Naya Humans

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I posted this in one of the Zoo threads, but its probably different enough to merit its own thread for discussion.

20 Land
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Stomping Ground
4 Temple Garden
4 Sacred Foundry
2 Rootbound Crag
2 Clifftop Retreat

32 Creatures
4 Champion of the Parish
4 Experiment One
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Lightning Mauler
4 Mayor of Avabruck
4 Gore-House Chainwalker
4 Silverblade Paladin
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager

8 Other Spells
4 Rancor
4 Boros Charm

Sideboard
4 Pillar of Flame
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Domri Rade
Nearheath Pilgrim
Mizzium Mortars

Numbers are obviously subject to change with more testing, this is just a starting point for me.  The sideboard, and deck in general, is fairly speculative.  Seems like having double strike is an important way for these types of decks to win when you don't hit your nut draws.  Still the nut draws can be hilariously good.
well... deck looks very interesting. Ive noticed on these forums that if there isnt anything obvious to change, people often simply don't post on your threads. Here I think all your choices make sense. Chainwalker is a bit awkward, but this deck is clearly aiming for the 'nut draw' factor that burning tree can provide, so you can't opt for superior 2 drops due to color requirements. Mayor is hardly a sacrifice so thats good. It could be that replacing chainwalker with a better 2-drop is worth it, but that will take some time to figure out. The mana seems pretty painful and awkward considering the deck's speed and color requirements, but I don't know what you can really do about that. 

Sideboard, on the othr hand, looks untested and could probably have significant improvements. 
well... deck looks very interesting. Ive noticed on these forums that if there isnt anything obvious to change, people often simply don't post on your threads. Here I think all your choices make sense. Chainwalker is a bit awkward, but this deck is clearly aiming for the 'nut draw' factor that burning tree can provide, so you can't opt for superior 2 drops due to color requirements. Mayor is hardly a sacrifice so thats good. It could be that replacing chainwalker with a better 2-drop is worth it, but that will take some time to figure out. The mana seems pretty painful and awkward considering the deck's speed and color requirements, but I don't know what you can really do about that. 

Sideboard, on the othr hand, looks untested and could probably have significant improvements. 



The sideboard is bad.   I'm not sure ever boarding in something like Pillar of Flame is even necessary after some testing yesterday.  This deck practically never assumes the role of control that I can see.  Ghor-Clan Rampager is pseudo removal 95% of the time anyway and makes blocking against open RG terrible.  Although I did like having Mizzium Mortars for Smiters and Angels at times.  What do you think of Blind Obedience here?  I didn't like it at first, but it does give some reach and a reasonable effect.  I guess Skullcrack is a possibility too if there's a really polished midrange/control deck.

The manabase has been pretty good for the most part.  Silverblade Paladin is a bit ambitious on 14 white sources and 20 lands, I'll concede that.   I'm just not sure there are any better alternatives to it.  Frontline Medic would be easier to cast and give us protection from Bonfire, but is obviously a lot less aggressive.  Most of the Naya decks I saw from SCG Atlanta were still on Avacyn's Pilgrim and 22-23 lands, which may be the right way to build this deck.  Oh, and once or twice casting Boros Charm on time has been difficult, but that could just be a result of 4 caverns in a 20 land deck.

Like you said, Gore-House is a necessary evil, I think.  Wojek Halberdier is probably a better two drop, but can't be cast off of Burning-Tree.  Maybe I'll try some sort of split and see how that goes.  I guess we'll see if Burning-Tree is worth all this effort or not.  But so far it has been pretty sweet! Laughing
How has boros charm been in testing? Would maindeck thalia be preferable? Its much easier to cast and slows the wrath a turn. madcap skills and volcanic strength also deserve testing (especially volcanic in side). Both being castable off burning tree is pretty sweet, and despite their apparent jankiness they seem of a contructed level power. With volcanic you get the ability to dodge most any red removal, and many more decks now have mountains thanks to stomping ground and sacred foundry

I built a haste midrange deck with aurelia and thundermaw and resto angel and smiter and obedience seemed strong against it. Im not sure how good it is but testing it seems reasonable.

