There's now an updated primer in Deck Creation where we have been discussing the deck though it will need updating postbans. I do like these decklists though, especially the Jund one a whole lot, and I'll add them to the primer in the results portion.
This Jund list is pretty similar to the one I'm running at the moment. My meta is being overrun by aggressive creature strategies, so I'm playing a playset of Smallpox which takes up some of the slots for PWs. The only thing I've found with this sort of build is I sometimes have a myriad of answers with no threats to back it up. This list is going all in on Bloodbraid Elf with AssaultLoam or Wrenn ult to win the game which I've found to be kinda threat light. I'm much more of a fan of moving some of the threats that they have in sideboard into the maindeck; with one or two Tracker, you can dig through your deck faster to find your threats. For that reason, I think a couple Bloodbraid Elf should be replaced with 1-2 Tireless Tracker, and adding a couple manlands like Hissing Quagmire or Raging Ravine wouldn't hurt.
RG list: I still don't like Commune in RG, though being able to find Blood Moon is a major plus. I've found Commune to be a stellar card when you can play it to find a Seismic Assault for turn 3 and then discard a couple lands to gain board control. If you don't find Assault, then you are taking up your whole second turn to cast a spell that didn't affect the board, and I'd rather just cast something like a Tarmogoyf. In this deck, you can hit Moon, Assault, or Vortex, all of which could come down turn 3 and start to control the game. I'm not sure I like having 6 Assaults + 3 Commune either, but I'd have to try out these numbers before I can definitely say that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
I was just curious what do you guys think of tectonic reformation? Is it worth a card? Or do you think just having 3 cycling lands in our deck being churned through with Life of the loam will be enough card draw? I was thinking about playing it as a 2 of in the deck until I get a feeling for whether it's good or not. I mean it even cycles so if we do have enough cycle lands in our hand we can always get rid of it if we want to.
I also think reformation is a trap. The cycle lands are good enough to have a backup plan to get through your deck, this enchantment just is a sometimes blank card that gives more card advantage to a deck that often floods on card advantage. We need more card density, not purely card advantage.
Any thoughts on regrowth now being modern legal? Getting back key pieces that were milled, looted or destroyed seems good, or just having the option to do the bolt regrowth bolt play is maybe good enough?
Also a card i want to try out alongside wrenn and six is sakura-tribe scout. Some people mentioned how the planeswalker can do busted play with exploration in legacy. Scout is the closet thing to that and can ramp us every turn as long as we have a way to get back dredged lands or fetchlands. Getting to the critical 5 lands will be important because now with the cycling lands we have access to the classic play of cast 2 loams a turn with a cycling land so that we can pitch 5 lands each turn to assault or influence for profit. We can now basically deal 20 damage in two turn from there, which is pretty sweet.
I honestly forgot Regrowth was reprinted. That card looks great, though its not very proactive. Having practically a 2 mana tutor is good, though we probably wouldn't want it till the late game as in the aggressive meta we really need a good curve or to answer our opponent's threats on curve, so I wouldn't play more than 1-2.
I don't think we want to play Tribe-Scout for a few reasons. For one, at base level, it's way less strong than Exploration. That isn't saying much on its own, it's like saying you shouldn't play Lightning Strike in standard since it's not Lightning Bolt. My point is in legacy, Exploration gets you to 4 lands on turn 2, and doesn't die to Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push. In legacy, the lands you get back are also considerably more powerful. For instance, you play Taiga into turn 1 Exploration in legacy. Extra land play Wasteland. Next turn you play another Taiga, play Wrenn and Six, and Wasteland your opponent every turn for the rest of the game. (as long as all the pieces stay assembled of course.) You can obviously ramp from that too with fetchlands and land drops from your hand, but the current iteration of Lands in legacy wouldn't care - maybe some aggroloam variant would, though they don't usually play Exploration which may change.
