The Current Standard #2

Current Standard


18 March 2013


Hello everyone and welcome back to The Current Standard!

Salazar968 here, and we’re gonna take a look at Naya Humans. Owlus would normally help, but he abhors this deck, so he’s just editing this week.

Disclaimer: I’m addicted to this deck. Just saying. Oh, and it just won in Indianapolis, go Humans!

Naya Humans is an Aggro-Midrange deck that is consistent mainly because of its Human Synergy. Unlike other aggro decks, it doesn’t run out of steam, but survives thanks to the 4-drops Restoration Angel and Huntmaster of the Fells  Flip. On top of that, Mayor of Avabruck  Flip, if flipped, creates a bunch of wolves that can allow you to take over the game. Today we’ll break down my current Naya list, as well as describe the matchups with the top decks in the metagame.

Alright, lets break down (The Current Humans):


4x Cavern of Souls

1x Clifftop Retreat

2x Gavony Township

1x Kessig Wolf Run

1x Plains

3x Rootbound Crag

3x Sacred Foundry

3x Stomping Ground

2x Sunpetal Grove

3x Temple Garden


4x Avacyn's Pilgrim

4x Champion of the Parish

2x Fiend Hunter

4x Frontline Medic

3x Huntmaster of the Fells  Flip

4x Mayor of Avabruck  Flip

3x Nearheath Pilgrim

3x Restoration Angel

3x Silverblade Paladin

2x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben


3x Boros Charm

2x Searing Spear


2x Garruk Relentless  Flip

2x Blind Obedience

2x Rest in Peace

1x Boros Charm

2x Pillar of Flame

3x Selesnya Charm

1x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

2x Zealous Conscripts

Card Selection:

A fairly straightforward Naya Humans build, but let’s talk about what makes this list good and why.

4x Champion of the Parish: Good old Champion. In this deck, he gets big fast, and when your hand curves out properly, he is able to close out the game in short order. Champion’s the star that draws people back to Humans again and again.

4x Avacyn's Pilgrim: Pilgrim does a few things in this deck. He’s a human, so he pumps Champion, and can occasionally get in for beats himself, but most importantly, he taps for White mana. Avacyn's Pilgrim allows for a couple of sketchy hands to be kept, and is an all-around solid choice in this deck.

4x Mayor of Avabruck  Flip: Part time Human Inspiration, part time Rampaging Beast. Mayor of Avabruck  Flip is a great card in this deck, and can single-handedly win you the game. During the day, Mayor of Avabruck  Flip’s a 1/1 human that makes your team better, and is a great follow-up to your T1 Champ, letting him swing for 3 on turn 2. But come moonrise? This guy turns into a one-wolf army. Howlpack Alpha not only buffs any other wolfy things you might have, he also calls more to your aid. At the end of each of your turns, a 2/2 wolf (3/3 with the boost from the Alpha) shows up on your side of the field, forcing your opponent to answer it or be overwhelmed.

2x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben: She’s a great blocker against any rush deck, but her ability really makes her shine. On the play, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben stops your opponent from curving into their turn 2 Farseek, as well as slowing their Supreme Verdicts and removal down a turn. Usually, she is at least a 3-of in aggro decks, but given the current meta, I think the right choice is 2 mainboard and 1 sideboard.

3x Nearheath Pilgrim: When I first sent the list to Owlus, his response was: “Nearheath? What? Lifelink? Why?” My response was simple: “Hyper-aggro.” Nearheath Pilgrim is a silver-bullet for aggro decks, allowing us to play defense while playing offense, and single-handedly winning the aggro matchups for us.

2x Fiend Hunter: No, this is not Human Reanimator, yes, I have Fiend Hunters. Fiend Hunter is a very good card in the current Metagame. Why? He’s an answer to Boros Reckoner. With Mayor of Avabruck  Flip, Silverblade Paladin, or Gavony Township, Fiend Hunter helps with the beatdown strategy twofold, as it helps kill your opponent while removing problems from your opponents side of the field.

3x Silverblade Paladin: This fast-hitting knight excels at both Offense and Defense. Doublestrike allows even our smaller creatures to trade with most creatures in the format, especially with the help of our good friend, the Mayor of Avabruck  Flip. He is also crucial to the “Perfect Curve” of this deck, as I’ll explain later.

4x Frontline Medic: MEDIC! MEDIC! This dude (Gate)crashed into this deck big-time. A 3/3 Human for 2W is decent, but when he can make your whole team invincible, he becomes great. On top of that, this guy’s willing to sacrifice himself for the team, throwing himself in front of any Bonfire of the Damned, Rakdos's Return, or Sphinx's Revelation, and will maybe even reject Immortal Servitude. The ability to make every attack favorable for you, however, is what makes this card an instant 4-of.

