Daily Digest: Nahiri Naya

It wasn’t long ago that Nahiri, the Harbinger was considered a bit of a dud. Wow, have times changed! She’s making her way out of Modern and into Standard, and Ross Merriam has the story!

We’ve seen Naya decks in this Standard format before. We have seen Naya decks that use Nahiri in this Standard format before. But we haven’t seen one where Nahiri is such a focal point before.

It may not look like it because the deck does blend in some ramp elements, but in reality, Nissa’s Pilgrimage fits so well into this deck because of how well it plays with Nahiri, giving you tons of fodder to pitch to it or extra lands to use all the spells you have after fixing your hand with its +2 ability.

There isn’t really a huge high-end, just a singleton Dragonlord Atarka which is more of a Nahiri bullet than anything else. The real stopping point is Ulvenwald Hydra, which is a midrange threat that plays well with Pilgrimage while also giving you more access to some nice utility lands in Mirrorpool and Needle Spires.

Eldrazi Displacer happens to play well with many of the creatures in the deck and is a solid early play and late-game mana sink. Really, it’s just a super powerful card that has found several homes in this format, so anywhere it remotely fits well, it can and should be included.

The rest of the deck is a little all over the place, but nothing looks out of place. Roast is probably worse than additional copies of Declaration in Stone and I am surprised not to see any copies of Tireless Tracker, which to me fits very well in this kind of deck. You have excess mana and make plenty of land drops, and the extra cards are a welcome resource that makes Nahiri even more powerful.

On the surface, this looks like a good-stuff Naya deck, but there is more going on with all the little synergies and the toolbox that Nahiri and Traverse the Ulvenwald afford you. With Den Protector and Goblin Dark-Dwellers, these cards can find you extra removal spells, and the ability to recur your cards one or more times incentivizes you to diversify your card selections, which is why we see bizarre numbers like one Radiant Flames and one Kozilek’s Return or two Goblin Dark-Dwellers.

Unlike typical midrange or ramp decks, you are not simply trying to find the most powerful cards at each spot on the curve along with appropriate removal spells. There is a lot more finesse to the way this list is put together, which makes it much more attractive. Just look at the sideboard to see how many options you have to customize it to your liking. You could play almost any Naya card in the format, as long as you have a suitable reason for doing so.

And as long as you have Nahiri, the Harbinger to tie it all together. That card is pretty good.