I digress. My point is that there is no rush to get to 5 mana by turn 3 purely because our opponents are still playing magic. If we have an exact hand of Tribe-Scout, Loam, Wrenn, Assault, Land, Land, Land, (one of which being a fetch) Spell, Spell, we can get to 5 mana turn 3 and cast Seismic Assault and Life from the Loam in the same turn and start Loam-Cycle-Loam. That's a good set up for Assault to be good, but it still won't kill until turn 5 at the earliest. I think the deck should be focused on more of a midrange plan than a combo plan. There's a reason why this deck is in the midrange subforum and not the combo subforum. IMO, the goal of the deck should be more to gain edges in card advantage while dealing with your opponents threats and putting pressure on with your cheap threats with the AssaultLoam or BearLoam engine on top to close games. If we commit to a pseudo mana dork in Tribe-Scout we open ourselves up to get rekt by worse draws off the top and simple removal spells. I'd rather play a card that affects the board more and that is better in a grindy situation. Who knows, I may be wrong.
Hey guys! I’m new to the deck archetype but have been very interested for a while now and after seeing these spoilers I wanna go all in and join the Loam Assault gang lol. I had a question though, I know a lot of you love BBE, but what about that new card with cascade and retrace? Which card is better with this archetype?
Historically, BBE hasn't been featured prominently in the deck. In a list with Assault, BearSault and better 3 drop hits, I would say BBE is better because it has legs, hasty ones as that and we have better things we can be doing with lands that we discard from Loam.
However, effectively paying 4 mana to cast the next spell in your deck seems good vs control. We have other options to spend our mana on in those occasions that are less expensive and therefore get under counterspells better, but the retrace spell would have to be tested. To be honest, I would lean towards neither one in the deck, though the retrace spell does need to get tested (along with like 10 other cards now, so all hands on deck...).
Also, what are your opinions about the jund version of the deck? I also like the idea of 3 assault, 2 bear enchantment, 1 twister, but how effective can this be in relation to 3 or 4 Assault and 2 vortex?
Also what does countryside crusher bring to the table?
Jund is the classic archetype for AssaultLoam, and I honestly think that Jund VortexLoam is the best version of the deck in the modern metagame right now.
In regards to your proposal, I have always been an advocate of picking one enchantment (out of Seismic Assault, Molten Vortex, and Burning Vengeance + Flame Jab) to build around as each one is fundamentally different. Assault is the most universal (as in you can throw it into the other subcategories and be okay), so for instance you could likely play 4 Molten Vortex and 1 Seismic Assault in VortexLoam or 2 Burning Vengeance and 3 Seismic Assault in a spells list and be perfectly well off. Molten Vortex requires extra mana investment in relation to the other enchantments, and if you are in a creature heavy metagame with Humans and Spirits where you would want it, mathmatically, it requires just over 30 lands to consistently keep board control starting t2-3 onward. With wrenn and Six that number may actually go down, but likely not below 28. For this reason, I find it hard to throw Molten Vortex into a loam list.
I don't want to kill the hype around Ayula's Influence, but the card doesn't seem to easily slot into any lists at the moment. Seismic Assault is a much more versatile tool that can control the board and put pressure on your opponents life totals in the face of on board interaction. While Ayula's Influence can similarly put the pressure on, it also is worse in many more matchups as people don't care if you are making bears if they are comboing off with Storm or simply have an Ensnaring Bridge. Seismic Assault makes a much bigger impression in those matchups an in general though it does get hated out by Leyline of Sanctity which is the most major advantage the Influence has imo. I think the Ayula's Influence deck will look much different, and may drop red in general in favor of colors that can deal with those downsides. I'm too buried under this pile of cards to even think about what a BGx Influence deck would look like, but I think that's where BearAssault will fit in.
Living Twister, though it can act as a bigger, more expensive Molten Vortex, is better for its synergy with Seismic Assault as it can bounce all the lands on the battlefield into your hand to deal the last 12 or so points of damage to your opponent. I think you are right on either 1 or 2 Twister.
