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  • posted a message on Raphael Levy's Loam Pox
    Another idea I just had was adding in some fields of the dead to the deck.
    Getting to 7 lands or more is not really an issue in the deck, you almost never miss a land drop.
    The deck cant afford to play a 6 mana finisher, not because the deck wont get to 6 or 7 mana, but because it takes too long, the expensive card is dead early on, and there is no good way to guarantee you will have access to it when you need it to close out the game, instead of it being milled away or something.
    Even questing beast suffers a little from that problem, though at 4 mana it is much more manageable.

    Field of the dead would not be very difficult to set up, the deck already runs many different lands, the swamps can be split into swamp and snow covered swamps, and life from the loam helps both find 7 different lands, the fileds of the dead, and to keep on making land drops afterwards.
    making 2-4 zombies per turn without any real mana investment sounds like it would provide the deck with a very powerful and resilient endgame with very little opportunity cost.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Raphael Levy's Loam Pox
    Jund usually runs some number of Wrenn and Six now, which obviously is similar.
    Wrenn has the upside that you only ever need to invest 2 mana for any number of lands, it pings stuff, and can act as a win condition.
    Life from the loam has the upside that it can generate much more card advantage much faster, and by milling through your deck gives you better access to the lands you want. Also doesnt need red mana.

    You could definitely fit a copy or two of Life from the loam in abzan to take advantage of lingering souls, or have a rock deck with a Life from the loam draw engine too.

    Without pox, you would want some more board presence. Usually people run things like dark confidant, tarmogoyf, tireless tracker, scooze, hexdrinker, plague engineer, grim flayer sometimes.
    If you have the life from the loam engine, then you get a lot of card advantage in the mid game, so you probably wouldnt need dark confidant or as many trackers, and instead more beef, grim flayer looks like it could have good sinergy with life from the loam.
    There is a thread for non-pox GB midrange https://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/established-modern/midrange/801249-the-rock?page=19

    Smallpox is really fun though Grin
    Culling Scales is a card I recently came across that looks like it also could do a lot of work in this metagame too where a lot of decks have random small dorks and permanents.

    Take this baby out for just a game and see if you have fun ^^

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Raphael Levy's Loam Pox
    Hm, so tireless tracker is a bit weird.
    On the one hand, well it's tireless tracker, it can run away with the game and so on, and it works well off reanimate after a smallpox.
    On the other hand, drawing cards off clues kind of feels redundant with the life from the loam engine, also spending a lot of mana to draw cards, and not getting that much board presence out of it.
    Maybe there is a version with something like a 3/2 split between the two. For now I will stick with loams and keep trying the other ones though.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Raphael Levy's Loam Pox
    I agree on the format being better now, and moving towards BG too, though in a different direction.

    I think Life from the loam (the card, not this specific shell) is quite well positioned right now: The format has slowed down quite a bit, and games are much grindier. Life from the loam, as we know, is a card that generates a lot of card advantage, but can take a bit of time and mana to get going.
    Faithless lootings and hogaak getting banned means that there is much less graveyard interaction, instead of seeing hate main on a regular basis, it seems to be now back to a couple of pieces in the sideboard for most decks.

    Now life from the loam generates a lot of card advantage, but in the form of lands, and then we need some way to transform those lands into actually winning the game.
    Stuff like zombie infestation, seismic assault, ayula's influence, raven's crime, conflagrate, etc are usually the cards that get paired with it.
    Problem is, those cards suck. I mean they are clearly great when combined with loam, but on their own, if you do not have life from the loam going? It isnt like they are useless... Raven's crime still trades one for one with some piece of dead removal, right? Sure.
    But those are not cards that you are extremely happy with on their own.
    And then since they kind of suck on their own, then you need to build your deck in a way to maximize them, centering the whole deck around dredge to see more cards, cards that are good from the graveyard to dredge, discard outlets, squees, etc.

    This is certainly one way to build the deck, and many people in this thread have dabbled with that. However, the loss of faithless looting is quite a big blow to that type of strategy, and you also end up being very reliant on graveyard sinergies.

    The cycling lands, however, open up a new way to play with life from the loam: It gives you something valuable to do with life from the loam, to turn the lands you are getting back into something that can win you the game, but they do so at a much lower cost than the usual cards like zombie infestation, or raven's crime. Even without a loam, they just cycle for a mana, or can be used as tapped lands.

