Undercover Sale Ends Sunday!
   Sign In
Create Account

Raggadragga, Mana Ramper


One of my favorite things to do in Magic is ramp. It's just a ton of fun to zip up and make big splashy plays to take down your opponents. I played a bunch of these effects as a kid playing with my sibling at the kitchen table, in my first decks returning to the game in 2010, and draft the strategy every chance I get in the Magic Online Vintage Cube. Heck the deck I'm best known for - Elves - is a big ramp deck. That's not just Pauper either, but rather virtually every format the archetype is legal in. I even have a print of Anson Maddocks' Llanowar Elves painting hanging in my office as a tribute to my love of this playstyle.

Being that Green ramping player is just something that's come to define me over the years. Everyone has that style they're known for. Maybe you're the tempo player, the control player, the aggro player, or the combo player. Maybe you like spells matter, planeswalker super friends, or something off the wall like bear tribal. For me, ramp's just been one of my personal signature styles over the many decades of playing the game. So, you can imagine how utterly giddy I was when Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss was previewed for Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate.

Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss

I think it took me a couple passes to really comprehend what Raggadragga is doing. This is a legend that takes mana dorks, turns them into aggressive attackers that untap, and rewards you for playing your big splashy spells. There's absolutely no part of that which I don't like. I love it. Too often playing ramp decks you'll get stuck with a bunch of tiny dorks that honestly can't do much of anything. You're not going to be attacking with a bunch of 1/1s - especially not when they're what enables you to play stuff. 3/3s that untap, however? Yeah, I could be coaxed into doing that.

It was just too sweet of a commander to pass up working on and I quickly got to it. Here's the list I came up with:

Raggadragga Ramp | Commander | Paige Smith

Now, I'll be the first to admit: this deck is honestly a bit on the simplistic side. Play a ton of mana dorks, beat face, and play some big splashy cards. Not a whole ton really to describe, right? Well, sure, but I honestly thought it was really interesting to go through the actual mana dorks themselves. I actually overfilled the list originally, putting in just about every big expensive card to the lowliest bulk common. They're not quite so dorky with a commander like Raggadragga, which provides you tons of great options. There're so many ways to get mana out there that you can go pretty deep and all in or build it on a hard budget and it won't make much difference at all.

I ultimately decided to go a little more toward the former. I think the idea of doing something a little more budget friendly here is awesome! If you've got cards like Bloom Tender and Selvala, Heart of the Wilds then by all means, run them! Personally, I feel that cards like those don't matter quite so much when a solid 2/3 of the creatures in this deck (of which there's a whopping 50 including the commander) are mana dorks. At some point it just becomes a bit too win-more and it ends up feeling like you might just be better off playing the budget options instead. It's easier on your wallet and you'll likely get a pretty comparable experience out of it.

Bloom Tender
Utopia Mycon
Treetop Village

For the most part, the options here are quite standard. You've got your Llanowar Elves and your Elvish Mystics, your Birds of Paradise, and your Joraga Treespeakers. There were a couple really neat options I found along the way, though. Utopia Mycon is neat in that it doesn't tap to use its mana ability, but still easily turns into a 2/4 that spits out a bunch of tokens, making for a solid attacker that untaps and sticks around as a blocker. There's also Channeler Initiate which lets you attack and then tap it again for mana to make it even bigger. I'd also long forgotten about Viridian Joiner - a common from Mirrodin - that doesn't typically see a lot of play because it's hard to buff, but here the buffs come naturally.

You can even get some interesting utility out of creature lands as well. Dryad Arbor is, of course, a very obvious one as it's a creature at all times, making it a 3/3 that you can attack with and then later use for mana so long as Raggadragga is on the board. That's not all, though. Urza's Legacy classics Ghitu Encampment and Treetop Village get shockingly good here with the power ups Raggadragga provides. And that's to say nothing of Raging Ravine either, offering plenty of versatility in play. You can also run cards like Mutavault, Blinkmoth Nexus, Inkmoth Nexus, Den of the Bugbear, and so on pretty easily. I wanted to limit some of the inclusions a little, but hey, if you've got them you could probably drop a Forest pretty easily to help fill out the list.

When it comes to the ramping, I also included a couple of the typical mana rocks and ramp spells. Admittedly, I wanted to leave Sol Ring and Arcane Signet out at first. There're so many creatures that ramp you, the idea that you even need mana rocks becomes somewhat comical. In a similar vein, you might wonder why I'd want cards like Rampant Growth and Cultivate. Part of the answer is that these are all fairly inexpensive, but the bigger part is some insurance post board wipe. I did put in a Heroic Intervention to try helping here a little, but it's just one card out of 99 so you won't see it every game. Players love packing board wipes, so if you overextend, you can lose everything. Having a couple artifacts and land ramp helps make sure you don't get crushed too hard in the event of a wipe, thereby keeping you in the game - even if the main focus is on the dorks.

Primordial Sage
Decimator of the Provinces

Lastly are the top end finishers. There were a lot of cool budgetary options to throw in here. Primordial Sage, Soul of the Harvest, Garruk's Horde, and Regal Force will all ensure you draw tons of cards and overwhelm your opponents. Archetype of Endurance makes your things harder to kill while Meteor Golem takes out whatever you need in a pinch. Borborygmos spreads the wealth to your giant army of dorks - allowing some synergy with Rishkar in the process. Lastly are End-Raze Forerunners, Decimator of the Provinces, and Kamahl, Heart of Krosa - all here as a way to finish off your opponents with one devastating blow. Who needs Craterhoof Behemoth when you can get there on just a couple dollars? If all else fails, just blow them all to smithereens with a well-timed Comet Storm.

Ultimately, Raggadragga feels like a fresh way to play ramp decks and I love that. Weirdly enough, as someone who tends to love playing them in most formats, I actually have problems with ramp in Commander. Too often the games feel like they devolve into just being the same things over and over again, going through your whole deck to spit everything out and win. That's fine in Constructed or Draft, but I like some variety in my Commander games. With something like this, though, I think it brings a little more fun to the usual Commander nights with friends and I for one can't wait to give Raggadragga a try. I hope you do too.

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

YouTube: TheMaverickGal

Register for CommanderFest Orlando 2022 today!

Limited time 30% buy trade in bonus buylist