I’ve had a number of people asking me to discuss some of the changes I’ve made to my Four Color Loam deck I’ve been championing since late last year. You can read the first primer I wrote on the deck back in May here.

The most recent major event I played the loam deck in was the SCG Innovational in New Jersey. This was a split format event and I went 6-1-1 in the legacy partition with the draw being intentional to make top 8. You can find the deck list I played at the invitational here (note that whoever entered the decklist on SCG left out the single Plateau I play).

While we are talking about deck lists, my current version of Loam after the invitational is the following:

Four Color Loam

Land (26)
Badlands
Bayou
Dryad Arbor
Forest
Forgotten Cave
Grove of the Burnwillows
Karakas
Maze of Ith
Nantuko Monastery
Plateau
Savannah
Taiga
Tranquil Thicket
Wasteland
Wooded Foothills

Sorcery (11)
Burning Wish
Devastating Dreams
Green Sun’s Zenith
Life from the Loam

Creature (7)
Gaddock Teeg
Knight of the Reliquary
Tarmogoyf

Instant (6)
Abrupt Decay
Punishing Fire

Artifact (8)
Chalice of the Void
Mox Diamond

Enchantment (2)
Sylvan Library
Sideboard (15)
Bojuka Bog
Chainer’s Edict
Devastating Dreams
Dreadbore
Gaddock Teeg
Green Sun’s Zenith
Life from the Loam
Maelstrom Pulse
Massacre
Perish
Shattering Spree
Slaughter Games
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

If you compare my deck list from back in May to what I am playing now, you will see the changes are not many. I’d like to take a moment to discuss why I’ve made the changes I have.

Goyf over Dark Confidant

The change to our main deck is the dropping of Dark Confidant in favor of Goyf. We made the following swap:
• – 3 Dark Confidant
• +2 Goyf
• +1 Green Sun’s Zenith

There are a few reasons for this swap. The first is that Bob dies, a lot. Bob dies to Lighting Bolt. Bob dies to Punishing Fire. Bob dies to our very own Devastating Dreams. Goyf on the other hand is all about living. He lives through all the cards I listed above and he helps us live when we are staring down opposing Goyfs. When use him in conjunction with our Punishing Fires we can actually break through opposing Goyfs with our Goyf.

I opt’d to add a single Green Sun’s Zenith instead of a third Goyfs because we really want the added flexibility. With Dryad Arbor Green Sun can act as a one mana ramp spell, it can provide an extra Gadock Teeg against a combo deck, or it can find a threat like Goyf or Knight. Flexibility is king in a diverse format like legacy.

Sideboard Additions

Slaughter Games
This is an ace of a sideboard card. Resolving this bad boy against High Tide or Dream Halls and you are almost certain to win. It is also a silver bullet in a Loam mirror. Against Show and Tell decks it is no slouch either! Traditional Sneak & Show generally only beats us with a Sneak Attack – so that is the card you want to Slaughter Games out in that match up.

Massacre
The increase of UWxx decks lately warranted this addition to our board. Being able to Burning Wish for a free spell that kills a Giest of St Traft on a full board is an invaluable tool to have. I’ve also Wished for this card and hard cast it VS the Shardless BUG deck more than once.

Green Sun’s Zenith
The Green Sun in the board is something I’ve gone back and forth on for a while now, but I am fairly certain at this point it is something I want to be playing. This slot essentially allows you to wish for a “creature”. This increases the threat count in your deck by four.

Wrap Up

People always ask me if I plan to continue playing the Loam deck. The answer to the question is quite simple – as long as they keep sending me checks, I will continue casting life from the loams. I’m sure the legacy metagame will eventually move around to a point where this deck isn’t as powerful, but for the time being it is well positioned against all of these fair decks that have a hard time beating an active Punishing Fire combo.

If you have any questions about the changes I made or any other card selection that I didn’t touch on here or in my previous primer – feel free to drop a comment below or tweet to @JeffHoogland

As a semi unrelated aside, I’ve recently started streaming Magic Online Modern events with the UR Delver deck. I played at GP Kansas City. You can find my Twitch.tv stream here Be sure to follow me on twitch or twitter to get updates about when I go live.

Cheers,
~Jeff Hoogland