Welcome to the Naya Pod Primer! This primer will discuss the Modern Naya Pod deck that contains the Restoration Angel/Kiki-Jiki combo finish. Here is the old thread.
Q: Whoa back up, you say this deck has a combo finish? What combo exactly?
A: The combo finish this deck contains involves Kiki-Jiki, the Mirror Breaker and another creature that untaps him. Restoration Angel does this by blinking him, returning to the battlefield untapped. Zealous Conscripts and Deceiver Exarch does this by just untapping him.
Just to be sure you are not confused, here is how it works with the Angel (the most common combo)
-Restoration Angel and Kiki-Jiki, the Mirror Breaker in play.
-Tap Kiki-Jiki, targeting and copying the Angel.
-The Angel token comes into play, targeting and blinking Kiki-Jiki (resulting it in play untapped)
-Rinse and repeat.
Q: Okay that's cool, but doesn't this combo already have a deck dedicated to the combo? (The URx Twin deck) Why should I play this deck when that deck is more steamlined with this combo?
A: That's a fair question my friend. First, you are correct that the UR deck is more streamlined with the combo. It has more redundancy and is dedicated to the combo. While this makes it perhaps better at the combo, it also makes it a weaker deck. Hate that would hit the combo (like Combust) cripples the deck because they have no plan B. They only have the combo. While Combust still hurts our deck, we have the plan B of beating down. So if a player brings in too much hate for the combo, they will just succumb to our beatdown plan. In addition, the decks heavy tutor element allows it to tutor up silverbullets that can deal with problematic cards (like Linvala).
Q: This deck sounds just like the Melira Pod deck. Why play this over that?
A: Both decks have their merits and they both have a combo kill. The reason to play this deck over that is this combo is only two cards, while Melira is three cards. Which makes our combo more practical when faced with interaction from our opponent. Another factor to consider is what cards are used to combo off with each deck. Melira requires Finks or Redcap, Melira, and a sac outlet, normally Viscera Seer. Finks is a fine card on its own, but Melira and Seer are just about useless outside of the combo. Comparing this to Naya Pod, where Kiki-Jiki and Restoration Angel are inherently more powerful when they aren't interacting together. Also, the Melira combo is weak to graveyard hate, as they can knock out your Finks/Redcap with the Persist ability on the stack, which has become more and more common in the Deathrite Shaman world we live in now.
Q: Is it possible to merge both the Melira combo and Kiki combo in the same deck?
A: Yes you can! However, it doesn't give the deck another way of attack (as both are shut down by the same cards and how each combo does basically the same thing). Decks with both combos have performed well, I personally don't think it's worth it.
Card Choices: Birds of Paradise, Noble Hierarch: Nearly all list play 6-8 dorks. The dorks allow us to accelerate into our threats and combo pieces so we can win quickly. Turn 2 Pod and Domri and especially brutal.
Wall of Roots: What used to be a mainstay in the deck has fallen to the wayside. With more and more lists cutting Chord he loses value and we are looking for something that applies pressure. Still, being able to Pod your Dork for another, bigger Dork is still fine. I play 1 and if you play Chord you may want more. 0-4 (depending on if you play Chord)
Kitchen Finks: Still a champ Gains life? Aggressive body? Comes back after Podded away? Works well with Restoration Angel? Yea, don't mind if I do! 3-4.
Restoration Angel: It's combo piece that has sweet interactions with the deck. 3-4
Kiki-Jiki: As the deck has
Deceiver Exarch: Basically this is a combo piece at the CMC 3 spot. He allows for wins out of nowhere, giving the deck an unforgiving edge. For example, imagine my board is a Wall of Roots, a Redcap, and a Birthing Pod with 3 lands in play. I have nothing in hand and it isn't looking good but WAIT! I play Exarch so I just win now. Pod off the Wall, get Exarch, untap Pod, pod off Redcap, ping something cause you can, get Kiki-Jiki, kill them. He is very good. You don't want too many of them though as they aren't the best card to naturally draw. Some lists play 1 but many are moving to 2. I wouldn't play anymore though.