In summary, however boring it may seem, I think for AssaultLoam, 3-4 Assault are good enough with 1-2 Living Twister to back them up. Playing too many enchantments dilutes the deck
Maybe this is not the most popular opinion: I don't think red is the color you want in a loam deck.
Red brings: Bolt, Wrenn&Six and seismic assault. The rest is honestly not that great. Flame jab, is cool but nowadays you can go much bigger late game. Rioter and dragon are a joke compared to the creatures modern already got, so I hardly see a reason to include those. Imagine the dragon is RR and 5 lands in the GY. You have to fetch turn 1 and 2 and the dredge 3 lands to play a 4/4 haste on turn 3. Or you have to fetch on turn 1 2 and 3 and loot 2 lands in the GY to play this turn 3. You can play so many better card with much less effort. I know people like this card but when you really anylize it, it's actually not that great, unfortunately. At least I don't believe in I vesting so much in a 4/4 dude when you can play better cards
The enchantment is a 2 mana do nothing. And later in the game you can cycle your cards, but how often do you actually want to do this when you want to make landdrops at least until the early late game. You really cannot afford this in Modern.
Faithless looting is a great cars, but doesn't synergize much with the rest of the deck besides being a cantrip that actually is card disadvantage without a loam engine active.
All in all red just falls a bit short if you would compare it with cards from other colors that just have a bigger value.
When analyzing this, I think going another route is the best way to approach this archtype in Modern.
So first of all, this is a regular midrange deck. It uses discard and removal to deal with the strategy of the opponent.
Fatal Push, Path to Exile and Trophy are the best all round removal in the format. Liliana of the Veil and the last hope, both provide a control element in terms of board and hand control.
So you got a pretty solid game plan here. Disrupt, remove and combat. Normally a strategy like this easily runs out of gas when cards go 1 for 1. This is where confidant comes in, (the average manacost is about 1.1, so that's not to bad) together with the cycle lands and eledamri's Call. These cards make sure you draw a lot of cards to keep up with your own Liliana and to draw more useful cards to stay in control.
Hi Selene, thanks for posting.
I think a list based on legacy AggroLoam is great. I think leaving out red is a bad decision however as Seismic Assault is the single reason to play a midrange Loam shell in modern.
While legacy AggroLoam looks like the deck you posted nowadays, if you go back 7-10 years ago, it was a 4 color deck with 3-4 Knight of the Reliquary, 1-2 Countryside Crusher, and 2-3 Seismic Assault along with Punishing Fire. That's because back then, Legacy was a more creature heavy format with old Death and Taxes and Maverick strategies alongside the newly printed Stoneforge Mystic and later Delver of Secrets. That legacy, is a lot more conducive to what we know in modern at present. Nowadays in legacy, casting a 3 mana enchantment isn't good enough because there isn't a lot to kill on board. Though it may be good against a deck like death and taxes, even Death and Taxes will make you wait till turn 4 to cast it with cards like Thalia, Rishadan Port and Wasteland. It's horrible in the legacy metagame, so they shifted to the BGx style as we know in modern and ran with the deck.
In modern we don't have Punishing Fire to kill creatures. In legacy, that is your out against decks that want to play creatures. In modern, a format ruled by hyperaggressive creature decks where you'd want it, we need something to help maintain board control.
Even if we only play red for Seismic Assault, it is worth it in the metagame. Assault lets us have recurring disruption against every aggressive deck and gives us a favorable matchup against the best decks in the format like Izzet Phoenix and Humans. In the old days of the deck, you didn't even have to play 4 Assault; some people just "splashed" red (it's kinda hard to splash a spell that costsRRR but I digress) and played 3 Assault with 3 Loam. I can't stress how good Seismic Assault is, especially now, though I think many people rely on it too hard as the "end all be all."
