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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

Image from Wizards.com

Life from the Loam

Reviewed April 18, 2007

Constructed: 4.15
Casual: 3.92
Limited: 1.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 

Jeff Zandi

 5 Time Pro Tour

Level II DCI Judge

Life from the Loam

Recipient of the Jeffery D. Zandi Award for Best Card of the Week. Life from the Loam first made it onto my radar screen in Extended a couple of years ago as the latest in a long line of powerful enablers for the mighty Psychatog. Life from the Loam never did THAT much for Standard or block constructed decks, but it has been an Extended mainstay since it first arrived a year or so ago. Unfortunately, this card is about the only Ravnica card with Dredge that was not useful in limited play.



Life from the Loam

Once again, this card is an incredible source of power, but ONLY if you have a deck that sincerely expects to discard (or dredge away) a lot of lands-- otherwise it's sideboard fodder against LD.

Constructed- 4.9
Casual- 3.9
Limited- 1.5


A very overlooked card when it first came out, but it didn't take long for people to realize the combo potential of this thing. Life from the Loam powered many decks in Extended including the powerhouses Dredge-A-Tog and CAL thanks to the card advantage you get from using this to recycle cycling lands and fill the graveyard (Tog), as well as give yourself cards in hand to maintain Solitary Confinement or pitch to Seismic Assault (CAL). The power to get card advantage, fill your graveyard up for abuse, as well as kill your opponent with those cards or keep yourself alive, all make this a great card.

Just make sure you don't play it in limited.

In casual, it's a pretty neat draw engine to have if you want a draw engine without having to play blue.

Constructed - 4.5
Casual - 4
Limited - 1 (ditto from yesterday)
David Fanany This card had a bunch of people scratching their heads when it appeared in Ravnica. At the time, many of us thought its use was nothing much more complicated than recurring Onslaught fetchlands. Then Aggro Loam came along and showed us what Life from the Loam can really do. It turns Devastating Dreams into a one-sided prison card. It allows endless damage with Seismic Assault. In Standard, it allows endless card draw with Trade Routes and gets Mystic Enforcer to threshold in two turns. That's even before getting to the endless number of things you can do with it in large casual card pools. Like many such cards, though, it's less than stellar in limited play. If you were to make a dredge-based deck with the likes of Shambling Shell and Golgari Brownscale, it lets you start the dredging on turn 3 (you don't have to have any lands in your graveyard to play it), but that's about it.

Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 5/5
Limited: 2/5

Reviews by Arcane

Life from the Loam

Constructed: The backbone card of a quite a few Dredge based decks, Life from the Loam has been chased by Extended players since it came out. Currently (and if you’ve been paying attention to the other reviews this week you’ll know) it’s part of the Aggro Loam deck to help recover after a Balancing act or Devastating Dreams. It also sees a lot of use in the G/W slide decks using the cycling lands as well as Eternal Witness and Loxodon Heirarch. It’s a Johnny-riffic combo card that makes quite a few decks right now, and on top of that it gives you a way of recovering from land destruction decks and net card advantage; they use three stone rains to eliminate your lands and you use one loam to get them all back. Other than that it won’t do much else without some kind of combo to back it up though.

Casual/Multi: A solid card for a variety of kitchen table decks. Helps your dredge theme decks, or a seismic assault deck, or even to help you recover from the one person at the table who thinks their land destruction deck is “fun” and “casual.” It was actually for a fun combo deck that I first sought after Loam (thankfully managing to get a playset cheap and easily before it became popular and chase) based around using Loam, Vinelasher Kudzu, Dark Heart of the Wood and Azusa Lost but Seeking to sac forests for life, loam them back and they power up my kudzu. A fun deck idea like this are just some of the possibilities that can be exploited with the card in a non-spike environment, but again the card does very little on its own.

Limited: If this card is a diamond in the Extended environment then limited is where this is just a lump of coal. Land destruction effects are not only sparse in limited, but they’re also usually not the best strategy as they are not a threat or removal. This means that Loam will most often sit in your hand unused. If you have a bunch of cards with discard costs you might use it, but in the Ravnica block the only real time you’d want to use discard effects is to hit Hellbent, which means you don’t want cards in your hand. Could be considered in a combo with cards like Rakdos Guildmage, Nihilistic Glee, or Dark Heart of the wood; these options are all narrow and odds are won’t win you the game.

Constructed: 3*
Casual: 3.5*
Limited: 1.5

*Rated based on the fact that it does nothing on its own, and not based on the decks it is used in.
Life from the loam:

This card is amazing! Extended decks are abusing it as a card advantage engine with the cycling lands. Standard decks are abusing it as a way to obtain lands, and a dredge engine to fill up the graveyard. Just watch out for graveyard hate.

Constructed: 5/5
Casual: 3.5/5
Limited: 1/5

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