Eternal Witness: Another value 3 drop. Allows you to return anything for another go at the combo. It's always fun to Witness back Kiki-Jiki then Pod off Witness for an Angel. Card is fine. It really shines if you play Chord but we are cutting Chord more and more by the day. Personally, I don't play her and others are seeming to do the same.
Linvala, The Girl Who Wins the Mirror: Shuts down the Twin, Melira, and mirror. Card is one of the powerhouses in the mirror. I like MDing one for the stone nut bullet in certain matchups and a 3/4 flying is nothing to scuff at.
Murderous Redcap/Glen Elandra Archmage: AKA the 4 drop Persist slot. Basically they are in here for the Zealous Conscripts/Kiki-Jiki combo. One helps out in creature matchups, the other for non-creature matchups. There is an argument for both. Personally, I like Redcap and I believe that Glen Elandra is too blue for our deck to handle (we only play a Steam Vents).
Phantasmal Image: While he no longer allows us to Doom Blade legends, he does still allow you to kill with a one and two drop in play and being able to turn your dorks into value is still nice. 1 is the sweet spot here.
Qasali Pridemage: MB Artifact and Enchantment destruction that brings the beats. Sign me up for a couple copies in my 75.
Spellskite: Two drop that protects my combo? Seems good! Maybe not needed, but I have enjoyed it so far.
Zealous Conscripts: Another combo card. See below for combo. Also, it allows you to deal with stuff like Ghostly Prison, Vedalken Shackles, ect, ect.
Birthing Pod/Chord for Calling: The tutors. Some list play 3 Chord, that doesn't seem right. I like the full 8.
Horizon Canopy: A land that helps when you get flooded? I am in.
Gavony Township: A land that helps when you get flooded AND HELPS BRING BEATS? Sign me up.
Blasting Station: Doesn't seem needed at all. I wouldn't play it.
Melira and Friends: Again, I don't believe adding the Melira package adds anything to the deck except being able to go infinite life, which is surprisingly terrible in this metagame.
Harmonic Sliver: A 3-drop Artifact and Enchantment destruction creature. Nice value card.
Arc Trail, Bonfire of the Damned, Forked Bolt: All of these cards are good in the aggro mirrors. Personally I like Bonfire more because it is also good against Tokens. And Tokens is a deck. That said, other than Tokens and Elves, I never really have found a matchup where I want these cards.
Combust: Twin hate and UW Blade/Restoration Angel hate. Also gets Linvala, which is really good against us.
Cunning Sparkmage: A value 3 drop that is insane vs the Elf and Fae decks as well as being strong in the mirror. The card isn't necessary but has been strong for me so far. I recommend the card as a nice SB choice.
Fiend Hunter: Really good vs the mirror and good against other creature decks. You can do stuff like Chord it in resp to the combo. Take their Kiki, then when play another, Angel the Hunter, legend rule Kiki, the Fiend Hunter another guy. I really like him for the mirror. Great SB card.
Thalia: She dramatically improves your otherwise poorer matchups. I have her a two off but I could see playing three.
Ethersworn Canonist: The Storm hate. It's good. Also is a card against Elves.
Ancient Grudge: What can I say? It's Ancient Grudge.
Fulminator Mage/Avalanche Rider: The Tron hate. Teach them Tron players that turn 3 Karns are no fun but Turn 4 10,000 Angles is.
Matchups: Aggro Control/Tempo (RUG Delver, UWR Delver): Favorable (RUG). Even (UWR Delver), You have instant speed threats to trip up their mana. Birthing Pod to play around their counterspells. And threats like Finks that require two forms of removal. Sometimes they just have the nuts, and almost nothing can beat them. Combust is crazy good out of the board though
Aggro (RDW, White Weenie): Favorable. Finks, Angel to blink Finks, Kiki to copy Finks, yea I am in.
Control (Cruel, Teachings, UW Tron): Even. They have wraths and countermagic with lots of removal. We have resilient creatures, Birthing Pod, and instant speed cards to mess with their countermagic.
