RUG Pod Gets 2nd Place at the Starcitygames Invitational
June 18, 2012 | Posted by Dee
Michael Hetrick’s 2nd place RUG Pod deck from the Starcitygames Invitational this past weekend was arguably the breakout deck of the tournament. The deck is definitely very good as Michael also got top eight with it at a World Magic Cup Qualifier (WMCQ) two weekends ago.
He is one of the best players on Magic Online (his username is _ShipItHolla). It’s pretty cool to see an online grinder also do well in real life high profile tournaments.
RUG Pod can be tough to play well since Birthing Pod gives you so many decisions to make. But if you learn how to play the deck, you have a good chance of doing well in a tournament.
Here is Michael’s decklist from the Invitational.
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I watched a couple games when he was playing on camera and Deceiver Exarch did a lot of work. He would search for it with Pod, untap Pod, and activate Pod again, sacrificing Exarch to get a four-drop. So basically, he skipped the three-drop spot in the Pod chain.
Zealous Conscripts can also untap Pod. You can search for her, skip the five-drop spot by untapping Pod, and sac her to get Inferno Titan.
I saw him do a cool play with Conscripts that shows the versatility of the card. He had Birthing Pod on the battlefield but only five mana available. He cast Conscripts, stole a land, attacked for three, and then tapped the land he stole to sac Conscripts to Pod to get Inferno Titan.
After the tournament, Michael gave out some tech about the deck on Twitter (@theshipitholla).
He sideboarded like this versus Delver:
+1 Stingerfling Spider
+2 Crushing Vines
+1 Kessig Wolf Run
-1 Bonfire of the Damned
-1 Wolfir Silverheart
-1 Acidic Slime
-1 Green Sun’s Zenith
I really like Crushing Vines because of its flexibility. It can deal with flipped Delvers, Restoration Angel, Consecrated Sphinx, Sword of War and Peace, Sword of Feast and Famine, and even Golem tokens from Blade Splicer.
Kessig Wolf Run is a nice touch. It kills Phantasmal Image and gives the deck a strong late game threat.
As far as deck changes, he would consider cutting a Forest for a Mountain to help with Hellrider sideboard plan and possibly replacing a Hellrider with Hero of Oxid Ridge.
From his deck tech, he brings in the Hellriders to give him more threats against control. The deck can deal a lot of damage once you start copying Hellrider with Phantasmal Image and Phyrexian Metamorph. Hellrider also survives Elesh Norn, which some control players are now playing.
Hound of Griselbrand is a good card to sideboard in against decks with mass removal spells like Day of Judgment, Slagstorm, and Whipflare.
Against control, the first cards Michael takes out are AEther Adept, Daybreak Ranger, 3 Huntmaster of the Fells, Wolfir Silverheart, and Bonfire of the Damned.
Wolfir Silverheart makes the main deck because you really need it against Red/Green (RG) Aggro and RG Wolf Run Ramp.