[Archetype] G/x Birthing Pod

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What is G/x Birthing Pod?
Birthing Pod decks are the latest in a long line of popular deck archetypes known as "toolbox" decks. Essentially, the deck uses lots of utility creatures that fill specific roles, then uses Birthing Pod to search for whatever creature is most useful in the current situation. This basically makes your entire library a resource, so you are never limited to what is simply in your hand.

Why play G/x Birthing Pod?
There are so many different ways to build and play this deck, and it requires a lot of skill and practice to pilot it well. But once you are accustomed to the deck, it is incredibly resilient and has a good matchup against just about everything. It is also very fun to play and allows you to play some of your favorite cards that otherwise might never see the table tops, notably Sheoldred and Elesh Norn.

What is the best color combination to play?
As this deck and the meta surrounding it has evolved, the answer to this question has changed several times. I am now inclined to say that the "best" version is Naya Pod, and that is for one simple reason: the mana base. Being able to play 4 Copperline Gorge and 4 Razorverge Thicket to fuel your multiple Birds of Paradise and Avacyn's Pilgrims makes the Naya version far more consistent than any other. The fact that you can play both Restoration Angel and Bonfire of the Damned in the same deck is another perk. Other versions are still very viable though, with Bant Pod and 4-Color Pod lists posting some results. I definitely recommend playing a version you enjoy, because any version can be powerful and successful.

What cards should I play?
Show
Considering there are dozens if not hundreds of options for this deck, I will break this section into a few blocks. I will first mention the cards that are good considerations for every Pod deck, then follow it up with creatures of every color for different mana cost slots, followed by possible spells of every color.
Card Considerations

Green Creatures
1 CMC
This slot should be pretty clear. You really don't want much past your Birds of Paradise.

Birds of Paradise
Llanowar Elves
Joraga Treespeaker

2 CMC
If you have important 3-drops, you may want a higher volume of 2-drops to insure you are able to "Pod" into them reliably.

Fauna Shaman
Lotus Cobra
Nest Invader
Sylvan Ranger
Viridian Emissary


4 CMC
This is where you get into a lot of the bigger threats and better utility creatures. You'll want to fill these slots with only the best of the best, and continue to do so with the high CMC slots.

Obstinate Baloth
Ondu Giant
Thrun, the Last Troll
Vengevine
Vital Splicer









Noncreature Spells
Because of the nature of this deck, you will probably run very few noncreature spells. If you load your deck with too many noncreature spells, you will have a higher chance of "failing" with your Birthing Pod when trying to dig toward your bombs. You should have a good reason to choose the noncreature spells you decide to play, and in most cases that reason will either be to make the deck run more consistently or to deal with problems that the deck would be unequipped to deal with otherwise. Here is a list of the noncreature spells you might consider playing, along with reasoning for some of them.

Birthing Pod - Duh.

Oblivion Ring - This is a "catch-all" card. It can deal with almost anything your opponent plays and will never be a dead draw. Some key reasons for running this are to deal with opposing planeswalkers, Titans, Consecrated Sphinxes, or the oh-so-annoying Torpor Orb.

Beast Within - This functions basically the same as Oblivion Ring. The main differences are that this one removes the target permanently and it can hit problem lands like Valakut. The downside of leaving a 3/3 behind is usually a non-issue since your threats are generally bigger.

Ponder/Preordain - Helps dig through your deck and toward useful cards and Birthing Pods.

Go for the Throat/Doom Blade/Dismember/Lightning Bolt - Sometimes you just can't wait until your turn to deal with an opponent's creature. Instant-speed removal will often come in handy and will usually catch your opponent off guard.

Inquisition of Kozilek - Knowing what you're playing against and what your opponent plans to do is helpful in deciding how best to play your deck in any given matchup. Being able to take a crucial play from an opponent at the same time is even better. If you're looking for some protection/disruption in black, this is a good way to go.

Garruk, Primal Hunter - This card has little synergy with the deck, but the basic theme of the deck is playing the best and most efficient cards possible. That definition fits Garruk perfectly. He can also refill your hand after you've dropped a Titan.

Venser, the Sojourner - This is the main reason to run a Bant version of the deck, in my opinion. Venser essentially allows you to get twice the use out of every creature you play. If you ever have a Venser and a Pod on the table together, you will be nearly unstoppable.

Splinter Twin - Although this card has nice synergy with the deck, you should probably not run it outside of Deceiver Exarch combo versions of the deck. If you are running it, though, don't underestimate the power of a Twin on an Acidic Slime or Inferno Titan.

Sideboard Cards
The sideboard for this deck should generally be cards that protect your strategy or greatly hinder your opponent. That may sound obvious, but you will sometimes be tempted to put some "tricks" in your sideboard because of the nature of the deck, and it just doesn't have room for that. Here are some commonly sideboarded cards.

More of what you already have. - Some creatures that you have one or two of in your main deck work very well against specific archetypes, so you might include more of those creatures in your sideboard. This will improve your chance of dawing the cards, and it will allow you to Pod into them more frequently.

Memoricide - This is one of the best reasons to play black. This card can single-handedly neuter some decks, including Valakut and Twin Combo.

Dismember/Go for the Throat/Doom Blade/Beast Within/Combust/Oblivion Ring - Having some extra spot removal in your board can be really helpful.

Act of Aggression/Mark of Mutiny - These cards can really improve some matchups by turning their win conditions against them. Notice that you can also then sacrifice their creature to your Birthing Pod to get even more use out of it. Pretty tech.

Flashfreeze/Dispel - A little bit of counter magic can help you in some matchups, but most of the time removal will be better.


Tips for playing G/x Birthing Pod successfully
As stated before, this deck requires a lot of skill to play well. Here are a few tips to help you when first trying the deck. As you become more comfortable with the deck, most of these will become second nature, but some of them still require a lot of thought because the deck has so many options.
Deck Playing Tips
1. Know your deck. The most important part about playing this deck is knowing every single card in your deck so you know what your options are at all times. Using Birthing Pod to just dig through your creatures trying to reach a Titan is not always the best option, and sometimes the correct option is to not use your Pod at all. In addition, you'll likely have multiple creatures at each converted mana cost slot to choose from when you Pod, and making the wrong choice could seriously affect the game. The more you practice with the deck, the easier the choices will become, but be prepared to make a lot of game-altering mistakes along the way.

2. Plan ahead. Another important part of playing this deck is having a game plan at all times. This should start with your opening hand and continue throughout the game. You'll need to know what the cards in your hand can do for you and when is the most opportune time to play those cards. Think about what may happen if you search for a certain creature with Birthing Pod, and what you may be able to search for the following turn. Of course when you're planning ahead, you'll also need to be prepared to change your game plan at any moment depending on what your opponent does. Remember that the deck can play both proactively and reactively.

