Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Standard - Mono Green Ramp



Today we will be discussing another one of my favorites decks for this current Standard season. Mono Green Eldrazi Ramp. Like many other ramp decks this has the potential of getting out big dumb creatures quickly, but in this case the big dumb creatures are pretty dangerous and ruthless. In one corner we have the vicious Dragon Lord Atarka and in the other the Eldrazi Titan Duo of Kozilek and Ulamog, are they gonna face off? Not against each other but against YOU Rival Planeswalker!

Let's take a look at the current decklist:


As you can see it's built like a typical ramp deck and acts like a typical ramp deck, so what makes it so fun to play? If you're a Timmy at heart (like I am and can be) you love those big beefy creatures. Who doesn't want to play an 8/8 on turn 5 and have your opponent look at you with disbelief? I know I sure do!

Let's go over the creatures and spells and then I'll discuss some of the pros and cons of the deck with it's various matchups:


Creatures-

Conduit of Ruin: A 1 of in the deck and a great 1 of it is. Allowing your creatures to be 2 cheaper for the first one you cast that turn is extremely effective in a deck like this, as well as allowing you to search for a creature card that costs 7 CMC or higher and place it on top of your library is almost a must for this deck. While the creature itself is not a huge body, the effects of the card are more than enough to make up for it.

Den Protector: This little card has surprised me throughout all of it's lifetime in standard so far. I didn't think much of it when it was first announced but now almost a year in it's a must in most decks. It's Eternal Witness like ability when it flips is crucial for a deck like this. Need more ramp? Need more creatures to come out? Flip that Den!

Dragonlord Atarka: One of 3 of the big beefy creatures in this deck. It can certainly help stabilize a board especially if your opponent is trying to wide and you have 1-2 creatures out on the field. Plus it flies, has trample and it's an 8/8. What's not to love?

 Jaddi Offshoot: Normally life gain is not that important for decks but it can be for a deck such as this one. You may not get any real threats out by turn 4 or 5 and if you're up against an aggro deck, this little 1 drop can mean the difference from a win or a loss.

Kozilek, the Great Distortion: Oh Kozi, you give me so many gifts, up to 7 of them possibly. I haven't needed more than 1 of Kozilek in this deck. The only reason I run Kozilek is in hopes of drawing another answer I may need in the game. A 12/12 is no laughing matter but Ulamog just provides more benefits than ol' Kozi does.

Oblivion Sower: A 5/8 that has the ability to exile your opponent's top 4 cards and you take all the lands from it, sign me up! Being able to cast this on turn 4 puts you ahead greatly in the ramp war.

Rattleclaw Mystic: Our resident mana dork. With Elvish Mystic no where to be seen in this Standard, Rattleclaw is our next best option for this deck. Leaf Gilder comes a close second and will become the mana dork of choice come rotation (Unless Shadows of Innistrad comes out with a better one). This guy helps alot with his red mana because you're only running one mountain as well.

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger: Good ol' Ulamog. What more can be said about him? Except he is bad ass! Even if he gets countered, you still get to exile two permanents of your choice and if he does live and manages to attack, welp your opponent has to mill 20 cards if Ulamog attacks. I love this guy! Even more so than his older version!


Spells-

Explosive Vegetation: Typical mana ramp card. This is the card that will enable you to get your one red mana in the deck.

Hedron Archive: Another mana enabler and it's ability to sac it and draw cards is always useful.

Kozilek's Return: When the great titan Kozilek rose up from the earth he brought upon fire and brimstone. The perfect board wipe for this deck. It used to be Radiant Flames but this card has proven it's worth to me. Plus it comes back to deal 5 damage when you summon a big Eldrazi creature.

Nissa's Pilgrimage: Another typical mana ramp card. The spell mastery is just another plus in late game if you have nothing better to do.

Nissa's Renewal: The main reason I run this card is for it's life gain. As I mentioned earlier, life gain is a tad more important to a deck like this since you normally don't play any creatures until turn 4 or 5. Gaining 7 life can mean a win or loss for you as I mentioned above.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon: Ugin, you are the man. Let me tell you what, Ugin is a dragon that will save your butt over and over again. His exile ability and his ability to bolt creatures makes him an absolute necessary addition to this deck. Don't worry Ugin, even though you go away soon, I'll never forget you.


Sideboard:

Desolation Twin: What's worse than having one 10/10 creature out on the field? Having two 10/10 creatures out on the field. I've mainly sided this in against the mirror match. I haven't had much use for it otherwise.

Explosive Vegetation: Just when I thought I had enough vegetables, I explode some more. This is just to help me get mana quicker.

From Beyond: If I know a match is going to be a bit grindy I'll side this in, for not only mana ramping but to have some bodies on the field. Also it being an Eldrazi tutor helps me all the more.

Jaddi Offshot: Sided in for the aggro matchup.

Natural State: This is used for those pesky enchantments that like to exile my big creatures. They weren't hurting anyone either!

Nissa's Renewal: Having two Nissa's Renewal can be tricky. The life gain is a plus but if I feel like I'm going to need it, I'll take out an explosive vegetation and side this in.

Pulse of Murasa: If my Den Protector's are hated on quickly, I'll take them out and put in Pulse. It having a similar Den Protector effect and gaining 6 life has been very beneficial for me.

Roast: Need to kill that pesky Siege Rhino and you don't have a board wipe coming anytime soon? Get in a roast and cook some rhino meat up!

Void Winnower: I side this card in more than I expected. Being able to lock down your opponent is a huge benefit.

Warping Wail: A good way to stop those pesky 4 color rally decks. Well it doesn't stop them completely but it can help.

Winds of Qal Sisma: A good fog card to help you against those aggro matches or midrange decks as well.

World Breaker: Another card that can help get rid of pesky enchantments. I've found him more useful as a sideboard card than mainboard, at least in my meta so far.


So there's the deck in a nutshell. What match ups have I found favorable against it?

-Abzan
-Most aggro shells
-Dark Jeskai

Control matchups do not fare well for my deck. Countering and destroying most anything I put on the field will just slow me down and prepare me for the inevitable.

Is this deck rotation proof? Not exactly. Ugin does a lot for this deck, if there isn't any meaningful replacement come April I doubt this deck will survive rotation. It could hang on but if there's no easy way to help you stabilize the board if your opponent goes wide I don't see this deck lasting much longer. Rattleclaw Mystic, as I mentioned above, can easily be replaced for another mana dork. If there is not a multicolor mana dork available I may have to change the lands up a bit and add in another mountain or two.

This deck is definitely fun and for all the Timmy's at heart out there. Enjoy the deck and thanks for reading!