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  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam
    Went 3-1-1 at my lgs last night with the list I just posted, and the deck feels... okay.

    I played against a random draft deck from a new player, Hogaak, Dredge, and Jund, and ID'd with my last opp. The deck preboard is pretty bad, as there are no really big threats to close out the game quickly. The point of the deck was to be good against leylines postboard which it was, and to be good with leylines in my deck postboard, which it also was, so I guess the experiment was a success? Eyebrow

    I lost my game one to Hogaak and Dredge, and did the sideboard plan of board in Leylines and Blood Moon, cut graveyard synergy like Life from the Loam, Countryside Crusher, a Seismic Assault and more depending on the matchup. Postboard, I mulled to leylines each time as there is no other way this deck wins, but with the help of Seasoned Pyromancer, Anger of the Gods, and one for one removal, we got there. This list feels stellar against Hogaak and Dredge, but it has some holes...

    Because it is more threat light, it is worse off vs midrange decks like Jund. I'm likely gonna cut Countryside Crusher entirely for Tireless Tracker as I think that's just a better threat that can draw me extra cards. That slot could also be Bloodbraid Elf, which I want to test but idk yet.

    The long and short of it is, I think this deck could survive the degeneracy of Hogaak and Dredge with Leylines and Blood Moon. I think the deck is still good, we just need to find the right threat that is able to get in through leyline.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    It's on the new primer that I wrote. Check the deck creation sub.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam
    Hey all, wanted to share a new list I've been testing for the Leyline meta.

    I've been staying away from Tarmogoyf for a while in RG because of how weak it is to graveyard hate, and it takes a while for it to grow into a big threat in the deck since we don't play hand disruption. I've leaned on the old strategy of Young Pyromancer instead with the backup plan of just casting a bunch of Bolts and Flame Jabs. With most decks running Leylines ATM I decided to try this list which tries to cut the graveyard synergy as much as possible while staying true to the archetype.

    I've cut down on Countryside Crusher in favor of 3 Seasoned Pyromancer. The Pyromancer seems like it could be good in this archetype especially postboard being able to discard drawn leylines or other dead cards. Maindeck it draws you towards one of your three copies of Life from the Loam as well as refilling your hand when you get hellbent. For that reason, the card plays well with Seismic Assault and a lot of lands, as you can hellbent yourself real quick. I'll be testing out this list at FNM tomorrow night and will let y'all know how it goes.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on "What Deck Should I Play" thread
    You mentioned the "singleton" deck that came to mind, Esper Gifts. That deck can typically function without its graveyard because you run so many singleton copies of spells but I haven't seen lists for it in a while.

    Aside from that, I'd say you could build an Esper Control shell that's a bunch of one-ofs, one Supreme Verdict, one Damnation, one Kaya's Wrath, one Terminus for example with the wealth of removal and countermagic you can choose from. New cards and old cards alike from Kaya's Guile to Esper Charm could be options there.

    You could also play a toolbox deck, which would probably be the most competitive option. With the newly printed for modern Eladamri's Call alongside Chord of Calling, Collected Company, and Finale of Devastaion, you could build a pretty solid Naya or Bant creature deck, even some sort of Kiki-Chord / Vanifar shell. Here's a list from a few months ago from Jeff Hoogland: You might be able to add even more spicy one-ofs to this deck like Breaching Hippocamp or Wall of Blossoms along with more copies of the new cards from WAR and MH1.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam
    Quote from Mazereon »
    One last thing, fair decks are probably the decks we like to play against, but how do we combat a deck like Neobrand?
    I would love to hear some opinions and tips on how to approach degenerate decks.
    Neobrand is just if they have it, they win for RG. I don't feel like we can do very much to combat it, aside from turn 1 Pithing Needle on Gris, Grafdigger's Cage, or Surgical Extraction if you can nab a Nourishing Shoal. Hogaak isn't bad if you can assemble AssaultLoam, and postboard Leyline of the Void helps a lot.

    While RG is fairly consistent at taking out creature decks and going over the top of midrange decks like UW Control, it's downfall is its spread against degenerate decks like Neobrand. If a deck relies on creatures like Vizier Combo, then it's an easy matchup. Even unfair matchups like Storm are playable since you can force them to combo off without a cost reducer, but it lacks the hand disruption of Jund, the strong sideboard cards of Naya, and the countermagic of Temur. Which one you use in which metagame depends on which decks are on top. If you pick RG, you cede some edge to the unfair decks for an edge against aggressive decks.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam
    Quote from Mazereon »
    Hello there!

    A few years back I played around with this archetype for a while, before dismissing it. With modern horizons and m20 the deck got some very interesting toys and I am eager to delve into assault loam once again.

    I am thinking about a RG shell, starting from your very checklist CrypticCommander.
    But there are a few cards I would like to talk about, so let's get started.
    Sorry for the lack of tags, but I am on my phone right now.

    Is elvish reclaimer any good?
    I do believe so, in theory it is 1/2 that can potentially stem the bleeding early on, or act as a beater or get utility lands. A repeatable instant speed crop rotation is quite powerful.

