If I were to have a love affair with a card that isn’t Stoneforge Mystic, it would probably have to be Domri Rade. I first discovered the Naya archetype shortly after Gatecrash gave us access to Domri and Boros Reckoner. However the deck didn’t really perform well until the introduction of Dragon’s Maze and Voice of Resurgence. The powerful two drop added not only a new angle against control decks it also gave you a new tool against the aggressive decks. I played the deck on and off until the introduction of M14 when Scavenging Ooze was added into the format. Before this, Naya had some trouble with Junk Reanimator before Ooze but with a hoser in the main, Naya had a much better match up against the deck. The next few events I would play it at would lead me to some halfway decent finishes. There were no finishes worth noting until the very last SCG Standard Open of the Innistrad/Return to Ravnica standard format where I won with a Domri Naya deck featuring Hellrider over Ghor-Clan Rampager.
Constantly Domri rarely let me down and when in Theros they introduced the Scry lands I thought Domri had a new chance to be powerful. I messed around with a couple variations of Naya in the new standard but never found anything remotely powerful with it. Soon after the Pro Tour I gave up and moved on to Mono Black for a while. But then a GR Monsters deck started to emerge.
This deck seemed awesome and I played around with it for a little bit and even tried changing it to Naya. Although my attempts failed Andrew Hanson had some minor success top 8ing GP Albuquerque with an aggressive Naya deck
This deck was a lot of fun to play but was just a few short cards of being good enough to compete consistently. Without Domri the earliest on average you had any source of card advantage was with Chandra on about turn 5. With Born of the Gods being introduced we now had access to all 12 Scry lands which means our mana is theoretically better. The question is how do we want to go about building our deck? This is what I had in mind:
This build is a little more midrange. We have some aggressive cards but without mana dorks we aren’t powering anything out. However, all our creatures hit hard and you wouldn’t mind drawing many of these cards late game. With UW control and Mono Black decks on the rise, Loxodon Smiter is at a premium right now. It makes Thoughtseizing with a few cards in hand questionable and Rakdos’s Return can be in our favor. Being uncounterable and a 4/4 body against UWx forces action quickly. One of the benefits of having Mountains in our deck means we get to play Chained to the Rocks which give us a lot of game against Master of Waves and Desecration Demon as well as an awesome card in any mirror.
Although this deck is sweet, you may be wondering why this version would be better than Jund or even the consistent GR version. Well the answers lies in the variation of our threats. One of the best cards in any monsters mirror is going to be Voice of Resurgence. The card is an all star against control but is also absurd against the aggressive decks. Giving you two bodies to block with is nothing to scoff at. In any board stall with creatures The Voice token gets much bigger than any threat they can produce. Playing white also gives us access to Boros Charm which can give us a pseudo combo kill against any deck. Ghor-Clan Rampager and Boros Charm giving a creature double strike can be lights out against any deck. Against control decks Boros Charm also gives us a card in the main that’s an out to both Planeswalkers and Supreme Verdict.
The card I am most excited to try out from the sideboard is Aurelia, the Warleader. It has a lot of potential to end games on the spot and gives you an awesome body to both attack and block with. Games against control decks like UWx or Bx tend to go a bit longer and having Aurelia gives us another end game threat to finish off the job.
Playing white also gives us access to a lot of awesome sideboard cards like Revoke Existence and Glare of Heresy. The monsters deck has traditionally had trouble with Elspeth and Glare gives us another out to it. We are also boarding into Selesnya Charm which is a secret all star against mono black decks. Being able to remove Desecration Demon and give us another creature to attack with can leave their deck lacking answers to your multitude of threats. Overall, I like this decks position potentially in the metagame if it stays the way it is. You have multiple answers to all the best threats being played.
However, this is a “slower” version of the deck. What happens if we try to play Elvish Mystics and Sylvan Caryatids? I think it dilutes a lot of the deck. Sure you can be a turn faster if you have a Mystic or make a jump from 2 to 4 with Caryatid but overall it lowers the quality of your draws especially in the late game. With this version of the deck, you want to have a higher quality of cards that can impact the board. The benefit of this can be seen in the mid to late game especially. White gives you all the tools you need to be able to defeat any opponent.
However, if you did want to play mana accelerants, I would suggest playing an Elspeth in the board. It’s awesome against the monsters deck and can also be a bomb against control. You also can play Assemble the Legion if you feel so inclined.
Moving forward I think Naya has potential at least until Journey to Nyx hits shelves. Can’t wait to see what else Journey brings us but to say I am excited for what it brings is….about how I’m feeling.
Until next time!
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