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Much Abrew: Naya Pia Tokens (Standard)


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Much Abrew About Nothing! This week, we're heading to our new Wilds of Eldraine Standard format to play what might be my current favorite deck: Naya Pia Nalaar Tokens! While the deck is technically a token deck, it also draws an truly absurd number of cards thanks to endless impulse-draw effects like Wrenn's Resolve, Reckless Impulse, and Questing Druid, all of which also help us make a ton of Thopter tokens with Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival. Once our board is nice and full, we can use Virtue of Loyalty to turn our tiny Thopters into massive game-ending threats! Is Pia Nalaar Standard's savoir? Can Naya Tokens break black's death grip on the format? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

Much Abrew: Naya Pia Tokens

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, Naya Pia Tokens has been nice. So far, I've played 13 matches, with the deck going 9-4, which gives a 69% match-win percentage! The deck seems designed to beat up on all the black midrange decks at the top of Standard. This decks are mostly a pile of one-for-one removal and the best midrange threats in the format, which lines up hilariously poorly with our deck's ability to flood the board with a bunch of 1/1 tokens, turn them into big threats, and also draw an absurd number of cards!
  • While the deck seems competitive, even more important is that the deck is incredibly fun to play. Thanks to our 13 impulse-draw effects in Wrenn's Resolve, Reckless Impulse, Questing Druid, and Mishra's Research Desk, it's almost impossible to run out of cards, which means we always have tons of choices and action. If you look at the games we played with the deck, it was pretty common that we ended up with something like 15 cards left in our library by the time we closed out the game, often outdrawing our opponent by 20 or more cards! It's strange that a Naya deck might be the best card-advantage deck in the format, but thanks to the power of the impulse-draw options we have in Wilds of Eldraine Standard, that seems to be the case.
  • The primary goal of our deck is simple: play a Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival so whenever we play a card from exile, we make a 1/1 flying, hasty Thopter token, and then chain together impulse-draw effects (which give us cards to cast from exile) to build a huge board of Thopters. Oddly, even though Pia Nalaar is a two-drop, it's often most powerful late in the game. While we do sometimes run it out on Turn 2, it's often better to wait until we have some cards in exile and enough mana to play Pia Nalaar and immediately play some cards from exile to start making Thopters. 
  • While making a bunch of 1/1 tokens is nice, it's also a very slow clock. Thankfully, we have two ways to speed things up. The first is Wedding Announcement, which makes some tokens, draws us some cards, and eventually flips into an anthem to grow our small creatures. The second is even more explosive: Virtue of Loyalty. Virtue of Loyalty is amazing in our deck. In the early game, it makes a 2/2 token at instant speed, which sometimes lets us ambush a small attacker. Later, we can cast it from exile (to trigger Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival) and start adding a +1/+1 counter to our entire team on each of our end steps, which quickly grows our 1/1 Thopters into huge, game-ending threats!
  • Our backup plan is Questing Druid. The two-drop is mostly in our deck to be another Reckless Impulse, to generate card advantage and get castable cards in exile to trigger Pia Nalaar. But once the creature side is on the battlefield, it quickly grows into a massive threat as we chain together spells. At this point, we can either try to win by beating down with Questing Druid or possibly use our one-of Voldaren Thrillseeker to throw it at our opponent's face. 
  • Speaking of one-ofs, our deck has a bunch of them, which probably looks weird, but it makes a lot of sense after playing the deck. Naya Pia Tokens is absurdly good at drawing cards, which means we'll likely find our one-ofs eventually. We don't want to draw cards like Voldaren Thrillseeker early or often, but in the right situation, it's game-endingly awesome. The same is true of Chandra, Hope's Beacon. As a six-drop, it's pretty expensive for our 21-land deck, but in the late game, it can take over the game, either winning directly by copying our one-of Light Up the Night or by copying Reckless Impulse and Wrenn's Resolve to generate oodles of card advantage. 
  • And that, backed by some decent removal, is essentially the deck's plan: sling a bunch of spells, draw a ton of cards, make a wide board of tokens and a tall board of Questing Druids, and trust that the power of Virtue of Loyalty growing our team will let us close out the game.
  • One of my favorite parts of the deck is how little it cares about Sheoldred. Building a deck based around drawing a ton of cards and chaining together cantrips is risky, with Sheoldred being so popular and so effective at punishing card draw, but our impulse draw doesn't really care. While Reckless Impulse and Wrenn's Resolve are technically draw-twos for two, in reality, we aren't drawing any cards at all; we're just exiling them but are being allowed to cast them. This lets us dig through our deck and find the pieces we need to close out the game but also not die to Sheoldred's annoying drain trigger.
  • So, should you play Naya Pia Tokens in Standard? I think the answer is an easy yes. So far, it is the deck that I have had the most fun playing in Wilds of Eldraine Standard. And, as a bonus, it seems like it's actually pretty competitive against the top tiers of the meta! If you are tired of grinding with black decks, give Naya a try! It has the power to out-grind the Sheoldred decks, and it an absolute blast to play!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinons, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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