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Thread: [Primer/Deck] Pox

  1. #5101
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by kombatkiwi View Post
    List looks pretty solid, not trying too much fancy stuff
    - Kind of surprised the 2BB Liliana is good enough but I guess the +1 is a pretty solid wincon and it helps you get the bonus from Triumph more consistently
    - Personally I would only play 1 Nether spirit but it probably doesn't matter too much and you have so many cling to make sure you don't double up on it
    - Cling is a really good card for the deck but I'm kind of surprised to see all 4, I guess the opportunity cost is pretty low because it's so easy to cycle
    - idk if Bitterblossom is the right effect for that slot, a lot of pw to protect in this build so it has a bit more utility for blocking but I think I prefer to see ensnaring bridge there
    - Zero ritual kind of interesting but totally reasonable
    Bitterblossom is basically 'free', life-wise, with 4x Cling to Dust. Bitterblossom doesn't conflict with Ensnaring Bridge at all, you just attack before playing your last card; you could conceivably play both, not one or the other. I've done it a few times, I'm a huge fan of both Bitterblossom and Bridge in Pox.
    Brainstorm Realist

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  2. #5102
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Bitter Bridge combo ^_^. I like the list and am definitely bringing in Sedgemoor Witch as she feels like the direct upgrade to Ophiomancer.
    Three Lilianas to rule them all. One Pox to find them. Smallpox to bring them all and in the Sinkhole bind them!

  3. #5103

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Has anyone tried Witherbloom Command in loam pox? Ravens crime and smallpox means that a random land is always worth a full card, so it should usually be a real 2 for 1.

    It also has a lot of flexibility for a deck that has no card selection.

  4. #5104
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    I think the tension comes when you have strictly better ways of abusing Loam. I could see Command replacing Loam in a BG pox deck (the amount of times you actually Loam in LoamPox is a lot lower than in say Lands or AggroLoam.) I've always liked having Sylvan Library and Abrupt Decay in Loam Pox, but the ideal win condition in Loam Pox is Dark Depths. Once you commit to Dark Depths its much more reasonable to lean into that combo rather than play lackluster cards like Smallpox. The overlap is considerable, but all of the changes are less powerful than just playing Mox Diamond/Dark Confidant/SlowDepths. Slow Depths has a ton of grind to it, similar to LoamPox, but has an overall higher card quality. This is just my opinion, but Pox has become a niche deck in the highest degree; you either play it because it specifically attacks a defined metagame well or you play it because you love Pox and you don't mind having a low win percentage.

    If we want to be honest with ourselves, your Curse Stompy deck is much better equipped to deal with the metagame in general. You can tweak that deck in a lot of different ways that can adapt to metagame changes. Pox really can't adapt as well, it will always come down to hoping they don't topdeck into a 30-turn upset.
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  5. #5105

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Loam pox definitely has a pull to just become bad slow depths.

    However there are 2 differences that could make it viable. Pox can run entomb rather than crop rotation. This is better at assembling crime plus loam rather than depths plus stage. Fighting on card quantity rather than card quality could be enough of a difference to make the deck viable. Smallpox and lily are effective to ways of converting random lands into real cards. Additionally depths and lands coloured mana is atrocious, whereas the pox engine can run more real lands for resiliency.

    I do think curses is a much better take on monoB, but the core of that deck is pretty set. Deck building and major tuning is mostly done imo. Itís mostly just better piloting needed for it to have a few real tournament results. And I am not the best at that, so Iím trying to move to other bad archetypes.

  6. #5106
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    So the real question is: does Witherbloom Command make LoamPox a better deck? That would have to be explored, but I don't think a modal disruption spell is what that deck really needed (just my opinion.) Opening up a slow, grindy deck to graveyard hate (which you absolutely know is coming g2-3 for Loam alone) doesn't really give you an edge. Faster graveyard decks like Reanimator and Dredge can deal with the grave hate and then *quickly* overtake a game. LoamPox could deal with the grave hate and then still grind slowly, and like monoblack Pox, lose after topdecks come into play. The fundamental problem with Pox as an archetype is that it disrupts like a champ and then gives too much time to recoup. Delver disrupts, and then just kills you. That's why Dark Depths is so important to a LoamPox deck: you need a way to just close the game quickly. By including Depths you have to water down disruption to make room, so you can't reliably keep opponents in topdeck mode. The tradeoff is a fast win...but what happens when instead of cutting a little disruption to include a win condition you focus hard into protecting that win condition and use *just enough* disruption to quickly do that. Now you're closer to Delver and who cares what someone topdecks on turn 10 if they are dead turn 3. Sorry if this is redundant, but I've played both LoamPox extensively and TurboDepths extensively, and it isn't even close to deciding which is the better deck. Is LoamPox more fun? Yeah, sometimes its awesome, but it's not a good deck.

