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By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Mar 28 2014 12:00pm
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It's land week here at PureMTGO, and luckily the replays have come back to MTGO!  Which means that I can build and showcase a deck for everyone!  Yay!

So when I heard it was land week my very first thought was Child of Alara.  You can use Maze's End, plus a ton of Wrath and Akroma's Vengeance variants to keep the board clean.  That way most of the time you just have lands in play.  Tons of specialty lands in all 5 colors can bring a bunch of utility to the deck.  However...  that deck sounds miserable to play, and even more miserable to play against.  Seriously, who just wants to wipe the board over and over again?  Imagine how long the games must be if you play that thing?  Ugh.

What other land themed Commander is out there?  Why not one that actually uses the land for offense?  Who can pick up huge tracts of land and chuck them at the opponents?  No, Monty Python, not those tracts of land!  Instead I'm talking about a large cyclops that can pick up dirt and soil and then toss it for fun and profit!  I mean angry Borborygmos!

I've seen a couple of Bobo decks but he hasn't been that popular.  He costs 8 mana, which is a whole heck of a lot, so obviously there needs to be a lot of ramp.  Life from the Loam means having a continuous amount of stuff to throw.  And a small Landfall theme, and you got yourself a deck!

Borborygmos Enraged
A Commander Deck
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Acidic Slime
1 Avenger of Zendikar
1 Azusa, Lost but Seeking
1 Courser of Kruphix
1 Eternal Witness
1 Groundskeeper
1 Lotus Cobra
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Rampaging Baloths
1 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
1 Rubblehulk
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Yavimaya Elder
14 cards

Other Spells
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Grim Monolith
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Memory Jar
1 Mind's Eye
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Seer's Sundial
1 Sol Ring
1 Storm Cauldron
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Abundance
1 Exploration
1 Sylvan Library
1 Keen Sense
1 Snake Umbra
1 Beast Within
1 Chaos Warp
1 Deglamer
1 Nature's Claim
1 Realms Uncharted
1 Sprouting Vines
1 Unravel the Aether
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Garruk, Primal Hunter
1 Blasphemous Act
1 Boundless Realms
1 Creeping Renaissance
1 Cultivate
1 Explore
1 Gamble
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Journey of Discovery
1 Kodama's Reach
1 Life from the Loam
1 Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
1 Nature's Lore
1 Reforge the Soul
1 Regrowth
1 Scapeshift
1 Skyshroud Claim
1 Three Visits
1 Vandalblast
1 Wheel of Fortune
44 cards
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Arid Mesa
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Fire-Lit Thicket
1 Forgotten Cave
1 High Market
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Raging Ravine
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Slippery Karst
1 Smoldering Crater
10 Snow-Covered Forest
9 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Stomping Ground
1 Strip Mine
1 Taiga
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
41 cards

1 Borborygmos Enraged
1 cards
Borborygmos Enraged


Not your typical Gruul deck.

Deck Tech

So this is a very Commander themed deck, and since he costs 8 mana we have to have a lot of ramp.  And you are probably going to have to cast him more than once.  The most I paid for him was 16 mana so just be prepared.  There's not only Green staples like Cultivate and Kodama's Reach, there's also artifact ramp like Mana Vault and Grim Monolith.  Azusa and Oracle of Mul Daya help you play multiple lands a turn.  Green Sun's Zenith for Dryad Arbor is almost like a first turn Sol Ring!  (I said almost, since obviously nothing else is really that good.)  And for big stuff at the end there's always Boundless Realms.  And since you're going to be tossing lands at people, you're going to want to make sure that your land count is a little higher than normal.  42 is about enough, but feel free to go higher if you want.

cultivate boundless realms life from the loam

The lands are obviously important in the deck.  Since I'm running Azusa and Crucible of Worlds, running a ton of fetch lands is nice.  Life from the Loam obviously works well with the fetches, as well as all the cycling lands.  And who can forget Kessig Wolf Run?

Card draw is important, because either you've dumped your hand with all your ramp, or you want to draw into more ramp.  Wheel of Fortune, Reforge the Soul and Memory Jar do the heavy lifting here.  Removal includes auto-includes Deglamer and (Unravel the Ather) since there are always a ton of gods running around, plus Oblivion Stone.  Due to the low creature count Blasphemous Act rarely slows you down.  With the high amount of lands, Landfall guys like Avenger of Zendikar and Rampaging Baloths are both pretty sweet.

reforge the soul snake umbra unravel the aether

A couple of cards work really well with Bobo.  Life from the Loam gives you stuff to toss.  If you enchant Bobo with either Keen Sense or Snake Umbra, you can draw stuff for tossing lands.  This works really well if you have Loam going and a decent amount of mana.  Or, you can just pick lands with Abundance!  Plus Abundance works really well with Sylvan Library.

