Despite being under 40$, it gets a turn 4 or 5 combo kill very consistently. When it doesn't have a turn 4 combo, it has massive turn 4 land destruction to fall back on.

A warning though, this is an incredibly complex deck to play. There are so many card progressions once Prime Speaker Vannifar is in play, and most likely one of those card progressions is a turn faster than the others.

If you are unfamiliar with Birthing Pod, just know I'm using "Pod" as a verb to mean "using Vannifar's ability."

The first 3 turns are almost always the same:

Turns 1 and 2 play lands and mana dorks, turn 3 play land and then cast commander. You'll want 3 land, 1 mana dork, and 1 cheap untap source in your opening hand. Also be warry of too many "enter tapped" lands.

The thing to remember when playing this deck is that as long as you have your commander ready and another creature, you have access to almost every creature in your deck, hand, or graveyard at any time.

Turn 4 sac the mana dork (floating its mana) into Deceiver Exarch or Pestermite or Bounding Krasis (will need to pod through Corridor Monitor if using a CMC 1 mana dork) into Breaching Hippocamp, then Peregrine Drake (tap lands first to float mana). Use this mana on Ghostly Flicker or Illusionist's Stratagem or Displace to produce even more mana, then cast or Pod into Archaeomancer or Greenwarden of Murasa. Using one of the Ghostly Flicker things on Peregrine Drake and one of the Archaeomancer things creates infinite mana, so long as you have 4+ lands. Now there are lots of ways to go from here. Earlier it's good to have poded an extra mana dork into one of the untap creatures, before using another mana dork on the chain that gives Peregrine Drake. That way you can flicker the untap creature to untap the commander as much as you want. But if you have an untap source in your hand then no need. Pod Peregrine Drake into Greenwarden of Murasa and flicker it to pick up your graveyard. Replay mana dork and untap creature, pod to and through Vizier of Tumbling Sands, get it back to your hand, and use it to draw out the whole library. Play and flicker Terastodon and Profaner of the Dead to remove everything, get out Beastcaller Savant and make a couple clones of it, and repeatedly use one of the buffing untap instants like Stony Strength to make them infinite, and attack for the kill.

Getting one of the 3 flicker instants is the hardest part, but Drift of Phantasms will transmute to one. Pod mana dork to Drift of Phantasms, use an untap, pod through to either Peregrine Drake or Chakram Retriever, whichever gets you another untap. Then pod it to Greenwarden of Murasa to pick up Drift of Phantasms. Sometimes you can transmute it that turn, sometimes next turn. But either way you can almost always Ghostly Flicker turn 5.

Unfortunately, if you have to do the Greenwarden fetch then the combo usually doesn't happen till turn 5. But it's at least quite consistent.

If you have Bring to Light in hand there is usually a way to get a third color of mana in order to tutor Ghostly Flicker for a turn 4 combo.

If you have Instill Energy and both a 1 and a 2 drop mana dork, and another untap source, you can do the Greenwarden fetch on turn 3, allowing for a turn 4 combo.

Thank you jordanalessi for this last one:

If you have Pattern of Rebirth in hand with two cheap untap sources, that's also a turn 4 combo. Do the Greenwarden fetch as described above, except go the Peregrine Drake route and cast Pattern of Rebirth on it, before untapping and poding to Greenwarden. Pattern of Rebirth brings in a Body Double of Peregrine Drake, granting enough mana to both transmute to and cast Ghostly Flicker.

It can take a lot of practice to know how to do this combo in as few turns as possible. You also have to memorize every creature in the deck (that's not a mana dork). And have to think ahead a dozen pods before poding the first creature, or the whole thing could go wrong.

After 30+ playtests I was still either screwing it up, or finding a brand new way to get to the combo that I'd never done before. In fact the exact card progression almost never happens the same way twice. There's always a bit of creativity involved, finding out how to use whatever the hell is in your hand to get to the same eventual outcome. There's no way to list all the possible card progressions here, so you have to figure them out as you go.

With careful play the combo averages like 4.6 turns. To get the turn 4 kill you have to have in your hand: one of the 3 combo instants or one of the 2 tutors to directly get one. Occasionally Instill Energy or Pattern of Rebirth can facilitate a turn 4. So 5 possible cards out of 99, in your 11 or so cards by turn 4, plus a couple other rare scenarios. This gives about a 50% chance of a turn 4 combo. Except a little lower cause once in a while you get land screwed despite muliganing to four, which can happen to any deck. But even when muliganing to four and then being stuck on 2 land on turn 6, I've always gotten the combo by 6, never 7 (without interaction).

If you have the mana/creature fodder for it you can Gulf Squid someones' lands before going off. And poding into Gulf Squid can't be countered.

If you're short on the 4 lands needed to go infinite, just pod to Springbloom Druid.

The worst thing to happen is if someone lands a Pithing Needle type effect on Vannifar. Then you just have to hope to draw into an answer.

Torpor Orb effects also suck, but if you're running into it alot just include Sylvok Replica and/or Neurok Replica and/or Molten-Tail Masticore.

It can also suck if everyone just repeatedly kills Vannifar the moment she lands. With all the mana dorks you can cast her again a couple times right away, but 3+ commander tax starts to cause problems.

In a 1v1, if you don't have the turn 4 infinite, you'll almost certainly have devastating land destruction. Often the land destruction is enough to shut out three players at the same time.

This just needs one untap source, and some other spell. Pod mana dork into Deceiver Exarch into Breaching Hippocamp into Chakram Retriever (then cast anything) into Great Oak Guardian into Moldgraf Monstrosity. Untap, and Pod into Terastodon. In the process Moldgraf will bring in an untap from the graveyard, which can be used to clone Terastodon. That's 6 non-creature permanents destroyed on turn 4. Often this will be 9 or 12. Continued land destruction can happen each turn. Then just pod to Profaner of the Dead to remove all their creatures.

Also, Terastodon can pod into Artisan of Kozilek for continued land clearing after Profaner of the Dead hits.

Just Pod out Artisan of Kozilek by turn 4 or 5 and make a couple clones of it and swing away. Probably the simplest win con.

There's a bunch of clone mechanics which is always entertaining. There are endless win cons when you just copy everyone else's. Sometimes you can even find funky interactions between stuff from two different decks in multiplayer.

Obviously the fancy lands and the really good mana rocks. Might also want to include Mirran Spy and Trinket Mage to interact with the mana rocks.

Deadeye Navigator allows for a muuuch more consistent turn 4 infinite, and the possibility of turn 3 infinite with good mana rocks. Even turn 2 with things like Arboreal Grazer.


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Date added 1 year
Last updated 5 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

2 - 0 Mythic Rares

14 - 0 Rares

21 - 0 Uncommons

38 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.87
Tokens 3/3 Elephant
Folders Budget Commander, Ideas, Uncategorized, Jank, Competitive edh, edh, Decks, Decks, Other peoples EDH decks, Decks of Interest, See all 39
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