Deck Tech: Black Green Birthing Pod


If you are updated with Standard, you’ll know that Birthing Pod decks had been increasingly popular in the recent MTGO Daily’s and on SCG Open tournaments. The popular color combination of the deck archetype is Red Green White, or short-termed as Naya Pod.

Here is a typical decklist:

Naya Pod by Kaitai
MTGO Standard Daily (4-0) – Week of 3/26/12
Main Deck
1 Acidic Slime
1 Archon of Justice
4 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Blade Splicer
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
2 Fiend Hunter
1 Geist-Honored Monk
3 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Stonehorn Dignitary
4 Strangleroot Geist
1 Sun Titan
1 Viridian Emissary
1 Wurmcoil Engine

4 Birthing Pod
2 Oblivion Ring

4 Copperline Gorge
5 Forest
2 Gavony Township
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Mountain
2 Plains
4 Razorverge Thicket
2 Rootbound Crag
3 Sunpetal Grove

Green and White are the deck’s core colors, and adding Red due to consistency of SOM’s Red/Green dual land and the power of Huntmaster of the Fells.

Yes, these are the typical builds but I am thinking of the other color to combine with Green. I just then got inspired by this article and remembered the Black Green Pod I made just before Zendikar block rotated out. I’ve checked out some references and came up with this list:

Black Green Birthing Pod by Mark Ian Alloso
Main deck
4 Woodland Cemetery
1 Grim Backwoods
1 Evolving Wilds
11 Forest
7 Swamp

4 Strangleroot Geist
1 Entomber Exarch
2 Young Wolf
1 Glissa, the Traitor
3 Viridian Emissary
4 Birds of Paradise
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
2 Wakedancer
1 Skinrender
1 Grave Titan
1 Geralf’s Messenger
1 Sheoldred, Whispering One
2 Acidic Slime
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Sylvok Replica
1 Perilous Myr

4 Birthing Pod
1 Mortarpod
4 Tragic Slip

The deck can purely do the “go aggro” plan with Geists and Young Wolf while abusing Morbid on the Pod with Wakedancers and Tragic Slips. Also, Glissa can do a combo with Sylvok Replica or Perilous Myr. One “God draw”-ish scenario would be:

Turn 1 Forest, Birds
Turn 2 Woodland Cemetery, cast Birthing Pod
Turn 3 Forest, Cast Strangleroot Geist, Pod to Wakedancer with trigger Morbid, Bash
Turn 4 Swamp, Bash, Pod Wakedancer to Entomber Exarch, Return Wakedancer to hand, Cast Wakedancer
Turn 5 Swarm the opponent with critters!

That last part was overrated but pod into geist to Wakedancer has a high chance of happening.

Sideboards will then again be based on local meta, but I’d advise you prepare against Wolf Run Ramp as it is the bad matchup of the deck.

Anyhow, I suggest you try the list in your FNM’s or other regular (less serious) tournaments. It’s the new system PWP so don’t be afraid to lose. Play for fun and enjoy the game.

Until next post!

Categories : Magic The Gathering

  • Tim

    I recently got back into M:tG after an extended break and selling all my cards. I picked up 4 Event decks (2 Pod, 2 Deathfed), and figured that whatever I build will likely be the culmination of where those start me out. Over time, I have built the following decklist, and it is working quite well in casual play, though I do not get many opportunities for tourney play. What do you think of this decklist? I am still on the fence over certain cards, and would like to hear theory/strategy over certain decisions. Where possible, I will add my reasoning, and maybe you could tell me if any of it seems flawed?

    4x Birds of Paradise
    2x Llanowar Elf (1st turn ramp seems essential)
    2x Strangleroot Geist
    1x Melira (combos w/ black sun, plus the obvious. Debating sideboarding)
    1x Viridian Emmissary (used to run 4 geist, until I got surgical extractioned…)
    3x Geralf’s Messenger
    1x Glissa (kill stuff, get pod/solemn back)
    1x Daybreak Ranger (vs delver and spirit tokens)
    1x Skinrender
    1x Solemn Simulacrum
    1x Thrun
    2x Phyrexian Obliterator (1 in hand means I can’t pod into it)
    2x Vorapede (1 of these rotates around with other 5 drops)
    1x Acidic Slime
    1x Massacre Wurm
    1x Grave Titan
    1x Reaper from the Abyss/ Mikaeus/ Geth?? (they are all good in their own way)
    1x Sheoldred

    2x Tragic Slip
    2x Go for the Throat
    4x Birthing Pod
    1x Asceticism (make everything Thrun-like? Yes, please?)
    1x Black Sun’s Zenith
    1x Green Sun’s Zenith (most common pull- Birds of Paradise…)

    4x Woodland Cemetery
    10x Forest
    8x Swamp

    I have access to most, if not all, key cards that might swap out, and have been tuning with: Moldgraf Monstrosity, Solemn Simulacrum, Phyrexian Metamorph, Hex Parasite, Witchbane Orb, Acidic Slime, Surgical Extraction, Ratchet Bomb, Mortarpod, Bloodgift Demon, Curse of Death’s Hold, Predator Ooze, Morkrut Banshee, and various other jank.

    Weaknesses seem to be heavy Flying decks, Mirran Crusader, and intense burn to the face. When I swap in more Daybreak Rangers and flying fatties, I fare better vs. flyers, Mikaeus is all I can come up with vs. Crusaders w/ Angelic Destiny, and timely Witchbanes and Asceticisms seem to halt the burn decks. The problem is that I can’t seem to do it all at once, along with the fact that I am not sure if my CMC curve is good, and am I using the right critters/mix?

    I am monetarily comitted to this concept (I can’t afford to branch out into another color atm) for the forseeable future, and would just like to make sure that I am presenting the best deck possible. Any advice helps, especially if it comes from someone who can do serious deck testing in a tourney environment. My gut tells me it’s strong, but unfinished.


  • Mark Ian Alloso

    Hi Tim,

    I think you can add Solemn Simulacrum, Phyrexian Metamorph, Acidic Slime on the curve. Also you can add up Ratchet Bomb which works well with Glissa instead of Black Sun Zenith. I also suggest you up to a set the Strangleroot Geists.

  • Mark Ian Alloso

    Perilous Myr (which can kill Mirran Crusaders) is another Glissa option & maybe add Mortarpod on the main list.

  • Colin Titan

    So I just tore apart my bant pod to build this. It is SO much faster it’s unbelievable. I actually have been using Ulvenwald Trackers and Phyrexian Obliterators. If they don’t take care of it THAT TURN it’s a win. If they do, I keep going into Dread Slaver which steals creatures with the Tracker. Gut shots suck of this but they usually use them on the birds so that I don’t ramp into godliness. Geralf’s Messenger is dope ‘cuz it double pods like strangle root, vorapede, and the new butcher zombie from AVR. Grave titan and Wurmcoil are sweet, and I honestly don’t even bother with cmc7 slot- I win before slot 6 often. I surprised at how this does considering I don’t have a Thrun yet and its extremely vulnerable. I think undying helps this a lot. The only real threat is, like you said, flying decks or blue control, and most of the time they are both. The fight mechanic really solves this with the Ulvenwald Tracker- so underestimated, and it’s better than Daybreak Ranger cuz it has no limit on damage and it doesn’t need to flip, nor does it need red. I think maybe if I get a Griselbrand I’ll throw in Sheoldred for kicks so i can pod to it, but until then the low cost meat is where its at. Tragic slip!