Throne of Eldraine just released, and there's about as much content being produced as there is being consumed. It really means a lot to me that you're spending your time with me right now. So thank you for stopping by, and as a token of my gratitude I'm going to give you what I believe to be the best deck in Standard going into SCG Philadelphia. I even have mirror match technology that's won me every single game one I've played so far. You're in for quite a treat today, I tell you what.
Now, I didn't think much about Golos Ramp last week. I only got the Early Access Event to prepare for Fandom Legends, so my strategy going into that tournament was to not play any bad cards. While that's an obvious statement on the surface, it doesn't always work out that way. Right when a new format rolls around, we Magic players love to try out new decks, and most of them are terrible. Sometimes it's the strategy, but other times it's just the cards in the deck. I assumed Golos, Tireless Pilgrim decks would be amazing, but I didn't have enough time to tune one for a tournament setting. I wanted to minimize my chances of playing a "bad deck," so I deployed a basic strategy I picked up last format.
- 3 Brazen Borrower
- 4 Gilded Goose
- 4 Hydroid Krasis
- 4 Leafkin Druid
- 4 Paradise Druid
- 4 Voracious Hydra
- 4 Wicked Wolf
I learned last season that the best Nissa, Who Shakes the World decks were those that didn't play cards that had to cost more than Nissa herself. They all had a lower curve and relied on X-spells to dump mana into when Nissa was on the battlefield. On top of this, I loved that Throne of Eldraine introduced a ton of new interactive cards for Simic, so that's what I decided to do.
I never thought Brazen Borrower would be the ultimate removal spell for Simic Ramp, but I did imagine it being great for Week 1. The idea behind the card was just having a universal answer to whatever my opponent's would throw at me. These tempo swings would be exactly what I needed to get my planeswalkers into play safely. I also was relying on my opponents to underestimate Oko, since it was the start of the format, and hoped they played big flashy cards ready to be turned into 3/3 Elk.
Now, I could go into a lot of my card choices, but in all honesty I already think this deck is too weak for the format. I mean, there's something here that can compete, but not where I want to be anymore. I knew before the tournament started that, even if my deck was good that day, it most likely wouldn't be moving forward. By design it was a Week 1 killer, and that's pretty much it. I sliced through the Swiss going 5-0 and beat William Jensen in the quarterfinals before eventually losing to Bryan Gottlieb in the semis. I thought I was going to win the tournament, but Bryan's deck was really well set up for mine, and I think I even punted not knowing how all the cards worked. Those are the breaks.
Now, I still played Simic Ramp for the next day or so, and quickly ranked up to #2 in the Mythic Rankings. After that I picked up Golgari Adventure, which pushed me to my first #1 ranking on the ladder. For a hot minute I thought this deck was busted, but eventually the metagame caught up, causing me to lose some matches. At one point, though, I was 15-2 with this list:
- 3 Beanstalk Giant
- 4 Edgewall Innkeeper
- 4 Foulmire Knight
- 4 Lovestruck Beast
- 4 Murderous Rider
- 3 Order of Midnight
I actually really liked this deck, but this build ultimately wasn't strong enough. I'm looking forward to seeing if John Rolf does well in his MPL Split, as he's playing a similar strategy. I guess he's playing more of a Knight theme, but still. Ultimately, though, I had to abandon this deck regardless of how I felt about it due to someone popularizing one of its worst matchups.
This gets us to Sunday, where Byran Gottlieb once again won a Fandom Legends tournament, but this time with Golos Ramp. I really liked the general idea of his deck but questioned a few of his card choices, specifically those in the sideboard. This, of course, is no fault of his own, as it was Week 1 Standard. Bryan did set the tone of this format, though, as he won both Standard tournaments thus far, and I think that's just so incredibly impressive.
He influenced the format so much that two MPL Members registered Golos Ramp for their Split, and about a quarter of my opponents on Magic Arena were playing some version of the deck themselves. I've even seen people show up with anti-mirror technology in their maindeck with cards like Agent of Treachery, Assassin's Trophy, and even Casualties of War.
Golos Ramp is hot right now, and everyone seems to be gunning for it, yet I still easily got through Platinum with a 13-2 record, and Diamond going 14-4. As I write this article I'm currently #1 in Mythic again 24 hours after the reset. The deck's so good! Oh, and I haven't lost a single Game 1 in a Golos Ramp mirror thanks to some sick technology.
Here's my current list.
