Punishing Loam

Posted in Feature on October 30, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

I've been liking hybrid decks recently, and particularly ones that combine the Life from the Loam engine with other themes and/or colors. Maybe it's that I like the combination of two good things, or that I really like casting Life from the Loam, or possibly both. Either way, today I'm taking a look at a deck that lands somewhere on the Life from the Loam to Maverick spectrum, with interesting elements of each.

Punishing Fire

The deck is certainly more Loam-based than not, with the full seven Life from the Loams (thanks to Burning Wish), but the presence of Knight of the Reliquary, Gaddock Teeg, and Green Sun's Zenith adds some spice. You don't often see Dark Confidant, Chalice of the Void, Gaddock Teeg, and Burning Wish all fighting side by side, although some of these pairs do like teaming up.

Knights help drive the Loam engine, and are a solid replacement for Seismic Assault. After you've found a Loam, Knight of the Reliquary can help fetch all sorts of interesting lands, with a toolbox that includes Wasteland, Karakas, Maze of Ith, Nantuko Monastery, cycling lands, Bojuka Bog, Grove of the Burnwillows, and even Dryad Arbor. Of course, fetching up a cycle land isn't as effective as the rest, so I'd try and avoid doing so.

The rest of the deck is an eclectic mix of powerful and disruptive cards. Burning Wish of course pulls double duty here, fetching all sorts of answer card from your sideboard, but the deck also has a full four Chalice of the Voids, three Abrupt Decays, three Punishing Fires, and the lone Gaddock Teeg (that can be searched for with the one Green Sun's Zenith). Between Wish, Chalice, Decay, and Fire, there aren't many things that can't be dealt with, given enough time (and Karakas helps cover a ton of bases as well).

It does look odd to me that the deck only plays one Green Sun's Zenith, so I'd definitely try and fit more. Having a Tarmogoyf, a Gaddock Teeg, and a Dryad Arbor seems a little odd when you only have one way to find them, so playing two or three Zeniths seems good. I also like more Dark Confidants, if only because Bob is just that good.

DixonCox's Punishing Loam

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