Standard Brew: BG Birthing Pod

One of the major afflictions I have when it comes to Magic is an addiction to brewing. Good ol’ Smitty seems to suffer from the same thing. No matter how much success I have with a given deck, I always feel like I should be building a new one because I thought of or heard about or saw another cool idea. Then I lose a lot and get down on myself and start brewing again. Go go vicious cycle! Gradually I have learned that success means you did it right, which means you can stop brewing and start tweaking. Given the recent success this BG Pod deck has had, I think I am in that phase now. There’s also a lot to be said about familiarity with your deck and what it can and cannot do.

I am far from a great Magic player. I am good in theory, and when watching matches I see way more than I do when playing, but when the cards are actually in my hand I rush and cannot force myself to think things through for some reason. I also tilt way too easily. With that said, I have played this deck at 5 events and lost one match at each. In testing it does exceedingly well. It’s not perfect and even I can see a couple of slots that are underperforming, but there are no matchups that are autolose. I never feel like the underdog when I sit down with it and it is capable of some very, VERY unfair things. Dark Ascension essentially pushed the deck from “good” to “scary.”

Last time I played it, I found the Phyrexian Rager and the Grave Titan came out A LOT. There are few matchups where I can see me wanting to keep the Rager in, but a lack of good 3-drops means that right now it stays in the main deck. Against decks with artifacts and/or enchantments to remove, Replica and/or Corrupter come in. I can’t see running the second Replica main as it does nothing on offense, and Corrupter can be a liability. Can we please have Civic Wayfinder back in Standard?

Titan is good against Vapor Snag but I often wanted Massacre Wurm more, and having a second to fetch made more sense. Entomber Exarch never really did much for me, and might end up being Phyrexian Obliterator again. Now, if only I can fit a Prey Upon in here…

The board needs more Ratchet Bomb and more Perilous Myr. Myr is VERY good against Mirran Crusader and also against werewolves, especially Huntmaster of the Fells. With the amount of spot removal decreasing, Precursor Golem might also be a possibility in the board.

Carnifex Demon is very, very good right now. Podding a Vorapede into it and then activating it once resets the undying on your Vorapede, which means you can then turn it into a Wurmcoil Engine. Carnifex also loves blocking Inkmoth Nexus. Two Sheoldred might be too many, I don’t know that the deck even needs a seven. One is probably fine though, if you untap with it you just don’t lose.

Glissa is really good in this deck with all the utility artifacts. She’s the reason you’d run Precursor, she makes blocking anything with Wurmcoil into a profitable venture and turns Ratchet Bomb or Perilous Myr into machine guns. Oh, and Geralf’s Messenger is nuts. You haven’t lived until you Pod Messenger into Metamorph copying Messenger. Oh yeah, and Metamorph is pretty good with Glissa too.

How many of you are scoffing at Praetor’s Grasp right now? I get that a lot. Well let’s look at what my deck can do with it. Against ramp, it steals a Primeval Titan. It can also grab anything from Mono Green. Against the big control decks I can steal Karn. [/mtg_card]Sword of Feast and Famine[/mtg_card] anywhere? MINE. A lot of people have said that Memoricide is just better but I don’t agree. I have literally never lost a game in which I resolved Grasp. I’ve even stolen a Mana Leak to counter Life’s Finale. It’s not the greatest card ever but it DOES swing games and I cannot recommend it enough.

There are a couple of things I’m considering. One would be a main deck Traveller’s Amulet for some fixing, since it plays well with Glissa. Also thinking or boarding into Garruk Relentless against Grafdigger’s Cage, taking out the Pods. I haven’t had to play against Cage yet but siding Pod out when artifact hate comes in might be worthwhile. Garruk does a similar thing to Pod when he flips and has the added benefit of breaking ground stalls.

I love almost every deck I’ve played and done well with, but this feels better than any of them. It’s definitely worth a run at an FNM where people are not expecting it, you’ll be surprised just how powerful it is.

Here’s the list as it stands:

BG Robot Pod

Creatures (26)
Birds of Paradise
Perilous Myr
Viridian Emissary
Geralf’s Messenger
Glissa, the Traitor
Phryexian Rager
Sylvok Replica
Phyrexian Metamorph
Entomber Exarch
Acidic Slime
Massacre Wurm
Grave Titan
Wurmcoil Engine
Carnifex Demon
Sheoldred, the Whispering One

Spells (10)
Doom Blade
Ratchet Bomb
Beast Within
Birthing Pod
Curse of Death’s Hold

Land: (24)
Woodland Cemetery
Ghost Quarter
Sideboard: (15)
Curse of Death’s Hold
Nihil Spellbomb
Go for the Throat
Praetor’s Grasp
Massacre Wurm
Sylvok Replica
Viridian Corrupter
Acidic Slime


4 thoughts on “Standard Brew: BG Birthing Pod

  1. edguise88 says:

    Aww, since FB comments were removed it seems my comment has vanished! Not sure if you caught it, but it read something along the lines of:

    Nice post, ive been working on GB Pod myself for a long time (check my blog for more info #shamelessplug lol).
    Ive recently repaced my Maindeck Doom Blades with Traic Slips, and not looked back. Not really after a Vorapede myself, as it doesnt really do anything (EtB wise) although the Carnifex combo is nice.
    I would highly recommend Brutalizer Exarch, I used to run Grave Titan myself but always preferred to Pod for Wurmcoil or Massacre Wurm when I needed a big dude, but BE offers some cool options at 6 mana and imo is a rather under-rated card.
    At 7, Ive only ever had 1 Sheoldred until recently, though the addition of Heartless Summoning has allowed me to run a Rune-Scarred Demon too, so he might be a good choice in place of the second Sheoldred for the times you really need to find that Beast Within or other answer.

  2. Wayne Miller says:

    What do you think about Mikaeus, the Unhallowed or Reaper from the Abyss in a Deck like this?

    • I haven’t tried Reaper, seems like it would be a good answer if the format gets away from swarms of little dudes. Would work nicely in combo with Sheoldred too. Mikaeus I am currently running and he’s been bonkers, though some think he’s overkill. I will try Reaper at some point and see how it feels, but Massacre Wurm and Wurmcoil are my best 6 drops right now.

  3. Wayne Miller says:

    I’ve been running Ivan Schroder’s ProTour deck for a few weeks:

    I have a lot of really good things to say about it. Namely, it murders token decks really well, and has a pretty good matchup against blue-black control. There are some matchups I don’t like, and I’m thinking about how to be stronger against them, namely R/G Aggro & Wolfrun. I don’t play the mental missteps in my side, I exchanged them for Carnifex Demon and Nihil spellbomb.

    R/G aggro materializing a birds+war and peace is very tough to deal with, since I don’t play the spot removal that you are playing. Wolfrun is a similar story; the inkmoths are tough for me to deal with. I’m tempted to run Go For Throats, but I’d need to run 2 or 3 to get them reliably against a fast-starting opponent, and its hard to pick three cards to get rid of. I really like Black Sun with undying. You can also do combat tricks with Geralf and Black sun after combat, eg. swing with Geralf, get blocked & die, black sun for 2.

    I’m surprised that you don’t run Garruk Relentless in your side? Some decks pack so much Artifact hate that I just board out my Pods when I know I’m going to face 4x Ancient Grudge. I’m not sure that Primal Hunter is a good fit for my deck; he’s a bit win-more in most matches, but is good against UB control.

    Anyway, good to see a fellow GB podder out there. Thanks for that chat.

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