Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Naya Confusion

I have been going around and around with decks. I hope to play in another IQ in Denver at the end of the month, and at first I was very concerned about the M14 set rotating in. I worried that Doom Blade would be too much for Naya Zoo to handle, or that other archetypes would just crowd Naya out. Plenty of pros have written about Naya midrange decks, but they haven’t been putting up really great finishes at top tournaments (with a few exceptions, like GP Guadalajara).
I also didn’t do very well at last week’s FNM with the Naya deck. Going 3-2 at the IQ tournament seemed good, but the same record at our FNM just seems weak and disappointing. I was looking for a different deck.
I have almost all the cards I’d need to make The Aristocrats, Act II deck. All I need are a creature or two and a set of Isolated Chapel. But a lot of the power of that deck comes from understanding all the different interactions that you can create between the cards. It’s the opposite of the Naya beats deck, in that many of the individual cards are unremarkable, but the way they work together is very powerful.
Another option that I have been looking into would be a zombie deck of some kind, most likely B/W or Junk. Zombies are pretty straightforward to play and are getting some help in the M14 set, mostly in the form of Lifebane Zombie. It didn’t seem unreasonable to think about playing zombies in an upcoming tournament. 
As kind of a halfway point, I re-created a deck similar to the B/G zombies deck I was playing at the start of Return to Ravnica. Here’s the list: 
4x Gravecrawler
4x Diregraf Ghoul
4x Lotleth Troll
4x Bloodthrone Vampire
4x Blood Artist
4x Dreg Mangler
4x Geralf’s Messenger
2x Immortal Servitude
2x Ghoulcaller’s Chant
2x Putrefy
2x Abrupt Decay
2x Golgari Charm
plus Overgrown Tomb, Woodland Cemetery, and Swamps.
I played against Other Steve at the Yellow King tonight, him playing my Naya deck, me playing the zombies. Zombies won our test match, 2-1. So again, I’m not feeling great about the Naya deck’s chances.
But really, it’s the deck I have been playing in one variation or another for weeks and weeks. Switching now would be fine for FNM, but if I’m going to go up to Denver and try and do well in a larger tournament, I think I have to stick with what I know, and I know zoo.

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