While it didn’t really show up at Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger certainly made its presence known at Grand Prix Quebec City.
It also did pretty well at SCG States and was all over the Standard Premier IQ at #SCGSTL. While Jake Mondello eventually lost to Jeskai in the Top 4 of
Grand Prix Quebec City, he did claim Jeskai as one of his best matchups. Given that he made it to Top 8 in a field full of Jeskai, I’m willing to believe
that he’s right.
In short, this deck is trying to ramp as hard as possible. Ideally, you get to cast an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, triggering Sanctum of Ugin, and using
that to search for another Ulamog. Killing an Ulamog isn’t impossible, especially with all the Crackling Dooms and Stasis Snares running around, but
thankfully Sanctum of Ugin allows you to chain them. You can also use Ugin, the Spirit Dragon to trigger Sanctum of Ugin, which makes sense I suppose.
A mini Sylvan Scrying toolbox appears in a lot of these decks. Some feature a larger proportion of high end spells, but Sylvan Scrying fills a similar
role. By having more Sanctum of Ugins (or Haven of the Spirit Dragon), you can almost always ensure you have a solid string of Ulamogs to pummel your
opponents with. Being able to search up a Shrine of the Forsaken Gods is kind of like ramping too. If you’re short on ramp spells, Blighted Woodland is
Whether you’re trying to ramp as hard as possible or trying to slow the game down with removal, either one is going to let you get to eight mana and
beyond. These decks might not have made an impact in the Pro Tour, but they’re certainly coming out of the woodwork now that the Pro Tour is over and the
metagame is set, it’s easier to build decks that beat the best two or three decks.