Untap Ramp

Written by James Heslip on . Posted in Casual Magic

Untap Ramp

James Heslip

James is a budget Magic connoisseur who values silly strategies and rogue decks. He has been playing Magic since 1998, and competing in Legacy events since 2010. When he is not teaching high school English, he can be found brewing Casual and Legacy decks to play with his students and peers. Always appreciative of feedback, he loves it when people send suggestions and share crazy decks with him!
Untap Ramp

Welcome to Ramp Week! This week I will be releasing multiple articles all focusing on one of the most basic and persistent archetypes in Magic: Mono Green Ramp. There are quite a few ways to gain large chunks of extra mana as early as possible. Though the methods vary, the results are usually the same: huge monsters played early that threaten to swallow the opponent whole. The first ramp deck in our list aims to abuse one of the oldest ramp spells in Magic’s history: Wild Growth.

 
The Core

In Untap Ramp we use cards like Arbor Elf which can untap lands, in combination with Auras like Wild Growth, which make your lands tap for extra mana. One Wild Growth and Arbor Elf in play is worth four mana. Add in an Overgrowth on the same land, and you have eight mana. The more Auras and untappers we have, the more mana we get. Voyaging Satyr is a more expensive Arbor Elf, with Blossom Dryad following suite. Use all of these to ramp into huge unstoppable fatties before other players have a chance to set of their defenses.

Wild Growth is the most cost effective of our Auras, while Overgrowth and Market Festival give the big ramp. Once we start producing seven or eight mana with them, we can summon some game ending fatties. Large creatures are not our only option, though. Spawning Grounds is by far our best end game spell. Enchant a land with that baby and your mana ramp creatures all turn into token spawners quickly swarming the board with multiple 5/5 beasts every turn.

 
The Backup

Commune with the Gods fits like a glove in a deck that revolves around creatures and enchantments. whichever you need, Commune can find, whether it’s an untap effect, mana aura, or game ending fatty. Which fatties can we find? At a mana cost of six, Scaled Behemoth is our cheapest. Because he comes with hexproof, we don’t need to worry about clogging our deck with protection spells to keep them alive. For one more mana you get Plated Crusher, which can also protect itself, but also comes with trample and just a little bit more power. Each can damage the opponent without also damaging your wallet. Kazandu Tuskcaller is a mana dump that we can drop early. Pump up her levels so that she can pump out multiple elephants every turn. These are not your only options, though. Green has a plethora of viable fatties and mana dumps. Use whatever works best for you.

The Final List

Playing the Deck
  There’s not a ton of strategy to this list that we have not already covered. Because of summoning sickness, you want to play your untappers early, before your auras. Once they can start ramping on their own, you can start popping down growths and Festivals to aid them. Use Commune with the Gods as needed. Know what you are looking for: untapper, aura, or finisher.

It’s always best to get your fatties down as soon as you can. You don’t want to spend too much time developing mana production just to show off how much you can make. Get a beater down to protect or kill. Usually, this will be Scaled Behemoth or Plated Crusher first. When the time is right, Spawning Grounds will end the game with its ridiculous token spawning potential. If you are at a point in the game where Grounds is in play, your untappers will become your most important cards. At this point, Commune should search for them. It is a waste to use multiple untap effects to create one fatty, when those same abilities can easily create multiple fatties.

Magus of the Candelabra, Hope Tender, Seeker of Skybreak, Juniper Order Druid, Krosan Restorer, Ley Druid, and Argothian Elder are our untap alternatives. Skybreak is a decent option, as she can come down earlier that the Blossom Dryad we have in the list, and can simply untap our Elf or Satyr. She can’t do anything significant by herself, though.If you have the money or the cardboard, play four Utopia Sprawl in place of Market Festival. The earlier we can get out ramp down the better, and Sprawl is powerful for its casting cost. Fertile Ground is a decent alternative. Dawn’s Reflection is simply interchangeable with Market Festival.

If you find yourself with a significant amount of extra mana, consider some of the featured mana dumps. Wolfbriar Elemental, Centaur Glade, Ant Queen, and Soul of Zendikar will eat up your mana and spit out tokens as needed. Soul is interesting because of his synergy with Commune with the Gods. Even if you dump him into the graveyard, he can still serve some purpose. Garruk’s Horde is another powerful mana dump, but he does lose some value here, thanks to our uncharacteristic number of enchantments in the deck.

Conclusion

Mono green ramp was one of the first decks I ever designed myself. Though not original, it will always hold a place in my heart. And at $10, who can blame me? What was the first deck you ever built yourself? Let me know on my facebook page. Do you have an idea for an inexpensive and fun deck you want me to see? send me an email at Spooky386@gmail.com.

 

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