3. Don't rely on Birthing Pod. This is as much a deckbuilding tip as it is a deckplaying tip. While Birthing Pod is one of the key figures of the deck, you cannot rely on it to win you every game. You will quickly find that in the majority of your games, you either don't draw a Birthing Pod or your opponent deals with the Pods that you do play. Be prepared to play your deck as a simple aggro/midrange deck that just plays a lot of threats. You will find that this is often enough to overwhelm your opponent. Just be careful not to overextend. Topdecking with this deck is very hit and miss.

4. Know the rules. This deck deals with the rules of the game a lot, specifically the stack and priority. By understanding the rules very well, you can use them to your advantage. If you think your opponent might have instant-speed removal in hand and you have a Pod on the table, play that Viridian Emissary instead of the Nest Invader so your opponent doesn't gain priority before you have a chance to sacrifice it to Pod. Also know that when a Phyrexian Metamorph copies a creature, it also copies that creature's mana cost. This is extremely handy when an opponent has a 5-drop and you want to Pod into a Titan.

5. Sideboarding. When you sideboard it is very important to maintain your creature curve. Any time I side a creature in, I try to side out a creature with the same converted mana cost. If for whatever reason that isn't an option, I will either side out a noncreature spell or a creature with a higher converted mana cost. If you side in noncreature spells, make sure what you're siding out doesn't leave a gap in your creature chain of converted mana costs. I often side out more of the high-cost creatures and fewer of the low-cost ones if possible.


Will G/x Birthing Pod survive rotation?
Obviously, it's impossible to say if this deck will still be viable when Zendikar and M11 rotate out of standard because we have no idea what Innistrad will bring to the table. However, we can look at the cards we gain and the cards we lose to determine what a post-rotation Pod deck might look like. Personally, I believe this deck will survive rotation, and may even thrive post-rotation, because of the few cards we lose compared to the great potential that we gain.
Post-rotation speculation
Important cards that we lose
Lotus Cobra - This has been a great enabler for the deck. It allows you to do crazy things in the first few turns of the game, it allows you to easily play creatures and have plenty of mana left to use Pod, it allows you to play your big creatures when you draw them, and it fixes your mana better than anything else in standard. Definitely a hard hit, and I think it will result in more 2-color or shard-color Pod decks to maintain consistency.

Fetchlands - Similar to Lotus Cobra, losing fetchlands will limit the options we have for color combinations with this deck. There is the chance that we'll see enemy dual lands in Innistrad, but I doubt it. <---- i="" m="" eating="" my="" words="" here="" and="" they="" re="" delicious="" br="">
Manlands - Losing manlands is a very sad thing because they have been so helpful to win against heavy control decks. But there will always be new anti-control strategies, and it's important to note that no one else will be playing manlands either (aside from Inkmoth Nexus).

Obstinate Baloth - This has been an amazing card against aggro, and it is definitely a hard loss. We may be able to find other anti-aggro cards, but in the meantime there is always Peace Strider if we really need it.

Splinter Twin - If you're really attached to the combo, you'll surely miss this card. Personally, I am happy it is rotating out, because as nice as it is to be able to play it, you also always have to plan against it, devoting deck slots to one specific deck.

Other useful cards we lose
Bloodghast - This has been a nice repeatable piece of Pod fodder for me. There is nothing currently that can replace this, but maybe we'll see something in Innistrad.

Cadaver Imp - This is useful for reusing key creatures when you lose them. A sad loss, but not really a necessary card.

Tuktuk the Explorer - More good Pod fodder, this has always been useful against aggro. Sure we can replace this with something else though.

Cunning Sparkmage - I have only recently found this to be extremely useful in dealing with both Tempered Steel and Caw Blade, my 2 worst matchups. This will definitely be a big loss for me, but I don't think many people use it.

Sea Gate Oracle - This is the go-to 3-drop in most blue versions of the deck. Nothing else will give us card advantage like this. If you're looking for a replacement, Deceiver Exarch is pretty good because it lets your 2-drops Pod into 4-drops, but Oracle is going to be a sad loss for sure.

Sylvan Ranger - Not as instrumental as Lotus Cobra, but Ranger has been helpful in fixing mana in 3-color Pod decks. We still have Viridian Emissary, but you don't always have a Pod and sometimes you need that land right away.

Nature's Claim - This has been a useful sideboard card for many Pod decks. It helps alot against Tempered Steel, Tezzeret Control, and the mirror match. We definitely have cards to replace it, but none are quite as efficient as this.

What we gain (Innistrad spoilers!)
With only a few cards spoiled so far, talking about what we gain from the new set is purely speculation at this point. But from what we've seen, we can make some pretty good guesses about tools this deck might get.

Enemy Dual Lands! - I was worried about losing our fetchlands and the impact is could have on Pod decks. Naturally, I was very excited to see these spoiled. This completely reopens the possibility of 2-color Pod decks that aren't allied colors. BG Pod decks especially seem like a strong contender post-rotation, and these make that possible.

Fiend Hunter - Many times I have been in the middle of a game and have wished there was a 3-drop that doubled as hard removal. It seems we got our wish with this one. I think this will be a staple in any Pod deck running white.

Mentor of the Meek - Go through any Pod deck and count the number of creature with 2 power and you'll quickly see why this is a consideration. That said, we are already netting a lot of card advantage thanks to Pod, and having creatures in your hand is often a bad thing, so this may not make the cut except in versions that are dedicated to abusing him.

Murder of Crows - This card will probably prove to not be good enough, but with the lack of strong 5-drops it's still a possibility. It will allow us to dig through our deck more quickly, and may enable a graveyard-based Pod deck to work even smoother.

Reaper from the Abyss - The Morbid ability was clearly created with Pod in mind. Podding into a creature with a Morbid trigger just seems unfair. This one in particular will be a 6/6 with flying + a Terminate every time you search for it. Very strong. Whether it beats out other 6-drop staples will depend on how the meta shifts.

Hollowhenge Scavenger - Another creature with Morbid, and this one interests me a lot. Since we'll be losing Obstinate Baloth, we may be looking for similar effects to combat aggro. There is no doubt that this is not as good as Baloth, but when we're Podding into it, it may often feel better than Baloth because of the extra life, extra toughness, and the fact that it occupies a converted mana cost slot that is low on good Pod targets.

Boneyard Wurm - This specific card may or may not make it into Pod decks, but the mechanic on it is very intriguing. Since Innistrad is a graveyard-themed block, this mechanic that cares about the number of cards in your graveyard will likely be on multiple cards. If any of those cards are at tournament-level, they could be incredible in a Pod deck, especially if they are creatures. Just imagine a 5-drop that when it comes into play makes your opponent discard a card for each creature in your graveyard. We can only hope.

