Crush the mid game with Simic Ramp, the Oko deck

Simic Ramp plays fast and threatens many different decks with its flexible and disruptive gameplan.

Image via Wizards of the Coast

With Field of the Dead now banned in Magic: The Gathering‘s Standard format, it’s time to take a look at some of the new best decks.

The Simic Ramp deck is leading the charge. It’s a disruptive midrange deck featuring one of the format’s most powerful new cards from Throne of Eldraine.

Here’s everything you need to know about Simic Ramp.

Oko is broko

The core of this deck is Oko, Thief of Crowns, a powerful card advantage engine that steadily grows your board. Oko is one of the latest in a series of three-mana planewalkers that land with a steep amount of loyalty, but his immediate token generation ability sets him apart from the pack.

Oko Thief of Crowns Promo Magic Throne of Eldraine
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Many players think Oko will flourish as a Standard powerhouse in the wake of Field’s ban. He comes down early, especially with Gilded Goose, then can start filling the board with Elks and stealing his opponent’s good stuff.

Back up Oko with ramp and midrange goodness

Two key elements fill out Simic Ramp: ramp and midrange beaters. The aforementioned Gilded Goose is joined by Paradise Druid to give the deck bonus mana. This latter creature has quietly been one of the best ramp spells in recent months. It taps for any color, trades up, and even protects itself from being targeted.

Paradise Druid Magic War of the Spark
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

The payoffs for this strategy come quickly. Simic Ramp’s midrange threats are flexible and deadly, often taking over the game in the turn they land.

Wicked Wolf starts the beatdown, immediately fighting with whatever it wants on the table. Don’t forget that you can sacrifice the Food a Gilded Goose generates to give the Wolf a one-up in that fight.

Brazen Borrower continues along that trend. Play this creature as an adventure to remove any non-land threat on your opponent’s end step, then play it as an airborne beater and go straight to the face. This kind of tempo plan can be an absolute slaughter against certain decks in the current meta.

The dream midrange threat, however, is Questing Beast. It’s a hard-hitter with lots of words that make it great against almost everything. Aggro decks often can’t block it, it kills practically any creature by blocking, and it can snipe planeswalkers immediately. If the meta shifts back toward planeswalkers like Narset, Parter of Veils, Questing Beast will be one of the best cards in this deck.

Questing Beast Magic Throne of Eldraine
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Finally, Simic Ramp includes the planeswalker with arguably the rawest power, Nissa, Who Shakes the World. Nissa requires an immediate answer from any opponent or it can take over the game quickly. Left unchecked, Nissa allows you to play your payoff cards to devastating effect.

Close the game with Ramp payoffs

Simic Ramp runs two key payoffs for this strategy. On top of the midrange threats, this deck can unload two huge game-busters if everything goes according to plan. The first, Mass Manipulation, simply steals creatures and planeswalkers from your opponent.

But the critical payoff here is Hydroid Krasis. This beater was introduced in Ravnica Allegiance and has been a critical closer in Simic decks since then.

Hydroid Krasis Magic Ravnica Allegiance
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Deploy Krasis early to draw a couple cards, gain some life, and get a blocker out against fast aggro decks. You could also hold onto it and reload your hand and life total in the late game, in addition to creating your win condition. This card even dodges counters due to the trigger going on the stack upon being cast, meaning it’s a very flexible creature that can stabilize almost any game.

Round out the deck and sideboard with card selection and more tempo

The rest of the deck from this partial build is pretty easy. One of the more recent brews, Sjow’s first-place deck from last week’s Fandom Legends, runs a full set of Once Upon a Time to help thin out the deck and set up for midrange greatness. A single copy of Disdainful Stroke helps prepare for more oddball strategies and prevent one-trick combo decks from having their way.

In the sideboard, pack up for sniping more niche strategies and reinforcing your own strengths. Sjow opts for Shifting Ceratops and Voracious Hydra as further creature threats.

Voracious Hydra Magic Core Set 2020
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Meanwhile, Ashiok, Dream Render, Veil of Summer, and Aether Gust join more copies of Disdainful Stroke to shut down other meta decks where they can. These cards can be crucial tempo killers that disrupt your opponent’s plans, giving you plenty of time to shut the door with your midrange beaters.