Umori Gruul Deck Guide

Umori-the-Collector-Ikoria-MtG-Art

Looking for something different to play this weekend? Not interested in sleeving up Growth Spiral or Witch’s Oven? Join me in attacking the meta with a deck I’ve been tuning since Jeskai Lukka was running rampant. Play Umori Gruul!

The Deck

Gruul Umori Aggro by MythicMatt – #13 Mythic – June 2020 Season

Why Umori Gruul?

This deck is extremely powerful and proactive. It is an aggressive deck that many anti-aggro cards don’t answer well (Flame Sweep doesn’t kill our creatures, Shatter the Sky almost always nets us a card). Additionally, it lines up very well with most decks in the current metagame which consists of Temur Reclamation, UGx Ramp, Yorion Control, low-to-the-ground aggro, and Sacrifice. It is able to close out games before ramp/control decks are able to stabilize. Our creatures easily outclass the hyper-aggressive decks like Mono Red Cavalcade that are cropping up in an attempt to go underneath Temur Reclamation. Sacrifice is the most difficult metagame matchup game one, but we get to bring in no less than 14(!) Sideboard cards to help turn it around.

Card Choices

iko-231-umori-the-collector

Umori, the Collector – By far the most controversial card choice, this seems like the perfect place to start. I get a lot of questions along the lines of “Why play Umori if you don’t cast it that often?” and “Wouldn’t the deck be better if you could play <insert non-creature card> instead?” 

There are two reasons why playing Umori instead of Embercleave, Domri’s Ambush etc. is correct for this deck. The first reason has to do with our deck’s gameplan. We are looking to quickly accelerate into large, hasty creatures that can end the game before our opponent is able to stabilize. Our deck is incredibly threat-dense, the creatures pack a huge punch on their own, and even our pump effects are large creatures themselves. The deck doesn’t need any non-creature cards to help push through enough damage, and minimizes the risk of drawing something that has no impact on an empty board if we get swept. 

The second reason Umori is correct has to do with the fact that it is a guaranteed extra card every single game. If we cut Umori to add a couple copies of Embercleave, Domri etc. we are only going to draw and cast those cards in some of our games, while having access to eight cards vs. our opponent’s seven is great, especially in attrition heavy matchups. Umori also helps power out our End-Raze Forerunners when the game goes long.

Arboreal Grazer – Key piece for our most explosive starts. T1 Grazer into T2 Mutate Migratory Greathorn and we’re off to the races.

Stonecoil Serpent – Pro-multicolored is extremely relevant currently (Teferi, Mayhem Devil, Expansion // Explosion, Uro, etc.) and this is a great mutate target that scales as the game goes on. 

Marauding Raptor – This is the other way we cheat out big threats ahead of curve and is much better than Paradise druid for this deck as it can attack each turn while still providing the discount, plus it gets pumped by other Raptors and Shifting Ceratops.

Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig – This is the 60th card in the deck and one that can be changed to suit different metagames. I like Yorvo currently as it is a really aggressive turn two play off of a Grazer start, it’s an awesome mutate target due to the +1/+1 counters, and is a Legendary creature that provides the discount for our mobilized district activation. While the GGG cost might seem scary, the deck and manabase skews very heavily toward green so paying it is usually not a problem.

Gemrazer – A great follow-up to a T1 Grazer as it allows us to swing in with a 4/4 Trampler on T2. The mutate trigger is incredibly relevant in the current Metagame with Wilderness Reclamation, Witch’s Oven, Trail of Crumbs, Elspeth Conquers Death, and other artifacts and enchantments being prevalent. 

Migratory Greathorn – Another great T2 play after Grazer, this is a solid 3/4 body that helps us hit important land drops and power out our finishers.

Questing Beast – A hasty 4/4 attacker that we can often get down on turn 3. This does so many things for the deck, from getting rid of pesky Planeswalkers without missing damage on the opponent to easily attacking past Cauldron Familiars and small Shark Tokens, to completely brick-walling the aggressive decks.

Shifting Ceratops – Ceratops is really hard for most of the popular decks to interact with and a powerful threat by itself. Protection from blue means it can’t be blocked by shark tokens or uro, can’t be bounced by Teferi, and the only way it can be interacted with on the stack is Aether Gust. It also pumps up Marauding Raptor when it hits the battlefield, and the ability to give it both haste and trample means there is a really good chance of it punching damage through.

God-Eternal Rhonas – This provides great burst damage and playing this onto any reasonable board is often enough to end the game on the spot. Not only does this double the power of our creatures, many of which have trample, but it also gives them vigilance for the turn meaning there is no worrying about a lethal crackback in a race situation. It’s recursive nature means you can also count on it to help recover from a board wipe or Elspeth Conquers Death

Ravager Wurm – This utility creature does it all. It is a hasty threat to follow up a board wipe, blows up Triomes, Castle Vantress, and other utility lands, and can remove a key blocker or dangerous creature from the board.

End-Raze Forerunners – With Migratory Greathorn, Marauding Raptor, Castle Garenbrig, and  Umori, we get up to the requisite mana to cast “Pain Bacon” faster than one might expect. 7 hasty damage can often end the game on its own, but if we have any creatures whatsoever giving them +2/+2 and trample is usually lights-out.

