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Modern Pure Ramp (*Nissa Worldwaker Added*)

Modern* Devotion Elves Mono-Green Ramp RUG (Temur) Tribal

CurdBrosBrewingCo

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This deck was built after my months and months of testing every Green and Elf Devotion deck I could think of :) It is the current culmination of the synergies I've found while playing.

Fortunately for me, one of the new planeswalker cards in M15 is a perfect fit to mprove this deck...

Nissa, Worldwaker! The new Nissa literally fits PERFECTLY in a ramp/devotion build like this...I couldn't have been more excited :)

If you would like to know the exact synergies/ "core ideas" I've found in my testing pertaining to devotion decks and my feelings on prior green-devotion builds (such as Michael Jacobs, etc), please feel free to private message me; but I won't waste more space on here :)

There are a few differences between this and my other decks; but the biggest is the increased play-ability of the deck via the addition of Chord of Calling. This drastically changes how you can play with an elf deck....

The overall plan is a simple one:

Use elves and devotion to ramp as quickly as you can into a HUGE creature or army by turn 3-4 in order to deal 30+ damage :)


WIN-CONS

  1. Craterhoof Behemoth - This isn't a new win-con for an elf deck :). It's simple. You either "Chord" him in or cast him and with 2-5 creatures on the board; he and your army deal 30+ damage easily.

  2. Primeval Titan - One of the more broken green cards ever printed; Prime Time is a beast on his own; but his ability to grab any two lands (including Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and/or Kessig Wolf Run) put him in an even higher category.

  3. Ezuri, Renegade Leader - Often, the most powerful win-con in this deck. Almost certainly the most powerful win-con off of a Genesis Wave. Ezuri quickly turns a small group of 1/1 elves into a lethal army of 10/10 Tramplers. His regeneration ability is nothing to sneeze at either. Truly awesome Elf. He doesn't draw cards or ramp; but with an instant-speed activated ability; you can play him AND win with him on the same turn. This is a big deal given Modern's speed.

  4. Kessig Wolf Run - This is a great addition in any mana-ramp deck. It is a utility land that turns any single creature into a trample threat. While only a one-of; Primeval Titan helps tutor this land up in many matches.


TUTORS

This deck is slightly different than my other builds in its use of Chord of Calling and Primeval Titan to tutor other cards (creatures and lands). I also consider Genesis Wave as somewhat of a tutor (although in some instances it can be used as "pseudo-card draw" to put you in a dominating board position to "go off" the following turn) as you often are meaning to hit a win-con with it. While both Genesis Wave and Chord of Calling could also be considered win-cons (as half of the time you cast them you are planning to win the same turn they are cast); their versatility makes them even more. The tutors are:

  1. Chord of Calling - The newest addition to my Elf/Devotion toolbox; this card is amazing in any deck that both ramps and utilizes bunches of small creatures. It takes the most advantage of Coiling Oracle and Elvish Visionary by turning them into "mana-dorks" as well as card-advantage engines, devotion additions, and Ezuri/Archdruid "enhancers". You can easily tutor for a Craterhoof Behemoth on turn 3 for the win. It has a thousand other uses I won't get into in depth (Ezuri, Renegade Leader for regeneration at instant speed, Elvish Archdruid for mana and +1/+1 pump instantly, etc.) I have also been working on a 1-of Elvish Piper and Progenitus combo that can be "Chorded" into.

  2. Primeval Titan - This obviously tutors for any two lands; most importantly Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and Kessig Wolf Run. The fact that he does it when he enters the field AND when he attacks is what pushes him to crazy-powerful status.

  3. Genesis Wave - Many people know this is a crazily powerful card in devotion/ramp builds; but the main goal of this card is to hit a win-con to pump your non-summoning sick creatures to a point of lethal damage (of course Craterhoof Behemoth's haste allows him to attack as well). Primeval Titan grabs Kessig Wolf Run and Garruk Wildspeaker will untap two lands (usually Nykthos and Wolf Run to pump someone), etc.

The trick is to make sure that you win the same turn you hit any big "Wave".

The sum of the Tutors should allow you to mold the game to suit the opponent a little better (and especially come in handy when you board in specific creatures against specific archetypes).


RAMP CORE

Obviously, this deck ramps A TON. It can actually ramp more quickly than Tron. The ramp core includes:

  1. Arbor Elf
  2. Utopia Sprawl
  3. Garruk Wildspeaker
  4. Nissa Worldwaker
  5. Elvish Archdruid
  6. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
  7. Coiling Oracle (when pulls land off the top).

You will see from the "Example Goldfish" example that it is possible to have 15+ (I think it maxes out at 22) mana by turn 3 with this core.


