Thirst for Knowledge: Black Green Eldrazi in Standard

Written by Joshua Claytor on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Standard

Thirst for Knowledge:  Black Green Eldrazi in Standard

Joshua Claytor

Joshua is the current content manager of Legitmtg.com and Puremtgo.com.

This past weekend sure was busy right? It seemed like every single person I followed on Twitter or am friends with on Facebook was playing in some kind of event. It might have been one of the Regional Pro Tour Qualifiers, a Grand Prix, or a Starcitygames tournament, but there was no shortage of high quality Magic being played.

Of course, for someone like me this weekend was spent with the son, eating candy and playing video games, because Halloween did not get rained out for once around here. It’s actually been close to four years since I was able to go trick or treating with my son, I either did not have him or it was cold and raining and gross outside, so this year was kinda neat.

When the candy was passed out and video games were played I started to pay attention to my feeds to see how my friends were doing. Most were not successful in the RPTQ, which is unfortunate, but I had a few who were fighting to day two of Grand Prix Indy.

Chris O’Bryant is someone that I have written about before, on Puremtgo.com. He had just won an Extended MOCS (that was some time ago!) with Dark Depths and since then has top eighted another MOCS event, a Starcity Invitational, and finished second at a Starcity Open. Chris is a high quality person and a great player, so I anxiously awaited his decklist when he said he finished in the top 16 of the event. I actually thought that he had made a typo in his Facebook post, as he said he was on BG Eldrazi, and I found that odd. Red Green and Naya Ramp decks have been the flavors of Eldrazi (and I guess Black White) for a while now, and when Wizards finally got his list up I saw that it was not a typo at all.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at the list the Chris played at Grand Prix Indy.

I love everything about this list. It’s unique, it’s not super expensive, thanks to Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy not making an appearance, and it’s super fun to play. Quickly playing giant monsters may have become my favorite thing to do in all of Magic, and this deck does not disappoint! Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger works in concert with Oblivion Sower and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon to put games away quickly!

What I liked about this deck when I saw it was just how much time you have. It’s different from the Red Green version because there are main deck Jaddi Offshoots, which are a nice hedge against the fast aggro decks in the format, and they do play well with Explosive Vegetation! Map the Wastes is typically in the deck as well, but thanks to the black splash we get to run one of the best uncommons in Battle for Zendikar in Catacomb Sifter. Sure the Eldrazi Scion only ramps once, but smoothing your draws and having two blockers seems to be really important! On top of the early blockers in Sifter and Offshoot, we also have a nice bit of removal. Complete Disregard does a number on a lot of the format, from Jace to Hangarback Walker. Mantis Rider gets hit, Warden of the First Tree goes away, and so does stuff like Seeker of the Way, Monastery Mentor, and Dragonmaster Outcast. What Disregard misses, Murderous Cut strikes down. Anafenza the Foremost, Siege Rhino, Tasigur, Oblivion Sower and all kinds of Dragons are pruned away with the delve instant.

The mana ramping takes the form of the aforementioned Sifter and Vegetation, and is joined by Nissa’s Pilgrimage and Hedron Archive. The Pilgrimage is great at thinning out the deck once it has spell mastery (you know the removal plays a role in this!) and Archive does neat things, like drawing some cards! The more that I play with Archive the less that I like it though. In a deck with a ton of land and land search it sure does blow some draws sometimes! In a format where Kolaghan’s Command is widely played, it also gives the deck an unnecessary target for one of the more widely played instants in the Standard format. Drawing cards is cool, but a part of me wants to try out From Beyond in this slot. I actually learned that From Beyond does more than just make creatures recently!

Sylvan Scrying may be one of the most important cards in the deck. It can find you the black mana that you might need, and it can also find you Sanctum of Ugin, which does wonders in this deck. Being able to chain Ulamogs together is outstanding! Finding Ugin can allow you to catch up if you’re getting overwhelmed, and it can even kinda ramp with Shrine, as you can find it and help yourself out whenever you get to seven lands!

The sideboard is kinda standard for a ramp deck. We have ways to keep ourselves alive with Winds of Qal Sisma. We can trump the mirror match with Void Winnower, and tear apart the hands of control with Transgress the Mind. Whisperwood Elemental is a fun creature to have around. Gaea’s Revenge does work against control and Ultimate Price gives us even more removal!

Anyways I played some games with it, you can check them out in the stream recap that is hanging out underneath this sentence!

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We went 3-2 in the league which is ok. There were a lot of mulligans in the matches played, and we did get blown out by a Mono Green version of the deck as well. If Eldrazi Ramp decks start to be a bigger part of the field it may be best to put Void Winnower in to the main deck. What is Red Green Ramp going to do about that? A whole lot of nothing, that’s what!

I am not entirely sure what to call what I lost to in the first match, so I’ll call it a good deck. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is going to be a beast in this format.

With that said and matches played the only thing that I want to try out in this deck truly is From Beyond. I think it would be better than the Archives in the main, and the ability to tutor up an Eldrazi could be great. We could almost do an Eldrazi toolbox with Void Winnower, Ulamog, Bane of Bala Ged, Ruin Processor, Sower, Conduit of Ruin, Wasteland Strangler, Brood Butcher and Desolation Twin.

Okay maybe not Twin, and the toolbox may be too cute for preboard games, but it could be worth looking in to?

Thanks for stopping by the site today! Have a great day!

Joshua

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