Video Daily Digest: Ramp Of Approval

It was going to happen sooner or later: there’s a ramp deck in Ixalan Standard popping up on Magic Online! Ross Merriam has the details you need to battle (or battle with!) this menace at SCG Baltimore!

So yeah. This deck exists. Do not adjust your TVs. This is happening.

Gift of Paradise should be no surprise. It’s been the basis of ramp decks in Standard for a while now. The move from two mana to three mana as the baseline for ramp spells has forced these decks to find more ways to draw the game out so they can get to their haymakers, and the three life from Gift of Paradise is a perfect way to do that without having to commit more spots or change your deck in any particular way.

The next-best ramp spell is Hour of Promise, which gives you the jump straight to your big spells and two Zombies to boot if you can add a few Deserts to your deck, which isn’t a big cost since the Deserts are fine cards on their own. You even get to have some graveyard interaction with a singleton Scavenger Grounds.

But beyond that it’s a real crapshoot here. The clear emphasis is on sweepers, with eight of them in the maindeck. They are all quite good against creature decks, even those like Temur Energy that can go bigger, since Hour of Devastation and Star of Extinction both answer planeswalkers.

Normally Star of Extinction would negate your own threats, which could be awkward, but the main win conditions here, Cruel Reality and Sandwurm Convergence, aren’t affected, which is great. There isn’t a lot in the way of threats here, but Cut // Ribbons gives the deck a surprising amount of reach, since you can regularly cast the card for five or more.

The best part of this deck is you can customize it any way you want. It can reasonably splash any card with all the mana fixing in the deck, so if your local metagame demands a certain card, don’t be afraid to tinker. You also get the advantage of having such a wide range of cards your opponents have to worry about, they’ll often play around the wrong cards in games two and three.

Control is likely the only problem here, where your lack of threat density and vulnerability to counterspells is a structural issue that would require a transformational sideboard to fix. The sideboard as constructed does a good job of pairing discard spells with various threats that can come in against control, but you’re starting from behind.

Standard right now is an exercise in tuning Temur to the specific weekend or finding the deck the Temur decks aren’t looking out for, but this deck should do a good job of going over the top of all of them regardless of what they do, while still having plenty of game against the other decks in the format.