5, Apr, 22

What's the Best Birthing Pod Commander in MTG?

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Article at a Glance

Birthing Pod is a Commander classic and there are entire strategies that revolve around the unique play patterns of the card. The Phyrexian artifact digs through your deck to find specific creatures, amassing value along the way, and often setting up infinite combos.

There are so many ways to play Birthing Pod in Commander. Each version has pros and cons, which I’ll delve into in this article.

Birthing Pod

Birthing Pod | Wizards of the Coast

Think of Birthing Pod decks like a toolbox in that they can always find the right tool for the job. But to do this, you must consider the mana curve of your creatures. Birthing Pod can only tutor for a creature with a mana value one higher than the creature you sacrifice to Pod. Because of this, you need a variety of creatures at every point along your mana curve. Pod players will often refer to this curve as a “ladder” or “Pod line”.

More Birthing Pod Effects

Birthing Pod is only one card in a 99-card deck. If you build your entire deck around Birthing Pod, you either need ways to consistently find Pod, or play redundant copies of Pod effects such as Pyre of Heroes and Fiend Artisan to ensure consistency.

Pyre of Heroes is like Birthing Pod, but it only works in decks focused on a single creature type, restricting its playability compared to Pod.

Fiend Artisan can skip up your Pod-line by pumping additional mana into its effect. This makes for an insane tutor effect, but it is restricted to Commander decks with green and black color identities.

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The Best Birthing Pod Commanders

While you can technically play Birthing Pod in any green Commander deck, some decks are better than others. But even the top Pod decks use the artifact in different ways. There’s not a singular dominant Pod deck. It’s up to each player to decide which playstyle suits them.

Prime Speaker Vanifar

Prime Speaker Vannifar | Wizards of the Coast

Vannifar gives you access to a Birthing Pod effect from the Command Zone. This entire deck focuses on streamlined Birthing Pod lines, finding cards like Bounding Krasis, Corridor Monitor, and Breaching Hippocamp to untap and reactivate Vannifar.

This deck chains through your creatures with Vannifar and Birthing Pod until you eventually put Protean Hulk into play, sacrifice it, and assemble an infinite combo.

This is an all-in combo deck. It is fast. But it can also be a bit of a glass cannon.

Read More: You Can’t Make a Commander Deck More Legendary Than This

Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Tasigur is a shortcut to the Birthing Pod ladder. By delving cards from your graveyard, you can play Tasigur for just a single mana. But when you sacrifice it to Birthing Pod, you can still get a massive, seven-mana creature like Protean Hulk, Toxrill, the Corrosive, Hullbreaker Horror, or the new Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant.

An added benefit of Tasigur is its color identity. Sultai gains access to all Birthing Pod effects in Commander (Fiend Artisan, Vannifar, and Pod itself) for extra consistency.

This deck is explosive. It quickly puts big threats into play. But it also has a top-heavy mana curve and sometimes cards will get stuck in your hand.

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Multrotha, the Gravetide

Here’s another Sultai commander with consistent access to Pod effects. But Muldrotha works very differently compared to Vannifar and Tasigur. While the first two decks aim to quickly combo, Muldrotha focuses on grinding value.

Because Birthing Pod sacrifices creatures as part of its cost, your graveyard will be primed for Muldrotha to start reanimating things.

This deck excels in battles of attrition, but it is on the slower side compared to other Pod decks. (Meren of Clan Nel Toth is another example of a grindy Pod deck.)

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The Naya Birthing Pod Infinite Combo

With access to both white and red, Birthing Pod Commander decks gain an infinite damage combo. Here’s what you’ll need for the combo:

This combo kicks off when you sacrifice a 3-mana creature to Birthing Pod to find Felidar Guardian. When Felidar enters the battlefield, it exiles Birthing Pod and returns it to the battlefield untapped and ready to activate again.

Birthing Pod then sacrifices Felidar Guardian to find Karmic Guide. Karmic Guide can return Felidar to the battlefield to once again reset Pod.

Next, use Birthing Pod to sacrifice Felidar and find Kiki-Jiki. Activate Kiki to make a copy of Karmic Guide and bring back Felidar once more. This time, when Felidar Guardian enters the battlefield, use its ability to target Kiki-Jiki, exiling it and returning it to the battlefield untapped.

From here, you can use Kiki-Jiki to make a hasty copy of Felidar Guardian which enters the battlefield and resets Kiki. Rinse and repeat until you have an arbitrary number of Cat Beasts that can attack for infinite damage.

Read More: This Unique Commander is So Versatile, Anyone Can Play It

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