With Ixalan out, the loss of Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and World Breaker pushed the ramp decks archetype out of the standard scene. With nothing good to ramp into except Nicol Bolas maybe, cards like Hour of Promise, Beneath the Sands, and Spring//Mind don’t see as much play as before.
Ramping is a strategy that accelerates your game by advancing your land count beyond the 1-land-per-turn limitation, allowing you to play your bigger spells earlier than your opponent. To do this effectively, sequencing ramp spells in the right location in the curve should position you at the right land count to cast your next ramp spell.
A good example is casting Beneath the Sands on turn 3 which allows you to cast Hour of Promise on turn 4. This effectively lets you use your mana wisely for full value.
To keep us alive we will run some removal spells like Fatal Push, Walk the Plank, Never//Return, and back it up with some disruption spells like Duress to ensure our ramp spells get through counter spells.
So what are we ramping into, you might ask? Torment of Hailfire and Sandwurm Convergence, that’s what.
Torment of Hailfire is our pay-off mana sink card that can win us the game or bring us that much closer to winning it the next turn. Casting this for 7 should kill your opponent unless he starts discarding or sacrificing permanents. Since we do run quite a number of cheap removal and hand disruption spells the opponent won’t be having a full grip of cards, or a crowded board state. Torment of Hailfire will hit for quite a lot most of the time.
Sandwurm Convergence is another surprise card that’s a win condition all on its own. After a couple of turns, your opponent should have a bunch of 5/5 Wurms staring at him if he can’t remove the tokens, or the enchantment quick enough. Take note that it gives you a token the turn it enters the battlefield, and helps protect you from the air.
With so many spells, why not run Primal Amulet as well? We are running 23 spells mainboard so we can effectively flip Primal Amulet and startingdoubling our ramp spells, doubling our discard spells, and deal an obnoxiously high amount of damage with double Torment of Hailfire.
I’m sure you are excited so here’s my BG ‘Ramp’ Torment of Sandwurms Deck:
Ramp Spells: 14
4 Beneath the Sands
4 Gift of Paradise
4 Hour of Promise
3 Torment of Hailfire
3 Sandwurm Convergence
2 Primal Amulet
Disruption and Removal: 15
4 Fatal Push
3 Walk the Plank
2 Yahenni’s Expertise
1 Hour of Glory
1 Bontu’s Last Reckoning
4 Ifnir Deadlands
3 Hashep Oasis
2 Scavenger Grounds
4 Blooming Marsh
2 Foul Orchard
4 Appetite for the Unnatural
1 Bontu’s Last Reckoning
4 Torment of Scarabs
4 Lay Bare the Heart
Surprisingly, Appetite for the Unnatural has many good targets these days. Search of Azcanta, Ixalan’s Binding, Cast Out, God-Pharaoh’s Gift, Torrential Gearhulk, Dynavolt Tower, and Revel in Riches to name a few. It’s also a way for us make sure our Sandwurm Convergence comes back after getting exiled by Cast Out or Ixalan’s Binding.
We run some more discard spells in the sideboard against control match-ups, and Torment of Scarabs comes in to replace Torment of Hailfire as a way to continuously drain the player.
The deck looks spicy and has the potential to be explosive. It’s quite affordable, and I’m sure it’s a ton of fun to play with and against!
Till next time!