Tag: selesnya-charm

Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - July 29, 2014

GW Aggro by Scott Lipp (1st at SCG Kansas City Standard Open on July 2...

Champion’s Deck

Experiment One - GW Aggro


GW Aggro by Scott Lipp

1st at SCG Kansas City Standard Open on July 26th 2014

As a fan of Aggro decks but also someone who likes to see diversity in the format I was happy to see that it wasn’t Mono-Black Devotion that took the cake this past weekend. While not exactly a new concept this is quite a powerful and spicy little number. With its very aggressive curve it is poised to burst out of the gates and lay the smack down immediately to dispatch any opponent swiftly.


We begin the curve with a trio of one drops which are all set to attack for two power on turn two. Soldier of the Pantheon is a natural two power creature and also has the added benefit of working against multi-colored spells or creatures very well. The other two are Experiment One which should very easily begin evolving right off the bat and Sunblade Elf who is pumped by any of the 12 Plains in the deck and also acts as an anthem later in the game. Next in the two drop slot we have multi-colored creatures with a bane of Control decks Voice of Resurgence who leaves behind a token whenever he dies or if your opponent cast any spell on your turn, and Fleecemane Lion which if allowed to go monstrous becomes quite a tank and a force to be reckoned with. At the three spot there is Loxodon Smiter with four power to bring a swift demise to your opponent and is another bane against control as they will not be able to counter it. There is also the versatile Boon Satyr which is able to either come down as a creature and start delivering four damage cleaves or even Bestow another creature to pump it in for massive beats. The last creature is actually the instant Advent of the Wurm that is basically a flash 4/4 that you’ll be able to pop into play as a surprise defender if necessary or you’ll be able to keep mana up for a Charm and then call the Wurm at the end of turn if able. As an Aggro deck the three drop planeswalker Ajani, Caller of the Pride fits into the deck perfectly and is able to speed the beatdown plan up so you’re ending rounds quickly in proper Aggro fashion. The deck is removal light but does play a pseudo-Oblivion Ring catchall answer with Banishing Light to easily brush aside whatever is most threatening. And the final cog in the wheel is found with the versatile Selesnya Charm with three useful modes to either pump and grant Trample to either swing for the kill or save a blocked attacker in a trade situation, rid the board of a large creature threat, or even sneak in an extra creature either for more offense or a surprise blocker.


So as always with the dog days of summer upon us it’s hard to justify building this deck from scratch unless you plan to FNM every week or need something for your WMCQ. If you are an Aggro styled player then this is an awesome deck to play though and if you have the bigger pieces then take it for a spin. I am sure that you’ll not only beatdown like a baws but also have some good fun doing it. As for its longevity, with quite a few of the moving parts rotating out in a couple months there’s no certainty enough will remain to keep it a viable metagame call.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Email: ejseltzer@hotmail.com
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - July 3, 2014

Champion’s Deck – Naya Hexproof by Rob Hunsaker (1st at SC...

Naya Hexproof -Ethereal Armor

Naya Hexproof by Rob Hunsaker

1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 6/28/2014

Hexproof strategies are no stranger to constructed formats with the Bogles deck in Modern a prime example of how the archetype can shine. It is based around having a creature on board with Hexproof to make him untargetable by your opponents removal while you load it up with cheap auras to grow it into a killing machine. It is a highly effective strategy especially when the meta is high in spot removal and low in sweepers.


