Mana Ramp Options Pros and cons
1st up Enchantment ramp: Cards like wild growth
. This is a pretty good option because while it's vulnerable to land destruction most people aren't packing LD. In addition you can get value out of an arbor elf
when combined with these enchantments allowing for some of the most explosive ramp allowing for a hardcast emrakul, the aeons torn
on turn 3 with the god hand. T1 on the draw (8 cards to start) forest
, arbor elf
(6 cards in hand) T2 draw a card (7) forest
, wild growth
enchanting the untapped forest tap it for 2 untap with arbor elf tap it for 2 again then cast, overgrowth
, arbor elf
. Turn 3 draw a card (4) play forest
, 2x wild growth
(all enchantments enchanting the same land which now taps for 6 mana) Tap for 6 mana untap it twice with 2 x arbor elf
granting a total of 18 mana on turn 3.
The extreme scenerio demonstrates how explosive the ramp can be via enchantments. Now for the downside. 1st it turns on your opponent's naturalize
types of spells and you might have some issues if the opponent lays out some form of land destruction.
2nd Artifact ramp: weatherseed totem
, mind stone
, coalition relic
etc... In mono green these are generally worse than the enchantments. They have the same downside of turning on your opponents enchantment and artifact removal spells such as naturalize
which might be a dead card when facing against your deck utilizing other ramp strategies. The only upside here is the ability to "become" other things ( mind stone
can get you a card or the totem becomes a creature). Still in mono green decks the artifact ramp is not advisable. In multicolor decks these artifacts shine since they can help to fix colors (like the ravnica signets izzet signet
3rd Creature ramp: birds of paradise
, llanowar elves
, noble heirarch
and friends. They are cheaper than most forms of ramp by costing 1 mana ( wild growth
and search for tomorrow
being exceptions) but they are also more fragile. Board wipes like pyroclasm
can blow up your strategy. They have an advantage of playing defense and saving your life points while hopefully drawing into your threats. birds of paradise
can block flying creatures which is nice for a green deck to save some life points while they build their team. Some are obviously better than others at going on offense. It's not often but there are times where a llanowar elves
damage will help to seal a game.
4th Sorceries (and to a lesser extent instants which aren't used on ramp spells often): sakura-tribe elder
kinda fits into this category because with some exceptions
(this exception only applies if you give up priority before activating his ability) it can be used as a sorcery but it has the upside of acting as a creature when needed. There are also cards like wood elves
but you compare this card against cards like nature's lore
and decide from there which card fits your decklist better. Some decks prefer the cheaper mana cost of the sorceries than the more expensive cost of the ETB ability creatures. Other decks find the synergy with having multiple small creatures with "finishers" that you can ramp into such as craterhoof behemoth
. Most of these cards are rampant growth
power level. There are a few gimmiks like search for tomorrow
which means you can ramp on turn 1 but you have to take it card by card to see if it fits your decklist. If your goal is to play 3 CMC spells on turn 2 then sorceries are not the way to go.
They are resilient to removal spells. With the exception of mass land destruction you're not going to get two for oned with the sorceries like you might with enchantments or creatures. At times they can "do other things". I guess the mind stone
equivalent for sorceries would be edge of autumn
. Sometimes they can damage
or do other things. The con is that they are generally more expensive than their more fragile counterparts.
I hope this breakdown gives you an idea of what types of ramp strategies are out there and helps you come to a decision on which one works best for you. While mixing the strategies is fine and works well at times I think in general it's best to pick one and use that throughout the decklist.