Feature Article from Seth Manfield

Solving Standard - Bant Golos

Seth Manfield

10/4/2019 11:00:00 AM

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Ramp decks revolving around Golos, Tireless Pilgrim and Field of the Dead have existed for a little while now, but we have often thought of them as Scapeshift decks. Scapeshift is no longer in the format, so the Field of the Dead decks are no longer trying to win all in one turn. Golos, Tireless Pilgrim is the perfect way to find Field of the Dead, and because the deck has so many lands you can actually play all five colors to afford the activation on Golos.

The deck is base Bant, because the only spells you really want are in those colors. Arboreal Grazer and Growth Spiral are important pieces of ramp. The biggest new addition to the strategy is Once Upon a Time. Being able to find a land or a key threat on demand is a big deal. Often you have to keep hands with this deck that are missing some important piece, and Once Upon a Time can find what you are looking for.

Here's the decklist Bryan Gottlieb used to win the Fandom Caster's Cup.

Being that this is a Field of the Dead deck, you of course see all one and two-ofs in the manabase, besides the Field of the Deads themselves. The goal here is to trigger Field of the DeadField of the Dead, but you aren't generating Zombies yet. With all the ramp you can accelerate the timetable of getting the Zombies as well. Many draws involve a turn three Circuitous Route into triggering Field of the Dead on turn four.

The other big addition from Eldraine is Realm-Cloaked Giant // Cast Off. The reason this is better than a sweeper like Time Wipe here is that it can be found off Once Upon a Time. Also, simply casting the Giants later in the game as big creatures can be a good way to close out games. The deck really needs to choose what spells it plays carefully since there are fewer of them than normal, due to needing to play so many lands. Teferi, Time Raveler makes sense to jam though as one of the overall strongest cards in the format on power level.

Right now, I think a version of Golos Ramp is the best deck in Standard. Bryan Gottlieb really got it right with this deck. As the format continues to evolve I expect the sideboard to change a bit, with maybe more cards trying to beat the mirror. We saw in the match against Bant Control where I was able to just barely win how powerful a card like Agent of Treachery can be for stealing Field of the Dead, so I might add that. Field of the Dead is one scary card, and even without Scapeshift it's a force to be reckoned with.


Seth Manfield

Seth Manfield is a professional Magic player and member of both the Magic Hall of Fame and the 2019 Magic Pro League.

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