Throughout our spoiler coverage of Oath of the Gatewatch I have been focused on the future of Eldrazi Ramp. The deck is solid as it exists, but it’s clearly missing something. When World Breaker was spoiled I identified it as potentially being a piece of the puzzle. With the full spoiler up, I believe the tools for this deck to succeed are indeed available, and it all hinges on this card:
If you showed this card to somebody who doesn’t play the current Standard format, they would laugh at how terrible this card looks. They made Rampant Growth worse, and they made it uncommon. Given the context of following Standard, it still took me a minute to consider the play-ability of this one. The current ramp in Standard simply does not compare to the power of Rampant Growth, but there’s a ramp deck that has seen fringe success. Given those terms, maybe jumping through some hoops could yield significant payoffs.
The Eldrazi Ramp decks already play 8 colorless sources in Shrine of the Forsaken Gods and Sanctum of Ugin. Cutting any of these seems ill-advised, and adding too many additional colorless sources clearly leads to mana issues. Luckily, Wastes can be found with Evolving Wilds. It’s possible that you’re able to afford playing more than one Wastes, though initially I like starting on one. I think the risk of playing Ruin in Their Wake as a bad Sylvan Scrying is easier to brush off than not playing enough colored sources and/or too many lands. This is my current list for the deck:
The ideal start is to play Evolving Wilds finding what you’re missing between Forest and Wastes on turn one, ramping to three with Ruin in their Wake on turn two, ramping to six with Explosive Vegetation or Hedron Archive on three, and then playing either World Breaker or a Shrine of the Forsaken Gods powered Ugin on four. This potential is well worth exploring the number of Wastes that you can fit in the deck.
On the other side of things, the deck still has decent play even if things don’t line up perfectly. That chain is only pushed off a turn if you have to play Map the Wastes as your first ramp spell, and Hangarback Walker is good at buying time.
I know that you want to maindeck some number of Kozilek’s Return, though it’s unclear how many you want. It’s great against Atarka Red, but relies on being “flashed back” to matter too much against most other decks. I believe the correct number is two, three, or four, though grinding it out is the only way to be sure.
Kozilek’s Return is already pre-ordering for quite a bit, and I don’t think pre-ordering it will yield significant profits. World Breaker, on the other hand, is pre-ordering for $2-$3, and could easily jump to $10 or more if a deck like this is successful. Brad Nelson spoke highly of the card in his most recent Premium article, and his list for Ramp also features four copies, and this was before Ruin in Their Wake was spoiled. I like the idea of pre-ordering at least a set.