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Thread: [Primer/Deck] Pox

  1. #3701
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    I've been messing around a lot with G/B decks lately, mostly in terms of Nic Fit, Maverick, and Rock. Coming across the Veteran Explorer/Cabal Therapy synergy I couldn't help but be reminded of old Extended with Sakura Tribe Elder + Death Cloud. Call me crazy, but is Veteran Explorer in a pox shell worth developing? I say this because one of the easiest ways for an opponent to crawl back into a game against pox is to topdeck out of it. With Explorer conveniently digging out lots of extra lands, doesn't that make Pernicious Deed a lot more powerful? This is just an experiment, a point for discussion mind you. I'm not saying this is actually good, nor do I think I will actually attempt this. Nic Fit is much better at utilizing more lands for bigger bombs. It's just an idea, and possibly a bad one because mana denial is key to a Pox strategy.

    4x Veteran Explorer
    3x Bloodghast

    4x Cabal Therapy
    2x Thoughtseize
    4x Hymn to Tourach
    4x Smallpox
    1x Pox
    3x Abrupt Decay
    2x Collective Brutality
    3x Pernicious Deed
    3x Liliana of the Veil
    1x Garruk Relentless
    1x Life from the Loam
    1x Sylvan Library

    4x Verdant Catacombs
    2x Bloodstained Mire
    2x Windswept Heath
    1x Bayou
    4x Swamp
    3x Forest
    1x Cabal Pit
    4x Wasteland
    1x Mishra's Factory
    2x Urborg


    Very rough list. Explorer ramps opponents into lands, but most players don't play more than 2-3 basics. Smallpox, Cabal Therapy, and Pox help to trigger explorer and get extra lands for us. Therapy and Hymn should make opposing plays fairly unimportant, and anything small that gets onto the field should get cleaned up with Deed/Brutality/Decay.

    Interested to see what people think of the concept...I really wanted to include Death Cloud but I think Pox is just the straight-faced version of Death Cloud in Legacy.
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  2. #3702

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    What you guys think of this Loam Pox mtgtop8 list?: http://mtgtop8.com/event?e=17049&d=305464&f=LE

    Interesting tech with Buried Ruin...he runs atleast seven targets(including sideboard).
    Ruin + Engineered Explosives is pretty neat.
    He also runs Cursed Scroll and Batterskull mainboard.

  3. #3703

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    what are people's thoughts on Hymn to Tourach? I see a lot of lists not running the full four, though it seems to me like one the major reasons to play Pox

    I guess it's a bit slow in some ways, and not choosing the targets is both good and bad (can hit lands, but can't hit what you care about every time)

    Anyway, just thought I'd ask. Looking to make room in my list for some Phyrexian Totems, and thinking of what to cut.
    Don't recall, Don't imagine, Don't think, Don't examine, Don't control, Rest

  4. #3704

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by aslidsiksoraksi View Post
    what are people's thoughts on Hymn to Tourach? I see a lot of lists not running the full four, though it seems to me like one the major reasons to play Pox

    I guess it's a bit slow in some ways, and not choosing the targets is both good and bad (can hit lands, but can't hit what you care about every time)

    Anyway, just thought I'd ask. Looking to make room in my list for some Phyrexian Totems, and thinking of what to cut.
    The main reason to play less than 4 is that (as with all the discard spells) it's a bad topdeck in a deck that topdecks a lot.
    It can also have diminishing returns in multiples (but admittedly sometimes it is great in multiples depending on the matchup and how the game plays out).

    Has anybody thought about trying Arguel's Blood Fast?
    - Extra source of card draw in grindy matchups (Not a good combo with Chains of Mephistopheles)
    - Can be flipped to either gain a chunk of life with e.g. Tombstalker or as a repeated source of lifegain with Nether Spirit (or Crucible + Factory etc)

  5. #3705
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    The right amount of Hymn is totally dependent on how many one-mana targeted discard spells you play, in my opinion. If you are skimping on thoughtseize/inquisition of kozilek/cabal therapy because you have other 1-mana cards to consider (cursed scroll, dark ritual) then I think you should go the full 4 Hymns. If you are playing more targeted discard than usual (5-6 is typical, 7-8 is not typical) then you can start cutting some Hymns because Hymn's randomness is generally less powerful than targeted discard, especially against combo. I always like to have a solid 10 slots dedicated just to pure discard, which usually means 6x targeted + 4x Hymn. If you want more targeted discard (fast combo in your metagame) then I would cut Hymns to squeeze them in.

