Hey, there! Are you a fan of Dinosaurs, and want to improve your new Commander precon? You’ve come to the right place, as this Veloci-Ramp-Tor Upgrade Guide can certainly help you with that.
You’ll find a quick overview of the deck, followed by its decklist. Then we’ll explore the 3 key cards you need to make this deck stronger and more fun. In the recent update, I also added more potential inclusions. Cards are separated into budget and more expensive ones. Finally, there’s a section on which cards to cut and a sample upgraded decklist.
This should give you plenty of options to upgrade your Veloci-Ramp-Tor deck with. As you see, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get right to it.
This deck is pretty straightforward. Its focus is on Dinosaurs. You want to cast this enormous creatures, and most of them are either very efficient, or reward you for playing other Dinosaurs. Sometimes even both.
The secondary theme is ramp, as the name suggests. There are plenty of ways of getting additional mana. Either with cards that put lands into play, like Rampant Growth or with mana creatures, such as Drover of the Mighty. Getting a powerful Dino in play two turns earlier can be backbreaking.
Your commander is Pantlaza, which utilizes the discover mechanic. That’s essentially a new version of cascade. You’ll get some value when you play Pantlaza or another Dinosaur, but note that it only triggers once each turn.
Here’s the decklist, which is pretty solid for a precon. As usual, the most work can be done with the mana base, which contains too many tap lands. Plenty of powerful Dinosaurs are included already, but some sweet ones are missing. Particularly some from the newest set, which offered a lot of Dino support.
The new cards might not be showing yet, you can find them in the Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander Decks Guide.
Top 3 Cards to Upgrade Veloci-Ramp-Tor With
It can be hard to upgrade the whole precon all at once. Especially, if you’re a newer player. On top of that, it can be fun to get some reps in with the original decklist first. That’s why we’re first only talking about just three cards. However, all of these are amazingly good fits for the deck. They’ll both improve your deck and make it more fun to play. Let’s take a look.
Gishath, Sun’s Avatar
If there’s only one card you’ll add to the deck, it should be Gishath. This iconic Dinosaur only needs to deal damage to a player once, before you’re getting some insane value with it. When you’re able to put 3 or more Dinos in play, it’s one of the most epic moments in Magic.
Additionally, if you want to swap your main commander for a game or two, you can easily use Gishath in Pantlaza’s role. The 99 you’d play with any of the two aren’t that different anyway.
One problem with it would be its high price. That doesn’t touch on the fact it costs eight mana. You’re playing enough ramp, that it shouldn’t be an issue. However, it was a highly-sought after mythic from an older set, and its price on the secondary market reflected that.
Thankfully, the card was reprinted in the main set, Lost Caverns of Ixalan. Therefore, this might be a good time to pick one up.
Ghalta, Primal Hunger
While this Ghalta wasn’t reprinted in the main set, it was printed many times before. It’s another iconic Dino, that will excel in this shell.
It’s not unreasonable to expect that you’ll be able to cast it for around five mana, at which point a 12/12 with trample is already a good deal. However, sometimes you’ll be able to get it in play for a couple of mana, which is just broken.
Furthermore, it also plays nicely with your commander’s ability. Just imagine casting Ghalta for two mana, and then getting a discover 12. With so many expensive Dinos in the deck, there’s a fair chance you’ll play something backbreaking, like Etali, Primal Storm, for free!
Etali, Primal Conqueror / Etali Primal Sickness
Speaking of Etali, here’s another version of that character, but this one isn’t included in the original decklist. However, it’s an amazing Dinousaur to include in your Veloci-Ramp-Tor deck, as reaching seven mana shouldn’t be too hard.
When Etali comes into play, you immediately get value. You can cast the top nonland card from each player’s (that includes yours) library for free! If you’re playing a multiplayer game, Etali will provide some very fun moments.
That’s without even considering that you can use its transform ability. If you manage to do so, you get a threat, that’s very hard to deal with. On top of that, it can take out your opponent in one hit. What’s not to like?
Bonus Pick: Atla Palani, Nest Tender
Finally, here’s one bonus pick. This card isn’t as powerful as the other ones we’ve mentioned, as it takes some time to get going. However, Atla Palani, Nest Tender is just such a flavor win for this deck.
