[Modern] G/B Persist

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History:
Back in June 2011 I heard a guy at my local shop talking about the synergy with persist and Melira, Sylvok Outcast (specifically he was talking about Kitchen Finks) and I loved the idea. I went home and looked through all the persist cards I had (I stopped playing for a while right after Shadowmoor was released) and pulled out some I thought was interesting. The most obvious was Murderous Redcap, so all i needed was a permanent sac effect. I had some ideas, but my instinct was I needed something pretty fast and I wanted to keep this primarily G/B so my mana base is not too expensive and stands up to Blood Moon. With some suggestions from the community I ended up with a list I liked. I originally built it for Legacy, but I prefer modern now.

Core:
The core of the deck is of course Melira, Sylvok Outcast. She is the pivotal card around which all of the various combos revolve. That, of course, makes her a major target, but there are ways to cull some threats. By herself she does not seem all that amazing, but the way she interacts with persist and other cards that use -1/-1 counters makes her a cheap and easy combo enabler. All you have to do is get a creature with persist on the battlefield with a sac outlet and Melira and you go infinite because Persist returns them to the battlefield with a -1/-1 counter, but Melira will not allow the counter, so the creature returns whole and ready to be sacrificed again.

The Colors:
There are lot's of different color combinations that can make Melira work, and they all have their advantages and supporters. Birthing Pod builds are popular, as are podless "Junk" builds that have more of a toolbox approach. After Pro Tour Philly showed that a Melira combo deck had the power to get 12th place, a lot of people started looking at this deck and having quite a few ideas as to what colors to use to make it work, but I prefer simple. In my playing of this deck I have found that the best strategy is to focus on getting the combo out as fast as possible because once all is in place the game is yours.

To this end this primer is focused on BGu, because Black and Green give us the best options for making the combo work, and blue is used to help black protect it. Most likely you will be playing the combo pieces individually, and your opponent will recognize them as the harbingers of potential doom and try to remove them. In order to protect them you need some way to disrupt attempts at removal, and in my testing blue does this best.

Optimal Build (9.12.2011)
Land:
7 Forest
6 Swamp
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Verdant Catacombs

Creatures:
4 Birds of Paradise
1 Flesh-Eater Imp
4 Kitchen Finks
3 Murderous Redcap
2 Quillspike
4 Viscera Seer
1 Dryad Arbor
4 Melira, Sylvok Outcast

Other Spells:
2 Blasting Station
2 Hex Parasite
4 Go for the Throat
4 Remand
4 Green Sun's Zenith

Sideboard:
4 Aether Vial
3 Extirpate
2 Hex Parasite
4 Krosan Grip
2 Quillspike

[spoiler=Discussion- Other Combo Pieces]
Blasting Station
Green Sun's Zenith
[/sblock]

Discussion- Matchups

Zoo:
Exarc-Twin:
Pyromancer's Ascension:
Birthing Pod:
BGr Melira:

Run 4 Viscera Seer, it filters your draws and helps you dig for Melira, Zenith, or a Persister. Bloodghast may also be good as a sac target early game. He can swing in, sac to ping a creature or scry, fetch, sac again, crack it, sac again=dig for 3, or take out a 3 toughness critter, or some combination of the two.

Carrion Feeder isn't that big a loss. All you need is a free sac outlet+Redcap=infinite damage. 
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.
Since modern has its own section now, I'll be getting this moved to its deck help.
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Since modern has its own section now, I'll be getting this moved to its deck help.


TYVM!
I have been getting a lot of help and interest in this deck over at MTG Salvation, and there are some interesting ideas and builds out there.  The current decks is:

Creatures:
4x Birds of Paradise
4x Melira, Sylvok Outcast
4x Kitchen Finks
3x Murderous Redcap
4x Viscera Seer
2x Safehold Elite
2x Hex Parasite
1x Flesh-Eater Imp

Other Spells:
4x Green Sun's Zenith
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
4x Duress
2x Blasting Station

Land:
4x Verdant Catacombs
2x Dryad Arbor
9x Forest
8x Swamp

Other Spells that have been suggested are:
Birthing Pod
Crypt Champion + Saffi Eriksdotter (seriously like this)
Thoughtseize- awesome, but not available.
Glen Elendra Archmage
There is even a build that uses Glittering Wish and a wish board.