    Yet honestly, I can't see playing less than 4 Hymn ever in Pox, as you say, its one of the reasons to play the deck. Curving disruption (thoughtseize > Hymn to tourach > liliana) is why the deck is appealing, at least to me. Smallpox is the other huge reason to play the deck, and some people are still trying to squeeze in Sinkhole (I'm not sure why, it's just not very good in a Brainstorm-heavy metagame) so they end up cutting 1-2 Hymns. If your disruption curves, you have a significantly higher chance of winning games, at least in my experience.

    Personally I play this discard suite: 3x Thoughtseize, 3x Cabal Therapy, 4x Hymn to Tourach. Therapy is a skill intensive card, but if you know your metagame/the format, it becomes very good, especially with Nether Spirit and Bloodghast.

    Phyrexian totem should be seen as a threat, or as mana acceleration. The slots dedicated to those should be the first consideration for cutting, not disruption. Pox by its nature needs a critical mass of disruption to function as a control/prison deck. My suggestion is to cut some number of Dark Ritual for Pyrexian Totem, possibly a 2/2 split. Dark Ritual is amazing turn 1-3, and lousy late game. Totem is lousy t1-3, fantastic t3+.
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  6. #3706
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Is dark ritual valuable? This is a question with variable answers. I follow an old rule of thumb and count each spell as 0,5 lands. This means cutting the four from the deck require adding two lands. Thus i would only free up two cards slots. Obviously that top decked ritual could equally likely been a land.
    Otoh if I did replace them, and cut Something else, I might squeeze in four Inquisition of Kozilek. Then again I may find the Kozilek as bad a top deck as the rituals.
    This, by the way, is why I like Hymn to Tourach. Even as top deck they are good. They pull the opponents lands from his hand and make him hurt by that the rack that is in play. Neither therapy, Thoughtseize, duress nor Inquisition can do that.
    I have played with and without rituals, and am not sure they are worth it. However the deck get access to speed with these spells.
    At least unless they get countered.
    This make them less useful in the control meta in suppose.
    "Pox early, Pox often, and Pox hard!" - Le_Lepreux

  7. #3707

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Personally I lean more towards removal in the main. More often than not it feels relevant to me as my meta is fairly light on combo. Currently I am on 4 Inquisition, 3 Hymn and 4 Liliana of the Veil. Slowly testing out some fairly odd builds these days so I am not sure about the suite for them. I may find that having less than 6 targeted discard isn't where I want to be. I have been testing a Lost legacy in the main and the card is real good.

  8. #3708
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by mykatdied View Post
    Personally I lean more towards removal in the main. More often than not it feels relevant to me as my meta is fairly light on combo. Currently I am on 4 Inquisition, 3 Hymn and 4 Liliana of the Veil. Slowly testing out some fairly odd builds these days so I am not sure about the suite for them. I may find that having less than 6 targeted discard isn't where I want to be. I have been testing a Lost legacy in the main and the card is real good.
    Few decks would be hamstrung by it. Could you elaborate?
    "Pox early, Pox often, and Pox hard!" - Le_Lepreux

  9. #3709

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    You make some good points about the 1cc discard and how it fits with Hymns, so i guess it really comes down to looking at the whole discard suite together.

    My discard suite right now is 4 Inquisition, 1 Duress, 4 Hymn, 4 Smallpox, 2 Collective Brutality, 3 Lilliana. No thoughtseize as I don't own them, and haven't felt the loss to be too great. Could include Therapies I guess, though I'm not sure I've got enough knowledge to make the proper use of them.

    I've been liking brutality a lot, all the modes are useful. Not a ton of combo in my meta so it's not so essential to disrupt from turn 1, and more useful to be able to kill resolved DRS or flipped delvers, while also having a chance at Duress. The extra life is helpful in a lot of circumstances where you want to get out of burn range or just buy an extra turn against an Angler.

    As a side note on removal - I've gone to 2x Toxic Deluge in the main after realizing that there were so many games where my 1x was my only out. It's been an all-star, very rarely sorry to draw it, and there are some matchups like elves where it can just win the game.
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  10. #3710

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcore View Post
    Few decks would be hamstrung by it. Could you elaborate?
    Against storm I was able to take tendrils.

    Against mono red stompy I removed Chandra.

    Against Czech Pile I took out Jace.

    It doesn't "win" on its own, it does however remove the more difficult cards for us to fight against.

  11. #3711
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by aslidsiksoraksi View Post
    You make some good points about the 1cc discard and how it fits with Hymns, so i guess it really comes down to looking at the whole discard suite together.

