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A Beginner’s Guide to Ramp Deck Strategies in MTG Arena

What is a Ramp Deck?


Today, we’re going to dive into the world of Ramp deck strategies in Magic: The Gathering Arena (MTGA). If you’re new to the game or just looking to improve your skills, you’ve come to the right place. As a seasoned MTG player since the late ’90s, I’ve seen the game evolve in fascinating ways, and I’m excited to share my insights with you.

Key Takeaways: Ramp Deck Strategies

  • Ramp decks focus on accelerating mana production.
  • Green is the most common color for ramp decks, but other colors can be used as well.
  • Building a ramp deck involves a balance of ramp cards, payoff cards, and interaction.
  • Playing a ramp deck effectively requires maximizing mana generation and timing plays for maximum impact.
  • Advanced tactics for ramp decks include planning ahead, managing resources, and adapting to the opponent.
  • Common mistakes to avoid include over-ramping, ignoring the opponent, and playing too conservatively.
  • When playing against ramp decks, apply pressure early, disrupt their ramp, and prepare for big threats.
  • Improving a ramp deck involves trial and error, experimentation, and learning from games.

Understanding the Basics of MTG Arena

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of ramp decks, let’s take a moment to understand the basics of MTGA. MTGA is the digital version of the classic card game Magic: The Gathering. It brings the rich and complex gameplay of Magic to your computer, allowing you to battle against players from around the world. One of the key aspects of MTGA, and Magic in general, is the concept of deck strategies. These are the game plans you build your deck around to outsmart and outplay your opponents.

The Importance of Deck Strategies

In MTGA, your deck strategy is your roadmap to victory. It guides your card selection, informs your in-game decisions, and shapes your overall playstyle. One of the most popular and enduring deck strategies in both physical MTG and MTGA is the ramp strategy. This strategy revolves around accelerating your mana production to cast high-cost spells earlier than your opponent expects. It’s a strategy that can be incredibly rewarding, especially when you drop a game-changing creature or spell way ahead of schedule.

Ramp Strategies Stats

As you can see in the chart above, ramp decks commonly appear in green or colorless, but starting from 2021, white has also been getting more ramp to help solve its problems in Commander. This can take the form of “catch-up ramp” (giving you a land if an opponent has more lands than you), or “suntide effects” (putting lands from the graveyard into play), or treasure production.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s delve deeper into the world of ramp deck strategies. Whether you’re a fan of green ramp mtg, mtg black ramp, or even mtg white ramp, there’s a lot to learn and enjoy. So, grab your deck and let’s get started!

What is a Ramp Deck?

What is a Ramp Deck in MTG Arena

If you’ve been playing MTG for a while, you’ve probably heard the term “ramp” thrown around. But what exactly is a ramp deck, and why is it such a popular strategy in MTG Arena? Let’s break it down.

Definition and Function of a Ramp Deck

A ramp deck in MTG is a deck that focuses on accelerating your mana production, giving you an additional, reusable mana source beyond the usual one land per turn. This acceleration is achieved through the use of specific cards known as “ramp cards.”

These can be creatures that tap for mana (often referred to as “mana dorks”), artifacts that produce mana (“mana rocks”), or spells that allow you to put extra lands into play beyond the one-per-turn limit.

The primary function of a ramp deck is to speed up your mana production, allowing you to cast high-cost, high-impact spells earlier than your opponent expects. This can give you a significant advantage, as you’ll be able to deploy powerful creatures, planeswalkers, or spells while your opponent is still setting up their board.

The Role of Ramp Decks in MTG Arena

In the digital battlefield of MTG Arena, ramp decks play a crucial role. They provide a counterpoint to aggressive, fast-paced decks, offering a different path to victory that relies on strategic planning and resource management.

Whether you’re using a green ramp mtg deck, a mtg black ramp deck, or even a mtg white ramp deck, the goal remains the same: accelerate your mana production to outpace your opponent and dominate the game with powerful spells.

Ramp decks can be incredibly satisfying to play. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of casting a game-changing spell way ahead of schedule, watching your opponent’s face as they scramble to respond to your unexpected threat. But remember, while ramp decks can be powerful, they also require careful planning and strategic play to use effectively.

In the next sections, we’ll dive deeper into how to build and play a ramp deck in MTG Arena, including choosing the right cards, balancing your mana curve, and mastering key strategies. So stay tuned, and let’s ramp up your game!

Building Your First Ramp Deck

Building Your Deck MTG Arena

Alright, now that we know what a ramp deck is and its role in MTG Arena, let’s get into the exciting part – building your first ramp deck. This process can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a bit daunting, especially if you’re new to the game. But don’t worry, I’m here to guide you through it.

