A trace of ramp

TraceofAbundance.jpeg
Trace of Abundance initially seemed like a very exciting card, right up until I remembered a key bit of wording. Let’s take a look…
The upside
Shroud, man, shroud.
One of the significant downsides of Fertile Ground is that it converts the enchanted land into a super-high-value target. Destroy it and you gain card and tempo advantage; bounce it and you gain tempo advantage and get to trade your bounce card for a card, instead of merely trading your bounce card for tempo. It is, in a word, painful. Nonetheless, ramp archetypes since the release of Lorwyn have relied heavily on Fertile Ground. Trace can replace Fertile Ground with a color-appropriate enchantment that keeps its enchanted land safe, preventing 2-for-1s and tempo-for-1s.
The downside
This is where my reverie ended, as I suddenly recalled that Garruk targets. Fertile Ground is favored over other ramp methods (e.g. Rampant Growth) because of the synergy between Ground and Garruk. Since Trace has Shroud rather than semi-Shroud (aka Troll ability), it blocks Garruk, which is unfortunate.
The outcome
I think the net effect of Shroud on Trace is to keep it out of many Standard ramp decks, since they benefit so much from the presence of Garruk. That said, there’s extensive deck design space to use this sucker in Block, and if you happen to want to build a Garruk-less ramp deck, Trace is a good choice.

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