Modern Spotlight: Splendid Loam

This deck showed up at a few PPTQs the other week, and was brewed by a few judges from farther south than we are. The deck is sweet though!

Creatures (8)
Countryside Crusher
Satyr Wayfinder

Spells (26)
Molten Vortex
Seismic Assault
Lightning Axe
Lightning Bolt
Edge of Autumn
Flame Jab
Life from the Loam
Magmatic Insight
Splendid Reclamation
Lands (26)
Forest
Mountain
Cinder Glade
Stomping Ground
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
Jaddi Offshoot
Kitchen Finks
Undergrowth Champion
Blood Moon
Nature’s Claim

I wasn’t really sold on Splendid Reclamation when I first saw it, thinking it would take too much work to actually make work. However, the deck seems really sweet and it performed well over the weekend. For an unproven deck, that seems pretty darn good!

Early Interaction

Molten Vortex is a workhorse of a card at times, and the ability to play it on turn 1 and then start sniping creatures is a super powerful effect against any small creature deck (Affinity, Infect, Abzan Company). In addition to that the deck plays 5 “lightning” cards to kill slightly larger things, and also Flame Jab to work like a “bad” Vortex, yet being able to kill a turn 1 dork if needed. Once the deck gets running it becomes extremely challenging for creature based decks to beat you, as the combination of Life from the Loam and Seismic Assault nets you an easy 6 damage each turn if needed. Killed all of their creatures? Just send the damage right at them to end the game fairly quickly.

More Damage

Countryside Crusher is a real workhorse in the deck, enabling you to dumb a ton of lands into the graveyard really quickly (if the stars align), and potentially growing very quickly to do a lot of damage. The synergy of being able to put a land into the graveyard in response to a Lightning Bolt is also really great, and one of the big benefits of playing Edge of Autumn. Crusher also lets you apply pressure against durdly decks, which is sometimes exactly what you need.

Combo Finish

Much like Scapeshift, this deck can win on the spot by resolving a 4 mana sorcery. Unlike my primary deck, Reclamation can deal smaller amounts of damage when necessary (you have 3 mountains in play, 3 in graveyard, plus a Valakut, thus doing 9 damage on resolution). This allows you to play it to finish off your opponent, or sometimes you’ll end up being able to just one shot your opponent from an extremely high life total. Dredging Loam, playing Satyr Wayfinder, or putting lands into your graveyard through cycling Edge of Autumn or casting Magmatic Insight all help enable the finish.

Conclusion

This deck looks sweet, and I can’t wait to try it. It’s also brand new, which means there is no definitive best list. Tons of room for customization, and probably hidden gems out there yet to be found. I can’t wait to sleeve it up sometime.

Chris Wendelboe

Chris is a level 2 judge from Ashland, New Hampshire. He enjoys Scapeshift, modern, and putting on the best events possible.