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Thiago

The cEDH Archetypes #09 - Birthing Pod Lines

Today will be the day to talk about the Birthing Pod lines in the Competitive Commander and we will take the opportunity to compare them with the possibilities that Primespeaker Vannifar brings us.

This article belongs to the series The most popular archetypes of the cEDH:

1. The cEDH archetypes #01 - Food Chain

2. The cEDH archetypes #02 - Demonic Consultation

3. The cEDH archetypes #03 - Underworld Storm

4. The cEDH Archetypes #04 - Aetherflux Storm

5. The cEDH Archetypes #05 - Hatebears

6. The cEDH Archetypes #06 - Thieves and Wheels

7. The cEDH Archetypes #07 - Taking Turns

8. The cEDH Archetypes #09 - Birthing Pod Lines

9. The cEDH Archetypes #08 - Extra Combats

Hello my friends! How are you? My name is Fogaça and I'm here to talk about Commander. Some time ago, we had the much-cited article about the Hatebears archetype, which showed us the importance that disrupting the opponents’' strategies with creatures have in the format. My initial idea was to comment on decks like Blood Pod and use that as a lead to the Opus Thief build in a following article, but at that moment I felt that something was missing. On that occasion, I said that we would deal with Tymna & Tana's forms of victory at another time. Thinking about it, today will be the day to discuss the lines of [[Birthing Pod]] and we will take the opportunity to compare them with the possibilities that [[Primespeaker Vannifar]] brings us. [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/nph-new-phyrexia/birthing-pod-104.jpeg?1479) * THE COMBO * I thought a lot about how to explain the central idea of our lines here, and came to the conclusion the best way is referring to two extinct classics of Modern: the UR Twin and the Toolbox Birthing Pod. Those who were players at that time must remember that the consistency of a two-piece combo caused problems for the health of the format, as well as the possibilities that a permanent tutor brings us allow us not only to follow linear strategies, but also to use it as a tool in favor of the deck, allowing a much more practical than conventional problem solving. What I mean here is that when we combine this type of combo with a consistent way of looking for it, we have something good, but when that way comes from a card that can serve as a tool in favor of the deck, it becomes powerful enough to build an entire archetype around it (which can be applied both in the case of [[Birthing Pod]] and in the case of [[Demonic Consultation]]). Now, specifically talking about the Commander, we can debate about three main lines of play that became popular for the Pod Lines strategies because they occupy few slots and allow the cards characterized by tutoring our combo pieces to be used to solve eventual problems (even if the rest of the deck also works to stabilize the board, it is interesting to have options). Each line was based on the options that a specific tutor gives us. So, in order to have pieces in common, the best way I found to demonstrate them was through topics. • LINE 1: [[BIRTHING POD]] We have several options for the lines based on the New Phyrexia artifact, but the most popular one integrates the already known Blood Pod deck, allowing us to use [[Tymna the Weaver]] as the starting spark for our combo. The sequence of this is given by: 1. Activate [[Birthing Pod]] by sacrificing Tymna to seek [[Felidar Guardian]]; 2. Exile [[Birthing Pod]] with Felidar's ability to return the artifact to the battlefield untapped; 3. Sacrifice [[Felidar Guardian]] with the Pod to bring [[Karmic Guide]]; 4. Use the [[Karmic Guide]] effect to bring Felidar from the graveyard to the battlefield and again blink [[Birthing Pod]]; 5. Sacrifice Felidar again, and then bring [[Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]] to the game; 6. From the Kiki-Jiki ability, return [[Felidar Guardian]] to the battlefield by creating a copy of [[Karmic Guide]]; 7. Use the proposed loop between [[Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]], and [[Felidar Guardian]] to end the game. [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/rna-ravnica-allegiance/prime-speaker-vannifar-195.jpeg?3955) • LINE 2: [[PRIMESPEAKER VANNIFAR]] In the case of [[Primespeaker Vannifar]], her use can go up to a high curve to bring in some key creature to combo or to impose board presence lock on the opponents. The most popular line of play that we find here is the one used on the Blue Pod deck, given by the following line: 1. With the ability of [[Primespeaker Vannifar]], sacrifice [[Thrasios, Triton Hero]], to bring [[Pestermite]], [[Deceiver Exarch]] or [[Bounding Krasis]] to the game; 2. Use the previously chosen card's ability to untap Vannifar; 3. Use the Vannifar ability to sacrifice the chosen card and bring [[Breaching Hippocamp]] to the battlefield, untapping her again; 4. Sacrifice the Hippocampus to bring [[Karmic Guide]] guide to the