A Guide to Red-Green Ramp

by Huang Hao Shan on 04 May 2016, Wednesday

Huang Hao Shan

A Guide to Red-Green Ramp


Going into Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad in Madrid, we assembled a team of 15 players. Having tried a lot of possibilities, we eventually ended up running these decks.


  • Bant Company (Katsuhiro Mori, Lee Shi Tian, Christian Calcalno and Andrea Mengucci)

  • Abzan Company (Raphael Levy, Jeremy Dezani, Maitland Cameron and Anthony Lee)

  • Mono-White Humans (Jason Chung, Wing Chun Yam)

  • Blue-Red Googles (Thierry Ramboa, Tomoharu Saito)

  • Red-Green Ramp (Paul Jackson, Huang Hao Shan, Faye Lai)


As you can see, instead of just of just one or two decks within a team, we eventually ended up with 5 different archetypes, which displays the diversity of current Standard. We wanted to choose what to play based on our own individual play style.


Collected Company


In particular, Bant Company achieved a combined 75% win rate, putting Andrea Mengucci in 2nd place and three others at 10-4 and 11-5. That was the best result from among the five decks which we chose. The main reason I didn't want to play Bant Company was because I felt unfamiliar with the mirror match, which can get pretty complicated. Running out of time, I knew that I wanted to play something else.


Luckily, Paul Jackson had been working very hard on the Red-Green Ramp deck, and tuned it a lot. I put my faith in it and I felt like I had a good chance against Humans and Bant Company, two of the decks which we knew that was going to be popular. Interestingly enough, during our "Ramp versus Company" testing sessions, it also resulted in the rest of the guys running Invasive Surgery as a tool to help against Ramp.


Today, I'd like to share some thoughts and a sideboarding guide about Red-Green Ramp. Combining the records between myself, Paul Jackson and Faye Lai, we had a combined score of 20-10, which was a 66.67% win percentage.


Nissa's Renewal


Unlike traditional Red-Green Ramp which features a higher end game such as Nissa's Renewal and 4 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, we decided to go with more Dragonlord Atarka to improve our Humans and Bant Company matchup.


To more reliably cast sweepers such as Kozilek's Return and Chandra, Flamecaller, we also changed the mana base a lot. This different mana base allows us to get access to more Red sources, since we desperately needed it early against Humans, in order to cast Rending Volley and Roast post-sideboard. Since we're reducing Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, we no longer needed that many Shrine of the Forsaken Gods, even though Sanctum of Ugin is still a four-of.





Sideboarding Guide




Esper Dragons


Rending Volley Dragonlord Ojutai


In: +3 Rending Volley, +4 Thought-Knot Seer, +3 Tireless Tracker, +1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger


Out: -4 Jaddi Offshoot, -4 Kozilek's Return, -3 Oath of Nissa




Bant Company




In: +4 Roast


Out: -4 Oath of Nissa


You could also take one or two Kozilek's Return out for Rending Volley on the draw because it allows you to kill their Turn-2 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and prevents you from taking early damage by Bounding Krasis.






Kozilek's Return Chandra, Flamecaller


On the play


In: +3 Rending Volley, +2 Roast


Out: -1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, -4 Oath of Nissa


On the draw


In: +3 Rending Volley, +4 Roast


Out: -1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, -4 Oath of Nissa, -2 Sylvan Advocate


The game plan is simple. Kill their early drops with Rending Volley and Roast if you don't have an early Kozilek's Return. Later on, you'll get to the board with either Chandra, Flamecaller or Dragonlord Atarka. I feel that we are favored in this match, especially when it comes to the sideboarded games.




White-Black Midrange / Control


Thought-Knot Seer


In: +4 Thought-Knot Seer +1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger


Out: -4 Jaddi Offshoot, -1 Kozilek's Return


Against White-Black with several Planeswalkers, Secure the Wastes and Westvale Abbey, it could be tough to deal. Despite Kozilek's Return being a generally bad card against them, I'd like some sweepers so I don't have to face Ormendahl, Profane Prince out of nowhere in the late game.




