Naya Toski Kaldheim Standard Deck Guide

Toski, Bearer of Secrets Art by Jason Rainville
Toski, Bearer of Secrets Art by Jason Rainville

It’s time for some squirrel action, so you can always draw the nuts!

Jokes aside, this deck has been racking up results! Crokeyz and DanyTlaw popularized the squirrel and completely put me to shame. If you remember by Kaldheim Constructed Set Review, I rated Toski quite lowly, which was an egregious mistake! Take a look at the deck first:

Decklist

 

Companion
1
Jegantha, the Wellspring
Creatures (31)
4
Edgewall Innkeeper
4
Giant Killer
4
Jaspera Sentinel
4
Clarion Spirit
1
Shepherd of the Flock
4
Bonecrusher Giant
4
Lovestruck Beast
2
Gemrazer
4
Toski, Bearer of Secrets
Spells (1)
1
Kabira Takedown
Enchantments (4)
4
Showdown of the Skalds
Lands (24)
4
Branchloft Pathway
4
Cragcrown Pathway
4
Fabled Passage
4
Forest
2
Mountain
4
Needleverge Pathway
2
Plains
Cards (60)
Sideboard (15)
3
Reidane, God of the Worthy
3
Drannith Magistrate
3
Glass Casket
2
Roiling Vortex
2
Felidar Retreat
1
The Akroan War
1
Jegantha, the Wellspring

Currently, there are 3 different types of Naya decks: The Great Henge versions, the Unleash Fury versions with Goldspan Dragon and now there is also the Toski version. It heavily influences the playstyle, because it forces you to build your deck differently: Instead of playing individual powerhouses, you are playing a deck that is focussed on synergy and going wide.

The upsides? You overrun these other strategies! Most decks cannot handle infinite blockers by the Clarion Spirit while also keeping up with the value generated by Toski, Bearer of Secrets or Showdown of the Skalds. Especially, the Goldspan Dragon version struggles a lot against multiple flying blockers because they are reliant on killing the opponent in a single turn.

Mono-White also has troubles – while it uses cards like Maul of the Skyclaves to push through your few bigger creatures, having that whole plan destroyed by some 1/1’s that can chump block can be devastating to their overall game plan.

How to Play the Deck

Your deck has three prominent starts:

  1. Most start with Lovestruck Beast. That card wins on its own and doesn’t need much else to be insane.
  2. Edgewall Innkeeper + Adventures. This core has been one of the strongest strategies for a long time already, so this is no surprise.
  3. Clarion Spirit + a bunch of cheap creatures. Swarm them and eat them alive!

Don’t keep too slow hands! You can’t rely on winning with turn 4 Showdown of the Skalds without doing anything before that. You need to impact the board early because all of your synergies depend on that. In that regard, it’s quite different than most other grindy decks. You can easily out-grind and out-value the other decks with Toski and Showdown – but not without the proper setup. If you are too slow to start, you are bound to lose. Your strength is the fact that you can put a lot of things on the battlefield in the first few turns without losing late game power.

Be careful with your early land drops. Always plan ahead in what you could draw and what sources you need, as you can’t really change the decisions for the Pathways later. In general, you want more white and green sources, just so you get an idea. You’re basically splashing red for Bonecrusher and Showdown of the Skalds.

Card Choices

Jaspera-Sentinel-Kaldheim-MtG-Art

Main Deck

Jegantha, the Wellspring

This doesn’t serve a lot of purpose, but it’s just a free card. You don’t really lose any cards that you want in this deck, so just take your for free Companion! It’s better to have a 5/5 without much text than having nothing when you’re flooding.

Giant Killer

Part of your advantage package and an absolute power house in the current format. Answers Lovestruck Beast, Goldspan Dragon and a lot of the Embercleave targets on top of just being a nice standalone card that works well with Edgewall Innkeeper.

Edgewall Innkeeper

We’ve talked ad nauseam about Eddie already. This card has been the best one-drop in Standard for a long time and probably the best reason to play Adventures.