A couple of issues with the deck.  First, it is very dependent on having Bobo.  Sure, you can get lucky with Avenger of Zendikar, but most of the time if Bobo gets tucked you are going to have a very long and difficult game.  Make sure and take out White players first due to their large amount of tuck effects.  The  deck can also have problems if you're stuck on 6 mana.  For most decks this should be enough, but not in this deck.  The deck is also usually not very aggressive.   The low creature count is strange for a Gruul deck, and if you're used to attacking early this might not be the deck for you.  Finally, the deck can feel a little durdley at times.  If you don't like clicking multiple things each turn while messing around with Life from the Loam this deck may not be for you.

Two cards that did not make the cut are Seismic Assault and Prismatic Omen.  Yes, the Omen works really well with Valakut, but that's about the only card.  It just didn't do enough for me.  Assault isn't bad, but it isn't good as Bobo.  There's a big difference between getting a Shock versus a Lightning Bolt for your land.  Honestly though, this deck sort of built itself and I'm guessing there isn't a lot of variation amongst Bobo decks.  Sure, I'm running Storm Cauldron and Rubblehulk but I'm guessing a lot of other Bobo decks do as well.

How does it work?  Let's watch!

Game 1

So here's how a lot of my games went.  Some of my early ramp gets Wrath'd away early, while the control decks set up.  I am able to get Bobo out and use his land tossing ability to keep some of the small creatures on the board in control, but the Thrax player blows stuff up with Damnation again.  The Erebos player seems to have a slight zombie theme, but the Thrax player appears to be a bigger threat, eating people's graveyards with Withered Wretch and trying to use Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker before I use Beast Within to get rid of it.  Everyone else beats up on Thrax and gets him into Bolt range so I can toss a land at him and take him out.

At this point everyone's graveyards have fun stuff in it, so Erebos uses Rise of the Dark Realms to bring everything back.  Luckily I can blow up his Black Mike so that Kemba can Wrath and clear the board again.  I am able to draw Life from the Loam and use it with Bobo to start dinging players.  I am able to use Blasphemous Act to keep things under control, and then after a couple turns I get Bobo out with Snake Umbra, and I have enough mana to use Loam with the Umbra to toss enough lands at my opponents to win.

Game 2

Those poor fish!  Anyways, I'm teamed up with Daxos in this Two Headed Giant game, and we're going up against 2 Karador decks.  This is a rough match up for me since my only graveyard hate is Scavenging Ooze.  However I have a pretty fast start with a ton of ramp with Rofellos and Lotus Cobra.  The Karadors are playing mana elves, which is never a good sign.  I am able to on turn 4 play Avenger of Zendikar and get 6 plants.  One of the Karadors uses Imperial Seal and throws out a Bloodgift Demon, forgetting that Daxos can sneak by the big demon.  Turns out the tutor was for Damnation but he can't use it after getting hit by Daxos.  That's when I Scapeshift, dropping my opponents from 74 to 17.

The other Karador tutors up Peacekeeper and also has Benevolent Bodyguard in play to slow me down.  Luckily, my teammate tries to Oblivion Ring the Peacekeeper, making the Karador player use the Bodyguard.  I then cast Bobo, throw a land at the Peacekeeper (awesome flavor there!) and swing for the win on turn 5.  Let me just say that although this was an extremely quick game, most of them didn't go like this. 

Game 3

This is another game where I'm able to ramp early, but instead of mana dudes I get out Boundless Realms.  This makes me public enemy number 1.  Add that to the fact that I'm using Sylvan Library to draw the occasional card, and I'm quickly down to 20 life.  However right after I get Bobo into play the Teysa player Wraths.  Still I have enough mana to get Bobo back out there.  But I have a ton of mana, and Kessig Wolf Run in play.  I attack Teysa who doesn't block with her Silent Arbiter.  Maybe she didn't see my Wolf Run, but I pump the crap out of him and take her out.

The Mayael player looks like she's going to be a problem when she plays Vigor while having some big dude in play.  Urabrask has Magma Phoenix and Moonveil Dragon but I use Bobo's ability to keep things from getting out of control.  Mayael eventually concedes, and it's just a matter of time for  me to take out Urabrask.

So there you go, land week!  I'll be honest, although I liked the idea behind tossing lands at people, I didn't particularly enjoy playing it.  Using Life from the Loam is very click intensive and time consuming.  Also, it isn't a trypical Gruul deck in that you usually don't end up attacking with a bunch of huge dudes.  Still, it was an effective deck and I hope you enjoyed what you saw!

Until next time!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com
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