Zane Donovan: Birthing Pod

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
This is my FNM Bant Birthing Pod deck. I'm aware that black makes this more aggressive (Zombie Pod), but I run two aggro decks (Mono-Black Infect and Red Deck Wins), so I wanted to try something else (also, I hate Zombies, so broken, so overplayed = not fun). It's also the first deck I ever built in MtG, and is by far my strongest since I've played Pod for so long. 

Creatures
1 Drop -7
4x Birds of Paradise
3x Llanowar Elves 

2 Drop - 7
3x Viridian Emmisary 
3x Elvish Visionary 
1x Phantasmal Image (only have one)

3 Drop - 7
2x Blade Splicer
3x Borderland Ranger 
2x Fiend Hunter

4 Drop - 6
1x Primal Clay
2x Solemn Simulacrum
1x Restoration Angel (only have 1)
2x Phyrexian Metamorph
 
5 Drop -5
2x Thragtusk
1x Acidic Slime
2x Geist Honored Monk

6 Drop -3
1x Sun Titan
1x Wurmcoil Engine 
1x Frost Titan

7 Drop -1
1x Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

Other Spells - 4
4x Birthing Pod  
 
Land - 20 
2x Razorverge Thicket
4x Sunpetal Grove
3x Hinter Harborland
8x Forest
1x Island
2x Plains 

This deck takes a bit of a control route with the inclusion of Frost Titan, who makes spot removal on him pretty much just a pain and taps any threat for two of my turns and using Elesh Norn as a puesdo Bonfire of the Damned for 2 but also focuses on the Midrange while aimming to pick up a lot of land within the first 3 turns of the game.

A lot of people are thrown off by the inclusion of Primal Clay, to which my response is, Birthing Pod is meant to be a reactive deck, and nothing really embodies this aspect like Primal Clay since it gives you three options; Flyer, Wall, or Beast Token.   

A concern I have, but have yet to experience is being mana screwed with only twenty lands, but twenty seven mana sources, and 7 land fetchers, I dont see that happening often. 

Cards to consider:

Geralf's Messenger
Blood Artist
Phyrexian Metamorph
Deadeye Navigator
Massacre Wurm
Gravecrawler
Perilous Myr
Personally, I like black in this deck a hell of a lot more than I like white. More stuff from black works with dying. Basically you'd be doing something like..

t1) Forest, bird
t2) Swamp, Pod(pay 2 life)
t3) Swamp, Gravecrawler, Perilous Myr, activate pod on myr(pay two life) for geralf's messenger, deal all four damage to their face
t4) forest, activate pod on messenger(undying)(pay 2 life) for phyrexian metamorph on messenger, deal 4 damage to their face, phyrexian metamorph on pod(pay 2 life), activate pod2 on copied messenger(undying)(pay 2 life) for another metamorph on messenger, deal 4 damage to their face. By now they're at 8, you're at 10
t5) island, drop thragtusk, swing with all 3 messengers, pod thragtusk(pay 2 life) for massacre wurm. Wipe their board and win game. 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/5.jpg)

Instead of using phyrexian metamorph and a clone you should just go with two phyrexian metamorphs. 
You're running 4 color pod and no mana sources save for birds..., if you intend to keep the 4th color ( ) then put a couple mountains (at least 2 so you have the 'ability' to hard cast Inferno Titan) in the deck to fetch up with borderland/solemn.

Clone should be another Metamorph, nuff said.

With 4 colors (possible 5th since you're running in the SB) you might want some more mana fixings. [v]Viridian Emissary[/c] is a great choice. War Priest and Spellskite don't really belong in the MD. Spellskite can stay as a 1of if you face ALLOT of burn/removal or Mage Blade in your meta. War Priest is more of a SB card in case you really need that extra omff in removing pesky enchantments.

