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Thread: [Primer/Deck] Pox

  1. #21

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by feline View Post
    Um, what? lol, I actually do push more rogue/fringe decks than I do tier 1 strategies, but what makes you say that? lol
    Just the quality of the stuff you worked out for Spiral Tide and Pox, as opposed to choosing to put that work into something like blade control, sneak/show or RUG (not saying these decks are bad, just saying they are rogue).

  2. #22
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by Sughayyer View Post
    @chatto
    probably not. It has no synergy at all with smallpox, pox, innocent blood and pernicious deed. Unless you are willing to sacrifice the optimization of the deck to add more loaming, witness, volrath's stronghold. I did it and it's bad, you'll have one half of each strategy.
    I perfectly agree, it's definitely not worth it. You could consider it as a sideboard option against control and graveyard-based combo decks, where you are usually boarding out most of the symmetric disruption, but I would still prefer something more gamebreaking.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sughayyer View Post
    I played a list similar to cthuloo,s list, but without cursed scrolls and only 3 life from the loam. I ran 1 worm harvest and 2 grisly salvage since it is effectively a tutor, and once we control the board (usually with 2 or 3 spells since they are so devastating) we need to kill fast or else we run the risk of allowing our opponents to recover.

    I've dropped the scrolls too, since then. I often had hard times activating them properly due to still having multiple cards in hand with Loam. I tried Worm harvest in the past, but was generally dissatisfied: due to repetead use of Life Frm the Loam, you usually end up with too few lands in the graveyard to effectively abuse it. I has to be said, though, that the deck still lacks a 100% effective win condition, so different alternatives, even if not fully optimal, may have their merits in different circumstances. As for grisly salvage I don't know, it appears to me that we don't have valuable creature targets to abuse it the fullest, but it's possible that your list includes some worthwhile targets.
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  3. #23
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    The BG Pox lists started cropping up a lot more just after Abrupt Decay was available, which makes sense. Abrupt Decay, Maelstrom Pulse, Pernicious Deed, Life from the Loam, possibly Sylvan Library or Mirri's Guille, Worm Harvest, cards like Choke or Krosan Grip in the board -- this all is good stuff to have in a Pox deck, if you get it when you need it.

    But the Loam engine is awkward in some ways. Darkblast and Raven's Crime help, but otherwise there is sometimes trouble knowing when to draw and when to dredge. One needs to draw a Liliana, or a Hymn to Tourach, or an Inquisition or a Thoughtseize or an Innocent Blood. I played Mirri's Guile in my list, which helped a bit to know when to draw or dredge. But the balance never seemed right with the BG deck. The pox effects, removal and discard never seemed quite potent enough to get me to a point where my win-cons (Nether Spirit, Factories, Cursed Scroll, Worm Harvest, or Vengeful Pharaoh if I was feeling really degenerate) would work.

    The mono-black list hopefully will be more consistent. The last time I played a mono-black deck, it was The Gate, and before that it was a discard deck with no land destruction other than Wasteland and Pox. So I look forward to actually playing with Sinkhole.

    One thing I like a lot about this deck is that with the discard, it makes Ensnaring Bridge or my preference Noetic Scales a nice option in the main. With the lack of activated creature abilities, Cursed Totem is a good card that shuts off a lot of annoying sh*t. And so then along with the Edict effects, there are lots of ways to deal with Mongeese and Geists of St. Hexproof, as well as Progenitus or Emrakul or Griselbrand.

    Not too sure about the combo matchups though, despite the discard.
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  4. #24
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    @cthuloo

    I don't have "good" targets for salvage. But as I said, I use it to find a win-con oafter the board is dominated. I use it mostly to throw stuff in the gy, plain and simple. After I get my grip in the game, I don't need decay, liliana, etc, loam, crime syphon life worm harvest and darkblast all work from the gy, and bloodghasts MUST be on the gy for optimal use. That's why I'm using only 2-of. But I admit, I need to test more.