I hesitate to slip in another combo, because this deck works so consistantly because it is so simple.  On the other hand it would be nice to not be so destroyed by a extracted Melira.  This combo works because it is fast and focused, if it has to cast bigger spells to do more things to live in to the late game, I am not sure the combo will withstand the removal it will face.

I built a Bant version of this deck. It's been testing ok, but not nearly strong enough to compete with all the combo decks along with 5-color control. It destroys other aggro decks though, so that's something. Glen Elendra Archmage is amazing. Having her on the board with Melira is a serious headache for your opponent. However, there isn't much else that blue offers, so I think black is definitely a good color to try. GBW could be very strong, playing a combination of hand disruption, removal, and good creatures, essentially playing like a resilient aggro deck with a combo. For reference, here is my Bant list.

4x Noble Hierarch
3x Melira, Sylvok Outcast
2x Qasali Pridemage
4x Kitchen Finks
3x Knight of the Reliquary
2x Eternal Witness
3x Glen Elendra Archmage

4x Green Sun's Zenith
4x Path to Exile
4x Remand
3x Blasting Station
2x Elspeth, Knight-Errant

3x Forest
2x Plains
1x Island
2x Breeding Pool
2x Temple Garden
2x Hallowed Fountain
1x Horizon Canopy
1x Celestial Colonnade
1x Dryad Arbor
1x Ghost Quarter
4x Misty Rainforest
1x Verdant Catacombs
1x Arid Mesa
I was considering a similar combo deck, but I decided to skip it while I was looking at other deck concepts.  However I kept getting pulled back here and so I decided to come back to it.



There are a few combos in here, some infinite some not so much.  The infinite combos deal with Hivestone and Basal Sliver.  With Skelly on the field we get infinite creatures leaving and entering the battlefield.  With either Golgari Germination on the field or Grave Pact (or my bug friend) this is a very good thing.  My favorite one though, which isn't infinite (it can be if necessary) is any sac outlet (I used more bugs), Spike and a persist creature, I used Murderous Redcap because it's fun.  This deck could be mono-black, but I would lose Golgari Germination and that would not be so much fun.
Glen Elendra Archmage, such a strong interaction against combo/control.
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Y U NO RUN NANTUKO HUSK!?

It's a natural fit in this deck, and it gets BIG.
I would have killed, literally ended someones life, to NOT have Arrogant Bloodlord riding a giant ant... Good times:
Show
but where DID the other fork come from?
Show
Lord_Zed: I was at my friends house when this happened. He's married and his wife was an excellent baker. She had baked a homemade apple pie the night before. I was hungry, and my friend convinced me to try those low carb monster drinks. Before this day, I had never triend energy drinks before. Boy was I in for a treat. When I tried that first monster, I really enjoyed the flavor, but the taste that it left in my mouth wasn't so good. What was my solution? Drink another! before I could finish drinking that 2nd monster, I felt it already kicking in(these drinks were not very far apart, we're talking minutes here) my friend decided that it was a good idea to whip out that fresh pie his wife made the night before. I didn't know what to do, since I felt incredibly invigorated, and at the same time, freaked out by the rush I was feeling, but I was also hungry, and my friend have me an entire plate with a fork and said "help yourself." He extended his saucer to me, and I cut him a piece of the pie and handed it to him, then I looked at the pie, noticed that the pie was in an aluminum holder, and dumped the entire pie onto my plate and started eating it with 2 forks. I don't know where I found that other fork, it probably came from my friend. Anyhow, his wife wasn't happy, and I was already in magical christmas land. 2 days later, I was in my friends bed and I slept for 14 hours. His wife outlawed my from having any of her baked goods for a while(which sucked because I could just show up at there house, steal some sweets, and leave) and said I couldn't have any energy drinks at her house, unless under close watch. My friend, on the other hand, had to take me out to a steak dinner, because apparently I won a bet where I climbed a tree and didn't die.
The great land debate:
Show
97563441 wrote:
Zendikar had fetchlands, and Worldwake had manlands. What are the new Scars duals called?
61325265 wrote:
Explosive Peanut Lightning lands. Well, that's just what I call them.
61325265 wrote:
58232598 wrote:
i'm just trying to figure out what the point of saying this is. it's just really random.
And so the pot met the kettle.
Y U NO RUN NANTUKO HUSK!?

