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Thread: [Primer] Miracle Loam

  1. #1
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    [Primer] Miracle Loam

    I've been brewing a spicy miracle deck for a while. I name it "Miracle Loam", since it's superficially a combination of Miracles and Four-color Loam. Here is the link of the primer of the deck that I recently finished writing up:

    https://github.com/wenxuanjia/MTG_Legacy_Miracle_Loam/blob/main/MTG_Legacy_Miracle_Loam_Primer.pdf


    I'm more than happy to receive any feedbacks. There are more competitive events in the future that I'm planning to attend with my deck in hope for good results.

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    Re: [Primer] Miracle Loam

    Innovative deck and beautiful guide! And congratulations on getting so close to your goal of getting all the cards signed, nonfoil, and Chinese. The deck looks great. It and the guide are clearly a labor of love.

    One thing I noticed early on is that you say, "Four-color Loam first appeared in 2013 at the SCG Open Series Atlanta by Jeff Hoogland." This isn't true, and claims like these shouldn't be in your guide. They don't benefit the guide in any way. Just say that your inspiration for the Loam side of your control deck was that specific Hoogland list. 4c Loam grew out of the existing Aggro Loam shell, which dates back to at least 2007. You can view the developmental threads here for history:

    2010 thread:
    https://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/...ght=aggro+loam

    2007 thread:
    https://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/...DTW-Aggro-Loam

    Another 2007 thread:
    https://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/...-from-the-Loam

    I myself was playing a build of the archetype in 2011.

    In your Drawbacks & Dreams section that mentions "more Brainstorms," you might explore Brainstone.

    Two decks you might be interested reading about are CAB Jace and It's the Fear, which both were hard-control decks using Life from the Loam and similar engines.
    CAB Jace: http://deckcheck.magic-hl.de/deck.php?id=19190
    An article about CAB Jace. Carsten was using Treasure Hunt in this list he wrote about: https://articles.starcitygames.com/a...cean-cab-jace/

    It's the Fear: https://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/...in-the-new-Era

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    Re: [Primer] Miracle Loam

    Thanks for the kind words and review!!

    I was aware of the Aggro Loam while doing the research on the 4C-Loam history. They are more on the aggro side of the deck than control side, which is the one that I'm mainly introducing. But I'll revise this part before uploading another version on github.

    I've thought about Brainstone before when the deck has a single-copy of Urza's Saga. It feels like a clunky card that I would rather replace it with a Portent. Being colorless is also not helpful with FoW and Endurances.

    The Forbid in CAB Jace looks interesting. It's like a pseudo-infinite FoW when we have the card-advantage engine running. But it's not the major problem of the deck. I need to find cards that help me survive until the engine is running. Jace also doesn't work well with Wasteland. 4 mana is too expensive for main deck and Minsc is just better for sideboard.

    Vedalken Shackles looks nice and doens't conflict with Terminus. However, it's colorless and can't deal with big threats like Murktide Regent. Other 3-drop like Teferi, Time Raveler is still better.

    I actually brought my list to a reasonably large tournament this year - SCG Baltimore Legacy 10K and 5K. The list is here:

    https://mtgdecks.net/Legacy/miracle-loam

    Luckily, my brew was featured in the weekly legacy article on mtggoldfish that week

    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/articles/this-week-in-legacy-player-spotlight-series-the-knight-of-the-reliquary

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    Re: [Primer] Miracle Loam

    Have you tried Up the Beanstalk in your deck? It seems a good fit for Green Miracles.

    It's a 2CMC cantrip (good for CB curve), then it draws you a card with Force of Will, Terminus, Entreat the Angels, Triumph of Saint Katherine, and maybe even Prismatic Ending.

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    Re: [Primer] Miracle Loam

    Overall it's a great primer and good explanation of the deck and matchups.

    Like ESG said, just be careful about the history part, especially making bold statements like claiming someone was the first to design a deck or claiming it's the only or best draw-go control deck in the format.

    Legacy is a vast format with a long history. The competitive field is small and stagnant now, but back in the day Legacy was the #2 format (after Standard). It had many large tournaments, so it had a lot of competitive play, deck development, and brewing. Much but not all is documented on these forums. A lot of players around the world tried a lot of things. Claims of "first" or "best" are probably wrong, and they're unnecessary to the primer so why bother?

    The Miracles deck only started when the Miracle mechanic was printed (Avacyn Restored), but a similar UWx draw-go CounterTop control deck existed before it. Many variations of CounterTop were tier 1 in 2009-2011 Legacy. Many ran green. Some splashed Loam.

    Slow UWx draw-go control existed long before Miracles. Landstill was Tier 1 since the early days of Legacy until at least 2010. Landstill's even slower and more durdly than Miracles! Especially in the old days when the wincon was to pass 20 turns and then cycle Decree of Justice or Mindslaver lock them! Variations of UWx control were also common in Extended before that. UWx draw-go goes back at least as far as The Deck in 1995. It's always been a staple archetype of Magic, long before CounterTop or Miracles.