So, if you enjoy your deck being on-theme, this is a nice pickup. When you actually manage to receive something powerful from your Egg tokens, it’s going to feel great.
Veloci-Ramp-Tor Upgrade – Budget
Now to the rest of upgrade ideas. I’ve separated these suggestion into two parts: budget and full. In the first part you’ll find some budget-friendly cards, while in the second one there are more expensive cards. Note that just the card is in the budget section, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily worse than the one in the full upgrade.
Then each of the two groups is broken down further. there are better Dinosaurs, more synergy cards, as well as mana base upgrades. All three things are key for the Veloci-Ramp-Tor deck to perform better.
We’ve had one Ghalta, yes. But what about a second Ghalta? Perhaps with a friendly Vampire?Not only is Ghalta and Mavren a really fun card, it also plays nicely with your commander. Getting to seven mana will be easier in this deck than in many others thanks to the abundance of ramp.
Additionally, if you control Pantlaza, you’re getting a discover 12. But that’s not all, you can trigger Ghalta and Mavern’s ability on the turn you play the card. You don’t even need to attack with it.
However, it becomes even better with haste, as do many other Dinosaurs. Thus, Palani’s Hatcher is a great additional to the Veloci-Ramp-Tor deck. Beisdes giving Dinos haste, you also receive a couple of Eggs, which can hatch into 3/3s.
Hulking Raptor is just a nice middle of the curve play, that fits this deck perfectly. It’ a well stated four drop Dino, that ramps you towards your more expensive stuff. Plus, the built-in protection of ward does matter.
While the most popular Commander cards typically come with exciting text boxes, Pungnacious Hammerskull impresses with its stats. If your playgroup is playing long and drawn-out games, they might be a bit surprised by how hard a 6/6 for three smashes.
First up, two creatures that aren’t Dinosaurs themselves, but are still amazing inclusions. While the best mana dorks typically cost one mana, Intrepid Paleontologist does offer additional benefits besides ramping. There’s graveyard hate, which can mess up with some specific decks. Furthermore, you can rebuy your dead Dinosaurs. For two mana, that’s a great deal.
The second creature is Huatli, Poet of Unity, a quite complex card. For three mana you get a 2/3, which finds you a basic land. Playable, but not too exciting. However, you can also pay five mana to flip it into a saga, which is completely bonkers.
First you put two Dinos in play. Then all of your creatures are able to make mana. The third chapter doesn’t disappoint too, as you can tutor for a Dinosaur. Finally, all of your Dinos gain double strike and trample, which is often enough to take out some if not all opponents. On top of that, this card is also a perfect flavor hit.
Last, there are two budget staples missing from this deck. The first one is a classic ramp spell Kodama’s Reach, and the second is one of the best targeted removal ever printed, Swords to Plowshares. While these aren’t especially flavorful, cards like these are a great way to improve your deck with a low budget.
I’ve mentioned how the mana base needs some work. There are way to many tap lands included, but thankfully there are some budget friendly lands you can replace them with, namely:
- Check Lands (Sunpetal Grove, Rootbound Crag, the third one is included)
- Pain lands (Battlefield Forge, Brushland, Karplusan Forest)
You could also replace one of your tap lands with Restless Ridgeline. While it does enter the play tapped, it can be transformed into a Dino, which can be useful for some of your synergies.
Another budget upgrade you could do with your mana base, is to add more basic lands instead of bad tap lands. By doing so, you’re going to rely more heavily on the ramp spells, such as Rampant Growth and Cultivate. While there might be some issues with getting all the colors, at least you’ll be able to use the lands on the turn you play them.
Veloci-Ramp-Tor Upgrade – Full
In this section, you’ll find some more expensive cards. While you can surely build a deck without them, these can be quite useful and fun additions.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Magic’s collaboration with the Jurassic World franchises. That resulted in some powerful MTG Jurassic Park cards. As, you can expect one could find plenty of strong Dinosaurs there. One of them is certainly Hunting Velociraptor, which gives all of your Dinos a prowl cost of three mana.
