The Importance of Being Naya Charm

About moving Naya Charm to the main for more MTGO tournament testing, plus a little more G/W Steward of Valeron dot dec and a look at All-in Green! More or less lots of deck lists all featuring basic Forest and Wooded Bastion 🙂

The summer I was pretty good at Magic (solid individual performance at Pro Tour Charleston culminating in winning the New York State Championship that fall) yes, I was playing lots of Magic with Jon Finkel, but I was also playing lots of MTGO tournaments, specifically 8-man Constructed Queues.

Based on several readers’ suggestions, most notably Gerry Thompson, I decided to branch out of my Tournament Practice Room testing with just a bunch of one-on-one queues, which, while not Premiere Events or anything, are still raked tournaments and force me to play a bit better than the Tournament Practice Room. What is probably obvious to everyone — but I had somehow forgotten over the last couple of years — is how much more difficult the play in actual tournaments is! The Tournament Practice Room is very loose by comparison, even when opponents have all the cards.

Anyway, I have played five total matches with the Rhox Meditant deck (now with 100% less Rhox Meditant), going 4-1 overall. Last blog post I described getting one against G/W Combo Elves. That was good for +10 points. Here is how the next four matches have gone…

Esper Beats Loss: LWL -13
B/G Mid-range: Win WLW +4
Cascade LD: Win LWW +9
Sanity Grinding: Win WW +2

The Esper Beats loss was obviously hairy. No offense to my opponent meant, but this was a loose deck. All 2/1 shroud first strike, Paladin en-Vec, and 2/2 flying (Mulldrifter and a four mana Mulldrifter that only costs four).

The first game I was very distracted because Clark kept getting out of bed and running around and I got up no fewer than four times to put him back to bed. This caused me to play the wrong land on turn three so I couldn’t play Civic Wayfinder, so my first play ended up being turn FIVE. I figured that I could win by overwhelming his two power guys with Enlisted Wurms but he just kept playing more and more.

I put the read on that he didn’t have Cryptic Command, but I was still kind of in trouble to his 2/2 flying. Basically I flipped Maelstrom Pulse on every early Cascade for no targets, then never saw a Maelstrom Pulse or Bituminous Blast (and never a Bituminous Blast at all this game) once there was a target. Boo-urns.

Game Two I just smashed him with tempo and played several Primal Commands on his Arcane Sanctum. He only ever played one Paladin en-Vec before I won.

Game Three I shipped a weak two-lander into a moderate two-lander with a little gamble to it. I developed, teased him with a Primal Command (he bit with Cancel) and figured I had him set up; I was right on my read of one Cancel but he had a COUNTERSQUALL for my Hallowed Burial! Boo-urns! Boo-urns! I thought I could stabilize it but he had a last minute Terror for my Enlisted Wurm. I was gambling a bit on that one, looking for a Hallowed Burial, Bituminous Blast, or at least Maelstrom Pulse. I got like a nothing… Civic Wayfinder. I am not sure it was better to play the Enlisted Wurm rather than a Civic out of my hand and a Kitchen Finks (despite none of them being long for the world). Shrug.

The B/G deck I beat with Naya Charm. He played with a land destruction sub-theme, Rain of Tears, Fulminator Mage, and Primal Command, so I sided in Naya Charm just for lands. In Game Three he used his Primal Command to start racing me with Thornling. I expertly stayed alive with a combination of well measured chump blocks anticipating Trample, Primal Commands of my own to stay alive and Time Walk, and racing back. I got him the last turn when he activated Treetop Village, inviting Bituminous Blast, which flipped Naya Charm, that tapped his Thornling and left the doors wide open for my Enlisted Wurm.

Those two matches were last night.