Choosing the Right Cards

The first step in building a ramp deck is choosing the right cards. Your deck should include a mix of ramp cards, high-cost payoff cards, and some interaction to protect your game plan.

Ramp cards are the heart of your deck. These are cards that accelerate your mana production, allowing you to cast high-cost spells earlier than usual. Examples of ramp cards include mana dorks (creatures that tap for mana), mana rocks (artifacts that tap for mana), and spells that let you put extra lands into play. Some popular ramp cards in MTG Arena include “Llanowar Elves”, “Cultivate”, and “Gilded Goose.

Your payoff cards are the reason you’re ramping in the first place. These are typically high-cost creatures or spells that can have a significant impact on the game. Examples of payoff cards include “Ugin, the Spirit Dragon”, “Elder Gargaroth”, and “Genesis Ultimatum”.

Finally, your deck should include some interaction to protect your game plan and disrupt your opponent’s. This could be removal spells to deal with your opponent’s threats, counter spells to stop your opponent’s key spells, or protection spells to keep your key creatures safe.

Balancing Your Mana Curve

Once you’ve chosen your cards, the next step is to balance your mana curve. The mana curve is a representation of the cost of the cards in your deck. A well-balanced mana curve ensures that you have a good mix of low-cost and high-cost cards, allowing you to make efficient use of your mana each turn.

In a ramp deck, your mana curve might look a bit different than in other decks. You’ll likely have a lot of low-cost ramp cards, a few mid-cost cards for interaction, and a handful of high-cost payoff cards. The goal is to use your ramp cards in the early game to accelerate your mana production, then start dropping your payoff cards in the mid to late game to take over.

Building a ramp deck can be a rewarding experience, especially when you see your deck come together and start winning games. But remember, building a deck is just the first step. To truly master the ramp strategy, you need to understand how to play your deck effectively. In the next section, we’ll cover some key strategies for playing a ramp deck in MTG Arena.

Key Strategies for Using a Ramp Deck

Ramp deck strategies

So, you’ve built your first ramp deck. That’s a great start, but now comes the real challenge – learning how to play it effectively. Playing a ramp deck in MTG Arena requires a good understanding of the game’s mechanics, as well as a keen sense of timing and strategy. Let’s take a look at some key strategies for using a ramp deck.

Maximizing Mana Generation

The first key strategy for playing a ramp deck is to maximize your mana generation. This means making the most of your ramp cards to accelerate your mana production as quickly as possible. Remember, the goal of a ramp deck is to cast high-cost spells earlier than your opponent expects, so you want to ramp up your mana production as fast as you can.

There are several ways to maximize your mana generation. One is to prioritize playing your ramp cards in the early game. For example, if you have a “Llanowar Elves” in your opening hand, you’ll usually want to play it on your first turn to start ramping up your mana right away.

Another way to maximize your mana generation is to make smart use of your mana. This means using your mana efficiently each turn and avoiding wasted mana whenever possible. For example, if you have a “Cultivate” in your hand and three lands on the battlefield, you’ll usually want to cast the “Cultivate” before playing your land for the turn. This way, you can put a land onto the battlefield with the “Cultivate”, then play another land from your hand, ramping up your mana by two in a single turn.

Timing Your Plays for Maximum Impact

The second key strategy for playing a ramp deck is to time your plays for maximum impact. This means knowing when to play your ramp cards, when to play your payoff cards, and when to hold back and keep your options open.

When playing your ramp cards, you’ll usually want to play them as early as possible to start accelerating your mana production. However, there can be times when it’s better to hold back a ramp card for a turn or two, such as when you have a removal spell that you need to keep up to deal with a potential threat from your opponent.

When playing your payoff cards, timing is crucial. You want to play your payoff cards when they can have the maximum impact, which often means waiting until you have enough mana to protect them or until your opponent is out of answers. For example, if you have an “Ugin, the Spirit Dragon” in your hand, you might want to wait until you have eight mana so you can play Ugin and immediately use his -X ability to clear the board.

Playing a ramp deck in MTG Arena can be a lot of fun, but it also requires skill and strategy. By maximizing your mana generation and timing your plays for maximum impact, you can take full advantage of the power of a ramp deck and outpace your opponents in the race to victory.

Popular Ramp Decks in MTG Arena

Now that we’ve covered the basics of building a ramp deck and some key strategies for playing it, let’s take a look at some popular ramp decks in MTG Arena. These decks have proven to be successful in the current meta and can serve as great starting points for your own ramp deck.

