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    posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    Assault Loam


    ====

    Hello and thank you for your interest in this amazing deck! For those of you unaware, Assault Loam is a general name referring to a deck that uses the card advantage engine of Life from the Loam with Seismic Assault to grind out wins. Since hitting the Modern scene with the deck Bronson Magnan piloted to first place in GP Lincoln, this deck has slowly lost its wide spread appeal but remains an extremely powerful deck. There has been some recent wind being blown back into the sails of this deck and there are a ton of different directions it can go in that all have their merits.

    The Core:
    Life from the Loam – This is the reason the deck exists. Most of the rest of your deck benefits from having lands in hand. It is 2 mana for 3 cards that you can draw every turn. The bread to your butter.
    Seismic Assault – This is the real power house of the deck. It allows you to Shock at instant speed at the low, low cost of one land. It turns Loam into 6 damage spread as you see fit. The butter to your bread.
    Faithless Looting – This effect needs to be in this deck. It allows you to sculpt your hand and your graveyard. You’ll be operating out of your graveyard multiple times throughout a game and Looting gives you pure value on the cheap.
    Lands – Lots of them. You need them to win games. The general consensus is a minimum of 25 up to 28. I have had the most success with 25 but 26 is a common number. Fetches are important for getting your colors on curve and combo with Loam for added value of playing them multiple times. Man lands and Ghost Quarter/Tectonic Edge are also much more valuable with Loam in the mix. However, there are exceptions to this trend. Several newer lists are running around 20-22 lands with more emphasis on playing out more like an aggro deck rather than a mid-range or control deck.

    The Synergy:
    Tarmogoyf – I’d hope this isn’t a surprise. You are a graveyard based deck that is actively milling itself and runs everything to power him up. These guys get big and fast. There are successful lists that don’t use him, so don’t worry if you haven’t yet paid out for these dudes but keep in mind that they are a great benefit to your deck.
    Flame Jab – This card operates as a less efficient Assault but is still valuable if you do accidentally mill it. With Young Pyromancer now in print, retracing this card nets you a 1/1 elemental as well as pinging. Upping its value even more in this deck.

    ====

    The Archetypes:
    In order to continue we need to have a quick chat about the archetype you want to play. The main portion of the deck is Green and Red but the addition of other colors adds a significant amount of support to the Core. The most popular version of deck by far is Jund (the addition of Black) which also comes with its own sub-archetypes. Personally, I run a RUG version and Naya is also applicable. If you are concerned with previous tournament success, then focus on the Jund builds. They are extremely solid and well tested. If you want something more rogue, we have you covered. Let’s talk about the cards to look at for the different variants.

    This is the traditional archetype. If you want a tournament tried deck, this is it.
    Raven’s Crime – This innocuous little card is probably the strongest reason to play Black. You turn your unused lands into hand hate and can severely cripple many decks before they do anything proactive while you sculpt your board.
    Thoughtseize/Inquisition of Kozilek – One mana targeted discard. IoK is probably a better choice because we do a good job of killing ourselves and aggro is a thing. Either way, pulling key cards can destroy an opponent’s game. Definitely good.
    Dark Confidant – Bob is a really good card. No denying that. This deck curves out at 3, so you’ll never be doing more than bolting yourself. Not to mention almost half of your deck is land. Free cards are good cards.
    Liliana of the Veil – She is one of the strongest cards in Modern right now. You get to break the equal discard by making use of your graveyard. Not much more to say about her that isn’t obvious.


    This style deck has the most recent tournament success in the hands of Jaberwoki on MODO.
    Smallpox – This is a big part of what makes this archetype good. Turn 2 this can blast your opponent out of a game by killing off a dork and their land. You take a very small hit from this as you operate on few lands, run no creatures, and discarding Raven’s Crime or lands doesn’t hurt you.
    Desperate Ravings – The deck splashes a bit of Blue for the flashback here but it is instant speed draw and along the same lines as Faithless Looting, you aren’t hurt by the discarding. It is almost entirely value.


    This deck 4-0’d a Daily event on MODO recently. It tries to abuse the new card Young Pyromancer with your Flame Jabs and Life from the Loams. This is a new build and I’m not terribly familiar with it, it looks solid and put up results. I’d say it is worth looking into but I haven’t seen or heard anything else about it.
    Young Pyromancer – Another engine for the deck. You play him, cast spells, make dudes, win games.
    Delver of Secrets – With 25 spells, he becomes a decent early tempo player.
    Lightning Bolt – Keeps the board clear and is a generally good card.


