Last week we took a slight detour from the voted on archetypes to try out building a mill deck around Fraying Sanity, but we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming this week, with the Blue-Green Ramp deck everyone requested!

(Slight detour pictured above)

The format is starting to solidify and it seems to be universally accepted that Hour is slower than Amonkhet’s blistering pace. The question is, how slow? Is the ramp deck – arguably the weakest archetype in AKH – good now?

From my experience, not really. It’s certainly better than it was previously. The format has slowed a bit, but not nearly to the extent that people seem to be suggesting. I have been told over and over that the format allows for a lot of “durdling” and slower decks and I haven’t seen anything that has backed that up. All of my best decks have been very aggressive and the hardest match-ups from opponents have all been the same.

This draft was no exception. Our deck wasn’t amazing, but it was solid and we struggled to hang on to games against the aggressive builds. The slightest stumble early tends to lead to a quick death underneath legions of 2-mana afflict and exert creatures. Afflict is one of the biggest culprits here, in my mind. It gives a lot of early aggression by punishing blocks and later in the game when an opponent is low it essentially grants unblockability to your team and you finish them off even through what would normally be a stable, recoverable board position. Cards like Spellweaver Eternal are particularly effective and I’ve found the Blue-Red aggro deck very formidable because of this.

To make a deck like this one work, I feel that it needs earlier ramp cards (2-cost) than you normally find in Hour of Devastation. Hope Tender works a little, but as an uncommon it’s harder to find and unless you’re using Gift of Paradise it only generates mana on off turns. Hardly ideal. Naga Vitalist still fills this role, but you have to gamble on opening them in the third pack. As is, the ramp deck is fine. Despite my reservations it’s far from unplayable. We did take games off of every opponent and made them work for it in the others – and that’s on a deck that was an average deck at best. Some Ambuscades and good two cost creatures could have really shored up the deck. However, based on the drafts I’ve done, I don’t believe it’s the most powerful archetype in the set and I would personally steer towards more aggressive builds if you want to have a winning record.

That’s all for Full Force this week! Remember to vote in the poll for next week’s deck!