Nobody’s a stranger to Scout Ramp nowadays whether you’ve battled against two lanes full of Swamp Leviathans or played it yourself. There’s no doubt you’re familiar with the deck.
The basic game plan is simple: play Magicka acceleration cards in Tree Minder, Thorn Histmage, and Hist Grove and get to the late game to play beefy threats before your opponent is set up to deal with them. You really want to hit your early game and then most of the time skip the mid game into powerful creatures like Nahagliiv and Blood Magic Lord. Cards like Wind Keep Spellsword and Fighters Guild Recruit go a long way towards surviving until later in the game, but unlike some other decks, Ramp Scout does lack an abundance of efficient early game plays.
A lot of this list is pretty standard but each iteration has a few flex spots that differ from player to player so I’ll go over what I played in mine.
First off, triple Snake Tooth Necklace may seem a little excessive to some, but the card is absolutely bonkers and you want to see at least one in the majority of your matchups currently. You already play large creatures and Scout doesn’t have access to cards like Healing Potion or Pillaging Tribune so you need to find what drain you can especially in a deck like this and Snake Tooth is the best option. Snake Tooth is actually the reason we’re not playing Night Shadow; Shadow is incredibly slow and vulnerable to removal/silence and being able to give Drain to a creature you already have in play is much better.
Another card that is hit or miss in a lot of Scout lists is House Kinsman but I personally feel like the combination of Kinsman plus Snake Tooth Necklace is too good in a deck like this and really great against decks playing cards like Soulrest Marshal and Triumphant Jarl. For those unfamiliar, putting Drain on a Kinsman will allow you to gain an additional three life when the Kinsman dies from the Last Gasp effect of dealing three damage to your opponent. It does have the downside of occasionally letting your opponent break their own runes by killing it but that’s a risk I’m willing to take for the payoff.
Night Talon Lord was an idea taken from fellow BTL contributor EarthP0w3R and after playing it myself for a good stretch of games I can safely say it does a nice job of complementing the late game of the deck. It’s a must-answer threat and if your opponent doesn’t have silence or removal then it can often win the game on it’s own. Not to mention the size of it – 8/8 is huge and attacks over most commonly played creatures on top of having Drain.
Now, the deck has no large AoE effects outside of Odahviing or very many prophecies so to compensate against decks that go for a “go wide” strategy. We’re playing an abundance of Guard creatures to slow them down, but even still, in games where you don’t draw enough of them it’s likely you can get run over. This is especially true if your opponent has a timely silence or removal.
The main draw for this deck originally was its stellar game plan of getting to fifteen Magicka and flooding the board with 8/8s via Hist Grove, a plan that there still isn’t a great response to if you allow the deck to get to that point in the game. This strategy single-handedly pushed Control Mage off the ladder for a time until people adapted and the popularity of Scout Ramp died down somewhat.
On Upcoming Card Changes
(Upcoming card changes can be reviewed here.)
Sadly this deck does get slightly worse after the nerfs. This is not really because of any cards in the deck changing but rather because of the big changes to Control Mage making people re-evaluate it and the almost certain increase in the Aggro Battlemage popularized by MiracleGangja.
The only changes I’m going to be trying with the deck post nerfs are Restless Templar over Moonlight Werebat and Malefic Wreath over Crushing Blow. Templar I think will get the nod over Werebat because they now both die to the same things and Templar has the advantage of guaranteeing the life gain even if removed before it can attack. I think Wreath gets a lot better after the nerfs because it can now kill two prominent creatures in Kinsman and Werebat. In addition, it’s great against Ward creatures like Daggerfall Mage and for creating favorable trades by reducing the attack of enemy creatures, two things Crushing Blow does not accomplish.
Thanks for reading my take on a popular deck in the meta! I really enjoyed it as I made my way to legend this season, but my list is by no means the only way to build Scout Ramp out there so feel free to try mine or experiment with your own. I for one am extremely excited about the upcoming balance changes and can’t wait to see what the metagame looks like after the dust settles. Until next time, good luck on the ladder everybody!