battlefield, with the Hippocamp itself as the target of Karmic's ability; 5. Again, untap Vannifar to sacrifice the Hippocampus, but this time, fetching [[Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]]; 6. Activate the Kiki-Jiki ability to copy [[Karmic Guide]], thus bringing [[Breaching Hippocamp]] back to the battlefield once again; 7. Use the loop between [[Breaching Hippocamp]] and [[Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]] to end the game. [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/m15-magic-2015/yisan-the-wanderer-bard-209.jpeg?2549) • LINE 3: [[YISAN, THE WANDERER BARD]] Even though [[Yisan, the Wanderer Bard]] has another role as a commander, when he is included on the 99 (or 98, depending on the case), he represents a redundancy for the effects presented here, and, with the help of [[Quirion Ranger]] and [[Scryb Ranger]] to start the line of sequencing from turn 3, we can take advantage of their potential to give us other options for play. His main line also integrates the possibilities of both Blood Pod and Blue Pod, being derived from the following sequencing: 1. After using the Rangers to enable three counters on Yisan, search for [[Village Bell-Ringer]] in order to untap him again, as well as all your mana dorks; 2. Activate Yisan again, this time for four, in order to bring [[Felidar Guardian]] to the battlefield; 3. Blink Bell-Ringer with Felidar's ability, making another untap to Yisan and your mana dorks; 4. After the new untap, activate Yisan to five, bringing [[Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]] to the battlefield; 5. Use the loop between Kiki-Jiki and Felidar or between Kiki-Jiki and Bell-Ringer to end the game. * COMMANDERS * Basically, my idea for today was to bring the lines of sequence to you and reach a somewhat controversial conclusion, so that we will not have variations, honorable mentions or budget alternatives. However, since I mentioned two specific decks, I will use this session to differentiate them, in order to show the different nuances that derive from the strategy of these Birthing Pod Lines. [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c16-commander-2016/tymna-the-weaver-48.jpeg?3136) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c16-commander-2016/tana-the-bloodsower-45.jpeg?9457) Following the order of citations, let's start with the already known Blood Pod. The build based on Hatebears compensates for the lack of blue in order to be a true toolbox, having a creature for every situation that we may have in the game. In this way, [[Birthing Pod]] ends up being a unique piece of interaction, which can save us from a lock, bring a new lock to the game or allow us to reach win conditions, thus being a means for a disruptive deck to have an accelerator for when there is a need to explode and a brake to regulate the speed of the battlefield. [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c16-commander-2016/thrasios-triton-hero-46.jpeg?9510) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c16-commander-2016/bruse-tarl-boorish-herder-30.jpeg?5562) Moving on to our other quote, we have our dear Blue Pod, newcomer here in our articles. The deck was designed to adapt the disruptive Blood Pod to a more midrange strategy, adding the blue to have more answers and not be so dependent on Hatebears. The result is an interactive deck that protects itself with magic while using [[Birthing Pod]] and [[Primespeaker Vannifar]] as ways to generate a strong board state, always moving forward and compensating for the lack of black tutors in this build. *CONCLUSION* I will confess that it is increasingly difficult to write these articles. The main concepts were already covered in the first publications, so I end up having difficulty to avoid being repetitive and explain new ideas and applications for the cards on our tables. This fact leads me to be a little strange during this conclusion, since what I want to demonstrate here is contrary to some ideas that I proposed earlier: as we have seen, the less slots a combo occupies, the better its acceptance, especially if it can add for other instances of gameplay (as already explained during our [[Demonic Consultation]] talk), but there are times when a specific engine for our interaction serves so well to generate value in the build that the lost slots are compensated by the versatility that kind of interaction gives. That's it for today. I ask you to leave your feedback so that we can always improve. The series aims to address only part of an entire sphere that covers an extremely diverse format, so I invite you to subscribe to my [link](https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyqfJp8MNsmyE89F2ALRYrg)( channel on YouTube), where I talk about Commander, not only competitive, but also in other varieties, as well as about other formats. Until next time, my friends!

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Got excited about Pauper and want to get into it! Where should I start?


