Wolf Run Ramp

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Wolf Run

Take a look at it, let it sink in. This card is the real deal. 

It's a pretty straightforward card, you tap it for mana now, later you tap it pay some mana make a dude big and try and kill them simple idea right, but there's a lot going on. Now everything you have from Birds of Paradise to Solemn Simlacrum has the potental to trade with a titan. On top of that with Garruk, Primal Hunter the land can replicate a Mind Spring effect. Pumping +0 still gives a fatty trample, which thanks to M11 interacts in wonderfull ways with Wurmcoil Engine's Deathtouch, +0 also allows us to remove a phantismal without wasting a card which is always awesome.

Thats a lot comming from a humble land, but its not without a price, mana lots of mana. Good thing we don't have a skeleton of a deck from last season that generates a ton of mana and tutors up nonbasic lands as a win con floating around, if that was true someone would try and abuse this. . .what? oh?

Enter Brian Sondag's Wolf Run Green, fresh from a 1st place win at SCG Nashville:



Again a straight forward plan: Play Ramp -> Play Fatties with a lot going on under the hood.

We've got 2 different very strong tutors (one good enough to get banned in modern).

The Titan fetches us up the titualr Wolf Run, along with a seperate wincon with Inkmoth Nexus.
Sondag opted to keep the lands simple and not much about with other utility (utility land tutoring being far more the realm of knights not giants). However singleton Ghost Quarter or Burred Ruin could have a place here if you feel like running less than 4 inkmoths. Anything more then 6 colorless lands I fear would cut into the mana base too much, but its your funeral if you feel like getting greedy.

Green Sun's Zenith gives us some redudnacy in the ramp department getting the single bird or an emissary. There's also some toolbox action going on with Slime and the sideboard, Melira, Silvok Outcast could become a target if you findyourself fearing U/x infect. Honestly I feel this tutor is stronger then the deck is at this point, offereing really just redudancy on the ramp I fully expect that to change as the format evolves.

Beast Within is pretty awesome here too, providing a way to interact with walkers, fatties and artifacts that our gszed up friends couldn't get at. Pointing it at lands early is also viable in this format where there's two very strong three color decks running around, stripping them over their very commonly single basic land forces their lands to etb: taped buying you precious time to ramp out your bombs.
The very best part is that you don't even need to sweat that 3/3 beast, seeing as it will very soon be outclassed, slagstormed, or held at bay by an Emmisary or Solemn. 


I'll be updating the op later with a breakdown of known matchups and alternative builds, alternate card options. I'll try and keep the op for proven tourny lists, and reserve a second post for more experiemntal brews.

/Reserved for unproven piles of brew
I like the original list a lot. The only change I would make is replacing a viridian emissary with a Jade Mage.

"This list much made Niche barf a lil' in his mouth, so I can be proud of that." -rstnme

It looks good, nice job.
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Beast Within is pretty awesome here too, providing a way to interact with walkers, fatties and artifacts that our gszed up friends couldn't get at. Pointing it at lands early is also viable in this format where there's two very strong three color decks running around, stripping them over their very commonly single basic land forces their lands to etb: taped buying you precious time to ramp out your bombs.
The very best part is that you don't even need to sweat that 3/3 beast, seeing as it will very soon be outclassed, slagstormed, or held at bay by an Emmisary or Solemn. 


good post.

i think it's worth adding that Beast Within is ridiculous in this deck for an additional reason:
It's a very strong win condition, especially against control decks who won't get a chance to untap against it (and wrath, BSZ, liliana, gideon, etc.)before it swings for 8+.

all told, the deck runs 46ish cards that function as ramp or land, and 31 that are short-clock win conditions by midgame.  absolute nightmare to face with a control deck.  against aggro, it still has a pretty good game, emissaries and obviously slagstorm followed up with a wurmcoil engine.  but i might move a tree main:/
I like the original list a lot. The only change I would make is replacing a viridian emissary with a Jade Mage.


Emissary seems pretty critical to the game plan with the relevant blocks and the ramping. Jade mage seems like a step in the wrong direction.
Sondag's list seems pretty optimal (it was obviously good enough to win Nashville) ... the only changes I would make to it going forward, at this point in time, is to somehow fit in a second Acidic Slime maindeck and a singleton Devil's Play.  The Slime is to fight opposing Wolf Runs, primarily, but it also deals with problem permanents like Angelic Destiny, Sword of whatever, Oblivion Ring, etc.  The Devil's Play will just win the game sometimes, or randomly save your butt from Mirran Crusader, Puresteel Paladin, Phantasmal Image copying whatever, etc. ... and what's great about it is, sometimes it'll do both!

