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Simic Ramp

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Pull from Tomorrow
Hello everyone and welcome back! If you haven’t checked out my set review on Amonkhet, make sure to give that a read. This past week was a good one. Wizards finally listened to the players and banned Felidar Guardian. With the cat going back into the bag, a lot of people tried some new decks in Atlanta. It was the first big Standard event with new Amonkhet cards and no infinite cat combo. People didn’t have much time to test for that tournament since Felidar Guardian was emergency banned. Yet, many people showed up with some new strategies and some old ones. Going into the SCG Open, Mardu had a big target on its back, but with so little time and no Gideon ban (I believe Gideon, Ally of Zendikar should be banned) Mardu was very much the best deck for that weekend. I knew this going in, but I really wanted to give people hope for something new. I want people to innovate and try new things. Who knows? Maybe they’d find a deck that crushes Mardu vehicles while not dying to the new control decks in the format thanks to Pull from Tomorrow. Unlike other Pros, I tend to talk about the decks I’m playing, I don’t try to sell you short and give you decks that are half correct because I’m not hiding any information. I’m not on any team and I don’t have any obligations to anyone. So, when you read my articles and see the decks I talk about, I tend to not hold anything back. I’ll tell if the deck has been tested and my thoughts on it.

So, in Atlanta I knew I wanted to play ug Turbo Fog or Bant Planeswalkers. I decided to play ug Turbo Fog since I really enjoy playing ug decks. I wrote about both these decks some time back and you can find that article here. I had a lot of people come up to me during the tournament to see the list. While I showed it to them, I also tried to show them that article. The deck isn’t exactly the same, but its core is very much intact. In fact, the only new card added was Part the Waterveil (which was a mistake), the rest of the deck is the same and numbers were just switched around a little bit.

So today we will be talking about the Simic deck I played, what I would change, and what I want to try going forward. This deck is super fun to play. If you love to durdle, draw cards, and ramp then you’ll love this deck!

This is the list I played to a Top 64 finish. At least three games losses were my fault and I could’ve very easily made Top 16 had I played tighter and if I had more experience with the deck. The deck has a lot of decisions once it gets going and even I get lost sometimes. You’ll see what I mean when you play it and start going “off.”

Here’s the beauty!


Goal of the Deck

Haze of Pollen
Crazy, right? The deck has so much mana in it and so many things that just give you mana. In fact, 41 cards out of 60 just produce mana or get you more mana. This deck is like the bg Seasons Past deck except instead of having Seasons Past to cycle our cards, we use Pull from Tomorrow and Memory. When you Aftermath Memory you’ll usually draw better than your opponent since almost all your lands will be on the battlefield. Once the deck gets going, it can Fog with Haze of Pollen or Commencement of Festivities easily. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding your win Condition in Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger because you’ll be drawing so many cards. Late game your Fogs, Censors, Blighted Cataract, and even your Hedron Archives will cycle allowing you to dig deeper and deeper into your deck. Sometimes you’ll be able to just Pull from Tomorrow an absurd number of cards and find what you need. You’ll also get out of burn range from most decks thanks to Nissa's Renewal. So, if you start going off at a somewhat reasonable life total, you’ll be able to stabilize with Nissa's Renewal and you won’t have to worry about your opponent drawing two Fiery Tempers to finish you off. This is what they’ll usually have to resort to since they won’t be able to attack you anymore due to the number of Fogs you have access to.

Opening Hands

You’ll really want to keep a hand with some 2-drop, be it a ramp creature in Naga Vitalist or Ulvenwald Captive. Keeping one with Censor is also okay if you have Hedron Archive or some sort of follow up like Commit // Memory. Against Control decks you won’t have to mulligan into a 2-drop ramp creature since the games tend to go long anyway. Don’t be afraid to mulligan if you don’t have an early play, especially against the aggressive decks. You can always undo a mulligan with Memory if you ramp fast enough but you can’t do that if you’re doing nothing in the early turns.

Matchups

The deck is favored against all the slow midrange and control decks. It will have a tough time beating the aggressive decks, especially if they come out blazing. The other matchup it struggles with is the Aetherworks Marvel decks, but I found if you play it smart that matchup is about even. I initially thought this deck might just be a worse Aetherworks Marvel deck but the Marvel decks tend to have a tough time beating Control since control has to counter the Aetherworks Marvel. However, this deck gives control a run for its money and the deck is favored against most control decks unless they are running 15+ counterspells. Even then you can still give them a good run for their money. What’s great about the control decks is they’ll usually have to Magma Spray your mana dorks, meaning when you wheel with Memory your seven will be even better. Not only will most of your lands be on the battlefield but now your mana guys will be exiled.

Sideboarding

Sideboarding is always rough because I tend to change the way I sideboard in any given matchup. Sometimes the deck is playing Infinite Obliteration or Appetite for the Unnatural which will make me board differently. I’ll let you know the cards I usually cut against certain matchups.

