What was I going to do… not write about it?
Now this is an exciting one. As we all know, Birthing Pod got the axe in Modern for being too powerful (and too fun!), so any creature that hints back to it is worth an incredibly long look. Of course, she’s not exactly the same as Birthing Pod, and I think building around her is going to take a pretty different approach.
One of the incredible strengths of Birthing Pod was that it was an artifact with CMC 4, so it dodged most of the commonly played interaction people had in game 1. Not so with Vannifar, so I wouldn’t exactly count on her sticking around too long. This means that instead of taking the Melira-style approach, which is to assume that if you Podded enough times for value over the course of the game your opponent would die eventually, the Goblin-Pod approach of killing immediately is more appropriate.
This deck is built with a very singular game plan in mind: Vannifar (without summoning sickness) plus any other creature should be a kill. It’s possible that you even want to go so far as to play cards like Blossoming Defense to help make that happen more often, but this is probably where I’m going to start from.
Because it may not be initially obvious, here are the ways that you can kill:
Vannifar + 1-drop
All right, this technically requires a few Forests in play as well to work, but I think that’s probably manageable.
- Turn the 1-drop into a Scryb Ranger and pick up a Forest to untap Vannifar. Turn the Scryb Ranger into a Renegade Rallier, return Scryb Ranger to play, and untap Vannifar again.
- Turn Ranger into Bounding Krasis and (you guessed it) untap Vannifar.
- Turn the Rallier into Restoration Angel and blink Bounding Krasis for one last untap.
- Turn Resto into the Goblin, copy Krasis infinite times, and attack your opponent with infinite Fish Lizards.
Vannifar + 2- to 5-drop
This doesn’t require any Forests, but involves a bit more searching than the other. Pretend you’re starting with a 2-drop, and for anything above just skip ahead.
- Turn the 2-drop into Bounding Krasis and untap Vannifar.
- Turn the Krasis into Breaching Hippocamp (can’t use Restoration Angel here because then Vannifar has summoning sickness upon returning to play) and untap Vannifar.
- Turn Hippocamp into Zealous Conscripts and untap Vannifar.
- Turn Conscripts into Woodland Bellower and fetch up a Krasis to untap Vannifar.
- Turn the Krasis into a Restoration Angel, blinking Bellower and untapping Vannifar.
- Turn Resto into the Mirror Breaker and copy Bellower, fetching up a third Krasis, untapping your Goblin, and making infinity Fishies.
Remember, this deck can also kill without Vannifar by just having any of the untappers alongside the Mirror-hating Goblin (with Chord and Lunge as ways to buy back whichever part of the combo you happen to be missing).
I couldn’t be more excited that Pod might be back in Modern and I can’t wait to test out a bunch of Vannifar brews when Ravnica Allegiance releases January 25th!