    What about ruination rioter?
    Stems the bleeding early on against fast creature decks and develops into a threat that opponents neither want to kill, nor want to attack into. Being able to shoot it down with the last land in hand after dumping the other lands to assault can nearly oneshot the opponent.
    (Loam back 3 lands -> cycle forgotten cave -> loam back 3 more lands. Throw 8 damage to the opponent's face and 2 at the rioter to get another 5 damage).

    The next card on my list, that fuels those 2 cards mentioned above is lotus field, which is especially good with the elvish reclaimer. The only cards that could be a problem when playing lotus field are blood moon and smallpox, otherwise we don't really care if 2 lands are in the yard, as we can get them back pretty easily.

    Next up is cindervines vs. leyline of combustion. I have no experience with either of those cards, so it would be very cool hearing about which one is better and why.

    Magmatic sinkhole might be an awesome addition to the removal suite, as it further diversifies spot removal if you are afraid of meddling mage and it can deal with planeswalkers in addition to that. The downside is delving away some amount of the graveyard, but with maybe one copy in the main deck this should be bearable.

    And last but not least, in your RG list you are playing quite a few lands that come into play tapped @CrypticCommander. Does this make for weird sequencing at times or have those citpt lands never been bad. And is the cinder glade worth it?


    Best regards
    Maze
    Thanks for the questions! Let's start from the top:

    I feel like Elvish Reclaimer could be good in the right shell, but I'm not sure what that is. In the RG lists, Tarmogoyf is often mediocre as we don't have great ways to put card types into the graveyard early aside from Faithless Looting. Reclaimer is a 3/4 with a somewhat relevant ability as it could get a Bojuka Bog, Blast Zone, Ghost Quarter, or even a manland vs the right deck. The problem is we aren't really looking for a vanilla 3/4 most of the time in the current list. Countryside Crusher often starts as a 4/4 on 3 which grows and draws gas while playing with the gameplan of the deck - as you loot, dredge and discard lands to Seismic Assault, it grows bigger while Reclaimer is stuck as a 3/4 for the whole game. In a more aggressive version that tries to get in quick under control I could see it being good, but as it stands I don't like it very much. It stands in the same category as a Flameblade Adept, while it beats in well, I'm not sure I want it in the current metagame.

    Ruination Rider is a card I've yet to test. It leads to explosive hands and incentivizes playing more lands and fetches, actually quite like Reclaimer. It's another aggressive card that can close out the game fast and gives us a better shot at killing on turn 4 alongside other fast beaters. Historically, I have really tried to build my AssaultLoam decks like your typical midrange deck that can use the AssaultLoam combo to gain back tempo like a boardwipe because I think that is where it shines. We have gotten more and more cards in the past few years that could legitimize an aggressive build with cards like Insolent Neonate, Flameblade Adept, Elvish Reclaimer, and Ruination Rider with ~10 fetches... This could work, but it is much more susceptible to graveyard hate, so I personally don't think it's worth the risk. It could use some testing though.

    I don't think we should play Lotus Field. We like to use our mana in weird ways (RRR for Seismic Assault, RRG for Living Twister, while holding up GG to activate Scooze) and it enters the battlefield tapped meaning we can't use it on turn 3 to play our spells. If we want to turn on Elvish Reclaimer, we can just as easily fetch 3 times which would constitute the same amount of mana or fetch once and play a Faithless Looting. We're playing enough taplands as it is, and I think it would put us in a weird spot in that same breath as far as colors of mana go.

    I haven't posted sideboard guides, but Cindervines is a great card, I'm not sure about Leyline of Combustion. I can bring in Cindervines against all sorts of decks if I predict they have any artifacts or graveyard hate like Leyline of the Void or Rest in Peace. The card deals a whole lot of damage against control as they cast a whole lot of spells and often has to be answered by a Teferi or bounce spell into a counter. It nearly won me the match against UW turns too, as I got in some chip shots early, Cindervines took them down to 5 life, I cracked it to deal another 2 and made Lightning Bolt or a Seismic Assault off the top an out to win the game. The card is great, and is why I would rather keep one than go up to two Force of Vigor.

    I honestly hadn't thought of Magmatic Sinkhole. That card seems like it could replace a Lightning Axe, as I used to play 1 Harvest Pyre which is about the same thing. I'm not sure if it would be clunky with my graveyard stuff, but it warrants some testing definitely.

    The taplands have been awkward in the past, especially with the new cycling lands plus Ghost Quarter. After I made the shift to 24 lands it hasn't been a real problem, and I think the 5 taplands are fine, especially with 4 of them being cycle lands, meaning I don't really ever want to play them - I'll fetch for Sheltered Thicket, but I don't ever want to play it from my hand - I'd really rather cycle them or discard them to a Looting or Assault. If I have to play one on turn one, that's fine, the only turn one plays in the deck are Looting, Bolt, or cycle Forgotten Cave. I don't think Cinder Glade is worth it, it will often just be a tapland, while the rest of the taplands I'm playing now are have a lot of utility.