    @berksowl:
    you ALWAYS draw unless you are setting up/already set up a raven's crime lock, need more lands to recover from a smallpox/pox, or are finishing your opponent (via ghast, harvest, syphon life) - or need a darkblast.
    Some people wrongly play bg pox thinking that it works like Aggro Loam, and it does not. Loam is only a powerful card, not the center of this deck. We must build and play in a way that grave hate affetcs us minimally, if at all.

  5. #25

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    I haven't played Pox in 2 years. But I tested a fun version last night. It's hard to play this deck without relyin on your graveyard. I think the ability to play from your graveyard is what made pox so strong.

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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by CRich3 View Post
    I haven't played Pox in 2 years. But I tested a fun version last night. It's hard to play this deck without relyin on your graveyard. I think the ability to play from your graveyard is what made pox so strong.
    true that the gy is a powerful resource, but by diversifying our win-cons we protect ourselves from extirpate effects, and by not dropping out our library into the gy all at once (that's what I meant talking about the dredgeing effects) we are able to recover from RiP effects.
    And with top as card selection, we have some card selection and thus we can try to control the table even in the face of a leyline of the void.
    To be short: it is ok to rely on the graveyard after we secure our position, and there are ways of dominate the game without the use of loam/dredge effects.

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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    @ feline: great job.
    Nice to see a Pox reboot over here.

    You do have a spelling mistake -
    Quote Originally Posted by feline
    Ghost Quarter non traditional seen in rogue lists.
    Rishadan Port non traditinoal seen in rogue lists.
    My Legacy Decks of choice: Pox, Miracles, D&T or Lands.
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  8. #28
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by lyracian View Post
    @ feline: great job.
    Nice to see a Pox reboot over here.

    You do have a spelling mistake -
    Tell me where the spelling mistake is then so I can fix it ^,^

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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by feline View Post
    Tell me where the spelling mistake is then so I can fix it ^,^
    Actually I think he meant Ghost Quarter: unusual etc
    Rishadan port: unusual etc
    that is, the colomns were missing.
    Otherwise it could be "ghost quarter *is* unusual etc", that is, missing the verb.

  10. #30
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by Sughayyer View Post
    Actually I think he meant Ghost Quarter: unusual etc
    Rishadan port: unusual etc
    that is, the colomns were missing.
    Otherwise it could be "ghost quarter *is* unusual etc", that is, missing the verb.
    it says "non traditional" not "unusual etc" im not sure I follow the error there, checked but everything looked find, other than "traditional" being mispelled once.

  11. #31
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by Sughayyer View Post
    you ALWAYS draw unless you are setting up/already set up a raven's crime lock, need more lands to recover from a smallpox/pox, or are finishing your opponent (via ghast, harvest, syphon life) - or need a darkblast.
    Some people wrongly play bg pox thinking that it works like Aggro Loam, and it does not. Loam is only a powerful card, not the center of this deck. We must build and play in a way that grave hate affetcs us minimally, if at all.
    I think this deserves a big quote. It's a really important point: you are not abusing Loam, you are using it. The deck works perfectly fine without.
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  12. #32
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by Cthuloo View Post
    I think this deserves a big quote. It's a really important point: you are not abusing Loam, you are using it. The deck works perfectly fine without.
    Yeah, thanks for this. That makes a lot of sense, and I could see that saving someone (like me) a lot of time and aggravation learning this the hard way. Unfortunately (or fortunately, maybe, if I'm right that the mono-black version of Pox is going to be more consistent), I've traded out of my Loams and Deeds and some other essentials and have just the mono-black option to play just now.
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  13. #33
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Monoblack is fine I think.

    Let's use this thread to cover all pox variants, because this way more information will be shared, and more ideas will be born.

    I'd like to post my bg list, it is by no means definitive, I'm still working on it. I'll give a quick explanation about the "strange" choices.

    3 thoughtseize
    1 raven's crime
    4 hymn to tourach
    - I would sure like to run the 4th seize, but there's enough space in the sideboard for that if needs be. I'd rather commit with 4 1cmc discard and 4 hymns. Raven's crime may seem bad, but it can soft lock your opponents. Hymn helps to deplete their resources.