Your SB needs work, allot, you need to think about your choices as such (this goes for any SB building BTW). When/what scenario am I going to SB for this? What would I take out? Is is really better than something I'm already running MD? Do I find myself SBing it almost every matchup? If that last question is a yes, then you should think about altering your MD to include the card.

Here's a little more information on playing with pod. This is taken directly from the G/X pod primer and although the post is quite old, this information still remains true and can be quite helpful. #5 gives deeper advise into SBing with a pod deck:
Show
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.

The more I think about it, take the out the SB. If you're not running it via MD and have no way to hard cast the cards (save for birds) then you shouldn't be running it. It's just taking up room in your SB that could be used for other things, useful things. Grand Abolisher and Thrun, the Last Troll against control. Tree of Redemption against burn. Trinket Mage along with his little toys Nihil Spellbomb, Hex Parasite and Elixir of Immortality. Sylvok Replica against Torpor Orb.... ect.. ect... My point it, your SB choices could be better, allot better (when in god's name were you planning on SBing in Roc Egg?).

The only things currently in your SB worth keeping are:
1-2 Acidic Slime - I used to run 2 in my SB as well, then I realized I only really SB 1 extra slime against any matchup
1 Razor Hippogriff - gives life gain and recursion, nice But it's also another reason you should be running Metamorph over Clone
1 Viridian Corrupter 

Things from the SB that should be MD:
Skaab Ruinator - if you personally don't like this card in the MD then don't run it at all, but it's a huge beater that is great in pod.
Wurmcoil Engine - why, why, why is this in the SB? It should be in the MD, nuff said... well also you have too many 6 drops in the MD... run an Inferno, Sun and Wurmcoil for 6 drops and call it good.

@Tierdrop:  can be good for pod decks, but I think you're just telling him to quit running what he's doing and run Zombie pod and while that's a good deck, it's entirely different from other pod decks. There are ways to run without turning your pod deck into zombie pod build. This has been said many a time on the G/X pod thread, and both have similar effects, but at different parts of the curve. You recommend Massacre Wurm, he has Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. Sheoldred, Whispering One and Entomber Exarch are nice recursion, but he has Sun Titian for that. There's more undying in , true, but there's also undying in (Strangleroot) and (he's not running them , but Hound of Grislebrand and Pyreheart Wolf are amazing and have done well in many a naya pod build). I do like your recomendation of Deadeye Navigator, great card in pod. But as is, his deck can't really abuse it, his lands call for hardly any making it much harder to use the ability effectively, also he's not running enough Blade Splicer here or Geist-Honored Monk those things get crazy with Deadeye. He's got Thragtusk to produce tokens... but still the his manabase is an issue when trying to run Deadeye.

You're only running 20 land... even pod decks that have a lower curve and more mana ramp run 22 or more, do you have mana problems?

How to autocard:

Show
[c]Blaze[/c] = Blaze

you can also...

[deck]

38 Relentless Rats

22 Swamp

[/deck]

=

Instead of using phyrexian metamorph and a clone you should just go with two phyrexian metamorphs. 


Only have one Metamorph or it'd be running a second. 


You're running 4 color pod and no mana sources save for birds..., if you intend to keep the 4th color ( ) then put a couple mountains (at least 2 so you have the 'ability' to hard cast Inferno Titan) in the deck to fetch up with borderland/solemn.

Clone should be another Metamorph, nuff said.

With 4 colors (possible 5th since you're running in the SB) you might want some more mana fixings. [v]Viridian Emissary[/c] is a great choice. War Priest and Spellskite don't really belong in the MD. Spellskite can stay as a 1of if you face ALLOT of burn/removal or Mage Blade in your meta. War Priest is more of a SB card in case you really need that extra omff in removing pesky enchantments.

Your SB needs work, allot, you need to think about your choices as such (this goes for any SB building BTW). When/what scenario am I going to SB for this? What would I take out? Is is really better than something I'm already running MD? Do I find myself SBing it almost every matchup? If that last question is a yes, then you should think about altering your MD to include the card.