Jaspera Sentinel

This is one of these cards that I meant earlier. On its own, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s part of the bigger picture and just makes your deck function. It’s part of your early go-wide game plan because it acts as a weaker version of Llanowar Elves, but it’s a bit more important than that.

Most Naya versions have problems with their mana base because Pathways are just no Sacred Foundry or Stomping Grounds we took for granted in the previous Standard. This little one-drop helps you get on board early – while also fixing your mana! It’s incredible how good this card can be when put into the right deck.

Clarion Spirit

Easily one of the most underrated uncommons in Standard. Clarion Spirit can be incredibly hard to beat for your opponent – the only weakness is that it gets taken down by Bonecrusher Giant quite nicely. Lesson: Play this when you can get a 1/1 immediately in the same turn (if you can).

Kabira Takedown

Sure, our mana isn’t the greatest, but most lands are untapped! Takedown is one incredible removal spell when you are going wide and it’s certainly worth it. If you don’t like it, cut it, but be aware that this is also a small part of your mana base.

Shepherd of the Flock

You don’t have infinite slots in this deck (which is one of the weaknesses) but I felt that I wanted to include at least one copy of this. It works nicely with the Showdown, but you can also save some of your creatures, pick up your Kabira Takedown if you played it as a land earlier or just play it as a nice follow up after Edgewall Innkeeper.

Bonecrusher Giant

Surprise! Bonecrusher Giant is one of the best creatures in Standard and it’s an adventure card and yeah, you’ve heard this ten million times before. Same goes for Bonecrusher’s best friend, which is…

Lovestruck Beast

Arguably the best creature in Standard, I’m not even joking. It’s the best Adventure card for Innkeeper, the best Clarion Spirit enabler and the best Jaspera Sentinel enabler. It is 2 creatures in 1 card so it just works naturally well with Toski, Bearer of Secrets as well. Yeah, Lovestruck Beast does it all.

Felidar Retreat

I’m a bit lower on this card than most people are, but I believe it is important to have a finisher card for your go-wide plan to give you the last bit of oomph. Remember, that this ruins Lovestruck Beast as an attacker, though as it makes your 1/1’s bigger.

Toski, Bearer of Secrets

Toski is the real reason why we go through the pain of cutting Goldspan Dragon, Embercleave and The Great Henge. The indestructible part is a real nuisance for your opponent, because you will bury your opponent in card advantage. This is why it’s important to keep fast hands – you cannot make Toski useful if your board is empty.

Gemrazer

Gemrazer has impressed me a lot in this deck. There are countless targets for Gemrazer at the moment (Anax, Hardened by the Forge, Embercleave, The Great Henge), but Mutating this onto Toski or some Clarion Spirit tokens can be the difference maker to push through the damage that you need. Sometimes, this deck just draws a ton of cards without actually being able to end the game, and this certainly helps. It is sometimes rough to cast with double green though, so plan your mana accordingly.

Showdown of the Skalds

This is one of the best cards out of Kaldheim and is crucial for this game plan. Showdown is how you beat removal and sweepers, it’s rough to interact with and it gives all your smaller creatures the necessary power to actually start attacking your opponent’s life total.

Important note, because people play this card wrong all the time: Don’t play this on turn 4, if you don’t absolutely have to, because your hand is out of action. Think of it: If you hit more than 1 land, you won’t be able to play them, because you can only play more than one each turn. If you hit less than 2 lands, chances are quite high that you’re not even able to cast all of them in the next turn.

Sideboard

In general: Don’t board too much.

This is not the type of deck that can just board 6 sideboard cards and be happy about it. Whenever you take a card out, you make your core game plan worse and you lose consistency. With decks like these, if you have to take cards out, don’t board all copies of one card and rather shave some cards of multiples.