    Finally, I'm gonna test a few Leyline of the Void in the sideboard of RG to combat dredge. The problem card in that matchup is Creeping Chill, and though I know dredge can just cast Nature's Claim, if I can take them off tempo I think we can win the matchup postboard.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 08/07/2019)
    Quote from SandmanNess »
    Is this really a conversation about the actual numbers of a deck in MODERN going off on turn 1? Is there any deck ever in modern that was even capable of winning on turn 1 at all, much less at a 10%? A deck that's winning 10% on turn 2 in modern has a fair shot of getting banned, and no, it was on MTGO, not paper. Not to mention it's a deck that can combo turn 1, that can dodge any way to stop it outside of a 1 or 0 mana blue answer even if you actually get a turn to play something. It's unaffected by graveyard hate, unaffected by a chalice on 1, only slightly affected by a chalice on 0. You do nothing and they either have it or they don't. And for a deck that wins on turn 3 that wouldn't be a problem but it isn't winning on turn 3, it's winning before I play my first land. And I'd love to see your <10% data, make sure it's post London Mulligan.
    In the past, there have been decks like AmuletBloom that have a turn one nut draw (amulet, summer bloom, spirit guide, bounce land, hive mind, pact, x) but never really consistently. The only other deck I can think of is Goryo's which can exile a couple spirit guides, Faithless Looting, play a black source, and Goryo's, but there are likely more behind a bunch of apes. Never at "10%," but it has been possible.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam
    I will post my SCG Classic Worcester report here instead of on the old primer. Last weekend went 6-3 with this RG list:

    I feel like this deck was a great choice for the metagame. I beat Mono-Red Phoenix, AmuletTitan, EldaziTron, GW Vizier Combo, Jund, and UW Control, losing to Dredge twice and Taking Turns, Turns due to three missed Howling Mine triggers in game 3. As far as matchups go for this deck, that's pretty standard.

    I didn't take many match notes and don't remember exactly how the matches went, but I remember getting absolutely dumpstered by Dredge multiple times. Before Creeping Chill, the matchup was great as I could just kill all their creatures over and over again and get in for damage with my attackers. With CC, since I'm planning to play the long game, I essentially start at 8 life and my opponent starts at 32. It's kind of stupid, so I added a Surgical Extraction to my sideboard after the tournaments for one of the Tormod's Crypt. The deck doesn't really need surgical, just a way to get rid of all the cards in a graveyard once or twice a game to combat Storm or Bedlam Reveler etc., but if I can cast surgical on CC, the dredge matchup is very winnable.

    I also made an error playing a second Satyr Wayfinder as a way to chump block against Mono-Red Phoenix which I thought would dominate the tables, but I was mistaken and I had multiple occasions where I wished I had another land instead of the Wayfinder.

    All in all, the tournament gave me some real confidence in this deck. It seems very consistent now with Wrenn and cycling lands.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam
    Definitely missed some GQ stuff. Will be fixed.

    I prefer playing a few Graven Cairns in my Jund lists as it also taps for red for Seismic Assault. In Smallpox lists, Urborg is great, but I don't really even like Smallpox in AssaultLoam.

    Trade Routes is a card, but it doesn't fit into the base temur shell here, I like it more in a 4C shell which is even more testing which would push the primer even more far off.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam
    Hey all, this is my first primer and is a work in progress. I'm planning on writing a sideboard and matchup guide for each of the decks here which will take some time, but I'm excited to bring a fresh coat of paint to this primer.

    Any suggestions or questions are appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    Hey all, been a while.

    I've been away from magic for a few months because of family stuff, but am pleased to announce the new primer is up on Deck Creation!

    I brought my RG list to the SCG Classic and Worcester last weekend which was my first real tournament in a while, and went 6-3 with losses to Dredge twice and Taking Turns. I probably should have won against turns, it was a close 3 games, but I missed a few Howling Mine triggers (apparently my opponent's fault because it was his permanent which I found out in a judge call... but still) which mattered a lot, since if I drew any land of of the trigger I'd have won the game...

    If you all could read over the primer and check for spelling/grammar errors, it would be great!

    I'm gonna be active now on here again, so if you have any new questions or discussions, they can be made in that new primer.

    Thanks a lot!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam


    RGx AssaultLoam

    Overview
    AssaultLoam describes a wide category of midrange decks that use early game disruption to stall long enough to assemble the Life from the Loam + Seismic Assault engine as a sort of combo finish. Originally an old extended deck, the archetype was established in modern by Bronson Magnan when he won GP Lincoln with the deck in 2012. Since then, while the popularity of the deck has declined its strengths have not. In the current metagame, the archetype is extremely effective as it has great matchups against top decks like Phoenix and Humans due to its recurring disruption.
    Loam decks come in many shapes and sizes. Like many engine-based decks such as ThopterSword or pre-ban Pod, the AssaultLoam combo can be ported into all RGx variations depending on your metagame. Each of these archetypes will be discussed individually in this primer, but to start, let’s look at a few key cards and synergies to watch out for in the decklists.

