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Much Abrew: Jund Assault Loam (Modern, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're continuing our quest to play all of the decent cards from Modern Horizons with the most expensive card from the set: Wrenn and Six! Assault Loam—a deck looking to use Seismic Assault to discard lands for damage and then Life from the Loam to return lands from our graveyard to our hand (to discard for even more damage)—has been around for a while (especially in Legacy) but gets some sweet additions from Modern Horizons in Wrenn and Six and, perhaps more importantly, the cycling lands. Can these upgrades make the grindy, graveyard-centric deck competitive in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we can talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Jund Assault Loam

Discussion

  • Record-wise, we're apparently good at beating Izzet Phoenix (which is actually pretty important now that Bridge from Below is banned and Izzet Phoenix will likely replace Hogaak as the top deck in the format) but bad at beating everything else. Over the course of our league, we beat Izzet Phoenix twice, had close matches against traditional Jund and Mono-Red Phoenix that ended with losses (the latter thanks to a sideboard Blood Moon jank-out), and got crushed by an Orzhov Smallpox deck that seemed to have infinite graveyard hate in the main deck, giving us an overall record of 2-3. 
  • That said, it's important to point out that Bridge from Below was still legal when our league was recorded; as a result, everyone was playing about a million graveyard-hate spells, which happen to be very good against Assault Loam. So it's possible that the deck would perform better now in our post-banning world as people will likely ease up a bit on the number of graveyard hate spells in their deck since Hogaak is no longer the biggest threat in the format.
  • Apart from getting blown out by graveyard hate, the biggest problem with the deck was the mana. Somehow, Jund Assault Loam plays a massive 27 lands but still manages to have poor mana. Seismic Assault is quite taxing on the mana base with its triple-red cost, which means fetching our shock lands in the early game to be able to play early spells into our namesake enchantment. This not only leads to a lot of unnecessary damage but also opens us up to getting blown out by Blood Moon, which happened against Mono-Red Phoenix.
  • Speaking of lands, the other issue we had with Jund Assault Loam is just straight-up flooding out. We have 27 lands, but our curve mostly stops at three, apart from a playset of Bloodbraid Elf in the four-drop slot. Having a ton of lands is great when we get our Seismic Assault / Life from the Loam ending going but also leads to games where we draw a ton of lands and little action and die without doing anything relevant. Either cutting down on the total number of lands slightly or adding more land payoffs (maybe moving Tireless Tracker to the main deck) would improve the deck a lot.
  • The good news about Jund Assault Loam is that assuming we dodge graveyard hate, the engine of Seismic Assault and Life from the Loam is close to unbeatable in some matchups. With the addition of Wrenn and Six, we can set up a situation where we have four lands to discard to Seismic Assault every turn! In the early game, it often ends up being a repeatable wrath, essentially locking our opponent out of playing creatures, and we can eventually turn this damage to our opponent's face to close out the game. Our matches against Izzet Phoenix were great examples of this, where no matter how many times our opponent got Thing in the Ice or Arclight Phoenix on the battlefield, we were able to easily kill our opponent's threats for free by discarding lands to Seismic Assault.
  • One interesting possibility we discussed during an impromptu brewing session at the end of our league was dropping red from our deck altogether. Thanks to Ayula's Influence, we now have a Seismic Assault in green, and not having to splash a triple-red enchantment would make our mana about 100% better. Something more of a hybrid midrange / combo deck with Dark Confidant and Tireless Tracker to back up the Life from the Loam engine seems like it could have potential. When I play the deck again, this is where I plan to start.
  • So, should you play Jund Assault Loam in Modern? As it is, June Assault Loam felt like it had potential but wasn't quite where it needed to be to compete, although it will likely get better by default thanks to the Bridge from Below banning. It could be competitive with a handful of changes, especially if people skimp on graveyard hate now that Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis is less of a threat. I think there is something to the cycling land, Life from the Loam, and Wrenn and Six engine, but finding the right body to support the engine is going to take some work. As such, I probably wouldn't run back the deck as-is, but it is good enough work on. The potential is there and very apparent in some of our best matches (especially by crushing Izzet Phoenix twice). If you have some idea of how we can fix the deck's issues and improve on the build, make sure to let me know in the comments!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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