Since the PT, I’ve been working on the Eldrazi Ramp deck in Standard. The deck is very powerful and will generally be favored against any deck that isn’t very fast. There are a few different ways to build the deck, so I’m here to cover the options I like best.

Game Plan

Unlike most decks I like to play, this deck doesn’t have multiple plans. In fact, it’s so linear I would say there isn’t even a semblance of a plan B. Every game you win will be due to playing a bunch of ramp spells, and then multiple Ugins or Ulamogs. Anything else you do is simply a means to survive until you can cast your monsters.

Deck List

Weaknesses

By far the biggest weakness of the deck is aggression. A lot of spells you cast in the early game don’t affect the board at all, so your opponent is often just goldfishing for the first few turns. Atarka Red is your worst matchup, and is close to unwinnable game 1, and gets only a little better post-board.

Deck Difficulty: Easy

The hardest part of the deck is by far deck construction. Playing the games are generally fairly simple: cast some ramp spells, cast Ulamog, cast Ulamog, cast Ulamog. {I think tagging is part of the repetition

When Should You Play Eldrazi Ramp?

Eldrazi Ramp is a good choice when aggressive red decks are not very popular. Decks like Jeskai or GW Megamorph really have a hard time putting a fast enough clock on you and are crippled by an Ugin, so if you expect a lot of those, this is the deck to play.

The Core

4 Rattleclaw Mystic

A lot of the lists I’ve seen don’t play this card, which I think is a big mistake. The biggest argument is that it turns on your opponent’s dead removal. While this is true, it is definitely worth it. Against Jeskai, for example, there are three scenarios that can occur when you play a turn 2 Rattleclaw: 1) You play Rattleclaw and they don’t have removal—best-case scenario, being able to cast a 4-mana ramp spell on turn 3 is super powerful. 2) You cast turn-2 Rattleclaw and they have a Shock—if they started on Mountain, and are able to shock your guy and untap and play a 2-drop, that’s worse-case for you. If they didn’t have a Mountain, then they will have to delay their 2-drop to kill your guy, and at that point I feel like I’m breaking even on the trade. 3) You don’t draw Rattleclaw—now their Shocks are just as dead!

The other reason I don’t mind turning on some of their cards that otherwise would be dead is that this is not a control deck. The game doesn’t end through grinding out all of your opponent’s relevant cards. Most of the time, when the game ends, your opponent will still have 3-4 cards left in hand.

3 Sylvan Scrying

The vast majority of the time, Sylvan Scrying acts as extra copies of Sanctum of Ugin. Sanctum is so important to your game plan, that it’s worth paying 2 mana and essentially doing nothing to ensure you have at least one.

2 Hangarback Walker

Most lists play the full 4 Hangarbacks, but I don’t think you need to. I find that the card isn’t actually that great at defense with all of the Anafenzas, Silkwraps, and Mantis Riders running around. The reason I think you need to play at least 2 is that it does give you another way to find Ulamog in the late game by casting it for x=4 when you have Sanctums in play.

4 Nissa’s Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage is one of your better ramp spells. Having a 3-mana ramp spell is very important, and this one also ensures that you keep hitting land drops.

4 Explosive Vegetation

Pretty self-explanatory—one of your best ramp spells.

3 Hedron Archive

Another good ramp spell. This one would be better than Explosive Vegetation in most decks, but because of Shrine of the Forsaken Gods, having actual lands in play is important. It’s also somewhat awkward against Kologhan’s Command.

3 Nissa’s Renewal

I’ve tried anywhere from 0-4 of these. After playing many games with it, I think the card is very good, and there should be at least 3 copies in the deck. Renewal does a few things for you: 7 life is a lot. It makes for at least one extra turn, if not two. It’s also a great card to draw after you’ve started to take over the game with your bigger threats, as it will protect you from a burn spell or Mantis Rider off the top during those last few turns while your Ulamog devours their library. Other than the life, the acceleration is also very important. Casting Renewal basically guarantees you are able to cast Ulamog on the next turn. And if you don’t have Ulamog, it makes it so you likely have enough lands to cast Ugin, sacrifice a Sanctum, and then cast Ulamog the following turn.

4 Ugin and 4 Ulamog

The cards that actually win the game. I see some lists with only 3 Ulamog, but I think that’s a mistake due to how important it is to draw a big spell.

4 Sanctum of Ugin

Sanctum is the card that kind of holds the deck together. You usually win the game by casting multiple Ulamogs.