It's a natural fit in this deck, and it gets BIG.


It is just not necissary.  The game is over with Melira 2 of several other combo pieces in the deck.  Getting a big Nantuko is absolutly not needed.
Melira + Redcap + Viscera Seer = win
Melira + Finks + Blasting Station = win
Melira + Safehold Elite + Imp = win
...and you can mix an match those for other wins.  The only thing I am thinking of adding is Quillspike if my Meliras are somehow neutralized.  Otherwise there are already many way to combo in to the win.

Glen Elandra has amazing potential, but so far few are the games where I have 5 mana sources and do not have the combo pieces in play or am ready to tutor for one.  I think it may be best as a SB card.
Y U NO RUN NANTUKO HUSK!?

It's a natural fit in this deck, and it gets BIG.


It is just not necissary.  The game is over with Melira 2 of several other combo pieces in the deck.  Getting a big Nantuko is absolutly not needed.
Melira + Redcap + Viscera Seer = win
Melira + Finks + Blasting Station = win
Melira + Safehold Elite + Imp = win
...and you can mix an match those for other wins.  The only thing I am thinking of adding is Quillspike if my Meliras are somehow neutralized.  Otherwise there are already many way to combo in to the win.

Glen Elandra has amazing potential, but so far few are the games where I have 5 mana sources and do not have the combo pieces in play or am ready to tutor for one.  I think it may be best as a SB card.


Oh, I can totally see why you don't need to run it. My personal opinion is that sometimes you just need to get BIG, like to block something or use the "Block+Sac" to nullify thier attack. Also, if you don't have a win con out but you have the combo going you can just run over them if you want.

I guess that, from my personal experience with combo(espescially creature-based combo) I like to play it a little safe. If I make a deck, I'll definitely use your list for insperation but also look to give it a "b" plan.
I would have killed, literally ended someones life, to NOT have Arrogant Bloodlord riding a giant ant... Good times:
Show
but where DID the other fork come from?
Show
Lord_Zed: I was at my friends house when this happened. He's married and his wife was an excellent baker. She had baked a homemade apple pie the night before. I was hungry, and my friend convinced me to try those low carb monster drinks. Before this day, I had never triend energy drinks before. Boy was I in for a treat. When I tried that first monster, I really enjoyed the flavor, but the taste that it left in my mouth wasn't so good. What was my solution? Drink another! before I could finish drinking that 2nd monster, I felt it already kicking in(these drinks were not very far apart, we're talking minutes here) my friend decided that it was a good idea to whip out that fresh pie his wife made the night before. I didn't know what to do, since I felt incredibly invigorated, and at the same time, freaked out by the rush I was feeling, but I was also hungry, and my friend have me an entire plate with a fork and said "help yourself." He extended his saucer to me, and I cut him a piece of the pie and handed it to him, then I looked at the pie, noticed that the pie was in an aluminum holder, and dumped the entire pie onto my plate and started eating it with 2 forks. I don't know where I found that other fork, it probably came from my friend. Anyhow, his wife wasn't happy, and I was already in magical christmas land. 2 days later, I was in my friends bed and I slept for 14 hours. His wife outlawed my from having any of her baked goods for a while(which sucked because I could just show up at there house, steal some sweets, and leave) and said I couldn't have any energy drinks at her house, unless under close watch. My friend, on the other hand, had to take me out to a steak dinner, because apparently I won a bet where I climbed a tree and didn't die.
The great land debate:
Show
97563441 wrote:
Zendikar had fetchlands, and Worldwake had manlands. What are the new Scars duals called?
61325265 wrote:
Explosive Peanut Lightning lands. Well, that's just what I call them.
61325265 wrote:
58232598 wrote:
i'm just trying to figure out what the point of saying this is. it's just really random.
And so the pot met the kettle.
Maybe run the Quillspike/Druid combo along with this? Also, why not just run Wish Mainboard, and put 1/1/1 or whatever of your persist guys in the sideboard?

