Naya Midrange Wins a Starcitygames Standard Open
December 4, 2012 | Posted by Dee
Wizards of the Coast is really understanding what it takes to create a fun, balanced Standard environment.
I’ve been playing Magic the Gathering for over ten years. Hands down, the current Standard season is the best one I’ve ever seen.
When you look at the Starcitygames Standard Open tournament circuit, you see a different winner in every tournament.
Here’s a list of the Standard Opens with Return to Ravnica and the winning decks.
|October 7, 2012||Cincinnati||Blue/White/Red (UWR) Control|
|October 14, 2012||Providence||Green/White/Black (GWB) Tokens|
|October 21, 2012||Indianapolis||Four Color Reanimator|
|October 28, 2012||New Orleans||Green/White (GW) Humans|
|November 4, 2012||St. Louis||Blue/White/Red (UWR) Midrange|
|November 11, 2012||Dallas||Blue/White (UW) Flash|
|November 18, 2012||Seattle||Bant Control|
|December 2, 2012||Baltimore||Naya Midrange|
Eight tournaments, eight different decks. That’s pretty amazing. I don’t think it’s happened before.
The latest winner is Naya Midrange. It came out of nowhere. No one was writing about the deck in the days leading up to the tournament but its dominance makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
Rakdos Aggro had just won Grand Prixs two weekends in a row so you had to expect many people would play it.
That proved to be the case as the top 32 had 16 Rakdos Aggro decks.
Naya Midrange is great against those decks because it can gain a lot life and launch strong counterattacks.
Check out the winning decklist below by Patrick Shifflett.
Magic players save money on cards by going to eBay. Click the links below to buy cards from this deck on eBay.
Any deck with 4 Huntmaster of the Fells, 4 Thragtusk, and 4 Restoration Angel has got a strong foundation for beating aggro decks.
Huntmaster and Thragtusk gives you multiple blockers and life gain while Restoration Angel allows you to reuse their abilities to get more blockers and gain more life.
Also, the 3/4 flyer is a great blocker. For example, she matches up well against the 3/3 Hellrider. Also, she doesn’t die to Searing Spear.
Loxodon Smiter could’ve been Centaur Healer but I like the bigger body over the life gain. There are a lot of Searing Spears running around so Centaur Healer doesn’t live very long.
At 4/4, Loxodon Smiter doesn’t die to Searing Spear and it’s a better blocker against Geralf’s Messenger and Hellrider.
It’s more well-rounded than Centaur Healer because it ignores counterspells. Occasionally its second ability allows you to play it for free against Liliana of the Veil or Rakdos’s Return.
The mana ramp elements (4 Avacyn’s Pilgrim and 4 Farseek) are very important. They help you keep up with the fast starts of aggro decks.
Huntmaster and Thragtusk are great anti-aggro cards but they still cost four and five mana. When aggro decks can have six power on the board by turn two, you definitely want the ability to play Huntmaster and Thragtusk one turn earlier.
Late in the game, your mana ramp doesn’t go to waste. You can dump all the excess mana to cast big Bonfires or make your creatures huge with Kessig Wolf Run.
Avacyn’s Piglrim and Farseek also do a lot of work fixing your mana since you only have access to one shockland, Temple Garden.
Thundermaw Hellkite gives the deck a strong counterattack play. You’ll be setting up a solid defense with the other creatures and then, Boom! five hasty damage in the air to take the initiative and go on the attack yourself.
Also, dealing one damage to flying creatures is relevant these days with decks running Moorland Haunt and Lingering Souls. They can’t even stop you from killing Spirit tokens by countering the 5/5 Dragon because you have four Cavern of Souls.
One card that’s starting to see more playing in sideboards is Drogskol Reaver. Thundermaw Hellkite attacks past that card with ease.
Bonfire is a card that dominates other decks with a lot of creatures because it’s a one-sided mass removal spell.
Against creature decks, you’ll often have battlefield stalemates with no good attacks for you or your opponent. In these situations, a miracle Bonfire usually just wins you the game.
Selesnya Charm is a solid role player that performs a couple roles in the deck.
It exiles Thragtusk, Thundermaw Hellkite, Wolfir Silverheart, and other big creatures. It slows down Green/White decks that rely on Rancor, Selesnya Charm, and Sublime Archangel. If they buff up their creature too big, you just exile it and undo all their work.
Selesnya Charm keeps your creatures alive against burn spells. Getting a 2/2 token is the least impressive option on the Charm but sometimes you can surprise your opponent with an end-of-turn 2/2 and attack for a ton by pumping it up with Kessig Wolf Run.
While this deck shines against aggro, it does have problems versus control. Avacyn’s Pilgrim, Huntmaster, and Loxodon Smiter are weak against boardwipe spells.
Selesnya Charm doesn’t do much against control decks. Bonfire of the Damned can be good in certain situations versus control but usually it’s a low impact card.
Plus, Bonfire really struggles against Sphinx’s Revelation, which has become a four-of in many control decks.
Naya Midrange is definitely a metagame call, but if your local metagame is teeming with creature decks, I highly recommend it.
General Sideboard Plans
Remember you can write down your sideboard plans before the tournament and look at them in between games. You don’t have to memorize them. Here’s the ruling.
+4 Pillar of Flame
-4 Selesnya Charm
+2 Rest in Peace
+3 Angel of Serenity
-4 Selesnya Charm
-1 Bonfire of the Damned
+3 Angel of Serenity
+2 Zealous Conscripts
+2 Garruk Relentless
+2 Garruk, Primal Hunter
-4 Selesnya Charm
-4 Bonfire of the Damned
-1 Huntmaster of the Fells
Give me specific decks in the comment section and I’ll try to give you sideboard plans for them.
Deck Price Tag
Here’s the price tag of the deck. I used the prices of a popular online store.
Click the links below to buy the cards at a low price on eBay.
Total Deck Price: $768.35
|QTY||Card Name||Avg. Price||Total Price|
|Total Deck Price:||$768.35|
|4||Huntmaster of the Fells||$21.01||$84.04|
|4||Bonfire of the Damned||$26.61||$106.44|
|4||Cavern of Souls||$20.40||$81.60|
|2||Kessig Wolf Run||$1.50||$3.00|
|3||Angel of Serenity||$21.04||$63.12|
|2||Rest in Peace||$1.48||$2.96|
|2||Garruk, Primal Hunter||$10.48||$20.96|
|4||Pillar of Flame||$0.42||$1.68|