4 Shrine of the Forsaken Gods

Shrine is just another way to help cast your spells early. Shrine allows you to cast Ugin on turn 5 with just an Explosive Vegetation.

The Rest

1-2 Map the Wastes

Map isn’t fantastic, but it’s a serviceable 3-mana ramp spell.

1-2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer

Nissa helps ensure you hit land drops while also digging toward gas when it flips. I think I have only ever made a 4/4 once out of the 20 or so times I’ve flipped Nissa. I like Nissa a lot if you aren’t playing red, because without Dragonlord Atarka, you are slightly more likely to need to dig for a threat.

1-4 Jaddi Offshoot

I don’t think Jaddi’s are very good maindeck now that you have Rattleclaw. The lists that don’t play Rattleclaw need something else to do before turn 3, and Jaddi is serviceable but not great against most decks.

1-2 Dragonlord Atarka

If you decide to play red, you get to play one or two copies. Atarka isn’t amazing in any particular matchup, but it’s just another good threat once you’ve ramped a bunch.

1 Dragonlord Dromoka

If you decide to play white, you may want Dragonlord Dromoka. Dromoka is pretty great against Atarka Red and also great against Jeskai if they don’t have a Crackling Doom.

3rd-4th Hangarback Walker, 4th Hedron Archive, 4th Nissa’s Renewal

If you don’t like any of the other options, play some of these.

Sideboard

Playing white gives you access to a lot of good sideboard cards, and is the reason I think it is slightly better at the moment. Most of your sideboard(12 cards) is built around making your atarka red matchup winnable, while trying to choose cards that have some overlap in other matchups.

4 Arashin Cleric/Jaddi Offshoot

Both cards are very similar, but I think Cleric is the better choice if you have white in your deck. Having a power is important in that it makes your opponent often need to cast a spell so their creature doesn’t die, which opens them up to Surge.

4 Surge of Righteousness

Surge is great. I originally just jammed 4 into the sideboard in the hopes of improving the red matchup, but it turns out it’s pretty great against Jeskai, and serviceable against Abzan. Jeskai has to clock you to win the game, and the most common lists today basically only have Mantis Riders and Tasigurs to do that with.

2 Winds of Qal Sisma

Oh how I wish we could just play Fog. Winds isn’t too much worse, though. It’s pretty great against Atarka Red when they are trying to combo you, though it is a bit awkward against Wild Slash. I find that most of the time my opponents burn their Wild Slashes early to kill a Rattleclaw or to get a prowess guy through a Cleric, though.

I also like Winds against most of the green decks, where against their fastest draws you often only need one more turn to take over with an Ugin or Ulamog.

2 Conduit of Ruin, 1 Void Winnower

These are a package deal. Void Winnower is the best possible thing you can cast in the mirror, and the Conduits help ensure you can cast it early and often. I don’t mind having three cards dedicated to the mirror because I think the Conduits are also decent against Esper. Not only is a 5/5 body a decent threat, but you are usually just digging for your first Ulamog in the matchup.

The Best Cards Against You

The theme here is that these cards will generally either be aggressive or create colorless creatures that you can’t kill with Ugin.

Tips and Tricks

• If you aren’t in danger of dying any time soon, it is usually correct to exile lands with Ulamog. Just make sure you can beat what they have on board, because most people won’t be able to cast any more spells once you exile 4-6 lands.

• Always count how much mana you will have one or two turns from now and plan accordingly.

• Against decks with Despise and Transgress the mind, it will often be correct to sacrifice two Sanctums when you cast your first big spell.

• In grindier matchups, if you only have one threat and no Sanctums, it is often correct to wait until you draw a Sanctum or Sylvan Scrying to ensure that you can trigger it.

• If you have plenty of lands in hand and are casting a Nissa’s Pilgrimage with only 3-4 basics left in your library, it’s OK to only get one to put into play if you think you will be making your land drops for the next few turns anyway. This way if you draw an Explosive Vegetation next turn, it will actually do something. (Note: if you don’t have lands to play for the turn, leaving them in your deck doesn’t really do anything).

Sideboard Guide

Jeskai: Favorable

In

Out

GW Megamorph: Very Favorable

In

Out

Atarka Red: Very Unfavorable

In

Out

Mirror

In

Out

Esper Dragons: Slightly Favorable

In

Out

Esper No Dragons: Favorable

In

Out

UB Aristocrats: Slightly Unfavorable

In

Out