New Deck: Ho Ho Verdant Catacombs

Verdant Catacombs headlines a new take on Jund Mana Ramp. Just how linear is Landfall?

Without going into too much detail, this is basically the third major build of the Landfall Mana Ramp deck. It started as really, really Landfall-based all the way down to Bloodghasts.

As of this evening I cut all the Khalni Heart Expeditions; there was just too much mana ramping in the deck and not enough gas. I moved two copies of Sorin Markov to the main deck, and upped the land count to 25. The land had to go up not just because of cutting the Khalni Heart Expeditions, but because I at the same time cut four basics to play four Savage Lands.

Previously the deck was “all basics” … That is, eight Zendikar dual lands and fifteen basic lands. With all the mana ramping that was fine… However the other night I finally lost to that awful Pyromancer’s Ascension deck.

If there is one deck that I always beat with every deck it is the Pyromancer’s Ascension deck. The Black Baneslayer deck can beat Pyromancer’s Ascension consistently with three trips to Paris under its belt (trust me, I’ve had to), and this deck can at least compete with aggressive Scepter of Fugue sideboard games (though I have also won with Maelstrom Pulse and Ob Nixilis of course). However this one game my opponent had Ajani Vengeant and kept my lone Mountain tapped… With only a single true source of Red in my deck (regardless of how much virtual Red access there is), I could lose to Ajani, spot removal, and so on.

That said, I think the deck has a lot of potential. If not for Black Baneslayer, I would probably like this deck best (I like them both):

Landfall Mana Ramp v. 3.0

2 Grim Discovery
4 Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
2 Sorin Markov

4 Broodmate Dragon
3 Maelstrom Pulse

4 Harrow
4 Borderland Ranger
4 Rampaging Baloths
4 Rampant Growth

4 Banefire

6 Forest
2 Marsh Flats
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
4 Savage Lands
6 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs

4 Scepter of Fugue
2 Doom Blade
4 Blightning
1 Maelstrom Pulse
4 Lightning Bolt

This deck is structurally fairly similar to my 2009 Regionals era Jund Mana Ramp deck; it is the same colors, at least. The difference here is that instead of a pure two-for-one theme, we have more of a mix of cards, including some flexible removal (Maelstrom Pulse) that I usually try to avoid playing, and Sorin Markov on the top end (quite good, seemingly everywhere).

This deck is a pretty consistent performer, though you can get some awkward hands with two or three pieces of mana and multiple six mana plays. You usually have to keep.

I played about four matches with the Version 3.0 of this deck tonight; here’s how they went:

1. Vampires

Game One we were racing, me with some kind of wonderful, him with multiple Vampire Nighthawks; in this game I was introduced to the “Deathtouch” feature on the aforementioned Nighthawk (who knew). He peeled Vampire Nocturnus and I lost on the last turn, my own kill in hand.

Game Two was a blowout. My stuff was just bigger; he didn’t draw (or maybe didn’t play) Mind Sludge.

Game Three was a super fast acceleration game. Turn two Rampant Growth (two to three); turn three Harrow (three to four), play land, Rampant Growth… Turn four Rampaging Baloths plus a land (that is, plus a 4/4 Beast). I drew three removal spells and he only drew four guys.


2. Jund with Sedraxis Specter

We went to three… In the third he drew all his Lightning Bolts but failed to ever peel a Forest. His first two Bolts had to shut off my Planeswalker and the others half-traded for Borderland Rangers. I was able to overcome him with two Rampaging Baloths; two Maelstrom Pulses sat back in reserve.


3. Ranger of Eos Naya

This deck featured newcomer Scute Mob and was pretty exciting.