3x Huntmaster of the Fells  Flip: Good old Huntmaster. Even though he’s not a Djinn, he’s card advantage in a bottle, bringing his 2/2 wolf and his 2-life medkit to the party. While he might seem a little skinny for 2RG, come evening, he’s ready to rumble as the Ravager of the Fells, a Trampling 4/4 werewolf that Shocks your opponent and one of their creatures when he transforms. While we like him a lot, we only run three of him so we can keep the curve down, as he’s on the top of it with his best friend, and we’re not talking about his wolf here.

Note: Pay close attention to Huntmaster of the Fells  Flip transformation triggers. If two Huntmasters on opposite sides of the field are about to flip, whoever just passed the turn has the opportunity to kill the other player’s Huntmaster before it can do anything. Before I explain how this works, let me define some terms you might already know so this is less confusing.

Active Player (AP) :The person whose turn it is.

Non-Active Player (NAP) :The person whose turn it isn’t.

The way Active Player // Non-Active Player works, the APs Huntmaster trigger goes on the stack before the NAPs. This means the NAP has a chance to kill the APs Huntmaster before it flips, meaning that their trigger will not resolve, as the APs Huntmaster will be dead before it flips. Cool, right? Just try and make sure you don’t become a Victim of Night.

3x Restoration Angel: We run 6 Soulbond Creatures and 3 Huntmaster of the Fells  Flip mainboard. Restoration Angel is crucial in this deck for several reasons, not least of which is she likes to drink red bull, so SHE’S GOT WINGS! As the only flier in our deck, she is an extremely relevant blocker, especially when flashed into combat to surprise your opponent. In addition, she can be used to save our creatures from removal. We run only 3 because while she is a very good creature, we want to keep the curve low, and in addition, we do not run very many ETB creatures.

Note: If you use a Restoration Angel to flicker a non-Human Werewolf you control (Ravager of the Fells / Howlpack Alpha), it will re-enter the field as its “Day-Side” Human counterpart (Huntmaster of the Fells  Flip / Mayor of Avabruck  Flip). This allows for some cool combat tricks, such as turning your Alpha back into a Mayor to instantly buff your team, or turning your Ravager into a Huntmaster after an alpha strike for extra blockers and life.

3x Boros Charm: Another awesome Party Crasher, and by far the “king” of the Charms Cycle, Boros Charm does everything this deck wants to do. For the low cost of RW, it can deal 4 damage to your opponent’s face, give a key creature Double Strike, or, most importantly, “counter” those annoying Supreme Verdicts and Planar Cleansings. Nothing is more satisfying than the look on your opponents face when they flip the board wipe they need to survive, only to have it be completely brushed off by a 2-mana uncommon.

2x Searing Spear: Versatile, Effective, and relatively cheap. 1R to either kill or finish off one of their creatures, or just as 3 damage to your opponents face to finish them off. Seems pretty good.


I’ll only go briefly into the sideboard here, if you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation, I’ll happily provide one in the comments.

2x Blind Obedience: Blind Obedience is a great card against haste-y aggro decks, and control decks. If you choose to play this card, REMEMBER YOUR EXTORT TRIGGERS. Extort provides great reach against control and aggro, and it can win or lose you the game. Manage your extort wisely, and be sure to use it if your curve stumbles and you have extra mana.

2x Garruk Relentless  Flip: This tough walker is good at assassinating some small, annoying creatures as well as pumping out a bunch of wolves. He also works quite well with Howlpack Alpha, because we like to make a 3/3 every turn.

2x Rest in Peace: With Junk Reanimator placing 6th in the Indianapolis Open, stuff’s crawlin’ out of the grave left and rite (Unburial Rites, that is), so our Graveyard Hate is back full force.


Onto what this deck likes, and what it doesn’t.

The Good:

RDW, Jund Aggro, RW Aggro, RG Aggro, etc.

Our ability to churn creatures onto the battlefield matches their swarm strategy, so it would seem that this is an even matchup. However, Huntmaster of the Fells  Flip and Nearheath Pilgrim give us the lifegain we need to stay alive in this matchup, allowing us to either outrace them, or solidify our defenses and eventually punch through.