With regards to pillar, it seems hard to cast turn 1 given your manabase. Would searing spear be better in many cases?  Its castable off burning tree and I expect RDW/R(w)DW to be a big part of the meta. Killing hellrider and growing unblockable stromkirk noble could be useful. 

I would consider bonds of faith side over mortars. It can buff your guys well and takes care of all the problem creatures, including reckoner which is awesome vs you. The more I think about it the more I like bonds.

In fact, I can definitely see an 'auras' naya humans deck developing, screwing hexproof and just going for speed. between bonds, skills, rancor, strength, armor their are a ton of playable auras. Thats a whole different deck although it might have a similar creaturebase, but regardless I give bonds my sideboard stamp of approval

EDIT: Lost a match 1-2 vs grixis control. I had a slightly different maindeck -2 chainwalker -2 boros charm +2 searing spear +2 thalia. In game 1 Thalia just destroyed him. Game 2 I mulled to a 1 lander and he aggressively used ghost quarter. It seemed for some reason he had multiple ghost quarter and kept strip mining me, and I also drew multiple one land hands and had severe mulligan issues. One match is very much anecdotal evidence but 21 lands minimum is likely the right play. Also staticaster absolutely destroyed me, I had a hand of thalias and mayors and lightning maulers and it was just embarrassing. Game 3 I got him to 1 and then drew spear but it turns out he had left in his counters vs cavern, which I did not expect, and I eventually lost to keyrune + active staticaster. 

I can't speak for all matchups but searing spear was an MVP in the games I played, as was thalia. His aggressive use of ghost quarter (1-2 per game) might have also contributed to the unusual mana screw. Not sure what the best answer is to staticaster other than searing spear and being aware of it. If they also have resto angel and thundermaw then possibly blind obedience could be good vs such a deck. 
I'm not sure I love playing a lot of auras.  It might work in another deck, but I feel like it would open me up to blowouts against removal heavy decks.  Skeptics might say Burning-Tree already does that, but I think the tempo boost is worth it.  Then again, if everyone is just trying to race one another in this format, it is a different way to attack the metagame.  Volcanic Strength is intriguing though, may have to try that one.

After watching Joseph Herrera tear people up with Frontline Medic this morning, I'm pretty sure not playing it here is a mistake.  Being able to just alpha strike into bigger creatures is HUGE for aggro decks.  Midrange can't just plop a Smiter or Angel in front of us with it in play.  Combine that with Boros Charm and Ghor-Clan antics and we have some cool combat tricks.  I evaluated Medic completely wrong.  The second ability is just a happy bonus against Bonfire/Revelation.  The Battalion ability, on the other hand, just seems grossly powerful.

Boros Charm has been good for me thus far.   Like all the cards in the deck, the numbers will obviously change with more testing.  Once Gatecrash is on MODO I should be able to do a lot more testing.
I have been testing this list (by means that shall not be disclosed on official wizards forums). I made the following changes to the maindeck:







The sideboard is a big mess right now, but is somewhat similar to what you posted except volcanic strength and bonds of faith over mortars and pillar, and additional slots open up due to maindeck thalia and medic. I did add charm to side vs verdict. Charm becomes worse because medic already give indestructibility. 

[deck]
2x nearheath pilgrim
1x thalia, gaudian of thraben
2x bonds of faith
3x volcanic strength
3x boros charm
2x rest in peace
1x ray of revelation
1x war priest of thune
[/deck]

Once again this side not at all polished or good. As discussed above, bonds is better than mortars as sorcery speed removal in most cases, and the ability to buff your own guys should come into play a reasonable fraction of the time. Thalia often justs eats my opponents turn 3, which is great considering how fast the deck is. Even if the side isnt the best, it should be reasonably clear what all the pieces are for (i.e. race = pilgrim, spell deck = thalia, need removal = bonds, red deck using burn removal = volcanic, verdict = charm, grave strat = RiP, dedicated aura deck =ray+war priest, deck using detention sphere/o-ring as removal+blind obedience, or has random enchantments that are potentially annoying such as curse of death's hold, or chronic flooding in human reanimator = war priest)