Here's a little more information on playing with pod. This is taken directly from the G/X pod primer and although the post is quite old, this information still remains true and can be quite helpful. #5 gives deeper advise into SBing with a pod deck:
Show
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.

The more I think about it, take the out the SB. If you're not running it via MD and have no way to hard cast the cards (save for birds) then you shouldn't be running it. It's just taking up room in your SB that could be used for other things, useful things. Grand Abolisher and Thrun, the Last Troll against control. Tree of Redemption against burn. Trinket Mage along with his little toys Nihil Spellbomb, Hex Parasite and Elixir of Immortality. Sylvok Replica against Torpor Orb.... ect.. ect... My point it, your SB choices could be better, allot better (when in god's name were you planning on SBing in Roc Egg?).

The only things currently in your SB worth keeping are:
1-2 Acidic Slime - I used to run 2 in my SB as well, then I realized I only really SB 1 extra slime against any matchup
1 Razor Hippogriff - gives life gain and recursion, nice But it's also another reason you should be running Metamorph over Clone
1 Viridian Corrupter 

Things from the SB that should be MD:
Skaab Ruinator - if you personally don't like this card in the MD then don't run it at all, but it's a huge beater that is great in pod.
Wurmcoil Engine - why, why, why is this in the SB? It should be in the MD, nuff said... well also you have too many 6 drops in the MD... run an Inferno, Sun and Wurmcoil for 6 drops and call it good.

@Tierdrop:  can be good for pod decks, but I think you're just telling him to quit running what he's doing and run Zombie pod and while that's a good deck, it's entirely different from other pod decks. There are ways to run without turning your pod deck into zombie pod build. This has been said many a time on the G/X pod thread, and both have similar effects, but at different parts of the curve. You recommend Massacre Wurm, he has Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. Sheoldred, Whispering One and Entomber Exarch are nice recursion, but he has Sun Titian for that. There's more undying in , true, but there's also undying in (Strangleroot) and (he's not running them , but Hound of Grislebrand and Pyreheart Wolf are amazing and have done well in many a naya pod build). I do like your recomendation of Deadeye Navigator, great card in pod. But as is, his deck can't really abuse it, his lands call for hardly any making it much harder to use the ability effectively, also he's not running enough Blade Splicer here or Geist-Honored Monk those things get crazy with Deadeye. He's got Thragtusk to produce tokens... but still the his manabase is an issue when trying to run Deadeye.

You're only running 20 land... even pod decks that have a lower curve and more mana ramp run 22 or more, do you have mana problems?



I actually have not run into a mana problem, I have two lands, but also seven 1 drop mana producers and they usually get left on the field. Even without them, I can't say that I have run into an issue yet. 


I had considered running Sun Titan, Primevil Titan, and Wurmcoil as my six drops as I went back and revised my deck. Sun Titan, as you said, lets me brink back creatures from my discard pile (with 3 or less), so I can bring back in Strangleroot Geist and swing with it that turn or if I need an obstacle out of my way, I can Fiend Hunter it. Wurmcoil is obviously my Elesh Norn fodder since it spawns two 3/3 tokens (with lifelink or deathtouch). Primevil Titan is actually the card I can use to swing with if I need to go on the offensive. It has trample, so any defender they send will die and they will still take damage, plus every time it attacks I can fetch any two lands from my deck, increasing my mana pool so I can draw into my creatures, Pods, or even O-ring if needed. 

I may side deck Inferno Titan incase I feel like he would be more useful than Primevil in certain matchups, such as Zombie Pod, where I can Pod Inferno Titan in and bring their life total (after so much Pod use) to the point where Poding into their Coup De Grace could be fatal.

Roc Egg could be SB for Blade Splicer, since you're going to Pod Splicer most of the time anyway. Roc Egg provides the same 3/3 token, but with flying to get a little air superiority. 
Roc Egg could be SB for Blade Splicer, since you're going to Pod Splicer most of the time anyway. Roc Egg provides the same 3/3 token, but with flying to get a little air superiority. 