    4 innocent blood
    4 smallpox
    - these cards are core to the deck, and a single smallpox often wins games.

    3 liliana of the veil

    2 sensei's divining top
    2 grisly salvage
    3 life from the loam

    these are for card selection/advantage. I am happy when I see 1 salvage, when I see the second I feel miserable. In this deck, it is effectively a tutor: most cards work from the graveyard (the number of cards that work from the grave increases post-board)

    3 abrupt decay
    -cheap, all-catching targetted removal

    4 bloodghast
    1 worm harvest

    the kill conditions I have chosen. I surely would like to test something like nihilith, but it has no recursion, and recursion is a powerful trait of this deck.

    lands (26)

    4 mishra's factory
    4 wasteland
    4 verdant catacombs
    2 marsh flats
    3 bayou
    1 forest
    1 cabal pit
    1 bojuka bog
    4 swamps
    2 barren moor

    Sideboard options include extirpate, pernicious deed, duress, syphon mind.

    I would like to include 3 mox diamonds, but 1) I don't know if it's needed 2) I don't know what to take out.
    Also, deathrite shaman is one of the few cards that can harm us, but he can do a lot of damage if unchecked.

  14. #34
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Anybody else is trying to do things with pox?
    Has the excitement waned?
    I playtested for a few hours today and I faced the following problem: I can control the board quite fast, but even with the 2xgrisly salvage and 2xtops sometimes I just brick on useless cards (usually lands... A lot) and my opponent recovers. If I cut on lands I'll probably cut on mishras, since the deck needs 4 wastelands and I can't cut color sources anymore. Maybe -1 mishra +1 top/salvage?

  15. #35

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    I posted a tournament report if anyone's interested:
    http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...-46-players%29

    2nd with Pox, 46 players at MTG Deals. Not quite a Mox Ruby, but still a fun day.

    Edit: Added the deck in case you don't feel like clicking over.
    The deck:
    13x Swamp
    4x Wasteland
    4x Mishra's Factory
    3x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    4x Dark Ritual
    4x Innocent Blood
    4x Inquisition of Kozilek
    4x Hymn to Tourach
    4x Smallpox
    4x Sinkhole

    2x Cursed Scroll
    2x Trinisphere

    2x Nether Spirit
    2x Tombstalker

    4x Liliana of the Veil


    The Sideboard:
    2x Nihil Spellbomb
    2x Pithing Needle
    2x Ratchet Bomb
    1x Chains of Mephistopheles
    2x Mindbreak Trap
    2x Engineered Plague
    4x Leyline of the Void

  16. #36
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by Sughayyer View Post
    Anybody else is trying to do things with pox?
    Has the excitement waned?
    I playtested for a few hours today and I faced the following problem: I can control the board quite fast, but even with the 2xgrisly salvage and 2xtops sometimes I just brick on useless cards (usually lands... A lot) and my opponent recovers. If I cut on lands I'll probably cut on mishras, since the deck needs 4 wastelands and I can't cut color sources anymore. Maybe -1 mishra +1 top/salvage?
    This deserves a long answer, a premise, and an excursus on the general position of the deck in the metagame.

    Premise: I plan on going to GP Strasbourg and would have loved to bring Bg pox with me since it's the deck I best know and love. I had next to zero playtesting in the last months, so I took the chanche to bring an experimental version of the deck to a big tournament this Sunday. I went quite well up until round 5, where I punted and missed a win on the last extra turn, scooped to my opponent since I was already feeling exhausted, proceeded to lose miserably the next round and dropped. So what's the point? Well, I will share my thoughts in a nice list format:
    • The deck can have a devastating early game, but it doesn't ever seal the deal. Plus, the awkward manabase makes stumbling a concrete possibility. Sensei's Top helps a lot, but it adds another layer of complexity (see next point).
    • The deck can have a solution for every problem, but each solution is different and may be arbitrarily convoluted.
    • Similarly, you can play around every kind of hate, but this requires perfect proficiency too

    Summing up: you almost never have easy wins. This can be definitely too mentally taxing. A few examples, I'm loving bulleted lists today:

    • I lost a game against UW miracle where at some point I had him at one land and zero cards in hand by topdecking useless stuff for 6 turns in a row.
    • I defeated 2-0 a spiral tide opponent bombarding him with discard and denial, but it still took me a long time to win, and there was always the possibility of me bricking a few turns and him coming back in the game
    • The most egregious one: I had 3 tight games against BGW Junk. In game three I played around deathrite shamans, extirpates, kotrs, vindicates and an elspeth and arrived to a point where I could win on my last extra turn against a complicated board condition, but misplayed a smallpox.

