This is part 2 of my tournament report from GP Madrid, where I ended up in the Top 8.
You can find part 1 here – Birthing Pod at GP Madrid 2014 (8-1) by Andrew Devine
This is the deck I played. Please let me know what you think.
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Orzhov Pontiff
1 Scavenging Ooze
2 Lingering Souls
1 Thrun, the Last Troll
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Aven Mindcensor
Round 10 – Ad Nauseam Combo, Peter Vieren
I lost the dice roll.
On his next turn his Lotus Bloom came off suspend, but he didn’t go for it. I played a land and passed without a play. At end of my turn Peter played double Peer Through Depths. He found Ad Nauseam and Angel’s Grace.
On his turn he went for it. He picked up his deck, went to negative life, exiled Simian Spirit Guides and cast Lightning Storm. He discarded 7 lands to deal me exactsies. In response I played Restoration Angel to blink my Kitchen Finks and gain 2 life. Somehow after drawing his whole library, the lucky sod had drawn 8 lands, so he used the 8th one to finish me off.
The matchup was quite rough to be honest, but I felt that the addition of Eidolon of Rhetoric was a silver bullet that would just win me the game, if I drew it.
Game 2. I kept an opener with Thoughtseize and Sin Collector, as he mulliganed to 6. One of them was Leyline of Sanctity, making the game much more difficult, but I used Birthing Pod to tutor up Reclamation Sage, then stripped his hand with my discard spells. I was holding Eidolon of Rhetoric in hand, but I managed to leverage the game without showing it. I Birthing Podded Sin Sollector into Siege Rhino to put him at 6 life. He chose to use Ad Nauseam to luck-find enough pieces to win, but killed himself instead.
Game 3 was similar to game 2 (and my first game 3 of the tournament), as he had a Leyline of Sanctity and suspended double Lotus Bloom. My hand had double Thoughtseize, Reclamation Sage and Qasali Pridemage. I killed his Leyline of Sanctity with Reclamation Sage on turn 2, then used Thoughtseize to strip his combo pieces turn 3, followed by deploying Qasali Pridemage.
His Lotus Blooms came off suspend, but he didn’t have the other combo pieces to go with it, so he passed the turn. I untapped, played Birthing Pod tutoring up Siege Rhino to pressure his life, made an attack and passed back.
He still didn’t have both pieces, but he Peer Through Timed and found Ad Nauseam. On my turn I attacked with Siege Rhino, putting him to 3. I noticed he only had 1 Black producing land, so decided to Abrupt Decay one of Lotus Blooms. He floated Black off of it, so I Qasali Pridemaged the other Bloom. He decided to use Ad Nauseam to dig his way out, but the life loss killed him instead.
Round 11 – U/R Control, Sergio
I won the dice roll.
Game 1. This guy was playing Anger of the Gods maindeck that killed my Birds of Paradise and Kitchen Finks, slowing me down a lot. I tapped out for Birthing Pod, which he returned to my hand with Cryptic Command as he countered my next play.
Next turn he countered and drew with another Cryptic Command. He repeated it for another time, now by Command off of Snapcaster Mage. I was trying to get back in the game, but Dig Through Time gave him great cards, like Batterskull. All I get were mediocre draws.
Game 2. I had a grip full of resilient creatures, Voice of Resurgence made his counter magic worse, Eternal Witness returned a fetch land, so I kept making land drops. Turn 4 Siege Rhino, turn 5 Thragtusk, they went all the way.
Game 3. I led with Thoughtseize and had to take from him the Blood Moon, as I had two lands in hand: Forest and Overgrown Tomb. Blood Moon was normally pretty bad against me. I had many mana creatures and plenty of fetches. I struggled to make next plays on my 2 lands. By the time I finally saw the 3rd one, he had 6 of those, enabling him to Remand my spell, play Lightning Bolted, then Snapcaster Mage to flashback the Lightning Bolt to put the pressure on and put game out of my reach.
After the game he told me Birthing Pod was his nightmare matchup and he was lucky to come out with a win. I thought so too, but didn’t want to dwell on my bad beats. Any loss of concentration here could cost me Top 8.
Round 12 – Junk Birthing Pod, Remi
I lost the dice roll.
