go 6 games deep, this is my 2nd fasted time to 4 wins (the fastest being my 4-0 run on Day 1 at 25 minutes). None of these games were thinkers; I either won hard or lost hard with the exception of the 1st loss, which baring a mana-screw I think I could have won (in the end, I just couldn’t stop the Doom Whisperer he managed to drop; got him to 3 health nonetheless thanks to the slew of 2- and 3-drop cards I had despite never being able to cast my Tendershoot Dryad in hand). The silliest/biggest win of the night goes to the Orzhov Vampire deck who went to -20 from 12 thanks to my horde of Saprolings, the pair of Tendershoot Dryads, and the pair of Sporecrown Thallids I managed to get out. I think now that I’ve tracked this deck for 5 days, I’m going to make a copy of it and start tweaking again on my upcoming days off to see what (if any) improvements I can squeeze out of it. I’ll preserve this current deck and perhaps revisit it from time to time to see if/how the meta is shifting around at its deck strength, but for now I’m going to hang this experiment up.

Thanks for following along; see you on my next Planeswalk :wink:


Thanks again for sharing! Still having fun with this deck while i also started to modify it. Looking forward to your next post.