(at)MrEnglish22

So I was looking at the Philly coverage, and at first thought I saw a Combo Persist deck make a showing, but it was just pod, which I am not really a fan of.  It is even more disruptable than this deck, at a quick glance.  I am going to be copying the top 8 decks and play test this to get some evolution going, but I think it is still a deck that could do pretty well.  I will also start turning the first post in to a primer once I get some test play.
Project Melira is actually very powerful, as you get to fetch up hate at will.
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Project Melira is actually very powerful, as you get to fetch up hate at will.


Is there a thread for it?  Are there any tournament reports?
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www.youtube.com/user/wizardsmtg#p/u/17/s...
luckily, its not rich hagon.


Yea, I saw that list and was a little confused, but I get it now that I watch the vid.  The thing is I really don't buy it.  Way too much going on in the deck, and instead of controlling the early game they are racing with accelerators.  I don't like THAT kind of combo, I prefer a more interactive form of the combo game.  I also am not a fan of Birthing Pod, but perhaps in a build with all the ramp he is running can make it work.  His deck tries to do the same thing, but tries to do it with only one combo.

I may be a total scrub, and am talking out my rear- after all I did not make it to pro-tour (not that I tried), but Project Melira looks like no fun to play and is all over the place.  Also Blood Moon (arguably) won PT Philly, and is the card to worry about.   His mana base is quite susceptible.  Yea, he runs a single Acidic Slime, but that seems inadequate.  I am actually thinking of splashing red for Blood Moon, though I am also thinking of working on a mono-red Blood Moon deck.


Your call, i think it was the only melira deck above 18 points.
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Would Autumn's Veil or Avoid Fate be any good for the sideboard here? Some combo protection maybe?
I played a Birthing Pod version of the Melira deck today in a local modern tourney. The only matches I lost were to 12-post. It is a lot of fun to play and the toolbox that Pod provides helps so much against other combo decks, which is where the deck has its biggest problems. After the tourney was over, I found myself wishing I had a few more maindeck answers, so I might take a few ideas from the list in that video, especially Fulminator Mage and Acidic Slime.
Your call, i think it was the only melira deck above 18 points.


You are right, but as far as we know no one even brought a list similar to this to Philly.

I don't want to get in to which is better- I am willing to admit that I have no professional experience to back up my preference.  For me it is because I just am not willing to play a non-interactive combo deck if I am going to play a serious game.  Like the guy in the video said, I have to have fun playing it or I will not play well.
Pod version is interactive as you have to fight through or select hate for your opponent through Pod.
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After quite a bit of testing this on MTGO against a much larger selection of decks, I decided that straight BG is not working as well as I want.  Discard is just not a good or consistant enough disruption in the numbers we can run, so I started working on a blue splash.  I tossed out the discard spells, and added in Remand and Go for the ThroatRemand works so well because we are not trying stop our opponent as much as hold them off, and on top of that it replaces itself in your hand.  Go for the Throat is for that which gets through, and it works well enough.  Some might prefer Smother, but it probably does not make too much of a difference.  I did not have it at the time I built this on MTGO, so I just used what I had.

Some may ask: "If you are splashing blue now why not run Glen Elendra Archmage", and to this I say I still think it is too slow.  My games are won on speed, and I still have a hard time racing 12post if they get good draws.  I just am not convinced that she will be of much use, but to be fair I have not tried it.  I have none on MTGO, but if I get a chance to trade for one I will give it a shot.
I've been playing the Pod version of this for awhile now, and I have to say Chord of Calling is an MVP. Searching for any combo piece at instant speed is huge. I highly recommend testing it out.

Also, if you want to include a Pod version of this deck in the OP as an option, feel free to use my build. It has been putting up good result against everything currently in the field.