White-Black Eldrazi


In: +4 Roast +2 Rending Volley, +2 Tireless Tracker


Out: -4 Jaddi Offshoot, -4 Kozilek's Return




Mirror Match


In: +4 Thought-Knot Seer, +1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, +3 Roast


Out: -4 Jaddi Offshoot, -4 Kozilek's Return


Tireless Tracker Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger


When you're on the play, you can bring in a couple of Tireless Tracker over Roast like what some other Ramp players do in the mirror. Personally, I'm not sold on that since ramping into World Breaker and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is still your first priority and biggest game plan.




Red-Green Goggles Ramp


Pyromancer's Goggles


In: +4 Thought-Knot Seer, +1 Ulamog, +3 Tireless Tracker


Out: -4 Jaddi Offshoot, -4 Kozilek's Return


We aren't bringing in Roast since they don't have Thought-Knot Seers in the sideboard, and not even Sylvan Advocates in the maindeck. They will be short on good sideboard cards because they will also swap out Fiery Impulse, so they ight bring in some Tireless Trackers.




Blue-Red Goggles / Thing in the Ice Control


In: +4 Thought-Knot Seer, +3 Tireless Tracker, +4 Roast, +3 Rending Volley


Out: -2 Oath of Nissa, -4 Jaddi Offshot, -4 Kozilek's Return, -4 Sylvan Advocate


If they don't have Reality Smasher but they are running Fevered Visions in the sideboard, then you should leave in some Sylvan Advocate instead of boarding all Roasts in.




Mono-Red Eldrazi


In: +4 Roast


Out: 4 Jaddi Offshoot


There has been an interesting Mono-Red Eldrazi deck running around Magic Online, even thought it eventually saw little play at the Pro Tour. The deck transformed into Red-White Eldrazi with Pyromancer's Goggles in the hand of Luis Salvatto (who made the Top 8 at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad) though, which seems to be a superior build and way more powerful.



White-Green Tokens


Nissa, Voice of Zendikar Gideon, Ally of Zendikar


In: +3 Rending Volley


Out: -3 Jaddi Offshoot


Rending Volley doesn't have many targets, but they are running around with 4 copies of Archangel Avacyn. Jaddi Offshoot might look decent, but it doesn't do enough because their team grows wide and big, and you might even take out the last copy for a second Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger.




Black-Green Seasons Past Control


Seasons Past


In: +4 Thought-Knot Seer, +3 Tireless Tracker, +1 Ulamog


Out: -4 Jaddi Offshoot, -4 Kozilek's Return


Basically, the sideboard plan here is similar to the way we sideboard against other control decks, except you don't have to care about Rending Volley for their Dragonlord Ojutai or Archangel Avacyn.




Black-Green Sacrifice / Aristocrats


On the draw


In: +2 Roast


Out: -2 Sylvan Advocate


I played against Tom Martell during the last round of the Pro Tour and I decided to keep in all 60 cards from my maindeck after losing the first game. I felt that there was nothing much to change when I am on the play. The only relevant sideboard cards are Roast to hit Liliana, Heretical Healer and Nantuko Husk, and you might want them instead of Sylvan Advocate when you are on the draw.


Westvale Abbey


You'll need to watch out for their Ormendhal, Profane Prince which comes out of nowhere and I learnt that the hard way when I tried to slowroll my Kozilek's Return instead of casting it right away. That was where Tom punished me by laying Westvale Abbey and transforming it right away and I died to the indestructible demon in two swings.


Overall, I'd recommand playing out Red-Green Ramp deck for upcoming events if the metagame doesn't shift. Comparing it with other decks, it's one of the easiest to pilot. The difficulty of playing the deck it low, yet it is pretty well-positioned. Have fun with this deck, and wish me luck at Grand Prix Tokyo this weekend!

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