Moan of the Unhallowed - Again, this specific card will not make Pod decks, but the return of flashback is important to note. Our deck requires a high creature density. We want all of our non-creature spells to be as impactful as possible and gain us card advantage. That is the very definition of flashback. If Innistrad includes any competitive removal spells or card draw spells with flashback, we could make excellent use of them.

Transform Creatures - Birthing Pod is one of the only ways to drop a werewolf into play without casting a spell, which means it will transform right away on your opponent's upkeep. Yes, your opponent can cast 2 spells to transform it back, but most decks are not able to do that consistently ever turn, and we certainly don't need to cast spells to continue applying pressure to our opponent. Hopefully one of the werewolves will be strong enough to make it into Pod decks.

"Graveyard Matters" - This goes along with what I said about Wreath of Geists, but it's more broad. We don't really know what "graveyard matters" means yet for Innistrad, but what we do know is that Pod decks alright have a graveyard matters theme within them. Between Molten-Tail Masticore, Sheoldred, Whispering One, Razor Hippogriff, and Entomber Exarch, we are already using our graveyard as a resource. Innistrad will likely only strengthen that portion of our deck and give all of our cards even more uses.

Reanimation? - This is something that I have been speculating about for a while. We received some plants in M12 that greatly hint toward the return of a reanimator strategy (Sphinx of Uthuun, Sutured Ghoul, Rune-Scarred Demon, the lack of Rise from the Grave, etc). Because of this, I think Wizards is going to be pushing a reanimator theme in Innistrad. Obviously we won't see anything as good as Reanimate or Animate Dead, but Dread Return and some new reanimation spells are good possibilities. If they push reanimator enough, it could be an amazing complement to Pod decks. Being able to reuse all of those creatures without either replaying them or waiting to Pod into Sheoldred could be potentially sick. I hope I'm right about this one, because I just love the sound of "Reanimator Pod."



Decklists
There are lots of different ways to build this deck, with many different combinations of colors. The only list that has made a big showing in a tournament is a RUG list with the Splinter Twin combo, but that hardly means it is the best or strongest option. When you're choosing what to build/play, go with what interests you first, then make adjustments based on the weaknesses you find in your deck as you play. Below are decklists for some of the more popular combinations of colors. If you have a tested version of the deck you think should be here, post it in the thread.

RUG TwinPod
This is a combo version of the deck. It has the typical Deceiver Exarch/Splinter Twin combo for a quick win out of nowhere, but it also uses Birthing Pod to apply constant pressure on the opponent and provide an alternate and equally-effective win condition.






GWU BantPod
Bant gives you access to Venser, the Sojourner. When the majority of your deck is creatures with ETB abilities, Venser allows you to use those creatures multiple times for maximum effect.








**Thanks to LeinadDC for the banner.
I think it's also important to tell people how necessary it is to make a deck that also has the ability to work without Birthing Pod on the table. Of course, we'll talk about all these once this thread is complete

I'll message you some of the good Pod cards in each color. 
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What about artifact creatures like wurmcoil engine? Sac it to the pod and leave behind two 3/3s seems pretty nice.
A Colour Breakdown:

This is basically a breakdown of what each colour generally does for the deck. Put a deck together out of basically any colour combination that strikes your fancy.

Black:

Black is basically about three things: Engines, removal and sideboard cards.

The obvious engines are Bloodghast and Reassembling Skeleton, but black also gives access to Vengeful Pharaoh, Entomber Exarch and Cadaver Imp, all giving you even more CA and keeps you with creatures to keep your Birthing Pod(s) busy.

The black removal is very powerful right now, especially because we have to be able to fight combo decks like Twin and Valakut. Go for the Throat is almost an auto-4-of when black is involved - not quite, but almost. Dismember is also good, but doesn't dodge Spellskite and doesn't kill Titans.

When sideboarding, black gives you easy access to Memoricide, which is house. You also get SB cards like Duress (the MD card is often IoK), Vampire Hexmage and Phyrexian Crusader, if you want them.

Black also gives you access to cards like Skinrender, IoK, as well as finishers in Grave Titan and Sheoldred.

Red:

Red can do a couple of things for your deck.

It is a great anti-aggro colour, as it has access to Arc Trail, which - along with Ratchet Bomb and the occasional Obstinate Baloth - is all the aggro hate you should need.

If you're playing Jund, you also have relatively easy access to Searing Blaze, which can help out a lot. You'll probably also need to be Jund to take full advantage of Grim Lavamancer as a 1-drop instead of BoP. It's great to fetch lategame with a Grave Titan/Nest Invader token or the like, and it puts the hurt on both aggro and control.

Red also gives access to one of the best 3-drops of this archetype - Tuktuk the Explorer. It's often a better Blade Splicer, which says something. You also get some toolbox cards - Cunning Sparkmage, Manic Vandal are generally the best ones. 

Post-SB, you get cards like Manabarbs (which is bonkers against both control and Valakut) and easier access to Act of Aggression.

Green:

Green is a colour that most include in their Pod decks, for some obvious reasons:

1) It helps out with your Pod payments
2) You get some spectacular toolbox cards
3) Accel.

You also get access to some solid beatsticks and a couple of engines.

Few people build their Pod decks without a playset of Birds of Paradise - Jund decks may be the exception, though. Lotus Cobra and Nest Invader are also powerful cards in the deck, and should not be overlooked.

The toolbox cards include (most prominently) Acidic Slime, Obstinate Baloth, Viridian Corrupter, Sylvok Replica and others. It should probably be noted that Acidic Slime is easily one of the best cards in the deck.

If you want them, Vengevine and Thrun are powerful beaters. Vengevine double as an engine, and both are good against control decks. Thrun is insane against aggro, though, while Vengevine is generally the better anti-control card.

If you want, you can also run engines like Fauna Shaman, Garruk (either) Viridian Emissary and Sylvan Ranger.

White:

White is sort of an all-round colour. You get an engine in Squadron Hawks, some removal, finishers, and some solid synergetic beatsticks.

The finishers are generally Sun Titan and Elesh Norn as a curve-topper.

Blade Splicer and Hero of Bladehold are the synergistic beatsticks.

It should be noted, however, that the Hawks are often significantly less insane when not accompanied by some kind of equipment, and thus you often see builds with white play out more as a classic midrange deck - often including non-synergistic beatsticks such as Mirran Crusader.

If you need them, white also has some solid PW'ers in Gideon and, to some degree, Elspeth.

If you also run blue, you get access to Venser, though, which is insane. Which brings us to…

Blue:

Blue is an interesting colour. It gives you access to a number of cards that can cause a lot of shenanigans, as well as some solid MD inclusions.

