Real purpose of/in Evolving Wilds, Rampant Growth, etc?

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Posted on March 14, 2017, 9:19 a.m. by The_Lost_Primarch

I always see players play Evolving Wilds (and others cards of the sort), Rampant Growth (rarely nowadays), and other cards that basically allow you to bring in 1 land TAPPED for the cost of something like 2 mana, even in 2-colour decks!

As a mono-green ramp player, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the purpose of cards like this. Isn't it a bit faster to play a mana-guy like Karametra's Acolyte or Primeval Titan instead of taking up a land-space for Evolving Wilds to sacrifice it and get a tapped land instead? (Sure, it's extremely useful in 3+ colour decks). I guess it's also useful for landfall cards.

One of my mates told me it's for 'thinning out the deck'. Please explain? Also, would it be advisable for me follow suit and add some Evolving Wilds or Rampant Growth to my deck?

DruneGrey says... #2

It doesn't really thin the deck a noticeable amount. Let's say there is one card in your deck and you have four copies of it. It isn't in your opening hand and you are on the play. You have six random cards and an evolving wilds in your opener. If you play a normal land on your turn, when you go to draw on the next turn you have a 4/53 chance (7.5%) of drawing the one card. If you play and sac the Wilds, you have a 4/52 chance (7.7%) of drawing that one card. Which means something like 2 out of every thousand games you are more likely to draw that one card.

As for the beauty of Rampant Growth, assuming you have a 3rd land in hand, takes you straight from 2 to 4. Play lands on 1 and 2, then Growth, untap and play a land. You are right that mana dorks can also help with this, but they are more vulnerable to removal then lands typically.

March 14, 2017 9:26 a.m.

Thinning the deck reduces the chances of you drawing a land on your turn, and increases the chance that you'll draw a non-land card. In other words, you have a higher chance of getting something good that you want that will have an impact on the board and the game. It is a small change in %, let's say there are 50 cards left in the library and 17 of those are lands. If you use Scalding Tarn to remove 1 from the deck, accompanied by a shuffle, you are (approximately, real % is a little under) 2% less likely to draw a land on your next turn and on subsequent turns after. This may seem really small and inconsequential, but it is a real change in odds and may well be the difference between pulling a card you want vs. another land, especially if you do it many times in a game.

I'd have to see your list you're running to make an informed decision if rampant growth or evolving wilds is right for you. Generally, the comes-into-play untapped fetchlands (like Misty Rainforest) are better than evolving wilds for 2 color decks. But rampant growth is a fine card, it just depends on what you're doing if something else could be better for you.

March 14, 2017 9:33 a.m.

So with cards like Evolving Wilds, I effectively and reasonably take out two cards for the price of one?

I suppose that the cost (tapped when it comes to the battlefield) of Evolving Wilds is almost the same as when you pay for Llanowar Elves, right? because you pay 1 mana for it and you can use his mana until the next turn, just like the tapped mana provided by Evolving Wilds.

But wouldn't a mana-guy who can swing or provide mana next turn and block this turn serve more purpose than a tapped land? Wouldn't that tapped land slow you down somewhat in the mana-ramp meta? Would 4x Terramorphic Expanse and 2x Evolving Wilds in a deck with 23 lands all in all make a big difference in me getting 1 out of 10 of my trump cards out into the battlefield or will it slow me down?

Sorry, I'm just trying to really analyze the uses of these cards and the viability of these in my deck.

March 14, 2017 9:46 a.m.

TheDevicer says... #5

You need to play Eternal to see what thinning truly is. A control deck I play has 6 spells that seek basics as an additional effect and 3 copies of evolving wilds. With the raw draw put on top, the 75 card deck feels as consistent as a 60 card magic deck past turn 6 in many cases.

March 14, 2017 9:51 a.m.

Hotsaucewilliams


Barely (Modern) Legal: HYDRAS!

Modern* The_Lost_Primarch

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While I want to draw my trump cards, not getting flooded with land-fetch cards and their results isn't really on my agenda. If ever I'll include any of those cards mentioned above, maybe just a set to not offset my pace.

