eff Hoogland had a pretty good run in Milwaukee the weekend before last, finishing in the Top 4 in Standard and making the finals in Legacy. His Legacy deck is an interesting take on "Aggro Loam"—a Life from the Loam–powered shell that has existed across multiple formats where the card is legal. Jeff's take eschews Seismic Assault, favoring Punishing Fire as its recurring damage source, and leans heavily on making an extremely powerful two-mana play, ideally on turn one with Mox Diamond.
The potential two-mana plays at his disposal are Dark Confidant, Sylvan Library, Chalice of the Void, and Life from the Loam (Burning Wish, Abrupt Decay, Punishing Fire, Gaddock Teeg, and Devastating Dreams each also cost two, but they aren't really what he's looking to do as his first two-mana play). Chalice of the Void for two (X=1) cripples a huge number of decks in Legacy, but all it does to Jeff is stop him from using Green Sun Zenith to find Dryad Arbor with X=0 (he can still find Dryad Arbor with Green Sun's Zenith, he just has to spend an extra mana). Any of the other plays potentially offer a huge string of card advantage. Dark Confidant and Sylvan Library cost life to draw extra cards, but when Jeff can get so many cards so early, the opponent is unlikely to be able to mount much of a relevant offense, and the life spent can easily pay for itself.
The real lesson of decks like this is just how powerful Mox Diamond can be. The ability to trade a card for a lasting jump in mana is powerful, but when a deck is built around trading that mana back for more cards, as this one does, the combination can easily put the deck way ahead of an opponent by every metric, resulting in extremely lopsided games.
Jeff Hoogland's Legacy Aggro Loam
Legacy – 2nd Place, StarCityGames.com Open, Milwaukee
Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for StarCityGames.com. He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013. If you have an original deck you'd like to see featured, email him with the link above.