Assault is really in the deck to give a late game punch. It is a sweeper turn 3 that kills planeswalkers and wipes the board too. You don't deal damage with it to your opponent until you have 10 lands in your hand. Each turn you can deal 6 damage to your opp's board, or choose to hold up the lands to deal say 8 damage to an opposing 6/7 Tarmogoyf. With the new cycling lands, you can deal 10 damage per turn instead once you hit 5 mana. Assault is your sole reason to play red, everything else is a cherry on top.
I agree with you that most of the new cards are traps for the deck. The Dragon and Rioter are a little loose and not as powerful as the deck can be. Rioter may be powerful but has to be built around, and I don't think would just slot in well to the archetype. Tectonic Reformation could be good, but has many applications where it just doesn't do much. The cycling cost on it may make it playable in the archetype but slots are limited in the deck.
Faithless Looting in our deck says "Draw 2 cards, Flashback, Draw 2 cards." Even if you don't have loam, discarding cards that you want to be in the graveyard practically makes it card advantage. With Wrenn now too, you can get back those lands you discard over 2 turns, serving the same role as loam.
On top of this, Wrenn and Six at worst makes us hit land drops every turn. At best, it gets us cycling lands to draw cards. It gets back Ghost Quarter against tron (in testing had this happen, best feeling in my life). It gets back Blast Zone vs decks like Bogles. And with our board control, it ticks up to its ultimate, which practically says "Win the Game." Don't sleep on this card.
You laugh at Flame Jab, but that card is often just a 1 of for control. You have your opponent at 6 life after a gruelingly grindy game of playing around countermagic and barely killing planeswalkers with creature lands. Over 2 turns with Loam and Flame Jab, you win the game. There aren't many cards in modern that let you win out of your yard like this that see a lot of play. Conflagrate does it but is more vulnerable to countermagic. It also kills creatures more often than you would think, with it being a win con vs Affinity and keeping problematic planeswalkers in check. It is a pretty loose spell in terms of density, but a 1 of Flame Jab wins games.
One of the biggest upsides to your list compared to RG is the straightforward midrange gameplan. Discard spells, removal, and cheap threats.
When you explained that I was honestly very confused because that is what every midrange deck in modern does. The most played version of AssaultLoam is Jund, which has the same packages and gameplan with a better lategame. Here's a 5-0 list from January that shows the basic outline of the deck:
Now I will say I disagree with a lot of the choices of this deck, but it shows the basic outline of the gameplan. Discard spells, cheap threats, and endgame card advantage. The red splash is just for Assault and Looting, and the rest of the deck is a BG deck with a Traverse package. I don't think the Traverse package is necessary, and in fact would just rather them play a playset of Dark Confidant but this deck is like the original deck back when the archetype was brought into modern; Jund+. It's like Jund but you have this late game card advantage engine. I have my own Jund Loam list on the primer which will be posted in the next two days, but it's pretty similar to this one in terms of removal packages just differing in threat choice. There are gonna be about 6 archetypes covered in the primer and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. The RG list has been discussed at length on here recently because it was formerly almost unplayable but has found new upgrades over time to make it competitive in the current metagame.
Now in your Abzan AggroLoam list, I feel like the worst card is Life from the Loam. I would honestly go down to 2 as you only need one in the late game as you are cycling through your deck. Over that, I think one Nourishing Peatland would be a good card to go fetch with KOTR or another cycling land would be satisfactory.
End of Essay... cue tomorrow getting more spoilers and more testing
@Cryptic Commander - Wrenn and Six could easily be a 3-of over a Countryside Crusher. Depends on how full the 3-slot feels in playtesting. I mainly didn't want to get stuck with a bunch of Wrenn in hand. They don't work as well in multiples as Loam does unfortunately. But I am really excited to see them in action.