    Life from the Loam - The namesake card of the deck. It’s a one-card card advantage engine that can get back 3 lands each turn which can essentially be turned into spells by effects like Seismic Assault, Faithless Looting, Flame Jab, Raven’s Crime, cycling lands, Liliana of the Veil...the list goes on.

    Seismic Assault - With Loam, this turns into a one-sided boardwipe every turn, and with the new cycling lands, that 6 damage quickly turns into 10 with Loam-Cycle-Loam. That damage eventually goes at your opponents face to round out the game real quick.

    Wrenn and Six - This card has already been putting in work to put Jund back on the map in modern and has upset the balance of Legacy as well. In this archetype, it is just as strong if not stronger as the lands you get back can be easily turned into spells which gives the PW even more depth. I’m not yet sure what number is correct for this card, but it has given the deck some momentum after the Hogaak ban.

    Let’s look at some decklists and see how these cards fit in.

    Decklists:

    The classic version of this archetype. I haven’t tested the new cards in this archetype fully, which will be similar for the rest of the strategies, but I think this will be a good starting point to go off of.

    Now for this archetype you can either play Faithless Looting and focus more on AssaultLoam or cut looting and play a more traditional Jund game with AssaultLoam to finish the game. I’m more familiar with the looting-less list, but both are here for reference.

    One of the biggest problems with this “prelim” list will be the lands which will likely need some tuning.




    This archetype is kind of foreign to me. It was the brainchild of the previous owner of the primer with counterspells like Deprive and cantrips like Serum Visions. Now, Jace, the Mindsculptor adds a lot to lynchpin this deck into a more secure consistent beast.

    This list is gonna be purely what I think it could look like. I’m unsure on most of these card choices, so this is a rough outline that I will iron out over some time and some help from the community as well.

    This is the deck I thought was best before Modern Horizons that I was playing. It looks pretty insane, but I will explain the math behind it later. This list heavily utilized Dark Confidant to get back value lost by the mana hungry/discard enchantment Molten Vortex. With Wrenn and Six, which some Jund players at my lgs are calling a “Dark Confidant that always hits a land and kills x/1’s and ultimates,” this deck could look much different, though I don’t know how yet. Here’s my list, and over time it will be updated for the new format.

    Strategy

    This archetype is a quintessential midrange deck that tries to stifle aggressive strategies while getting in under control quickly. Each RGx variation will have its own mini things to watch out for which I will specify in each category, however, there is a lot of carryover which I will discuss here.

    First, let’s discuss the combo itself. When you have AssaultLoam online, many new players of the archetype will cast Loam and discard the three lands right away. It is almost always better to hold the lands as long as you can so you can take out something huge. If you keep casting Loam to discard three lands every turn and your opponent plays something like a Karn Liberated and ticks up, then you won’t be able to kill it with one Loam in a single turn. If you hold your three lands, the next turn you can get three more and deal 12 damage in a single shot to kill the Karn. Only once you have enough lands to kill your opponent, don’t have enough lands in your yard to cast loam, or are moving to discard and need to get down to seven cards should you just throw lands randomly. If you are killing creatures, it’s fine, just make sure you do it at a time that makes sense.

    Speaking of casting Loam, to make sure you have enough lands in your yard to cast it, you can pull the lands out first then pay the mana and make targets. With 5 mana, you can cast Loam, get back a Forgotten Cave, cycle, and dredge Loam to cast it again and get 5 lands total. This lets you deal 10 damage with Seismic Assault and is generally the route I take to win the game - play lands up to 5 mana with AssaultLoam online, then Loam-Cycle-Loam to the end. With each 3 mana after that, you can cycle for Loam again and cast it which will get 2 additional lands every time, though that’s pretty uncommon. I’ve done it twice against UW Control and Jund when I drew Loam off the top, but it’s a hefty 14 points of damage that can steal the game.

    Aside from Loam + Seismic Assault, in most lists you also have Loam + Flame Jab or Raven’s Crime. With 5 mana, you can Loam + 3 retrace to either Arc Lightning your opponent’s board or Mind Twist them. This is especially good against control and with Young Pyromancer. Against control, you can try to deal a bunch of damage early and then have turn after turn of JabLoam to win the game, or take a turn off casting spells to Mind Twist them out. With Young Pyromancer in both cases you cast 4 spells and make 4 tokens which your opponents usually can’t deal with since they won’t have a hand any more or won’t have their chump blockers. Keep in mind you can Loam and stockpile lands so you can just cast loam and Flame Jab four times on something like a Thought-Knot Seer.

    Living Twister is a really weird card that was the first thing that made this deck reeally competitive before Horizons. With Seismic Assault and 6 lands in play, you can use all your green sources at your opponent’s end step to bounce 3 lands to your hand, untap, and bounce the other three to deal 12 points of reach to your opponent and win without using your graveyard. This means we can easily assemble a two card combo to get around a Rest in Peace. Twister’s body is no joke too, as it has done me wonders blocking Monastery Swiftspear in Mono-Red Phoenix and bigger 4/4s like Hollow One and Thought-Knot Seer. There is no incentive not to play lands as long as it is on the battlefield as the lands can bounce themselves (meaning it is mana neutral) to be discarded to Seismic Assault at any point.

