Emergent Ramp

Posted in Feature on June 11, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for StarCityGames.com. He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

One week ago, two players (ManuGodineau and Nielson333) each finished 3–1 in a Standard daily deck with GW creature-based ramp decks that looked to cast Craterhoof Behemoth.

Restoration Angel

The core of the deck is Avacyn's Pilgrim, Arbor Elf, Somberwald Sage, and Craterhoof Behemoth. ManuGodineau used Borderland Ranger to get additional lands and evolve Gyre Sage, which made Restoration Angel a good fit for the deck, which brought Thragtusk along with it. Nielson333 elected to use Elvish Archdruid instead of Borderland Ranger, offering as something of a backup Somberwald Sage, and supported it with Elvish Visionary (although not Gyre Sage). Instead of the midrange package, Nielson333 used the extra explosive capabilities of the Elvish Archdruid to cast Soul of the Harvest and Wolfir Silverheart. Nielson also played Garruk, Primal Hunter over the Garruk Relentless that ManuGodineau played, which works wonderfully with Wolfir Silverheart.

It's interesting to see two substantially different decks with similar game plans emerge together. Even though neither player went undefeated, the fact that both did well with different lists indicates that the strategy might be well positioned, and the fact that they're so different indicates that the optimal way to go about doing this hasn't been resolved.

I like Restoration Angel with Gyre Sage, and I think Borderland Ranger makes sense when we're trying to get to this much mana, so I think I like that shell. Soul of the Harvest is very good with Restoration Angel, so it's a card I'd like to have access to. ManuGodineau had Voice of Resurgence, which is a truly excellent card, but I don't think this deck is the right place for it, since it's very off plan, although I do like it a lot in the sideboard.

This is the way I'd build the deck, from their shell:

GW Ramp

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