In testing, the deck is wicked fast and takes no prisoners. I forsee this being a tier 1 deck in the coming meta. It has a great side vs red deck wins, should race auras similar to RDW but with a better side. Vs verdict decks between thalia and charm they are often just too slow. Decks like zombies are bad at blocking and not as fast. Bigger naya decks are often weak to medic and thalia (and, they may also be weak to volcanic strength). This deck can be weak against izzet staticaster. 'America' flash control decks may be a problem. 
 
Thanks for posting your findings.  Lots of good stuff for me to digest.  All the changes you suggested seem reasonable.

I'm not sure exactly how to remedy the Staticaster problem.  It was a problem for this archetype before Gatecrash hit, so it's not that surprising to hear that it still is.  Maybe board out some weak X/1's into some planeswalkers like Garruk Relentless (possible 4 cmc is too greedy), or Domri Rade?   I guess we could also board into threats with more toughness like Loxodon Smiter or more Frontline Medic.  Blind Obedience seems kind of weak as an answer.  I guess we'll have to seem how much of a thing UWR or Grixis is going forward.
More testing and more findings. Against 'big naya' (mana dorks, farseek, huntmaster, resto, thundermaw, angel of serenity, etc) we are a bit weak to huntmaster and angel of serenity. Loxodon smiter can significantly slow our offense, as can silverblade paladin.

Lingering souls was also pretty strong, and took a lot of effort to fight through. Id imagine an esper control list could potentially be scary. 

Ive been liking the silverblade/medic split. Multiple medic are poor but having the ability to alpha is very useful, and it also helps evolve those experiments.

Thalia has been an absolute MVP. When we are on the play spell based decks have just been unable to beat champion into thalia. 

Searing spear has continued to prove its worth. 
Blind Obedience seems like a better option against Naya Midrange than against some other decks.  Might be worth a shot.  For Lingering Souls...Bonfire of the Damned/Thalia?  I dunno.  That's all I can think of right now which is weird considering Wizards has printed 10,000 hate cards for Lingering Souls.

God I hate having to wait for MODO to get sets.  The deck does seem pretty tight though.   I'm surprised more people aren't playing with this around here.  Fairly easy to pilot.  Relatively cheap to build.  Established archetype.   Weird.

EDIT:  I guess Electrickery is something to keep in the back of the mind as well for lingering souls decks or decks with a bunch of dorks as well.
Current MD/SB



 Over time I realized I kept siding out rancor, and just dont feel its the greatest card here. Its not bad, but you often dont really need it.
Good cards: champion, mayor, thalia, emissary, lightning mauler, silverblade
Okay cards: rest of the deck

Sideboard
Frequently used: volcanic strength, thalia, pilgrim, boros charm
Less Frequent: the rest

The deck is still evolving. I expect people to start maindecking human frailty in the near future, and play it alongside snapcaster mage, because humans are very strong. In fact, Im tempted to build esper control because it seems sweet. That said, ive been beating basically every deck I play with insane starts they cant keep up with. Not sure why no one else is interested in this deck, its very strong.
Where is Boros Reckoner?

Just saying. Combined with Frontline Medic you have unlimited life.

EDIT: Sorry, i realised you need Nearheath Pilgrim also.

I'll quote another user on here by the name of "rstnme" who gave us this info earlier today:

"1. Boros Reckoner takes damage, either from combat or by eating one of your spells
2. Boros Reckoner then gets to deal that much damage to target creature or player
3. Boros Reckoner chooses to deal damage to itself
4. Boros Reckoner then gets to deal that much damage to target creature or player
5. Bors Reckoner chooses to deal damage to itself
6. Boros Reckoner then gets to deal that much damage to target creature or player

Get it? Once it's indestructable and bonded with nearheath pilgrim, you just inflate to a million."