    I think the stars (a.k.a. the metagame) are not right at the moment, probably something more streamlined can be better. And this is when I come to congratulate with Infectious and start thinking about going monoblack. Less flexibility, but more raw power and less stressful plays might be the way to go. By the way, I tried Sinkholes again after a long time, and they were possibly the best news of the day. Starting from Infectious' list I would try something like this:

    The deck:
    9x Swamp
    4x Wasteland
    4x Mishra's Factory
    3x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    2x Rishadan Port
    1x The Tabernacle at Pendrel's Vale

    4x Dark Ritual
    4x Innocent Blood
    4x Inquisition of Kozilek
    2x Duress
    4x Hymn to Tourach
    4x Smallpox
    4x Sinkhole

    2x Cursed Scroll
    2x Trinisphere

    2x Nether Spirit
    2x Tombstalker

    3x Liliana of the Veil

    The rationale is (look, another list!)
    • More land denial > less land denial
    • More discard > less discard
    • More solid manabase > less solid manabase (mine could still be on the verge of being unstable)
    • Less graveyard shenanigans > more graveyard shenanigans
    • Faster finisher > slower finisher
    • More profiting from land denial > less profiting from land denial (I'm loving trinisphere)


    I think I'm going to test this. A tentative sideboard could be:

    3x extirpate
    1x nihil spellbomb
    1x chain of mephistopheles
    1x massacre
    3x engineered plague
    1x perish
    1x virtue's ruin
    2x ratchet bomb
    2x pithing needle

    I'll let you know how it goes.
    Last edited by Cthuloo; 03-27-2013 at 01:35 PM.
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  17. #37
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    It seems fair - monoblack has less recursion BUT because of that, more redundancy - thus, more consistency.

  18. #38

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Pox has the same 2 problems (1 semi-small, 1 huge) today it has had for the 18 years since it was printed.

    1) The semi small problem is finishing the game. Oddly enough this has gotten worse as time has gone on, not because our options got worse, not because other decks have gotten so much better, but because our control options have gotten so much better. In the old days Pox was 4 sinkholes, 4 Hymns, 4 Pox, 4 Terror (or something long those lines) and a bunch of cheap creatures supported by often with NShadows and AshGhouls (yes, I'm talking way way back before may of you were playing magic). It played a lot more like Gate then Pox of today. Now, I personally personally prefer the heavy control Pox of today over the Pox of the early days but while packing all that control into a deck we need to keep something in mind: Control Cards Do Not Win Games, Damage Does. So the solution has to be finding that balance of control card count Vs ability to kill.
    Liliana is amazing and gives the deck a versatility it desperately needed, but she can not win a game.
    With the exception of Mishra, lands do not win games. And yet lands and other mana effect cards make up just slightly less than 50% of the deck.
    Unless you are playing with Megrim, discard does not win games.

    You can empty their hands, blow up all their lands, remove their graveyards but if you don't have a threat to swing with when they are on the ropes you are just begging them to come back and kick your ass. We have an absolutely horrid topdeck. The average Pox deck has between 5-7 threats, that is roughly 1 in 10. Pox needs to run more threats, BUT, they cant be creatures that interfere with you playing your own cards (this is why I have always opposed TStalker).