Midrange (Jund): Even to Favorable. What deck isn't even with Midrange? They play good, efficient spells. Nothing flashy, nothing broken. Just good stuff. We got persist guys which mess with their incremental advantage plan. Winnable if you know what you are doing.
Spell based combo (RG Tron, Storm): Unfavorable. A lot of our spells don't bother them and we have little disruption in our initial 60. It's not unwinnable, but not easy.
Creature based combo (Pod, Twin): Favorable to Even. We have a combo, they have a combo. Except our deck isn't completely focused on combing and can just beat them down if they load up on the hate.
These are broad generalizations but mostly hold true. Some Midrange decks could be slightly unfavorable such as the Aggro Loam deck but I would argue that deck is borderline combo.
Birthing Pod Chains:
There are a few chains in the the deck that, when you untap with Pod, you are able to assemble the combo. I will go through with them with you.
One-drop and two-drop chain:
-Pod off the two drop for Exarch
-Pod off the one drop for Image
-Pod off the Image'd Exarch for Restoration Angel
-Pod off Angel for Kiki-Jiki
Two-drop and three-drop chain:
-Pod off the two drop for Exarch
-Pod off the three-drop for Restoration Angel
-Pod off Angel for Kiki-Jiki
Two-drop and four-drop chain:
-Pod off two-drop for Exarch
-Pod off four-drop for Kiki-Jiki
Three-drop and four-drop chains:
-Pod off four-drop for Conscripts
-Pod off three-drop for Angel
-Pod off Angel for Kiki-Jiki
In addition, there are a few chains you can pull off if you have a specific creature in play:
One-drop and Exarch chain:
-Pod off the one drop for Image
-Pod off the Image'd Exarch for Restoration Angel
-Pod off Angel for Kiki-Jiki
Murderous Redcap/Glen Elandra Archmage chain:
-Pod off the Redcap/Archmage
-Redcap/Archamge returns to the battlefield
-Pod resolves, fetching Conscripts
-Pod off the Redcap/Archmage for Kiki-Jiki
Then there is another common Pod chain that allows you to grind out attrition based matches
-Pod off Finks
-Finks returns to the battlefield
-Pod resolves, fetching Angel
This allows you to have a fresh Finks every turn and to get a free Angel out of the deal (not to mention a nice chunk of life too)
I hope the primer helped! If you have any questions feel free to ask!?!
Repeat once a turn (or until all Restoration Angels and possibly Phyrexian Metamorphs copying Res Angel are out of the library)
Yes, I've checked with the New Card Rulings guys, and this works (I was made uncertain by another player's assertion that if you put Strangleroot Geist in a Birthing Pod and search for Champion of Lambholt, Champion ETB with a +1/+1 counter because Undying goes on the stack below the Pod ability).
I've found it grinds out a lot of fair decks like Jund and is a valid Plan B. Having people remove Finks instead of Kiki-Jiki is funny.
Thanks for the primer as it's a good start to understand the deck and decide if it's a good fit for you or not.
However if i may add some (hopefully constructive) comment. Can you list the weaknesses and especially vs melira pod? i have listed some, maybe some are wrong please comment.
- naya Pod is less vulnerable to grafedigger's cage than melira pod (since this "only" stop the pod/calling and not the combo itself)
- naya Pod is more vulnerable to torptor orb (since melira can scry up to a solution)
- Naya pod has more uesful main deck card (you cover it)
- naya pod is vulnerable to ghostly prison... but melira pod was also with other anti graveyard spell
- when you combo = you win, with melira pod you win on next turn
- Who has the most efficient plan B ?
I like your comment about the deceiver but i will have ot test it first because what annoys me is that you have only 4x2 drop that can help to chain up (compare to 8 in the melira pod)
One thing to note about ghostly prison is that village bell ringers and a mana dork create enough mana to attack with half of your infinity creatures. That's about the only advantage I see to running bell ringers other than staying on color.