In the first game I just traded with him “one for one” … My first Ob Nixilis bought it to a Lightning Bolt (I planned for this to give up due to having Grim Discovery in hand). He grew his second Scute Mob and I played a Broodmate Dragon. He came in with his now-large Mob and I chose to double block it with Dragons; one went down and I took three from the Ranger of Eos to go pretty low, but I knew one of his remaining cards was another Scute Mob and the other was a topdeck. My remaining Dragon came in, then I played DI Re-buy on Misty Rainforest and my lost Ob Nixilis, finished with that flurry and a Rampant Growth. Ob Nixilis is so crazy.


4. Vampires

Game One I thought I would win despite drawing only two Harrows and two copes of Ob Nixilis. It turns out he was able to race usuing multiple platforms.

Game Two I was ahead but didn’t really know how to translate that into a win.

Then I drew a Planeswalker.

All of a sudden he was pretty locke ut of doing anything.

I was already getting kind of annoyed at MTGO at this point; but there wa a lot of lag and my session with the Landfall Ramp had to end on a sour fiish.

Game One I thought I had it despite drawing only two Harrows and two copies of Ob Nixilis for spells. He raced with Nighthawks but I just couldn’t beat a pair of Malakir Bootwitches.

Game Two was kind of a narrow win, but it was a win. I didn’t really know what to do (I knew his cards and so I knew my creatures were probably not going to make it long)… But then I drew my Planeswalker and controlled his board until I could profitably tap him out with the Mindslaver function.

Game Three was super close (like Game One and its three spells… I probably could have won if I played my lands in different order… He was at 2 the turn before he won). It came down to my playing Ob Nixilis instead of Broodmate Dragon with two Dragons and Sorin Markov back. His Vampire Nocturnus showed a Tendrils of Corruption, and it just didn’t register that he could have Gatekeeper of Malakir for my Black Ob Nixilis, the Fallen.

If I had played the Dragon, my worst case scenario would have been five or six in. I would have had the next Broodmate Dragon for more attrition, and could have won with the big swing on Sorin Markov plus Ob Nixilis. Instead, I lost to exactly lethal: 11 points.

So 3-1… With an asterisk.

Please tell me what you think!


Currently Reading: The Boys, Vol. 4

facebook comments:


#1 ReAnimator on 10.23.09 at 7:14 am

In Match 4 you have some duplicate paragraphs and sentences.

As for the deck have you considered Terramorphic expanse over the Savage lands?

Also Lotus Cobra seems like it is worth testing over the Civic Wayfinders. It even runs interference for bolts on Ob.

#2 matt_sperling on 10.23.09 at 10:55 am

Borderland Personality Disorder – Symptoms include chump blocking turn 3 and/or drawing borderland ranger when you need to draw land. BPD sufferers may play their decks against a gauntlet that doesn’t include the actual Jund deck (watch for Sedraxis Specter as a red flag). Removal of Kitchen Finks from a format may cause recurrance of BPD when dormant.

#3 ReAnimator on 10.23.09 at 1:54 pm

I think you could also make a case for “4xBlaze is never tier one” syndrome.
Seriously what does that card do in this environment? Early defense? against what a putrid leach? hellspark? baneslayer? Blaze is just embarrassing as removal in this format.
So i guess you are playing it for more late game? you’ve already got 14 big mana bombs that shouldn’t have any trouble finishing a game on their own.

Is red really needed at all?
You have baloths which are surprisingly close to Broodmates in here, and then in the board you have some cards that you could substitute with other cards.

It just seems you are shoe horning this deck to be like your pre rotation deck but for essentially no reason.

#4 MTGBattlefield on 10.24.09 at 3:53 pm

New Deck: Ho Ho Verdant Catacombs…

Your story has been summoned to the battlefield – Trackback from MTGBattlefield…

#5 Tekanan on 10.25.09 at 5:34 pm

If I may ask, what is the black baneslayer deck?

#6 Five With Flores » How to Play With Marsh Flats on 10.30.09 at 9:52 pm

[…] 1 Graypelt Refuge 4 Forest 4 Marsh Flats 4 Plains 4 Swamp 4 Sunpetal Grove 4 Verdant Catacombs […]

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