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 Post subject: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-06 8:39 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
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Ever since seeing Ramos, Dragon Engine, I knew this would finally be the time I'd aim to build a deck with only gold cards. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, gold cards are multi-colored cards. We all love gold cards, and I'm going to go all-in with them.

The inherent problem with this deck will always be mana--there isn't a lot of good ramp available under this deck restriction. I'm going to play what I can, for the most part. There's a couple handfuls of cards which can be cycled for land (some from Commander 2016, and some from the Shards of Alara block). And then a couple which directly put lands onto the battlefield. Thankfully, Ramos is colorless, so I won't have to worry about getting him out.

Extending off of the first problem is determining what colors of cards to play. If I were a smart person, I'd pick about three colors and then weed out nearly all of the cards of the other two colors. I'm not at that point though. I threw in a lot of cards I liked and I'm going from there.



Down / Dirty
Reborn Hope
Naya Charm
Havengul Lich
Nucklavee
Izzet Chronarch

A few of these can be cycled over and over to power up Ramos, sorta.








At some point I feel like I need to find a place for stuff like Psychatog, Vulturous Zombie, and Spiritmonger. I don't know, they are definitely more just solid creatures than something going with any theme or current inclusion.

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Last edited by Segrus on 2017-Sep-15 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-12 10:37 am 

Joined: 2016-Jul-17 2:12 pm
Age: Wyvern
This looks like a fun experiment.

I agree with your decision to leave out the borderposts. They're not very good.

What are your thoughts on dumping as many reasonable 5 color cards into the deck as you can to load up Ramos as quick as possible?


Going down to 4 color cards we have the nephilim and C16 face cards
Dune-Brood Nephilim
Glint-Eye Nephilim
Ink-Treader Nephilim
Witch-Maw Nephilim
Yore-Tiller Nephilim
Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder<-This card seems PERFECT for your deck
Atraxa, Praetor's Voice <-Keep ticking up the counters
you don't need the other 3 C16 commanders imo


3-color as a generic category is a bit much to get into right now. I'm sure some good ones exist.

More multicolor Ramp
Deathrite Shaman
Trace of Abundance
Radha, Heir to Keld
Zhur-Taa Druid
Manamorphose
Coiling Oracle
Grisly Salvage
Thrasios, Triton Hero
Kiora's Follower
Nissa, Steward of Elements
Guided Passage
Wargate <- X=0 can find a land if you want
Derevi, Empyrial Tactician
Selvala, Explorer Returned
Knotvine Mystic
Overabundance
Gilder Bairn
Bounty of the Luxa
Unbender Tine
Kiora, Master of the Depths
Kiora, the Crashing Wave
Captain Sisay <-if you have a legendary land or two she can find those
Unexpected Results
Ral Zarek
Mina and Denn, Wildborn
Mirari's Wake
The Gitrog Monster
Karametra, God of Harvests <-Can find dual typed lands
Kruphix, God of Horizons <-If you don't mind your mana being stored as colorless
Keranos, God of Storms <-OK so more cardflow than ramp, but still
Sarkhan Unbroken
Rasputin Dreamweaver <- colorless mana only
Savage Ventmaw
Skyward Eye Prophets
Borborygmos Enraged <-OK so this is stretching a bit.


Land based ramp
Myriad Landscape<-Actually this one's probably not so good in 5 color, but I'll leave it in for completeness' sake
Krosan Verge
Blighted Woodland
Ancient Tomb
Scorched Ruins
Temple of the false God
Gaea's Cradle


Synergy
Ghave, Guru of Spores<-2 mana moves a counter from any other creature onto Ramos. It's break even, but it's also color fixing.
Crystallization ok so it primarily grants 3 counters for 2 mana, but it's also sorta kinda removal??
Cavern Harpy get 2 counters per cast, cast repeatedly by bouncing itself either with its ETB effect or activated ability
Horned Kavu not as versatile as harpy, but bigger body
Fleetfoot Panther has flash
Rashmi, Eternities Crafter
Ivorytusk Fortress


If you loosen your restriction on gold only cards you can get a few more useful toys:
Hardened Scales
Doubling Season
Primal Vigor
Kalonian Hydra
Sword of the Animist<-searchable by Nazahn, Revered Bladesmith should you choose (he can also find that Behemoth Sledge you have listed already).