4x Birds of Paradise
3x Viscera Seer
4x Wall of Roots
3x Melira, Sylvok Outcast
1x Fauna Shaman
1x Tidehollow Sculler
1x Gaddock Teeg
4x Kitchen Finks
1x Eternal Witness
1x Harmonic Sliver
1x Fulminator Mage
1x Murderous Redcap
1x Loxodon Hierarch
1x Ranger of Eos
1x Reveillark
1x Body Double
1x Acidic Slime
1x Sun Titan

4x Birthing Pod
3x Chord of Calling

4x Forest
2x Swamp
4x Verdant Catacombs
4x Misty Rainforest
2x Overgrown Tomb
2x Temple Garden
1x Godless Shrine
1x Breeding Pool
1x Sunpetal Grove
1x Dryad Arbor

Sideboard:
1x Fulminator Mage
1x Ethersworn Canonist
1x Hokori, Dust Drinker
1x Kataki, War's Wage
1x Nekrataal
1x Withered Wretch
1x Spellskite
1x Necrotic Sliver
2x Creeping Corrosion
4x Thoughtseize
1x Duress
I've been playing the Pod version of this for awhile now, and I have to say Chord of Calling is an MVP. Searching for any combo piece at instant speed is huge. I highly recommend testing it out.

Also, if you want to include a Pod version of this deck in the OP as an option, feel free to use my build. It has been putting up good result against everything currently in the field.

4x Birds of Paradise
3x Viscera Seer
4x Wall of Roots
3x Melira, Sylvok Outcast
1x Fauna Shaman
1x Tidehollow Sculler
1x Gaddock Teeg
4x Kitchen Finks
1x Eternal Witness
1x Harmonic Sliver
1x Fulminator Mage
1x Murderous Redcap
1x Loxodon Hierarch
1x Ranger of Eos
1x Reveillark
1x Body Double
1x Acidic Slime
1x Sun Titan

4x Birthing Pod
3x Chord of Calling

4x Forest
2x Swamp
4x Verdant Catacombs
4x Misty Rainforest
2x Overgrown Tomb
2x Temple Garden
1x Godless Shrine
1x Breeding Pool
1x Sunpetal Grove
1x Dryad Arbor

Sideboard:
1x Fulminator Mage
1x Ethersworn Canonist
1x Hokori, Dust Drinker
1x Kataki, War's Wage
1x Nekrataal
1x Withered Wretch
1x Spellskite
1x Necrotic Sliver
2x Creeping Corrosion
4x Thoughtseize
1x Duress


I have nothing against Pod decks, but that is just not of interest to me.  It is a VERY different deck than the one I am playing and tuning, to the extent that it almost has nothing to do with the focused combo deck I play.  To that end I made a request to the VCL to change the name of this thread to [Primer] BGu Persist (Podless), so that it can be used if anyone is interested in such a Primer.  Thank you for your inputs, but I could not identify a good pod deck if I wanted to.
I definitely get what you're saying. Maybe I'll make up a Pod primer some time soon for those who want to take a different approach. Regardless, I still recommend testing Chord of Calling. The difference between searching for any combo piece and green combo pieces only is pretty big. And the mana cost is really only relevant in the first few turns of the game.
RIP-  I don't think this deck is viable without GSZ, or a much more expensive (and damaging) land base.  Chord of Calling is just too green intensive, Fauna Shaman is too fragile, and Pod is, well...a different deck.  I will try it, but I doubt will have the same speed as it does with GSZ.
I know you want to play this as a BGu list, but if you want to keep the deck alive and well, I would suggest changing it to BGW and including a wishboard. It is essentially a GSZ that costs 1 extra and can't search for Melira. But it can search for Finks, Redcap, and Quillspike, along with silver bullets like Gaddock Teeg, Qasali Pridemage, Wheel of Sun and Moon, etc. Maybe the changes aren't good enough to keep the deck on the map, but it's a consideration.
I know you want to play this as a BGu list, but if you want to keep the deck alive and well, I would suggest changing it to BGW and including a wishboard. It is essentially a GSZ that costs 1 extra and can't search for Melira. But it can search for Finks, Redcap, and Quillspike, along with silver bullets like Gaddock Teeg, Qasali Pridemage, Wheel of Sun and Moon, etc. Maybe the changes aren't good enough to keep the deck on the map, but it's a consideration.


Thank you, but I am not interested in such a toolbox deck.  I love the idea of them, and they are very crafty, whether it is because I am old, or because of my AoADD, I tend to make many more play mistakes and bad calls when I play such decks.  When I have too many options in front of me it tends to mess with my focus and judgment.

If I get the money for a more versatile land base then perhaps I will try Chord of Calling, but I just do not run enough creatures for it to be much of a discount.  I will test out some transmute, but will be tough choosing which mana cost to go for.