+2 Blind Obedience

+2 Garruk Relentless  Flip


-1 Avacyn's Pilgrim

-1 Boros Charm

-2 Fiend Hunter (Against decks that don’t have Reckoner), -2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (Against Decks that have Reckoner)

Esper Control

Owlus and I disagree on this matchup, but I believe it’s favorable. Esper seeks to grind out the game, relying on Supreme Verdict, and Sphinx's Revelation in order to stabilize. In our mainboard, our 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thrabens and our 3 Boros Charms allow us to slow them down a turn or stop them so that we can kill them off. In addition, by the time they’re able to cast a Sphinx's Revelation that will actually do anything, we should have Frontline Medic, who can stop that pesky lifegain and secure us the game.

Our main plan against this deck is to slow them down and kill them before they can wipe. However, if they do manage to wipe the board, we just drop a Huntmaster of the Fells  Flip and start over.

-3 Nearheath Pilgrim

-1 Avacyn's Pilgrim

+2 Garruk Relentless  Flip

+1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

+1 Boros Charm

Jund Zombies

Garruk Relentless  Flip churns out creatures, and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Boros Charm hold off their removal while we try and get in there for damage. Our main goal against this deck is to swarm more than they do, since our guys are bigger, and we don’t care about their removal as much.

-2 Silverblade Paladin

-1 Avacyn's Pilgrim

-1 Boros Charm

-2 Fiend Hunter

+2 Pillar of Flame

+2 Blind Obedience

+2 Garruk Relentless  Flip

The Bad:

Wolf Run Bant:

Lifegain, Lifegain, LIFEGAIN. Wolf Run Bant is the current king guessed it, lifegain in this meta. They have almost everything we hate: Lifegain, Large Creatures, and Boardwipes. However, they’re not unbeatable. Their main stall cards, Augur of Bolas and Centaur Healer, only have 3 toughness, letting us beat over them. Our Frontline Medics, Thalia, Guardian of Thrabens and Boros Charms disrupt this decks plans as well, letting us punch through or remove their creatures with Selesnya Charm.

-2 Avacyn's Pilgrim

-2 Fiend Hunter

+1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

+1 Boros Charm

+2 Selesnya Charm

UWR Flash

Boros Reckoner, Blasphemous Act, and Restoration Angel oh my! U/W/R Flash tries to hold you down with their burn and card draw, often sifting through a large amount of their deck trying to find the answer they need.

Your game plan is to swarm the board, and try not to overextend into their Supreme Verdicts Games 2 and 3. Their best game plan against you is Harvest Pyreing their Reckoner, so keep the pressure on, and try to remove that whenever you see it.

-1 Silverblade Paladin

-2 Fiend Hunter

-1 Avacyn's Pilgrim

-1 Champion of the Parish

+2 Garruk Relentless  Flip

+1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

+2 Blind Obedience

An unorthodox Sideboard, but there’s a reason why. Champion of the Parish and Avacyn's Pilgrim are both one-drops, with Pilgrim quickly losing significance, and Champion losing most of his power if he gets hit by an Azorius Charm. Garruk Relentless replaces the Fiend Hunters, being able to eat their Augurs as well as searching for those key Medics.

The Aristocrats

This deck is interesting. Doomed Traveler and Lingering Souls keep us stalled, Falkenrath Aristocrat smashes in for damage, and Boros Reckoner stalls up the board long enough for them to do it! If you anticipate lots of this deck in your local metagame, we recommend that you increase the number of Fiend Hunters to 3, as they are the “cleanest” answer to Reckoner within the Naya Human deck.

Gameplay is all about beats. You are the beatdown deck, and they have very few things they can do against you.

-1 Silverblade Paladin

-1 Boros Charm

-2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

+2 Blind Obedience

+2 Selesnya Charm

Jund Midrange

Jund Midrange is full of Huntmaster of the Fells  Flips, Thragtusks, and Olivia Voldarens.

Their creatures are bigger than ours, but we swarm the field. Our Boros Charms and Frontline Medics stop them from throwing us on a Bonfire of the Damned, and we try and win the fast game while cutting off the long one. Olivia shines for them here, so Selesnya Charms come in to shut her down.

-1 Avacyn's Pilgrim

-2 Fiend Hunter

-1 Boros Charm

-1 Silverblade Paladin

+3 Selesnya Charm

+2 Zealous Conscripts

The Ugly:

Prime Speaker Bant

Bad. Bad. BAD!

They run creatures that are WAY bigger than ours. Thragtusk, Loxodon Smiter, Restoration Angel, and Prime Speaker Zegana are all massive in comparison to our 1/1’s and 2/2’s. Their Garruk, Primal Hunter comes down to help make our life miserable, and we cannot do much against their constant stream of card draw.