Remi was a recognizable French pro and to my joy it was the mirror match. I had an excellent record vs pro players and a great record in Junk Birthing Pod mirrors, so it felt like it would be a good test for myself.
On turn 1, he fetched a shock land and played Thoughtseize, but was dismayed to see 2 Birthing Pods of mine. He took one of them, but I used the other to create a few next turns of value. Finally he played his own Birthing Pod and used it to tutor Qasali Pridemage to kill mine. At this point, I had an advantage in board position, a larger Scavenging Ooze and mana up for Gavony Township activation, making my attack deal exactsies.
Game 2, I made an early Orzhov Pontiff to kill a mana dork and slow down his draw. Neither of us drew Birthing Pod, but I was able to get more creatures down and leverage Gavony Township to the point where his Siege Rhino didn’t make much difference. I was able to chip away his life with fliers, until I had a lethal alpha strike.
Round 13 – U/W/R Delver, Bernado
Bernado had splashed White in order to play Geist of Saint Traft in Delver mirrors. Sadly for him, it didn’t fare well versus my resilient blockers.
He had a creature light draw game 1, as I was able to use Spellskite to protect my creatures from removal. He managed to build up a board with Young Pyromancer and spells, but my Orzhov Pontiff made him too short of blockers and sealed the game.
Game 2. I got to live the dream with Darkblast on turn 1 to kill his Delver of Secrets. On turn 2, he played Young Pyromancer and passed. I drew Darkblast dredging a Lingering Souls into the graveyard for value. Killed the Young Pyromancer, played a Noble Hierarch and passed. At this point he was out of creatures and kept pointing burn spells at my face. I played Scavenging Ooze and grew it gaining life in process. He didn’t draw neither enough burn to finish me, nor an answer to the Ooze, so I took the match. Beat Delver 2-0, for the 3rd time.
Round 14 – Junk Birthing Pod, Pierre Dagen
I was excited to be on camera at a GP for the first time and to play against a French pro. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know what deck Dagen was playing, despite him being in the feature match area several times already.
Game 1. I made a mana dork, then he made tapped Overgrown Tomb. I hoped he was on Jund, so I could snag removal with Sin Collector before he had chance to cast it. Unfortunately he was on Birthing Pod and the Sin Collector whiffed. However, the information was important as I saw his hand was awkward with mana and cluttered with 3 drops. I then decided that I could play more creature and take over with Gavony Township as he could only play 1 creature a turn and I deployed multiple.
I played my Birthing Pod to turn Sin Collector into Murderous Redcap to kill his Voice of Resurgence. I think the coverage guys might have been right about just getting Linvala, Keeper of Silence to turn off his Scavenging Ooze. Regardless of whether I made the right play, he made a big error in trying to kill Birthing Pod in my draw step as Chord of Calling for Spellskite basically sealed the game. It was just a matter of how many turns it would take to clear up.
I’m not 100% sure how the rest of the match played out, and the coverage archive for these games is broken. The point is I won.
Round 15 – Junk, Javier
Game 1. I kept a risky one-land hand: Verdant Catacombs, 2x Voice of Resurgence, Scavenging Ooze, Kitchen Finks, Noble Hierarch and Spellskite. My opponent mulliganed to 5, and I was lucky to draw a land. He kept drawing cards that were just enough to keep him in the game, but never enough to get ahead. The game got protracted because of this. It was a slow, long win.
Game 2. I mulliganed to 6 and he mulliganed to 5, again. I got an early Birthing Pod and a couple of activations, before he drew Maelstrom Pulse to get tid of it. However, the value it gave me kept me ahead on cards for rest of game. I sealed a victory by a flier he didn’t have removal for.
Round 16 (Quarterfinals) – Tarmo-Birthing Pod, Jose
This was the quarterfinals of Top 8, so you can see parts of my games on camera. In each of them I died a slow death to Scavenging Ooze. I couldn’t draw removal for it. What’s more, I couldn’t kill his Birthing Pod, while he killed mine.
13-2 was my final result, putting me in 6th place.
Sad to lose in quarterfinals, but happy to play my favourite format at my first opportunity to win a Pro Tour.
Community Question: What Fate Reforged card(s) do you want to use in your Pod deck?
Thank you for reading,