Brainstorming Birthing Pod

Posted in Feature on October 16, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

It's always funny seeing a deck hop formats, especially when the new version is as faithful to the original as today's deck is. Birthing Pod is one of the biggest decks in Modern, using its namesake to tutor up a variety of answers and assemble the Melira, Sylvok Outcast + persist creature + sacrifice outlet combo, and it looks like it may have some legs in Legacy as well.

Birthing Pod

The core of the deck is the same, but there are some pretty exciting new additions. Two of the biggest aren't creatures at all, which is a little surprising, until you realize how insane one-mana spells get to be in Legacy. Those spells just happen to be Brainstorm and Cabal Therapy, and both make the deck much more powerful (which is necessary for it to survive in the vastly higher power level of its new home). Brainstorm plus shuffle effects is one of the cornerstones of Legacy, and makes any deck more consistent and less prone to mana screw or flood.

Cabal Therapy is a little harder to use, but still quite powerful. The first Therapy will often be a guess, although an educated one, based on the deck your opponent is playing and what he or she could be holding. The flashback should be pretty spot on, considering you already got a peek at your opponent's hand. The flashback also serves another purpose, which is to sacrifice Veteran Explorer, another Legacy-only addition. That ramps you by two lands, and often your opponent by zero or one, depending on the deck he or she is playing.

Another awesome addition to the deck is Baleful Strix. It's the perfect Birthing Pod enabler, as not only does it draw you a card, setting up a nice two-for-one, but it holds off opposing Delver of Secretss and Tarmogoyfs to make sure you have enough time to get your engine going.

The mana base is also better, although that does bring with it the threat of opposing Wastelands. There are plenty of basics here, mainly to fuel Veteran Explorer, but a nice side effect of that is the ability to play around Wasteland. If you don't need a dual land, don't fetch one, and make sure you are as safe from getting a particular color cut off as possible.

Past those changes, the deck functions in a remarkably similar fashion. It still kills with Melira + Murderous Redcap, it still tries to accumulate value each turn with Birthing Pod, and it's still a ton of fun to play with.

Rock_Star's Melira Pod

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