March 14, 2017 9:51 a.m.

Well as DruneGrey pointed out, a land from a rampant growth is less vulnerable to removal than a llanowar elf (which can get Lightning Bolt'ed, or Wrath of God'ed). But just running 4 Terramorphic Expanse and 2 Evolving Wilds in a 2 color deck just for the thinning? That's probably not a good idea. It slows you down by having the land come into play tapped, and that's a bigger factor than thinning in the early game. Can you link your list you're referring to?

March 14, 2017 9:58 a.m.

Yeah see I wouldn't run Evolving Wilds in a mono colored deck unless it relied on landfall mechanics or something, a forest is going to do more for you. Llanowar Elves is better than Rampant Growth for you almost every time, especially since you're counting devotion to green with Karametra's Acolyte.

You might like Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

To increase your chances of drawing your trump cards, I'd recommend you look into tutor and draw. Some good options for modern-legal are Fauna Shaman, Chord of Calling and Harmonize

March 14, 2017 10:06 a.m.

LeaPlath says... #10

People who talk about deck thinning are generally wrong. http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/print.asp?ID=3096 should be required reading for MTG imo.

Anyway, you play the Evolving Wilds to fix your mana in formats where fixing is limited, graveyard size matters, or similar.

You play Rampant Growth because it is 2 mana get 4 mana next turn, and because it isn't an elf you are less open to removal. Fixing is also a bonus. Look at RTR standard. You had Jund with Farseek to get them into Thragtusk/Olivia Voldaren/Huntmaster of the Fells quicker, Bant with Farseek to get them into Jace, Thragtusk and ensuring they had supreme verdict mana.

March 14, 2017 11:04 a.m.

TheRedGoat says... #11

Yeah, speaking as a commander player, the use of an Evolving Wilds or Rampant Growth effect is more commonly used to fix your mana base with the right colors than it is to actually ramp up in mana. That is arguably done better through creatures, but doing so does of course leave you open to removal and board wipes.

Not doing so however can also leave you open to attackers. And essentially by choosing one, the other, or both, in terms of creature ramp vs lands, the idea is that what you're using that mana on determines which is best. A lot of players in commander for instance will laugh at the idea of using Boundless Realms even if it would literally cut your deck in half in regards to thinning it out, because it doesn't get you any creatures that are able to be used to immediate effect. If you'll ever notice there are far more "give haste" effects in magic than there are "untap all lands". Though those are out there.

In the case of your 60 card build you will want a creature presence on the board more often than not, although some effects can't be found on creatures, so running Rampant Growth or Gatecreeper Vine won't be quite so good as say running Sylvan Scrying which can get you a specific land with a utility effect. Also, you'd have to facing a very competitive and watchful player for them to memorize which card in your hand is a land or how many cards of your hand they've seen without having played a Thoughtseize, so having that extra card can sorta throw them off mentally. Though probably only as much as using Evolving Wilds will thin the deck. :P

March 14, 2017 12:07 p.m.

TheRedGoat says... #12

Actually, I just figured it that Rampant Growth shouldn't be compared to Evolving Wilds because the truth is that growth is more like having a mana dork; they get you a mana that you didn't already have.

Wilds on the other hand exchanges itself for a type of mana that you didn't already have; it doesn't actually net you more mana in the long run.

March 14, 2017 12:11 p.m.

clayperce says... #13

The_Lost_Primarch,
Lots of really great comments above. Here's a TL;DR:

  • Evolving Wilds = slow but versatile (and very inexpensive) fixing. And they can be useful with Landfall effects (e.g. with Tireless Tracker in Standard).
  • Thinning is a real thing, but the percentage improvement is very small, so it really only matters for a few decks and fewer players.
  • In general, Land ramp is more resilient than Artifact ramp is more resilient than Creature ramp. The best mix depends on your deck and the meta.
March 14, 2017 12:42 p.m.

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