    The main contribution of Miracles was a 1-mana wrath (Terminus), so control could finally beat mana denial aggro. Before that Aether Vial creature swarm decks like Goblins & Merfolk & Slivers & Death and Taxes could use Wasteland + Daze/Port/Thalia to keep control decks from casting 4-mana Wraths, thwarting control from stabilizing. Instant speed 1-mana Terminus meant Miracles could handle mana denial aggro better. The miracle mechanic naturally fit into CounterTop shells, while it was harder to exploit in other decks with less library manipulation, so that gave CounterTop Miracles the edge over other control decks at the time (Landstill, Stoneblade, mono blue Shackles, BUG Intuition Loam, etc). Imho that's why Miracles took over. Before that blue control was diverse with many variations.

    Loam has also been a Legacy archetype since the early days. Aggro Loam is the oldest shell with multicolor and Mox Diamond to skip to 2 cmc, but there were Loam control decks too. BUG Intuition Loam was around for years. It was a control deck using Intuition to "tutor" for a 3-card package that would all end up in your hand. The package was usually Loam + 2 lands or Loam + Academy Ruins + artifact (EE), depending on the board state. I played many decks like that around 2009-2010ish. It was a multicolor reactive control deck with Force of Will & Brainstorm but also a Loam package. Some of them had CounterTop packages too (Terminus was not printed yet, so it is not fair to disqualify them just for lacking Miracles). Other decks like It's the Fear existed too. There were so many variations of blue control piles before Terminus made CounterTop Miracles emerge as the top one.

    Since the Top banning, many Miracles players tried Scroll Rack as an enabler. Some players used Land Tax in a combined Parfait-CB deck. I was playing a lot of that around 2020 and started a thread on it in N&D. I'm far from the first player to play that. It plays out similar to your deck, except it uses Land Tax instead of Loam to get lands to feed Scroll Rack (no graveyard dependence). Otherwise it also used Scroll Rack to support Counterbalance, backed by the usual staples (Force, Brainstorm, Ponder, Swords, Prismatic, Teferi, Terminus). Reeplcheep's Bumbleberry pie had Counterbalance at one point and might have tried Scroll Rack (at other times he had Soothsaying, I think).

    There's been a lot of Counterbalance brewing over the years.

    Imho there's no need to go back to the roots of CounterTop, Miracles, or Loam, or make claims about origins. You could just say you're innovating by combining Loam/Uro with Miracles, using it as a way to fuel Scroll Rack. The rest on deck construction and matchup is very informative and great work!!

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    Re: [Primer] Miracle Loam

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Have you tried Up the Beanstalk in your deck? It seems a good fit for Green Miracles.

    It's a 2CMC cantrip (good for CB curve), then it draws you a card with Force of Will, Terminus, Entreat the Angels, Triumph of Saint Katherine, and maybe even Prismatic Ending.

    Yeah, I've actually been testing beans with miracles. There are two ways to do it, one with blue mana base and Yorion while the other one is green-white only. The 80-Yorion version dilutes beans heavily so the play experience is just like a 4C control (less fun). The GW version is interesting to play. The list I tested is here:

    4 [4ED:52] Swords to Plowshares
    3 [4ED:366] Plains
    4 [DIS:99] Utopia Sprawl
    4 [AVR:38] Terminus
    4 [AVR:20] Entreat the Angels
    3 [4ED:273] Sylvan Library
    4 [MH2:32] Solitude
    4 [NEO:28] March of Otherworldly Light
    4 [4ED:377] Forest
    4 [ONS:328] Windswept Heath
    2 [USG:325] Serra's Sanctum
    4 [40K:17] Triumph of Saint Katherine
    4 [MH1:244] Prismatic Vista
    1 [NEO:266] Boseiju, Who Endures
    1 [EMA:240] Karakas
    1 [ME4:250] Savannah
    4 [4ED:289] Wild Growth
    4 [WOE:195] Up the Beanstalk
    1 [NPH:118] Noxious Revival


    It's a bit off-topic to get in depth with this deck. I'll just say that four beans are not enough to get the card-advantage engine running. If they print another card with same effect as Beans, it would be a functional deck. Otherwise, just play Enchantress.

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    Re: [Primer] Miracle Loam

    The GW version alone seems worse than Enchantress.

    As Bant Miracles with Yorion, the big advantage is you are always guaranteed a 5 cmc (Yorion) and flickering Beanstalk gives another draw on top of that. Any other draws are gravy, yet likely to happen. However you can't run as many high CMCs as 5c Zenith / 4c Beanstalk decks, due to the Counterbalance curve, unless you cut CB-Rack. Those decks can get a lot of value out of Beans through Leyline Binding, Solitude, Lorien Revealed...

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    Re: [Primer] Miracle Loam

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    The GW version alone seems worse than Enchantress.

    As Bant Miracles with Yorion, the big advantage is you are always guaranteed a 5 cmc (Yorion) and flickering Beanstalk gives another draw on top of that. Any other draws are gravy, yet likely to happen. However you can't run as many high CMCs as 5c Zenith / 4c Beanstalk decks, due to the Counterbalance curve, unless you cut CB-Rack. Those decks can get a lot of value out of Beans through Leyline Binding, Solitude, Lorien Revealed...
    Indeed. The GW version is pretty bad so I suggested just playing Enchantress instead. Both of them share the same gist.

