Brewed Up: Naya Heromancer

We recently reached out to our discussion group about the recent spike in Brewed Up posts. They have made it loud and clear that they want even more. Today’s build is one we have really enjoyed at is has something for everyone. It is part tokens, part Burn, part 8 Whack, and all fun. This list gives a new lease on life to some forgotten favorites. If you are looking to play Hero of Precinct One in Modern, we have just the deck for you.

Decklist
Lands (20)
4 Arid Mesa
3 Horizon Canopy
3 Inspiring Vantage
1 Mountain
1 Plains
2 Sacred Foundry
1 Stomping Ground
1 Temple Garden
4 Wooded Foothills
Creatures (20)
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Figure of Destiny
4 Hero of Precinct One
4 Reckless Bushwhacker
4 Young Pyromancer
Spells (20)
4 Atarka’s Command
4 Boros Charm
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Manamorphose
Sideboard (15)
2 Alpine Moon
2 Cindervines
2 Gaddock Teeg
2 Monastery Mentor
2 Path to Exile
3 Rest in Peace
2 Stony Silence
75 Cards Total

The Build
The reaction I get when people first see this decklist is “what the hell am I looking at?” What you are looking at is an aggressive tokens deck that finishes with a flurry of burn spells. I have been testing various Modern shells in an attempt to enable Hero of Precinct One and have finally settled on Naya. As always, we will break it down card by card beginning with the manabase.

This is a base red deck so the fetches are all red and they are able to grab any of your three shocklands. Basic Plains can be disruptive to casting Burning-Tree Emissary or Atarka’s Command on Turn 2 but this is a rare issue and Manamorphose allows you to ignore it. Beyond the fetch-shock package, a 3-3 split of Inspiring Vantage and Horizon Canopy round out the list. The former helps you to race out spells without taking damage and the latter allows you to net card advantage in the lategame. I was working with one fewer Canopy before but I do believe that this deck wants thirteen green sources. Copperline Gorge and Razorverge Thicket exist if you want to reduce mana pain.

We will work up from the bottom beginning with the one drops. Our one drop creature, Figure of Destiny, is probably the least exciting creature in the deck but it solid in here. We need a one drop creature but we want it to be multicolored and serviceable in the lategame. You can check gatherer, nothing else fits the bill in these colors. It gives us something to do on Turn 1 and something to dump spare mana into as the game progresses. When drawn late it at least spawns a token with Hero or helps us to surge out a Bushwhacker. You could argue that it should be Wild Nacatl and slightly adjust the manabase to benefit it though. The other one drop is Lightning Bolt. What can I say? It has been the top spell in Modern every year since the format’s inception. Ruthlessly efficient and downright busted.

The two drop slot is very crowded but the best creatures are the token spawners. Hero of Precinct One is very powerful in this deck as 60% of the spells generate a token when it is in play. 20% of the spells in the deck do so while breaking even on mana. It generates a ton of value for a simple bear. In this deck Young Pyromancer represents a lesser version of it. Instead it only triggers off of 50% of the spells but that is still a great value. When you get both of them into play, or two copies of one, you can spawn an army at an alarming rate. This is the core gameplan of the deck. To enable them, the deck aims to play the best multi-colored instants available and damn do we have some quality options. Burn players are all too familiar with Lightning Helix and Boros Charm. Boros Charm is more than a Flame Rift in this deck though, the indestructible effect is super relevant for a go-wide strategy. Similarly, Atarka’s Command is much better than it ever was in Burn. The anthem effect will often generate an additional three damage or more. Two mana for six or more damage is an amazing rate. Note that Hero and Pyro are cast triggers so the tokens spawned by Command will receive the pump; very useful for  surprise blocking.

Now we come to the cards that really turbo-charge the deck. Manamorhpose is hands down the best card in the deck. It allows you to spawn tokens out of both Hero and Pyro without costing you mana. It allows you to overcome any tricky early mana costs as you will always have either red or green mana to convert. It allows you to convert Burning Tree-Emissary RG mana into RW for a Charm or Helix. It allows you to surge out Reckless Bushwhacker without requiring a one drop and a third land. It does everything in this deck. Burning-Tree Emissary is a lesser but still powerful version of the effect. You can still trigger Hero for free and/or run out a Bushwacker. The RG mana it produces is less flexible but is not difficult to use as it covers Pyro, Command, or Bushwhacker. Then finally we have Reckless Bushwhacker. This is one of your main payoffs for spawning so many tokens. As already explained, you have eight free spells to surge him out and eight one drops if those do not show up. Your wildest turns will see you chain free spells, spawn a few tokens, cast a Bushwhacker, and then slam in for ten or more damage. These draws are what allows the deck to keep up with the formats faster decks.

The sideboard is nothing too crazy. Alpine Moon helps us out with Tron and other big mana decks. We have the typical hateful white cards in Path, Stony, and RiP. Cindervines triggers Hero while harassing control decks and artifact decks alike. Gaddock Teeg also triggers Hero and helps us to battle combo and control decks. Finally Monastery Mentor helps us to increase our threat count when our token spawners are being heavily removed. I am honestly not sold on this one yet but as a super-Pyro, how bad can it be?

Verdict
I have had quite a bit of trouble evaluating this one. Of course, people will say “why not just play Burn?” and that is a valid question. Sure this deck has nut draws with Reckless Bushwhacker but on average it is slower. This drop in speed makes the combo matchups even worse than they are for Burn. However, it able to produce more blockers than Burn so the aggro matchups have felt better. Also it has been very difficult to judge the difference in Control/Midrange matchups. Heromancer goes very wide and makes it difficult to put down but if the deck stumbles early, it does not topdeck nearly as well as Burn can. It is a close one but I think you may just be better off playing Burn. This is certainly more fun and interesting but that does not always lead to more wins.

Wrap-Up
I am surprised to feature a brew right now that does not contain a single card from Modern Horizons. Ravnica Allegiance has been out for quite some time, but we managed to find a hidden gem. Do you see any other diamonds in the rough from recent sets? And what sweet brews are you building around them? Come share it with us in our discussion group. Or if you would like to take a swing at writing content for the site you can contact us directly here. We will be back tomorrow with another article for you to enjoy. Until then my friends.

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