April 30, 2007
Mattedesa, my name is David Blare and I've been playing for about two years now. I am a big fan the deck garage, and enjoy reading it's fixes. Lately I was playing a game with a friend of mine who has been playing well longer than I. Afterwards he let me look through some of his old cards and as I looked at them an idea formed in my head, if only I could combine some of these cards I could make a really wicked deck, and so I conceived this extended deck which I call 'Seismic taxation'.
I thought the layout seemed sound with Tribe-elders fetching me lands into play while cards such as land tax, loam and wayfarer putting lands into my hand to use for fodder in my main damage engine of seismic assault. Then in case things went very wrong with seismic assault I could fall back on my big creatures such as terravore and eternal dragon to finish the game. And plenty of card draw so that when there are no lands left in the deck I can just draw the business cards, speeds the whole process up too. I think the lands are ok as basic, as my budget doesn't really allow big spending and they also allow easy searching/thinning of my deck.
4 Seismic Assault
3 Life from the Loam
4 Land Tax
2 Thoughts of Ruin
1 Devastating Dreams
My big problem came when I started playing other people and found that I could not deal with their creatures or getting their land to work in my favour if your know what I mean. So please help me make this deck work, I'm sure that there are cards I don't even know about that would really help. I feel it could potentially make a great deck, perhaps even tournament worthy if I could just fix it...
Hello, there, David!
Thanks for sending in this deck, and thanks for complimenting the deck garage. I'll defer that praise to bmoor since I am but a newcomer in this column, but I am proud to be a part of the garage. I hope I can do justice to the reputation he has built. Anyway, I saw your deck in my inbox, and I smiled. This is because you and I have something in common - we both play a deck very much like this! Extended tournaments often feature a deck called Aggro Loam, which uses many of the same cards you have in your deck. There are various different versions that can be found all across the internet.
Like you, I came up with this basic idea on my own, but added a few cards once I saw other people playing similar decks. Let's see if we can compile our knowledge to give your deck that extra little oomph it needs. I do want to make one note, though. I'm sorry to have to tell you that Land Tax is banned from all DCI tournament formats except Vintage. That's not to stop you from playing this deck casually, but I thought you should know that before you try to take it to a tournament!
A big part of your land search is dependent upon you having less land in play than your opponent. This leaves the tension of whether you should play your land or keep it in your hand. To answer this, I use a card called Barrel Down Sokenzan from Saviors of Kamigawa. It allows you to return any number of Mountains to your hand. It then deals damage to target creature equal to twice the number of Mountains returned! Not only does this take out pretty much any creature on the board, it also returns land to your hand so you can pitch it to Seismic Assault, AND you have less land in play, making it easier to use Land Tax and Weathered Wayfarer.
Another card I think would work well for you is Werebear. He's a 1/1 for a green and a colorless, but he taps for a green mana to accelerate your mana production, and, if you have threshold (seven or more cards in your graveyard) he gets +3/+3. If your deck is working at all like it should, that should be no problem, and 4/4 beaters (especially for 2 mana) are always welcome, right?
As for your mana base, I recommend trying to get some of the cycling lands from the Odyssey Block. These work perfectly for this deck. They help fill up your graveyard for the Werebear and Terravore, and you can bring them back with Life from the Loam to keep drawing cards.
Also, keep in mind, that you can cycle a Tranquil Thicket, perhaps, but instead of drawing a card, you could dredge Life from the Loam!
Cool stuff! The cycling lands are commons, so they shouldn't be too hard to find and they won't break the bank.
In my deck, I use Rathi Dragon as my alternate win condition. For only
4 mana, you get a 5/5 flier, and this deck doesn't mind sacrificing Mountains! Perhaps you could switch that out for your Eternal Dragon.
Oh, and if you could get another couple Devastating Dreams, I think it would also help with your problem against heavy creature decks. It might go in place of Thoughts of Ruin, since they are similar cards.
Now comes the hard part - what to take out! The first thing I would drop is the Simian Spirit Guides. Sure, they can occasionally help you get Seismic Assault out earlier, but trading a card for one mana usually isn't a good investment long term. It doesn't even help Threshold! Past that, I'm having a hard time making a good recommendation of what to take out. Perhaps with the card draw from the cycling lands you could afford to drop Harmonize and Browbeat. As hard as it is to see those go, I think it's for the best.
Now for your mana. I would first switch out 4 each of your Forests and Mountains for the cycling lands.Then, because we're a little lighter on the white without the Eternal Dragon, maybe you could play one less Plains and one more Mountain to help out when you get Barrel Down Sokenzan.
I think that's about it! Let's see what you would have if you were to make these changes:
4 Seismic Assault
3 Life from the Loam
4 Land Tax
3 Barrel Down Sokenzan
3 Devastating Dreams
But don't take my word for it and copy this decklist. Make the deck truly your own by combining my advice with what you've already learned from playing your deck. That is for everyone. Don't just copy some decklist from the internet because it won some tournament. Get to know the deck and personalize it so it works best for you! You never know when you'll discover the next awesome combo that takes over the tournament scene!
Other cards worth considering that didn't quite make the cut (These might be a good start on a sideboard while you try out different options for this deck):
- Sensei's Divining Top: Look at the top three, then, if you don't like them, use one of your deck shuffling effects (Tribe Elder, Wayfarer, Land Tax) to look at a different three. Also, another draw/dredge outlet for Life from the Loam.
- Seek the Horizon: Search for three basic lands and put them into your hand. Can you say 6 points damage with Seismic Assault for only 4 mana? (This would be a great fit if you decide to drop Land Tax to make it a tournament legal deck. In that case, I'd drop white
- Kird Ape: If you keep having problems with weenie rushes, he might help give you the couple turns of stall that you need to get going.
Plus, if your opponent is slow getting started, he might swing in a couple times to give you a head start in the damage race.
- Savage Twister/Pyroclasm: Speaking of weenie rushes, these'll stop 'em dead!
Thanks again for sending in your deck! I hope that this gives you some ideas and helps put your deck on that higher level!
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