However, as much as I love Slagstorm in this meta, I can't help but think that running blue for Phantasmal Image, Consecrated Sphinx, and board answers like Flashfreeze and Memory's Journey might make for a really scary deck.  I kind of see aggro phasing out over the past couple weeks and bigger-game midrange and control decks moving in, and while skimping on mass removal might not be the best idea right now, a G/U deck that splashes red to activate Kessig Wolf Run sounds a bit more strictly powerful to me than straight R/G, and I think we'll see some "Kessig Wolf RUG" decks making top 8s within a month or so.
Blue isn't worth running here.

I don't like his SB, but i don't mind the deck. I think Acidic Slime 2 is better than BoP and would like a singleton devils play now its mentioned.
I dunno... I think adding a 2nd Slime and a Devil's play increases your odds of having an awkard opening hand...
Considering than the deck has 4 beast withins, and 4 green suns that can call a slime, it seems to have enough answers to problem permanents... and in a miror match, having a BoP means you can ramp faster.

As for Devil's play... if you run 1... your not going to see it much of the time, and the deck already has answers to all those cards you listed.  Wolf run kills the Phantasmal Image without even having to lose a card, slagstorm takes care of Mirran Crusader and Puresteel Paladin (which is hardly even a threat now that basilisk collar rotated out.)

One thing that I think will change is adding more wolf runs (either to main deck or sb.)  He had the advantage that no one was prepared for it, so no one was going to have a way to take out his namesakes.  When solar flare starts putting in ghost quarters (which will be scary considering sun titans can call them back) this deck will need to have more than 2 runs.
I dunno... I think adding a 2nd Slime and a Devil's play increases your odds of having an awkard opening hand...
Considering than the deck has 4 beast withins, and 4 green suns that can call a slime, it seems to have enough answers to problem permanents... and in a miror match, having a BoP means you can ramp faster.



No, it doesn't. Birds is only 'faster ramp' if you're trying to cast a 3cmc spell on Turn 2. Here, you're not; a Rampant Growth is going to be just as 'fast' as Birds. The only reason Bird is there is so you can Turn 2 GSZ for X=1 and fetch it. But given you have 8 two-drops, I'd rather save my Zenith for tutoring one of the important cards, or even just wating a turn to get Emissary.

I don't want the second Acidic Slime for more consistent drawing of it; I want it so I can use it more than once.

As for Devil's play... if you run 1... your not going to see it much of the time, and the deck already has answers to all those cards you listed.  Wolf run kills the Phantasmal Image without even having to lose a card, slagstorm takes care of Mirran Crusader and Puresteel Paladin (which is hardly even a threat now that basilisk collar rotated out.)



The reason you can run 1 is because it's a long-game trump spell. You're not trying to use it to remove Mirran Crusader etc; you want it to burn for 15 over two turns. It's just an option that you can burn an opposing creature if you have to.

One thing that I think will change is adding more wolf runs (either to main deck or sb.)  He had the advantage that no one was prepared for it, so no one was going to have a way to take out his namesakes.  When solar flare starts putting in ghost quarters (which will be scary considering sun titans can call them back) this deck will need to have more than 2 runs.



I agree, I think more Wolf-Runs are going to bbe needed.
ok, so here's the thing.  i played valakut, so i've got this deck more than half made.  the only thing that's going to give me grief is the Garruks, which i don't have.  so i'm trying to find a filler for it for now and i was wondering what thoughts you guys might have.  the changes i've done so far to the md are
-4 Garruk
-1 Inkmoth Nexus
+1 Primeval Titan (4 might be too many, but i need to put something in)
+1 Slagstorm (ignore the sideboard for now)
+1 Acidic Slime (i want 2 md as well)
+1 Kessig Wolf Run
+1 Devil's Play (seems legit, going to test)

thoughts?  any other card ideas?
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Maybe Chandra the Firebrand? Garruk 2 shouldn't be that expensive, since noone's really using him at the moment (everyone prefers Garruk 3).

