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Pox in the new 1.5...

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
I've been giving some thought to Pox in the new Type 1.5. I think it could do well. Granted, Pox could have some truly hellish matchups. Affinity, for example, could be major trouble, even without Skullclamp...

From Type I, monoblack Pox loses Black Lotus, Mox Jet, Strip Mine, and not much else.

In the new format, it gains Chrome Mox, Lotus Petal, and Mox Diamond, if it wants all of them, which it really doesn't. But it has any of them to choose from for some nice mana acceleration that doesn't die from Pox.

Aside from those cards, what would a Pox deck look like? Some choices...

Pox: Well, this is an obvious one. The deck is based around it. What does it do? It attacks the opponent on four fronts. It serves as excellent creature kill, eats away at the life total, performs some land destruction and is among the most powerful discard spells, all in one card. The drawback is that it is symmetrical (of course). This can be overcome by building a deck which supports Pox, as well as using some timing (the "Pox Primer" here in the article archives of the CPA goes into this in detail).

Dark Ritual: Duh, the deck is black. Dark Ritual is obvious. And especially potent when it gives exactly BBB, which happens to be the mana cost of a certain card that this deck is based around...

Hymn to Tourach: The best discard spell ever. Good either before Pox to set up for it, or after to fully empty the opponent's hand.

Duress: Great for protecting Pox and other key spells from removal. A potent one-drop against virtually any deck. It cripples combo, neutralizes control, and slows aggro.

Sinkhole: This looks to be the most expensive card the deck might run (which is one of the benefits of the deck). The best land destruction spell there is, hands down. Of course, even without the pricey prescence of Sinkhole, Icequake and other suboptimal choices are readily available...

Diabolic Edict: Black's best creature removal can help keep you from being beaten down, as well as clearing the way for your attackers.

Spinning Darkness: With no Yawgmoth's Will in this format, I see little reason not to run this basically free anti-creature and lifegain in one package spell. It's bad against other black decks though...

The Rack: A great kill card. The opponent is going to have a hard time dealing with it. This card has amazing synergy with the other cards in Pox decks, and it's dirt cheap as far as mana and money go...

Cursed Scroll: The other expensive card for Pox decks. You're emptying your own hand generally, so taking advantage of it seems like a good idea...

Chimeric Idol: A 3/3 that is immune to Pox. Enough said.

Hypnotic Specter: The best black creature in the game, and perfect for discard strategies.

Steel Golem: The disadvantage is that the only creature you can use with it is Chimeric Idol or something else that's not really a creature. The advantage is that it's a nice attacker and can survive and be targeted by Spinning Darkness, if your opponent has no nonblack creatures...

Nether Spirit: Not very useful when you run other creatures, but a recurring attacker is nice...

Wasteland: Not as nice as it would be in Type I, since it will probably have no targets in many matches. Losing Strip Mine hurts the deck somewhat though, and removing these makes matches agaisnt dual lands not as favorable...

Mishra's Factory: It messes with the mana base a little, and completely removes any chance of running Wasteland. But it certainly is a nice attacker...

So, is it enough. Can Pox perform well in the new format, or is the card still stuck without a home?
 
R

Rooser

Guest
Yeah the deck could certainly go nuts. It definitely needs the moxes IMO, or at least some reliable form of Pox-proof mana. Another good ol' trick is Urza's Bauble, as it acts like an "undiscardable" card when you Pox.

Spinning Darkness is an innovative suggestion, but I'm not sure how well it'll work. I do think it has the potential to be awesome though, so good job in pulling this one out of obscurity!

I prefer Chimeric Idol to Mishra's in this case, because it doesn't die to Pox, where as your land do. You might as well go with wastelands because they are at worst Pox fodder and at best they are amazing.

You definitely need The Rack in here, but given the way the deck plays you might prefer Sinkhole to Hypnotic Specter.

You might also like Diabolic Edict to shore up your creature control.

