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View Full Version : [article] A Modern Melira Primer + Metagame Discussion



hi-val
10-10-2011, 01:05 AM
I love decks that even vaguely resemble Survival of the Fittest decks, so of course I took to the Birthing Pod deck in Modern. Take a look at my first part of the primer on Quiet Speculation, here:

http://www.quietspeculation.com/2011/10/a-modern-melira-birthing-pod-primer-part-1/

I talk a little bit about how the metagame looks right now, too. It's relevant to people who might not otherwise be interested in a deck tech article. Enjoy!

RainbowPenguin
10-10-2011, 09:32 AM
Hi Doug,

I used to read your articles on SCG, nice to see that you're still writing! This one is a fine read too*.

The list looks sweet, and definitely reminds me of old Survival Advantage lists. I'm looking forward to reading part II.

I understand that you will update the list, so this may already have been incorporated, but anyways: I am fairly sure the deck should include a Dryad Arbor. It's works nicely with a Vial at 0 counters, but more importantly, it allows you to fetch for a creature that you can Pod into a Viscera Seer.


*Minor nitpick: "The deck can pressure an opponent while assembling its combo, which is unique in Legacy." Yeah..

Mr. Safety
10-10-2011, 11:59 AM
Excellent reading. You have an obviously strong handle on how to make Pod work.

Sims
10-10-2011, 12:05 PM
I really enjoyed the article, Doug, and am very much liking your list. If I owned Temple Gardens our manabases would be almost identical. The only thing so far that I have not adopted that you have been using is the Aether vials.

Personally I have not felt the need of them, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be playing them. What has your experience been thus far with the Vials in conjunction with the combo? I expect this will likely be in part 2 but it cannot hurt to ask. Thanks for posting the link!

hi-val
10-10-2011, 01:55 PM
I talk about Vial a lot in the second part, but I'll sum it up here. Pod is a mana-intensive card. Vial lets you play out dudes while using the Pod or casting Chord, and it fixes mana, lets you keep more marginal hands, etc.

RainbowPenguin, I like Dryad Arbor a lot and I might rejigger the manabase to make it work. I ran out of land spots! Temple Gardens are CHEAP, btw - I scored one for about $11 the other day. Worth camping on them on Ebay.

Sims
10-10-2011, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the response, and duly noted! I'll put in some testing with vial. My gut tells me you're 100% right, so I definitely want to give it a whirl.

Hoping soon I'll have a bit extra disposable income, and I will indeed be on the hunt for some cheap Shock-lands.

hi-val
10-12-2011, 02:43 PM
Part 2 is up today!

http://www.quietspeculation.com/2011/10/a-modern-melira-birthing-pod-primer-part-2/

RainbowPenguin
10-15-2011, 06:54 AM
Once again, nice work Doug. I am a bit surprised nobody has replied to this yet. My favorite Magic article content is probably love of the game (My favorite Magic writer is Matt Elias for exactly that reason), and this delivers. :-)

The list seems well thought out too, and the "Would I ever Pod for this?"-test seems like a very reasonable thing to run toolbox choices though. I can't say I am a fan of playing only three Meliras, but if that works for you, well..
How does the deck handle Punishing Fires? That would probably be my main concern.

For the evil anti-pod people: what would you suggest to put a spanner in the works of Melira decks? It seems like Torpor Orb would be kinda rough on this particular deck, actually. Although it would be relatively easy to add maindeck Qasali Pridemages, so that hardly beats Pod as an archetype. removal plus early pressure, aka Zoo, might be the best option, I think. What do you think?

Sims
10-15-2011, 10:44 AM
Once again, nice work Doug. I am a bit surprised nobody has replied to this yet. My favorite Magic article content is probably love of the game (My favorite Magic writer is Matt Elias for exactly that reason), and this delivers. :-)

The list seems well thought out too, and the "Would I ever Pod for this?"-test seems like a very reasonable thing to run toolbox choices though. I can't say I am a fan of playing only three Meliras, but if that works for you, well..
How does the deck handle Punishing Fires? That would probably be my main concern.

For the evil anti-pod people: what would you suggest to put a spanner in the works of Melira decks? It seems like Torpor Orb would be kinda rough on this particular deck, actually. Although it would be relatively easy to add maindeck Qasali Pridemages, so that hardly beats Pod as an archetype. removal plus early pressure, aka Zoo, might be the best option, I think. What do you think?

From what I had found playing the deck, the combo itself is vulnerable to two major things: Well timed spot removal and graveyard hate. If you have to play out an early Melira and have her removed in response to your finks/redcap, it can surely slow you down enough to put you out of the game, heavily depending on what your opponent is playing. And losing your finks or redcap to a surgical extraction/extirpate isn't cool either. It forces you to play the beatdown game, and while the deck IS capable of that, if you don't have your finks it's certainly a weaker plan b.

Things like Torpor Orb or Leyline of the Void are definitely a nuisance, but you have options of handling it if you know it's coming. Pridemage as you suggested works really well in that fight against orb, where you have the option of Pridemages if you play them, Slime, and even Harmonic Sliver if you run it against Leyline.

As you said, removal plus early pressure is huge against the deck. Walls and Spellskites are huge in the Zoo matchup to redirect burn/removal away from your key creatures and absorbing attacks to try and give you time to set up. I wouldn't be afraid to run finks out early to gain life and keep your buffer up while trading with some of their threats. Some games they're just going to draw the perfect curve hand with plenty of removal and just roll you, and thems the breaks.

It takes a good mix of pressure, removal, or dedicated hate from above to completely shut you down. As I said before, if you can't keep a Melira on the table, you're still a deck that can turn creatures sideways until you can land and pod away Reveilark, and then you're right back in the game.

hi-val
10-16-2011, 08:09 PM
If someone opens with Wild Nacatl and has something like a Pridemage or three burn spells on hand, they can really put pressure on. If you run against a good zoo player who knows to burn out your Wall of Roots, then they can quickly chip away at you. The deck wants to sit behind its Walls so it can spend life for Pod. A lot of pressure means that you can't Pod as early as you'd hope.

Burn is an almost-unwinnable match, but it's not that common! If it were, I'd run COP: Red.