Where is Boros Reckoner?

Just saying. Combined with Frontline Medic you have unlimited life.

EDIT: Sorry, i realised you need Nearheath Pilgrim also.

I'll quote another user on here by the name of "rstnme" who gave us this info earlier today:

"1. Boros Reckoner takes damage, either from combat or by eating one of your spells
2. Boros Reckoner then gets to deal that much damage to target creature or player
3. Boros Reckoner chooses to deal damage to itself
4. Boros Reckoner then gets to deal that much damage to target creature or player
5. Bors Reckoner chooses to deal damage to itself
6. Boros Reckoner then gets to deal that much damage to target creature or player

Get it? Once it's indestructable and bonded with nearheath pilgrim, you just inflate to a million."



Too hard to cast.  Cavern of Souls will always be naming human in this deck and we run an absurdly low land count.  That means you can't reliably cast Reckoner on 3.  It's an excellent creature, but not playable in this deck.  Reckoner is better suited for Mono-Red or a R/W style deck, I think.  The cute interactions with Pilgrim and Medic are nice and everything, but I'd rather just kill them by turn 4/5, which this deck is very good at doing.

I'm pretty confident in saying Burning-Tree Emissary is worth the effort now.  That card facilitates "free wins."  Also, Physics is right about maindecking Thalia and Searing Spear.  

This deck reminds me a little of the old Kuldotha Rebirth decks from Caw-Blade era.  Not quite as fast as that, but a bit more consistent.    

     

@SuperNobbs that is a cool combo (and seems to work even faster with boros charm) but with cavern unfortunately we cant support it. Making a Boros deck wins with the combo ould be cute though. Thanks for the idea regardless
Yeah, reckoner wouldn't fit in here. Actually, this is the kind of deck that can beat the face of a life-combo deck before it gets started.

@mr.physics the original combo was with the charm, though my deck had Frontline in there as well.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

What do we think of Threaten effects out of the sideboard to combat midrange?  Obviously Zealous Conscripts is a little pricey for our deck, but Mark of Mutiny, Act of Treason, or Traitorous Instinct all seem like viable options.  Might be worth exploring over Mizzium Mortars/Bonds of Faith antics.  I think I'd probably lean towards Mark of Mutiny for our purposes.

I also just realized there is a humans thread in the Tier 2 section so maybe we should move the discussion there.  Although there seems to be even less discussion in that thread than here so maybe not.
Typically, this deck is already quite strong vs midrange (could be me playing bad versions). Also, if they farseek into huntmaster, threaten isnt going to be to useful. I mainly like threaten effects in decks that can also sacrifice their own creatures or have a lot of difficulty fighting through blockers. frontline medic seems like a reasonable SB against midrange decks where there is trouble getting through on the ground (also naya is one of the more popular midrange and probably has bonfire). I did face a rogue simic deck that used master biomancer to develop a wall of massive blockers. In these situations someone like odric, master tactician could have a place as a 1-of in the side over the riders of gavony slot. Also, I've liked the 1x gruul charm in the side as a simple falter effect against typical simic decks and some larger naya decks. 

With regards to mortars/bonds of faith, I have found myself wanting mortars more often than not, but I think thats partially because Im not facing an accurate meta in testing. I think Boros deck wins is going to be a real deck and reckoner is a difficult card for us to deal with outside of bonds. Some cards (biomancer/hellrider) arent well effected by bonds, and others (smiter) its to risky to bonds unless you can still win through a follow up angel. 
That makes sense.  I guess I'm just anticipating a lot of midrange once I start testing more heavily online.

I was meaning to ask you when I saw your last list how you liked Gruul Charm.  Sounds like it has been fairly good to you?

And it seems like you've been able to do quite a bit of testing the last few days.  Any thoughts on potential bad matchups?  I know you  mentioned UWR Flash earlier possibly being difficult, but are there others?
gruul charm has definitely been worth the spot. Its there vs lingering souls, ground stalls, and is an absolute blowout vs esper spirits, which I dont think is a real deck (without verdict side) but it top8ed at SCG so its played right now. 