I've been testing 4 in this list, and it's been great:
2 Blast Zone
2 Fire-Lit Thicket
4 Ghost Quarter
1 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Treetop Village
1 Raging Ravine
3 Rootbound Crag
4 Sheltered Thicket
2 Stomping Ground
4 Wooded Foothills
2 Magmatic Insight
4 Faithless Looting
1 Flame Jab
2 Lightning Axe
3 Lightning Bolt
4 Molten Vortex
4 Life from the Loam
2 Scavenging Ooze
4 Wrenn and Six
4 Countryside Crusher
2 Alpine Moon
2 Anger of the Gods
2 Engineered Explosives
2 Pulse of Murasa
2 Force of Vigor
1 Scavenging Ooze
2 Tireless Tracker
2 Tormod's Crypt
The sideboard is a mess but the list is pretty simple. The Jund Vortex deck really relies on Dark Confidant to be able to dig through the lands in the deck, and RG has never had anything like it. Wrenn and Six doesn't "churn through the deck" so to say, but drawing an extra card each turn that can be pitched to Molten Vortex is usually enough to make the enchantment a real threat even without drawing a Life from the Loam. Wrenn has never felt clunky in this deck as people often try and kill it as soon as they see the shenanigans we are trying to pull. You can use extra Wrenns to draw multiple lands in a turn if need be, and or to deal 2 dmg to a creature to kill it, and or to replace fallen copies. And if you have a lot of multiples, you can in the end discard it to a looting, though that can be said about every card ever so it's not a very good argument.
Wrenn is critical to the Vortex gameplan, so I can see it being not as powerful in the RG Assault lists. I'd still stick to 3 from what I've seen, as a turn 2 Wrenn does so much for the strategy. For instance, t2 Wrenn +1 into t3 +1 Assault is +4 damage to the board, which is veerry significant vs a deck like humans or even dredge. Loam can do a similar thing with two fetches, but Wrenn will keep ticking up to its ult which will win the game quick. Idk, I'm just really enthralled with the card.
And also... not to get anyone's hopes up but the same source that leaked the new card Hogaak had the Onslaught Cycle lands in the background... Just saying with Wrenn those are insane.
Barring other spoilers that may get included, this is where I'm sitting on a decklist once we get our new toys. It's a really light green splash in a primarily red deck. Trying to be fairly aggressive while having the Assault+Loam package to grind out games. A decent top end to give some late game punch.
Not sure on Goyf v Young Pyromancer. I'm just worried there aren't enough ways to trigger YP and make him worthwhile and Goyf is generally just a big dude. So I'm leaning that way.
I could see swapping out Koth and getting Ayula's Influence in to a more green supported deck over Living Twister. I have wanted to play Koth in Loam for a long time and this seems like a good opportunity to test him out.
I like this list. I agree the fewer spells point you more towards goyf, and Bloodbraid has a lot of good hits. I think Wrenn is good enough to run 3, but that’s my only gripe. In my preliminary testing with Wrenn and VortexLoam, the ability of Wrenn to tick up over time to his ultimate is very strong. Wrenn plus Looting is a ccc-combo even when you don’t have an Enchantment, and the ability to hit all your land drops with him threatening to ultimate if you keep the board clean is great.
Living Twister enables a simple combo kill with Assault if you have no graveyard, so I think it’s worth it to have some copies over the influence.
The only bad matchup (I can think of) where blood moon doesn't do much is Storm...
If you are looking at RG Loam, Storm isn't a bad matchup for the list. Our creature disruption can mess with their costreducers well, which makes them have to go hard mode most of the time. Scavenging Ooze is really important against that deck, and is one of the most critical cards to include in the current metagame. Game 1 it is still likely storm favored as you need these pieces to do well, but it's only 60/40 at best.
The allure of the loam archetype is that you can shift to different color combinations to fit the metagame. The best versions against noninteration are Jund and Temur, Jund with hand disruption and edicts, Temur with countermagic. RG is very limited in its disruption, but Blood Moon works to fill a possible slot. Let me know how it does.
-Arboreal Grazer is great on turn 1/2, but absolutely garbage afterwards. His highs are really high, but the lows... . Still not sure about if I want him or not, so far I lean to a slight "no", but definitely needs more testing.