Yes, but with Roc you don't get the creature right away... it has to die, forcing you to have pod in order for it become useful at all. The best parts about Splicer is that the token is out right away and the token comes out with first strike which really can through an opponent off and make them think before attacking you. A first stike creature is better to have early game than a 0/3 defender. If you want a flying 3/3 token then run Winged Splicer, don't run Roc Egg. If you do consider it the a cheap alternative to extra blade splicers then why is it in the SB anyway? Have you ever noticed that most pod decks that run splicer run multiples (2-4 usually, I run 3 personally in my bant pod build). They don't extra splicer in the SB. If a card is good against all matchups then why run it in the SB? Also think about the questions I proposed when making a SB...

When/what scenario am I going to SB for this? What would I take out? Is is really better than something I'm already running MD? Do I find myself SBing it almost every matchup?


When do you find you're going to want Roc Egg compared to your other 3 drops?
What would you take out for Roc Egg if you were to side it in?
Is Roc Egg really better than what's in the MD?
Do you find yourself SBing it in every almost every match up?

1. Not sure that you would personally.
2. A borderland Ranger? maybe...
3. No, Splicer is better, Fiend is better, Skaab Is better, heck even Borderland in some cases is better.
4. Do you?

I'm not trying to be mean, it's just splicers shouldnt be in the SB. If you consider Roc Egg a secondary Splicer essentally then why put it in the SB? Also I don't like Roc Egg in pod in general because Splicer is better.



How to autocard:

Show
[c]Blaze[/c] = Blaze

you can also...

[deck]

38 Relentless Rats

22 Swamp

[/deck]

=

It's all good man, I understand what you're saying. I only have the one Splicer from the New Phyeria Intro Pack, but if I get Repeat Performance, I will defintely be adding in another. 

 
Updated with Repeat Performance and additional cards from M13 draft and trades. 
 
So... Im not exactly sure what you want here. Pod is a tier 1 deck, thats pretty polished. People on the forums can help make your deck better, by making it more like the winning pod lists (more images, fewer viridian emissary for example).

I really dont understand primal clay. I know you have card availability issues. Maybe next time you post a deck, if you already know which cards should be changed due to budget issues, note that in the original post to save a bit of time.

Maybe you should tell us a bit more about the meta you play in. Delver is the most popular deck in the meta, and recent versions run 4x gut shot. I feel like 20 lands would be alright if you could garantee the long life of your mana guys, but thats simply not the case. I feel like you need at least 22 land.
So... Im not exactly sure what you want here. Pod is a tier 1 deck, thats pretty polished. People on the forums can help make your deck better, by making it more like the winning pod lists (more images, fewer viridian emissary for example).

I really dont understand primal clay. I know you have card availability issues. Maybe next time you post a deck, if you already know which cards should be changed due to budget issues, note that in the original post to save a bit of time.

Maybe you should tell us a bit more about the meta you play in. Delver is the most popular deck in the meta, and recent versions run 4x gut shot. I feel like 20 lands would be alright if you could garantee the long life of your mana guys, but thats simply not the case. I feel like you need at least 22 land.



My meta is mostly Mono-Black Zombies with a few Delver and other odd decks. My deck went 4-2 tonight at FNM.

Primal Clay is a very reactive card that can respond to the sitaution that I need it to. Turn 3 1/6 wall is a fantastic stall if I need to stall my opponents or I can turn it into a 2/2 flyer that can chip at them until Elesh Norn hits the board. 

I only have 1 Phantasmal Image and 1 Restoration Angel, which I believe I pointed out in the OP, which is why I'm working around. I have considered other cards like Perilious Myr to deal damage to my opponent or kill a creature, another Wurmcoil Engine to add pressure and to lessen the usefulness of Go For The Throat (which is seeing an increase in play with the rise in the Zombies),  
Sign In to post comments