Phantasmal Image and (if you're in white) Venser don't work too well together, but nevertheless both make for great additions to the team. Phyrexian Metamorph is also great - and easier to play in blue - but is ultimately very playable in all colours, as is Spellskite.

Ponder is obviously awesome, especially here, as we run a lot of toolbox cards, and digging for the exact cards you need while burying those you don't become better (although unreliable in a pinch).

With blue you also get access to Trinket Mage and Treasure Mage, both of which are solid cards with their own toolboxes.

Other than that, you get access to counters, which is always a cool addition, if you need them.

Colourless:

There are also a number of solid spells available to every colour. I'll list the most prominent here:

Solemn Simulacrum
Precursor Golem
Wurmcoil Engine
Dismember
Act of Aggression
Spellskite
Phyrexian Metamorph

Also, sometimes Mimic Vat and Hex Parasite.

If you add this to the OP, I'll delete this as well. =)
Photobucket Banner by zpikduM - typo also by zpikduM. =) Skide Fuld - Problem of Evil by frontsession Currently playing Standard: TurboJund Legacy: Zoo Block: Hahaha, good one! 1000th post on August 28, 2009 at 6:08PM
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"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes

What about Transcendent Master as a singleton? He's a win-con by himself, levels up with colorless mana, and can turn the tide against red decks if they burned out and you get him to level 6. Also, he's a 3-drop, so he's easily searchable.
Trinket Mage + Elixir of Immortality is a fun combo to reuse your graveyard. Fills the holes back up in the chain after they've been used...if need be.

Also, I'm working on a TwinPod (Splinter Twin/Deceiver Exarch/Birthing Pod)deck that has tested well in others' hands. Even more win-cons.

One of the strongest things about this deck is its Land Destruction. As such, Beast Within is a great all-purpose card to be considered and the token it gives your opponent is usually trumped by a bigger creature you have. You could also use it on yourself, sac the token to Pod, and search up a good one drop, like Grim Lavamancer. Convoluted, yes. But adaptable and flexible too.

Another thing I love about Pod decks is that they will rotate well. Sure Lotus Cobra will be gone, but Spellskite and other 2 drops are already good, not to mention the possibilities coming out of Innistrad.

Thanks for creating this thread!
I might as well post my secret list that has lost a single match so far (against Twin), since everyone's starting to click to the basic idea:

// Lands
    3 [SHM] Island (4)
    3 [M12] Plains (4)
    4 [M12] Forest (3)
    2 [M10] Sunpetal Grove
    4 [SOM] Razorverge Thicket
    4 [SOM] Seachrome Coast
    4 [ZEN] Misty Rainforest

// Creatures - Core
    4 [6E] Birds of Paradise
    4 [ZEN] Lotus Cobra
    3 [COM] Wall of Omens
    3 [M11] Fauna Shaman
    3 [ROE] Sea Gate Oracle
    2 [ROE] Vengevine

// Creatures - Chain
    1 [M12] Phantasmal Image
    1 [MBS] Viridian Corrupter
    1 [WWK] Pilgrim's Eye
    2 [MR] Solemn Simulacrum
    1 [M11] Obstinate Baloth
    1 [NPH] Phyrexian Metamorph
    1 [COM] Acidic Slime
    1 [M11] Baneslayer Angel
    1 [M12] Sun Titan
    1 [M12] Frost Titan
    1 [WWK] Avenger of Zendikar

// Spells
    2 [SOM] Venser, the Sojourner
    3 [NPH] Birthing Pod

// Sideboard
SB: 3 [COM] Acidic Slime
SB: 1 [M11] Fauna Shaman
SB: 2 [ROE] Vengevine
SB: 1 [ROE] Linvala, Keeper of Silence
SB: 1 [MBS] Thrun, the Last Troll
SB: 1 [NPH] Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
SB: 1 [M11] Gaea's Revenge
SB: 1 [ZEN] Devout Lightcaster
SB: 1 [MBS] Phyrexian Revoker
SB: 1 [M12] Grand Abolisher


There's a LOT going on in this deck, so I'll give a bit of a primer for my particular list.

Plan A - Birthing Pod
Basically, a Turn 2 or 3 Birthing Pod feels like you can't lose the game. Indeed, an unconstested Birthing Pod in any of the lists I've tested (I've tried BUG, RBG, UWG and GB) has won the game. Your three drops are a bit limited, but that's usually okay. Most commonly I throw a Wall of Omens, Fauna Shaman or a now-spent Cobra into the Pod first and grab the Pilgrim's Eye, then Solemn (or Baloth against Aggro), then Slime or Angel to either stabilise or threated a quick game over. You accrue unbelievable card advantage off this chain, and I've frequently had access to double the mana my opponent has by the start of Turn 4. You don't usually use the chain to cheat anything ridiculous into play, but just grind your opponent out under unstoppable card advantage. 

Having a Pod in play feels really unfair, so I think one of the first steps to tuning this otherwise patchy list is adding the 4th; the only issue I find is that two is a little bit redundant, which is why I originally split them with the Plan B.

Plan B - Venser
Given that a large part of your deck is based around ETB effects in order to create super virtual CA out of your Birthing Pod, once I tried the UWG combination I decided to throw in Venser for kicks and I was very pleasantly surprised. I've not typically been that impressed by Venser in other decks, like UW Control, but here he really is incredible. I don't think I want more than two, but it does a nice job of supporting and substituting Birthing Pod. Sitting behind a Wall of Omens or Obstinate Baloth or Solemn and just chipping away at their life total while building up your hand/mana while protecting Venser from attack is incredible. The number of creatures in this deck means it's fairly easy to just ride Venser's +2 into his ultimate using your spent utility guys to chump, whereupon you can just destroy your opponents board.

Plan C - Fauna Shaman
It's not as CA-generative as the first two plans, but it's not hard to set up a small Vengevine chain into CA creatures for a sort of midrange strategy. Changing your excess Walls and such into Baloth, Baneslayer, or Titans (and Clones too) is an easy way to just out-threat an answer-light opponent. I used to have the full set of Fauna Shamans and Vengevine, but it just didn't seem necessary most of the time, and with the amount of gas you have backing up your vegetables, you usually only needs two Vengevines to put the beat on.

Plan D - UWG Control
I've had several games where I don't get Fauna Shaman, Venser, or Birthing Pod active and still cruised to victory on the back of just making a stack of blockers and stalling into an Angel or Titan and winning that way. It's a last resort, but it's still a legit line you can use.


Your Game 1 with Splinter Twin is pretty abyssmal, I'd peg it as the worst matchup by a long way. After SBing you have a slightly better time of it, with Linvala, Abolisher, and optionally Dismembers. Elesh Norn is pretty great if you can get to her, but that doesn't happen much. It's definitely the worst matchup.