-2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

-1 Avacyn's Pilgrim

-1 Boros Charm

-2 Searing Spear

+2 Blind Obedience

+2 Selesnya Charm

+2 Zealous Conscripts

Junk Midrange

They have tons of life gain, tons of creatures, and tons of removal. Their guys are larger than ours, their removal punches through ours, and their planeswalkers are hard to get rid of. Our only chance is to hit the field hard and early, running them down in an onslaught of dudes and fire.

-1 Avacyn's Pilgrim

-2 Fiend Hunter

+1 Boros Charm

+2 Zealous Conscripts

Junk Reanimator

We have one chance against this deck: Hit our R.I.P.s. We need to land a Rest in Peace, or else get smashed. Craterhoof Behemoth coupled with an army of dorks spells death for us, and the ability to carve their deck as they see fit doesn’t help us at all. This is one of our worst matchups, let the GY hate and heavy removal come in!

-2 Searing Spear

-3 Boros Charm

-1 Avacyn's Pilgrim

+2 Rest in Peace

+2 Blind Obedience

+2 Zealous Conscripts

Grixis (Control, Midrange, ETC)

They have all of the removal, all of the card draw, and all of the annoyances. Nicol Bolas hits the field with a thud, blowing up our lands. Dreadbore, Searing Spear, Unsummon, and Counterspells all ruin our day, coupled with sweepers like Blasphemous Act and Mutilate. Duskmantle Seer’s bigger than all of our guys, and hurts us (While drawing us cards, at least.)

-1 Silverblade Paladin

-1 Boros Charm

-1 Champion of the Parish

+1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

+2 Garruk Relentless  Flip

The Perfect Curve

This deck has many explosive hands, but the absolute nut draw is as follows.

An opening hand of Champion of the Parish, Mayor of Avabruck  Flip, Mayor of Avabruck  Flip, Silverblade Paladin, Cavern of Souls, Temple Garden, Clifftop Retreat, with Boros Charm on top of your library.

T1 - Temple Garden, shock yourself, Champion of the Parish (Opponent at 20)

T2 - Cavern of Souls (Naming Human), Mayor of Avabruck, (don’t forget the Champion trigger), attack for 3. (Opponent at 17)

T3 - Clifftop Retreat, Silverblade Paladin, Soulbind to Champion, Swing 9. (Opponent at 8)

T4 - Play just about anything, swing for lethal with Boros Charm backup.

Wrapping up.

Naya Humans is a very consistent aggro deck with the capability to grind out a long game. I would recommend this deck if you are fond of creatures, combat tricks, and interacting with your opponent. Try it out and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Next week we’ll be looking at Prime Speaker Bant, the new kid on the block in standard today. We hope to see you next week, and don’t forget your triggers!

This article is a follow-up to The Current Standard #1 The next article in this series is The Current Standard #3

gufymike says... #1

This deck should be burned and forgotten along with this comment.

March 18, 2013 6:05 p.m.

Goody says... #2

You didn't even mention Naya midrange

March 18, 2013 6:25 p.m.

Salazar968 says... #3

@ gufymike

Thanks for reading...I think...


My apologies. Naya Midrange tries to do everything we want to do, they just do it bigger. Their mainboard set of Loxodon Smiters, Thragtusks, and Restos try to put a wrench in our plan. While their guys are larger than ours, our guys come down faster and are far more synergistic. So long as you watch out for their Overloaded Mizzium Mortars, this is an even matchup, as you race them to their big guys.



-2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

-1 Avacyn's Pilgrim

-2 Searing Spear

-1 Nearheath Pilgrim


+2 Zealous Conscripts

+3 Selesnya Charm

+1 Boros Charm

Thalia doesn't do much in this matchup, neither does Searing Spear. Zealous conscripts is a bullet against Midrange decks, Selesnya Charm lets us go over their guys in size, as well as snipe down their Angel of Serenity and Thragtusk. Boros Charm allows us multiple combat tricks on top of giving us the ability to take out a fifth of their life total at instant speed.

All in all, this is a fair matchup, and I wish you luck against it. I apologize for not writing it, and I hope this clears things up. Thanks for reading!

  • Matt
March 19, 2013 9:02 a.m.

Goody says... #4

Salazar968, I actually run Naya midrange and was wondering what the matchup was like for my side haha. The article was pretty helpful though, thanks

March 19, 2013 9:36 a.m.

Salazar968 says... #5

@ Goody

Aight, working from the other side of the table then!