Also, I'm lucky enough to play 1.5 regularly and I can tell you that Duress is not as amazing in 1.5 as it is in any other format - (even 1). It's a definite sideboard because it'll be awesome in a control match-up, or the mirror, but it's mostly useless against 1.5's brand of aggro, (Stompy has few good targets, WW can take it, and burn doesn't care because you're just feuling it's cursed scroll). I know, the turn 1 duress can randomly disrupt any deck, but the turn 4 duress is usually useless. It's not so in Extended or the old T2, but it is here. Then again, if there's room, you might want to keep it - at worst it'll be Pox fodder.

In fact, that's really the beauty of this deck, huh? You can play riskier cards because you can just pitch the dead ones when you Pox.

As for Affinity, (And *sighs* yes it does get played in 1.5 these days), I think the match-up is better than you think. Affinity slows down drastically with even a little disruption.

Turn 1 -
Ravager guy: Land, Ornithopter/Disciple, Fancy Key Chain, (Spellbomb).
You: Dark Rit, Pox. Lose your land, your creature and two cards from your hand of four. Take 7.
Turn 2 -
Ravager guy: Land, Lucky Frogmite
You: EOT I'll spinning darkness your frogmite. My turn I'll play the rack.
Turn 3 -
Ravager guy: Take some Rack damage, draw a card with the spellbomb. *cries*

Or you could play first!

Turn 1 -
You: Mox, Land, Hymn to Tourach *lighthearted jig*

Heck, I just might build this deck.
 
T

train

Guest
I think the Hymn would be what makes any mono-black deck strong in the new 1 or 1.5...
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Rooser: I wish I could say something against your recommending Bauble...

But I can't, since I recommended it (in an entirely different deck) myself recently. As for mana, Chrome Mox seems to be the best choice. Mox Diamond I'm not so sure about. Lotus Petal isn't much help in a slow deck like this, so I don't think cutting lands for it would be a good idea...

Anyway, I don't think there's a contest in Pox for anything against Chimeric Idol. It's a question of what is used alongside it. I know that Wasteland is amazing against multicolored decks (dual lands are nice targets) but against something like monoblue control, sligh, another monoblack deck, etc. it's not likely to find a target. I've never tested Factory, so I don't know if it would be better than Wasteland or not. I'm more inclined toward Wasteland myself. The deck is not in a hurry to get damage through...

Yes, the deck definitely needs The Rack.

I think Sinkhole is an automatic inclusion for anyone who can get them. And Icequake is ther for anyone who can't...

Hyppie I'm not positive on. A flying, random discard forcing, damage dealer is nice. But it might not fit in with the other cards (other than The Rack, of course, which it is perfect alongside).

As for Duress, I am not really convinced that it shouldn't be maindecked. It can be Pox or Chrome Mox fodder, at worst. It's quite good against most decks. Against Stompy, true, there are only a few good targets, but it should be enough. WW I don't see as being such a threat. An early Pox would be difficult for WW to recover from. Burn should not be a competitive deck in this format. I think that even the best burn deck would go about even with Pox, maybe better, but they would lose horribly against some matchups after sideboarding, so no good players would be piloting burn decks. And if burn is using Cursed Scroll, I'm pretty confidant that I can win. A pinch of land destruction and I'm the only one with Scroll capability...

I think you're right about Affinity though. From Type it loses a host of acceleration that gives it the edge as well as the mighty Clamp. The matchup isn't a dream, but it's winnable.

Pox is looking very good in this format. I'm surprised that I haven't seen it brought up on The Source or TMD...
 
R

Rooser

Guest
We seem to see eye to eye then. Thinking about it more, I'm pretty sure duress has a home in here. You may want to only maindeck 3 though, especially since if you have a rit or a pox there is probably a better first turn play already in your hand. You'd keep the fourth in the board.

I agree that Chrome Mox is the mox of choice. I've messed around with Apprentice a little and the Mox Diamond doesn't seem to cut it here, and the petal certainly won't do the trick.