Hello my friends, I am Betão and I wrote this article to help players who want to start playing Pauper. Born in 2008 on Magic On-line, and officialized as a format in "paper magic" in 2019, Pauper always had its fan base who always played on-line, at a local store or even in the kitchen tables around the world when they had the oportunity. Nowadays, Pauper is growing and getting new players every day. Because it is one of the cheapest formats in Magic? Of course! To start in this format the player does not need to pay a large amount of money and Pauper still allows you to play with historical cards like [card](Counterspell) and [card](Lightning Bolt). But that's not the only reason. The unity and hospitality of the Pauper community is also a strong reason to play it, and we will keep spreading the good aspects of the format in order to keep it alive! * But after all, what is Pauper? * Technically, Pauper is a format built with a minimum of 60 cards in its main deck and 15 reserve cards, the so-called sideboard. Only cards that have, at least once, been released in the common rarity, printed or online, are allowed. * How to build the main deck? * The main deck is built within a pre-defined game plan that exploits your strategies to the fullest. The deck can be interactive or non-interactive, which means that it can interact or not directly with your opponent's cards. Also, they can be active, which imposes their pace of the game and try to dominate the battlefield early, or they can be reactive, which approaches the game in a different way, trying to eliminate threats when they appear, seeking to exhaust the opposing resources and after that dominate the field to achieve the victory. * What about the sideboard? What is it for? * All decks have strengths and weaknesses. This is what makes the game healthy and balanced. There will always be good and bad match-ups against your deck. In order to try to overcome the weaknesses of your deck, the sideboard assumes the function of containing cards that improve the development of your strategy against the adversary. So, we have a maximum of 15 cards that are designed to cover these weaknesses against the decks that hurt you the most. It would not be nice if some strategies are stronger than all, this is a problematic situation that can lead to bans. * Wait, bans? * That's right! With the number of cards created since 1993, there is a huge collection of common cards available. So, it is possible that the interaction between some cards becomes problematic and unhealthy for the format, and interventions might be needed to attend this issue. There interventions are the banning of specific cards that WotC believes to be the key points of problematic strategies or gameplays. [link](https://magic.wizards.com/en/game-info/gameplay/formats/pauper)(Click here to access the updated banlist.) * I already understood what Pauper is, and now I want to play. Which deck should I start with? * There are a few tips that can help you choose your starting deck. On YouTube, you can find videos from different content creator talking about decklists and showing how they work. You can also visit the metagame page in the menu on this site, and watch some of the most played decks in the biggest tournaments around the world. So to speak, this is the metagame, the name and list of the decks in a tournament, with their presence and performance percentages. However, some decks have two or more colors, and this can hinder the development of your game when making decisions about sequencing your land drops onto the battlefield, as a wrong decision can forbid you to generate the right colors when you need it. Based on this fact, choosing to start with a deck of only one color seems to be a good idea, as you will always have the right lands available and generate the necessary mana and you can concentrate on learning the strategy and playing sequences of your deck, as these are fundamental to have a better performance at the game. Later, when you've already developed your gameplay skills and learned more about the metagame, you can gradually venture into decks with more than one color. Assuming that at this initial moment the safest option is to choose a one-color deck, I will list below five one color decklists that have done good results in some championships. [center]{Red - BURN} Burn is a non-interactive deck that seeks to assign direct damage to your opponent's life points as quickly as possible, with cards like [card](Lightning Bolt). But also keep in mind that sometimes it is useful to use some burn spell as removals for threats that your opponent may present during the game. Red does not have a lot of cards that allows you to draw in abundance, so the deck tends to lose its breath when the game extends for many turns. [deck](47263) [center]{Green - STOMPY} This is an aggressive deck, meaning your strategy is to win by quickly dealing enough combat damage to your opponent. This is done by putting small creatures on the battlefield and trying to increase their power. Green does not draw beyond what is possible and, therefore, is a deck that needs to be fast. [deck](47262) [center]{Black - Mono Black Control (MBC)} This one is a favorite among Brazilian players! As the name says, it is a control deck. It seeks to eliminate the opponent's threats and is efficient in that, as it has many options for removals. It is consistent, summoning creatures on the early turns and having ways to draw cards, which is important in the late game. It is good at gaining time delaying your opponent's game while evolving yours. [deck](47266) [center]{White - Mono White Heroic} The heroic ability allows you to place a +1/+1 counter whenever the creature with that ability is targeted by a spell. This makes your creatures very strong in a very short time, because in addition to these creatures the deck has enchantments that add other abilities that are of great value your creatures, such as vigilance, lifelink and first strike. This deck doesn't draw a lot of cards either, so it needs to be fast too. [deck](47265) Finally, it is important to note that it is not a rule to start with decks of only one color, however it seems to be a safe way to know more about the format. That's it for today. I hope you found this reading informative and also pleasant. Welcome to Pauper and until next time!

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Betão, professor de Física, entusiasta de todos os formatos, se dedica única e exclusivamente ao Pauper desde 2019 e recentemente ao PDH.

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