Valakut is average. It never feels like you're running away with the game, but 

The other cards in the SB have fairly obvious uses, with Acidic Slimes and backup Fauna Shaman/Vengevines for U/x Control decks.

This deck obviously needs tuning (probably too many 3-ofs, and the manabase should accomodate Cobra a bit more) but it's been really good to me so far and it's just difficult to work out what's fat to trim. It really feels like this is one of the strongest sleepers of the format, and if you know your area doesn't see a lot of Twin I would absolutely first-pick this deck.
@MrIndigo;
I think that without any 1cc cantrips like Ponder, you'd be better off with 4 Birthing Pods. Then again, even with 4 Ponders in my list and only 3 Birthing Pods, I'm hardly digging for a Birthing Pod.

And to sort of go with Indigo's list, here's my Bant list;

Bant Pod 2.0:

Artifacts;
4x Birthing Pod

Creatures;
3x Acidic Slime
1x Phantasmal Image
4x Lotus Cobra
4x Birds of Paradise
2x Blade Splicer
1x Sea Gate Oracle
1x Viridian Corrupter
1x Obstinate Baloth
2x Solemn Simulacrum
2x Vengevine
1x Phyrexian Metamorph
1x Frost Titan
1x Sun Titan

Instants&Sorceries;
1x Green Sun's Zenith
4x Ponder

Planeswalkers;
2x Venser, the Sojourner

Lands;
4x Razorverge Thicket
3x Seachrome Coast
1x Stirring Wildwood
4x Misty Rainforest
1x Verdant Catacombs
1x Arid Mesa
1x Evolving Wilds
3x Island
5x Forest
2x Plains

Sideboard;
2x Obstinate Baloth
1x Gideon Jura
4x Spellskite
2x Nature's Claim
4x Flashfreeze
2x Vengevine

I was playing VS a Puresteel Paladin, and he got me down to 8 and had a Paladin with SoWaP and 3 other equipments. Insanely enough, I made it out of that mess with a Viridian Corrupter, Pod'ed into a Baloth to gain life, bounced with Venser, then Pod'ed that into an Acidic Slime, had him on lock down with that, then sac'ed a BoP to get Phantasmal Image, copied an Acidic Slime, sacced Image into a Blade, sacced Slime into Sun Titan, got Image back, which copied a Sun Titan, got me Blade Splicer back that I bounced with Venser. Dead on board next turn.

Proves that Venser is absolutely insane in this deck, and I'm glad people have suggested it.

Edit: and while I'm still going, here's a Jund list I had brewed up;

Jund Pod:

Artifacts;
3x Birthing Pod

Creatures;
3x Acidic Slime
1x Sylvan Ranger
4x Lotus Cobra
4x Grim Lavamancer
2x Tuktuk the Explorer
1x Molten-Tail Masticore
1x Viridian Corrupter
1x Obstinate Baloth
4x Solemn Simulacrum
1x Phyrexian Metamorph
2x Grave Titan
1x Wurmcoil Engine

Instants&Sorceries;
1x Green Sun's Zenith
4x Inquisition of Kozilek

Planeswalkers;
2x Garruk, Primal Hunter

Lands;
3x Blackcleave Cliffs
2x Copperline Gorge
4x Raging Ravine
3x Lavaclaw Reaches
4x Verdant Catacombs
1x Scalding Tarn
1x Misty Rainforest
1x Swamp
4x Forest
2x Mountain

Sideboard;
2x Obstinate Baloth
1x Acidic Slime
3x Memoricide
2x Nature's Claim
3x Arc Trail
2x Dismember
1x Thrun, the Last Troll
1x Duress

I guess you could argue that the manabase and sideboard are a little thrown together, and I would agree. But main idea is there; having a solid looking deck that would be able to survive and tempo out your opponent with or without a Birthing Pod.

Of course, it's the same setup as my Pod list; I like to have 2-ofs of a certain PW that's good for the color combo, 4-of a certain sorcery that sort of "represents" and supports the color combo. In my Bant list, I had 2 Vensers, and 4 Ponders. In Jund, I had 2 Garruk 3.0s, and 4 IoKs. 
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I have updated the OP with a lot of information. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I still have a good amount to go.

@Frufru: I'm glad you included Garruk in your Jund list. I added him to the list of possible noncreature spells because he really is just stupidly good. I'm thinking about testing a couple in my Jund list.

I played a Birthing Pod deck at the last FNM.  My plan was too test the deck out to see if I liked it and if it is workable.  Went 2-1-1, which is not bad.  My deck needs a ton of work, I know.  Heres my list



I didn't have much time to put a sideboard together so it was pathetic.  But I like the way the deck worked.  Beat two splinter twin decks, one BRU on BU.  Tied B/W control, and lost to puresteel paladin.

Crusader and Thrun are out, Elesh Norn is beast, as is Sunblast Angel.  My plan with red was to put in Act of Aggression maindeck to sac to pod.  Also, it beats twin decks.  It didn't happen but we will see with more testing.

Anyone like the idea of Postmortem Lunge?

What do you guys do against valakut? I can't seem to find a strategy that works for me.

------------------------------------------------------------- Decks that I play Legacy- Ravager Affinity Modern- Standard- RWU Flicker EDH/Commander -RWU Numot
@Dumpkinhead: I have enjoyed the occasional Act of Aggression + Birthing Pod shenanigans. I'm not sure if it's worth including in the main deck, but it's a fun interaction. Your main deck red is currently only Lightning Bolt. I don't believe that's enough reason to play red. You might consider cutting back to GW only, putting in a bit more red (Inferno Titan is sick), or trying out a different third color. I'm not a fan of Squadron Hawk here. It's not a strong card on its own and your 3-drops are not pivotal enough that you want constant 2-drops to Pod into them. Other than that I agree with the cuts you mentioned and I think the deck looks solid overall.


What do you guys do against valakut? I can't seem to find a strategy that works for me.



The best thing you can do is keep them off of big plays. They don't play much disruption game 1, so with a Pod you should be able to keep them from reaching 6 mana with Acidic Slimes and Metamorphs. If you play Beast Within or Dismember main, it will help by killing more lands or Overgrown Battlement. If they stick a Titan, you need to be able to kill it or win within the next turn or you don't really have a shot. Game 2/3, they will likely board in Nature's Claim against your Pods, which could make dealing with their ramp a lot harder. If you're playing black, you have the best sideboard option with Memoricide. Blue gives you access to Flashfreeze. Regardless of what you have against them, it's a hard-fought match, but not unwinnable.

I think your overview of the matchup is pretty much correct. At least thats how my testing today went. Its a very difficult matchup depending on draws.

