Deck of the Day – Temur Ramp

Ramp had a slow start in the Shadows over Innistrad Standard season, but it’s still a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps the strategy just needs to be slightly adjusted going forward in order to combat the great aggressive cards.

Explosive Vegetation and Nissa’s Pilgrimage are still the best ramp cards in Standard, increasing your land count and card count. The biggest issue with playing expensive cards is that you are going to have to invest resources, mana, and cards in order to accelerate these out. With a card like Explosive Vegetation, you’re getting to “draw” 2 cards, the exact lands you need, and also put them into play. This is color fixing, acceleration, and value.

World Breaker is still the Eldrazi of choice. At a “mere” 7 mana, it’s a castable threat that makes sure to get value immediately upon casting it. World Breaker can conveniently come down the turn after Explosive Vegetation and Hedron Archive resolve—turn 5—fairly consistently.

When World Breaker isn’t shutting down your opponent’s offense, for example an opponent going wide with a white aggro deck, it’s good to have other options. This is where Ramp decks need to branch into other colors.

Red gives you access to Dragonlord Atarka. Even if they deal with the Dragon, killing a couple creatures means that the board will be much more stable. World Breaker doesn’t play well against Declaration in Stone, so you want to get your value. By splashing blue, you also get to play Drowner of Hope. Drowner can single-handedly stabilize a board, and at only 6 mana to cast, can turn the game completely around. Keep in mind that if you have a bunch of Scion tokens, Declaration won’t actually take them all out as you can sacrifice the targeted one in response to fizzle the spell.

While the end game will always favor the Ramp deck, the early game is key. Sylvan Advocate is a great early creature that can stop most aggressive assaults. In the middle of the game, Advocate will get huge, and that will occur even earlier in the game than with most decks since you have access to mana ramp. The other big early creature you get by playing Temur is Eldrazi Skyspawner. Skyspawner gives you multiple bodies, which plays super well against aggro decks filled with 1-toughness creatures. It’s also mana ramp and an evasive threat to attack planeswalkers. Skyspawner has slowly inched its way into many different main decks unexpectedly, and now this is the next one to get the powerful common.

Oath of Nissa is still the best option for “mana fixing” and card selection. The green Ponder helps make sure you have either the early- or late-game threats your hand may lack.

Nissa, Vastwood Seer helps to keep land drops going and gives you a powerful planeswalker (again, accelerated, thanks to Explosive Vegetations). And finally, there’s Sarkhan Unbroken. This card is sick, but has never really found a good home thanks to Temur’s typically poor position.

Ramp strategies are more poised to succeed as soon as people begin to count them out. With access to blue mana, you also get a bevy of counterspells in the sideboard to help fight anti-Ramp tools (if they even still play them)! With a decent early game and the most powerful late game, don’t sleep on Ramp!

Temur Ramp

AKIHIROEX, 5-0 in an MTGO Standard Competitive League

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