Because Rootbound really doesn't come in as easily due to the fact that you have to think at least a turn ahead with your fetches, assuming you have a fetch at all (many decks only run 4 fetches.) The life gained is largely irrelevant given the fact that you're probably going to turn that life gain into a rounding error when you attack with Avogadro's number worth of angels. I played with Rootbounds in my preliminary testing due to availability, groves are honestly much easier to deal with based upon my experience. If I were to use Rootbounds seriously, I'd retool the manabase to include more basics or shocklands.
Back to the deck in general, I've been a pretty big fan of 1 Thalia main. previously I had 3 finks and 1 Thalia, now I'm thinking of cutting Spellskite to the side instead. That being said, my local meta is relatively heavy with storm. I find that not being a dog to game 1 storm shenanigans really helps given their ability to randomly blow out boarded hate with a turn 2-3 goblin swarm. At the moment, my side is more along the lines of
2 Sowing salt (considering 3, it's just such a blow out, even if they can get karn out beforehand.)
1 Fulminator Mage
2 Forked Bolt (this is a life saver against affinity)
1 Harmonic Sliver
2 Quasali Pridemage
Bear in mind that it's tuned for my local meta rather than the world at large.
I've been playing this deck a fair bit, and I tend to agree with Thalia main. She doesn't hurt you all that much, but she's great nearly everywhere else, especially in problem mathes like storm. I tended to lean away from the combo plan a little. I only play 2 kiki-jiki's, an I eschew the bell ringers. I found that I kept wanting fewer and fewer kikis as the games were playing out, draw 2 usually sucked, and drawing 3 was usually fatal. With the 8 tutor effects, I haven't really missed them. I rarely have trouble combining due to lack of pieces.
This has left me with a few maindeck slots to play around with, and I haven't really found anything satisfying besides Thalia main. I have the standard sparkmage, witness, spellskite, and pridemage, but the remaining 3-ish slots are still open.
I very much like the exarch plan, and I will try that, because I very often found myself wanting an untap effect for the pod, and the fact that it combos too is amazing.
Also, I like the horizon canopy. I wouldn't consider cutting a land because I do often get mana screwed in the early turns, but at the same time, I find myself losing quite often to flood in the later game, because 23 land +10 mana dorks is a lot.
Any further input would be greatly appreciated, and sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes, I'm typing this on my phone.
I will try it out for sure. Unfortunately i lost my first round of the Lantern IQ, in a match i thought i could've won..
Game 1 i got the combo off
Game 2 i learned the hard way to NEVER take out Village-Bell Ringer, as if i had him i think i could've won...but his Fliers took over the game.
Also i think i misplayed early in the game as i think i forgot to attack with a Kitchen Finks, and at the turn i could've won, he was at 11 as opposed to 8 life so i could've swung with my Kitchen Finks, Qasali Pridemage, and cloned Kitchen Finks from a Kiki-Jiki.
I will consider trying it out, but Village Bell-Ringer proved his worth vs. Ghostly Prison for me already. The guy thought he was safe and i just combed off to his dismay so...
But there were many times where i wished i could pod twice to win on the spot so there is that too...
Ill maybe give it a whirl Koopa. Anyway i think the deck is very powerful, but when the opponent is playing main deck Angel of Jubilation and lots of targeted Discard (which i found out SUCKS against this deck. Seriously if it weren't for his Inquisition followed by a Thoughtseize the next turn i could've won. I could've corded for a Dork, Chorded for Village Bell Ringer and played Kiki-Jiki to win...) you just kinda shrug your shoulders and say i guess ill try next month...
EDIT: Also apparently I'm well passed 2000 posts so...yay for me lol
I don't really see how bell ringers gets through ghostly prison. You still have to attack with all the tokens short of having a cunning sparkmage on the field. In that respect, it is better than exarch, but the ability to pod twice in one turn has been huge for me, an I've never had a use for bell ringers. When I draw it, it's always a dead card until I'm comboing.
On the other hand, if you have at least one mana dork not named Wall of Roots/Lotus Cobra (Dryad Arbor counts as a valid mana dork) when you combo off with Bell-Ringer, you can gain infinite mana and pay for at least half your infinite Bell-Ringers when you need to attack through Ghostly Prison.