    If I cut CB-Rack, then the deck is pretty much identical to current 4c yorion control. 4C yorion is certainly a better deck but I enjoy more with the current Miracle Loam strategy.

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    Re: [Primer] Miracle Loam

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Overall it's a great primer and good explanation of the deck and matchups.

    Like ESG said, just be careful about the history part, especially making bold statements like claiming someone was the first to design a deck or claiming it's the only or best draw-go control deck in the format.

    Legacy is a vast format with a long history. The competitive field is small and stagnant now, but back in the day Legacy was the #2 format (after Standard). It had many large tournaments, so it had a lot of competitive play, deck development, and brewing. Much but not all is documented on these forums. A lot of players around the world tried a lot of things. Claims of "first" or "best" are probably wrong, and they're unnecessary to the primer so why bother?

    The Miracles deck only started when the Miracle mechanic was printed (Avacyn Restored), but a similar UWx draw-go CounterTop control deck existed before it. Many variations of CounterTop were tier 1 in 2009-2011 Legacy. Many ran green. Some splashed Loam.

    Slow UWx draw-go control existed long before Miracles. Landstill was Tier 1 since the early days of Legacy until at least 2010. Landstill's even slower and more durdly than Miracles! Especially in the old days when the wincon was to pass 20 turns and then cycle Decree of Justice or Mindslaver lock them! Variations of UWx control were also common in Extended before that. UWx draw-go goes back at least as far as The Deck in 1995. It's always been a staple archetype of Magic, long before CounterTop or Miracles.

    The main contribution of Miracles was a 1-mana wrath (Terminus), so control could finally beat mana denial aggro. Before that Aether Vial creature swarm decks like Goblins & Merfolk & Slivers & Death and Taxes could use Wasteland + Daze/Port/Thalia to keep control decks from casting 4-mana Wraths, thwarting control from stabilizing. Instant speed 1-mana Terminus meant Miracles could handle mana denial aggro better. The miracle mechanic naturally fit into CounterTop shells, while it was harder to exploit in other decks with less library manipulation, so that gave CounterTop Miracles the edge over other control decks at the time (Landstill, Stoneblade, mono blue Shackles, BUG Intuition Loam, etc). Imho that's why Miracles took over. Before that blue control was diverse with many variations.

    Loam has also been a Legacy archetype since the early days. Aggro Loam is the oldest shell with multicolor and Mox Diamond to skip to 2 cmc, but there were Loam control decks too. BUG Intuition Loam was around for years. It was a control deck using Intuition to "tutor" for a 3-card package that would all end up in your hand. The package was usually Loam + 2 lands or Loam + Academy Ruins + artifact (EE), depending on the board state. I played many decks like that around 2009-2010ish. It was a multicolor reactive control deck with Force of Will & Brainstorm but also a Loam package. Some of them had CounterTop packages too (Terminus was not printed yet, so it is not fair to disqualify them just for lacking Miracles). Other decks like It's the Fear existed too. There were so many variations of blue control piles before Terminus made CounterTop Miracles emerge as the top one.

    Since the Top banning, many Miracles players tried Scroll Rack as an enabler. Some players used Land Tax in a combined Parfait-CB deck. I was playing a lot of that around 2020 and started a thread on it in N&D. I'm far from the first player to play that. It plays out similar to your deck, except it uses Land Tax instead of Loam to get lands to feed Scroll Rack (no graveyard dependence). Otherwise it also used Scroll Rack to support Counterbalance, backed by the usual staples (Force, Brainstorm, Ponder, Swords, Prismatic, Teferi, Terminus). Reeplcheep's Bumbleberry pie had Counterbalance at one point and might have tried Scroll Rack (at other times he had Soothsaying, I think).

    There's been a lot of Counterbalance brewing over the years.

    Imho there's no need to go back to the roots of CounterTop, Miracles, or Loam, or make claims about origins. You could just say you're innovating by combining Loam/Uro with Miracles, using it as a way to fuel Scroll Rack. The rest on deck construction and matchup is very informative and great work!!

    Thanks for painstakingly introducing the history!

    The history section of the document is to provide a short background of the deck and the strategy itself. It serves as a simple literature review. However, it's difficult to trace back the exact date or event where Miracle Loam occured in the history. I would definitely credit and cite them if I can find any, but the content in the article is all I got from searching through history. If someone has created this type of strategy before in this forum, we should merge the thread to avoid repetitive reinvention of the wheels. Besides, I don't think I've claimed any deck is/was the best draw-go deck in the format. Miracle Loam is certainly NOT!

    Could you please provide any links to the old decks that you mentioned? Like decks that are very representative of CB-Rack strategy. I'll add them in the history section. It's nice to have a space that collects inspiring thoughts from the past.

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    Re: [Primer] Miracle Loam

    Slogurk, the Overslime is a great card inspired by Kihara_Works's list in MO Legacy Super Qualifier. I'm actively testing them now. They fit Miracle Loam very well and serve as additional Loam effects.

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