For tonight I decided to move some Naya Charms to the main; basically I swapped three of them for three Planeswalkers but didn’t really change any of the 75 (just some positions); if I had Naya Charm main, I am pretty sure I would have beaten the Esper deck in Game One (and with it, the match). If you are REALLY lazy, here is the deck list:

Rhox Meditant Deck version 1.4

1 Ajani Vengeant
4 Bituminous Blast
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Captured Sunlight
4 Enlisted Wurm
4 Kitchen Finks
4 Maelstrom Pulse
3 Naya Charm

4 Civic Wayfinder
2 Primal Command

4 Exotic Orchard
1 Fire-Lit Thicket
4 Forest
4 Jungle Shrine
1 Mountain
2 Plains
4 Reflecting Pool
4 Savage Lands
1 Swamp
1 Wooded Bastion

1 Anathemancer
3 Ajani Vengeant
1 Naya Charm
4 Cloudthresher
2 Primal Command
4 Hallowed Burial

The Cascade LD seemed like not a great matchup because he had Cruel Ultimatum to reset. I don’t really remember how I lost Game One. He never did anything that worthwhile. Like a Civic Wayfinder is better than all of his cards (Bloodbraid Elf, various Stone Rains, whatever). Boomerang makes the deck quick and Grixis Charm flexible; he actually got me with Deny Reality into Grixis Charm when I only had two lands and forced me to discard multiple in I think Game Two… but I won that one as well as Game Three.

I got Ultimatum’d in both of the first two but I pulled out two anyway. Basically I Ultimatum’d him back with the Enlisted Ultimatum I was sandbagging. Game Three my hand was kind of mana light to begin with, he boomed me down to no permanents, and I got back after he cast all his spells (just didn’t draw Cruel Ultimatum this game).

My Sanity Grinding opponent was super nice, and a comic book fan by his nickname 🙂

Sanity Grinding is just not a hard matchup if you can force through the main deck Primal Command… Game Two i think I played like four Primal Commands. This game I actually got off Ajani Ultimatum, which was cute (doesn’t happen every day).

If nothing dramatic happens, I am playing the above deck list, but with Borderland Rangers, next weekend.

So another deck I played a bunch of matches with — albeit Tournament Practice Room — is All-in Green. I wanted to try to re-embrace the All-in Green from the Steward of Valeron deck. That deck I have been winning most of them, though I did lose the G/W mirror tonight, to G/W Tokens. Anyway, I decided to make All-in Green per my discussions with BDM in real life and the Top 8 Magic Podcast:

All-in Green

3 Behemoth Sledge
4 Wildfield Borderpost

4 Boggart Ram-Gang
4 Kitchen Finks

4 Chameleon Colossus
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Primal Command
4 Thornling

3 Ranger of Eos

14 Forest
4 Mosswort Bridge
4 Wooded Bastion

1 Behemoth Sledge
1 Gutteral Response
4 Cloudthresher
4 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Ranger of Eos
4 Rhox Meditant

I played five matches with this deck.

Won in I think two… I think that everyone who is looking to play Mono-Black should think about it for a minute; Chameleon Colossus is bad enough but Great Sable Stag is coming too.

Jund Elves:
I was able to trump with Chameleon Colossus + Behemoth Sledge.

Blightning (no Blightning?)
I lost the first of two matches due to a misclick. I had Chameleon Colossus on board and Primal Command underneath a Mosswort Bridge. I accidentally clicked to use the Bridge with four mana in my pool; for some reason the Colossus didn’t activate! (That reason was my misclick). Would have won otherwise so he game me a rematch.

In the rematch he got me fair and square.

Finally I beat a slow cascade deck by dropping second turn Ethersworn Canonist. He played four Cryptic Commands but refused to bounce the Canonist, so eventually I got there.

So would I play All-in Green in a real tournament?

Probably not. It lacks the ability to deal with utility creatures; case in point, my Blighting opponent played second turn Sygg, River Cutthroat every game but one. I basically had to wait until he was ready to block (which was non-zero, but also not up to YT).

At present I don’t really see a whole lot of time put into All-in Green versus actual tournament play for the Rhox Meditant deck.

For those of haven’t done it yet, go order Zvi’s book!


Currently Reading: 100 Bullets Vol. 13: Wilt

facebook comments:


#1 starwarer on 07.12.09 at 1:35 am

As far as Mono-Black, with M-10 in the format:
Corrupt, Tendrils of Corruption, Sign in Blood.

People will play it. Will there be a good list?

#2 admin on 07.12.09 at 12:07 pm

I’ve thought about Mono-Black a fair amount but I just don’t see how it can compete with Chameleon Colossus who is already a **** threat, and seems nigh-insurmountable for Mono-Black. Now we have Great Sable Stag, too.

#3 GerryT on 07.12.09 at 10:29 pm

+2 tickets. Ding!

#4 MTGBattlefield on 07.15.09 at 8:52 pm

The Importance of Being Naya Charm…

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