Control

If they have a lot of permanents, or are playing Dynavolt Towers, you’ll want to bring in Appetite or Manglehorn. You might even keep in Crush of Tentacles. I bring in Walking Ballista since it gets under Negate and some of the Jeskai control decks play Dragonmaster Outcast so you’ll want to kill that guy before it starts making a bunch of dragons. On the draw, if you think your opponent has shaved all their spot removal then I’d usually bring in two Naga Vitalist and take out two Censors since that card is worse on the draw and mana dorks are obviously great if your opponent has no way to kill them.

bg Delirium

On the play

On the Draw

Again, Censor is a little worse on the draw, so I tend to cut them. However, if you see your opponent still has Grasp of Darkness and Fatal Push in their deck, don’t bring it back in. They usually must cut most of, if not all, their removal so they can bring in some number of sideboard cards against you. I like Sphinx in this matchup because it just blocks everything and is hard to deal with. Grim Flayers, Mindwrack Demons, and Ishkanah, Grafwidow can’t attack you anymore without you gaining value. It’s also immune to Noxious Gearhulk and Ob Nixilis Reignited.

Mardu / Other aggro decks

If your opponent is an aggressive aggro deck and isn’t playing Heart of Kiran and other artifacts then you can obviously cut the Manglehorn for a Naga Vitalist or a Part the Waterveil/Pull from Tomorrow/Sphinx. In the future I am going to cut a Walking Ballista for a 2nd Manglehorn and I’d just bring that in instead of two Walking Ballistas because Manglehorn is so much better against Mardu.

I’m not going to lie, this isn’t a great matchup. If it’s very popular where you play then I recommend trying something else or switching some cards around. I’m not saying it’s unbeatable, but it’s rough. Especially if they curve Toolcraft Exemplar, Heart, whatever spell, into Gideon.

Tips and Tricks

Crush of Tentacles
While most plays seem obvious the deck does have interactions that you might not see at first glance.

  • Crush of Tentacles into Memory is a very powerful play. This will return everything back to your opponent’s hand and shuffle everything away. While you won’t get an 8/8 Kraken it’s not going to matter much since your opponent won’t have anything in play.
  • If you play this exact list don’t worry about Awakening Part the Waterveil too much. Especially since it just dies to Fatal Push. However Part the Waterveil into Memory is very strong and will allow you to do whatever you want before your opponent.
  • Lumbering Falls is a solid win condition. I won plenty of games just with attacking with this elemental. Just because you have a bunch of big fancy spells doesn’t meant that the ole creature land beat down isn’t good enough.
  • Commit can stop uncounterable spells and opposing Sphinx of the Final Words since it doesn’t “counter.”
  • Committing a creature or Planeswalker in response to Mindwrack Demon will put it second from the top and then your opponent will have to mill it.
  • bg Delirium’s only hope of beating you is usually recurring Gonti, Lord of Luxury repeatedly. If they manage to snag Ulamog or you think they have (you can confirm this if you cast a Nissa's Renewal) then you’ll want to be patient until they cast Ulamog. Then you can Commit Ulamog back into your deck or you can Crush of Tentacles it back into your hand. Your other option of course is to cast your other Ulamog to Exile Ulamog or just cast your other Ulamog before they get to 10 mana.
  • I made a bad mistake against bgDelirium once. They had three of my cards with Gonti. They cast Ulamog, when I went to try and Commit the Ulamog back into my deck they had a Commit that they had stolen and they were able to Commit my Commit then exile my library. I lost. Instead what I should have done is let my opponent attack with Ulmaog and exile my whole library. Afterwards I should have Commited Ulamog back into my deck. My opponent would’ve countered with their own Commit Making Commit the only card in my deck. So then on my turn I would’ve drawn Commit and then Commited Ulamog back into my deck and then cast Memory insuring that next turn I would not die to having no library. It was a complicated game to say the least, but that doesn’t excuse my mistake. So be better than me and see all the correct plays!

If I was going to play this deck tomorrow, this is what I register.


The main change I want to try is Thing in the Ice against the aggressive decks. It’s also very powerful if you manage to cast Memory when Thing in the Ice has one counter left on it. This would allow you to return all creatures to your opponent’s hand and then Memory would resolve shuffling them all away. Metallurgic Summonings overperformed when I brought it in so I want to try a list with them main deck. I also want to test out a list that splashes White for Approach of the Second Sun and Fumigate. While I would recommend just jamming this list, this is where I plan to start with the Bant list. It may be better or worse but I haven’t tested it yet.


This is where I would start with the Bant list. My thought process is I want to be able to play ramp while still being good against Mardu and control. I’m sure there is a way to make this work. It would basically be a list that is good/favored against Mardu while still being good against control and midrange decks. I’ll test it some and hopefully I’ll be able to get back to you on it.

That’s all I have for you today. I would like to take a minute and seriously thank the people that read my articles and support me when I’m at events. I’ve gotten a lot less support and acknowledgment the past couple of months so again, I really appreciate you guys. Thank you for being here.

Until next time,

Ali Aintrazi

@AliEldrazi on Twitter


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