Chandra at least lets you double-ramp, or even double-Zenith for double-Titan. 
i was eyeballing my Firebrand.  it can also let me double Beast Within.  might take out my 4th titan for that and try it out.  i also thought if you copied an X-spell, X became 0 for the copy so i didn't think about Zenith

Garruk 2 appears to still be ~20 dollars, which isn't too expensive, but i've gotta try to find the trades right now, might buy a couple if i have a real hard time with that and some time passes.
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No, it doesn't. Birds is only 'faster ramp' if you're trying to cast a 3cmc spell on Turn 2. Here, you're not; a Rampant Growth is going to be just as 'fast' as Birds. The only reason Bird is there is so you can Turn 2 GSZ for X=1 and fetch it. But given you have 8 two-drops, I'd rather save my Zenith for tutoring one of the important cards, or even just wating a turn to get Emissary.




I Suppose you are mostly right about that...
I will say though that against Tempered steel if you are going 2nd, when they get their crazy opening hands, the chance to be able to cast a turn 2 slagstorm can save you the game.  I know this scenario is very unlikely since it would require that your oponent get a rare opening hand, and you would have to have to open with the 1 birds in your deck and a slagstorm... but the option is there...
X only becomes zero if you copy a card from somewhere else (e.g. in your hand or exiled). On the stack, X has the value the faster chose, and any copy effect will dupe that version of the spell exactly.
Since everyone agrees more wolfruns are needed, what cards would be removed from sb or md for them?

Singleton ratchet bomb? I'd say yes as it's a 1 of, and not fetchable.

So what's left. 3 swords, 3 thrun, 4 grudge. Hmmm...maybe 3 grudge would be ok. Since it does recur from the gy for G. So basically it plays as 6 cards for 3 spots.

Or perhaps another option is -1 inkmoth md for +1 wolfrun md. So 3 wolfrun and 3 inkmoth, all fetchable with titan. Sounds like a decent idea, and sb 1 run in place of ratchet bomb or slagstorm.
Also on indigos train of thought, i've also debated bout chandra, the firebrand in here. Seems like a really sick play. Maybe a 2/2 split on garruk and chandra? Or singleton chandra?
Since everyone agrees more wolfruns are needed, what cards would be removed from sb or md for them? Singleton ratchet bomb? I'd say yes as it's a 1 of, and not fetchable. So what's left. 3 swords, 3 thrun, 4 grudge. Hmmm...maybe 3 grudge would be ok. Since it does recur from the gy for G. So basically it plays as 6 cards for 3 spots. Or perhaps another option is -1 inkmoth md for +1 wolfrun md. So 3 wolfrun and 3 inkmoth, all fetchable with titan. Sounds like a decent idea, and sb 1 run in place of ratchet bomb or slagstorm.


I'm trying the 3/3 Run and Moth split.  I don't want to put a 4th in the board, I'd hate to have a land sb.  My sb is actually going to start with 2 Ratchet Bombs and see how it goes.
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I did the 2/4 as in the OP. My side board was different and md varied slightly. Went 3-1 for top 8, agreed to a tie for top 8, so I was locked in for top 4. Top 4 was me with krun, another krun, rdw, and a pod. (I think it was pod). It was pretty awesome. Only match I had trouble with was u/w illusion deck. He got some mad aggro and I couldn't keep up unfortunately.

1st: Went against a rdw (he made top 4 with me) 2-1
2nd: against u/w illusions 1-2
3rd: rdw again (new player. Not a good list)
4th: solar flare, piloted by one of the shop owners. My record against him is 3 wins in my life of playing magic. Today was the 3rd time.

My list ran one extra acidic slime in place of the 4th GSZ. Also, didn't have enough money for 4 garruks, so I went with 2 chandra, the firebrand.

For SB I didn't wanna do 2 SoFaF (but should have) so I went 2 karn liberated. Worked well in the solarflare match.
Did 2 thrun. (All I had).
1 devils play in place of the ratchet bomb. Seemed like a good idea. Never saw it.
Rest was stock as OP.

So far im impressed. I think the mirror is gonna be tough. Karn might be useful. Or perhaps garruk 3. Make them use their garruk 2 to kill it, then drop your own garruk 3.
I can attest to Devils Play being very, very good in here. I've been running 2 becuase honestly it's fine as removal, its the flashback that lets you use as a trump card late game, and yeah sometimes you gotta kill two tittans in one turn, this deck is ok with it.

Simmilar line of late game trumps, because the Solar matchup goes sooooooooooooo long, I've poped a 1-of Creeping Renasance onto the board. That naming creatures sometime after turn 20 is an unfair blowout.

Batterskull has proven to work great in here too, the decks able to recast and reuse it time and time again, but I've been playing against solar for hours on end this week so I'm probably devloping tunnel vision for that matchup.

