Modern Deck Guide: Vivien Pod
Today, I am going to talk about the deck I used to win the 20th God of Modern Tournament in Tokyo> Vivien Pod.
The name of the deck is because of the card 《Vivien on the Hunt》 that we use in a similar way as we did years ago with 《Birthing Pod》, a card actually ban in Modern.
The strategy of the deck is to have access to a lot of card advantage engines, answers to opponent strategy and at the same time, combo pieces that make you win the game very fast if necessary.
The last point is the main difference from the classic 4C Elementals deck that I play 3 days before and made the Top 4 of the best team alongside Atsuki Kihara and Yuya Hosokawa.
I really enjoyed how the Elementals deck creates value but didn’t like how it finished the game. Especially against combo decks. I found myself playing a 《Magus of the Moon》 against Amulet Titan and have no other pressure and finally lose the game to a removal spell.
To be clear, I think Elementals is the best deck in Modern if you want to face fair matches but are too weak against some combo strategies. Yes, you can win against them, but you playing 80 cards, and a few of them matter.
What happens if you draw 3 lands and 4 weak spells for the match-up? Do you mulligan? Are you going to see a better hand next? Not really.
This is why I choose to use Vivien Combo to be able to win faster with the combo. I felt, that with this deck, I have my own plan, not only interactive and draw spells and I will be able to fight any kind of deck.
It’s based on 《Felidar Guardian》 and 《Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker》 to create infinite cats. To find them, you are using 《Vivien on the Hunt》 1st ability to sacrifice a creature.
1. Play 《Planebound Accomplice》 and use the ability to put 《Vivien on the Hunt》 in play.
2. Use 《Vivien on the Hunt》 1st ability to sacrifice 《Planebound Accomplice》 to search for 《Felidar Guardian》.
3. Use 《Felidar Guardian》 effect on 《Vivien on the Hunt》 to be able to use the ability again.
4. Sacrifice 《Felidar Guardian》 with 《Vivien on the Hunt》, search for 《Karmic Guide》 and reanimate 《Felidar Guardian》 and use his effect on 《Vivien on the Hunt》 again.
5. Sacrifice 《Felidar Guardian》 again, to search 《Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker》.
6. Make a copy of 《Karmic Guide》 with 《Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker》 and reanimate 《Felidar Guardian》 to use on 《Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker》 which copy 《Felidar Guardian》.
With all the interaction fetch has with 《Renegade Rallier》, 《Omnath, Locus of Creation》 and 《Wrenn and Six》 I decided to run 16.
1 Copies of each non-black dual land to be sure I can reach any color with any fetchland.
2 tri-land to fix the mana even better when it’s not a problem to have a tapland. Decided to play the 《Forest》 + 《Mountain》 because of 《Utopia Sprawl》 and 《Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker》 but 《Raugrin Triome》 and 《Spara’s Headquarters》 could have been good too.
Snow doesn’t really matter since we don’t play 《Ice-Fang Coatl》. Like double 《Forest》 a lot since it’s very common to search for them both during the game.
4 《Arbor Elf》 is a big synergy with 《Utopia Sprawl》, you can even win turn 2 because of it. Wanted an extra mana acceleration for 1 mana and really liked 《Birds of Paradise》 which also fix mana color.
We actually got the combo into play on Turn2!!!!! This deck can win on Turn2!!!!!!!! 😱😱😱😱😱😱 #MTGModern pic.twitter.com/k4Xe9j08VA— Andrea Mengucci (@Mengu09) May 11, 2022
《Planebound Accomplice》 and 《Vivien on the Hunt》 are very similar as a 《Deceiver Exarch》 + 《Splinter Twin》 combo. You also have 《Saheeli Rai》 which can make infinite cats with 《Felidar Guardian》.
I play 2 copies of 《Karmic Guide》 because you can’t combo if you have only one copy in hand and because if one is discarded or killed you still have a second one in the deck.
1 《Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker》 is enough because you have 2 《Karmic Guide》 to bring him back if necessary.
