Daily Digest: Death From The Loam

If you like the Lands deck in Legacy, you may fall in love with Ross Merriam’s latest Modern find! How do you play this many lands and never flood?!

I like decks that play a lot of lands. Missing an early land drop sucks, and tight play along with good deck design can mitigate the negative effects of mana flood much more than they can mana screw.

This deck takes that concept to the extreme. 35 lands is a number we don’t see outside of a single Legacy deck, but like that one, this deck will rarely flood. Seismic Assault and Molten Vortex mean that lands will always be functional, and you’d be surprised at how effective a bunch of Shocks can be.

Step one is to kill all of your opponent’s stuff. If doesn’t matter if that stuff is irrelevant, because you’ll never run out of Shocks with Life from the Loam, so just kill it all and make sure you don’t die.

Step two is to aim a bunch of Shocks at your opponent’s face. This step is a lot more satisfying, since it feels like you’re actually progressing your gameplan as opposed to treading water. Life from the Loam brings six damage every turn, which is incredibly hard to outpace with a single draw step, so your opponent is left fighting a losing battle for a couple of turns as you bury them in resources despite being flush with all lands.

But this deck is more than just an attrition deck. Swans of Bryn Argoll give it a combo aspect. Along with Seismic Assault, you can turn any land you draw into two more cards, and since the deck is more than half lands, this is a sequence you should be able to iterate to draw most, if not all, of your deck, especially if you prime the pump with a Life from the Loam.

And once you draw enough lands, you can start going upstairs with your Shocks, finishing the opponent in a flurry of “spells.” I think regular readers of this Digest will know how much I like decks that have combos but aren’t dedicated to them.

And my favorite part of this deck is how difficult the pieces are to interact with. Life from the Loam trumps counterspells. Swans of Bryn Argoll dodges a lot of the removal in the format, and

Seismic Assault only dies to Abrupt Decay among non-sideboard cards in Modern. For the most part, your opponents are going to have to beat you in a straight-up game and hope their sideboard is well-situated for a matchup they could not have possibly expected. That’s a great place to be in Modern.