Going off of the list on your have a pretty good matchup against us, I'll admit.Boros Reckoner, Blasphemous Act, Searing Spear, and Loxodon Smiter are all decent cards against us. Centaur Healer and Sigarda out of the board also put a wrench in our plans. Your ability to curve is also a problem, as a T1 Pilgrim, T2 Reckoner, T3 Smiter, T4 Thragtusk, T5 Aurelia flat-out wins the game against just about anything.

All in all, your mainboard Blasphemous Act should push this matchup in your favor. Good luck hitting people for 13!

Hope this helps,

  • Matt
March 19, 2013 9:43 a.m.

Goody says... #6

Thanks! I had trouble against Jund midrange and Grixis control, mostly due to walkers. I seemed to handle aggro decks fairly well though. Keep up the good work with these articles, it's good to know about your meta

March 19, 2013 9:49 a.m.

Salazar968 says... #7

No problem, go check your deck for help against the jund matchup. Fight Fire with Fire.

March 19, 2013 10:04 a.m.

gufymike says... #8

Salazar968 just expressing my dislike of Naya aggro Humans and Naya Blitz and similar decks.

March 19, 2013 3:36 p.m.

Salazar968 says... #9

@ gufymike

Ah. Thanks for clarifying.

March 19, 2013 3:41 p.m.

anewsome says... #10

I'm really not sure that Esper is such a favorable match for you here. Feeling of Dread should slow you down long enouch for a Supreme Verdict to really knock the wind out. If you have a Boros Charm find, I'll just use Merciless Eviction instead and see how that works. After that, it's just a matter of Murdering your dudes or blocking with Lingering Souls all the while eating your library with Nephalia Drownyard and Jace, Memory Adept.

I'm probably just biased because I'm a control player, but I'd take Esper in this matchup.

March 19, 2013 7:16 p.m.

Salazar968 says... #11

@ anewsome

Feeling of Dread admittedly hurts. I'm honestly glad nobody runs Merciless Eviction in the games I've played against Esper, and to be honest Lingering Souls hasn't been seeing a lot of play either now that I think about it o.O.

Thanks for reading and commenting. You're probably 125% right about Esper...just don't let Owlus know I said that, he'll get a fat head.

March 19, 2013 7:30 p.m.

anewsome says... #12

haha that's pretty funny. My Esper deck main boards 3 Feeling of Dread 4 Lingering Souls and 4 Merciless Eviction just to beat recurring creatures, indestructable mess, and regeneration. Esper Control (Suggestions Needed) if you want to take a look.

Great work on these articles, keep it up!

March 19, 2013 7:43 p.m.

Salazar968 says... #13

@ anewsome

Took a look, made a comment. Thanks for reading

March 19, 2013 8:16 p.m.

Shrodinger says... #14

why do people feel the need of explaining what every cards do. We're not dumb lol. Omg Mayor can flip to make an army of wolves. Was that worth a whole paragraph ?

March 20, 2013 6:57 p.m.

Salazar968 says... #15

@ Shrodinger

I was writing to people that don't play standard often. I mean, I know a lot of people know it. But people that are just getting into standard may not. Sorry if it bothers you, Just trying to explain all of the decisions.

March 20, 2013 6:59 p.m.

gufymike says... #16

@salazart968 btw, forgot to say that I do enjoy the writing and information presented in the articles and my comment is the one that should have been burned.

March 20, 2013 7:01 p.m.

gufymike says... #17

Shrodinger I do appreciate the break down as a newish player still learning cards from mostly innistrad (a block I missed). As, I have not been exposed to them much/often.. Helps me learn more and not ask so many questions at my LGS.

March 20, 2013 7:03 p.m.

Salazar968 says... #18

@ gufymike

Thanks! I'm glad the extra descriptions helped as well!

March 20, 2013 7:05 p.m.

AlexOAwesome says... #19

Quick question. Why not run a playset of Burning-Tree Emissarys and a few Lightning Maulers. I might it is pretty satisfying (and not at all that un common) to do first turn Champion of the Parish.Second turn Burning-Tree Emissary into Lightning Mauler. Swing 7.

March 20, 2013 11:33 p.m.

Salazar968 says... #20

@ AlexOAwesome

The set of Champion, Mauler, Emissary, Mayor, Boros Elite, etc. is a lightning-fast Naya Blitz deck. However, it suffers the ability of being an all-in-or-dead deck, which loses heavily to Supreme Verdict. The version I posted and wrote about is more consistent, as it holds up better against a wider variety of decks. Naya Human does not need to overextend, as they can grind out a game with their value.

Hope this helps, and thanks for reading!

  • Matt
March 21, 2013 8:14 a.m.

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