I ran an 8-person 3 round swiss yesterday and my matchups were SCG esper spirits (2-1), BWR aggro (2-1), and Boros Aggro (2-0)
*I was already winning vs the esper spirits when I drew the gruul charm, but it would have been a blowout. In the one game I lost, it was to 2x drogskol captain and lingering souls, and it would have single handedly turned the game around for me. 

One thing about this deck is that it is unusually effected by the die roll. I don't know of any match-ups where I feel disadvantaged on the play in game 1, but there are plenty of difficult matchups on the draw. Such is the price of having an all-in aggro deck with relatively small creatures. 

I would imagine that the naya deck that won the last SCG might be difficult. If you have a very fast draw on the play, the 4 drops can be too slow, but if you are on the draw or stumble, which is bound to happen sometimes, then huntmaster and resto angel are very good threats against you, and overall the deck has a much better lategame. Also, decks that maindeck things like nearheath pilgrim are likely to be annoying, especially as it is almost garanteed to buy time for the pesky 4 drops.

The jund aggro deck also looks well built, but overall less threatening, especially if they switch to burn as removal, in which case they become potentially weak to volcanic strength out of the side. We need to be careful of rolling temblor in those lists. 

Boros reckoner was a pain when I played it, its just very difficult to favorably attack into, and searing spear is usually a terrible 2 for 1 (and you almost never spear it since you save those for hellriders or sometimes use on ash zealots to force through early damage). However, they dont always draw it and even when they do its usually forced on the defensive. Medic can be a reasonable answer as long as you are ahead on life, and overall your side vs RDW is very good so I dont feel disadvantaged. 

Overall you are weakest to aggressive midrange decks that have a lot of big early threats and follow up with powerful 4 drops, and play few non-creature spells that are disrupted by thalia, and have good ways to counter your sideboarding plans. Also, considering variations in pilot skill, its difficult to tell who is advantaged in the 45/55 matchups as there just isnt enough testing yet.

I can say with confidence you are favored vs esper spirits that eschew supreme verdict and decks that are weak to a very aggressive start backed up by thalia. I also havent encountered any bad matchups (obviously I lose matches but they didnt feel unwinnable), but I havent played against some of the best decks in the format (bigger human naya and jund aggro) so its hard to say.

 
Thanks for the detailed write-up.  I really appreciate all the input you've given this week.

I should be able to start testing on MODO this weekend and more during the week.  I'm thinking about trying out Hamlet Captain in some capacity if Gore House Chainwalker is underwhelming.  I'm not confident he's worth playing, but it's something to try I guess.
hamlet captain seems sweet. The only problem is that experiment 1 is basically G: 2/2 human in this deck. between captain and mayor thats honestly probably good enough, but it is a bit underwhelming, as without 2 counters he cant regen a wrath. This deck is definitely on a 'kill them before they wrath plan' .  I did just play UWr control with pillars spears augurs restos wraths and snapcasters, staticasters side, and went 2-0, 2-1, 2-1. A lot of times I just over-extended into wraths he just didnt have. 



This is the latest version. Finally got rid of the token rancor to go up to 4 medics in the hopes of evolving experiment. You can probably side out the plains on the draw. Ive upped the volcanic strength count as it has been an MVP in a bunch of matches. Down to 1 RiP, I faced reanimator and I think we can just race, we also have spear and thalia to distrupt, so I dont think RiP is too needed. 
 
After more testing, Experiment One does seem somewhat mediocre for us, even with Gore-House Chainwalker in the mix.  Boros Elite is a possible alternative I suppose, but I can see that being worse in a number of matchups.  Namely anything with Izzet Staticasters.  I'm not sure which one drop I prefer yet.  Most likely Experiment One is just necessary, I think.  We may just want to play 1-2 more 1 drops anyway.  I'm still working through Hamlet Captain vs Gore-House Chainwalker, the differences seem pretty subtle though so I'm not sure which I prefer yet.