    When you just have Living Twister, the math is “you can pay 3 mana to bounce a land and deal 2 damage to something.” If you have 6 lands on the battlefield and your opponent is at 6, you can pay 3 twice at your opp’s end step to deal 4 damage, and then on your turn tap 3 to deal 2 more damage and kill. It can also do some weird things with Faithless Looting and Conflagrate, but I haven’t even explored those fully.

    Finally, let’s talk about graveyard hate. This deck doesn’t care too much about a Nihil Spellbomb or other 1 time graveyard hate spells like it. This archetype is fully capable of just behaving like a Jund deck and just winning through beats even through something like a Rest in Peace or Surgical Extraction on Loam, but recently we’ve gotten even more tools to be able to beat these cards.

    With Forgotten Cave, you have the ability to dredge loam at instant speed to save it from Surgical and other hate. It is critically important to hold up mana to do this at all times, as even though we can win and frankly dominate on board still without a graveyard, if we can save the loam, we can win much easier. I just recently lost twice in the same tournament because I was greedy when I had AssaultLoam assembled and Loam-Cycle-Loam’d with 5 mana instead of waiting a turn and doing it with 6. With 6 mana, you still have an extra mana to dredge Loam with in response with a Surgical. I’ll go more in depth in this dance of graveyard hate in sideboarding where you can make yourself less susceptible to it. For now, let’s look at some card choices.

    Spells:
    Faithless Looting - This card shines in this archetype. Nowadays, you find this everywhere in modern, but this may be the fairest deck to play it. Even as a Careful Study, the ability to cycle through your deck to find the right answers to your opponent’s threats while setting up your graveyard with lands to get back with Loam is unmatched. You can also discard those extra lands from Loam to just “draw 2 cards” with Looting late game.

    Lightning Bolt - Simple, efficient removal that can go upstairs late game.

    Path to Exile - Unconditional removal. Very good in the archetype, and is one of the main reasons to splash white.

    Fatal Push - Unconditional removal. Very good in the archetype, and is one of the main reasons to splash whit--- I mean black.

    Lightning Axe - Another removal spell for RG that can kill bigger creatures. I’ve moved away from this card since this deck often gets to the point where you are playing off the top. Lightning Axe in a grindfest is often hard to cast as you don’t have a blank in hand or 6 mana. I’ve gone down to just one Axe in RG as it can help vs Meddling Mage, Thing in the Ice and doesn’t deal you damage like Dismember.

    Dismember - An alternate removal spell for Lightning Axe. If the goal is to kill Thing in the Ice turn 2, it’s important to run removal spells like this one. Due to the issues with Lightning Axe late game, I prefer leaning on this removal spell more.

    Flame Slash - Another way to kill Thing in the Ice. Can be run to get more spells around Meddling Mage. Fairly niche other than that.

    Flame Jab - This spell is more than it may seem. With Life from the Loam, you can cast a 5 mana Arc Lightning each turn. However, in certain matchups this is a godsend. Against Affinity it swings the game. Against Company you can kill their dorks over and over again. Against Jund you can kill Confidant and tick down PWs. Against control, you can get in the last 6 points of damage over two turns. With Young Pyromancer, you make 4 tokens a turn on top of it, which lets you build a boardstate from nothing off the top. I’d recommend running at least 1 as a way to hedge against control, though it is useful in many more situations.

    Raven’s Crime - Similar to Flame Jab, but it is better in many more situations. It can feel really bad casting this card turn one against a Phoenix deck, but if you can discard a couple lands turn three and make your opponent discard 3 spells, it feels sooo good. Very good against control, Jund, BG, Phoenix, Burn, and any “critical mass” deck. Same synergy with Peezy.

    Conflagrate - This card is a very useful utility spell from your graveyard. You can see how good it is in Dredge, though it is decidedly worse here. Often, this helps as a way out of your graveyard to deal with a Gurmag Angler or simply to deal the last few points of damage to a PW or your opp. I’d only run 1 if any.

    Molten Vortex - This card is a build around card, and is a trap to play with Seismic Assault imo. Molten Vortex is a card that requires mana investment and lands in hand, resulting in a very mana hungry card. This hunger gums up your curve and often leaves you in strange situations on mana, especially when your opponent has creatures like Tarmogoyf that are too big to throw lands at. If you are looking for another card vs an aggressive meta to throw in your deck, I’d go for Anger of the Gods over this.

    Magmatic Insight - This card is okay, but has a lot of situations where it is very awkward. People have thought it would just be like another looting in Loam especially with new cards like Wrenn and Six where you can get the card back, but that’s just not the case. A hand with Faithless Looting and two lands is a snap keep, but the same hand with Magmatic Insight has to be thought about. You need to run a million lands to minimize the drawback of Insight.

    Vessel of Nascency - This card is kinda weird. It is similar to Commune with the Gods in effect and can find both Seismic Assault and Life from the Loam. It’s a lot of mana to be invested at 3 mana for a cantrip, but since the deck often isn’t doing anything turn 1, I don’t see a huge problem with it in a more budget strategy. For example, you can cast it turn 1 and hold up a removal spell turn 2. It seems reasonable but not powerful. I’d rate it a 2.5/5.