Naya Hexproof runs up the curve with its three main threats coming in the Hexproof creatures found in Standard. The first comes as a one drop in Gladecover Scout which is simply a 1/1 Hexproof ready to get loaded with gear immediately. Next two drop Bassara Tower Archer not only provides an extra point of power with its Hexproof body but also comes with Reach enabling you to block pesky fliers which is extremely necessary for this deck. We then find at the three drop spot Witchstalker clocking in at 3/3 Hexproof and also the added bonus of growing even larger if your opponent casts a Blue or Black spell on your turn. We also have a pair of Voice of Resurgence for extra value that while are not Hexproof do ensure you have a beater on the table and if your opponent casts a spell on your turn will give you additional free creatures. Joining the party we have Naya Hexproof’s only planeswalker with Ajani, Caller of the Pride which will be used for its first two abilities to work on pumping up your Hexproof creatures to finish off the opponent before they can assemble a proper defense. Then we get to the array of auras in Naya Hexproof which while normally are rather clunky due to you opening yourself to an easy two for one against removal are instead rather powerful in combination with your creatures. Starting with one cost Ethereal Armor this one plays strong with the rest of the enchantments by scaling up with each additional aura you play as well as providing First Strike. Next, for just two mana Madcap Skills not only adds three power but also forces the opponent to double block if they want to block at all which can often lead you to blowing out a simple chump block with your additional pumps. Then falling into the three drop slot Unflinching Courage pushes the deck over the top by granting both Trample AND Lifelink along with a +2/+2 stat bonus as well. To add even more value to Ethereal Armor the deck runs a trio of Chained to the Rocks with 8 shocklands that count as Mountains to clear the way of any troublesome blockers or threatening offensive troops. The deck is rounded up by two trios of charms for their added versatility. Boros Charm provides a way to head shot the opponent for four in a pinch, save your army from an impending sweeper or even grant a creature Double Strike to send in a final blow. And from Selesnya Charm we find a pump with Trample which could also be the final nail in the coffin, a way to remove high powered creatures even if they are indestructible, and in a pinch provide another body be it necessary to block or useful on the beatdown.

With the new Magic 2015 release looming on the horizon we have once again slipped into a bit of a lame duck format, which is also magnified by the Modern PTQ season. There is still the World Magic Cup Qualifiers coming up soon so I don’t rule out Standard just yet. Naya Hexproof is a very powerful choice in a meta where removal relies on one for one spot removal instead of sweepers. I wouldn’t count it out just yet and if your spark is ignited by Aggro decks then definitely give this baby a whirl, you won’t be disappointed.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - June 3, 2014

Champion’s Deck – Naya Midrange Standard by Justin Crandal...

Naya Midrange Standard - Ajani, Mentor of Heroes

Naya Midrange Standard by Justin Crandall

1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 5/31/2014

Another weekend of SCG Standard has passed and sitting at the top of the heap we find a successful jumble of acceleration into monstrous beasts and powerful planeswalkers. What we find there is essentially the GR Monsters shell that’s been prevalent in Standard for quite a while, but dipping into White for additional planeswalkers and some removal options. And judging by the popularity of this archetype in the Theros Block format it looks like it has quite a future ahead.

It is no stranger that the most prevelant duo of Green mana dorks both in Standard and Block is Sylvan Caryatid into Courser of Kruphix. This not only fixes your mana and even effectively draws you additional cards but also gains you vital life points which are so crucial in this aggressive metagame. The downside is that Courser provides your opponent with nearly perfect information which can foil you bluff when playing off the top of your deck. As an additional accelerent there is also Voyaging Satyr which won’t help if you are missing a color but will still allow you to gain extra mana. All of that goes towards powering out some monstrous fatties quickly so you can activate their Monstrosity abilities and close out games quickly. The two we find in the deck are Polukranos, World Eater which also acts as much needed removal in this deck and also the hasty flier Stormbreath Dragon which peeled off the top is often the recipie for certain doom. If those monsters are the meat of the deck we then find the fine wine pairing in the foursome of planeswalker to accompany them. The main player is party animal himself Xenagos, the Reveler who not only brings his satyr buddies with him but also helps acheive Monstrosity fast with his ramping ability. Next to join the party is Ajani, Mentor of Heroes who has a dual purpose between pumping up your creatures and digging into your deck to find more threats, but also when protected can threaten its ultimate to bolster a diminishing life total. There is also a major contribution from Elspeth, Sun’s Champion with her legion of soldiers following her, but be wary of her second ability as your bombs tend to be destroyed as well as the opponents. And why not a misers Chandra, Pyromaster as well to add a little card advantage to the deck and her first ability helps slip your big boys past their chump blockers handily. The rest of the deck is rounded out by some varied pieces of removal. There is Keening Apparition which is able to destroy any enchantment the opponent presents to the board such as Chained to the Rocks or even Underworld Connections. As a great sweeper Mizzium Mortars is able to be overloaded to deal four damage to all the opponents creatures and cast aside any would be blockers for your giant monsters. Then the last piece of the puzzle comes with the flexible Selesnya Charm that can either pump and grant Trample to a creature to rampage for a win, exile a creature that has power greater then five, or even add another threat to the board with a vigilant knight token.