That means that if you deal damage to a player with a Dinosaur, you can on that turn, cast other Dinosaurs for 3 mana. No matter, their original cost, with this mechanic they all cost three mana. A turn when you manage to drop down Zacama, Primal Calamity for three mana is going to be insanely explosive. Of course, this counts as casting it, so you untap your lands. So, you want to:
- Deal damage to an opponent with a Dinosaur.
- Control a Hunting Velociraptor.
- Tap all your lands.
- Cast Zacama for three mana and untap your lands.
Jokes aside, Hunting Velociraptor is a very strong card, especially since it costs only three mana.
There are two more cards from the Lost Caverns of Ixalan set that you might want to add. Bonehoard Dracosaur is fairly costed, provides a big body and card advantage if it sticks around.
You could double its triggers and those of your other Dinosaurs with a honorary Dino, Roaming Throne. This card won’t be good in just any deck, but will perform differently depending on what kind of Dinosaurs you’re playing. If you’re using plenty with triggered abilities, then you also want to play Throne.
Any deck playing big creatures can benefit from Sneak Attack, but that’s particularly true for the Voloci-Ramp-Tor precon. When you drop a big hasty Dinosaur, you’ll also get value via discover trigger. But that’s just a cherry on the top, Sneak Attack can just end the game with the right combination of cards in your hand.
Welcome to . . . is another of the previously mentioned Jurassic Park cards. The front side doesn’t do that much, apart from giving you a 3/3 Dino. (Unless your opponent is playing an Arcades, the Strategist deck.) However, the backside is a powerful land, which allows you to replay Dinosaurs from your graveyard by using the escape mechanic. Once you consider this as a delayed ramp spell with an added Dinosaur, you can see the true potential of this card.
Thanks to the big-powered Dinosaurs, The Skullspore Nexus can be cast for as little as two mana. Then it can double your creature’s power and it gives you big Dino tokens after your creatures die.
Once you aren’t concerned about the budget, there are plenty of additional upgrades you can make to the mana base. Here are some great lands, that will make it easier for your to cast spells on time:
- Shock lands (Sacred Foundry, Temple Garden, Stomping Ground)
- Fetch lands (Arid Mesa, Windswept Heath, Wooded Foothills)
- Bond lands (Spectator Seating, Bountiful Promenade, Spire Garden)
- Jetmir’s Garden
- Cavern of Souls (great add, if your play group is playing counterspells)
That wraps it for the Veloci-Ramp-Tor upgrade, now it’s time to figure out which…
Cards to Remove
First up, remove Temple of the False God. The upside is minimal, and the downside is huge. This land does not produce mana unless you control 5+ lands. Imagine this being one of your three lands and you can’t cast Cultivate. Just replace it with a basic Forest, it’ll perform much better.
The rest of the cuts are a bit harder to make, as most of the cards make sense, excluding some particularly weak ones such as Majestic Heliopterus. Nevertheless, I’ve finally decided to remove most of the enrage theme. The mechanic needs weak support cards for weak payoffs, and that just isn’t a winning strategy. It’s best to ignore it altogether. Thus, some of the first cuts you should make are probably the following cards:
- Bellowing Aegisaur
- Raging Regisaur
- Thundering Spineback
- Wayta, Trainer Prodigy
- Raging Swordtooth
- Fiery Confluence
Veloci-Ramp-Tor Upgraded Decklist
Before I wrap up, here’s an example of the upgraded Veloci-Ramp-Tor deck:
Now remember, you don’t need to follow this sample decklist exactly. Use cards that you want, remove cards you don’t like. This is just one of many example of how this deck can be built.
Veloci-Ramp-Tor Upgrade Guide – Conclusion
So, that’s it for today. Hopefully, this article gave you some great ideas on how to make your deck better. As you saw, there are plenty of good cards for this deck in the Lost Caverns of Ixalan set. Perhaps you want to try your luck and open some Set boosters?
Furthermore, if you want to learn about other decks and how to improve them, you’ll be able to find them below soon:
Until next time, enjoy Magic, and playing with your upgraded Veloci-Ramp-Tor deck.