Breaking Standard: UR Artifacts Ramp guide

Mogged
23/12/2022 · 9 min read

 

About the metagame

BRO Standard  had been in this weird place of midrange mush for a while and players were having difficulty pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses of Grixis so the metagame somehow evolved to Grixis/Midrange decks that lose to Grixis/Aggro decks that lose to Grixis.

There have been a lot of times in older Standard formats  that midrange dominated the metagame  and in order to adapt players just kept building greedier midranges Like we have Monowhite and Mardu currently.

From a deckbuilding perspective, I think it was easy to just target Grixis, but there was a problem when trying to do that while respecting the rest of the metagame. I made three decks to beat Grixis while preparing for the Standard Showcase, and I chose to play the wrong one for the event. My second choice was this Blue-Red deck that O_danielakos suggested, with a rough draft, which turned out to be the best choice and got me some good finishes.

UR Artifacts Ramp: Deck & Card choices

My current version

Izzet Ramp. Builder: Mogged.MTGO - Magic Online
1st in MTGO Standard Challenge #12502883 18-Dec-2022
Maindeck (60)
Creature [11]
3  Cityscape Leveler   $15.99
4  Skitterbeam Battalion   $2.79
4  Fable of the Mirror-Breaker   $27.99
Artifact [8]
4  Reckoner Bankbuster   $3.49
4  The Mightstone and Weakstone   $5.99
Instant [11]
1  Essence Scatter   $0.25
1  Negate   $0.25
2  Make Disappear   $0.59
3  Abrade   $0.25
4  Stern Lesson   $0.25
Sorcery [3]
1  Brotherhood's End   $10.99
2  Brotherhood's End   $10.99
Land [27]
1  Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance   $3.99
1  Island   $0.01
1  Mountain   $0.01
1  Island   $0.01
1  Otawara, Soaring City   $17.99
2  Mountain   $0.01
2  Island   $0.01
2  Mountain   $0.01
4  Field of Ruin   $0.25
4  Shivan Reef   $0.99
4  Xander's Lounge   $11.99
4  Stormcarved Coast   $15.99
Sideboard [15]
1  Voltage Surge   $0.25
1  Saheeli, Filigree Master   $2.79
1  Saheeli, Filigree Master   $2.79
1  Spell Pierce   $0.25
1  Brotherhood's End   $10.99
2  Unlicensed Hearse   $16.99
2  Disdainful Stroke   $0.25
2  Strangle   $0.25
4  Thran Spider   $0.35
Buy this deck:

$249.16 Tix @cardhoarder   $6.23 / Week @cardhoarder   $308.60 @tcgplayer   $437.81 @cardkingdom  


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https://mtgdecks.net/Standard/izzet-ramp-decklist-by-mogged-1525547

How it works

I think this deck falls under the category of Ramp, and has some control elements. Historically, decks like that appear in Standard when midrange is at its peak. If there is no fast clock on those decks, then the conditions are met for a Ramp deck to exist.

Ramp decks nullify the grindy cards by doing something even more greedy and absurd, like, let's say, a 9-mana 12/12 with haste.

Skitterbeam Battalion
4.35 Tix
$2.79
$1.31

Or maybe Eldrazilike Recurring Hasty Removal on cast 8/8 trample.

Cityscape Leveler
23.27 Tix
$15.99
$14.5

And if you are going that high on mana you need a soft reset button since your opponent’s only option is to clog the board.

Brotherhood's End
7.59 Tix
$11.99
$6

The deck can’t function without this card and it’s your only real weapon against the bad aggro matchups while still being important versus midrange decks.

You have 12 cards that can help you ramp and the most important one is Stern Lesson.

Stern Lesson
0.01 Tix
$0.25
$0.17

This card does everything to set up our plan; all of its functions are what we need, and instant speed is extremely important, allowing us to hold some counters up and avoid jamming into open mana.

Compared to traditional ramp decks, this one plays really well against counters. You can choose to play a smaller Skitterbeam Battalion, or just pass with Bankbuster and Stern Lesson, or unearth your Leveler and even win some counterwars with your own counters.

Also remember to Field of Ruin the blue sources end step because Grixis only runs swamps.

Field of Ruin
0.03 Tix
$0.25
$0.49

Sideboard Guide

Grixis

What looked like the Standard’s boogeyman is now one of our best matchups, their early turns are kinda clunky they can’t cast appraiser and they can’t use their removal and the clock is slow, if they pass with Bankbuster we can do the same thing and have better quality for each draw on average.

Brotherhood’s End and abrade takes care of everything except Sheoldred and Mightstone can -5/-5 the Sheoldred.

On the play

On the draw

Monowhite Midrange

This is an even easier matchup than Grixis; their clock is nonexistent; they have no way to stop our big casts, and they are drawing a lot of cards that are easy to deal with and pale in comparison to what we do. We only lose games to them if something goes very wrong, like losing the dice roll and mulling. Brotherhood's End is an excellent answer vs. most of their stuff, and we can counter their few expensive cards.

On the play

On the draw

Monored Aggro

This is the worst matchup; sometimes you get lucky with a crisp Brotherhood's End, but we are a big underdog and the post-board games are a little better since we get an actual blocker.

There was only one reason I didn't use this blue-red deck earlier in the format, and it was this matchup; they usually kill us before we even start casting our threats.

Soldiers

Compared to MonoRed, this matchup is much easier. Brotherhood's End is usually all you need to turn a losing game into a winning one. Soldiers is very one-dimensional and weak to sweepers and removal, and their clock isn't even that fast when fighting through removal.

Mardu midrange

Another midrange deck with a slow clock and filled with removal that doesn't do much; overall, their threats aren't easy to answer from our side, but we will always get to the late game against them and will be favored.

On the play

On the draw

Esper midrange/legends

This is the hardest midrange deck to combat; our removal doesn't line up well against Raffine and Wedding Announcement, and most of their disruption can hit our threats. However, I don't think this is worse than 50-50 because of the nature of Midrange versus Ramp, pulling us into the late game.

On the play

On the draw

Mono Blue / Izzet spell decks

Final words

This is the end of Grixis domination; this metagame was stale because we didn't push deckbuilding enough, not because Grixis was too good, and I think this deck proves it. UR Ramp is a great choice to combat midrange, and honestly, casting Leveler and Skitterbeam as a tier 1 strategy is a very fun place to be in Standard.

While Fable still limits deckbuilding a lot, I am hopeful that we will see some new decks with the Regional Championships approaching, and I am going to do my best to break Standard again.

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Mogged
MTGO Grinder
Mogged is one of the MTGO grinders behind many of the top winning decks across formats. He has the most Challenge top8s and wins in 2021, and is currently leading in Challenge wins in 2022. His articles show a deep understanding of the MTG theory and are great for those looking to improve their gameplay, better understanding the game, and learning how the metagame evolves over time.

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