It all started with Alara Reborn and the time where everyone was testing for the National Tournament in Magic: The Gathering. My poor self decided to go for constructed FNMs at that time as I had already enough of limited (I'm no good at limited). I build a Naya deck meant for fun primarily but a deck that would be able to survive a "FNM competitive" play. It looked something like this:
It was first build and I had no idea if this could work or not. It was sufficient for local play, but it was far from being playable at Nationals. I was capable of winning with some tricks and the weirdest sideboards card ever. My deck continued to evolve though. Playing Colossal Might when you don't have access to R and G mana on round 2 is not that good as creatures die quite easily to removal and it's another lost card. Same goes to Double Cleave. That card is fun but not for a field with lots of removal. I dropped Oblivion Rings as well and decided to add Volcanic Fallouts instead.
Some time later the format has changed. I had to drop shadowmoor cards and I could add Lightning bolt. I did that. At a certain time I kept Incinerate and Lightning bolt in my deck. I dropped Mogg Fanatic which was replaced by Qasali Pridemage. Ram-gang became unplayable as well so I wanted to try my luck with Behemoth Sledge. This card is not a creature and is not good in "bigger" numbers so I triedto find a creature that would help me. I did not come up with any but since I slowed the pace of the deck by quite a lot I decided to add Ajani Vengeant instead. This card could be a "Lightning Helix for 4 mana" or it could keep something tapped. The deck became less aggressive. But Ajani helped the deck and worked pretty well in Type 2. I had enough life gain, enough removal - both global and spot - and I could control the game to some extent. Naya Charm and Ajani were cards that could easily win the game.
Later there weren't much of Type 2 tournaments and there was Extended rotation which meant that my Sliver deck was no longer playable. I decided to rebuild my Naya Aggro deck so it would be playable in Extended.
I played mostly against Elves, Burn decks and other kinds of tribal and aggro decks. I usually had to play the control part (being the one in defense) in order to win. At one point I even decided to stop playing white and just come there with RG aggro deck. I did that and I won, but the deck was really dull and not fun to play (not that my contemporary deck wouldn't be dull as well). My RG deck was pretty fast and worked fine (purely aggro with some burn) so I started wondering about my Naya deck. Pridemage, Naya Charm and Ajani were slowing me down. Bloodbraid Elf is an card advantage but I found out that this card is too expensive as well if I want to speed the deck up. I realized that when drafting naya colors I always go for Wild Nacatls so I realized that this card is kind of a must. That replaced the stupid goblin. I decided to keep Pridemages in some number and Ram-gangs as their ability is too good. At that time I wanted to play Kird apes along with Wild Nacatls as that would would give me the speed I needed and some good blockers if something would go wrong in the worst case scenario. But I did not put them in the deck yet as I had to fix my mana base first. That's the time when I decided that Wooded Foothills would do me good and that all I would need to care about is white but I wouldn't need that much of it. At this moment I was experimenting with the number of Bloodbraid Elves and Path To Exiles and I finally came down to a conclusion that Bloodbraid Elves are bad for this deck. Having a playset of Path to Exiles was much better. But the question 'what to play instead of the BBE?' arose. I knew I would need something good to replace the elves but couldn't come up with anything. I also had problem with Volcanic Fallouts. They weren't good against Merfolk (too big) or Elves (too expensive). So I added more "spot removal". What I found at home. It did not really work but I did not come up with anything better. All the cards that came to my mind were expensive and not really Extended playable (Banefire, Snakeform, Oblivion Ring...). I knew I would need something with CMC 2 at most.
Now we are getting to the time when people started to play different decks at our store. All the decks were much faster. Many came there playing some tokens GW, BW and even RW. These decks were fast but Fallout was a key. I did not really need to change my deck (I did start to play Pyroclasm along with Fallouts and this is the time I dropped Oblivion Ring altogether it wasn't needed anymore as no one bothered playing Enchantments or Artifacts). After this pretty short period people started playing all kinds of Bant decks. My deck was much worse against these decks so I went back to a more "control" version. That's the time I decided to finally play Umezawa's Jitte and wanted to buy Knights of the Reliquary. It was quite a difficult hunt for these cards though so I got them quite late. But Umezawa's Jitte was the card saving my a** quite often. Also I started to think about adding black for Deathmarks as I was overhelmed with Dorans, some goddamn angelic beings and other GW(U) creatures. Giving these decks another mana source for free was NOT a good idea. I also had Meddling Mages in my sideboard for my T2 deck and I started to miss the card in my Naya Zoo. But I discarded this idea as I had no good fetch lands for Blue/Black and who the hell would play Five Color Naya AGGRO deck? (me, obviously)
The time went by and new expansion set was released and to our surprise we got a new load of fetch lands that we could use and Arid Mesa seemed promising^^. Exactly what I needed.
Later with time my deck changed a bit as I got both Knights of Reliquary and Jittes.
Well, at this point many people started to play Naya Zoo of all kinds. (it probably started earlier but at this point there were other people starting to play Naya Zoo in our store and people started to call the decks in some way and started asking questions like "is that Juzam's Zoo?"). I'm not checking internet sites and forums about what people play at pro level and I don't go to big tournaments. But I realized that there's something serious going on. The first person to talk to me about Naya Zoo was Petr who proposed that I should play some pretty weird land from Future Sight (Grove of the Burnwillows) + Punishing Fire. It looked as a good idea to me but having such a combo in my deck wouldn't really help its aggro plan. I ignored that proposal.
