Brewing Magic decks has been the dominant theme of the last month of my life. Between a Deep Dive on the topic, the Neon Dynasty Set Championship coming up this weekend and no less than four Brew in Review projects surrounding the release of the new set, I’ve been completely immersed. Today, you’ll get Part 3 of my work on Alchemy GW Ramp. This was a real labor of love, which I was inches away from registering for the Set Championship, although in the end I decided it wasn’t the right call for this particular event.
Find Part 1 here:
Find Part 2 here:
The original idea was to build a ramp deck using Settle the Wilds. Settle has continued to impress me as a turn three play. It ramps your mana, provides card advantage and guarantees you a play for the following turn. When used correctly, it can even improve your access to key cards.
For a brief period, I tried cutting Settle the Wilds in favor of The Celestus and more cheap removal. I quickly realized that I was struggling to amass the resources I needed to operate. Particularly when starting with a mulligan, a ramp deck can have trouble making its land drops, defending itself early and still having gas in the tank to win the late game. Settle the Wilds is the perfect card to have in your opening hand to ensure everything goes smoothly.
That said, I did learn some shortcomings of the card as well. Its value quickly drops after the early turns of the game. In a competitive setting, you can usually afford one turn of ramping mana, but then you need to make a big play and start defending yourself. So drawing multiple Settles, or using key turns like turn five to continue ramping, is less than ideal. As such, I don’t think it’s necessary to climb all the way up the ladder with cards like Bookwurm and The Tarrasque. Even a single copy of a six-mana and seven-mana permanent to seek has been totally sufficient.