Standard Spotlight: Naya Dinosaur Ramp

Last week I talked about Gishath, Sun’s Avatar and his potential role in a ramp deck in Standard. Well, this week I wanted to put my money where my mouth is and try out the large legendary Dinosaur in a ramp shell similar to the ones we had before the rotation.

I brewed up a deck to try out on Monday night, but keep in mind that this is a preliminary list. I don’t know if the numbers are correct, or if certain cards should be added or cut just yet. That’s what I’m looking to find out during these matches. Take a look, and be sure you let me know what you think in the comments.

Naya Dinosaur Ramp

Well, here she is! I’m missing things like Weirding Wood (easily replaced by Beneath the Sands or New Horizons) and Thraben Inspector from the most recent G/W Ramp decks, but everything else lines up pretty well. I’m not sure if I want sweepers in the main deck, as I don’t like the idea of sweeping away all of my Dinosaurs—this is still a ramp deck, but it’s one that likes the idea of going wide rather than relying on a single indestructible creature.

The sideboard is pretty much geared toward Ramunap Red and other aggressive decks, so I’ll see how that goes. With the format being practically new again, losing four sets and only gaining one—that’s based heavily on tribal synergies no less—I’m not really sure what I should be expecting. Let’s see how things look!

Well, that was an emotional rollercoaster! After two losses straightaway, I came back to win the last three games! I made some obvious misplays and I even thought that I lost a match that still had a game left in it. All in all I’m pretty happy with my results. I also feel like I played against five relatively competitive archetypes: two God-Pharaoh’s Gift decks, one Temur Energy deck, one U/G Pummeler Combo deck, and one Dinosaur Aggro deck.

In fact, I’ve come to discover that the Dinosaur deck I played against in round 5 might have been Brian DeMars’ deck from this very site—at the very least, it looked a good deal like it. I guess we know who the real Rex is now.

While I found myself boarding in Fumigate a good deal, I’m not entirely sure it needs to be in the main deck, or that it fits with this style of deck. One card I did want more of was Wakening Sun’s Avatar. I was mostly just testing this out, but in nearly every match I wanted to draw it at a key moment. The truth is that having to play around Fumigate when I have a ton of valuable creatures isn’t easy. On the other hand, there are several aggressive decks out there where the life gain is definitely helpful. I was able to get to 8 mana fairly easily—the biggest challenge was making sure I would able to survive to 8 mana so that I could cast my big monsters.

I know some people had their issues with Gishath, but the card was just as good as I expected. As a simple 7/6 creature, it doesn’t always win on the spot, but being able to put anywhere from 1 to 4 other Dinosaurs into play for free is just huge. Unless they have a sweeper, which it feels like few decks are playing, it is usually game over.

The mana base was thrown together and tweaked a bit. I’m not sure if it’s perfect, but I didn’t notice any glaring issues in my games. I had red when I needed it. I had white or double-white when I needed it. I had enough Deserts. I’m not sure what I can do differently, but I’m open to suggestions. The single Scavenger Grounds was just as good as I anticipated and was an MVP in certain matchups.

I’m looking forward to hearing what you guys think of the deck and if you have any suggestions after watching the matches. Be sure to let me know in the comments. Thanks a ton for reading and I’ll catch you next time!

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