New Life

Since the format’s inception, Life from the Loam has been one of the most powerful card advantage engines in the format. Particularly when combined with Seismic Assault, Flame Jab, and Raven’s Crime, Life from the Loam became a great way to bury your opponents in value while digging through your deck to find value lands. It’s been a while since that style of deck was playable in Modern, but this week Brian DeMars brings a new variation to the table that may change all that:

Life from the Loam
The core of this deck is the same as it’s always been. Your goal is to utilize efficient removal and discard spells to prevent your opponent from running away with the game early on. Then you can utilize Life from the Loam alongside retrace spells and Liliana of the Veil to pull ahead on cards. Additionally you have plenty of fun value lands like Bojuka Bog, Raging Ravine, and Ghost Quarter that are pivotal in particular matchups.

Things have changed since we last saw this deck though. The format is faster, and there are lots of interesting tools that are available. The biggest change is the addition of cycling land. Sure, we don’t have Tranquil Thicket and Forgotten Cave, but Canyon Slough and Sheltered Thicket have the potential upside of having basic land types. These cards let you Life from the Loams generate actual cards, as well as give you a way to rebuy your Loam at instant-speed in response to graveyard hate.

The next big addition is The Gitrog Monster. This card lets you start netting cards with your retrace spells and cycling shenanigans, and is of a size that is very difficult to deal with in Modern. You even get a combotastic win condition with Dakmor Salvage plus Seismic Assault, since you can just dredge Salvage with Gitrog’s draw trigger and repeat. Beyond that, you also have Grim Flayer and Traverse the Ulvenwald as further pieces of a delirium engine and more ways to tear through your deck to get your powerful singletons into the graveyard.

If you miss the days where people combined Life from the Loam with Solitary Confinement and Seismic Assault, this may be the next best thing. You’ve still got the ability to lock out creature decks early on in the game, and plenty of ability to grind out control opponents with Raven’s Crime and Liliana of the Veil. Cycling lands mean that you don’t have to rely on Faithless Looting and Desperate Ravings to generate card advantage anymore, and there’s still plenty of flexibility in this shell to try things like additional discard spells, Smallpox, or even splashes for cards like Lingering Souls.

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