Daily Digest: Return Of The Ramp

#SCGDFW’s Standard Classic will have a lot of decks pulled straight from an evolved Standard format. But it wasn’t that long ago that a fresh ramp strategy totally blew away the metagame. Is it the right time to bring it back? Ross shares the tech!

Ramp decks are supposed to be doing the most powerful stuff in the format. That’s why they can afford to take so much time off getting lands onto the battlefield. If what you are ramping into isn’t good enough to dominate a game by itself, then you may as well play a more interactive gameplan and win with some of the powerful midrange threats that each Standard format offers.

This is precisely the biggest issue with the current Ramp decks in Standard. World Breaker and Dragonlord Atarka are powerful cards, but they do not dominate a game. Even Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger can be answered by many removal spells in Standard, at which point your opponent can finish the game with what Ulamog’s trigger leaves behind. You really need to ramp into two or three of these finishers to dominate a game, and that only adds to the natural inconsistency of ramp strategies.

The Pantheon showed at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad how powerful Seasons Past can be going long, and Sam Black built on that deck with the even more powerful endgame offered by The Great Aurora.

If The Great Aurora is the most powerful effect we have in Standard, maybe it’s possible to ramp straight into it rather than buy time with interaction. The Great Aurora is already green, so we’re already halfway there. Ramp spells naturally spew permanents, namely lands, ontp the battlefield, so that’s step two. We just need a card that can put The Great Aurora over the top.

Enter Tireless Tracker.

It’s perfect. It comes down early and lets all your ramp spells generate tons of Clues, which breaks the symmetry of The Great Aurora. And if you need to find gas, the clues are there to help you out. You’re going to have so many clues that every mystery will be solved, most importantly, why do kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

The rest of the deck is pretty straightforward, with Gaea’s Revenge as a great threat to immediately pressure your opponent post-Aurora. I’m a little disappointed to not have access to Hornet Queen in Standard for this deck, though. That would’ve been spicy.

Call the Scions is a nice way to get some permanents onto the battlefield, but I would prefer to see the more powerful Explosive Vegetation or cheaper Deathcap Cultivator to increase your ability to ramp twice on the first three turns of the game. The Eldrazi spells in the sideboard are an awkward splash, although with twelve maindeck sources and the need for some early interaction, they are probably the best option. I do like the Fogs, though, since The Great Aurora resets the battlefield, so you just need to buy time.

The ramp archetype in Standard needed some innovation, since the current lists are just not up to snuff, and this is the most powerful list I’ve seen.