DRAW CORE

Green decks have a tendency to run through their hand quite quickly (especially when ramping like we do). For this reason, all good green devotion decks require card draw. Fortunately for us, there are elves and devotion enablers that meet this criteria:

  1. Elvish Visionary
  2. Coiling Oracle
  3. Abundant Growth
  4. Genesis Wave*

The first three are simply cantrips. They replace themselves and add devotion (as well as an elf body in two cases). In some games; you will simply use Genesis Wave as a means to fill the board and trigger a few card draw triggers in the process).

I have considered Nylea's Presence over Abundant Growth as it would allow both Arbor Elf and Nissa Worldwaker to untap a Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx; however this will require ample testing, as the 1-CMC of Abundant Growth is extremely important to it's playability in this deck. The fact that it cantrips and "pays for itself" devotion-wise is what makes it such a great addition. It's always important that I don't put "win-more" cards in if they slow the deck down on average. Having said this, Turning a non-basic into a Forest is a huge deal that could very well be worth it. Only testing will tell :)

While I've had more cantrips in the past (Horizon Canopy, Eidolon of Blossoms, etc.); I simply could not fit more into this deck, and 12 cantrips along with 4 Garruk Wildspeaker's and 3 Genesis Wave's should be ample "resource" advantage (not to mention each Primeval Titan adds two additional lands!). Also, when you are drawing and ramping quickly; you have to make sure you have enough win-cons to finish the game so you aren't simply cycling 20+ cards into nothing. It's a balance that can be difficult to keep. This deck feels pretty darn close if not perfect on this front.

The remainder of the description is an "Example Gold Fish" and sideboarding discussion; so please don't feel obligated to read further unless you are interested in a more in-depth analysis of the deck.


Example Gold-Fish Game

Turn One

  1. Play Misty Rainforest fetching untapped Breeding Pool
  2. Cast Arbor Elf

Turn Two / Devotion (1) Cards in Hand (6)

  1. Play Forest
  2. Cast Utopia Sprawl enchanting Forest
  3. Tap Enchanted Forest for 2-green mana (2G)
  4. Use Arbor Elf to untap Enchanted Forest.
  5. Tap for 2G more (4G total)
  6. Cast Garruk Wildspeaker
  7. Use Garruk's +1 to untap both lands.
  8. Cast second Utopia Sprawl on same Enchanted Forest.
  9. Tap Enchanted Forest for 3G
  10. Cast Elvish Visionary (draw a card)
  11. Cast Utopia Sprawl (draw a card) enchanting Breeding Pool

Turn Three / Devotion (7) Cards in Hand (3)

  1. Play Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
  2. Tap Enchanted land for 3-G
  3. Trigger Nykthos for 2G (float 1G) to add 7G to pool (8G total)
  4. Use Garruk to untap both lands and do again for total of 16G.
  5. Cast Genesis Wave for X=13

I won't list every card, but below I'll outline the important points.

  1. An additional Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx was found.
  2. One Craterhoof Behemoth was found.
  3. One Ezuri, Renegade Leader was found.
  4. 4 cards were drawn off of Elvish Visionary, Abundant Growth, and Coiling Oracle triggers.
  5. Another Garruk Wildspeaker was found.
  6. A Nissa, Worldwaker was found.
  7. 2 additional lands were found.
  8. 7 Total creatures on board (5 have summoning sickness)

Back to the turn....

  1. Use two new lands to trigger new Nykthos. Devotion is 24 after Genisis Wave so this creates 24G.
  2. Use new Garruk to untap enchanted Forest and Nykthos. Trigger again for 25G (49 total).
  3. Use Nissa Worldwaker to untap Enchanted land and three other Forest cards for additional 6-G. (55 total).
  4. Tap remaining open lands for 2G (57G total)
  5. Use 55 of remaining 57G to tigger Ezuri, Renegade Leader 11-times.
  6. Use the remaining 2G to cast one Coiling Oracle from your hand. (now 8 creatures total).

You now have two elves (not summoning sick) and one Craterhoof Behemoth that can attack (as it has haste).

You Attack for 99 Trample Damage on Turn 3

While this is not a 100% "God Hand" (you can have an additional Utopia Sprawl Early. your wave can hit a few other better cards, etc.); it is close enough to show what the deck does at its best un-interrupted. Also, you could Chord of Calling for Ezuri or Craterhoof if you didn't hit one, etc.


Sideboard

Because of the ample card draw and the use of Chord of Calling; the sideboard can be utilized more as a "toolbox" than a "general" side board. You can run "one-of" creatures that can nuke other decks (like Phyrexian Revoker, Spellskite, Magus of the Moon, and Elderscale Wurm .) Card's I'm also testing with are Aegis of the Gods, Eidolon of Rhetoric, and others...