    My discard suite right now is 4 Inquisition, 1 Duress, 4 Hymn, 4 Smallpox, 2 Collective Brutality, 3 Lilliana. No thoughtseize as I don't own them, and haven't felt the loss to be too great. Could include Therapies I guess, though I'm not sure I've got enough knowledge to make the proper use of them.

    I've been liking brutality a lot, all the modes are useful. Not a ton of combo in my meta so it's not so essential to disrupt from turn 1, and more useful to be able to kill resolved DRS or flipped delvers, while also having a chance at Duress. The extra life is helpful in a lot of circumstances where you want to get out of burn range or just buy an extra turn against an Angler.

    As a side note on removal - I've gone to 2x Toxic Deluge in the main after realizing that there were so many games where my 1x was my only out. It's been an all-star, very rarely sorry to draw it, and there are some matchups like elves where it can just win the game.
    Brutality is about the only card I would consider cutting Hymns for, because it's essentially the same thing as a 2-for-1 (sometimes 3-for-1 if you can afford it.)

    Regarding Cabal Therapy: the best way to become good with Therapy is to just play with it. The more familiar you get with the format, the better it gets. Blind naming is an art form, but one that rewards persistence. You could also play only 1-3 Therapy and use it as IoK #5-7, use Iok/Duress to make it a sure hit. Then you can sac a Bloodghast/Nether Spirit and really take them to the cleaners.
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  12. #3712
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Cabal therapy makes you think about the opponents deck, what it does and likely cards in his (starting) hand.
    "Pox early, Pox often, and Pox hard!" - Le_Lepreux

  13. #3713
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    I have an itch to get back into Pox, so this is what I'm sleaving up for some locals in the coming months:

    4x Vampire Hexmage
    2x bloodghast

    3x Thoughtseize
    3x Cabal Therapy
    4x Hymn to Tourach
    4x Smallpox
    3x Liliana of the Veil
    3x Abrupt Decay
    2x Sylvan Library
    1x Life from the Loam
    4x Crop Rotation
    1x Garruk Relentless

    4x Verdant Catacombs
    2x Misty Rainforest
    1x Bayou
    1x Overgrown Tomb
    1x Woodland Cemetery
    3x Swamp
    1x Forest
    1x Bojuka Bog
    3x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    1x Treetop Village
    1x Cabal Pit
    4x Wasteland
    1x Maze of Ith
    1x Dark Depths
    1x Thespianís Stage

    Sideboard
    1x Karakas
    1x Glacial Chasm
    1x Maelstrom Pulse
    2x Surgical Extraction
    2x Choke
    2x Golgari Charm
    1x Toxic Deluge
    1x Pernicious Deed
    2x Lost Legacy
    2x open


    Not sure what the open slots will become. Darkblast, additional copies of Pulse, and Pithing Needle are on my short list. Needle I think is less needed for Jaces when I have 4x maindeck hate cards for PW's (Hexmage), but Needle does a lot against a lot of other threats as well. I really like the Crop Rotation tutor package, not only for getting a Marit Lage token but also for having maindeck instant speed grave hate (storm, reanimator, Snapcaster Mage) and also some great answers to a lot of threats (Cabal Pit, Maze of Ith.) If somehow my opponent's deal with Dark Depths I can just grab a Treetop Village. I'd rather play a Mishra's Factory, but I have a lot of colorless lands already in a 2-color deck. I really like the Bloodghast alternate win condition, because it synergizes with Cabal Therapy so well. It's classic pox tech and I have the room to squeeze it in. I also think an Entomb package would be great, to get the singleton Loam, maybe a Raven's Crime.

    Any thoughts on what to do for the 2 open slots? Am I missing anything?
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  14. #3714
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    You miss the cycling - draw card land.

    Second thought is to check how well it handles hate. You have only one Marit after all.
    "Pox early, Pox often, and Pox hard!" - Le_Lepreux

  15. #3715
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Barren Moor/Tranquil Thicket are pretty risky with only 1 copy of Loam. If I had the Entombs to ensure Loam/Raven's Crime it would be excellent as a grinding card draw engine, but I just can't fit the Entombs in with the Crop Rotations. The single loam is more akin to the single Crucible that mono-black lists use. The deck can function just fine (26 lands) without Loam, but it allows for some re-buying of Depths/Wasteland/Cabal Pit/etc. I really like the Sylvan Library's for deck filtering, and I would be playing those *anyways*.

