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Bant Pod, still alive post-rotation, maybe better than ever?

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Joined: 27 Aug 2007
Posts: 696

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject: Bant Pod, still alive post-rotation, maybe better than ever? Reply with quote

Let me begin by saying that win or lose, this is the most fun deck you'll ever play. It's explosive, consistent, and resilient. It took a few nasty hits from the rotation - notably Obstinate Baloth, Misty Rainforest, Baneslayer Angel, and Sea Gate Oracle. Never fear though, it got some nice gifts to add into the deck and a much simpler metagame in exchange. So without further ado, here is my personal list:

// Lands
3 [M12] Island (1)
4 [SOM] Seachrome Coast
4 [SOM] Razorverge Thicket
2 [M12] Plains (1)
5 [M12] Forest (1)
4 [INN] Hinterland Harbor

// Creatures
2 [M12] Acidic Slime
1 [NPH] Spellskite
2 [M12] Phantasmal Image
2 [MBS] Viridian Emissary
4 [M12] Birds of Paradise
1 [NPH] Phyrexian Metamorph
2 [M12] Sun Titan
1 [NPH] Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
2 [M12] Stonehorn Dignitary
1 [M12] Solemn Simulacrum
1 [SOM] Wall of Tanglecord
1 [MBS] Mirran Crusader
1 [SOM] Razor Hippogriff
1 [M12] Grand Abolisher
2 [INN] Avacyn's Pilgrim
1 [M12] AEther Adept
1 [NPH] Blade Splicer
1 [INN] Skaab Ruinator
1 [SOM] Precursor Golem

// Spells
2 [SOM] Venser, the Sojourner
4 [NPH] Birthing Pod
4 [M12] Ponder

// Sideboard
SB: 2 [NPH] Spellskite
SB: 1 [SOM] Wall of Tanglecord
SB: 1 [SOM] Sylvok Replica
SB: 2 [M12] Naturalize
SB: 1 [SOM] Wurmcoil Engine
SB: 4 [NPH] Norn's Annex
SB: 1 [MBS] Thrun, the Last Troll
SB: 3 [INN] Hollowhenge Scavenger

The land base allows a fair amount of basic lands for searching and a reliable way to get 2 of each color mana by turn 5 at the latest.

Creature choices:
1 CMC:
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Avacyn's Pilgrim
I like Pilgrim much better than Llanowar Elves since the Elf can get you stuck looking for off-color mana occasionally. 6 mana critters seems like a good number, enabling me to play a 3 drop or a pod on turn 2 in 65-70% of games.

2 CMC:
1 Spellskite(+2 in sideboard) - A nice wall that protects more important things like pod and elesh norn.
2 Phantasmal Image - A key piece of the deck because it can remove legendary creatures and be fetched by Sun Titan to be whatever you need at the time.
2 Viridian Emmisary - What better in a pod deck than a creature you want to kill anyway?
1 Wall of Tanglecord(+1 in sideboard) - A lifesaver against swords and big aggro decks both.
1 Grand Abolisher - Silver Bullet against control

3 CMC:
This slot used to be all Oracles, but now I'm trying out some other options. It's still a bit in the air.
Mirran Crusader - Obviously strong, but might be moved to the sideboard and only brought in against black/green decks.
Aether Adept - testing has been positive so far.
Skaab Ruinator - Absolutely love him if I fetch him with Pod. Not so much if I draw him.
Blade Splicer - I get to keep the token even after I sac him, so in a way he's getting more value than the others even though he's weaker in a vacuum.
(1 Sylvok Replica in sideboard) - Anti-Torpor-Orb tech

4 CMC:
1 Solemn Simulacrum - Loves to get fetched, loves to die, overall a great card for this deck.
1 Phyrexian Metamorph - It's nice having a clone in this mana slot late in the game because I can use sun titan to recur a 3 drop, Sac it for Metamorph(copying Sun Titan of course) and get the 3 drop right back. Also doubles as an extra Pod, Dignitary, Slime, or whatever else you need.
2 Stonehorn Dignitary - Balls to the Wall aggro is my hardest matchup, so forcing them to sit on their hands while I work my gameplan is invaluable. Often a win condition in combination with Venser.
(1 Thrun in sideboard) The indestructible blocker/beater. Normally comes in versus decks that rely on removal to race.

