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By: IYankemDDS, Jeff Nowacki
Feb 26 2014 1:00pm
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Today I want to talk about a deck that has been a little under-represented in Standard during the Theros Season: Naya Midrange. It is not unheard of to see Naya decks place in Daily Events, but most of these are usually Control builds. The deck that I want to talk about today is the more traditional Midrange version that ramps into must-answer threats and takes over through card advantage. Here is the version that I have been running:



I got the idea to play this deck from a Star City Games IQ event, where a similar list took down the tournament. I really liked the idea of playing Aurelia, the Warleader in Standard, so I knew right away that I wanted to build a variant of this. Let's look at the deck, starting with the manabase:

Manabase

Sacred Foundry Stomping Ground Temple Garden

We are running a full set of each of these shocklands. When we're playing three colors we need to have good mana! The biggest drawback about the manabase is that we are going to have to Shock ourselves. We can usually limit this to once or twice per game, but once in a while we'll have to do it a third time. We just need to make sure that we can set up our board before our life gets too low. This brings us to the next set of lands - the Temples.

Temple of Abandon Temple of Triumph

We're running three of each of these. While we don't want too many lands coming into play tapped, these can be a big help later in the game in terms of card selection.

Creatures

Elvish Mystic Sylvan Caryatid

These guys help us ramp into our threats. While they can be pretty miserable to draw in the late game, it is really important to get these guys down quick so we can get to our meat and potatoes. For example, a Turn 1 Elvish Mystic can lead to one of these plays on Turn 2:

Loxodon Smiter Boon Satyr Polukranos, World Eater

More than anything, our old friend Loxodon Smiter is a brick that likes to smash face and Turn 2 is a great time to do that. If that doesn't happen, we can often flash in Boon Satyr at the end of our opponent's 2nd turn and starting getting in for damage. While it's true that we'd rather Bestow him, we could do worse than this. We also run a miser's copy of Polukranos, World Eater that we can power out Turn 3. He attacks hard, he blocks well, and kills Blood Baron of Vizkopa, which can be a big problem if we can't answer him. Unfortunately, a Turn 1 Elvish Mystic doesn't help us get ahead on these guys:

Boros Reckoner Voice of Resurgence

If we want to get a Boros Reckoner down on Turn 3, we've probably had to shock ourselves at least twice. Even thinking of him as a Turn 4 play is alright. This is one of the places where we can get card advantage through potential 2-for-1s. As for Voice of Resurgence, we can't ramp into him, but like the Reckoner, he gives us value when he does die. As we know, he's a great answer to Supreme Verdict.

Mistcutter Hydra Stormbreath Dragon

Three copies of Mistcutter Hydra and two of Stormbreath Dragon. These hasty guys can get in for damage quickly. The Hydra is at his best against Mono-Blue, but I've found him useful in all matchups. He's another guy who can stonewall Blood Baron of Vizkopa. The Dragon is just a big threat that has to be answered. It also helps that he dodges Selesnya Charm. It may be correct to increase the number Dragons in the deck.

Aurelia, the Warleader

And here is our big finish: Aurelia, the Warleader. If she comes down and isn't dealt with immediately, it's going to be hard to lose that game. I've decided to run two copies to give me a higher chance of drawing into her. There may be times where you see both copies in your opening hand, but that should not happen often.

Spells

Advent of the Wurm Mizzium Mortars Domri Rade

Finally, the Spells. We aren't running many, but the ones we are really pack a wallop. With a little ramp, we can play an instant-speed Wurm at the end of Turn 3 and really start beating down. Domri Rade is actually our optimal Turn 2 play off of Elvish Mystic. Given our creature density, we end up drawing so many cards off of him, that we really put ourselves in a good position. And sometimes we'll be able to Ultimate! Finally, Mizzium Mortars is a good removal spell which, again, helps us deal with Blood Baron of Vizkopa. With Sylvan Caryatid it's actually not that hard to get to Overload mana.

Sideboard

Assemble the Legion Boros Charm Ruric Thar, the Unbowed Glare of Heresy

Assemble the Legion gives us inevitability, and is particularly good against Control decks. Boros Charm is a versatile card which can blow out a Supreme Verdict, but is also versatile enough to serve as a finisher. Ruric Thar, the Unbowed is really tough for to deal with, and even if they do, they are taking 6 to the face! The fact that we run so few non-creature spells rewards us for bringing him in. Glare of Heresy is also quite good, dealing with threats like Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Detention Sphere to get our guys back.

Fiendslayer Paladin Gift of Orzhova Unflinching Courage Selesnya Charm

These are generally good cards to bring in during Aggro matchups. Fiendslayer Paladin blocks all of the X/2s, gains us life, and dodges red and black removal. (Gift or Orzhova) and Unflinching Courage both help us gain life in different ways. I include Selesnya Charm here because sometimes throwing down an instant-speed 2/2 Knight as a surprise blocker is just what you need.

Keening Apparition

This may seem like an odd inclusion, but it helps us against Burning Earth and also takes care of Detention Sphere. These guys may not come in often, but they can be useful when they do.

As for changes to the sideboard, I might suggest finding room for 1-2 copies of Chained to the Rocks. Just in case there is a threat you have to deal with, you may want access to it.

Additions from Born of the Gods

So what can we do to improve the deck with cards from Born of the Gods? Three cards jump out as possible inclusions: Temple of Plenty, Xenagos, God of Revels, and Courser of Kruphix.

Temple of Plenty Xenagos, God of Revels Courser of Kruphix

Temple of Plenty helps us further fix our mana and benefits us through card selection. The problem is that if we take out more basics, we're replacing them with lands that come into play tapped, so we may have to shock ourselves more often. The another option is to bring in Xenagos, God of Revels. I really like the option to pump our guys up and give haste to our non-hasty guys in the late game. Finally, I like the idea of adding a full set of Courser of Kruphix.   This card helps mitigate some of the damage that we're taking from Shock Lands, and helps us sift through our lands more quickly so that we can get more live draws.  The interaction with Domri Rade also seems quite strong.  Xenagos, God of Revels also allows the Courser to become a 4/6 attacker each combat!  To make room for the new additions, I might go down to single copies of (Aurelia, the Warcaller), Mistcutter Hydra, and cut all three copies of Boon Satyr.  A post-Born of the Gods decklist might look like this:



And that's it! If you want to try something a little different, take this Naya Midrange deck for a spin!