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Compulsive Research: Melira Pod Tutorial with Alexander Hayne

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern

Compulsive Research 700x235

Modern bannings have happened, as as I feared, my first mate, Deathrite Shaman has been banned. While I’ve been spending my time licking my wounds and crying myself to sleep at night, I’ve been trying to get a handle on what the modern format is going to look like in light of the changes. Bitterblossom will cause a surge in BW Tokens decks, and will also bring the dreaded Fae menace back from extinction to once again cause unknown mischief. Wild Nacatl will bring Zoo back as the default aggro deck, which will create a series of sub archetypes like one drop Zoo, Counter Cat, 5c Tribal Flames, and even the bigger Zoo lists looking to run Domri Rade and Thundermaw Hellkite. If Zoo becomes as popular as expected, then Kitchen Finks seems like a great place to be, especially since it stops most of the Zoo Creatures and Deathrite is no longer around to exile it from the Persist trigger. Melira Pod is a deck which has lots of strong synergies, a stable mana base, and a bunch of ways to put the game out of your opponent’s reach with a bunch of infinite combos. It plays four Kitchen Finks in the main deck, as it is one of the center pieces of the combo engines, and it is notoriously difficult to play well. I knew that the deck was going to be very well positioned for the Modern Format, and as such, decided that I would bring it to all of you for your enjoyment. I knew that I would have little chance of playing the deck in any semblance of correctly, so I had to get help. I had to enlist someone that I knew had experience with the deck, and could easily and quickly determine the mathematically correct line of play, and be able to explain to us why it was the case. I needed this season’s 3 time GP winner, and PT Avacyn Restored Champion, Alexander Hayne. Alex was great for us when he was on Modern Mastery piloting RUG Delver, so I knew that he could convey his thoughts really well. Alex also played this deck at GP Toronto in 2012, and one of the most prominent Melira Pod pilots on the planet, Josh McClain, is on Team Face to Face Games with Alex in testing for PT Born of the Gods. I was certain this would be great. Here is the list that we ran, coming straight off of the videos that Sam Pardee did on the deck in January of this year.

The deck is built to create one of three infinite loops designed to either end the game by dealing infinite damage to your opponent, gain infinite life yourself, or gain infinite life AND make all of your creatures infinitely large. Here is the breakdown for those not familiar.

Infinite Damage: Melira, Sylvok Outcast + Viscera Seer + Murderous Redcap

You sacrifice the Redcap to the Seer, triggering a scry and a persist trigger. Melira prevents all -1/-1 counters, allowing Redcap to return ready to Persist again, dealing 2 damage upon it’s return.

Infinite Life: Melira, Sylvok Outcast + Viscera Seer + Kitchen Finks

You sacrifice the Finks to the Seer, triggering a scry and a persist trigger. Melira prevents all -1/-1 counters, allowing Finks to return ready to Persist again, gaining you 2 life upon it’s return.

Infinite Life AND Large Creatures: Archangel of Thune + Spike Feeder

Spike Feeder lets you remove a +1/+1 counter from it to gain 2 life. When you gain life with Archangel in play, you get to put a +1/+1 counter on all of your creatures, including the Spike Feeder. Repeat until you are satisfied.

The rest of the deck is designed to find, protect, or recur pieces of the combo. Birthing Pod and Chord of Calling are the primary ways of searching for pieces, but the general utility of your creatures also leads to many of your games being won by combat damage. Three Gavony Townships and Orzhov Pontiff, along with the Archangel of Thune can quickly put your creatures out of reach from your opponent, and close the game in a hurry.

The interactions are far too many to just list here, so I recommend that you listen to Alex at the beginning of the stream to hear his talk on the deck. We took in into a series of 2 man events, to try to help demonstrate how to play the deck.

The Stream is here.


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I punted a few times, which caused us at least a game or two, but ultimately, the deck was a lot of fun. I feel like it’s very powerful, and even in games which I thought were lost, Alex saw some lines which we could grind along to victory on. Intimate knowledge of the deck will benefit you greatly, so if this is a deck that you want to consider for Modern season, or GPs in Richmond or Worcester this year, I suggest you get it together and play as many games as you can with it. Sharp and patient play will reward you greatly here, perhaps more so than any other deck I have played in Modern to date.

Can’t wait to hang out with you guys tonight. Not sure what we are doing, but I can assure you that there will be some great tunes, good times, and likely some terrible Magic!! I’m really anxious for Born of the Gods to hit MTGO, as I have been really enjoying standard with the new set in play. We have lots to do folks!!

See you guys at 930pm!
twitch.tv/legitmtg
Twitter: @mrscottymac

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