    I totally understand the pull of 'bad' archetypes, lol. I'm trying to put together a workable Eggs list currently, if that says anything. The creative process is a big part of my enjoyment of the game as well.
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  7. #5107
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    4 Liliana of the Veil
    2 Liliana, the Last Hope
    1 Liliana, Waker of the Dead
    2 Nether Spirit
    4 Dark Ritual
    3 Hymn to Tourach
    2 Innocent Blood
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Smallpox
    4 Sinkhole
    2 Sedgemoor Witch
    4 Cling to Dust
    3 Castle Locthwain
    4 Mishra's Factory
    9 Snow-Covered Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    4 Wasteland

    Side

    3 Inquisition of Kozilek
    1 Sedgemoor Witch
    3 Leyline of the Void
    2 Surgical Extraction
    1 Ensnaring Bridge
    1 Plague Engineer
    1 Nether Void
    1 Kaervek, the Spiteful
    2 Murderous Rider

    The witch is serious business!
    Three Lilianas to rule them all. One Pox to find them. Smallpox to bring them all and in the Sinkhole bind them!

  8. #5108

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    If you are playing witch anyways, would chain of smog plus witches cottage be a good way to get a combo finisher?

  9. #5109
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeplcheep View Post
    If you are playing witch anyways, would chain of smog plus witches cottage be a good way to get a combo finisher?
    I didn't find Chain of Smog helpful at all. Pox already runs too many narrow cards that risk being dead against an unfavorable matchup that adding a borderline do-nothing card is just too much dead weight in the deck.
    Just playing spells for value and breaking Smallpox symmetry is huge. If you want a win on the spot deck, Pox isn't it.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhale View Post
    Gross, other formats. I puked in my mouth a little.

  10. #5110
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Pirate is right. I've tested Dark Depths mod & transformational Helm of Leyline combos from the sideboard. Trying to combo in a Pox shell means you're spending turns not disrupting your foes. I've since abandoned the idea of Combo Pox. There's a Hogaak Variant of Pox that's fun but isn't as consistent as true Hogaak combo. Liliana Pox should focus more on controlling as that's the archetype it was built for.
    Three Lilianas to rule them all. One Pox to find them. Smallpox to bring them all and in the Sinkhole bind them!

  11. #5111
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    I think the biggest tension with Pox + Depths is Smallpox. I would say that is the card that needs to go to incorporate Hexmage/Depths. Otherwise the deck works as a mono-black control deck with a combo finish. Liliana of the Veil is also a little suspect, but there are workarounds with her and Depths.
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  12. #5112
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I think the biggest tension with Pox + Depths is Smallpox. I would say that is the card that needs to go to incorporate Hexmage/Depths. Otherwise the deck works as a mono-black control deck with a combo finish. Liliana of the Veil is also a little suspect, but there are workarounds with her and Depths.
    Might as well play original DD combo as it's faster and more consistent. By removing Smallpox, it's just mono-B control at that point. Breaking the symmetry was the best route instead of making a weaker helm line, Dark Depths or Hogaak variants splashing a Smallpox. Pogaax as it's nicknamed in the Discord is probably the most consistent variant of 'combo pox' I've played.

    My conclusion: It slows Hogaak by about 2 turns to disrupt the crap out of you and it beats down with several 2/1 and 3/1 beaters if the original plan fails. Ensnaring Bridge I thought could stop it but Altar of Dementia doesn't care.
    Three Lilianas to rule them all. One Pox to find them. Smallpox to bring them all and in the Sinkhole bind them!

  13. #5113
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    I think there is a place for DD in a pox-ish setup...but it's likely better to go the Reanimator Depths route if you want mono-black. You can endlessly tweak the main/side to suit your playstyle and metagame. I would argue that the Hogaak variant begs the same question as you already proposed: wouldn't it be better to just play a better deck? If I had all the necessary cards I might even build Reanimator Depths; I've played against it and it seems hella fun. Honestly, all I'm missing is 2 more Reanimates, a set of Entomb, and whatever number of Griselbrand/Grave Titans are needed to make it work. For a 'budget' deck it's incredibly powerful.

    I understand about breaking the symmetry of Smallpox...but we really have to wonder if it's worth it. Building a deck around an uncommon seems pretty suspect, and that's essentially what Pox is now. Before the recent bans the most successful versions didn't play Smallpox anyways. I think that is certainly the route to take, unless you want to continue to force an outdated archetype. I mean, zoo called, they're looking to see if we're available for drinks later on tonight.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  14. #5114

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Building around uncommons is great if they are cheap. Chain of smog, Brain freeze, cabal ritual, bazaar of Baghdad, ancient tomb, animate dead all have decks built around them And thatís only a-c.

    From comments below I have gone back to tuning land tax pox. I think itís the best way to break small poxís symmetry:
    Itís much better on tempo than loam. Itís extremely cheap, and even better on the draw which is critical for a slow deck. White already has the other best way to break smallpox (flagstones). It gives a strong engine with crime that does what pox wants to do (get the opponent to 0 resources). It thins the deck considerably so you have better top decks than the average pox player.