5 CMC:
This is where the party really starts to get fun. There are so many options here that it really gets ridiculous. You'll notice I skipped Archon of Justice, which most people seem to like in Pod, in favor of Precursor Golem which I feel gets me better value.
2 Acidic Slime - We all know it - the hopeless feeling you get from watching your mana base get decimated. Acidic Slime in conjuntion with Venser or Clones is just really, really evil.
1 Razor Hippogrif - at this point more valuable for the lifegain than anything else. I cut it pre-rotation for Baneslayer angel, but she's back with a vengeance now.
1 Precursor Golem - Basically, he is a bigger version of Blade Splicer - a card which gives me value even after i ditch it for something better.
(3 Hollowhenge Scavenger in sideboard) - As I mentioned earlier, aggro decks, particularly Big Red, are the weakest matchup. The lifegain from these should help keep you out of burn range.

6 CMC:
2 Sun Titan - Obvious inclusion, it's really what sets Bant Pod miles above all of the other Pod decks. Sun Titan for Phantasmal Image is a play you will see over and over and over playing this deck.
(1 Wurmcoil Engine in sideboard) - The lifelink is obviously important, but only in specific matchups, so he barely misses the maindeck cutoff.

7 CMC:
1 Elesh Norn - This card might as well say "Win this enters the battlefield, target opponent concedes." There are very, very few decks that can come back after she Plague Winds them.

Other spells:
4 Ponder - Really helps with both smoothing early draws and not getting stuck in a mana pocket later on.
4 Birthing Pod - The deck's namesake, it is what makes all of your triggered effects happen and finds what you need when you need it.
2 Venser, the Sojourner - Most people focus on the Pod aspect of the deck, but Venser is the real win condition. If you can keep him in play for 2 turns, the rest is just a rubber stamp.

Match ups: These are of course still in the air, so I can't be as detailed as I would like. But overall, they look positive.

Big Red: Took a lot of hits with rotation as well, but the loss of lifelink and reliable ETB lifegain has made this matchup the worst of all of them.

Assorted random Aggro: These really can't stand up to an experienced Pod player. Thrun can hold off armies by himself and Elesh norn wipes their entire board.

UW Control/swords: Most can't get around my 2 drops. Eventually they have to let something bigger resolve and it gets ugly fast. Remember that you are the control in this matchup and don't get too greedy too early.

Reanimator: I haven't had the chance to play against a good reanimator deck, so some changes may be made to the sideboard to deal with this. Then again, it might not even be necessary.

UG Mill: Extremely weak to Acidic Slime, giving Pod a huge edge in this matchup.
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Joined: 15 Feb 2007
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this list is far from optimal, imho the archetype can be a sontender in an ancient grudge-free meta.
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Joined: 27 Aug 2007
Posts: 696

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't bother with Fiend Hunter because I'd just be saccing it most times anyway. Ponder is probably a little bit better than Preordain was - Preordain let's you look at 2 and take a 3rd if you don't like either. Ponder let's you look at 3 and take a 4th if you don't like any.
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Joined: 27 Aug 2007
Posts: 696

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Fiend Hunter dies, they get their creature back - giving them another ETB trigger for their Titan.

You do know that Ponder is, in fact, a way to shuffle your deck?
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Joined: 27 Aug 2007
Posts: 696

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With so many shuffle effects, Ponder is certainly more than sufficient for card selection. As for Fiend Hunter:
you are right on fiend hunter, but that is if they kill him.
*I* will actually be killing him, probably on the very next turn.

Tree of Redemption might be a solid idea, certainly worth looking into. I'm adding one to my decklist for the time being, bringing the list up to 61 cards.
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Joined: 23 Jan 2010
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shimmering grotto = epic fail
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Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ponder is better than preordain because most of the time all you need is love err.. pod
so either you find it, then you can shuffle
either you see 4 cards instead of 3
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