Lets Figure Out Simic Ramp
Arena Standard Standard
By: TitanSmashMTG - 11 Jan 2020
As it stands right now, Simic Ramp is already one of the best decks we have in current standard. With this already being a well positioned archetype, Theros looks to bring quite a few cards worthy of making inclusions in the deck and pushing it even further. I was hoping we could discuss some of the choices we have and see what the best brew of this is. Below is what I have as my starting point. Please note, I don't think this list is optimal yet, I'm just really wanting to test out our abundance of 3 drop accelerators to see what sticks. Here's my starting point.
Main 60 cards (18 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (5)|
As you can see, I went heavy on the three drops and used Grazer as my one drop accelerator. You're not going to have a turn 1 grazer every game though so lets talk options.
One Mana Accelerants
Aboreal Grazer - Grazer requires you play more lands in your lists, but with what this deck has the potential of doing, I think that's not a bad thing. You get an 0/3 body to hold the line down while you ramp into your bigger threats, and get a creature that provides value regardless of removal.
Gilded Goose - Goose allows you to skimp on your land count a bit but is also vulnerable to removal. I personally don't like it's inclusions with the number of stomps we are used to seeing. I'd rather put my resoursces elsewhere since there's also no other food payoffs we look to have.
Two Mana Accelerants
Paradise Druid - Druid being able to provide mana of any color is huge. It having hexproof when untapped is also big. Although you really want to go from one mana to three in this deck, I think some number of two drop resources are important and Druid may be the choice here.
Growth Sprial - Growth Spiral again asks that you play a few more lands than normal, but if we're playing with grazer that's not a big deal anyways. Your christmas land with this could be grazer one, turn 2 play two growth spirals and be sitting at 5 lands at the end of turn 2. Obviously that isn't reliable, but it is possible. I think being able to provide additional mana AND card draw could make Growth Spiral a good choice. It's downside is you're at a two mana spot not affecting the board.
Leafkin Druid - This one Im the least sold on without a bigger amount of creatures, but another solid butt creature can hold the line down for a bit against aggro and the possibility of tapping for two mana instead of one is worth considering. Also is an elemental to trigger your risen reef if drawn later and you go that route.
Three Mana Accelerants
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath - I feel like everyone will be trying this card and for good reason. Three mana explore with gain three life seems fine on its own, and the ability to make a 6/6 of this later that does this affect on every attack is brutal. I will be testing this as a 4 of because the Legendary clause will rarely ever matter since this is primarily a ramp spell that you just so happen to make a devastating threat later on.
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove - Dryad provides three key things a deck like this wants. Making your mana tap for anything smooths it out incredibly well. Playing additional lands EVERY turn allows you to really boost your way to a late game threat that no other deck can keep up with. And lastly a 2/4 body is going to help keep your life total reasonable in ways something like a 2/1 Paradise Druid can't.
Risen Reef - Our old friend still has to be considered here too. While there doesn't appear to be many elementals you'd play in this list, I don't think it's out of the question to play reef. If your list includes both leafkins and Cavalier of Thorns then the viability of this goes up. Personally I"m the most down on RR at the 3 mana spot but I think it's still worth testing in the shell.
Nissa, Who Shakes the World - Nissa still has to be a 4 of in any of these kind of decks. The scary part is, she may be better than before. Things like Dryad and if played, Nyxbloom Ancient, mean your lands are tapping for an absurd amount of mana, all while still being hasty, vigilant, 3/3 beaters. Nissa may have just gotten BETTER.
Agent of Treachery - Seeing play in simic ramp decks already, it looks like we're going to be able to get this out even faster than before. While I think there may be better top end options now, this is still worthy of a spot in some lists and I wouldn't be surprised to see this wrecking some havoc in standard.
Hydroid Krasis - The X spell cards really get a shot in the arm now. We won't go too Christmas land now, but we've got the room to brew in a way that makes Krasis really....really big. Gaining life, drawing cards, and having a huge evasive AND trampling threat is hard to beat and I don't know many ways a deck can go over the top of this already standard all star.
Mass Manipulation- We've seen how backbreaking this card could be in a lot of spots, but many times it's rotted in hand as a ramp deck as been beat down by aggro. Now with more ways to protect our life total and still ramp up, this card gets more viable. And I know I said no christmas land talk, but if we untap with a Nyxbloom Ancient into this.....you better thank your opponent for their whole board they've provided you.
Nyxbloom Ancient- The card I expect to be the most split on by people. On one hand, this is 7 mana. That's a lot to ask for and some people may not want to make that jump. But when you already get a fine body that has such an almost never before seen effect, I'll be damned if I'm not at least testing it. This card may just prove to be way too win more but I could also see this just pulling you out of spots where you had no chance of winning a game and turning it to spots where you can't lose all in a single turn.
In conclusion, I can't say what the best version of this is without testing but I'm very excited about all the tools this list has. What are you going to try with first and what do you think makes the cut? I know I'll be running this deck first thing during the Early Access stream event, so if you want to see that, I'll be live at 11am EST at Twitch.tv/Titansfan920. You can check out my video of ten different standard decks I brewed as well at https://youtu.be/jrYWfdVopCw
I don't claim to be a master brewer, but I think Theros provides a lot of space to do some powerful and interesting things and I'm curious to see what works and would love to see what you all think will be good as well!
We are TitanSmashMTG and we play various Standard and Historic brews on our channel! If you like agressive and competitve goodness you've came to the right place!