One of the unheralded but quite significant losses to Standard via the recent rotation is in the ramp spell department. Explosive Vegetation and Nissa's Pilgrimage, the bread and butter of the archetype for the last year, are both gone and there is little to take their place.
Of course, no one really felt bad for all the ramp players out there because they are the scum of the earth trying to ruin everyone else's good time, but let's take some time to practice some good old-fashioned Human empathy.
Obviously, any ramp deck is not going to be nearly as dedicated to the cause as previous iterations because the tools just aren't there. So what we need is a hybrid list that finds the sweet spot between ramp and midrange. Fortunately, there is the perfect card for such a hybrid in Standard right now: Chandra, Torch of Defiance.
Chandra has been the major disappointment of the set thus far, but this list makes very good use of all of her modes. You can draw cards when low on resources; pick off a creature while protecting her with Noose Constrictor or Ishkanah, Grafwidow; or just ramp straight to seven mana for a devastating World Breaker.
World Breaker is particularly good right now because it allows your Kozilek's Return to Wrath your opponent's battlefield while also cleaning up a pesky Vehicle, putting you very far ahead. It's likely the reason that we don't have great ramp options because I think it would be too strong if you could reliably cast it on turn 4 or 5. This deck has that capability, but since it cannot achieve it with the necessary consistency, it opts for a more interactive gameplan.
Drownyard Temple is a great way to shoehorn an extra ramp “spell” into your deck when used in combination with the various discard outlets, which also enable Fiery Temper, a premier removal spell. I'm not sold on Collective Defiance, however, as I'd rather have another spell that Chandra can cast immediately off her +1 ability, most likely Harnessed Lightning.
The lack of quality removal for big creatures is troubling, but this deck does a great job of clogging the battlefield before setting up Emrakul, the Promised End.
It may not be what you're looking for, ramp players, but it might be the rampiest deck you're going to get, and if it wins games, then who really cares?
- 4 Noose Constrictor
- 4 Servant of the Conduit
- 2 World Breaker
- 1 Emrakul, the Promised End
- 2 Ishkanah, Grafwidow