- 2 Forest
- 2 Island
- 1 Plains
- 1 Azorius Guildgate
- 1 Blossoming Sands
- 1 Boros Guildgate
- 2 Breeding Pool
- 1 Castle Vantress
- 2 Fabled Passage
- 4 Field of the Dead
- 1 Golgari Guildgate
- 2 Hallowed Fountain
- 1 Orzhov Guildgate
- 1 Plaza of Harmony
- 1 Selesnya Guildgate
- 1 Simic Guildgate
- 2 Temple Garden
- 1 Temple of Malady
- 1 Temple of Mystery
- 1 Tranquil Cove
The reason Golos Ramp is so good right now has everything to do with the Throne of Eldraine inclusions to the deck. Realm-Cloaked Giant is an amazing sweeper for a couple of reasons. First of all, this is a ramp strategy, so casting the creature side is fairly easy. When you're lacking things to do with your mana, you can still sweep the battlefield and cast a 7/7 on the following turn. While that's not what you're looking to do, it's not that terrible either.
Realm-Cloaked Giant being a creature is what puts the card over the edge, though, and it has nothing to do with attacking or blocking. Teferi, Time Raveler can bounce it back to your hand, which allows you to sweep the battlefield again. The other benefit the card has by being a creature is interacting well with Once Upon a Time. Being able to "tutor" for a sweeper is just silly in Standard, and something we haven't seen before.
Speaking of Once Upon a Time, that card is bonkers in this deck. Seriously, it's just disgusting. This deck plays specific creatures and lands which Once Upon A Time helps get to more consistently, but on top of that the card smooths out a lot of opening hands. I've kept so many hands that would be mulligans if it weren't for Once Upon a Time.
So this brings us to why I haven't lost a single Game 1 in a mirror yet. Now, this isn't due to a lack of preparation from my opposition. In actuality, they've all had a ton of hate for the mirror, but I still win every single Game 1. It doesn't matter if they kill or steal Field of the Dead; I'll eventually win every game thanks to a single copy of Fae of Wishes in the deck.
Every Game 1 mirror has played out the same for me. Both players keep building up a battlefield position which neither player can really break through. If a player gets too many Zombies or a big enough Hydroid Krasis, the other player will sweep the battlefield. The game goes on like this for a long time, and slowly my opponents gain an advantage thanks to their hate cards like Agent of Treachery.
This doesn't matter, though, as my entire gameplan revolves around decking myself which is super-easy to do in the mirror. The game just goes on and on, and on until I eventually have twenty to 22 lands on the battlefield, which lets me draw down to exactly two cards with a Hydroid Krasis. After that I search my sideboard for Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, and it's all over but the crying.
This works so well that one of my opponents had six Field of the Deads on the battlefield to my zero, but conceded the whole match after I still won Game 1. I'm not confident on a lot of things, but this is one of them. One copy of Fae of Wishes is a must-have this weekend, as I expect Golos Ramp to be a big player in this format moving forward. As of right now that's the best thing I can think of for the mirror, though. Maybe there's something else that I'm missing, but I for one don't know what that would be. I guess I'll just have to wait for when I start losing mirrors, since they'll soon have my tech on Arena as well.
I'm not really confident on my other numbers, though. Take Teferi for example. I'm down to three, as it's not the most impressive card in the deck, but I have no clue if that's correct. I've just noticed it not being that great, which is why I trimmed on it, especially since I've been sideboarding it out way more than I thought I would've. The same can be said for the sideboard numbers, as I've liked these cards, but I'm also constantly changing the numbers around. I guess the only thing I've really liked is my manabase, and I don't think anyone's convincing me to change it anytime soon.
I don't actually understand why people play the third red source or use Izzet Guildgate over Boros Guildgate. Often you'll need to set up double white for Time Wipe or Cast Off, so you can't search up your red splash with Circuitous Route without access to Boros Guildgate. To me, that's the only justification there is. You don't need a second red source thanks to Plaza of Harmony, and the other color should be white.
As for the sideboard, I'd continue to play around with it a lot. Nothing's set in stone just yet, and Standard's changing every day. Who knows what things are going to look like in a couple of days, so don't get too married to the sideboard I have above. If you're struggling with changes, though, it's fine to play as-is.
I hope you like this build of Bant Golos, and by this time next week I'll have registered for Mythic Championship V. You'll also find me most likely streaming this deck during this week's Fandom Legends.
See y'all next week!