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Naya Behemoths


Hello folks! I hope that your day is going quite well and that this finds you safe!

Pretty soon Ikora: Lair of Behemoths will be happening. What I'd like to do is run a Naya deck that uses the Big Dork theme of Alara Block and builds around it in various places. Basically, I want to run every Commander playable big guy. Here's my two inspirations for this build:

Spellbreaker Behemoth

Spellbreaker Behemoth is a powerful and fast punch in the face that wants to come down quickly, and cannot be countered on the way down. It also guarantees that your other biggun's cannot be answered either via counters. It forces them to play fair. Four mana, 5/5, cannot be countered is rough.

Behemoth Sledge

Behemoth Sledge is another Behemoth themed card. It gives us a fun equipment to play with and to let big creatures smash over others while gaining life. A third turn Sledge into a 5th turn 7/7 Spellbreaker Behemoth that gains you seven life is funny.

What other behemoth cards can I run?

Beacon Behemoth
Spearbreaker Behemoth

These are two behemoths that have activated abilities that will help the team. Neither are cheap, although the Beacon Behemoth isn't that. My preference is for this to resemble less ramp and more midrange. But we'll do what we can do.

Cliffrunner Behemoth
Craterhoof Behemoth

Cliffrunner Behemoth is great after a leader and can swing the turn it arrives. That's more what I'm talking about. It may not be ramp, but Craterhoof Behemoth serves a valuable role as an Overrun on legs that can win the game on arrival. Its game winning plays are legendary in Commander. It's Green's Insurrection and can win games out of nowhere.

Regal Behemoth

Regal Behemoth is a fun on theme guy. It'll get you a card from Monarch'ing and you net some extra mana as well. In here it provides two roles, card flow and mana ramping.

Behemoth's Herald

How can I not? Note that your leader can count as any other colors you need. The Herald can sacrifice itself and thus you just need White/Red which are the most likely needed colors. With Herald on turn one or two and then a gold White/Red card early like Woolly Thoctar, you could use this as an early Godsire.

But now it's time for the key question....

Who is my leader? Who will run this Behemoth build?

There are 17 Naya Commanders and I could use two partners as well to make it happen. For example I could do Boros's Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder to give someone big double strike and Gruul's Tana, the Bloodsower who wants double strike to make more Saprolings.

I have narrowed it to three. Here are my finalists:

Samut, Voice of Dissent

Samut, Voice of Dissent gives all three colors, and can flash out, which is great on a leader, and can give the entire team haste. She's awesome here as illustrated by her high number of abilities. For just five mana, she also suits my mid-range style of wanting to steer the deck.

Mayael the Anima

Mayael the Anima is cheap and can come down quickly. She also can dig into a dork very nicely. She's been reprinted and is a bulk mythic, by the way, so you can grab her easily. She plays very well with the big stuff theme of this Behemoth Build. The card flow also feels nice with the mid-range ideas, and she comes down early to turn things like the Cliffrunner Behemoth into a fourth turn swing.

Marisi, Breaker of the Coil

More of an aggro option, Marisi, Breaker of the Coil is big enough to be helped by the other stuff, and cheap to help out as well. The ability to shut down opposing junk during combat as well as letting all of your combat damage goading is awesome too. Marisi is great for this build too!

Hmmm. I really like the first two the most. Haste and flash and stuff? Or on theme card advantage? Let's do Mayael. She's more synergetic. But I add in the others.

Now what?

Surrak, the Hunt Caller

Next I look to dip into various "power matters" cards such as Surrak, the Hunt Caller with it's formidable into haste. As we saw when looking at Samut, haste enabling is important for this brew and formidable is easy to net. I also added in cards like Garruk's Packleader that play into the same space.

Woolly Thoctar

I want cheap beaters that play into those so much that I'll even run vanilla!

Heart-Piercer Manticore
Surestrike Trident

Here's another method I am running of power matters. Heart-Piercer Manticore can sacrifice, twice, a big beater for damage equal to its power. A third turn Woolly Thoctar that swings for 5 on turn four and then drop this to shoot for five damage and slay an early planeswalker or something on arrival is quite a valuable addition to my power matters cards.

You'll also see cards like Grab the Reins that can run double duty and either Fling a dork at a key target or steal and sac that stolen dork should you have the mana needed.

Surestrike Trident plays well by adding first strike, which is certainly useful for a larger dork. But what is really does is give your team range by letting you tap and shoot a player for damage equal to the equipped dork's power. A recursive damage engine. It gets better as the game progresses and you get more mana to reuse it.

Berserkers' Onslaught
Terror of Mount Velus

Not only will first strike help enable a 5/5 dork, but double strike is ever niftier! Here you can see we have two ways of giving out some double strike to the team. Terror of Mount Velus is big enough to matter, has a powerful double strike and flying combo, and then gives the team double strike on arrival. Meanwhile Berserkers' Onslaught gives it when you swing. I also have some double strike giving lands in here as well, like Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion.

And double strike isn't the only thing we can lean into.

Fiendish Duo

Fiendish Duo doubles all damage dealt to your enemies! How can you not love it in a build such as this one, where we have big dorks? Plus, it works well with double strike too! You can smash your way to success. Note that this doubles burn and damage that your foes deal to each other, only you don't see the damage increase.

God-Eternal Oketra
God-Eternal Rhonas

And let's finish this conversation of with some Zombie Gods. God-Eternal Oketra loves creatures. Did you cast a dork? Great! Here's a 4/4 dork for your trouble. It joins other creature-loving cards like Lifecrafter's Bestiary that you will see in the below list. God-Eternal Rhonas is rocking the block and doubling the power of your stuff; it's a perfect fit alongside double strike enabling as well as the damage doubling of Fiendish Duo. It's also good with your cheap beaters.

And there we go! Would you like to see the deck? Sounds good!

Naya Behemoths | Commander | Abe Sargent

Some of the last cards I pulled were True Conviction (too White), Illusionist's Bracers (too weak without other abilities), Vivien Reid (too redundant), Ajani Unyielding (too expensive) and Samut, the Tested (my last card pulled, pure numbers).

And there you are! Anything in here you liked or want to try? I hope you enjoyed this fun little article, and we'll see you next time!

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