 On a brighter note, with the exception of a couple creatures, and my mana base(i run m12 dual lands and more basics), my bant list is pretty darn close to the list Olivier Ruel top 8'd the french nationals with. Its nice to know Im on the right track. :D

------------------------------------------------------------- Decks that I play Legacy- Ravager Affinity Modern- Standard- RWU Flicker EDH/Commander -RWU Numot
Against Valakut, I've found that a couple of things are important:

1) Having a clock. In the end, their big spells just make for insane topdecks, so if you don't have some kind of a clock, you don't have much reason to drag out the game in the first place.

2) SB hate. Act of Aggression/Mark of Mutiny is obviously a good option, but only coupled with a clock or a Pod. Memoricide is obviously king. Manabarbs is also insane in that MU. Flashfreeze works as well.

3) Having some kind of answer to a resolved Titan. Kind of obvious, but there it is.

4) Delaying them. Getting out early and/or continous Slimes can sometimes get rid of enough Valakuts that when they play their Primeval, they have to spend a turn setting up Valakuts instead of getting a bunch of Mountains and molesting your board.

That's in order of general importance. Aside from Memoricide, none of the other options work without a clock. Other than that, though, you just look at your hand, see which way you can use it to win the game. If you have a triple GoFer hand, you might just play your clock and hope that in the end, it'll be enough. Depends on the deck and the hand and the draw and the opponent and... etc.
Photobucket Banner by zpikduM - typo also by zpikduM. =) Skide Fuld - Problem of Evil by frontsession Currently playing Standard: TurboJund Legacy: Zoo Block: Hahaha, good one! 1000th post on August 28, 2009 at 6:08PM
@Dumpkinhead: I have enjoyed the occasional Act of Aggression + Birthing Pod shenanigans. I'm not sure if it's worth including in the main deck, but it's a fun interaction. Your main deck red is currently only Lightning Bolt. I don't believe that's enough reason to play red. You might consider cutting back to GW only, putting in a bit more red (Inferno Titan is sick), or trying out a different third color. I'm not a fan of Squadron Hawk here. It's not a strong card on its own and your 3-drops are not pivotal enough that you want constant 2-drops to Pod into them. Other than that I agree with the cuts you mentioned and I think the deck looks solid overall.



Yeah, that was my plan but I changed to this deck last minute.  I did have Inferno Titan in there but in the end Wurmcoil Engine, Sunblast Angel, and Sun Titan were better picks at the 6 drop.

I think Squadron Hawk is worth it, especially with Fauna Shaman.  Sometimes I wish I had a sword or two when I just have hawks on the board and nothing to do with them but you are correct in saying 3 drops are weak.

This deck can go in many directions, and that is what makes it fun.

Im loving my razor hippogriff. I won a game today by podding into him, bringing wurmcoil to hand for 6 life. Then, bouncing him with venser in order to bring solemn to hand for another 4. 10 point life swings late game ftw lol.

------------------------------------------------------------- Decks that I play Legacy- Ravager Affinity Modern- Standard- RWU Flicker EDH/Commander -RWU Numot
question:  is it acceptable to run singletons of creatures that are off color?


This is something I have questioned myself. The only time I have done this is when I ran a singleton Totem-Guide Hartebeest in my Splinter Twin version. The good thing about the Hartebeest is that it only has a single color requirement, so if it's ever in my hand I can easily cast it off a Birds or Cobra. I guess the question really becomes "What is good enough that it is worth the risk of having a dead card in your deck?" I'd be interested to know what creatures people want to try and fit in as singletons.

I've been running a massacre wurm out of the board in my bant deck. I already main an elesh norn, but felt like another sweeper would be handy.

------------------------------------------------------------- Decks that I play Legacy- Ravager Affinity Modern- Standard- RWU Flicker EDH/Commander -RWU Numot

I played a Birthing Pod deck at the last FNM.  My plan was too test the deck out to see if I liked it and if it is workable.  Went 2-1-1, which is not bad.  My deck needs a ton of work, I know.  Heres my list



I didn't have much time to put a sideboard together so it was pathetic.  But I like the way the deck worked.  Beat two splinter twin decks, one BRU on BU.  Tied B/W control, and lost to puresteel paladin.

Crusader and Thrun are out, Elesh Norn is beast, as is Sunblast Angel.  My plan with red was to put in Act of Aggression maindeck to sac to pod.  Also, it beats twin decks.  It didn't happen but we will see with more testing.

Anyone like the idea of Postmortem Lunge?


So we have found that bant pod and twin pod are both successful decks with the advent of the recent nationals. Following this info I would like to have a discussion on which pod deals with this meta the best.
Twin pod can be faster with a nuts draw of a turn 4 win and the combo can blindside many opponents. It also has access to red with both inferno titans and tuktuks being both good cards that cab turn the heat on your opponents, pardon the pun. The deck can also run a manticore phoenix combo which is also extremely powerful.
For bant, pod decks get archon, blade splice, Hero, hawks, sun Titan, o ring and venser, a quasi pod. With archon white has a larger reach being able to deny wurmcoils and remove torpor orbs. Hawks are also extremely strong in the right pod deck. Bant has the same value creatures as caw with more consistency because of b pod. Venser gets more value out of most of your creatures. Bant also has hardcore enchantment hate, something that is lacking in this meta.

Finally jund lists, a lists that hasn't had the same success, has access to tuktuk and black cards that finish games quickly. They also have small pox, something that might be nice to look into.

As of right now I see bant being the strongest, twin next, and jund last. White is in a strong position which is why bant is so good.
I added Ruel's Bant list to the OP. If anyone knows what the last 2 cards in his sideboard were, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, was he really running 61 cards in the main?

Some interesting things about Ruel's list:
7 mana dudes. 4 Birds and 3 Llanowar Elves. This is interesting because I don't find turn 2 to be all that important with this deck. Even Ruel's deck has the best turn 2 play as a Sea Gate Oracle.

Only 22 lands. I suppose he can get away with running fewer lands because he runs so many mana dudes. Regardless, I'm jealous that he can run so few and apparently still get the mana he needs.

No Blade Splicer, Hero of Bladehold, or Archon of Justice. I thought the Splicer at least would be a staple in Bant lists. It is a big speedbump for aggro and has great synergy with the deck. Hero and Archon are also very strong, but I don't run them either.

No Frost Titan. His 6-drops consist only of Sun Titan to recur little dudes and Wurmcoil to chain into Elesh Norn.

I assume the 1 drops are to allow a turn 2 pod with much more consistency. Sure you pay 2 life to play it for 3 but the speed you get can be crucial in certain matchups.

