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The Best Deck for Beating Golos Ramp

Arena Standard Decklists 
By: Gapollard1 - 08 Oct 2019

Down. Goes. Golos. (Most of the Time)

Well the dust has settled on the first two weeks of standard, and out of the ashes has come the rise of Golos Ramp as what most people consider the best deck in standard. Need an example? Take a look at the leaderboard from Fandom Legends on October 3rd, with the top 5 decks all being Bant. The good news is the meta has adapted quickly to this deck, and SCG Philly actually had a very diverse leaderboard at the top. However, in Arena it seems like Golos Ramp is comprising the majority of the ranked ladder, likely because the deck is very similar to the Scapeshift variant pre-rotation and doesn't require too many new wildcards. So how can you prepare to beat this deck? Dont worry, because Aetherhub has you covered.

When developing a strategy to topple this goliath, there is one combo you should work around:

image + image.

Why does this work? Because when all hope appears lost, and your opponent is racking up a horde of zombies on their side of the field, you can easily get in 10-15 damage immediately and without attacking. Golos Ramp tends to have a weak first few turns, and at the very most will only get out an Arboreal Grazerimage or a Fae of Wishesimage for board presence before cranking things up with Golos and a never-ending Zombie horde. This means a good aggro shell should be able to get in 8-10 damage before Golos stabilizes things. So how do you keep the momentum rolling? You need a deck that can transition from attacking and swinging in, to dealing damage in other ways after several turns. This Orzhov Knights deck is in my opinion the best way to do this:

Orzhov Knights - The Golos Killer

Main 60 cards (17 distinct)
Creature (33)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (5)
Land (22)

Simulating MTG Arena Best of 1 starting hand
(Simplified, true algorithm in MTGA not revealed by Wizards yet)

Now this deck is similar to Crokeyz Golgari Knights deck, and there is a Rakdos version of this floating around, but for just beating Golos I have found this version to be the best. The biggest difference here is the passive life loss strategy. The cards you gain by playing Orzhov are Corpse Knightimage and Worthy Knightimage, which combined means your opponent loses 2 life everytime a creature enters the battlefield. You also get Venerable Knightimage as a one drop, but to be honest that card is nothing special and is really just a role player to work as a cheap option to go wide. In the beginning of the game, your only goal is to get 4-5 knights out on the battleifield, and scratch and claw your way to knocking your opponent down to around 12 life. 

At this point, you are searching for a your Lucky Clover and Smitten Swordmaster to finish off your opponent. Since this combo only requires two cards and three mana total, you get it off incredibly often. We are also playing four copies of Midnight Rider, so if you get hit with a board wipe you can usually draw 4 or 5 cards, and with so many cheap creature you can reestablish board presence very quickly. Lucky Clover also works with Order of Midnightimage and Murderous Riderimage to either get double removal or double "card draw" if you have creatures in your graveyard. 

The only semi controversial thing about this list is playing only 3 copies of Murderous Riderimage, however this enables two copies of Legion's Endimage, which is obviously one of the best solutions against the Zombie Horde available. 

Now obviously this deck wont beat Golos Ramp every game, and sometimes if that deck can curve out perfectly it is darn near unstoppable. However, in my playtesting I have been beating the deck at around a 70% clip, which most would agree is more than sufficient. It is also a super fun deck, and you will be amazed how many games come down to the absolute wire, which makes for very exciting gameplay. There is nothing better then knowing your opponent thinks he has the game in the bag, then hitting him with a "Good Game," and dishing out 12 points of damage from absolutely nowhere to end it. 


To hear about this deck and more, check out The Mythic Rare podcast later this week, which will break down this strategy and others to beat the current meta. To listen to the previous episodes check us out on Soundcloud or YouTube, and follow on Twitter:  @MythicRarePod


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Mono black aristocat works well too. Beat them up with your one drops and spawns until they wipe the board, then respond with sacrifice effect/ draw with midnight reaper to refill. Oven + cat + ayara makes finishing them often easy. Not a perfect counter but a good deck in this meta i think.
Voracious Hydra + Fling are a nice close out combo against Golos/Field decks for Gruul or Mono Green with a litle splash. also it's a nice finisher against any deck.
Has worked for me a lot of times now.
I agree on combo being the right direction for anti-golos. I’ve been running a mono-black version with Karn, and have been enjoying it immensely.

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