Crucible of Words: Naya in Extended by Cyrus Bales

Crucible of Words: Extended in the New Year by Cyrus Bales

Crucible of Words: Naya in Extended

With the newest set, Mirrodin Besieged, just around the corner, the extended season is still chugging away nicely. This coming weekend there is a Pro Tour Qualifier for Nagoya in London, and on recent events, we can see how the metagame is changing somewhat.

Whereas a few weeks ago, 4 Colour Control, Faeries, Jund and Wargate were the big decks, however 4CC has moved over to let in a new top deck for the format, Naya. This deck is pretty much the same deck from last year’s standard. Knight of the Reliquary ramped out by Lotus Cobra and Birds of Paradise, accompanied by Fauna Shaman to find whatever is needed and enable the Vengevine kill engine to be triggered by everyone’s favourite, Bloodbraid Elf. Naya was incredibly popular here in the UK during it’s time in standard, and it seems to be doing the same in extended.

Here’s a winning list from a PTQ:

4 Birds of Paradise
4 Bloodbraid Elf
2 Cunning Sparkmage
4 Fauna Shaman
4 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Noble Hierarch
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Sun Titan
4 Vengevine
4 Woolly Thoctar
1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence

1 Basilisk Collar

3 Forest
2 Mountain
2 Plains
4 Arid Mesa
2 Copperline Gorge
4 Raging Ravine
4 Razorverge Thicket
1 Tectonic Edge
3 Verdant Catacombs

2 Cunning Sparkmage
1 Dauntless Escort
2 Qasali Pridemage
1 Spitebellows
1 Sun Titan
1 Gaddock Teeg
2 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
2  Path to Exile
1 Tectonic Edge
2 Ajani Vengeant

As we can see, the deck is almost identical to how it was in standard, aside from the manabase. The deck can easily play like a normal aggressive deck, making Woolly Thoctar or Knight of The Reliquary on turn two and using it to attack with, however it can switch into an almost combo-like mode, by using Fauna Shaman to fill up the graveyard with Vengevine and attack. It’s ability to shut down creature decks by using the Cunning SparkmageBasilisk Collar combo allows it to tackle other aggressive decks.

It’s position in the meta-game is interesting, against control decks, it puts down many must answer creatures, and the power of Vengevine leaves the control player with very few outs. And in terms of aggro decks, thirty four creatures is an awful lot of board position, and all of it’s silver bullets can turn the tide. Linvala, Keeper of Silence halts your opposing manadorks, Fauna Shaman and Cunning Sparkmages, making it one of the most crucial cards in the mirror, whilst Sun Titan is a late game plan that easily wraps up the game with card advantage. The versatility and power of this deck is what makes it a strong competitor.

However no deck is without it’s weaknesses. Naya often overextends itself with manadorks and cheap guys, which allows sweepers like Firespout and Volcanic Fallout to yield card advantage. The deck also has a lack of removal, meaning a superior threat on your side of the board can put the game away, especially if you can disrupt their Sparkmage-Collar combo. Well placed removal is often the make or break to defeating Naya, destroying Fauna Shaman as soon as they hit the board is never a bad idea, and delaying them by removing Lotus Cobra will force them to play fairly.

So there we have it, a quick run down of one of the top decks in the format, until Mirrodin Besieged arrives at least, then I suspect Esper Steel will be the extended problem child, especially thanks to the new card below.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing.


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