Monday, July 30

Battle Pod

I've done some streaming and some testing with a deck I'm calling "Battle Pod." I knew it wouldn't be a great success going in, but I was convinced I could make something of it. Now, I'm not so sure. The deck started out as a giant Birthing Pod deck that had a ton of useless singletons. I trimmed it down so that it turned into a Ramp-Birthing Pod-Battle of Wits hybrid and saw some reasonable success in 2-man queues (broke even in tix). But the variance of the deck can't really be helped, thus it is a failed experiment. But if you'd like to give the deck a shot (hopefully just for fun) then continue reading.

One of my guidelines in forging the deck was that there needed to be a lot of value/two-for-one cards in order to offset the likelihood of mana flood/variance. Another was to keep the deck as streamlined as possible also to reduce variance.

Miracles seemed like a good idea in the deck since they will be live a lot more often in a giant deck, but the idea might be slightly misguided. For one thing, the mana is difficult and you won't always have the correct colors for miracles at the right times. And then there's the issue with having too many cards that are stuck in your hand. Bonfire of the Damned (and Terminus in other versions/SB) should continue to be in the deck but I think I'm done with Temporal Mastery in the deck.

I narrowed down the necessary Birthing Pod/Green Sun's Zenith targets to the following:

Rune-Scarred Demon
Sunblast Angel
Fiend Hunter
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Inferno Titan
Deceiver Exarch
Wurmcoil Engine
Viridian Corrupter
Mwonvuli Beast Tracker
Wolfir Silverheart
Stingerfling Spider
Acidic Slime
Strangleroot Geist

I'd say that's pretty streamlined

Now, for the 4-ofs:

Creatures:

4 Birds of Paradise
4 Avacyn's Pilgrim
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Viridian Emissary
4 Scorned Villager
4 Phantasmal Image
4 Borderland Ranger
4 Blade Splicer
4 Huntmaster of the Fells
4 Solemn Simulacrum
4 Restoration Angel
4 Phyrexian Metamorph
4 Thragtusk
4 Primeval Titan

You'll notice that most of the 4-ofs are either ramp or value creatures, as they should be.

Primeval Titan, being the most consistent win condition to hit play, might actually be the best card in the deck. It is capable of fixing all mana issues and of putting a lot of additional power into play. If you're really psycho (or have a better functioning mana base), you could even include Glimmerpost in the list. The utility land package I currently have is 1 Gavony Township, 1 Kessig Wolf Run, 1 Vault of the Archangel. The Vault is actually a surprisingly awesome slot. It does something that Primeval Titan isn't usually capable of, which is racing from really tough spots.

Noncreatures:

4 Ponder
4 Abundant Growth
4 Rampant Growth
4 Farseek
4 Sphere of the Suns
4 Vessel of Endless Rest
4 Divination
4 Forbidden Alchemy
4 Birthing Pod
4 Ranger's Path
4 Garruk Relentless
4 Battle of Wits
4 Gideon Jura
4 Tamiyo the Moon Sage
4 Green Sun's Zenith
4 Bonfire of the Damned

I'm not sure if this version of the deck should actually include Increasing Ambition. It's not likely that you will have 5-mana available and the ability to do nothing two turns in a row without dying.

In this version I've opted for Ranger's Path over Gilded Lotus because we care about that extra turn a lot. And hopefully we're casting Primeval Titan or something else big the turn we'd be casting the Lotus.

The deck does actually want to have removal, but it wants to have the broadest removal possible which is why wrath effects and planeswalkers are best. Something like Dismember could also fit and is something I'd consider.

Initially, I was convinced that Venser the Sojourner would be an auto-include in the deck but I've found that it's not reliable enough. Very rarely will you have a worthwhile card to blink and have Venser sticking around. I've now switch to both Gideon (which I think will be really good) and Tamiyo to accompany him.

I'm contemplating Lingering Souls especially since the two worst matchups are Delver and Zombies. For now I'm going with the heavy planeswalker package because I think they fill a role that this deck needs filled but I'll keep Souls in mind.

Everything else:

2 Zealous Conscripts
2 Mycosynth Wellspring
2 Trading Post

I like two Conscripts because sometimes you want to tutor for the second one.

Then we have two additional mana fixers,and two Trading Posts. Trading Post does enough stuff that we don't mind having a few copies, though I don't think we want to see it often enough to play four.

This deck is capable enough of winning without Battle of Wits that I see no reason to waste a slot on a card like Elixir of Immortality. It would just be another dead card to draw.

Karn Liberated is a noticeable card that is missing from this list. I'm very hesitant to add more 7-drops to the deck but that could just be my normal deck instincts. If I continue playing the deck I'll definitely consider Karn.

75 creatures, 68 spells, now for the 88 lands:

20 Forest
11 Island
7 Plains
1 Mountain
1 Swamp
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Glacial Fortress
1 Darkslick Shores
4 Copperline Gorge
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Razorverge Thicket
4 Sunpetal Grove
1 Isolated Chapel
4 Woodland Cemetery
4 Hinterland Harbor
4 Sulfur Falls
3 Clifftop Retreat
4 Evolving Wilds
1 Gavony Township
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Vault of the Archangel

By no means perfect, but there's not much else to work with (Shimmering Grotto...?). You will mulligan a lot because of the lands and other times you will just draw a ton of them because there are so many mana sources. That's the variance you have to accept to play this deck.

No 231 card deck is complete without the last 15:

4 Terminus
4 Day of Judgment
1 Tree of Redemption
1 Silklash Spider
1 Glissa, the Traitor
1 Sylvok Replica
1 Ghost Quarter
2 ?

When you don't get to see your sideboard cards very often, you want them to be as impactful and as tutorable as possible. As such, I have eight additional wrath effects, and 5 useful tutor targets. Not much else fits in the remaining two slots. I'm sure there's some more tutor targets but they would end up being wasted space.

Well, that's Battle Pod. I think with the new changes I want to try the deck again but I know it won't end witty.

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