Calling All Angels

One of the most interesting questions in Standard is what the best Ramp deck looks like. There are a ton of variations on aggressive and midrange decks, ranging from Ramunap Red and Zombies to Vehicles and Energy variants. There’s also several takes on control, from The Scarab God to Approach of the Second Sun. It’s really hard for World Breaker to beat all these strategies on its own, so you have to select the supporting cast very carefully . One of the more interesting takes I’ve seen is this one by Ciribarrayar:

World Breaker
Everything about this deck has been selected to hedge against a huge variety of potential strategies. By playing White over Red, you lose access to cheap sweepers like Sweltering Suns and Kozilek’s Return. In exchange, you gain access to Fumigate and Descend upon the Sinful, both of which have some upsides and downsides. The upside is that you have a much more powerful sweeper in control and midrange mirrors. Descend upon the Sinful is particularly brutal against Zombies. The problem is that you now have to live to the point where you can cast these cards. Enter Thraben Inspector and Gift of Paradise, both cards that are included to give aggro decks a little bit of a speed bump so you can sweep the board at a reasonable life total.

That’s not the only concession though. You also have lost some copies of Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and World Breaker for Linvala, the Preserver. This is a great way to catch up against aggressive and midrange strategies, and it’s incredible at bridging the gap between your five- and six-mana sweepers and your seven- and ten-mana haymakers. Linvala is especially good because you’ll frequently want a cheaper threat that allows you to crack clues or cycle cards to help you dig deeper and find another threat to follow up with.

If you’re looking for a flexible variant on Ramp that has game against just about everything in the format, this seems like a great shell. You have space for cards like Archangel Avacyn, or even Thalia’s Lancers if you were so inclined, and you can shift the combination of spot removal and sweepers to be more effective against whatever you expect to play against. Additionally, the ability to play reasonable artifact and enchantment removal out of the sideboard is always a good option, and Green and White have an abundance of powerful Planeswalkers to help in more controlling matchups. No matter what you expect to play against, it seems like there ought to be a reasonable build of {W}{G} Ramp to beat that combination of decks.

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