As for Wastelands and/or Factories, I've decided that this deck would be smart not to even touch either with a ten foot pole. You really don't want to waste time with anything that only produces colorless mana.

Look at some of your spells:

Duress
Dark Ritual
Sinkhole
Hymn to Tourach
Pox

How much colorless do you see in there?

The part where I disagree with you drastically is wheter or not Burn is a good deck. It's great deck. Yeah it has some bad match-ups, but in 1.5, every deck has some bad match-ups. Burn is pretty solid in the hand of the right player and with the ability to go for all 8 moxes, (Something a red deck actually would do), the decks are going to be pretty accelerated. Expect first turn firewalkers backed up by pyrokinesis very often, and don't expect your poxes to disrupt their mana too much. 8 moxes also makes land destruct very viable, now that red has 3 different LD spells at three mana, I expect red to be pretty competetive.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
I would think that Ankh red decks would be better than straight burn. I know that it can be good. I play burn in casual myself. But it's more easily sideboarded against than Ankh decks...

If burn does turn out to work well, that can only be good for me. I can build a 1.5 burn deck with ease. I just don't think the deck could do so well after sideboarding...

I think Pox can compete with burn anyway though. True, you eat chunks out of your own life total and burn is very fast and potent, but if Pox can get a Rack or two out, burn has trouble recovering...
 
R

Reverend Love

Guest
Pox is a difficult deck to play without a doubt. You do your best to factor in board position, hand, life totals, creatures all that junk and it's still iffiy.

I always figured the best Pox decks could consistently:

1. Disrupt
2. Quickly recover post Pox

I think running heavy brown in the form of Chrome Mox, and Diamond Mox could really help the Pox player.

I used Juggernauts in my Pox decks simply because their cheap heavy hitters.

This was before the whole Juggies are teh cool rage of the Man Show.

A deck which I'm still not giving up on is a chess deck making heavy use of disruption and Geddons.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
This is what I have in mind right now, although there are other ideas I'm toying with...

4x Diabolic Edict
4x Duress
4x Hymn to Tourach
4x Pox
4x Dark Ritual
4x Sinkhole
3x Hypnotic Specter
4x Chimeric Idol
4x The Rack
3x Cursed Scroll
4x Chrome Mox
18x Swamp

No sideboard yet. Some changes could include making room for Mox Diamonds (haven't been able to make it work yet, but it would be cool), cutting a Duress (depends on how strong aggro is in Raisin), adding Icequake (seems unlikely), putting Wasteland back in the maindeck (if dual lands are running rampant), putting in the Steel Golem/Spinning Darkness thing (Edicts might have to go then, and I am apprehensive about that), or finding a way to include Nether Spirit...
 
T

train

Guest
What about strip mines in place of sinkholes - that way the mana stays open...
 
T

Tabasco

Guest
Cursed Scroll is awesome in Pox.....keeps creatures from attacking, keeps opponents at a steady life loss...It might as well read,

3, Tap: opponent loses 2 life...
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Originally posted by train
What about strip mines in place of sinkholes - that way the mana stays open...
Strip Mine is banned...

Otherwise you can bet it would be in here. Wasteland is its replacement, but then running up against a monocolored deck hurts, and I think those are going to be the closer matchups for Pox. It's already pretty good against decks that have fragile mana bases...
 
T

train

Guest
...

so now we need to recur the LD...

Doomsday with Soldevi digger!...
 
F

Force of Will Smith

Guest
Looks good, and a pain in the oink..

Pox is always fun in multiplayer... makes everyone break out their mental calculators :D
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Originally posted by train
...

so now we need to recur the LD...

Doomsday with Soldevi digger!...
Um, maybe just Crucible and Wastelands for that sort of thing...

But I don't think the deck should be LD focused. Nether Void is the deck in this format that has that potential.

Pox needs to kill some lands, but rather than trying to kill a lot of them, it only needs to hold them back a little, then bust them up...
 
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