    Creatures:

    Flameblade Adept - This card is a clockable threat in RG that does well as you are AssLoam’ing. You can swing for 4 each turn you AssLoam (or JabLoam for that matter) with this beast and get in for some real damage. With Loam-Cycle-Loam, that turns into 7 attacking power, for a total of 17 in a turn. Legitimate threat, though it is pretty weak on its own. Needs to be built around more I’d say.

    Soul-Scar Mage - Another playable creature threat for the archetype. If Flame Jab is a really good card in the metagame, then consider this card. It turns Flame Jab into a repeatable Scar, and grows to a 5/6 each turn with JabLoam. Making damage permanent can be useful too, as you can slow down the clock from a Tarmogoyf enough to gather up lands in your hand to kill with AssLoam. Weird interactions abound with this one.

    Insolent Neonate - Neonate is a way to cast 2 loams on turn 4 and get in for chip points of damage until then. It dredges Life from the Loam at instant speed in response to a Surgical Extraction or Nihil Spellbomb. It’s a playable card though it has never really had a time to shine.

    Elvish Rejuvenator - New card that could be good in an aggressive shell. A 3/4 for 1 is no joke, and its ability can go grab Raging Ravine, Ghost Quarter, Bojuka Bog, etc. We don’t generally just play beaters other than Tarmogoyf, but this card seems legit enough to get there in the right shell. Seeing how Goyf doesn’t grow well in RG, maybe this will take its slot there.

    Spells:
    Life from the Loam - The card advantage engine that makes this deck tick. You don’t really want to be flooded with these as in multiples they aren’t amazing, so 3-4 is fine especially if you are running cantrips like Faithless Looting, Satyr Wayfinder, and Commune with the Gods. Namesake card is good in the deck.

    Wrenn and Six - This card is busted. Insanely good at so many things: fixing your mana, drawing cards with Forgotten Cave, wicked good with Faithless Looting, is essentially a shock every turn for +2 with a Seismic Assault or just pings by ticking down, combos with Raven’s Crime vs control (t2 Wrenn, get a land, t3 discard 2-3 cards), get GQ every turn against Tron, the card is an all star already in legacy and is even better in this deck.

    Lightning Helix - Nice life gain / removal spell in Naya. I wouldn’t call it a reason to play that variant, but it’s a likely include in most Naya Loam decks.

    Commune with the Gods - This card looks better than it is. If you cast it turn 2, you can hit both Seismic Assault and Life from the Loam. You can. However, when you don’t, especially on the draw, and you hit a Tarmogoyf instead, you regret all your life decisions as you just paid two mana to do nothing turn 2. In modern, you can’t just take turns off which makes Commune really slow on the draw. The reason why the list above plays one is because the card is good at recovering from graveyard hate and is a good draw off the top in a grindfest. Be careful with this card.

    Harvest Pyre - This is another way to kill big creatures. It’s fairly reasonable alongside Satyr Wayfinder and Commune if you want another way to kill an 8/8 Knight of the Reliquary efficiently. Depends on your metagame.


    Creatures:
    Tarmogoyf - The quintessential midrange threat. In our deck it can be hard to grow as we have no targeted discard, but the card is never terrible. As the deck is already weak to graveyard hate, some people (me included) choose to play Young Pyromancer in its slot as a way to win without the graveyard, but it’s up to you and your metagame. In decks like Jund Loam, the Lhurgoyf is much better.

    Young Pyromancer - This card looks weird in the Loam deck but it is critically powerful. As a strategy, our goal is to control the board of all threats and win with AssaultLoam. Pyromancer gives us tokens that can win the game off of our removal, and with JabLoam is able to steal the game. It can be often thought of as a 3 drop, casting Peezy and a spell to get an extra token as “card advantage” when able, and is way better than it first seems. The list above is built around it and plays extra spells because of it, making the creature even more powerful. Useful to beat decks that are loose and based on graveyard hate postboard.

    Satyr Wayfinder - I initially tested this card as a budget option. Now, I see how powerful this card can be. Wayfinder takes the slot of a few lands, kind of like how Xerox decks cut lands for cantrips. It effectively is a 2 mana 1/1 that gets you a shock, fixes your mana, and looks at the top 4 to find Loam, Raven’s Crime, Flame Jab, Conflagrate, Faithless Looting, Forgotten Cave, and Ghost Quarter vs tron. The chip points of damage it gets in are impressive as we keep an empty board the majority of the game and the ability it has to block is stellar. I really am a fan of this card, though I have cut a couple for Wrenn and Six.

    Scavenging Ooze - One of the reasons to play RG and not Jund. In Jund Loam your mana is really tight between turn 1 discard and RRR spells and trying to cast multiple Raven’s Crime in one turn… you don’t have much space to eat a bunch of cards each turn. In RG (and also Naya) your mana isn’t as constrained and you can eat a bunch of stuff to help hedge against all the graveyard decks in the format while ending up with a large beater that can help against Jund. This card is great.

