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Nahiri for Standard


I’m excited for Shadows over Innistrad!

The set just oozes flavor, and it has a lot of strong, build-around cards . . . including this gem of a card:

Nahiri, the Harbinger (the second ever Boros Planeswalker to exist, with the first being Ajani Vengeant):

As a Planeswalker, it passes the several of the litmus tests I check for:

  • A way to generate card advantage (involving madness cards with its +2 red looting)
  • A way to defend itself (killing tapped creatures)
  • An ultimate that provides a unique effect

It’s a bit more difficult to kill an enchantment with it, but there are certainly ways to do so.

The most obvious starting point to me, given the rotation of a lot of color-fixing lands, is Boros Midrange:

In the above list, I included a lot of situationally powerful one-ofs (including Secure the Wastes, Radiant Flames, Quarantine Field, Archangel Avacyn, and Linvala, the Preserver).

When you are looting a lot, you can afford to play those conditionally powerful cards—as well as four-of Planeswalkers. In addition, Nahiri’s ultimate being able to find Avacyn or Linvala in certain situations is fantastic.

There’s another way to build this deck that is lower to ground and focuses a lot more on token-makers:

Both lists pack the one-two punch of Secure the Wastes into Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, which I believe was an underplayed interaction. Fiery Temper is also a fantastic card to discard to Nahiri, given you are able to play it for 2 mana cheaper and generate a two for one.

Looking carefully at older cards, one other deck that really comes to mind is Boros Eldrazi:

This list is built to abuse some interactions:

Eldrazi Displacer

Magmatic Insight is good when you have a high land count, but it still leads to some awkward draws.

I’m also excited to see if Nahiri will see play in a Solar-Flare Reanimator deck. Profound Journey remains legal, as does Necromantic Summons. Those decks tend to be awkward given they have to run a lot of fatties, alongside a less than ideal mana base, but there’s potential there.

Also Jeskai Control (if someone gets the mana base correct) could be extremely powerful with Nahiri, the Harbinger.

With access to two creature lands, you can afford to play an extremely high land count—and powerful one-ofs.

I look forward to figuring out more what’s going on with this completely new Standard format in preparation for Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad in Madrid.

Thanks for reading, and I appreciate any comments here or on Twitter.

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