Tips and Tricks

Gemrazer Art by Svetlin Velinov
  • Ideal opening hands consist of Arboreal Grazer and 3+ lands, Marauding Raptor, or Stonecoil Serpent + Migratory Greathorn.
  • Aggressively mulligan seven card hands with no early plays and mulligan less aggressively on six cards as Arboreal Grazer is much less impactful in a five card hand.
  • When deciding between two plays, almost always default to the play that gets more damage through immediately rather than trying to maximize value down the road.
  • Always play out Grazers even if you can’t put an extra land into play as they are good mutate targets and represent extra damage for End-Raze Forerunners.
  • Against Sacrifice Decks post-board, you often want to actively avoid turning Klothys into a creature as having it claimed and sacrificed is the only way the opponent can actually deal with it. 
  • If you have Multiple Questing Beasts and a mutate creature, you can mutate onto the Questing Beast in play and put the mutate creature on top to get around the Legendary status and play a second Questing Beast.
  • Don’t be afraid to play out small Stonecoil Serpents, especially if you don’t have another mutate target. Every point of damage counts against the control decks and you can frequently put a Gemrazer or Greathorn on one to create a solid threat.
  • When debating between Ceratops and another play, if you can’t immediately haste up the Ceratops it is almost certainly correct to play the other card.
  • Don’t spend 3 mana to grab Umori unless you have no other plays.
  • If you have Marauding Raptor out, consider playing creatures before attacks to take advantage of the discount in case it gets killed or bounced during combat.
  • Double Marauding Raptor is playing with fire… and I encourage you to indulge your inner pyro. It obviously depends on the rest of your hand but you can usually get away with it because we have mutate creatures, 5+ toughness creatures, and you can swing in with both when you need to throw one away to unlock something like Questing Beast. Not to mention that sometimes “feeding the raptors” by throwing away a third one or a ceratops to them is enough to punch through lethal anyway.
  • Speaking of Marauding Raptor, don’t forget both the discount and the drawback when playing Stonecoil Serpent. Two untapped mana and a Raptor means you can play a 3/3 Stonecoil. Just don’t play out one that can’t survive the Raptor trigger.
  • Mutating Gemrazer can destroy Anax.

Sideboard Guide

Mono Red Aggro

InOut
4 Bonecrusher Giant
2 Voracious Hydra
2 Thrashing Brontadon
1 Klothys, God of Destiny
4 Shifting Ceratops
1 God-Eternal Rhonas
1 Ravager Wurm
2 End-Raze Forerunners
1 Mobilized District

Rakdos or Jund Sacrifice

InOut
Literally the entire sideboard (minus Umori, keep that in the Companion slot)2 Marauding Raptor
3 Migratory Greathorn
4 Shifting Ceratops
2 God-Eternal Rhonas
1 Ravager Wurm
1 End-Raze Forerunners
1 Mountain

Temur Reclamation

InOut
2 Thrashing Brontodon
1 Klothys, God of Destiny
1 God-Eternal Rhonas
1 End-Raze Forerunners
1 Mountain

Yorion Control

This will vary based on the specific Yorion build, but a good starting point for most is something like below.

On the play:

InOut
2 Klothys, God of Destiny1 God-Eternal Rhonas
1 End-Raze Forerunners

On the draw:

InOut
2 Klothys, God of Destiny1 God-Eternal Rhonas
1 Mountain

Cycling

InOut
4 Bonecrusher Giant
4 Klothys, God of Destiny
2 Voracious Hydra
1 Migratory Greathorn
4 Shifting Ceratops
1 God-Eternal Rhonas
1 Ravager Wurm
2 End-Raze Forerunners
1 Mobilized District

Adapting it for potential breakout decks

I’ll end with a few quick thoughts in anticipation of possible decks entering the metagame. Despite Umori’s restriction, the deck is very adaptable and we have lots of utility creatures to consider based on what’s currently being played. If Yorion Rats becomes popular after the PT we can easily adapt by switching Yorvo back to Nullhide Ferox and playing more copies of the Ferox in the sideboard. If Mono-Green Stompy becomes popular, we can add several copies of Oakhame Adversary to the board.

Final Thoughts

If you’re like me and are always looking to play something different but competitive, I hope you’ll give Umori Gruul a try. Let me know how you do and feel free to reach out with any questions on twitter @mythicmattmtg. Good luck and may your opening seven always have a Grazer.

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yynderjohn
15 days ago

Nice guide!

gilgamesh
14 days ago

Always a fan of Gruul so I’m looking forward to giving this a try! Anything you’d change about the maindeck for BO1?

gilgamesh
14 days ago
Reply to  MythicMatt

I actually only had one Rhonas in the collection and am a little short on mythic wilds so I did put a Klothys in instead, but I like the idea of swapping in another for a land. 5-0 so far in Diamond so I’m definitely liking the deck! I had been struggling to find a deck that’s both interesting and successful since the bans – Temur adventure just hasn’t been working as well for me in the new meta and mono-red got boring quickly – so this was a much needed breath of fresh air. Thanks!