Hopefully that helps with your mana options. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-12 12:03 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Hey, cool, someone interested! I put it aside to build/improve other decks, including the Commander 2017 decks, since there didn't seem to be a lot of interest.

Mainly my problem with just dumping 5-color cards into the deck is they often don't have any synergy with anything else in the deck, typically cost a lot of mana, many can end up just being vanilla beaters, but most importantly I just don't have the land support for it. Frankly, I'm using a lot of basics right now. I didn't put in a land section above because every suggestion would inevitably become "get better lands noob!"

Too many decks spreads what lands I have pretty thin. I'm not currently ready to invest in another set of duals lands and decent search lands. That's the long and short of it.

So most likely, Maelstrom Archangel would probably be the only 5-color card I'd include if I had a copy of one. Yidris in four-color would be a solid choice, and I might consider it at a later date. If I buy cards soon it'll likely be pirates and dinosaurs. A lot of the multi-colored ramp you located were stuff I considered. I wasn't able to locate a Trace of Abundance for some reason, which I probably would have included. Probably what I need to look at is more scry cards. A lot of the ramp cards end up untapping a permanent or only adds green mana or requires three colors, and the rest need 5+ mana--all of which aren't really desirable ramp cards. I know I've cornered myself on that, forcing gold cards, but it's been in my thoughts while building this deck. I haven't come to a conclusion about it yet.

I'm sticking with the gold card restriction though. It's too amusing to me that this is a dragon deck that only allows gold................cards in its grasp. You know, like how classically speaking western dragons are said to horde gold. There's lots of those bounce creatures like Cavern Harpy, but I just couldn't find space yet. Rashmi probably deserves a spot though. Thank you for the thoughts, I appreciate it.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-12 2:47 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Jun-02 3:54 am
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Location: Germany, near Berlin
Strictly speaking, hybrid cards like Nuclavee and split cards (barring some from Ravnican sets) are no real gold cards.
I can see why you opted to relax your theme here, though.

My contribution: Safewright Quest is not a ramp card, but fetching you any color you need if you play a handful of dual lands, castable with either G or W and giving Ramos two counters for just 1 Mana.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-12 4:53 pm 
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Joined: 2007-Mar-28 12:38 pm
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Jund Charm is another sneaky way to get 5 counters on Ramos. (I saw you had Abzan Charm listed.)

Cascade spells let you add counters for each spell cast. You've got Etherium-Horn Sorcerer, but Maelstrom Wanderer, Enigma Sphinx are both eminently playable. Enlisted Wurm and Bituminous Blast are borderline, but living the dream of hitting a few of these in a row with Ramos out would be pretty awesome. Of course, you can cheat it a bit with Congregation at Dawn...

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-12 10:13 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
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Thank you two for more input!

Strictly speaking, EDH doesn't care how Maro defines hybrid cards, they are both colors right now. If I were playing in a different format then it would matter. Unfortunately I passed on Safewright Quest because I can't afford duals at this juncture. At I haven't checked the prices lately but I'm guessing it's not super cheap. Once I do, or rearrange like six or more other decks to do so, Safewright Quest is sitting out.

And for a long time there I was desperately holding onto a lot of the cascade cards in hopes of finding a spot for them, but their high costs are really difficult to justify. Being able to repeat E-Horn is the only reason I felt he could stay. Funny enough I did have Jund Charm in here as well, but felt I had to cut down on the Charms since my mana base isn't stellar and I can't guarantee hitting every 3-color combination at all times. The other Charms seemed more useful.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-12 11:18 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Jun-02 3:54 am
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Sorry I didn't clarify: "duals" was meant in a broader sense: Where I come from, Cinder Glade and Prairie Stream still linger below 2 € each. I would call that affordable and the drawback of those two seems negligible (works for me, at least). Although I could agree on the Ravnican shock duals being rather expensive (around $10, IIRC).

