Four-Color Pod with David Doberne
David Doberne with his Four-Color Birthing Pod deck.
“Stabilize, titan, Elesh Norn.”
That’s Indianapolis Standard Open champion David Doberne’s motto as he tries to solve the puzzle presented by his Four-Color Pod deck round after round. And it’s a good thing to keep in mind as his list is akin to a highlander deck with 12 different one-of spells, four more singleton lands, and 11 more singleton spells in the sideboard. The fact that all of those cards specialize in wildly different things makes playing the deck more of an art than a science, and makes having a focus like David’s motto an important tool in the goal of winning the game.
“For me there are two kinds of decks: aggressive, and as complex as possible,” David said. “This one definitely falls into the latter camp, but after winning in Indy and with studying taking up so much time, I mostly want to have fun.”
And that’s not a knock against the deck at all. Birthing Pod decks are one of the most popular archetypes on Magic Online, and they’ve been on a slight uptick in the paper game over the last few months, with Lucas Blohon even reaching the Sunday stage at Pro Tour Dark Ascension in Honolulu with a Naya version of the deck. That this one adds another color only makes it that much sweeter. It’s just that Birthing Pod decks are notoriously difficult to play.
Phantasmal Image is perhaps the main reason to be blue in this format, as it allows you to keep up with opposing ramp decks by copying their titans in addition to being naturally powerful against legendary creatures. It even works overtime in this deck by copying powerful singletons like Geist-Honored Monk—which David considers the best aggressive five drop in his deck—and Sun Titan. It can also just go nuts with Deceiver Exarch, allowing you to have a huge turn out of nowhere with multiple Birthing Pod activations ending in a boom-boom like Primeval Titan or Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite as the Deceiver Exarch and its clones can untap the Birthing Pod multiple times while trading up the curve.
Huntmaster of the Fells and Blade Splicer ground the deck a bit, as they are just very good cards, and the same goes for Garruk Relentless, though the planeswalker can give David a little toolbox to work with. David keeps the spice flowing in the sideboard with a little Trinket Mage package of Elixir of Immortality and Hex Parasite that help him shore up some of the deck’s weaknesses.
“It’s a little soft against planeswalkers since my only early aggressive creature is Strangleroot Geist, so Hex Parasite is a concession to that. Elixir of Immortality is good against aggro and other midrange and control decks where I sometimes run out of gas.”
You don’t have to worry about running out of gas when you recycle your graveyard with Elixir of Immortality. And Hex Parasite has been circling around the edges of the metagame as a way to shotgun loyalty counters off of opposing planeswalkers at the cost some life and some mana.
Wacky. Effective. Fun. What more could you ask for from a deck? How about a shot at the Top 8 of the Standard Open? So far David is 5-0-1 with his crazy deck, so maybe there’s a method to his madness. Follow his progress as we move further into the weekend!