    This is my personal brew with no major tournament standings but giving you options is good. Haha.
    Snapcaster Mage – You mill a ton of cards and getting extra value out of burn or counter spells is solid. Especially on a 2/1 body with Flash.
    Deprive – With an Assault in play this is Counterspell + Shock. Against combo decks, it is awesome having a hard counter.
    Izzet Charm – The deck’s Faithless Looting. It costs more but gives you instant speed and options. I’ve used every mode on this and it has done a ton of work.
    Jace Beleren – He gives you free Dredges allowing for more damage output per turn as well as digging for more cards. He’s no Bob but he is solid.


    This has been the most recent version of the deck to surface and has been the topic of much discussion in this thread.
    Young Pyromancer - The reason for most of the deck's choices. If he sticks around, everything else in the deck affords you insane value. Quickly becoming a key card for the deck.
    Knight of the Reliquary - She lets you tutor for lands, has synergy with our self mill and is a huge beater for the low cost of 1WG. She does everything and does it well.
    Lingering Souls - Gives us blockers in the air and also has fantastic synergy with Young Pyromancer. 6 guys for 5 mana? Sign me up!


    A recent new development in the MTGO modern arena. This deck looks for more consistency in a two color mana base and a more linear strategy in aggressive creatures.
    Kird Ape - A tried and true aggro beater. With Stomping Ground, this guys is a healthy 2/3 for 1 and brings the beats quickly.
    Countryside Crusher - Once you've hit your 3 lands, he will keep you drawing gas. Which is exactly what an aggro deck wants. Plus, he will be getting bigger the deeper he digs and while your finisher of Assault/Loam does its thing. One of the few places he works well.


    This was a semi-popular endeavor for awhile in the threads on this site. It looks to use the reanimating power of Unburial Rites with self mill and Borborygmos Enraged acting as a pseudo-Assault on top of other spicy fatties.
    Unburial Rites – Powers the whole deck strategy. Operating out of the graveyard with Flashback lets you mill yourself with reckless abandon. Dropping fatties into play for 4 mana is a sweet deal.
    Lingering Souls – Gets you to casting your Rites and synergizes with the self mill aspect of the deck.
    Borborygmos Enraged, Elesh Norn, Iona, Shield of Emeria – A small sample of potential reanimation targets.


    There has been very little discussion about this archetype and I have only seen some rough drafts of decks. White has a ton of good cards though and there is potential here but GB is the current trend of Modern.
    Knight of the Reliquary – A huge reason to run white, it combos well with lands in the graveyard and opens up the option of utility lands. The biggest weakness of Knight is that there aren’t a ton of good utility lands in Modern.
    Path to Exile – Being able to cheaply off one of your opponent’s threats is exactly what this deck needs to push through damage with Goyfs and other guys.
    Ajani Vengeant – One of the popular planeswalkers in Modern right now. I’m sure he’d find a spot here. Especially in a control oriented list.


    These cards have synergy with the deck or were previously played but don’t show up much anymore.
    Worm Harvest – Retrace on a wincon. Pumping out a bunch of 1/1s every turn is definitely good. It is usually run as a 1-of but with cards like Scavenging Ooze and Rest in Peace seeing a fair amount of play it has the potential to not go off. Five mana is also a significant investment of a turn for something that may not win you the game.
    Countryside Crusher – This has been dropped from most lists despite its apparent synergy in the deck. It competes at the three slot with Assault and is often times a clunky piece. While it can be very good, the times where it is mediocre offset the upside.
    Horizon Canopy – This is still a fine card and lets you draw at instant speed. It will effectively be a Forest for you but being able to Dredge Loam at instant speed in response to a Surgical Extraction is definitely not bad.
    Abrupt Decay/Maelstrom Pulse – Jund lists can definitely choose to run these types of cards. They are very strong effects but most lists are very tight getting all of the bits and pieces together to assemble and synergize with Loam. These generally don’t make the cut but are still potential options.

    ====

    The Decklists:
    Let’s move on to some decklists to help you focus these general ideas.

    Please note the above deck list is about two years old. Not much has become obsolete but be aware of this, especially in terms of sideboarding.