    Currently testing the below:


    2 Plains
    7 Swamps
    2 Urborg
    4 Silent Clearing
    4 Flagstones
    1 Scrubland
    4 Wasteland
    2 Mishraís Factory

    4 Land Tax
    4 Mox Diamond
    4 Ravenís Crime
    4 Smallpox
    3 Liliana of the Veil
    2 Waste Not

    4 Myth Realized
    1 Nether Spirit
    2 Kaya, Orzhov Usurper

    4 Swords to Plowshares
    2 Hymn to Tourach


    Minor but impactful changes: added more basics and shifted manabase a bit more B heavy to support pox/hymn.
    Factories helped with lack of wincons.
    Waste not provides an additional engine for to break parity on crime and small pox. Fracture is also great as a catch all sideboard option.

    Mr Safetyís point above above about closing is quite good. This deck isnít the best at closing but myth realized and Kaya are steps in the right direction compared to cursed scroll.

  15. #5115
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I understand about breaking the symmetry of Smallpox...but we really have to wonder if it's worth it. Building a deck around an uncommon seems pretty suspect, and that's essentially what Pox is now. Before the recent bans the most successful versions didn't play Smallpox anyways. I think that is certainly the route to take, unless you want to continue to force an outdated archetype. I mean, zoo called, they're looking to see if we're available for drinks later on tonight.
    I'll answer that call. Playing better decks is easy if you have the budget for them. I enjoy Pox not to become DtB but it's so disruptive and budget friendly. It's also a pet deck for quite a few people. After falling in love with the GroundBreaker precon, I researched LD with a passion. My friend pointed me to Pox and I'd found the calling. Never looked back. Pogaax is fun once in a while but Liliana Pox is my recreational Drug.
    Three Lilianas to rule them all. One Pox to find them. Smallpox to bring them all and in the Sinkhole bind them!

  16. #5116
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    I can certainly understand that sentiment, it's a super fun deck. I just think if you're going to play traditional Pox, as a grindy deck, it's better to go deeper into the prison approach: Ensnaring Bridge, Ashiok, maybe even Sinkhole. I'm toying with a Sinkhole list that cuts Liliana of the Veil, which sounds absurd on the surface but Liliana hasn't done anything in Legacy lately. Sinkhole has been dead even longer, but it does a couple things: lowers the functional curve so hitting 3 lands isn't necessary unless you need to jam a Bridge, and it encourages you to play out your cards every turn to maximize Bridge. Locking out fetches with t1 Ashiok and then Sinkhole/Wastleand on other lands sounds like it might actually work.

    Essentially, I think if you want a fast win-condition/combo then Smallpox has to be left out. If you want Smallpox in your deck you need to go deep into breaking the symmetry, and in my opinion play like a Prison deck with slower win conditions like Bitterblossom/Cursed Scroll.
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    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  17. #5117
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/3506677#online

    My current test. New discoveries. Black has a new Monastery Mentor in Sedgemoor Witch. She also lightning bolts anyone not using Abrupt Decay. There's been Discussion using Chain of Smog and her to go infinite but I don't like it. Menace is amazing evasion.

    Torpor Orb is super underrated. Late game drawing is very good in this configuration. Definitely considering Ashiok, Dream Render in place of Surgical Extraction. Lots of awkward games.
    Three Lilianas to rule them all. One Pox to find them. Smallpox to bring them all and in the Sinkhole bind them!

  18. #5118
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Sho, is Liliana Waker of the Dead just because we can't run LotV #5 or do you have any special purpose otherwise?

    Can't comment on your meta, but Ashiok is borderline essential for me. Last night in 4 rounds it killed fetches & Recruiter of the Guard, wiped out a Grixis KCommand/Cling to Dust pile & nuked both a Brainstorm in response to a Hymn and a Mystic Sanctuary topdeck. Hard to select an MVP when we're pushing every card to it's limit just to keep parity, but it especially kept in games that a single-minded Surgical would not have.

    Interesting thought in Torpor Orb. Skyclave Apparition continues to be an issue for keeping a Liliana based lock going, this would definitively solve that.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhale View Post
    Gross, other formats. I puked in my mouth a little.

  19. #5119
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Is there a way you can exploit the interaction of Cabal Therapy + Sedgemoor Witch? Somewhere in that 4 Thoughtseize + 2 Inquisition could be some number of Therapies.

    Witch breaking the overall Pox symmetry seems great too.

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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Pox

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Is there a way you can exploit the interaction of Cabal Therapy + Sedgemoor Witch?
    Doesn't net any tokens, and you get into the problem scenario of legacy's Mentor decks - you burn the spells that make the dudes before you can make the dude. For Pox specifically, if you turbo this out with Rit, you have a 3/2 in a deck whose wincon isn't really damage [Last Hope does the same thing, just safer]. This is the same issue Kroxa runs into, where you get a currency you can't spend.

    On the Torpor Orb stuff above, this is pretty sketchy when you can't advance your gameplans with it. Doing stuff like this means you kinda need to by playing Torpor SB and Karn maindeck...but then you will get into this mindset where you need 2/15 SB cards to be Torpor to increase effective copies (1x Torpor to g2/3 maindeck, each Karn represents another copy). Add the inevitable losses to Thassa, and this behavior of playing a 13 card SB will be hard to dislodge.

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