Deck Tech: Loam Pox with Ali Aintrazi
Shawn Soorani and Ali Aintrazi pose after Ali notches a win with Loam Pox.
National Champion Ali Aintrazi never likes to sleeve up the expected at a Constructed tournament. Today, he's playing a mean twist on Reid Duke's mono-black Pox list, incorporating green for Life from the Loam and some sideboard options.
The Life from the Loam combines with Entomb to offer Ali a ton of potential packages. He can use Loam to fuel Raven's Crime, chain Wastelands, or just assemble a very specific set of reusable bullets. Fighting Dredge? Bojuka Bog. Need threats against control? Mishra's Factory can beat them down.
Opponent swarming the board? Try Tabernacle on for size. The Lands deck has shown us that Legacy has a plethora of powerful mana sources; many operating on the same level as spells!
The most crucial “package” Ali has added to the deck is a singleton Vampire Hexmage and Dark Depths, alongside Volrath's Stronghold. That gives Ali the ability to make a 20/20 over and over, using his draw steps to resurrect the two-card combo. The only real way to break this up is to attack Life from the Loam itself, with Extirpate or Surgical Extraction being effective against the sorcery, while an effect like Tormod's Crypt might be able to catch one of the pieces at an inopportune time.
Beyond that, the deck operates much like a normal Pox strategy. Deny the opponent enough resources, and they'll be reduced to relying on topdecks to make it back in the game. While this can be a weakness—after all, card quality in Legacy is so high that topdecked victories are commonplace—Ali has used a more robust set of resources to help him close games more efficiently. Being able to deal a floundering opponent twenty damage tends to end the game in short order!
Of course, grinding them out with Nether Spirit and Scroll is also acceptable the vast majority of the time, especially when Mishra's Factory can chip in here and there.
After playing a few rounds, Ali is keen to make some changes. He realized too late that Barren Moor and Worm Harvest would both have given him access to powerful plays in the endgame, the former generating card advantage while the latter could fuel a quick kill via 1/1 tokens. “Cursed Scroll is not very good in my deck,” he added, noting the weak interaction with life from the Loam itself. Normally, the Scroll is a powerful control tool, but Ali has realized he should be looking elsewhere.
If you'd like to make sure your opponent has very little mana (and very little chance), then Ali's deck might be the build for you!