Magic: the Gathering
By Thiago, 08/05/20
This article belongs to the series The most popular archetypes of the cEDH:
Birthing Podand we will take the opportunity to compare them with the possibilities that
Primespeaker Vannifarbrings us.
THE COMBOI 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 Podand 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 PODWe 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 Weaveras the starting spark for our combo. The sequence of this is given by: 1. Activate
Birthing Podby sacrificing Tymna to seek
Felidar Guardian; 2. Exile
Birthing Podwith Felidar's ability to return the artifact to the battlefield untapped; 3. Sacrifice
Felidar Guardianwith the Pod to bring
Karmic Guide; 4. Use the
Karmic Guideeffect to bring Felidar from the graveyard to the battlefield and again blink
Birthing Pod; 5. Sacrifice Felidar again, and then bring
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breakerto the game; 6. From the Kiki-Jiki ability, return
Felidar Guardianto the battlefield by creating a copy of
Karmic Guide; 7. Use the proposed loop between
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and
Felidar Guardianto end the game. • LINE 2:
PRIMESPEAKER VANNIFARIn 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
Bounding Krasisto 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 Hippocampto the battlefield, untapping her again; 4. Sacrifice the Hippocampus to bring
Karmic Guideguide 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 Hippocampback to the battlefield once again;
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breakerto end the game. • LINE 3:
YISAN, THE WANDERER BARDEven though
Yisan, the Wanderer Bardhas 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
Scryb Rangerto 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-Ringerin 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 Guardianto 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 Breakerto the battlefield; 5. Use the loop between Kiki-Jiki and Felidar or between Kiki-Jiki and Bell-Ringer to end the game.
COMMANDERSBasically, 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.
Birthing Podends 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.
Primespeaker Vannifaras ways to generate a strong board state, always moving forward and compensating for the lack of black tutors in this build.
CONCLUSIONI 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 Consultationtalk), 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.