Overview of Top Performing Ramp Decks

There are several ramp decks that have been performing well in MTG Arena. Here are a few examples:

  1. Temur Ramp: This deck combines the ramp capabilities of green with the control elements of blue and the burn potential of red. It aims to ramp up quickly and control the board until it can drop powerful threats like “Genesis Ultimatum” or “Ugin, the Spirit Dragon”. You can check out a sample decklist here.
  2. Mono-Green Ramp: This deck focuses on the ramp capabilities of green, aiming to drop big creatures like “Elder Gargaroth” or “Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider” as quickly as possible. It also includes cards like “The Great Henge” for additional ramp and card draw. You can check out a sample decklist here.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a current Golgari Ramp decklist, but this archetype typically combines the ramp and big creatures of green with the removal and graveyard interaction of black.

Breakdown of Key Cards in Each Deck

Ramp deck strategies

Each of these decks has key cards that enable their ramp strategy. Here’s a breakdown of some of these key cards:

  1. Temur Ramp: Key cards in this deck include “Cultivate” for ramp, “Mystical Dispute” and “Brazen Borrower” for control, and “Genesis Ultimatum” and “Ugin, the Spirit Dragon” as payoff cards.
  2. Mono-Green Ramp: Key cards in this deck include “Llanowar Visionary” and “The Great Henge” for ramp, “Gemrazer” for interaction, and “Elder Gargaroth” and “Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider” as payoff cards.

Remember, these are just examples of popular ramp decks in MTG Arena. The beauty of Magic is that there are countless ways to build and play a deck, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find a ramp deck that suits your playstyle.

Tips and Tricks for Mastering Ramp Decks

Mastering a ramp deck in MTG Arena is a rewarding journey. It requires understanding the deck’s strategy, making smart decisions during gameplay, and learning from each match. Here are some tips and tricks to help you on your way to becoming a ramp deck master.

Advanced Tactics for Experienced Players

Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to start exploring some advanced tactics. Here are a few to consider:

  1. Plan Ahead: With a ramp deck, it’s crucial to plan your turns in advance. You should have a clear idea of what you’re aiming to do each turn, from the early game all the way to the late game.
  2. Manage Your Resources: In a ramp deck, your mana is your most valuable resource. Make sure you’re using it efficiently and not wasting it. This might mean holding back a ramp card for a turn or two if you don’t have a payoff card in hand, or it might mean using a removal spell instead of a ramp card to deal with a threat on the board.
  3. Adapt to Your Opponent: A good ramp player knows how to adapt to their opponent’s strategy. This might mean changing your plan based on what your opponent is doing, or it might mean making a risky play to throw your opponent off their game.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Even experienced players can make mistakes when playing a ramp deck. Here are a few common ones to watch out for:

  1. Over-Ramping: It’s possible to focus too much on ramping and not enough on other aspects of the game. If you spend all your turns ramping and don’t have any payoff cards in hand, you might find yourself at a disadvantage.
  2. Ignoring Your Opponent: While it’s important to focus on your own game plan, you also need to pay attention to what your opponent is doing. If you ignore your opponent’s threats, you might find yourself on the back foot.
  3. Playing Too Conservatively: Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense. If you’re always playing defensively and never taking risks, you might miss out on opportunities to turn the game in your favor.

Mastering a ramp deck in MTG Arena is a journey, and like any journey, it’s filled with learning experiences. So don’t be discouraged if you make mistakes along the way. Instead, see each mistake as an opportunity to learn and improve. With practice and perseverance, you’ll be ramping your way to victory in no time.

Playing Against Ramp Decks

Ramp deck strategies

As much as we love playing ramp decks, it’s equally important to understand how to play against them. Recognizing your opponent’s ramp strategies and knowing how to counter them can give you a significant edge in the game. Let’s dive into some strategies for playing against ramp decks in MTG Arena.

Recognizing Opponent’s Ramp Strategies

The first step in playing against a ramp deck is recognizing that you’re up against one. This usually becomes apparent in the early game when your opponent starts playing ramp cards like “Llanowar Elves”, “Cultivate”, or “Gilded Goose”. If you see these cards, it’s a good bet that you’re up against a ramp deck.

Another clue is the colors your opponent is playing. As we discussed earlier, green is the most common color for ramp decks, but you can also see ramp strategies in other colors, like black ramp mtg or even white ramp mtg.