So here we find that the GR Monsters deck which has already been a force in Standard continues to have room to grow and adapt as it proves it is a major player in Standard. What really interests me with this list is that the core of the deck is all from Theros Block and will undoubtedly continue to be a force into the next rotation of Standard. If you are looking for a deck to invest in as a long term prospect then this is undoubtedly the one.

Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Email: ejseltzer@hotmail.com
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - May 18, 2014

Naya Aggro by Jamie Arnold (2nd at SCG Knoxville Standard on May 10th ...

Ghor-Clan Rampager - Naya Aggro

Naya Aggro by Jamie Arnold

2nd Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 5/10/2014
An interesting Aggro deck was able to power its way into the finals of the SCG Standard tourney last weekend, although it fell just short to another Aggro deck Boros Burn. As with most Naya decks it is able to take advantage of very some of the most efficient creatures available.  This deck is exactly as it is advertised, Aggro !!! With a huge concentration of beatdown creatures it works to rapidly close the gap from 20 to zero as quickly as possible and has the tool to do it.


The deck works on a very strong a linear path up the mana curve from one to three in an effort to clog the board with beaters. We start it off with Dryad Militant and Soldier of the Pantheon that both unchecked can start to swipe chunks off the opponents life total. Next are the Selesnya two drops with Voice of Resurgence which is amazing against control decks or removal in general and Fleecemane Lion which given the chance will turn into a Monstrous beast which opponents will be having fits to try and remove. Then we have continued profit in three drops from Boros Reckoner which can attack into small blockers and still push through damage or act as a brick wall against attackers and Loxodon Smiter which is basically a great 4/4 for three with some added value. The sole four drop creature in the deck is Ghor-Clan Rampager but it will most often be used for its Bloodrush ability to pump an attacking creature to push through extra damage to finish off the opponent. Moving over to the spells in the deck we start first with the ever useful Brave the Elements which with almost every creature being White, Ghor-Clan Rampager is the only exception, will be a key tool enabling alpha strike pushes past defenses to destroy the opponent or a way to ensure your creatures survive to fight through removal or as blockers against a flurry of attackers. The deck also sports two different charms with multiple useful modes to take advantage of. Selesnya Charm is capable of either giving a creature a boost with Trample to push for a kill, can exile a large creature as long as it has power of 5 or more, or is able to put a 2/2 Knight token onto the battlefield which is also White to take advantage of Brave the Elements as well. The other charm is Boros Charm which can be used as direct damage to scorch your enemy, is able to save all your permanents from destruction in a pinch, or will grant Double Strike to one of your creatures if you need it to deal a final blow to take you on a path to victory. The deck also takes advantage of the new mana fixing land Mana Confluence in order to smoothly run a three color manabase using a bare minimum of into play tapped lands.

The sheer power of this deck is sure to keep it performing for the next couple of months in Standard until Magic 2015 brings a new shake-up. Naya has often been the best in terms of value for creatures and this deck continues to prove that fact. Unless there is a major shift in the meta I don’t see why this deck won’t continue to be a force to be reckoned with.

Eric J Seltzer

@ejseltzer on Twitter

Email: ejseltzer@hotmail.com