-Trade Routes: *droll*, want a third one if possible
Manabase: Need 2 Blast Zones in there, the U lands were no problem, want a 7th Fetchland though.
I've found grazer to be a less than stellar card to say the least. The tempo lost from being on the draw is pretty well solved by big removal spells like Lightning Axe though, and that's what has been doing me wonders recently. I had been freaking out about losing on the draw, but after reading a few theory articles on the topic of tempo advantage, my recent list's removal package has been pretty stellar in smoothing out a lost die roll.
I feel like all interactive decks in modern have to play this polarized game plan of "Do I have this card that really matters in this matchup?" Most of the matchups you faced last week seemed to be that way. The Amulet matchup is pretty good - that is, if you can line up Ghost Quarter against their Simic Growth Chamber and other bounce lands, or if you can kill their Azusa. I'm leaning more and more heavily on Ghost Quarter, as it is a land that is necessary in a lot of matchups in modern, and can be turned into colored mana if need be for the cost of a land. I feel like we need to run 3 of them.
I just finished finals so all my time is going into the new primer. I'm gonna leave out the new cards for now as we need to test them still, but it should be up by this Wednesday. Cheers.
Scapeshift and Ad Nauseum are rough. If you are expecting Scapeshift to be big in your meta, Beast Within and Tectonic Edge are both good options on top of Alpine Moon. After a Scapeshift, your opponent gets their 6 mountains, you can Beast Within one to make the rest of the triggers fizzle. Same thing would happen with Tectonic Edge, but since it's on board, it's a little harder to catch your opponent with it (as they can just go get 7 mountains instead).
If you have a combo heavy metagame, RG is likely too narrow. Jund has hand disruption as you mentioned, but Temur with counterspells and Naya with KOTR, Repel the Abominable and Stony Silence are all possible options. All that will be covered in the primer.
This archetype is very cool because once you get all the lands, you can make slight changes to the deck colors to adapt in any metagame, from Lightning Helix and Timely Reinforcements for a burn heavy meta, to Swan's Song and Spell Pierce in Temur to counter any spellbased combo deck. The combo can be slot into a variety of shells which gives a lot of flexibility.
BTW I am very sad on the spoilers of the "Canopy" lands. Horizon Canopy still needs you to get to turn 6 to do "Loam-Crack-Loam" and deal 10 damage, and it seems to me that these take up the possibility of the cycling lands that would be in that slot. Who knows, that Astral Slide psuedo-reprint may say otherwise, but I'm kinda bummed.
With our current cycling lands, I have now had many opportunities where I could cycle multiple times in one turn to draw into threats, whereas the canopy lands would only let you play and crack one per turn. You don't want to be dealing a lot of damage to yourself in loam against aggro decks, so you don't really want to play them out as mana sources either. It might be bad news bears for us.
It's getting to the point where it's almost unbelievable, but I am currently 9/0/1 with this list at my relatively large lgs (60+ people for FNMs most weeks, and some real good players). I haven't lost since the last update, and only drew vs a slow UW player. I'm gonna quickly go over some of the differences between this and the other lists.
Young Pyromancer vs Tarmogoyf - With all the gy hate in the meta, having a threat that doesn't die to a Relic of Progenitus or Rest in Peace is really good. I won multiple games last night vs control and BG Rock because of the bodies pyromancer created essentially on etb (think of Peezy more as a 3+ drop with spells attached). It's a more resilient threat and it goes wide around many strategies in the metagame, while giving you fight against graveyard hate post-board.
Satyr Wayfinder and Commune with the Gods have similar effects, but the difference is that Satyr Wayfinder is a tempo positive play. On the play, a turn 2 Commune is great as it sets you up nicely and you still have a tempo advantage since you played first. On the draw, it doesn't add anything to your board, at times setting you behind the curve if all you get is another two drop or a second three drop other than Seismic Assault. I've found that more than 2 commune is clunky as you never want it in your hand on the draw, though it is an all star off the top in a grindfest.