    Spells:
    Seismic Assault - The reason to play Loam. With Life from the Loam, you can continually wipe the board then kill your opponent.

    Liliana of the Veil - Really good card in the Loam deck. You can just discard lands and get them back. A must include in any Jund strategy.

    Anger of the Gods - A good catchup spell for the archetype. Doesn’t play well with Young Pyromancer, but if you play your hand right then it won’t matter.

    Burning Vengeance - A reasonable option for a backup Seismic Assault. If you cast Flame Jab or Raven’s Crime while this is on the battlefield, it turns into a 1 mana Arc Trail or Kolaghan’s Command, and JabLoam deals 9 dmg. It’s a possible budget option if you want to make Young Pyromancer and prowess creatures better, and is a viable alternative to the AssaultLoam combo. Useful in a metagame where you want more Assaults.

    Creatures:
    Countryside Crusher - The biggest creature in this archetype. If you cast this turn 3, it will almost assuredly become a 5/5 (if not bigger) turn 4. The ability makes you not draw lands ever on your draw step, which can be useful but be mindful of it. If you cast Crusher with three lands, one of them being something like a forest that doesn’t tap for R, you won’t be able to cast Seismic Assault without dredging Loam to get another mana source. Crusher walls out big creatures and gets in for a ton of damage with AssaultLoam online. Alongside AssLoam, Crusher grows even bigger and has an empty board to swing in for lethal in 1 to 2 turns.

    Knight of the Reliquary - This card is the major reason to play Naya. It is an incredible beater, often coming down as a 4/4 or more and growing higher. Unfortunately, it isn’t as good as it is in AggroLoam in legacy, and can easily be answered by graveyard hate. Real good include.

    Living Twister - This card is insane in this archetype. At first, I played one copy to test it out, but I’ve added another recently due to the success it has brought me. It does a decent job of walling out aggro decks as you can block anything from a Hollow One to a Thought-Knot Seer to random Humans with it. Its second ability is not what stands out on the card, though it’s far from useless - paying two mana to deal the last two points of damage to a creature is useful in many situations. Its first ability is where the card gets interesting. Alongside Seismic Assault, Living Twister gives you a way to tap out, bounce all your lands, and win the game without Life from the Loam. On its own, you can pay 3 mana to bounce a land and discard it, meaning that if your opponent has 6 or less life and you have 6 or more lands, on their end step you can pay six to deal 4, untap and deal two. You can bounce your played cycle lands to cycle them, you can bounce lands to replay with Tireless Tracker, you emulate AssaultLoam with Loam over two turns. With 4 mana, you can cast loam, deal two, next turn deal 4. This card has a lot of weird interactions, and I’ll go over them later, but this card is insane.

    Tireless Tracker - Quintessential green midrange creature for a while now. This card is a threat on its own, which is notable in the archetype since most of our threats are synergistic with each other. Seismic Assault is mediocre if you have no lands to back it up. Young Pyromancer is pretty bad if you have no spells to cast. Tracker draws cards and attacks for big damage on its own, something important in midrange and control matchups. The reason why I prefer it in my sideboard is because the maindeck is pretty tuned to those decks already. Tracker is worse against hyperaggressive decks like Phoenix where I can play a better creature like Scavenging Ooze. It wouldn’t be wrong to play it maindeck, but I don’t think it’s necessary with the amount of card advantage you already have.


    Bedlam Reveler - This was the card I relied on before Living Twister was printed for late game card advantage. With extra spells, you can commonly cast this for 3 mana off the top, giving you a 3/4 body attached to an Ancestral Recall (which you can dredge Loam off too.) Works well with JabLoam, which grows Reveler to a 7/8 each turn, a great finisher vs Control. It costs 8 mana vs a Leyline of the Void or Rest in Peace postboard, which makes me lean towards something less vulnerable to hate, but it is a viable option nonetheless.

    Sideboarding
    TBD
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    Faithless looting is overrate in my experience. It give you card disadvantage. And offers no defensive capabilities.

    Commune with the gods while searching for answers in a better fashion, also does not lose card advantage. And both of you didn't point out it does a better job of pumping Countryside crusher and Tarmogoyf than faithless looting does.

    A one-of Urborg is near useless when you want it early because loam is the best tool to find it but by the time you get loam running their hand is practically depleted.
    Faithless Looting doesn't lose card advantage in this archetype. If Looting discards cards that want to be in the graveyard, it is practically card advantage. Digging 2 cards deeper for Loam, Assault, and all of the answers you need against any deck makes looting the most efficient and powerful cantrip possible for this archetype.

    When you are running this many lands too, often times you can discard your fifth land alongside another card. So even if you don't have Loam to get all the lands you discarded back, you can easily find enough cards to discard. In those corner cases where you have to discard a "real card" from your hand, Looting offers you card selection where for instance you can discard a Countryside Crusher if you have a hand with multiple three drops. Looting smooths out the draws of the deck and gives you something to do late game with flashback.

