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Drafting Alara Reborn Part 2: Naya May 23, 2009

Posted by James in : all, strategy, tips, shards of alara block, limited, draft , trackback

The cards you want for your Naya deck when playing in Alara Reborn. You might want to read about Alara Reborn’s bombs, first picks, and second picks. This article discusses Reborn’s mentionable cards for Naya when drafting SCA (Shards/Conflux/Reborn).

It is now official: It is almost impossible to play a two color deck in Shards of Alara drafts. I was able to do it in SSS (Shards/Shards/Shards) drafts, I did it only rarely in SSC drafts, but I doubt I will ever get to do it in a SCA draft.

On a different note, I have already pointed out that Naya (red-white-green) seems best. If you are the only person drafting Naya in an 8 person draft, that is one reason to suspect you might win. (Obviously if everyone is playing Naya, then you should stay away from it.)

Part of the decision to play Naya should be made based on what bombs, creature removal, and other first picks you see in your first booster pack. (If you are playing in an SCA draft, you will start with Shards of Alara. I mentioned the best cards for Naya in Shards here.)

Once you open the Alara Reborn pack, you will still have to make decisions about what cards will best suit your deck. If you are playing Naya, you will want to consider which cards are bombs, first picks, second picks, or decent. Of course the whole decision-making process is actually quite complected, but let’s just concentrate on the best cards Alara Reborn has to offer for Naya. This is my current understanding of Naya’s bombs, first picks, and second picks:

Bombs

First Picks

Second Picks

Other Cards

Once you have picked your first couple of cards out of an Alara Reborn pack, you might have to start picking cards that are a bit less exciting. These cards can be “decent,” “mentionable,” or “not so good.” I will only spend time to discuss the decent and mentionable cards.

Decent Cards

Naya Hushblade is the worst of the Blades, but they are all great cards overall. Could be worth taking as a fist pick. All the blades are roughly second-picks. As a bonus, this is the easiest one to play in a Naya deck.

Haste is a good ability, but not quite as good as flying or first strike. Potentially worth taking as a first pick.

Giant Ambush Beetle will often give you a two for one. It could potentially be worth taking as a first pick, but isn’t quite as good as a blade overall.

Deadshot Minotaur is the closest thing to being a second pick without quite making the cut. It is a potential 2-for-1, which is great, but 5 mana for a 3/4 is a little steep. Such a high mana cost can make him unplayable against some decks, but he is perfect sideboard material.

Rhox Brute would be considered pretty amazing years ago, but the power creep has made him only decent in draft.

The borderposts are great, but it is generally not a good decision to pick a borderpost over removal. A borderpost might be better than a Rhox Brute in some situations, but I would usually want a deadshot minotaur rather than a borderpost. Borderposts are basically comes-into-play-tapped-duals. They count as lands in your deck, so they don’t waste valuable space.

See above.

Mentionable Cards

Trace of Abundance can be better than a Borderpost in some cases, but it is harder to play and takes the spot of a spell rather than a land.

Although Jund Sojourners is in the wrong color, the cycling ability is quite good by itself. It’s not the best removal, but destroying a Tidehollow Strix will be a lot of fun.

I have never played with Cerodon Yearling. It is worth playing, but I suspect that people value this card more than it’s really worth.

Leonin Armorguard is great with lots of creatures, and even better if you have a way to generate lots of token creatures. Without synergy, it isn’t very good.

Valley Rannet is the mana fixing that you might want to take. You don’t want to take more than a couple landcycling creatures with such a high mana cost.

Gorger Wurm is one of the best giant creatures. It is almost not worth mentioning because you only want a few big creatures in your deck, but it is one of the better ones. The devour ability can be ignored 99% of the time, but it doesn’t need it anyway.

Overview

The 5-power theme of Naya has been abolished. There are some Reborn rares with the 5 power theme, but commons are almost non-existent. The whole point of Naya is simple: Play good cards. Naya isn’t just about having an aggressive creature deck. it also has almost all of the best creature removal.

I have heard that Bloodbraid Elf is the best card in Alara Reborn, but Enlisted Wurm is almost as good in a draft. Naya is the only color combination that can play both of these cards.

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