What do you get when you combine the green’s incredible mana acceleration with white’s ability to sweep the board? A G/W Control deck capable of winning the game on some really sweet axes.
Hour of Promise is one of the best ramp spells we’ve ever seen. It’s good enough that it sees some steady play in Modern to fetch out Valakuts even without Deserts. Going from 5 to 7+ mana is a big jump, and if you are able to play enough Deserts in your deck, getting 4 power of creatures out of the spell is fantastic. This gives you a board to trade or hold off an attack force, meaning that you’ll almost always get to untap the turn after casting your big ramp spell.
Green also offers Gift of Paradise and Beneath the Sands to get your mana online early. Gift has the added bonus of making sure that you can produce plenty of extra white when needed, and it will also buffer your life total. Beneath the Sands stays relevant late in the game, as you can cycle it to find more action. With ramp spells like Gift and Hour, you can get up to 7+ mana on turn 5, and make sure that your life total is doing well after gaining 3 and creating a pair of 2/2 Zombie tokens.
Ixalan gives us perhaps the most powerful ramp spell of them all. Treasure Map is a little on the slow side as it doesn’t impact the board for a bit while you need to invest mana into it. Luckily, the Map and its activation cost are cheap, and it will even give you the benefit of scrying to make sure you’re hitting quality cards during your draw steps. Once the Map flips, however, all bets are off. You get an additional land on the battlefield thanks to the flip, and you also get 3 Treasures to either ramp out a big spell or sacrifice for more cards.
With all of this ramp, you’ll need to keep the board under control. Fumigate is the best tool for the job, destroying all creatures and netting a fair amount of life in the process. Sometimes Fumigate isn’t enough to deal with problematic creatures such as the indestructible Gods. Settle the Wreckage is perfect for that, as ramping your opponents doesn’t matter too much when you have all the big spells in your deck and they aren’t equipped to use excess lands. When Fumigate and Settle aren’t enough or they just go too wide with planeswalkers, Hour of Revelation is sure to catch them off-guard and clean up any mess. You may be losing your enchant lands in the process, but it’s well worth it.
To finish the game, you have a variety of options. First, you have the usual Approach of the Second Sun. This list only runs 2 copies, but it’s a nice way to gain some life and give you inevitability against a variety of decks. You also have Sandwurm Convergence. This will create an army of monsters to end your opponent while making sure their Thopters and Glorybringers sit at home and watch. With your ability to get up to 30 potential mana in play, Walking Ballista becomes a great finisher. This is an excellent card early to kill off cheap creatures like Glint-Sleeve Siphoner or Bomat Courier, and later on it can end the game. With all of your extra mana on the table, adding several counters per turn is easy.
For problematic permanents, you have spot removal in Cast Out. You can cycle it early and utilize it late, although it is a serious nombo with Hour of Revelation. Hour can kill your Cast Out and give the opponent back whatever you exiled, so be careful not to fall into this trap. It would be nice if Cast Out could target your own cards so that you could cast it in response to a removal spell (say Slice in Twain on your Sandwurm Convergence) and then Hour it back into play, but not quite!
Big mana decks offer the ability to go over the top of just about everyone in the format, putting your opponent in a spot where they can’t quite prepare for everything. And if they board into a bunch of Negates and Duresses planning to win the sideboard games…well, you have 3 Carnage Tyrant waiting for them!