Today I've decided to play a slight modification of Ben Wienburg's Naya Humans deck from the StarCityGames.com Standard Open in Columbus this past weekend. I didn't take the deck seriously when he succeeded with it at the Invitational, but when the same player makes Top 8 of two large tournaments in a row with the same archetype, you have to take it somewhat seriously.
His deck has some choices I'm not sure I like. I don't know about the third Borderland Ranger over the fourth Silverblade Paladin or playing Fiend Hunter at all, and I'm not sure I like only having three Selesnya Charms or maindeck Garruk, but I'm going to try all that.
In the sideboard, I know I think three Nevermore and three Rest in Peace is excessive, and I feel like I want access to Thragtusk, so I changed that around some. I also added Pithing Needle (largely for Izzet Staticaster) and Dryad Militant (over the third Rest in Peace) because there are matches where I want to attack the graveyard a little but it's more important to me to stay aggressive. I like the flexibility of having a mix, and drawing two Rest in Peace isn't very good.
- 4 Avacyn's Pilgrim
- 3 Borderland Ranger
- 4 Champion of the Parish
- 2 Fiend Hunter
- 3 Huntmaster of the Fells
- 4 Mayor of Avabruck
- 4 Restoration Angel
- 3 Silverblade Paladin
- 2 Zealous Conscripts
- 3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
For the most part, the more I think about it, the more this deck makes sense. You're trying to be like the Naya or four-color decks that go bigger than Rakdos while being more aggressive to help the control matchups. Alternatively, you're like the G/W Humans deck but go a little bigger and rely more on non-white creatures to hedge against Rakdos. Also, the Restoration Angels in this deck are excellent.
My draws were excellent, but aside from that, I think the red splash definitely helps. Being a little bigger and having a little more removal is huge in the Humans mirror.
Also, he had Dryad Militant in his deck after sideboarding. For some reason, when I play the G/W mirror, this seems to happen a lot, and it never makes sense to me. Do people really think the matchup is about getting under the other person when neither of you has much evasion or reach and you just a have a bunch of dorks slugging it out? It seems obvious to me that you'd rather have bigger guys and more removal.
I should have played my lands in a different order in game 1 and got punished, but I think my opponent's draws were just too much better than mine. Huntmaster of the Fells was good, but Restoration Angel, Rancor, and Silverblade Paladin let my opponent do bigger stuff than me.
Game 1 my draw was pretty bad. After that, I think the big cards (4+ mana spells) really showed how important they are in this matchup. Huntmaster was spectacular.
That Izzet Staticaster really destroyed me in the first game. In game 2, I couldn't find a good line since I couldn't cast the Nevermore and I knew he had the Supreme Verdict. Augur of Bolas was also an extremely effective blocker against my draw.
Overall, I think the deck felt pretty good despite my 2-2 finish. I was definitely impressed by the red splash against Rakdos. I'm still not sure about the Fiend Hunters, though, and I'm also not completely sure about Garruk.
Thanks for watching,
@samuelhblack on Twitter