    While Commune may not lose card advantage, it definitely loses tempo, which is much more important in this case. Late game, you can double spell with it, making it stronger. Early game, if you take a turn off to effectively draw a card, maybe set up your graveyard better, it's not powerful enough. The reason why I say if you hit Seismic Assault it is worth it is because Assault can effectively wipe the board the next turn to come back. If you take a turn off only to hit another Tarmogoyf, you probably would have been better off to play a Goyf that turn instead.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    I will reiterate how I feel about Commune with the Gods, especially with match experience from last week.

    Commune with the Gods is a neat spell that has the possibility of both finding loam and grabbing Seismic Assault, but when it does neither (especially on the draw) it destroys your gameplan.

    For instance, last week, when I was playing against BG Rock, my opponent is on the play. He turn 1 casts Inquisition of Kozilek, taking Scavenging Ooze. I turn 1 Faithless Looting. Turn 2 he casts Tarmogoyf, I cast Commune with the Gods getting another Scooze, flipping more card types for goyf. Turn 3 he attacks with goyf, plays another one, and I'm sitting there with nothing on my battlefield facing down two 5/6 goyfs. I can play scooze next turn, but he def has removal spells (he did) and I look real bad.

    Commune is a tempo negative card that seems to set up our game plan but really doesn't. Our gameplan is to use cheap threats and removal to get to a late game where AssaultLoam can take over. Commune hard commits to hitting AssaultLoam turn 3 which isn't always feasible. I play it as a one of for different reasons - it's a good draw late game vs control/midrange, and it is useful in reassembling your graveyard after something like Nihil Spellbomb.

    I will repost my RG AssaultLoam deck which is currently 16-4-2 at my LGS with the addition of Living Twister. This deck uses Satyr Wayfinder instead of Commune with the Gods since it is a tempo positive card that can block in aggressive matchups and get in for chip points of damage in control matchups. It still digs for loam and lets us play fewer lands. The removal spells are wholly designed to take out Thing in the Ice turn 2 on the draw and help vs Meddling Mage in Humans. The curve is rather low to the ground with no 4 drops clogging us up. Young Pyromancer replaces Tarmogoyf as it gums up the board quickly vs aggressive decks and isn't affected by cards like Rest in Peace. I think this is the best RG list in the meta as it stands currently, and post-rotation I'll likely add 2 or 3 Wrenn and Six over the Satyr Wayfinder / Commune with the Gods slot.

    I'm currently doing thorough testing on Jund Loam for the primer. I may post the initial primer outlining in depth RG Loam since I've been playing it for the last 3 months and post basic guides for the other archetypes. The deck hasn't seen a lot of results aside from the odd MTGO 5-0 Leagues, so all the decks need to be built from scratch. If anyone wants to help test out Temur and Naya Loam, shoot me a PM and we can coordinate those together more. I currently have 6 different archetypes on the primer (RG, Jund, Temur, Naya, RG Vortex, Jund Vortex), which have decklists that have not gone through thorough testing so probably have wrong manabases, since those are very touchy with 3 colors and a RRR spell. That means that if you do what I did and try to jam, say, 2 Scavenging Ooze into the Jund archetype it won't be the most streamlined manabase ever created. I'm going back and forth on how the primer should come out at first, but it will be for the community, so I figure the community should have a say in what they want to see. If you guys are cool with a couple tuned decklists and strategy and then some outlines for list for the other archetypes, I'd be able to release the primer right now. I just want to make sure that it doesn't come out looking like crap and makes the deck look like garbage, because this is the deck that makes me love modern, and I want to share that with people. Love Love Love
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    If fact there are only a few instances I'd even consider running flame jab over molten vortex.
    Flame Jab is a much better one of than Molten Vortex. While Vortex is much better in your hand, the point of the FJ is to be useful when you flip it into your yard with Life from the Loam. It may not have as much utility in a combo heavy meta where you are getting bulldozed turn 3-4, but as a one of for the matches against creature decks and control where you can simply Arc Lightning each turn to help with PWs or to deal the last couple points of damage, the card is great. It's a very noncommital slot that can be sideboarded out easily.

    Blast Zone is a good 1-of or maybe 2-of maindeck to help in certain matchups like Bogles, Prison, or Aether Vial strategies. I'd try to run it if you have enough space. Out of SB, I'd lean more towards something like Engineered Explosives or even Ratchet Bomb if EE is out of your price range.
    Quote from Ace1 »
    @CrypticCommander
    Well i've thought about sakura-tribe scout a bit more and one advantage it gives to straight RG decks is compensating the less versatile interaction with speed. We can still play the midrange game with faithless looting, wrenn and six, life from the loam and cycling lands. If we can slow down the opponent earlier by dropping our payoff cards faster and gain the ability to do multiple things a turn sooner, it may turn the game to our advantage and compensate for some of our clunkiness. Also makes things like blast zone less slow and gives us the ability to start ghost quartering without giving up too much tempo.

    I wouldn't play scout in jund or temur, now that i think about it. But i'll be trying it out in gruul. Maybe it isn't good but i'll give it a try Smile
    Fair enough mate. Let us know how it goes!
    Posted in: Midrange
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