As for the lands, I assume that with the 4 birds, 3 elves, 3 emissary and 1 simulacrum in addition to the 4 clones, 3 oracles and 4 ponder, he has more than enough means to ensure he has the necessary mana. Ive actually gone down to 23 lands in my own deck and am thinking about going down to 22. I never have mana troubles and often find myself drawing unneeded lands going into the late game.

------------------------------------------------------------- Decks that I play Legacy- Ravager Affinity Modern- Standard- RWU Flicker EDH/Commander -RWU Numot
The only thing stopping me from adding blue to my now G/W pod deck was Misty Rainforest.  I assumed it was needed.  Venser is nuts in pod decks.  Not to mention Ponder.
Call me crazy...

4x Birds of Paradise
4x Lotus Cobra
3x Sylvan Ranger
3x Sea Gate Oracle
1x Pilgrim's Eye
1x Viridian Corrupter
2x Solemn Simulacrum
2x Phyrexian Metamorph
1x Entomber Exarch
1x Skinrender
1x Obstinate Baloth
2x Acidic Slime
1x Razor Hippogriff
1x Sun Titan
1x Wurmcoil Engine
1x Sheoldred, Whispering One

4x Birthing Pod
2x Venser, the Sojourner

4x Forest
1x Plains
2x Island
2x Swamp
4x Razorverge Thicket
1x Seachrome Coast
3x Creeping Tar Pit
4x Misty Rainforest
3x Verdant Catacombs
1x Marsh Flats

Yes you are lol Just wondering if 4 Overgrown Battlement than 4 Lotus Cobra be any good? Since I saw winning list on Daily MTG moment ago with TwinPod list from Aus guy Nicoll
Call me crazy...

4x Birds of Paradise
4x Lotus Cobra
3x Sylvan Ranger
3x Sea Gate Oracle
1x Pilgrim's Eye
1x Viridian Corrupter
2x Solemn Simulacrum
2x Phyrexian Metamorph
1x Entomber Exarch
1x Skinrender
1x Obstinate Baloth
2x Acidic Slime
1x Razor Hippogriff
1x Sun Titan
1x Wurmcoil Engine
1x Sheoldred, Whispering One

4x Birthing Pod
2x Venser, the Sojourner

4x Forest
1x Plains
2x Island
2x Swamp
4x Razorverge Thicket
1x Seachrome Coast
3x Creeping Tar Pit
4x Misty Rainforest
3x Verdant Catacombs
1x Marsh Flats

Yes you are lol Just wondering if 4 Overgrown Battlement than 4 Lotus Cobra be any good? Since I saw winning list on Daily MTG moment ago with TwinPod list from Aus guy Nicoll


I'm pretty questionable about Battlement in Pod decks. Mana fixing always seems more important than mana ramp in the games I play, and Cobra fixes better than just about anything in standard right now.

As for the 4-color deck I just posted, just played my first match against Caw-Blade. Game 1 I played a turn 2 Pod followed by turn 3 Cobra, Simulcrum, Pod for Acidic Slime. Game 2 was much harder fought. I hung on for dear life til I finally drew a Pod and dug for Acidic Slime, which I then bounced with Venser to take out a Colonnade and a Sword of Feast and Famine. Next turn I drew another Pod and dug into a Wurmcoil Engine followed by Elesh Norn (out of the board). While both of these plays are possible in non-4-color lists, it is worth noting that both of these games I was also beating down Gideons and Jaces with Creeping Tar Pit. It felt really good.
Try 5 colors lol Nice list man!

So I was messing around with my friend who I test my valakut matchups with and mostly for fun I sided in 4 leonin arbiter a glimmerpoint stage and a couple baloths taking out my 3 emissary, 1 pilgrim eye, 1 simulacrum and a couple pods. I figured I would transform the deck into a bouncy stompy deck and just use arbiter to negate his spells while I beat him down with creatures and abused their effects. It worked!. Thanks to 4 ponder and 3 sea gate oracle, I was able to find the arbiters without searching my deck and play them early, shutting off his ramp and forcing him to draw into land. Without any shuffle effects to increase the probability of drawing into the cards he needed, he wasn't able to find his 2 md pyroclasms or his 2  md lightning bolts. We played a couple more decks and arbiter never seemed to slow me down, again thanks to ponder and oracle.

Do you think this is just a fluke, or do you think this kind of transformation sb plan could really work?

------------------------------------------------------------- Decks that I play Legacy- Ravager Affinity Modern- Standard- RWU Flicker EDH/Commander -RWU Numot
I've been playing around with RUG Birthing Pod lately.

Here's my current list:

Creatures(33):

3x Birds of Paradise
2x Acidic Slime
3x Lotus Cobra
1x Goblin Bushwhacker
1x Joraga Treespeaker
4x Vengevine
1x Sea Gate Oracle
1x Inferno Titan
4x Fauna Shaman
2x Spikeshot Elder
1x Consecrated Sphinx
2x Hero of Oxid Ridge
2x Phyrexian Metamorph
3x Priest of Urabrask
1x Urabrask the Hidden 
2x Phantasmal Image

Artifacts(4)
4x Birthing Pod

Land(23)
7x Forest
4x Island
2x Mountain
3x Misty Rainforest
2x Scalding Tarn
1x Raging Ravine
4x Copperline Gorge

Sideboard(15)
1x Adventuring Gear
1x Basilisk Collar
2x Cunning Sparkmage
2x Hex Parasite
3x Manic Vandal
2x Obstinate Baloth
2x Spellskite
2x Trinket Mage

A lack of real creature removal makes me really weak versus splinter twin combos, though I'm still in the "all creatures" toolbox train of thought, left over from the naya fauna shaman era of creature toolboxes.  (Though, even then it was expected to at least run lightning bolts).  I guess I could always make room for Dismember....
I was also thinking about switching to BUG, but idk. 
Scatter, Senbonzakura. Current Standard Deck: PSMC - Puresteel Motorcycle Club/Puresteel Marine Corps/Puresteel Metalcraft Current EDH Deck: Lolz, itz Brion Stoutarm!
p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }
-->


 


That's my Bant Pod deck. I really feel like i want to go down to 22 lands, since i've never had troubles finding lands and such. I feel like i'm really vulnerable to Twin deck, i'm thinking on sideboarding against it.


 

Here's my list, a budget-esque version of the RUG Twin decks that placed in Australia.



Sideboard:
[deck]1x Elixir of Immortality
4x Pyroclasm
2x Spellskite
1x Manic Vandal
1x Trinket Mage
1x Obstinate Baloth
1x Acidic Slime
3x Act of Aggression
1x Wurmcoil Engine[/deck]

When I say budget, I mean no Cobras and no Fetches...I've recently purged my collection of those unfortunately. Although, the Wall has been alright in its spot, much more resilient to removal, and I rarely get mana screwed, color wise. I will probably try and get another Twin or 2, but the deck doesn't need the combo, but it certainly helps. Making up for the slack I have some Ponders to help dig.

