Is Wild Nacatl a Great Choice for Naya Burn?

Wild Nacatl
The jury is still out on Wild Nacatl in Modern Naya Burn… But for now it is the accepted take.

So… Is Wild Nacatl where Naya Burn players should be at for Modern?

Consider Brandon Burton’s GP-winning list from Grand Prix Indianapolis:

Naya Burn – 1st Place Grand Prix Indianapolis, by Brandon Burton

4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Guide
1 Grim Lavamancer
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Wild Nacatl

4 Lava Spike
3 Rift Bolt
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
4 Atarka’s Command
4 Boros Charm

3 Arid Mesa
4 Bloodstained Mire
2 Copperline Gorge
2 Mountain
3 Sacred Foundry
2 Stomping Ground
4 Wooded Foothills

sb:
2 Deflecting Palm
3 Destructive Revelry
3 Kor Firewalker
1 Lightning Helix
4 Path to Exile
2 Skullcrack

Mana base aside, this deck is only four cards off of the PPTQ-winning deck Mike played just a few weekends ago. But the four cards different are the one mana kitty cats in question.

Patrick thinks the addition of Wild Nacatl — brining the creature count up to seventeen — might push Naya Burn from “The Lava Spike Deck” to “Red Aggro” … These are two different macro archetypes entirely from the perspective of Next Level Deck Building.

The difference in Modern is not trivial. When you are more purely a burn deck, mid-range opponents like Abzan and Jund are pretty easy to manage; but when you add Wild Nacatl, you can be fighting legit green creature decks on an axis where they are generally superior. On the other hand, Wild Nacatl — especially unopposed, especially on the first turn — “is like a Lava Spike every turn” (which is kinda sorta exactly what the deck wants to accomplish).

Not trivial.

Not trivial in the least.

But!

The more interesting creature addition (from Mike’s perspective at least) is Kor Firewalker out of the sideboard. Mike calls this “bringing a gun to a knife fight” and believes that if Kor Firewalker becomes the accepted tech for Naya Burn, all Naya Burn players have to start respecting it or they will fall behind in mirror match sideboard games. Kor Firewalker itself is an interesting card to play, being WW in a deck with Copperline Gorge, basic Mountain, and only twenty lands. Still, quite a breaker if you expect Naya Burn and Suicide Zoo.

Speaking of Suicide Zoo…

Suicide Zoo – 3d place GP Guangzhou, by Lim Zhong Yi

4 Death’s Shadow
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Street Wraith
2 Steppe Lynx
1 Tarmogoyf

4 Gitaxian Probe
3 Thoughtseize
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Temur Battle Rage
3 Become Immense
2 Lightning Bolt
4 Mishra’s Bauble

4 Windswept Heath
4 Bloodstained Mire
2 Verdant Catacombs
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Arid Mesa
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Stomping Ground
1 Blood Crypt
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Godless Shrine

sb:
1 Forest
1 Ranger of Eos
1 Traverse the Ulvenwald
2 Hooting Mandrills
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Stony Silence
1 Pyroclasm
2 Path to Exile
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Dismember

Patrick makes an interesting observation about this deck. It has relatively few cards “you would actually spend mana on” and an effective average casting cost of below 1.

Yi’s version, with Traverse the Ulvenwald in the sideboard, can do some interesting things… Like find that basic Forest, or double up the ability to hit Ranger of Eos (without having to play a second copy of Ranger of Eos). Patrick and Mike both think Ranger of Eos is a perpetually underplayed card; in this deck it can get a hasty Monastery Swiftspear, or multiple Death’s Shadows. If all it does is find two copies of Wild Nacatl, Ranger of Eos is already a more mana efficient Broodmate Dragon (nine power over six mana instead of eight power over six mana, and starting up two turns faster).

Jund — one of the most popular Modern archetypes — had many different takes over three gigantic Grand Prix last weekend. One of the most interesting ones was in the hands of Hall of Famer Raph Levy:

Jund – Top 64 Grand Prix Lille, by Raphael Levy

4 Liliana of the Veil

4 Dark Confidant
1 Grim Lavamancer
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
4 Tarmogoyf

1 Dreadbore
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Thoughtseize
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Slaughter Pact
4 Terminate
4 Blood Moon

4 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Blood Crypt
3 Bloodstained Mire
1 Forest
1 Mountain
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Stomping Ground
4 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wooded Foothills

sb:
1 Thoughtseize
1 Engineered Explosives
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Spellskite
1 Thragtusk
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Damnation
1 Ancient Grudge
2 Collective Brutality
2 Shatterstorm
1 Rakdos Charm

Blood Moon?

Is that four copies of Blood Moon? And main deck?

“Why should anyone be allowed to do anything?” Sure, sometimes Blood Moon messes up Jund; but there are spots where it will mess the opponent up even worse.

“Is Wild Nacatl a Great Choice for Naya Burn?” covers much, much more than a couple of green Modern decks, from the control side of Grixis and the various brands of Azorius; all the way to the mindset of a Hate Bears player. What is the Hate Bears Plan A, anyway?

All your questions will be answered in “Is Wild Nacatl a Great Choice for Naya Burn?”

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