And "not gold" was in fact meant literally - hybrid and most split cards simply don't have a golden frame, do they?

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Generals:
too many, and always changing... except:

Rakdos, Lord of Riots (Demon Tribal)
Melek, Izzet Paragon (Dragonstorm) -> these must stay because of a house rule


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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-13 2:24 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Those would be the duals I'd have to go for, and you're right they are currently on the cheaper side. I hadn't checked them yet, and assumed they were in the $5-$10 range. I'll have to see about it once I decide whether or not I'm getting some of the newest set.

They don't typically have golden frames, that's accurate. Although some spilt cards do have gold frames. But I kinda go by 'gold cards' having a colloquial term to mean multi-colored cards generally speaking. Probably the only reason they don't have gold frames is because Maro doesn't see them that way despite the rules considering them so. I'm glad you bring this all up though, because it's important to get flavor right if I'm going to lean on flavor. I'll need to consider if I should take it as far as only gold frames.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-13 7:38 am 

Joined: 2016-Jul-17 2:12 pm
Age: Wyvern
Ah. I didn't realize how much of a budget you were on.
Decent, budget, 5-color mana bases can be had. Here's some options I like for them:

The 10 triple lands from Shards of Alara and Khans of Tarkir (should have come in the C17 dragons deck):

The five vivid lands (should have come in the C17 dragons deck):

Some budget 5-color lands:

Cheap fetches that can find fetchable duals

Cheap fetchable duals

And to round things out there are many basic fetches:

If you are finding you have too many "enters the battlefield tapped" lands you can also consider some duals that either always enter untapped (but have some other drawback), or have an condition to enter untapped.

Speaking of on flavor, there's a cycle of inexpensive on theme artifacts you might consider:

I know you said flavor is important and I know that primarily you were looking at multicolor cards to represent a dragon's hoard, and I've already suggested the cycle of ramos artifacts as bends, but if you are willing to consider some number of colorless "trinkets" as hoard items I swear to you one of the best things you can do for your mana base (budget or not) in a five color deck is load up on as many Ravnica Signets as are relevant for your color weights. They are ramp, they are color fixing, and they are color smoothing. And perhaps best of all, they are currently dirt cheap.


Sorry if you already know all this, I'm just trying to figure out what you are and are not allowing yourself to work with.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-13 1:17 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Haha, thanks for listing out all those lands. This is my...seventh 5-color deck (meaning I actually literally have six other 5-color decks right now, including The Ur-Dragon from Commander 2017)--so I'm happily familiar with all of these lands. Yeah, I'm really stretched thin on lands right now. I'm running all of the tri-lands, Transguild Promenade, Rupture Spire, and then the rest are basics at an even spread.

The landbase is not ideal, and in time I'll repair it enough to be solid. Right now, it'll be more important to determine the spread of colors in the deck first. This will allow a better guess at which lands to try to obtain. For the moment, the deck is approximately 24% Green, 24% Red, 21% Black, 18% Blue, and 12% White. If I follow advise I've read elsewhere, something I think I stated above, then I should really consider turning Blue and White cards down further (or just try to eliminate two of the colors). I'm not quite ready to do that.

And I'm pretty set on the gold/multi-color thing. Signets are going to have to stay out, as much as I'd like to put them in.

(Also, yeah, somewhat personal stuff has been going on, and I really haven't bought any cards other than Commander 2017 since the first Kaladesh set--and scant few of those even. I have a long list of stuff I've been wanting to get but haven't.)

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-14 3:00 am 

Joined: 2016-Jul-17 2:12 pm
Age: Wyvern
Ok, Ok, I'll stop suggesting colorless cards. =p

Um....so what is your theme here other than "gold cards"? It's a little broad right now given that there are over 2000 gold cards in existence. I'm kind of at a loss right now. I don't know what to suggest because I don't know what you want to do with the deck.

