Standard Selesnya Ramp by Christopher Williams
The Hooglandia Open is a fun event hosted by popular streamer Jeff Hoogland. This time around, it happened to be one of the first tournaments to use cards from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. Christopher Williams won with Selesnya Ramp; let’s have a look at his deck list.
I like this deck for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its similarity to the Wrenn and Seven Ramp brew which I was already working.
In the article linked above, I sketched out Mono-Green Ramp, as well as outlined what some of the splash colors might have to offer. Notably, the only splash color I didn’t consider was white! I think Christopher Williams made some major breakthroughs by pairing green with white in the Wrenn and Seven shell.
While there’s no shortage of appealing white cards, such as Skyclave Apparition and Emeria’s Call, the one I’m most excited about is Yasharn, Implacable Earth. Most of us think of Yasharn as a hate card against sacrifice decks, but I’ve been very impressed by it as a standalone card.
Four mana for a 4/4 isn’t much to be excited about in 2021 Magic. However, it’s still a body with respectable stats which demands a removal spell or a creature to trade with it in combat. The passive ability also comes up in all sorts of incremental ways, like preventing people from using Treasures for mana. And of course, every once in a while you do get to play against a dedicated sacrifice deck!
But most importantly, Yasharn pulls two lands into your hand, representing three-for-one card advantage while adding a creature to the battlefield. It feels great to resolve Yasharn in a close game, and know that you’re not going to miss any land drops, and this quality is at its best in a ramp deck like this one. Yasharn has synergy with Wrenn and Seven’s 0 ability, and is a perfect body for Storm the Festival.
If I have any doubts about the specifics of this deck list, they come from Prosperous Innkeeper and Murasa Rootgrazer. Innkeeper is a great card, and I particularly like how it can stabilize your life total when you start popping off with Scute Swarm. However, I dislike the way its Treasure conflicts with Yasharn’s passive ability.
I’m always skeptical of cards like Murasa Rootgrazer because you need so many resources in order to make good use of the ability. Maybe Yasharn and Wrenn and Seven are enough to keep the land drops flowing, but I’d still feel comfortable with a slightly higher land count (this version plays 28 including double-faced lands) in order to maximize the Rootgrazers.
All in all, I think this is a great deck, and I look forward to trying Selesnya Ramp myself. Yasharn is exactly the midrange body the archetype needs to bridge the early game into the lategame. I also like how white provides Emeria’s Call as a useful double-faced land, plus rounds out the removal suite in both the main deck and the sideboard.