If you're more in the mono green land, Dungrove Elder is kinda sick here. At least in the mirror, I've got a buddy whos plaing it that way, and as much as I prefer the Nashville list Dungrove beats me in.


As for the alt Walker discussion, Garruk Relentless is a fine stand in, I'm running a 2-2 split becuase Primals are proving hard to trade for, and shure he doesn't draw, but making a dude every turn is fine, killing a dude is cool too, letting a slagstorm kill a titan is great. And its not like you're ever stuck with a big garruk in hand because you can just fight, kill Relentless, then drop the Hunter.

He aprently has a flip side too, I've gotten there once, it tooted up a wurmcoil by eating an Emmisary that let me get the 6th land. It was awesome, don't count on it, ever.

Also for what it's worth 4-1 first place at an FNM tonight as well. I did worse at a states trial on thursday, but I was being dumb and didn't have much of a board. 
At the trial my buddy with the Dungroves got 6th though so at least the deck had some rep.


As for the alt Walker discussion, Garruk Relentless is a fine stand in, I'm running a 2-2 split becuase Primals are proving hard to trade for, and shure he doesn't draw, but making a dude every turn is fine, killing a dude is cool too, letting a slagstorm kill a titan is great. And its not like you're ever stuck with a big garruk in hand because you can just fight, kill Relentless, then drop the Hunter.




Er... isn't Garruk Relentless HARDER to trade for/obtain? That's the main reason I didn't suggest it as an alternative - it's more expensive than Garruk 2.0, or so I thought.


As for the alt Walker discussion, Garruk Relentless is a fine stand in, I'm running a 2-2 split becuase Primals are proving hard to trade for, and shure he doesn't draw, but making a dude every turn is fine, killing a dude is cool too, letting a slagstorm kill a titan is great. And its not like you're ever stuck with a big garruk in hand because you can just fight, kill Relentless, then drop the Hunter.




Er... isn't Garruk Relentless HARDER to trade for/obtain? That's the main reason I didn't suggest it as an alternative - it's more expensive than Garruk 2.0, or so I thought.




They're both 25 most places, but there's for some reason more Relentless running around here in norCal where I am, local trade markets are weird.
Garruk relentless is 25 in my state of WV. Based of starcity prices. (My local shop uses them for a price guide.) Garruk Primal Hunter was 30. I got 2. So I sorta had to make top 4 tonight as it made up for one Garruk purchase.

Also, I was using chandra in place of Garruk PH. Not relentless. Relentless came from a discussion with the other guy playing krun tonite. He said Garruk relentless is good in the mirror match, in his opinion.

I opted for Karn Liberated sb 2 of for mirror and solarflare.

I can see creeping renessiance being a real kick in the cahones if you actually got it off.

In my opinion, solarflare takes to much time. It doesn't have enough bombs to really blow out the game in their favor. Or perhaps it was because my beast withins on his cathedrals was a real mana screw.

Switching primal hunter with chandra is a mistake, IMHO. This deck doesn't need more ramp (with chandra), it needs a CA engine which is garruk. You need at least 3 primal hunters, 2 primal hunters and 1 relentless is probably ok but you really need the draw ability from primal hunter.

I think adding more wolfrun is unnecessary. A lot of my games actually are won because I smash them with 4 unpumped nexuses which is a 3 turn clock already.

@MrIndigo: primal hunter is sold out at most places at the range of $18-$22 so expect him to jump up to near $30 if the ramp deck becomes more popular.

Out of curiosity, has anyone who plays this deck gone up against a more defensive control deck that runs say 4 Leaks, 4 Dissipates, 4 Snapcasters?  I've noticed most control deck lists in tournament rankings are pretty light on counterspell cards and more focused on creature removal, and I'm wondering how well this deck does against a counter heavy control deck.
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Out of curiosity, has anyone who plays this deck gone up against a more defensive control deck that runs say 4 Leaks, 4 Dissipates, 4 Snapcasters?  I've noticed most control deck lists in tournament rankings are pretty light on counterspell cards and more focused on creature removal, and I'm wondering how well this deck does against a counter heavy control deck.