I won't go crazy in-depth and I'm not completely finished with it; but the following is the reasoning behind some of the card choices:

  1. Scavenging Ooze - This card is great as dedicated graveyard hate in this deck as well as just a great creature! He can quickly eat up entire graveyards and is sided in against Living End, and both Tarmogoyf and Snapcaster Mage decks...basically any deck that utilizes the graveyard.

  2. Wheel of Sun and Moon - This is also graveyard hate that gives us 2-devotion. The only difference here is that this card is great against the random Mill decks you would run against too (you enchant your opponent vs. reanimator decks and you enchant yourself against mill...either way you get the devotion!)

  3. Magus of the Moon - Our version of Blood Moon. This can steal games, and is great against decks like Scapeshift, Tron, and any deck that doesn't run Red :) This is a tough one; as it turns off our Kessig Wolf Run and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx after it is played; so you have to side and play accordingly (fetching basic Forests, only Utopia Sprawl-ing basics, etc. Abundant Growth comes in quite handy here :)

  4. Polukranos, World Eater - Oddly while I'm not a huge fan of this card in standard , I am currently using this in my board as my green "sweeper". Against decks like affinity, tokens decks, Zoo, UR Aggro, Jund, and Merfolk, you can quickly clear the board with his Monstrous ability. Also, as this deck has trouble with flyers, his ability can deal with them as well.

  5. Spellskite - the "go-to" sideboard card in Modern. Great against control. Turns of Splinter Twin, destroys Boggles. Just all around GREAT card in modern. There is a lot of hate out there for him; but he is still great against many decks.

  6. Reclamation Sage - While currently says Viridian Shaman ; this will be replaced with Reclamation Sage from M15 when it is released. This is an elf that also is artifact/enchantment removal! As an elf, it can also synergize with other things such as Elvish Archdruid and Ezuri, Renegade Leader and tap for a Chord of Calling...great new addition from M15.

  7. Elderscale Wurm - This is a powerful win con against any deck that deals damage to win (Storm, Scapeshift, Affinity, any fair deck, etc.). Even a Splinter Twin deck with 1 million pertermites can't do anything with them until they deal with the Wurm :) This is sided in quite a bit.

  8. Ruric Thar, the Unbowed - Great against Storm, Control, Boggles, and U/W enchantments (as well as Rack decks). Really, it's good against any non-creature based deck and QUICKLY kills the opponent.

  9. Phyrexian Revoker - great chord option to turn off any artifact or creature ability you don't like (Splinter Twin, Birthing Pod, and Affinity are all effected as well as numerous other cards...if its not a land and has an activated ability (less mana abilities); you can turn it off!

  10. Privileged Position - One of the only non-creature cards in the board...this simply protects everything...my creatures, my lands, and my enchantments from spot removal...in a very permanent-heavy deck; this is a great card. And it adds three devotion to boot!

  11. Melira, Sylvok Outcast - Infect hate. Sided in against both infect and Affinity (as Cranial Plating + Inkmoth Nexus is one of their win-cons).

  12. Silent Arbiter - This is a card that comes in against token decks, anything that make infinite creatures (kiki-pod, kiki-control, twin, etc.) Allows them to only attack with one creature. Also, I can Kessig Wolf Run my one creature and simply trample over their one blocker to kill off some harder-to deal with boards.

  13. Thrun, the Last Troll - Really strong against control, Rock, and other decks with tons of removal. Basically, I try to get him out quick and hopefully draw into Kessig Wolf Run!

There are several slots that are "rotating slots" (i.e. when infect gets popular Melira comes in, Dosan when control is super popular, etc.) I literally have 30+ different sideboard options that vary as decks gain and fall in popularity :)


Summary

While there are many similar cards to my other builds; this deck does differ enough from my prior elf builds (which revolved around infinite mana counts and planeswalkers as win-cons) that I felt I should post it.

I also posted it simply because it is the deck I am currently playing in Modern and I feel it may be the best Green Devotion / Elf deck I've built to date. There's certainly more detailed play and more "lines of play" to think about (especially post board) Dreno33 and others will be happy to see that I went back to Arbor Elf over Elvish Mystic (as the number of elves is less important without Heritage Druid, etc....but I digress....)

As always, suggestions and comments are ALWAYS welcome; as are +1's! We can't thank everyone enough for your continued help in making our decks that much better :)

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Updates Add

This is the first Modern deck I have completely foiled out (as I feel I will be playing it for some time)...I figured now that it was done; I would share the photos! Here is it:

This is just the main board. While I've purchased all sideboard options I've posted here; the board changes regularly so I didn't post it.

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