    2) This is the bigger problem and if you can solve this, problem 1 is reduced. Pox is at its heart a control deck, but unlike nearly every great control deck in the history of Magic, Pox isn't U, U/? or ?/U. Why is U the holy color of control players? Well counterspells has a lot to do with it, but just as important is draw. The 3rd rule of Magic: Draw More, Win More. The problem isn't that black doesn't have any draw abilities, they problem is they tend to kill us. LotL is draw engine, but in Pox it is a bad one. Unless your plan is to win with VHexmage/DDepths LotL is really just a digging machine for lands and 1 or 2 grave effects, meanwhile you give up drawing a card in order to dig. If you wanted to use LotL as your draw engine you really need to retool the entire deck to work around that.


    Rather than give my solutions for each of these problems I figured I would see what everyone else thinks of the problem 1st and how they approach solving them. How you approach problem #2 will greatly impact problem #1.

  19. #39
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by RogueBuild View Post
    Pox has the same 2 problems (1 semi-small, 1 huge) today it has had for the 18 years since it was printed.

    1) The semi small problem is finishing the game. Oddly enough this has gotten worse as time has gone on, not because our options got worse, not because other decks have gotten so much better, but because our control options have gotten so much better. In the old days Pox was 4 sinkholes, 4 Hymns, 4 Pox, 4 Terror (or something long those lines) and a bunch of cheap creatures supported by often with NShadows and AshGhouls (yes, I'm talking way way back before may of you were playing magic). It played a lot more like Gate then Pox of today. Now, I personally personally prefer the heavy control Pox of today over the Pox of the early days but while packing all that control into a deck we need to keep something in mind: Control Cards Do Not Win Games, Damage Does. So the solution has to be finding that balance of control card count Vs ability to kill.
    Liliana is amazing and gives the deck a versatility it desperately needed, but she can not win a game.
    With the exception of Mishra, lands do not win games. And yet lands and other mana effect cards make up just slightly less than 50% of the deck.
    Unless you are playing with Megrim, discard does not win games.

    You can empty their hands, blow up all their lands, remove their graveyards but if you don't have a threat to swing with when they are on the ropes you are just begging them to come back and kick your ass. We have an absolutely horrid topdeck. The average Pox deck has between 5-7 threats, that is roughly 1 in 10. Pox needs to run more threats, BUT, they cant be creatures that interfere with you playing your own cards (this is why I have always opposed TStalker).


    2) This is the bigger problem and if you can solve this, problem 1 is reduced. Pox is at its heart a control deck, but unlike nearly every great control deck in the history of Magic, Pox isn't U, U/? or ?/U. Why is U the holy color of control players? Well counterspells has a lot to do with it, but just as important is draw. The 3rd rule of Magic: Draw More, Win More. The problem isn't that black doesn't have any draw abilities, they problem is they tend to kill us. LotL is draw engine, but in Pox it is a bad one. Unless your plan is to win with VHexmage/DDepths LotL is really just a digging machine for lands and 1 or 2 grave effects, meanwhile you give up drawing a card in order to dig. If you wanted to use LotL as your draw engine you really need to retool the entire deck to work around that.


    Rather than give my solutions for each of these problems I figured I would see what everyone else thinks of the problem 1st and how they approach solving them. How you approach problem #2 will greatly impact problem #1.
    About the problem #2 - Pox is usually played empty-handed: hence the use of cards like cursed scroll, and also the reason that people run nether spirit instead of bloodghast on monoblack. However, one thing is true, as I said before: pox' disruptive strategy is explosive and powerful, but it is temporary - my biggest problem was that I neither could mantain control forever nor find a game-ender threat.

  20. #40

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    benefits from playing "empty handed" and drawing more cards are not mutually exclusive. If CScroll is the argument against using card draw then I remind: 1) you that you are playing cards that cause you to discard any card anyway (Small Pox and Liliana), more card options that let you discard extra land (Raven, WHarvest, Syphon Life); 2) you have a mana curve that all but stops at 2 with a small handful of 3 drops; 3) CScroll, by its self is not reason enough to not draw more cards. It is not like you are running a bunch of Hellbent cards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sughayyer View Post
    pox' disruptive strategy is explosive and powerful, but it is temporary - my biggest problem was that I neither could mantain control forever nor find a game-ender threat.
    Thank you for supporting the very premise of my post. you need more game-enders and an increased ability to draw them.

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