I won 2-1 against a U/W control with 4 leaks, 3 dissipates and 3 snapcasters. The thing with this deck is that you can't tap out against, but unlike valakut this deck drops early threats in the form of nexus, emissary and sword post board. Try proxy up a competitive control list and play against this deck, you will see how awkward it is.
Agreed with above, this deck carries alot more threats than valakut did. It has more creatures, and 6 lands that are devastating instead of 4. Plus the PW add to the pressure in themselves. Post board, thrun gets through for beats. Wurmcoils survive day of judgments (more or less).

I'd even venture to say devil's play would be really good against control.
Out of curiosity, has anyone who plays this deck gone up against a more defensive control deck that runs say 4 Leaks, 4 Dissipates, 4 Snapcasters?  I've noticed most control deck lists in tournament rankings are pretty light on counterspell cards and more focused on creature removal, and I'm wondering how well this deck does against a counter heavy control deck.



I won 2-1 against a U/W control with 4 leaks, 3 dissipates and 3 snapcasters. The thing with this deck is that you can't tap out against, but unlike valakut this deck drops early threats in the form of nexus, emissary and sword post board. Try proxy up a competitive control list and play against this deck, you will see how awkward it is.



I was planing on it, but I don't know anyone who has this deck at the moment so I thought I might see if I could save myself the time of cutting and taping and just ask first.  I may anyway to see how well 4 dissipates and 4 snapcasters does (since you have much better odds of having those in your opening hands.)

The strategy I was thinking was using an early leak on say a rampant or a solemn to slow down the ramp and even out the mana slightly, buying some time to draw into a dissipate and hopefully a snapcaster allowing you to counter their more serious threats...  I dunno, that may be a terrible strategy, I've never played control.

Honestly this deck just seems silly good to me, especially post board...  I was slightly worried that people may be able to tune control to deal with it more effectively, but I don't really know exactly what they would do to do so... 
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Thanks, it's in the op because I like how well you transitioned the pictures, but one with a fixed letterbox would be awesome
Yeah, the font got messed up.  I'll do it as Wolf Run Ramp too, since that's the thread title.

EDIT: I seem to have lost my version that's not just a JPEG, so I can't easily change the writing.  I'd rather not spend the time redoing the whole thing, so if someone makes a better banner then feel free to change it.
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Yeah, the font got messed up.  I'll do it as Wolf Run Ramp too, since that's the thread title.



I liked Wolf Run Good from the SCG comentary, but I like cute deck names.
6-0-2 for 4th place in the swiss at states

This is by far the best deck in the format right now -- 4 of the top 8 here were wolf run ramps -- -- I honestly think I could have first placed if I didn't lose G3 to the mirror match where they drew 4/4 Beast Withins  (no joke)

Georgia States -- 150-180 people I believe
Wolf Run made top 8 at TN States.

I also had to dreamcrush two other guys playing Wolf Run during my swiss matchups at TN...

Deck is legit. 

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I played 4 mirror matches tonight, lol

I won the die roll one time.

I won 3/4 of the matchups -- too bad I lost in the top 8 mirror when it counted ... seriously... he had 4/4 beast withins in G3 >.>


-- SB plan of adding in 3 Ancient Grudges, 1 Garruk Relentless if on the play, 2 Spellskite, 2 Sword of FaF -- worked like a charm
I played 4 mirror matches tonight, lol

I won the die roll one time.

I won 3/4 of the matchups -- too bad I lost in the top 8 mirror when it counted ... seriously... he had 4/4 beast withins in G3 >.>


-- SB plan of adding in 3 Ancient Grudges, 1 Garruk Relentless if on the play, 2 Spellskite, 2 Sword of FaF -- worked like a charm




In the mirror being on the draw is acctually really, really good.


I'm glad to see its doing well at states, and am sad I live 12 hours away from San Diego. 
Me too!

Course... that's cause I think I can triple my expenses reselling this deck after next week (I bought most the cards at their very bottom, last week the same hour it made it into top 8, lol)
Also, by the way...

the  playmat... omfg... so... ... beautiful.

Not trying to brag, but I honestly think this is by far their best one yet.
This was the most popular deck on  Day 2 of GP Brisbane.
I'm on my phone so sending a link is awkward, but I recomend wandering over to Channel-Fireball and reading Conley Woods "Monkey See, Monkey Don't" he brings up a really solid point that Wurmcoil is a weak link against Phantismal because Wolf Run can handle the immage, but leaving them with a 3/3 deathtouch is bad.

He recomends Batterskull as a replacement, I'm already running 1 over the 3rd coil so I can attest its cool here. It also dodges that "reanimate one of their dudes" spell that I've seen pop up post-board. That killed me at the states trial.