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By: romellos, A. Atasoy
Feb 13 2014 12:00pm
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     Hello everyone and welcome back to the Modern Days series. It has been a while since I have visited the Neverending story of the Modern. During those missing times; lots of new and interesting rogue decks emerged from nowhere, especially at the Mtgo dailies. It’s like Mtgo become the Test Arena of any new Modern deck ideas. I consider this as a good sign that shows us the believe factor for the future of Mtgo. Otherwise, things were quiet until the very recent ban & unbans. And once again, meta of the Modern is unsettled after the unleashed faeries with a graveyard storm…

I expect to see even more new deck ideas before the upcoming Modern PTQ season. What can I say, tough days and nights are waiting for us with endless tests & tweaks until the perfection. 

                                                Birthing Pod   Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

Today, I will review a semi-rogue casual deck idea that can be also treated as a hybrid of Pod & Nykthos devotion decks. Here it is, Nykthos devotion Pod: version Green.


I brew this deck as a Mono Green version with more Midrange Beatdown approach, instead of any creature based combo utilizations. Sometimes, all we need is a fresh point of view to look things from a different angle.

Birds of Paradise  Wall of Roots

Birds of Paradise, a true legend since the beginning. It is still powerful, cheap and effective after all these years. I think, we’ll start to this bird around more than before as it’s the best substitute option after the banning of Deathrite Shaman. In this deck, you can also try Llanowar Elves or Elvish Mystic over the Birds of Paradise for a slight aggressive advantage.

Wall of Roots is another staple card in the Pod type decks with its good ramp up & effective defense merits. Previously, I have tried Llanowar Elves in this spot for more fast ramp up option, but there were times that I could use a decent Wall against the aggro decks. Especially against the rampages of Wild Nacatl.

Strangleroot Geist  Fauna Shaman

Up to now, I always played with Strangleroot Geist in any kind of aggro decks. I can clearly say that it is quite aggressive with its Haste & Undying abilities. And in this deck, Strangleroot Geist will act as a bridge to the 3 CMC range and can also give us double Green devotion with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.

I have included Fauna Shaman to this deck as a silver bullet. She can be effective to filter unwanted creatures at our hand during the midrange/ late game stages with her Survival of the Fittest ability. She is not a must card in this deck, but she can be a very useful time to time.

Scavenging Ooze  Kitchen Finks  Eternal Witness

Deathrite Shaman was keeping most of the Graveyard based strategies in check until some point. And Scavenging Ooze can provide very similar benefits to disrupt these kind of situations with specific +1/+1 & gain 1 Life bonuses for each removed creature card from the graveyard. I think Scavenging Ooze will bear more important role in the Modern during the upcoming days.

We have five different sources that can provide us quite well Life gain advantage in this deck. And Kitchen Finks is one of those important factors to stop and revoke the aggressive assaults during the early turns with its Persist ability. 

Eternal Witness is amazing with her Regrowth ETB bonus to re-utilize any key cards that we may require based on the heat of the moment. She is the mutual card that saw play both in the Pod and Devotion type decks due to her graveyard recursions.

Obstinate Baloth  Chameleon Colossus

I admit that Obstinate Baloth seems like a sideboard card more than a main deck option at first. Currently, meta of the Modern is shifting, maybe there will be lots of aftershocks until all settled down. So, I wanted to play a little safe here with an option for 4/4 body and ETB 4 Life bonus against some uncertain factors.

Obstinate Baloth is a safe valve here, but Chameleon Colossus is my try out with its protection from Black and its extraordinary growth ability that we can abuse with the Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.

Thragtusk  Vorapede  Primeval Titan

Thragtusk is another great Green creature option that we can utilize at the Pod type decks easily, even just as a fun card. Regardless of its Pod deck applications, Thragtusk is a pure midrange beater & tempo disrupter with its three in one package nature.

Normally, there were three Thragtusk in this deck and after our conversations with Kumagoro, I have listened his suggestion and include Vorapede as a single copy to the final version of this deck. Vorapede will be a huge asset like Strangleroot Geist & Kitchen Finks with its Undying ability.

Primeval Titan is our final step for the Pod to bring some crucial plan B cards: Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx & Kessig Wolf Run & (Stomping Grounds) to ensure our victory with a single strike.

Birthing Pod  Primal Command

Birthing Pod is what it is. I can only say one new thing about it, that Birthing Pod will also contribute one Green devotion to our pool for Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.

The CMC curve of this deck may seem high & slow at the first impression. But, we got decent ramp up contribution from our Mana guys & huge boost from the Nykthos itself that we can easily gather seven or eight Mana in no time.

Primal Command is a little experimental here. Normally, Pod decks would prefer to run Chord of Calling or Green Sun's Zenith type cards for an immediate impact to the board. We all got some moments that we would use an extra effect beside the creature advantage. And in that regard, Primal Command can be a tailor made with its extra benefit options.


My Sideboard options are against the most common threats that we can face during our games.

Fracturing Gust  Defense Grid 

Fracturing Gust is an excellent option against the artifact or enchantment strategies, especially when we can easily cover the Five CMC with all of our ramp up providers.

Currently there are lots of U/x type control decks around, full with lots of cheap instants & Flash cards in the current Modern environment. And Defense Grid can be very useful against these shenanigans with its taxing effect. Its applications are quite wide that we can nearly stop the Counterspell type permission strategies or spot removal & damage effects and also creatures with the Flash ability, such as: Snapcaster Mage, Mistbind Clique, Scion of Oona, Spellstutter Sprite or Vendilion Clique.

Damping Matrix  Thrun, the Last Troll  Wurmcoil Engine

Damping Matrix can be a killer card against some specific combo strategies and partially effective against the Affinity & Tron decks.

I know, Thrun, the Last Troll has already proved himself about how much he is good against the permission decks. But I’m still not %100 sold about whether Thrun, the Last Troll should be in SB of this deck.

Wurmcoil Engine is another last minute addition. Actually, I have included Wurmcoil Engine to the sideboard section after my test games, which showed me that I need an option against the Mirran Crusader. One copy is better than nothing.

Relic of Progenitus Ground Seal Tormod's Crypt Grafdigger's Cage

In these changing times, I’m expecting to see various of graveyard themed decks in the Modern environment and Relic of Progenitus can be really helpful as a global solution with a cantrip bonus. Otherwise, you can also try Ground Seal, Tormod's Crypt or Grafdigger's Cage as alternatives. But, I wouldn’t suggest using Grafdigger's Cage in the Pod type decks, as it’s not working well with Strangleroot Geist, Eternal Witness or Kitchen Finks.


Here are the two game videos of this deck from the Modern Times 1.17 PRE. The first video is from the second game of the third round, against the Soul Sisters deck.


The second video is from the first game of the fourth round. My opponent was playing with a BWR control deck.



Deathrite Shaman is no more. So, this is the best time for me to re-visit my old Mono Green Stompy deck(s). See you next time in the "Modern Days"...