    ===

    Here is a more current version that took 1st in a Modern event on MTGO on Nov. 21st, 2013
    [Please note that this list contains the now banned Deathrite Shaman]

    source: http://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=6089&d=235216








    The Strategy:
    So now you’ve seen the cards and the lists but you’re probably curious how you play the deck. This is simple but complex at the same time. The goal is always to assemble your Core of Loam and Assault. That is the most broken thing you can be doing. Getting to that point depends on your build. Jund variants are going to rely on discard and Looting to slow down the opponent and sculpt your hand. You’ll use Goyf to hold the board while Bob draws you cards and pulls you ahead. More aggressive builds will play guys and get in for damage to allow Assault to come in and give you reach to finish off opponents. Control lists (Creatureless or RUG) will seek to remove threats and disrupt the opponent’s plays while assembling the Core. Once assembled, you will almost always be Dredging Life from the Loam every turn to gain control of the board or finish off your opponent. As always though, board states will dictate whether you Dredge or not.

    The Match Ups: Under Construction
    Match ups are heavily dependent on your build. For example, Jund has Liliana as an available source of sacrifice effects where as RUG only has targeted removal. So Slippery Bogel decks are not as difficult for Jund variants but more difficult for RUG. I’ll work on developing this section for different archetypes but I’ll likely need assistance from other pilots to get information on their deck’s match ups. This is beyond the scope of what I can do by myself. Haha. Expect more from this section in the future.

    UPDATE: I figure most people will want to know about the match ups with the "boogeymen" decks of the format. So I got a list of them going for each of the archetypes listed in the primer. I'm thinking getting at least a simple Easy/Medium/Difficult scale for each match up would be a good starting point. Any further tips or tricks for the match up can be added later on.


    BGx/Jund:
    Twin Combo:
    GR Tron:
    UWR Control:
    Melira Pod:
    Scapeshift:
    Affinity:
    Burn:


    Credit: Rawbean
    BGx/Jund: Difficult
    Maindeck graveyard hate in Deathrite Shaman and Scavenging Ooze is annoying, but those die quite easily (compared to Tarmogoyf). Discard spells are important so you can deploy Assault without worrying about Maelstrom Pulse or Abrupt Decay. What makes this match hard is the fact that the Jund player can handle all the win conditions. They can deny you of your Seismic Assault with either removal or discard and kill of manlands and Bloodghast in order to exile them from your graveyard so they can't come back.

    Twin Combo: Medium
    Discard spells are really important since they can deploy their wincon in endstep and all sorcery speed removal becomes useless. Keeping up instant removal like Abrupt Decay is nice if you don't have a turn three Assault with two lands in hand for Deciever Exarch.

    GR Tron: Medium
    Ghost quarter is extremely necessary since a resolved Karn Liberated or Wurmcoil Engine is really hard to deal with. Smallpox is also nice even if they don't play many creatures, it gets worse in the second game though since they can easily play around it. You have to be aggressive while at the same time denying them their lands, which makes Bloodghast a star in this matchup.

    UWR Control:Easy
    This matchup makes a very slow game since you don't wanna throw assault into a counterspell. There is no need to be hasty and take damage from your lands since they can Lightning Bolt you down if you're not careful. Ravens Criming their hand is fun and most games are won with manlands and Bloodghast.

    Melira Pod: Easy
    Since they play a lot of creatures and we play a lot of removal this becomes winnable. Smallpox is really good, especially on the play since it can take away a lone manadude which essentially slow them down by two turns. It's important to be familiar with all the combos in the pod-decks so you know what to kill off first. A tip for new players is to kill all random creatures which doesn't look dangerous, like Melira, Sylvok Outcast and Spike Feeder.

    Scapeshift: Difficult
    Since they don't need creatures to win, this mathcup becomes quite difficult. It really comes down to a race of who can assemble their combo first.

    Affinity:Easy
    Flame Jab does a ton of work and maindeck Pyroclasm is great too. Ghost Quarter takes care of the nexus lands. The deck has tools to manage affinity without assault but if you do get it it's pretty much game.

    Burn: Medium
    A fairly winnable matchup since they easy run out of gas if you discard the hand for them. Our deck doesn't have lifegain in maindeck so it's important to be careful with fetches and shocklands.


    BGx/Jund:
    Twin Combo:
    GR Tron:
    UWR Control:
    Melira Pod:
    Scapeshift:
    Affinity:
    Burn:


    Credit: Capt. Nick
    BGx/Jund: Medium - These games get really grindy. Killing off Deathrites is a necessary evil but are generally not too difficult to play around. Hitting Loam breaks the generally grindy one-for-ones that both decks play.

    Twin Combo: Medium - We have the tools to interact with them on their turf. Counterspells are huge here. Getting Assault active is game over for them but getting there can be tricky. Tight play and not getting greedy should keep this in our favor but there are plenty of areas to make mistakes.