    What hate are you referring to? I'm not really a loam deck, so grave hate doesn't really hurt that much. Pithing needles/Ensnaring Bridges are dealt with by maindeck Abrupt Decays/sideboarded Deed/Pulse. Chalice/Jace/Pw's are dealt with by maindeck Hexmages. Seventeen discard spells (therapy/sieze/hymn/smallpox/liliana) all rip hands apart. Bloodghast/Hexmage/Treetop/Garruk tokens beatdown are the alternate wincondition. Honestly, the only thing I feel weak against is something like Burn or Storm. Burn I really go for Depths foremost, so I can race. Storm seems like it could be even/favored with discard and Crop Rotation > Bojuka Bog. Empty the Warrens can be dealt with by sideboarded Deluge/Golgari Charms. Death and Taxes could be a tough matchup, and maybe Engineered Plague needs to be the the 2 open slots. I might even try to squeeze in 3 copies, its such a good card.

    EDIT: I could easily see Dark Confidant in the sideboard as well, the curve is super low.
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  16. #3716

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    With the 4 hex mage I would add more dark depths. That way t2 urborg dark depths cast hex mage will steal a bunch of games. What do you feel about sinkhole right now? It's not in my current build and I'm on the fence about adding 2 or 3. Also why lost legacy? Imo it's decent with dark ritual, naming something like infernal tutor, but you're not accelerating. Also another note I'm in the mox diamond yes club lol. Garruk would probably be my first cut.

  17. #3717
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    I think relying on a max-out Depths approach is putting it too close to Turbo-Depths. Turbo Depths is much better at consistently, and quickly, getting a 20/20 and winning, through disruption. My approach is the other way around: disrupt FIRST, then make a quick Depths to win (pox sometimes has trouble finishing games in time before opponent's draw out of the lock.) I also have a total of 10 combo pieces already (4 hexmage, 4 Rotation, 1 depths, 1 stage.) That's about as much as I want to commit to the combo.

    Mox Diamond would be excellent, even 1-2 of them. I could shave off a Library or Decay for a Diamond or 2. Sounds really good actually.

    Lost Legacy was filler...the deck can have a hard time against some decks (Dredge namely) and I don't have the Leyline of the Void's to adequately hate that out. I could instead play Nihil Spellbomb, but Lost Legacy has fringe benefits against other decks (Reanimator, Sneak/Show.) I could be convinced to put something else in. I was just brainstorming replacements for Pithing Needle because I don't feel I need them (or need them as much.)

    I will likely do this:

    2x Choke
    3x Engineered Plague
    2x Surgical Extraction
    1x Pernicious Deed
    1x Maelstrom Pulse
    2x Golgari Charm
    1x Lost Legacy
    1x Glacial Chasm
    1x Karakas
    1x Toxic Deluge

    Deluge may not be necessary, and maybe that's the place to put Garruk Relentless (freeing up a slot for Diamond, as you mentioned.)

    Sinkhole has been discussed in the thread several times recently, and most folks are dropping them. It just doesn't do enough. Cutting Wasteland and Smallpox are not options, and Hymn is valuable against everything whereas Sinkhole is only good against some decks. I think the prevalence of Brainstorm makes Sinkhole much worse, folks just draw into more lands. I can't fit them in with Hexmage anyways, lol.
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  18. #3718

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Understandable. What are your and the forums current thoughts on collective brutality? A few pages back it was all the hype. I have one in my side flex spot, and they are pretty good, but a little susceptible to soft counters. My meta is diverse af for what it's worth lol.

    Also, regarding your sb.. what's chasm for? It's great against decks packing price of progress but isn't it a little harder to get a thespian's stage lock going with only 1 copy and 1 loam?

  19. #3719
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Chasm is only for Burn, but I can see how it would be bad (cannot attack!) Good catch. I could always waste my own Chasm the turn I attack FTW, but that might be a window for PoP or Bolts to finish me off. I think an alternative burn plan should be considered, or maybe just accept the matchup as bad (especially considering I don't see it very often at all.) Another Lost Legacy/Deed/Pulse or maybe a Pithing Needle will take it's spot.

    Brutality is really good, I just can't find room. I could see cutting the same cards I mentioned for Mox Diamond for Brutality instead, but I'm not sure I need them. Brutality is an all-star against Burn for sure, or anything else that's aggressive (Delver.)

    EDIT: Just checked price on Mox Diamond...$170/each. Probably not adding those, as I don't have them. Might go Batterskull like someone else did recently, seems very good.
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  20. #3720
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Burn have no hate against marit lage, and must rely on speed to win.
    Crop rotate and swing for the win.
    "Pox early, Pox often, and Pox hard!" - Le_Lepreux

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