Even if you don't have a general deck direction in mind, do you perhaps have an idea of the sort of help you're looking for with this deck right now?
Cuts?
Specific card synergies?
Are you fishing for deck direction?

I totally understand real life getting in the way. As much as we love this game, it takes a back seat to our experiences beyond the cardboard veil.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-14 8:09 am 
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Flyheight wrote:
Um....so what is your theme here other than "gold cards"? It's a little broad right now given that there are over 2000 gold cards in existence. I'm kind of at a loss right now. I don't know what to suggest because I don't know what you want to do with the deck.

Even if you don't have a general deck direction in mind, do you perhaps have an idea of the sort of help you're looking for with this deck right now?
Cuts?
Specific card synergies?
Are you fishing for deck direction?

Well, you've hit on my secret: I don't know the answer quite this moment.

Normally I really do have a direction for decks. For this one, my first thought was this: "I wanna build a deck with only 'gold' cards (or multi-colored, or what have you)."

So I first pulled all the multi-colored cards I could readily find in my collection. From those, I picked out cards which would be good with Ramos, solid cards in general, and jank cards I just really felt like I could find a place for (the main card there being Knight of New Alara, because he doesn't ever seem to fit in anywhere). Finally, I just kept making cuts until I got it all down to 60.

Most of the jank got cut away. Color-fixing/ramp all stayed in. Card draw and cards that do well with Ramos pretty much all stayed too. Tons of the higher-costing cards, particularly dealing with cascade, got cut. I tried not to forget about removal, but there's likely not enough. After all that, what did I figure out about the deck? Bloody well nothing. I'd rather not just straight cascade or charms--in a lot of ways that's what most people are building right now. And I have a planeswalker deck already (there are probably a good 30 multi-colored planeswalkers available). But straight combat and relying mostly on creatures will likely be too weak even for casual.

This'll probably need to be a control-combo deck, leaning heavily on Ramos dealing combat damage with spells clearing the way. That's mainly what I've got now, but there's probably some future cuts coming. Bloodbraid Elf is nice, but very likely would be better as card draw or to even out mana (cascade helps with Ramos, but Bloodbraid Elf is weak and I might hit a lot of cards at the wrong time). Same for Xenagos, the Reveler (mana it produces is too specific, tokens don't go with anything else, ultimate isn't great here). I'm not certain if I'll get a lot of triggers with Fathom Mage, and Ashen Rider is mega expensive--I don't know yet if it'll be too much mana to cast regularly. Well...there you have it.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-14 2:48 pm 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Seems like the Borderposts would be great stand-ins for other duals if you're running enough basics to ensure the alternate casting cost. They're terrible otherwise... but a cheap 2 counters.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-14 11:07 pm 
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Which was sort of my thought about the Borderposts. Terrible as they are, at least it get me some more colors. But honestly, I'm wondering if it wouldn't just be better to go whole-hog with scry effects. If I can improve card quality, it might not matter as much that I'm low on color fixing. Plus, the added benefit of just grabbing more of what I need more often. And if I do invest in better lands, it'll just make scry better.

EDIT: eh, there might not be enough. I was thinking Catacomb Sifter and Reaper of the Wilds to start, but Ramos won't get counters from the Sifter--devoid works in all zones, and makes me question if that goes too far past the gold only restriction. Which kinda makes me sad, since I realized I have an extra Sire of Stagnation available.

I also have to wonder if Jhoira could be a reasonable and inoffensive choice (assuming I owned one).

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 Post subject: Re: Ramos Golden Dragon Engine
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-15 12:50 am 
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Segrus wrote:
I also have to wonder if Jhoira could be a reasonable and inoffensive choice (assuming I owned one).


I see that conversation... "I am not playing Eldrazi, I swear!"

I mean, in person most will give you a chance, and since she is not your commander you probably won't see here until they have seen you play a few turns. Since you are pretty restricted it might work, online people would probably scoop cause no one cares about feel-bads there.

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