    GR Tron: Easy - They spend most of their game assembling the lands and have a limited number of bombs. Depriving Karn and Wurmcoil is usually enough to slow them down. Plus, 3 MB Ghost Quarter with Loam is rather unfair against them.

    UWR Control: Medium - Another grindy one-for-oneing type of game. Being able to counter their counters/card advantage is pretty big. This comes down to who has tighter play. Life totals aren't huge here and you want to be the aggressor. So Fetch-Shock and force them to use their spells. They're a bit more favored to win longer games.

    Melira Pod: Medium - I've only played this a couple times and it came down to who hit their pieces first. Luckily we have two to their three. Kill key bits when you can but getting Assault active is a priority.

    Scapeshift: Difficult - They go off at 8 mana, which is enough to Scapeshift with Counterspell back up. We can generally only counter one spell a turn. So it makes it difficult to keep them from going off. Swan Song may be necessary as a cheap additional counter.

    Affinity: Easy - Small creatures for our small removal. Keeping their creatures off of Plating is easy enough.

    Burn: Difficult - Our deck does a fair bit of damage to itself and no way to gain life. The best bet is just limiting your damage and make sure to horde counters for those last few points of burn.


    BGx/Jund:
    Twin Combo:
    GR Tron:
    UWR Control:
    Melira Pod:
    Scapeshift:
    Affinity:
    Burn:


    BGx/Jund:
    Twin Combo:
    GR Tron:
    UWR Control:
    Melira Pod:
    Scapeshift:
    Affinity:
    Burn:


    BGx/Jund:
    Twin Combo:
    GR Tron:
    UWR Control:
    Melira Pod:
    Scapeshift:
    Affinity:
    Burn:


    BGx/Jund:
    Twin Combo:
    GR Tron:
    UWR Control:
    Melira Pod:
    Scapeshift:
    Affinity:
    Burn:

    ====

    The Sideboard:
    Like most of these sections, this is heavily dependent on your build. These are some common general purpose sideboard cards that appear in most lists.
    Ancient Grudge – Affinity is a popular deck and having some extra removal against them can be extremely useful. Especially against lists running Master of Etherium.
    DismemberSplinter Twin combo is another popular deck and there isn’t much that can be done against a turn 3 Deceiver Exarch into Twin. Dismember helps here as well as being a generally good catch-all type of card.
    Engineered Explosives – This hits Bogle decks hard and has uses in other match ups as well.
    Spellskite – Another card that is useful against Twin combo but also make Burn a more manageable match up, especially if you are running Blue.
    Jund Charm – Charms are usually pretty good and this one is no exception. It provides a lot of utility but is slightly too specific to main board usually. Though the match ups that it is good against, it is really good.
    Obstinate Baloth – Another good card against Burn and has decent value against the GBx decks running Liliana of the Veil. Also, its 4/4 body is particularly difficult for most decks to deal with.
    Ghost Quarter – Most decks run at least one of these main board. Tron is a real deck and being able to go up to 3 or 4 of these post-board allows us to keep them off of their lands more consistently.
    Pyroclasm/Volcanic Fallout – A general good effect. It deals with Geist of Saint Traft as well as hitting Token style decks and other aggro decks hard. If Faeries is a thing in your meta, Fallout is probably a better choice.
    Thrun, the Last Troll – UWR Control is very popular right now and Thrun is an incredibly difficult card for them to deal with. He may be a bit slow but there isn’t anything they can do about him.

    ====

    Note: This is my first primer and is by no means complete. Feel free to comment about features to add or anything I may have missed. I tried to be detailed and thorough but I'm sure I left things out. Thanks again for your interest in the deck!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • 1

    posted a message on Cards That Should See More Play in Modern
    It may just be a pet card of mine right now but Plow Under has been an extremely brutal card for me. It puts you two turns ahead of your opponent and nulls out their next two draws. Casting two of them in a game almost always forces a scoop.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 1

    posted a message on Modern Event Deck List!!!
    I didn't miss it. I think that thought process is fine and again implies that this deck will fall exactly into the hands of the players that Wizards intended. If someone wants to get into Modern with the intent of winning high level tournaments, then they are going to be willing to spend more than $75 on a deck and they would already know that pre-made product like this isn't going to be anywhere near optimal. This product is for those players that are curious about Modern and want to dabble in it. For people who have only been playing for a year or so, this puts older cards in the hands of new players, gives the feel of powerful spells and synergy that is different from Standard and gives them room to grow. The real genius being that it actively makes the purchaser want to get involved in the Modern community if they like the deck and want to improve it.