The deck is suprisingly more resilent than I thought it would be.  Oh, and Physics Volcanic Strength is savage tech, thanks for that one.  Practically every deck I've played against has Stomping Ground or Sacred Foundry and that card just closes out games.

Boros Reckoner makes combat so strange.  Every turn that thing comes out I feel like I'm asking myself "How do I NOT get blown out here?"  I'm not sure we have a definite solution for that card, but so far it hasn't been back-breaking.  Sometimes you power through with Frontline Medic, other times its Volcanic Strength.  I guess everyone is just trying to figure out that card right now.

I'm done rambling.  I like the deck a lot, and Physics' input has cleaned it up quite a bit.  Hopefully we can smooth out the remaining issues and make this thing a monster.  
I agree with you that Reckoner makes combat very funky.

some options are to ignore it and force damage through, and hopefully your winning the damage race at this point.

Searing Spear it and eat the 3 damage.
 
Also, you can Gruul Charm to make your guys unblockable, which lets you ignore it while you get some damage through.

but yeah Reckoner is a card you definitly have to play around. 
100th post on 5/29/12 500th post on 8/20/12
Reckoner is a rattlesnake for aggro decks for sure.  I have a feeling someone is going to break the Domri Rade and Reckoner deck this weekend.  For our purposes, Searing Spear should probably be the absolute last resort to deal with Reckoner.  It just ends up being a 2 for 1 for them against you too often.  I've thought about Nightbird's Clutches as a possibility.  It's not great, and exceptionally cute, but could be enough to get there.  And as long as we're on the cute fast-track, Avacynian Priest could be an extremely niche solution as well.  Some number of maindeck Volcanic Strength is probably the right direction though, I think.  I've been experimenting with Tomoharu Saito's latest R/G list, and the card does seem fine as a maindeck option.  He's even got redudancy on Strength with maindeck Madcap Skills as well.  I'm not sure I'm willing to ride that far onto the crazy train just yet, but he knows a lot more about deckbuilding than I do so who knows?

I'm still not sure how I feel about the Boros Elite vs Experiment One debate.  I've seen a few lists running both as full sets for 12 total one drops which seems bad to me.  Thragtusk decks just present too many headaches at that point.  Gore-House Chainwalker/Hamlet Captain are the worst cards in this deck though, so maybe I'm wrong there.  I'd be more inclined to cut them for some maindeck Volcanic Strength.

It seems like people are torn between the traditional 23 land, Avacyn's Pilgrim, Huntmaster of the Fells, and Restoration Angel midrangey version of Humans and this newer version of deck.  I'm obviously partial to this version, but it seems like both decks have pros/cons.  But I'm smitten with Burning-Tree Emissary.  A Frogmite that fixes mana?  Yes please.
Brad Nelson has been 4-0ing a lot of daily events on modo this week with Naya Humans.   For reference, his most recent list (FFfreak):

www.wizards.com/Magic/Digital/MagicOnlin...

There's some cool new technology to discuss here.  He's up to 12 one drops, which probably makes sense.  I initially didn't like going so "all in" because of Thragtusk decks, but the truth is there's a good chance without them you lose to a resolved tusk anyway.  He's also got Flinthoof Boar maindecked, which now looks obvious to me.  It turns on Experiment One, and is easy on the mana anyway.  Giant Growth seems awkward, but is probably a nod to the other aggressive decks.  It is clearly more flexible defensively than Ghor-Clan Rampager.  In testing I was finding Rampager to be pretty underwhelming anyway.

The sideboard looks fairly close to stock.  Fiend Hunters for Reckoners may be better than Volcanic Strength now, which I've recently been finding to be less reliable.  They don't always have a mountain, and UWR is a real thing again as is Azorius Charm.  Pacifism over Bonds of Faith is curious.  Perhaps he was finding Ash Zealot  to be problematic as well as Reckoner.

Anyway, something to discuss.  I still think this is probably one of the strongest decks out there right now.
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