Effective Counter Strategies

Once you’ve identified that you’re up against a ramp deck, you can start implementing counter strategies. Here are a few effective ones:

  1. Pressure Early: Ramp decks often need a few turns to set up their mana base. Use this time to apply pressure and force them to react to your threats instead of executing their game plan.
  2. Disrupt Their Ramp: Use removal spells to get rid of their ramp creatures or counter spells to stop their ramp spells. This can slow them down and give you more time to execute your game plan.
  3. Prepare for Big Threats: If you know a ramp deck is going to be dropping big creatures or casting powerful spells, make sure you have answers ready. This could be removal spells, counter spells, or even board wipes.

Playing against ramp decks can be a challenge, but with the right strategies, you can turn the game in your favor. Remember, the key is to recognize their ramp strategy early, disrupt their game plan, and prepare for their big threats. With these strategies in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to take on any ramp deck that comes your way.


Well, there you have it, folks – a comprehensive beginner’s guide to ramp deck strategies in MTG Arena. We’ve covered everything from the basics of what a ramp deck is, to how to build and play one, to how to play against one.

Recap of Ramp Deck Strategies

To recap, a ramp deck is a deck that focuses on accelerating your mana production, allowing you to cast high-cost, high-impact spells earlier than your opponent expects. Building a ramp deck involves choosing the right mix of ramp cards, payoff cards, and interaction, and balancing your mana curve. Playing a ramp deck effectively requires maximizing your mana generation, timing your plays for maximum impact, and adapting to your opponent’s strategy.

Encouragement for Continued Learning and Practice

But remember, mastering ramp deck strategies takes time and practice. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right away. Keep practicing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep having fun. After all, that’s what Magic: The Gathering is all about.

I hope this guide has been helpful and has inspired you to try out a ramp deck in MTG Arena. Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to try something new, or a beginner just starting out, a ramp deck can be a fun and rewarding strategy to explore. So go ahead, give it a try, and start ramping your way to victory!

Frequently Asked Questions

As we wrap up our guide to ramp deck strategies in MTG Arena, let’s address some frequently asked questions. These are questions that I often hear from players who are new to ramp decks, and I hope the answers will help clarify any confusion and provide further guidance.

What is the Best Ramp Deck for Beginners in MTG Arena?

If you’re a beginner looking to try out a ramp deck, I would recommend starting with a Mono-Green Ramp deck. This deck is relatively straightforward to play and can be very powerful. It focuses on using green’s ramp capabilities to drop big creatures like “Elder Gargaroth” or “Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider” as quickly as possible.

How Can I Improve My Ramp Deck Over Time?

Improving your ramp deck is a process of trial and error. As you play more games, you’ll start to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. You might find that certain cards aren’t performing as well as you’d like, or that you’re struggling against certain types of decks. When this happens, don’t be afraid to make changes to your deck. Try out different cards, adjust your mana curve, or even switch up your overall strategy. The key is to keep experimenting and learning from your games.

What Should I Do If My Ramp Strategy Isn’t Working?

If your ramp strategy isn’t working, the first thing to do is try to figure out why. Are you not ramping fast enough? Are your payoff cards not having enough impact? Are you struggling to deal with your opponent’s threats? Once you’ve identified the problem, you can start looking for solutions. This might mean adding more ramp cards, switching out your payoff cards, or including more interaction. Remember, it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. That’s how you improve as a player.

Related Reading and References

As we conclude our journey into the world of ramp deck strategies in MTG Arena, I’d like to leave you with some additional resources for further learning. These are some of my favorite places to go for MTG Arena strategy, decklists, and community discussion.

Further Resources on MTG Arena Strategies

  1. MTG Arena Zone: This is a fantastic resource for all things MTG Arena. They have a wealth of strategy articles, deck guides, and meta analyses that can help you improve your game.
  2. ChannelFireball: ChannelFireball is another great resource for MTG strategy. They have articles and videos from some of the top players in the game, covering a wide range of topics from deck building to gameplay strategy.
  3. r/MagicArena on Reddit: This subreddit is a great place to connect with other MTG Arena players. You can find discussions about the current meta, share your own decklists, and ask for advice.

Recommended Blogs and Websites for MTG Arena Players

  1. MTG Goldfish: MTG Goldfish is a great site for decklists and meta analyses. They also have a series of articles and podcasts that cover a wide range of MTG topics.
  2. StarCityGames: StarCityGames is another great resource for MTG strategy. They have articles from some of the top players in the game, and their premium content is well worth the subscription if you’re serious about improving your game.
  3. My Blog – MTGA Central: Last but not least, don’t forget to check out my blog for more tips, tricks, and insights into MTG Arena. I share my own experiences and strategies, and I love connecting with other players.

Remember, the best way to improve at MTG Arena is to keep learning and keep playing. So check out these resources, keep practicing, and most importantly, have fun!

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