Anyway as this was the time of Landfall I started experimenting with that. Naya colors offer two possibly good landfall creatures that come into my mind - Steppe Lynx and Plated Geopede (both creatures that I drafted with joy). I started experimenting with those adding thus more fetch lands to main deck. At first I played with 4x Arid Mesa, 3x Marsh Flats, 3x Verdant Catacombs. I put Steppe Lynx and Geopede in the deck discarding few Pridemages, Bloodbraid Elves and Naya Charms. I realized that the deck does not work THAT well with that. Harrow came to my mind as one of the landfall enablers but I did not even get to the point of testing it. Too much of a drawback and I did not plan to play too many basics anyway. In the end I wasn't satisfied with Steppe Lynx and rather put Goblin Guide in my deck. This card is a double edged sword though. It can give a card advantage to my adversary but it can also deal some damage early in the game which is what my deck needs. For a while I kept switching Steppe Lynx and Goblin Guide trying to figure out which card is better. (I had two periods of testing that). It all came down to Steppe Lynx is bad and Goblin Guide is better.
Landfall and fetch lands brought a new possibility though. I did not need to limit myself to three colors. So I added Hallowed Fountain and Meddling Mage so I could stop some decks combo decks. Meddling Mage actually came handy and helped me many times. Even at times when it was the only NON-red creature in my deck.
At one tournament I managed to mix my sideboards and ended up with my Jund deck sideboard there. I was wondering what to do with Thought Hemorrhages, Death Marks, Ruinblasters and Pithing Needle and such. Well I thought for a moment and remembered that Deathmark could actually come handy. I played 7 Swamp fetching lands in main deck already so adding a swamp shouldn't be an issue, shouldn't it?
I had few funny games at that particular tournament. Because one player decided that making an island of my dual land is a good idea. Meddling Mage arrived and screwed up the game for him pretty much. Some other guy got caught of guard when his creatures died to lightning bolt, path to exile and Deathmark in the same turn.
After this tournament I realized that five color naya aggro is not bad after all.
My sideboard was changing a lot at that time and my main deck stayed mostly the same. I started looking for an alternative for Woolly Thoctar though.
At this time many people started to have bad comments about my deck. It all started with 'what type of deck do you play?', 'Kibler zoo, Tribal zoo, Juzam's zoo?'. I had no idea what these decks are about and was lazy to google (or deck check. I won't say that I don't know about sites where I can get the information). For me at that time there were two types of Zoo - a creature one and landfall one.
People were always picking on me, claiming that I play a really bad build. 'Who would play Jitte in a Zoo deck?', 'oh you don't play steppe lynx?', 'where's Tarmogoyf?', 'I don't see any Baneslayer angels', 'you don't play the Punishing fire combo?'. Many people were borrowing my deck and couldn't win much with it. Not that I would do much better but still I could win games against Dredge, Valakut/Scapeshift combo, aggro Bants and some Zoos. When playing against Zoo decks I realized few things and discovered few things.
- Umezawa Jitte slows the game down, but is good when it arrives in the game (3 is too much in main deck but 2 is good - even though sometimes both show up in my hand.)
- Goblin Guide is a 2/2 that easily dies and can't even kill something and when it can attack it would end up blocked, killed and giving my opponent an advantage
- my deck usually gets my opponent to 4-1 life and there the game is stuck. I loose because of those few damages I couldn't deal
- I need more life gain or get the deck more effective in its aggro rush
- pridemage is good in mirror
- tarmogoyf is much better than vinelasher kudzu but when this card is played in a different landfall zoo it can work nicely
When playing against different decks I realized few more things
- deathmark COMES in handy often even though when you don't want an overload of them in your hand (two or three in a deck would be good)
- wrath of god/day of judgment would make a difference. the decks are trying to convince me that playing DoJ is actually a good thing (two or three in SB would be nice)
- scalding tarn was a better choice for my earlier deck, marsh flats is better for my current deck
- there are more and more games in which gaddock teeg would make a difference
- having a mountain in my deck is not that good idea...the need is more for plains and forest
Ok so now I present current version of the deck.
Ok, so now...if you ever start complaining about my deck or trying to tell me how bad it is I'm probably going to yell at you. I'm already fed up with all those comments and remarks and everyone being so clever and such a good player at Magic: The Gathering. I started with this deck a long time ago and it is now that I'm close to finishing it. I never asked for help and never asked for opinions. I'm the one who wants to find out what is good and what is bad and I need to realize that myself. (and the main problem is that I'm a control player and that I can't just play aggro decks)
It seems to me that many of you guys did not really go through deck building and play testing. I'm used to build my own decks from a certain pool of cards usually those I own or can get easily by. I'm angered when I see people come to a tournament with a net decked deck and doing silly plays. This can really upset me. Also opponents telling me that they net decked the cheapest deck and want to win with it (especially against someone with non-competitive deck that I build myself). Sorry guys but I take this as an offense. And if you wonder why it took me so long to build this deck then here it is...
I don't have a play group and I don't want to play online nor test my decks on MWS even in offline mode. I would like to play with different people, different formats and learn from it and build my decks accordingly. That's what I've been doing all the time. Do you understand that? For me that is play testing and I think that these two words are not understood well. The context has changed for many.
I wrote hell of a text for my blog and even for a deck analysis article so that's where I will end.