Figured out the deck tags. So this is the current list that I'm testing. Like I mentioned I like Chandra for finishing games and affecting the board when she drops. Also testing Vessel of Nascency and wilderness reclamation. I haven't even messed with sideboard yet.
So for those of you who have actually played some games or tested Living Twister, how has it been for you?
Paying mana - especially two mana - for the Seismic Assault ability is miserable and not really what I want to be doing to kill a creature with more than two toughness or acting like a finisher in combination with Life from the Loam. I mean four mana for four damage is essentially my whole turn's worth of mana; I might not even have six lands, and if I did, I'd be wanting to use two of them to play Loam every turn to get the extra lands needed to pitch.
Therefore, I've come to the conclusion (in my head at least, as I've not played any games with Twister yet) that I only want this in my deck taking up a valuable slot or two if A.) I want a 2/5 blocker for 3cmc and B.) I want something that can pay two mana to shoot an opposing creature. That's basically it. Attacking for two is virtually meaningless, and the pay a green to return a land to my hand is at best a subtext to fuel part B.
I haven't tried Assault Loam at FNM in a while but in a friendly league I'm playing friends in I find Living Twister is a really sweet finisher. You basically have the 1R ability as an emergency shock but get an insane amount of extra reach using the G ability paired with Seismic Assault. I kind of want to try tuning the deck slower but more consistent using Commune with the Gods and looting to assemble the engine and a bunch of other cards to keep me from dying in the mean time.
Interesting. I never considered what having both Living Twister and Seismic Assault on the battlefield at the same time would mean; I was just thinking of it as an inferior replacement of an effect I want that happens to be a different named card (important against Meddling Mage and Surgical Extraction) with a 2/5 body attached. But having both out on say... turn 6 with five lands to bounce to my hand and pitch for free with Assault for ten damage sounds much more appealing. I guess the pay a green to return a land to my hand ability is more than a cute subtext after all.
I haven’t gotten my twisters yet so I haven’t sleeves anything up but I wanna say I used Trade Routes for the longest time since it could combo with assault, letting you pick up any lands you have in play and pitch them. I’ve been able to close out a lot of games with that, and while Twister is more mana-intensive it lets me cut out blue so i’m excited to try it out.
I went 4-0 split at my last modern tournament on monday with Living Twister.
For RG, the twister gives you exactly what you need vs control in the long game. 6 mana twister off the top with Seismic Assault lets you dome your opponent for 12 over two turns, basically giving the deck a combo finish. Before, I was struggling to fill the last two slots of the deck with creatures like Bedlam Reveler and Huntmaster of the Fells as inevitability, but nothing seemed to fill the role great. Twister gives you a way to win without Loam, pushing down the number of Loams you need to play, and lets you win on the battlefield and not scoop to graveyard hate. Twister is good in the deck, but I wouldn't run more than 2.
While Twister is great in the RG lists, I'm not sure it is necessary in all the other color combinations. RG doesn't have a card like Dark Confidant to gain a ton of card advantage and inevitability, and the fact you need to have a large number of green sources to use twister effectively doesn't help. Naya may like it as the ability to transform and play Rest in Peace postboard is great. Jund, Temur, and 4C builds probably would rather have better threats.
PS: Haven't been posting lately because I've been busy building an updated primer. Currently writing matchups for all flavors of RGX Loam. Hopefully the new primer can get some new eyes on the deck.
Edit: Neglected to mention just the inevitability Living Twister gives to the deck. In RG this is very much needed, with the extra tools in the other colors, not so much.
While I exclusively played RG Assault Loam previously, I just want to slam Tamiyo, Collector of Tales in that deck, she looks so darn good, since she does basically everything you want:
- Digs for things you need (be it a beater, interaction, or an Assault)
- Fills the graveyard for Loam and co
- Can get anything back from your grveyard
- In the context of the deck, some "irrelevant" side effect of no saccing/discarding
Only problem I have with her is: she costs 4 mana. However, the pure value she can generate <3
I might test her in the RG version with a tiny U splash for her (realistically 3 U producing lands which can be searched via all the fetches), but than again, she is somewhat in the Twister slot (first thought) and I really would want to play Twister instead. Than again, I could replace the Twisters with Trade Routes (since I already have U in the deck), has the benefits, that the mana requirements go down.
Besides this, got some tests with arboreal grazer in (in the classic RG version) along with 2 Living Twister, and gosh it felt smooth to play. Having access to a real one drop (cause more often than not you do not really want to use Looting on turn 1) which ramps you ahead while being decent as a blocker in a surprising amount of match-ups lessens the burden on the curve by a lot.
Obviously you need to run more lands in that shell, cause you want to have 4 lands till turn 3 with that geezer in your hand, but that again plays nicely into the new high end with Living Twister, which allows the deck suddenly to do something with the already played lands in the mid to lategame.
