It’s no secret that Ramunap Red dominated Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, putting six copies (one being B/R) into top 8 with many other solid finishes. The deck demolished. It looks unstoppable, and honestly it might be.

Ramunap Red by Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation – 1st

Creatures (26)
4 Ahn-Crop Crasher
4 Bomat Courier
4 Earthshaker Khenra
4 Falkenrath Gorger
3 Hazoret the Fervent
3 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
4 Village Messenger

Non-Creature Spells (10)
4 Abrade
4 Shock
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Lands (24)
14 Mountain
4 Ramunap Ruins
2 Scavenger Grounds
4 Sunscorched Desert

Sideboard (15)
2 Aethersphere Harvester
2 Chandra’s Defeat
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 Glorybringer
1 Oath of Chandra
2 Pia Nalaar
2 Sand Strangler
2 Savage Alliance

Ramunap Red is powerful for a couple of reasons. Although Red decks weren’t a thing last Standard season, the addition of Earthshaker Khenra and Ramunap Ruins put the deck over the top. The deck has a powerful early, mid, and late game.

Early game: Attack with Bomat Courier, flip over Village Messenger, crash through with Ahn-Crop Crasher and Earthshaker Khenra.

Mid Game: Deal with opposing creatures with Abrade and set up your Chandra, Torch of Defiance and begin to deploy Hazoret the Fervent.

Late Game: End the game with Hazoret chipping away each turn and turning every draw into a Shock or finish them off by hitting them for two every turn with Ramunap Ruins. An eternalized Earthshaker Khenra also does the job.

The deck puts on a lot of pressure fast and even if you’re able to stabilize the board, every draw they have is basically live. This invalidates a lot of decks in the format such as U/R Control and Ramp. U/R Control can effectively deal with the board and even stop Earthshaker Khenra with Magma Spray, but if you can’t turn around the game fast enough, you’re just going to die to their barrage of burn spells and resilient threats. Ramp takes too much time to set up an attacking Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, and can stumble against a fast Mono-Red draw. These decks are just not going to get the job done. To beat Ramunap Red, you have to be putting on the same pressure as them or having a variety of hate cards for the matchup. Let’s look at what cards we can utilize to beat this red onslaught.

Grind // Dust

This can swiftly undo your opponent’s first two plays of the game and act as a way to remove a Hazoret the Fervent in the late game. You can also aftermath this to immediately remove an Ammit Eternal if your opponent is playing the black version.

Blessed Alliance

This card is pretty intuitive, but its power lies in being able to get rid of a Hazoret if you can deal with the other creatures on the board.

Collective Brutality

I’ve played against this card one too many times (unfortunately) in Modern, and boy it does a beating. Having your Goblin Guide killed, your Boros Charm stripped away from your hand, and your Lava Spike negated all in one card (well, three) can be backbreaking. In Standard, Brutality does something similar. It can kill any creature save for Hazoret, and can strip away an Abrade or Shock. The life gain is also relevant, but I’m unsure how often you want to be pitching two cards. Having the option to, however, is reason in itself to play this card if you’re casting black spells.

Here’s one list that utilizes both Blessed Alliance and Collective Brutality:

WBu by sebiFI on MtGO

Creatures (1)
1 Linvala, the Preserver

Non-Creature Spells (33)
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
2 Collective Brutality
1 Descend upon the Sinful
2 Doomfall
3 Fumigate
1 Never // Return
3 Painful Truths
3 Blessed Alliance
4 Fatal Push
4 Grasp of Darkness
1 Cultivator’s Caravan
2 Cast Out
1 Quarantine Field

Lands (26)
4 Concealed Courtyard
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Plains
4 Shambling Vent
4 Sunken Hollow
6 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
1 Authority of the Consuls
3 Dreamstealer
1 Island
2 Lay Bare the Heart
3 Negate
1 The Scarab God
2 Transgress the Mind
2 Yahenni’s Expertise

This definitely has more game as a control deck than U/R, and has a lot of action game 1 against Ramunap Red. I also really like this list because by having a lot of hate vs Red, you also have a lot of cards that are great vs. B/G Constrictor and Zombies. The Planeswalker package also helps you out in the random Control matchups. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar can also put a beating on Ramp decks.

Authority of the Consuls

If there ever was a time for this card to be good, it’s now. A turn one Authority shuts down almost every creature from Mono Red: Village Messenger, Earthshaker Khenra, Ahn-Crop Crasher, Hazoret the Fervent and Glorybringer. The life gain also helps out a lot too, especially if you’re playing the card… Crested Sunmare

Mono-White Life Gain by Roman Fusco

Creatures (20)
4 Crested Sunmare
4 Glory-Bound Initiate
4 Lone Rider
4 Thraben Inspector
3 Gisela, the Broken Blade
1 Bruna, the Fading Light

Non-Creature Spells (16)
4 Renewed Faith
2 Authority of the Consuls
3 Fumigate
2 Cast Out
3 Blessed Alliance
2 Implement of Improvement

Lands (24)
4 Crypt of the Eternals
4 Desert of the True
2 Blighted Steppe
2 Scavenger Grounds
12 Plains

Sideboard (15)
2 Cast Out
1 Blessed Alliance
1 Fumigate
2 Authority of the Consuls
1 Gisela, the Broken Blade
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Gideon of the Trials
1 Forsake the Worldly
1 Linvala, the Preserver

Crested Sunmare might just be the answer to all of our problems. This deck has some cool plays to it, such as being able to attack with Glory-Bound Initiate exerted, then following up with a Lone Rider which will flip at your end step. Fumigate does kill your Crested Sunmare, but leaves your 5/5 tokens lying around for battle after clearing your opponent’s board. Untapping with Crested Sunmare seems like it just can win the game on itself. This is in no way a good deck based on power level, but it’s a good deck for the position the metagame is right now. I don’t think this list is perfect but if I was going to GP Minneapolis I’d consider Horse Tribal to combat our new Mono-Red overlords.

Ramunap Red is not going to disappear any time soon, so either you can sleeve up some Ramunap Ruins or fight the fire another way.



For another deck looking to battle Ramunap Red, read the latest installment in’s 2017 Deck of the Day column here.

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