    Expecting money cards in here was ridiculous to think would happen to begin with. Every getting into modern knows that those cards exist and would benefit the deck. Think if how attached to that deck a newer player would be once they got their first Marsh Flats into the deck. Think about all the cards that can be swapped out as the buyer decides. They will get this deck and make it their own and even just out of the box with some decent skill, this deck isn't stone cold terrible. Several cards can win games on their own.

    If someone wants to play competitive Magic and can't justify putting $75 into it, they are going to be exceptionally disappointed with their Magic career. Entry to most high level events is $40. Let alone the cost of travel. If you fall into this category of player I think you need to reevaluate your priorities and stop expecting Wizards and other players to just give you tons of expensive cards for pennies on the dollar. Especially when you'll most likely still scrub out of high level play even with a properly built deck. So the deck isn't your deal. That's cool. Find the people who could use it, share your knowledge of Modern with them, and help them get into the format in a constructive way. I'm sure they aren't expecting to take down their first event. But improvement over time will make them feel good about their deck's improvement and their improvement as a player. Which I think is the real beauty of this product.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 2

    posted a message on Modern Event Deck List!!!
    I didn't miss it. I think that thought process is fine and again implies that this deck will fall exactly into the hands of the players that Wizards intended. If someone wants to get into Modern with the intent of winning high level tournaments, then they are going to be willing to spend more than $75 on a deck and they would already know that pre-made product like this isn't going to be anywhere near optimal. This product is for those players that are curious about Modern and want to dabble in it. For people who have only been playing for a year or so, this puts older cards in the hands of new players, gives the feel of powerful spells and synergy that is different from Standard and gives them room to grow. The real genius being that it actively makes the purchaser want to get involved in the Modern community if they like the deck and want to improve it.

    Expecting money cards in here was ridiculous to think would happen to begin with. Every getting into modern knows that those cards exist and would benefit the deck. Think if how attached to that deck a newer player would be once they got their first Marsh Flats into the deck. Think about all the cards that can be swapped out as the buyer decides. They will get this deck and make it their own and even just out of the box with some decent skill, this deck isn't stone cold terrible. Several cards can win games on their own.

    If someone wants to play competitive Magic and can't justify putting $75 into it, they are going to be exceptionally disappointed with their Magic career. Entry to most high level events is $40. Let alone the cost of travel. If you fall into this category of player I think you need to reevaluate your priorities and stop expecting Wizards and other players to just give you tons of expensive cards for pennies on the dollar. Especially when you'll most likely still scrub out of high level play even with a properly built deck. So the deck isn't your deal. That's cool. Find the people who could use it, share your knowledge of Modern with them, and help them get into the format in a constructive way. I'm sure they aren't expecting to take down their first event. But improvement over time will make them feel good about their deck's improvement and their improvement as a player. Which I think is the real beauty of this product.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 1

    posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    Ok, I'm not sure if where exactly I should post this but it's fairly price related. So I'm just going to be safe and post it here. This totally feels like a first world problem but I have a fairly substantial Modern collection since I got into the format right once it launched and had been saving my Standard cards since I started playing in Zendikar. So I have playsets of all the rare lands from Zen to now and a ton of staple cards. So I'm free to brew and test many decks that fancy me. Granted it's usually moderately janky and out of the box stuff but the problem I keep running into is that since I have expensive cards and fringe ideas, there are very few people on the same level as me to discuss deck ideas with. Which I guess isn't the end of the world despite feeling rather lonely when it comes to brewing. However, on that same note, when I go to help people with their brews I can clearly tell that they are working within the bounds of a fairly tight budget. So my ideas and suggestions of what would be ideal for them is preemptively dismissed because of cost limitations. I'm just upset that I can't help others because of price limitations as well as upset that I can't expect feedback that hasn't been filtered through budgeted eyes. Like, I still see Mox Opal as a $20 card, Fetches as $15 cards because that's what they were when I picked them up.

    I don't think there is really a solution to this or anything. I just hate having to see other people limit themselves as well as how that affects their interaction with me. I try to loan out expensive cards whenever I can to help mitigate this but there is only so much I can do. Sorry, just needed to rant a little bit.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 1

    posted a message on Shard question
    The guys at my shop call BRW decks Newspaper decks. It appeals to my inner third grader.
    Posted in: Modern
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