G/R Ramp by Jonathan Benson at SCG Cincinnati – 27th
Many new strategies have emerged with the release of Hour of Devastation. Individually powerful cards have even spawned entirely new archetypes. The presence of Temur Marvel pushed many decks out of the format, including various other Ulamog strategies. The deck we’re featuring today brings back an old Standard favorite, G/R Ramp.
Like any ramp deck, the spells that “ramp” your mana are at the core of the deck. This deck plays Druid of the Cowl, Shefet Monitor, Beneath the Sands, and Hour of Promise to this end. Druid of the Cowl is the cheapest of these, Beneath the Sands and Shefet Monitor guarantee additional lands forever, while Monitor replaces itself. Hour of Promise is the truly exciting one, however. At 5 mana, it acts as 2 ramp spells, getting 2 lands (not just basic lands) into play, and makes a couple of zombies to hold the ground if you control 3 or more deserts, of which this deck has several.
The real payoffs for having an impressive amount of mana are World Breaker and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. World Breaker has an immediate impact on the board at just 7 mana, and can easily set the opponent’s mana back too far for them to recover if brought out early enough. It can also be rebought from the graveyard, punishing spot removal-based control decks. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger has proven itself as the fatty of choice in this Standard format, and for good reason. At just 10 mana, it exiles the 2 most problematic permanents you are facing, and kills the opponent in just 2 or 3 attacks, either through damage or through its mill clause.
The real secret sauce in this deck is the core of cards it uses to delay the opponent’s progression long enough to land its important creatures. Matter Reshaper blocks and replaces itself, Oath of Nissa sifts through the deck, while Abrade and Warping Wail deal with early aggression, and Kozilek’s Return and new hotness Hour of Devastation provide board wipes that set the opponent back several turns. Lastly, Chandra, Torch of Defiance plays a crucial role in this deck, as all of its abilities are extremely relevant. It can add additional mana to pump out big creatures, extra cards to find a missing piece of the puzzle, kill troublesome creatures, and even threaten to win the game on its own with the -7 ability.
Here are the changes I would make going forward:
-1 Warping Wail
+1 Chaos Maw
This is day 199 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 198 here, where we featured the winning deck from SCG Cincinnati, 4-Color Control!
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