I love this deck the more and more I play with it. I was intially skeptical of Exarch as the 3-drop in any G/U/X build I had, but if they aren't busy comboing out for the win, they can help do a nut Pod sweep, untapping and being a target. Very fun.
Made some slight changes to my 4-color list. I moved Sheoldred to the board and replaced it with Elesh Norn. With the re-rise of Caw-Blade, I think Elesh Norn is a much better main deck choice. I also took out a Misty Rainforest and put in Molten-Tail Masticore. I ran 25 lands because I expected to have a lot of mana problems, but I have found that I get flooded every game, and with all my fixing, finding the colors I need hasn't been a problem at all. Also, Masticore is just beast.
I was running 24 in my Jund list and couldn't stop drawing lands. I'm cutting it to 23... maybe even... 22.

4 Birds, a sad robot, and 3 Emissaries shouldn't cause this... but likely we're seeing fallout from the fact we're thinning spells.

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Sorry for being a lazy butt, but could someone help me out with how I should go about picking which colors Pod I should start b uilding. Like what makes RUG different from BUG different from Jund and Bant and Naya, etc?
Sorry for being a lazy butt, but could someone help me out with how I should go about picking which colors Pod I should start b uilding. Like what makes RUG different from BUG different from Jund and Bant and Naya, etc?



RUG has the combo, and beats aggro.
BUG has hand disruption if you want them, and has a good control match up.
Jund, I don't know.
Bant is just insane and consistent. And has Venser.
Naya, not sure either.


It really depends on your playstyle. That's what I really love about these Pod decks. 
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Double-poste with a list update. People have been messaging me about it, so I wanted to post what I've updated;









Artifacts;
3x Birthing Pod

Creatures;
3x Acidic Slime
1x Phantasmal Image
4x Lotus Cobra
4x Birds of Paradise

1x Llanowar Elves (I believe your 1cc manadorks are pretty important, so I wanted to add a 5th one)
2x Blade Splicer
1x Sea Gate Oracle
1x Viridian Corrupter
1x Obstinate Baloth
2x Solemn Simulacrum
1x Molten-Tail Masticore (this dude is just insane, and better then VV at racing Valakut)

1x Stonehorne Dignitary (I don't really know if his combo with Venser is a bit too cute, but he's good at stalling a turn)
1x Phyrexian Metamorph
1x Frost Titan
1x Sun Titan

Instants&Sorceries;
1x Green Sun's Zenith
4x Ponder

Planeswalkers;
2x Venser, the Sojourner

Lands;
4x Razorverge Thicket
3x Seachrome Coast
1x Stirring Wildwood
4x Misty Rainforest
1x Verdant Catacombs
1x Arid Mesa
1x Evolving Wilds
3x Island
5x Forest
2x Plains

Sideboard;
2x Obstinate Baloth
1x Gideon Jura
4x Spellskite
2x Nature's Claim
4x Flashfreeze
2x Vengevine (I still keep these in the board for Control though)

Come find me on League of Legends, still under FruFruLOL IMAGE(http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g424/syreal94/SIGFrufrucopy.png)
I'm trying a slightly odd(gimmicky as hell but whatever) version of this file running Myr Weilder, but i want to make sure you actually can exile birthing pod and have the myr use it.

It's actually a golem based one(splicers for field and golem artistian), but i won't bother with the list as is unless someone wants it.
Sorry for being a lazy butt, but could someone help me out with how I should go about picking which colors Pod I should start b uilding. Like what makes RUG different from BUG different from Jund and Bant and Naya, etc?



RUG has the combo, and beats aggro.
BUG has hand disruption if you want them, and has a good control match up.
Jund, I don't know.
Bant is just insane and consistent. And has Venser.
Naya, not sure either.


It really depends on your playstyle. That's what I really love about these Pod decks. 


Jund can concentrate enough on red to easily have t1 Lavamancer, it has access to hand disruption, accel, black removal and/or burn according to metagame and it has some of the best creatures for the deck at each CMC:

Lavamancer, Birds of Paradise, Hex Parasite
Nest Invader/Cobra/Fauna Shaman/Bloodghast/Reassembling Skeleton, etc
Tuktuk/Manic Vandal/Viridian Corrupter/Cadaver Imp/Cunning Sparkmage, etc
Entomber Exarch/Obstinate Baloth/Thrun/Vengevine/Solemn Simulacrum/Masticore etc
Acidic Slime/Precursor Golem/Urabrask etc

...and seeing as the finishers are good in almost all colours (Titans/Wurmcoil + Sheoldred/Elesh Norn), you're not missing much there.

I'd like to hear someone's opinion on Naya - If I were to build a Naya deck, I'd probably focus it around getting tons of beatsticks out with Pod and Hawks while packing equipment and stuff. I don't know, though.
Photobucket Banner by zpikduM - typo also by zpikduM. =) Skide Fuld - Problem of Evil by frontsession Currently playing Standard: TurboJund Legacy: Zoo Block: Hahaha, good one! 1000th post on August 28, 2009 at 6:08PM

@ FruFruLOL  The combo is cute, but wins games and is easily obtainable. I wouldn't go out of my way to set it up, but I always take advantage of it when I happen to have them together.

I have had a load of success with this bant list.

Lands
    4 Glacial Fortress
    5 Forest  
    5 Island 
    4 Plains 
    4 Sunpetal Grove


Creatures
    3 Llanowar Elves
    1 Birds of Paradise
    3 Viridian Emissary
    2 Phantasmal Image
    1 Wall of Omens
    1 Viridian Corrupter
    2 Sea Gate Oracle
    1 Blade Splicer
    1 Pilgrim's Eye
    1 Obstinate Baloth
    2 Phyrexian Metamorph
    1 Stonehorn Dignitary
    1 Solemn Simulacrum
    1 Molten-Tail Masticore
    2 Acidic Slime
    1 Razor Hippogriff
    1 Frost Titan
    1 Sun Titan
    1 Wurmcoil Engine
    1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite


Spells
    4 Ponder
    4 Birthing Pod
    2 Venser, the Sojourner

------------------------------------------------------------- Decks that I play Legacy- Ravager Affinity Modern- Standard- RWU Flicker EDH/Commander -RWU Numot
Looks pretty good. How has your mana base been treating you? I had tested a list with a Seachrome Coast and Razorverge Thicket as well, and I unfortunately had a lot of slow draws where the worst happened: I drew the Groves/Fortress turn 1 and the Coasts/Thickets turn 3 or later

I notice you only run the lone Birds of Paradise while opting for 3 Llanowar elves, any reason for this?

Does running 22 lands work out well for ya?
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