    There are a lot of shells where this could be used. I have explored a few, Ugx counter loam, GW leonin arbiter-once upon-ghost quarter, RG aggro loam, etc.
    I really like the loam pox shell, because smallpox is quite good right now, and modern horizons gives us Unearth, which I really like in this shell.
    Like the cycling lands, it is never truly dead, just asks that you waste some time in the worse case scenario. However it combines with fulminator mage to essentially be a one mana land destruction spell, which means you can smallpox, discard fulminator, and then bring it back turn 3 while deploying your board, or you can fulminator turn 3, and unearth + another spell turn 4, etc.
    Even with just fulminator mage, it has been really good.

    Currently, I am looking at something like this:

    DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    // Lands
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    3 Overgrown Tomb
    3 Mutavault
    4 Swamp
    2 Blooming Marsh
    1 Witch's Cottage (maybe)

    4 Barren Moor
    3 Tranquil Thicket

    // Creatures
    4 Fulminator Mage
    4 Demigod of Revenge/???

    // Spells
    4 Smallpox
    4 Unearth
    4 Fatal Push (maybe 3/1 split with darkblast? 4/1?)
    3 Abrupt Decay (+-1)
    4 Life from the Loam
    2 Thoughtseize (maybe a third, or an inquisition, or a raven's crime)
    4 Liliana of the Veil (actually not entirely convinced)

    Witch's cottage theoretically combines with loam and fetchlands to be found quite reliably, and then you can recurr a creature from the graveyard, so any threat you found by dredging can be recurred, providing you with a quick and easy way to end the game, and it can even be recurred with smallpox into loam.
    So far, it has not really come up much, I've forgotten about it a couple of times in-game, coming into play tapped until turn 4 was relevant the few times I drew it. Still need to see.

    Thoughtseize is really good, but the life loss hurts, the deck doesnt really have any lifegain at the moment, smallpox loses you life, and you can to take a bit of damage from your manabase, as bringing back fetchlands with loam happens quite a bit, so it is again 2-4 life.
    This is also why I avoid nurtiring peatland.
    I know a basic forest seems like it would allow us to avoid fetching untapped overgrown tombs, but really the deck needs a lot of black mana, and in practice not using a fetch to get a black source ended up hurting much more often than it helped.
    I need to fit some lifegain somewhere, but golgari brownscale is a bit meh imo. Especially without the ability to discard it repeatedly to zombie infestation or such.
    Liliana of the veil I am also less convinced with right now, since I added the fulminator-unearth package, the 3 drop is a bit more crowded, and they dont work as well together, making people discard dead cards they cant cast anyway isnt all that impressive. I will start by cutting down to 2, maybe I will drop them entirely.

    Demigod of Revenge is a bit cute, and 4 is too many. It does end the game in very short order if you can bring back a friend or two, basically putting opponents on a single topdeck. But 5 mana is a lot, even if you never miss any land drops, a smallpox here and there and it just takes a long time, and it does nothing at all until then. It is also not very good defensively.

    But the deck needs an actual finisher, something that will close out the game on opponents in short order. Not a card with 2 power like bloodghast or lingering souls or something like bitterblossom. Those provide inevitability against decks that want to interact with your win conditions, but we already have a lot of inevitability against those decks due to loam. We need to be able to close out the game against something like burn or combo or whatever before they topdeck something and kill us.
    Even in this shell, with the added LD, locking them out for all eternity isnt very realistic most games, against something like burn they will still draw mountains and lava spikes, you need to kill them.
    Goyf has been quite good in that slot, and I also had good success with Questing Beast. 4 mana is doable, and the beast kind of attacks through anything, puts on a quick clock, and the vigilance is very relevant.
    With goyf, well I sometimes found myself in board stalls, where I have a goyf, they have 2 creatures, I cant really race, but smallpox interacts poorly, since I would have to sac goyf and allow them to attack. Scavenging ooze also suffers from the same issue.
    Questing beast at first seems to have the same problem, it is a big creature so it interacts badly with smallpox, right? Actually, it went much better than expected: You can drop the beast, and just smash. If you are forced to sit with smallpox in hand, you are crashing in for 4 a turn, so not an issue, and if they attack, you can block and trade and then smallpox.

    Something like this is probably the next version I will be testing. Unearth Tireless tracker after smallpox seems quite good, and like it can close out games in a hurry too.

    Geralf's messenger is also something I'd like to try as a finisher, and an unearth target, but no time yet.
    And Deathless knight seems like it has a little potential, both as a finisher, and a resilient threat, but again suffers from the fact that the deck doesnt really have good lifegain in the maindeck. I might try with some fountain of renewal, or drake haven or something, but it is probably also a bit slow/cute, instead of the in your face finisher we need.

    Rotting Regisaur is also on my to-test list.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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