PS: New Narset is a weaker Tamiyo btw, same thought process (grabbing stuff for us), just has noteworthy other text on her (impactful in a surprising amount of match-ups)
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What I play or have:
either funpolice (Delver, Deathcloud, UW Control) or the fun decks (especially those ft. Griselbrand)
Dryad Greenseeker has been pretty awesome so far. The place I've felt it has helped the most is with early Countryside Crusher. Playing Crusher on T3 always felt a bit bad because it would prevent me from hitting later land drops. With Dryad in play you have a little bit better of an ability to manipulate the top of the deck with Crusher, and you've also got an extra opportunity to draw a land after the Crusher trigger. Even if Crusher isn't in play just having an opportunity to pick up another land to pitch to Assault has been pretty fantastic.
Arboreal Grazer on the other hand has been fairly mixed. I really like the ramp. A T2 Assault, Twister, or Crusher has been awesome but top decking Grazer is pretty feel bad. Jury is still out on that one.
I play split 2 Molten Vortex and 3 Seismic Assault as Vortex is just faster than Asault and it works fine with 26 lands. In addition, several times I found myself in a situation where I got Surgical Extraction on my Assault ( it is not a joke).
4 pieces of Commune with the Gods is a great tech since you can find your enchantements from main deck and from sideboard. I play in sideboard Choke and 3 Cindervines. I found Cindervines as a complex card which is tutorable threat to deal with control decks artifacts and enchantments.
I found also that Engineered Explosives is the best SB option for this deck. I'm in on it in almost every game.
I found also that Engineered Explosives is the best SB option for this deck. I'm in on it in almost every game.
Explosives may be the most important tech for this deck especially for Bogles, but is versatile for many other reasons too.
Speaking of necessary tech, we may want to consider running Pithing Needle for the NeoBrand menace going around... as a two-of it wouldn't take up too much space plus it counts as additional hate for various decks, Vial in tribal strategies, PWs against Jund or Control, etc.
Needle has always been a flexible sideboard card, but maindecking one - let alone two - seems like too much. Sure... you can probably find a target somewhere against almost any opponent, but how much value will it actually give you on average? Also, if your primary reason for wanting to do it is this NeoBrand deck, I wouldn't bother. There's no way something doesn't get banned from it on June 14 when Modern Horizons comes out if it is killing on turn 1 with any consistency at all (or on turn 2 or turn 3 for that matter), as according to Wizards own guidelines for the format, Modern isn't allowed to have consistent turn 3 kills.
Faithless Looting is one of the best cards in Modern, and it's even better in AssaultLoam than the average deck just using it for value. I certainly get the appeal of Magmatic Insight if you're running a high land count. On the surface it may look like Faithless Looting is card disadvantage (losing three cards - including the Looting itself - to get two) and Magmatic Insight is breaking even (losing two cards - Insight and a land - to get two cards). However, Looting is both more flexible and more powerful.
It may seem like you always have a land to discard, but there may be situations - even with a high land count - where you can't meet the requirement. Additionally, I often want to discard something other than a land - for various reasons. Sometimes, I just can't afford to discard my second land in a two-land hand and spin the wheel, hoping that I not only draw into another land, but one capable of producing the right colors as well. Also, Loam is often my preferred discard, as I want it in the graveyard and dredging as soon as possible. Sometimes there are useless cards in my hand (discard spells against an empty-handed opponent, removal against a creatureless deck, etc...) that I'd rather discard instead of a land. Finally, for the purposes of both Tarmogyf and Delirium cards it may be more beneficial to have a different card type than land in the graveyard. This flexibility extends to your top-deck example as well. If I top-deck Insight with no cards in hand, then I can't even play it. Looting, not so. I could immediately cast it to dredge any Loams in my yard or to just fill my yard a bit more if I so desired. If I needed to dig for a specific card, well, the very next card I draw (no matter what it is) will give me two more looks with Looting; Insight only allows you to do this if the next card is specifically a land, which is less than a 50% chance if you're running 27.
One of the most powerful things about Faithless Looting though is the fact that you can use it twice, flashing it back from your graveyard. Insight cannot do this. It gives you one use, and that use has to come from your hand. With Looting I can play it early to set up my hand, then flash it back later to cash in some lands for real spells (or for additional dredges). In addition, if it somehow gets milled by Loam or something else, I can still play that flashback later for value.
Look, I'm not bashing Magmatic Insight as a card. In a deck with a high land-count it can definitely put in some good work, but I see it as Faithless Looting #5 and/or #6, #7, #8 if you want them - not as a replacement.
I think there are plenty of good points in there, especially if you're in Jund. I am running an RG list so some of it isn't applicable (no discard spells, only bolt for removal), but maybe you're right, maybe I'm just playing it wrong and need to adjust my play rather than changing the card. I'll give it another shake.
I tried Branchwalker and Jadelight along side Bloodbraid Elf and was pretty underwhelmed in general. I feel like RG wants to err more on the combo side of the spectrum so playing value creatures just doesn't cut it. Maybe they'd work better in Jund where they can be supported by Fatal Push and discard spells.
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.
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.
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.