B/W Pox by qbturtle15 on MtGO

Creatures (4)
4 Bloodghast

Non-Creature Spells (32)
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
4 Liliana of the Veil
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Lingering Souls
4 Smallpox
4 Thoughtseize
4 Fatal Push
2 Oath of Liliana

Lands (24)
4 Fetid Heath
4 Flagstones of Trokair
3 Godless Shrine
4 Marsh Flats
1 Plains
3 Shambling Vent
1 Swamp
3 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Vault of the Archangel

Sideboard (15)
1 Collective Brutality
2 Damnation
2 Fulminator Mage
1 Kitchen Finks
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
2 Stony Silence
2 Surgical Extraction

Summary

An on-and-off archetype in Legacy, Pox combines kill spells, land destruction, and hand disruption to gradually squeeze the opponent out of the game. The archetype has been all but absent from Modern, essentially being replaced by the slower and more hand-focused 8-Rack deck. However, shifts in the metagame may have opened the door for Pox to make a name for itself in the diverse landscape of Modern.

The namesake card, Smallpox, is the most important card in the deck and it perfectly represents the strategy the deck is looking to explore, as it attacks the opponent’s hand, board presence, and manabase. The rest of the deck looks to compliment Smallpox‘s points of attack. Flagstones of Trokair is one of the oddest cards in the entirety of Modern, and it really only sees play in this deck, as it effectively make Smallpox‘s land destruction clause one-sided, which can frequently be make or break.

Liliana of the Veil, Inquisition of Kozilek, and Thoughtseize all attack the opponent’s hand. It’s a Modern deckbuilding convention that maxing out on Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize is a bad idea, as their applicability in certain matchups is questionable, but this deck needs the full suite of discard spells for its other cards to have maximum efficacy.

 

To attrition the opponent out (so to speak), this deck plays removal spells in Liliana of the Veil, Fatal Push, and Oath of Liliana, and takes advantage of the mirrored nature of Smallpox by playing Bloodghast and tokens from Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Sorin, Solemn Visitor, and Lingering Souls to always sacrifice an expendable creature. Once the opponent’s resources have been depleted, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and friends beat down the opponent until the game is beyond their reach.

The sideboard of this deck indicates very well what this deck struggles with. The full playset of Leyline of Sanctity is needed to combat burn and some combo decks. Fulminator Mage helps further with land destruction against decks like Tron, Damnation helps in aggro matchups that can frequently run Pox over, and Stony Silence and Surgical Extraction are included for Affinity and Dredge, which are two ugly matchups for Pox.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor

+1 Go for the Throat

Sideboard

-1 Kitchen Finks

+1 Collective Brutality

This is day 108 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 107 here, where we featured a Modern deck that puts an interesting twist on Eldrazi.

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