Remember, half of (countable) infinity is still infinity!
...Yeah, I got Nath'd pretty hard. (I was in the middle of typing this post when DXI-Edge already posted...)
Alright, fair enough. I didn't think of mana dorks, but so far I haven't lost any consistency with the switch to exarch. Also, tapping opposin stuf has been relevant.
On another note, what sorts of bullets are you guys finding to be effective? I have a few spots in my liand it I haven't really found anything satisfying yet.
Also, is anyone else finding 4 Kiki jiki's to be too many? Even with three, I only want more in the mirror match. I just never want to draw more than the one I need for the combo, because, though their useful, the almost never makes it through. Between my 8 tutors, I've never really had an issue getting him out for combos. That, and fewer copies of him make beatdown much more viable.
I play with only two Kiki-Jikis and I don't regret that decision. Then again, I run a heavier recursion theme with Eternal Witness and Reveillark, so I can probably pull him from the graveyard if necessary.
I remember the old RUG Twin Pod lists also played only 2 Kiki-Jikis; in some ways, my list emulates those lists. (In other ways, the Angel Chain is the nuts and a half and an awesome reason to go Naya.)
I've been flip flopping between two and three. I did respectably in 2 man queues and dailies on modo with my list running two, but when I included exarch, I went up to three because I want to be able to combo more reliably. Still, I've been finding that three seems a little excessive even so.
Also, how have you guys been doing vs jund? The combination of confidant, bigger creatures and tons of removal has been tough for me. Jund charm is especially nasty. I've only recently buckled down and purchased a sigarda, but does anyone else have any thoughts?
Aggressively go for the Angel Chain (I detailed it on Page 1) against Jund. Jund can't handle one Restoration Angel very well, let alone multiple Res Angels. Don't combo off unless you have plenty of back-up or they have no cards in hand. Try sandbagging Res Angels in hand until your stuff starts eating removal, then blink them with Res Angel in response.
Jund Charm is rather messy, though--the version I test against (against myself) currently doesn't run it, but that card is definitely a nasty piece of work. Make sure you play Wall of Roots if you face enough Jund.
I'd recommend sideboarding in Thalias; forcing Liliana OTV and Maelstrom Pulse to cost 4 mana has been fairly good.
I don't have as much trouble against the current Jund build I'm testing against because it doesn't have Jund Charm and I play 2 Huntmaster of the Fells, 1 Zealous Conscripts, 1 Knight of the Reliquary, and 1 Thalia (pulling 2 Kiki-Jikis to make room for everything), but your mileage may vary. (Conscripts is hilarious if played early enough, especially if she's blinked by Restoration Angel. I tend to kidnap Goyfs with her, but Goyfs are enough, and Jund generally can't recover from the tempo loss.)
What are people's thoughts on Zealous Conscripts here? I see it's in Lectrys's build but I haven't seen much love for it elsewhere. I know it's a five but I'm running it over the 4th Kiki-Jiki and it has done some cool stuff. It's a combo piece at a 3rd cmc and can randomly win games by itself, for example I stole an Emrakul earlier today. He used Goryo's Vengeance but had to do it at Sorcery speed because he was Thoughtseizing himself. Even if most of the other ways to cheat him in "cast" him or do it at instant speed, there is still Chord. Stealing Emrakul is obviously the dream scenario but there are lots of nice things to grab with Conscripts. Also if you get to pod Redcap you just win (pod for Conscripts, untap Pod, pod for Kiki). There are a number of other tricks you can do with him as well.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Modern: Jund, Wafo-Tapa UWR
Legacy: Witch-Maw Stoneblade
EDH: Ruhan of the Fomori, Hazezon Tamar, Maga, Traitor to Mortals
I can def seeing going down to 3 Kiki and trying out a Conscripts. Like Exarch, it does give you the "I win" out of no where and it can do some dumb things like stealing Karn's, Emmy's, ect ect. I will have to try it out.