Meanwhile, Wayfinder comes down, finds a land which is important to smooth out your draws or find Ghost Quarter against Tron or Amulet, chumps to buy time, and is able to chip in for points of damage. In my control games, Wayfinder consistently dealt 4-6 points of damage before my opponent had to use a removal spell on it (feelsgoodman) which sets them up to be burned out of the game with a few lands + Seismic Assault or Lightning Bolt. 4 Wayfinder is probably too much, I was testing them here as a playset but they are definitely a valid creature for this archetype.
TL;DR on commune, on the draw, it's too ineffective unless it is guaranteed to find Seismic Assault, so I'm only running 1 in this list.
Finally, an update on Living Twister. This card overperformed for me, and I honestly wanted to draw it more often. I still wouldn't play more than two as in multiples this card is basically a vanilla 2/5, but it was a good blocker vs Hollow One, it was a backup Seismic Assault vs Jund, and its Trade Routes ability allowed me to bounce Sheltered Thicket and cycle it to draw cards. The card seems great, and I'd like to explain some of the math behind the card.
When you think about Living Twister, you want to think about your mana in groups of 3. 1 mana to bounce a land, two mana to discard it. If you have 9 mana, you can pay 3 mana 3 times to deal 6 damage. Then, next turn you will have 6 mana. You can now pay 3 mana two times to deal 4 damage. The next turn you will have 4 mana, and can continue the process.
You should try to bounce lands and discard them at the same time since bouncing lands is essentially free. That way you have more options to cast spells you may draw or discard lands you may draw. This allows you to deal a bunch of direct damage even when you have a Rest in Peace in play to win the game.
Other tricks you can do using Living Twister: to protect your manlands from removal spells or Field of Ruin, you can bounce them to your hand, just make sure you leave up green mana, and if your opponent does it while you are moving to combat, you can tap the manland to bounce itself; bounce cycle lands to be able to cycle them and draw cards; if you have the three cards Countryside Crusher, Tireless Tracker, and Living Twister on the battlefield, even though Crusher makes you unable to draw lands, you can bounce your own lands to make clues to draw cards and keep the value going; ...
I have detailled match notes with interactions, so if you want to hear how I played around Surgical Extraction in situations or used by sideboarding to minimize the effect of Leyline of the Void, let me know. I've already wrote that section in the primer which should be ready next week.
I'm satisfied with this iteration of the RG deck and am going to focus on Naya next with Modern Horizons on the... horizon, but I am still curious to see what other lists look like.
I did mean a couple in SB. I understand the deck is likely to get banned, but that doesn’t change hedging for the deck in the short term. My post was still reactionary and I don’t think 2 needles will be able to stop the combo of the deck as the op does board in answers anyway. Without the London mulligan the deck hasn’t been doing as well so I don’t even think it is necessary.
As far as my stance goes with Faithless Looting vs Magmatic Insight, the problem I’ve found with insight in testing is that you discard before you draw. The expectation sometimes with Insight is that you will discard a land and draw another. Well, even if you are playing 32 lands, you will have occasions when you don’t. Looting lets you draw first, and either discard blank cards like Flame Jab, excess lands to Loam back, and in some cases, discard “good cards” but let’s you craft a gameplan since you have all the information first. Even if Looting didn’t have flashback in this deck, I think it would still be played over Insight for this reason.
Now this deck is your typical midrange deck, and I prefer to build my midrange decks with more cheap threats than card advantage, so I think having 4 Looting and trying even 3 Insight on top of it is too much, but you can definitely try it out. I’m finishing writing matchups for the primer (kinda busy with senior finals but it’s coming.). Hopefully that acts as an FAQ to start more discussions.
I’ll post my updated RG list later today. 5/0/1 at FNM last week and 3/1 at MNM.