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Standard: Gruul Surprise - Deck Tech and Sideboard Guide

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In today's article, we cover Standard's latest version of Ramp with Gruul Surprise, with the combination of Terror of the Peaks and Calamity, Galloping Inferno to finish games!

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переведено Romeu

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рассмотрено Tabata Marques

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Standard remains in constant flux as we prepare for the first rotation since the format changes in May 2023. With it, big staples like Raffine, Scheming Seer, The Wandering Emperor and Wedding Announcement will leave the competitive scene to make room for new archetypes.

Among them, Gruul Surprise has shown some potential in recent Challenges, with a core that runs many potential staples from the new season. In this article, we delve deeper into their list and present a guide to some of the main matchups in the current Metagame.

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What is Gruul Surprise?

Gruul Surprise is a Ramp deck focused on using Smuggler’s Surprise to bring a combination of powerful creatures to the battlefield. Ideally, the card is used to put Terror of the Peaks and Calamity, Galloping Inferno into play, starting a lethal combo in the same turn.

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The combo is based on using Calamity, Galloping Inferno to copy Terror of the Peaks twice. The first copy will trigger the original Terror, while the second will trigger both the original and the first copy, dealing 15 damage in total before they deal combat damage to the opponent. It is common for this combo to end the game the moment it is placed on the board.

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This plan is complemented with some of the most powerful bombs for Ramp today, which interact well with the deck while creating good synergies with Terror of the Peaks, making it one of the best ways to close games.

The Decklist

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This is the standard list being used in Magic Online Leagues and Challenges and also in Magic Arena ranked games. There is little variation in cards in the maindeck or sideboard today, at most an increase in certain numbers or a fourth Brotherhood's End instead of Lithomantic Barrage, or Vampire's Vengeance in place of one or two Volcanic Spite against Aggro.

Maindeck

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Our combo.

In addition to working together, Terror of the Peaks and Calamity, Galloping Inferno are threats on their own and interact with the other creatures on the list, either adding to the total damage they can cause or accumulating their effects.

Calamity, Galloping Inferno is especially lethal alongside Trumpeting Carnosaur, creating powerful snowball effects where we cast two spells in one turn while two 7/6 creatures with Trample attack alongside it.

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Trumpeting Carnosaur works as early game removal and one of our best payoffs for the Ramp plan. It rarely wins attrition games alone, but accompanied by another creature or Brotherhood’s End, it can take any game against Aggro on its own.

Etali, Primal Conqueror complements Trumpeting Carnosaur in casting spells for free, in addition to its transformed side offering a clock of up to two turns against the opponent.

It is worth mentioning that, if any of these creatures encounters Smuggler’s Surprise, it is necessary to pay the other costs of the card, as we cannot play it for free without at least one chosen effect.

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Our ramp.

Spinewoods Armadillo doesn't accelerate our mana, but it helps maintain our land drops, while its life gain helps hold Aggro decks longer. Because it is a creature with built-in protection, it can also be played with Smuggler’s Surprise and becomes a threat on its own.

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Glimpse the Core is the closest to Rampant Growth that Standard has, and it works well in a two-color list. We complement it with Topiary Stomper, which also becomes a good body and blocker as we play more lands and Map the Frontier for the next turn.

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Outcaster Trailblazer also helps with ramp, but its main function is to ensure that our larger creatures have more value in attrition games.

Brotherhood’s End is necessary in a format where small creature decks are still prevalent in the Metagame, with the bonus of also dealing with troublesome artifacts that occasionally show up in ranked games.

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Our duals focus on those that come into play untapped as the game goes on. Therefore, Rockfall Vale requires four copies, while Copperline Gorge is a one-of. Karplusan Forest works at any point in the game, but the life loss can make a difference in faster games.

Cavern of Souls can be used to protect our combo against counterspells, but any creature that needs to come into play to generate value is a legal target for the land.

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Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance and Boseiju, Who Endures, as well as the other Channel Lands, enter any two-color list that can fit them into their lists as one-of, while Restless Ridgeline and Commercial District have different effects that we can take advantage of throughout the game.

Bristling Backwoods and Arid Archway have an interaction with Map the Frontier to guarantee their next land drop while ramping mana, and can also be found with Spinewoods Armadillo.

Sideboard

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Volcanic Spite is a targeted removal both for games against Aggro and for games where Brotherhood's End does very little, but we still need interactions against creatures and Planeswalkers.

Lithomantic Barrage is a one-of that complements our Sideboard against Azorius Control and Esper Midrange.

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Tranquil Frillback is an extremely versatile creature in our Sideboard, serving as a life gain against Mono Red, graveyard hate against Analyst and response against artifacts or enchantments against Esper Midrange, Domain Ramp, among others.

Pick Your Poison has a similar function while also dealing with flying creatures, while Turn the Earth serves as a complementary graveyard hate against Analyst decks.

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Cavern of Souls and Tyrranax Rex are our slots against Azorius Control, while Obstinate Baloth can come in against Aggro, but also works as a means of taking advantage of Liliana of the Veil against Golgari Midrange.

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Sideboard Guide

Azorius Control

IN

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OUT

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Temur Analyst

IN

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OUT

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Domain Ramp

IN

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OUT

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Mono Red Aggro

IN

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OUT

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Golgari Midrange

IN

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OUT

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Conclusion

That's all for today.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment!

Thanks for reading!