Can a pox deck still be effective?

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Hello everyone, I used to play magic with friends a LONG time ago.  Never anything competitive, but it was mostly bragging rights between several friends.  Most of my cards span from Revised thru Alliances, with just a handfull of older or a little newer cards.  Before I spents lots of free time on the internet and could read about building decks and pox deck ideas and such I actually ran a pox deck, and it worked really well.  I dont rememberwhat all was in my deck, but it was a mono black deck.  I know I used pox, sinkhole, hymm to tourach, and I cant remember what all else was in the deck.  I do remember winning more than one game with an ornithopter enchanted with an unholy strength or two.  People hated losing to a card with no casting cost LOL.  Anyway, I guess my question, with all of the new cards out, can I build a pox deck that would be competitive at the locasl shop?  I have done some reading and I know this deck will be behind most GOOD decks, but if people are not expecting to see a pox deck I think I would have a big advantage.  So, without spending a ton of money, what cards do I need to make a modern, competitive pox deck? 
Pox decks are still Top 8ing in places and I know one guy in my area that drags his Pox deck to every Legacy event he can go to and he usually does well enough.

Here's a sample Pox deck from an SCG Legacy Series:



The guy I play with uses Crucible of Worlds to recycle his Wastelands.  I think he Main Decks The Rack as well.


@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

OP says cheap.  Instantly recommend 1x Nether Void, 1x The Abyss and 4x Liliana...

But yes, Azure has the right idea.  Pox can be very effective, especially in metagames that tend to be a bit more fair than usual.  I've also seen several Pox decks that added green to the deck (usually using several fetch lands and a couple Bayou).  Green gives you access to Life from the Loam as an engine.

OP says cheap.  Instantly recommend 1x Nether Void, 1x The Abyss and 4x Liliana...

To be fair, his collection spans Revised through Alliances.  Liliana was really the only thing I'm sure he doesn't already have.  When your collection is pretty old, sometimes you just happen to already have the cards that are expensive because they are old.  I mean, he's already got the Pox, the Hymns, and the Sinkholes...

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

I dont know that I would say CHEAP, but without dropping $500 on a deck the one posted is real simmilar to some deck builds that I have seen and was leaning towards.  I guess I had misread things that said pox decks are not what they used to be.  I always had so much fun with mine that is probably the way I wont to go back to. 
I wouldn't call Pox a Tier 1 deck, but if you're a good pilot and the tournament meta is in your favor, you can make Top 8 easily enough.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Hello everyone, I used to play magic with friends a LONG time ago. [...]  So, without spending a ton of money, what cards do I need to make a modern, competitive pox deck? 



Welcome back to Magic! If you first played the game in the early era, you'll find that many things have changed since then...

Firstly, there are now as many as five or six popular formats of Magic. Essentially, each format is a different variant of the game, and a deck from one format will usually be either illegal or very weak in every other format.

The popular formats are:

1. There is Standard, in which only cards from the last two years or so are legal. This is the most widely played format. Chances are, wherever you live, there will be weekly Standard tournaments.
2. Then there's Modern, which allows cards from 2003 onwards.
3. Legacy, which allows almost all cards from the entire history of Magic.
4. and 5. Booster Draft and Sealed Deck, where you open a few boosters and build a deck from those cards. These formats are also very widely played. Most people who play them also play Standard.
6. Commander, also called EDH, is a multiplayer format that also llows almost all cards from the entire history of the game, and uses 100-card decks.

1. to 5. are tournament formats. Commander is a casual format - it's designed for long, political games but not for 1 vs 1 play.

The best thing to do would be to go to the local store/gaming club on a Friday evening and find out which formats people play. There's little point in you buying cards that are only usable in a format that's not played where you live.

Secondly, finely tuned tournament-capable decks are expensive. Even in Standard, by far the most budget-friendly format, such decks cost upwards of $200 to build, and can get to $500 at times. Legacy decks tend to cost $1000 to $2000! However, basic ready-for-play decks are available for Standard (the so-called Event Decks) and Commander (will be released in autumn).

Thirdly, the way that Magic cards are designed has changed a lot since the days of Sinkhole and Hymn to Tourach.  The powers that be have decided that being prevented from playing your cards is unfun. Accordingly they haven't been printing much countermagic or land and hand destruction lately, so you won't get to play anything resembling to Pox except in Legacy.


In Legacy, Blue is the best color. Let's punish blue, in Modern. And they listened!