All these cards create card advantage, help to increase the number of lands in play, and fix the mana. 《Omnath, Locus of Creation》 gain life, deal damages to planeswalkers and players, accelerate mana to be able to play him + a 5 mana card the same turn.
《Wrenn and Six》 kill 1 toughness creatures such as 《Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer》 or 《Risen Reef》. 《Renegade Rallier》 also helps to bring back 《Wrenn and Six》 in play, help for the combo with 《Vivien on the Hunt》 as sacrifice body to search 《Felidar Guardian》 and count as white cards for 《Solitude》.
《Swords to Plowshares》 with legs that can gain life and be 《Momentary Blink》 with 《Yorion, Sky Nomad》. The deck creates so much value, that the tempo you can have from paying mana is huge.
Also, you can have it back very easily with 《Karmic Guide》. It’s necessary to play it to be able to deal with cards like 《Primeval Titan》 and 《Murktide Regent》.
So many things to say about 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 in this deck. It protects your combo from instant speed removal. It protects your big spells from counterspells. It can be played on turn 2 with mana acceleration.
It helps to deal with 《Murktide Regent》. It bounces your own creatures like 《Solitude》 or 《Karmic Guide》 to create value. It can be blinked by 《Yorion, Sky Nomad》 to abuse the bounce ability. It fights Cascade decks like 《Living End》 or 《Crashing Footfalls》.
The planeswalker is fantastic in Modern right now and it’s probably my favorite card to have in my deck in general.
A good way to deal with stuff like 《Amulet of Vigor》, 《Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer》 or 《Wrenn and Six》. You can have access to 4 colors easily or even 5 with 《Utopia Sprawl》 or 《Birds of Paradise》.
《Oath of Nissa》 is such an important card in the deck. A way to find combo pieces. Increase chances of 《Wrenn and Six》 on turn 2 and find a fetchland for it or 《Renegade Rallier》. Decrease mulligan chances by being a land or a spell. Create value with 《Yorion, Sky Nomad》. Help to fix mana to cast planeswalkers. The legendary rule makes the second copy go graveyard so you can bring it back with 《Renegade Rallier》.
Graveyard hates and perfect body to fight well 《Dragon’s Rage Channeler》. It’s also super relevant against 《Living End》 to dodge 《Force of Negation》.
Still, the best card to have against amulet and I respect the matchup enough to play 3 copies.
Very good against Cascade decks, it’s also great against control decks to have 1 mana counterspell in addition to your expensive sorcery threats.
I like it more than 《Force of Vigor》 or 《Boseiju, Who Endures》. It’s not rare to want to destroy something in the early game and to have it available again instead of choosing directly 2 targets like 《Force of Vigor》 do.
It’s both graveyard hate and tutor hate. Not so many cards are good against Amulet Titan AND Living End. Note that you can use 《Planebound Accomplice》 abilities and 《Ashiok, Dream Render》 in response to fetchland or 《Summoner’s Pact》.
Control decks like to pass the turn and keep the counterspell up. 《Chandra, Awakened Inferno》 is the best way to punish that and it actually help to win game 3 in the title match against Yuta.
The best companion available in Modern now.
I wanted a deck to be able to fight well against Amulet Titan, Living End, Izzet Ragavan, Azorius Control.
I expected to face one of them in the final match because it’s the best deck and because the best players play this.
Here is the sideboard plan against them.
I end up playing the final match against Yuta Takahashi, the current world champion, who was playing Izzet Ragavan, and defeated him 3-0.
I am keeping the title of God of Modern and very happy to defend the title again next time.
Special thanks to Atsuki Kihara who helped me to build the deck and to practice.
Thanks for reading,
Jeremy Dezani (Twitter)
Jeremy Dezani He was the 2013-14 Player of the Year with his crowning achievement taking place at Pro Tour Theros where he won in spectacular fashion with Blue Devotion back in 2013. He has a stunning over 10 Grand Prix Top 8s to his name including 3 wins and Runner-up 4 times. He will also be the first Non-Japanese player to join the ranks of the Hareruya Pros.