3 Drannith Magistrate

Magistrate is the showstopper for the Showdown decks, so this will also be the perfect weapon for mirror matches. Pro tip: Don’t play it before turn 4 if you don’t have to. Nothing feels better than playing Magistrate right after your opponent played Showdown of the Skalds on turn 4. Hide this card for as long as you can so your opponent won’t just shoot it down with their freshly brought in removal spell. Sometimes it’s nice to play this on turn 2 after your opponent just put Lovestruck Beast on an Adventure.

3 Glass Casket

Again, don’t just board it into any deck that plays creatures. You just want it against the most problematic creatures, that you can’t win against (Drannith Magistrate, Irencrag Pyromancer). Always remember that most other creatures are just very beatable for you, since you already have Bonecrushers and Giant Killers in your deck.

2 Roiling Vortex

Sultai is not as popular anymore, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. This is one of the tougher matchups if they get to sweep the early action that we bring, but in general I found that it’s tough for them to deal with you when you drew too many cards over the game. Still, just resolving the Emergent Ultimatum is a problem because we can’t really deal with these threats, so Vortex is needed. If this gets more popular, play more vortexes.

3 Reidane, God of the Worthy

Similarly, this is against Sultai, but I found this card to be more important than Vortex, because it actively stops them from playing cards and slows them down a lot. It is killable though, so it’s always good to play a nice split.

2 Felidar Retreat

This is for the mirror only. You basically can’t win these matchups by having one big creature, so you have to go wide and pump up your whole team.

1 The Akroan War

This is a flex slot. Quite honestly, 15 is too many sideboard cards. Why? This deck doesn’t want to board a lot anyway and putting so many cards into your sideboard can trap you into thinking that you need all of them. The Akroan War (for this deck at least) is win-more at best, so try to find the right decks where you need it.

Matchups and Sideboard Guide

Felidar Retreat

Mono-Red

InOut
+2 Glass Casket-1 Showdown of the Skalds
-1 Shepherd of the Flock

This matchup should be easy as long as you don’t die to Embercleave. Which means: Keep your Giant Killers open in the spots where you need them and just tap down the most important targets. Again, don’t board too much – your board states will already be stronger than theirs. Let them find answers for you instead of the other way around.

Naya Fury

InOut
+3 Glass Casket-2 Gemrazer
+3 Drannith Magistrate-1 Toski, Bearer of Secrets
-1 Showdown of the Skalds
-1 Jespara Sentinel
-1 Lovestruck Beast

As I said, when you take cards in, you have to shave something from everything. That’s not to say that any particular card is bad or anything, but you just have to make room. Especially Showdown can be a bit awkward when they play Drannith Magistrate. If you get to resolve your Magistrate on the other hand, you will simply win as long as you keep enough fliers to not die against the Dragon in one turn.

Mono-White

InOut
+3 Glass Casket-1 Shepherd of the Flock
+1 The Akroan War-1 Showdown of the Skalds
-2 Toski, Bearer of Secrets

This matchup is really good and the only way they beat you is with Shadowspear or Drannith Magistrate. If you handle these problems, it’s tough for them to beat you.

Naya Toski (Mirror)

InOut
+2 Felidar Retreat-2 Gemrazer
+3 Glass Casket-4 Lovestruck Beast
+3 Drannith Magistrate-1 Toski, Bearer of Secrets
-1 Showdown of the Skalds

I’ll make an exception to my own rule and cut all Lovestruck Beasts. It sounds crazy, but hear me out. It will never get through because your opponent swarms the board, it just dies to Giant Killer sooner or later anyway and your game plan is to go wide. You are trying to win with Felidar Retreat, so you won’t get to attack with Lovestruck Beast anyway (you won’t have 1/1’s left). I’m quite happy about this sideboard plan and it has been effective for me.

What you could also try with this deck is: Play some Kazandu Mammoth in your main deck and play The Great Henge in your sideboard. Like this, you don’t have to worry about their Magistrate preventing you from playing Showdown of the Skalds because you can simply cut them. This is just a thought experiment though, so I’ll guarantee nothing!

Jeskai Cycling

InOut
+3 Glass Casket-1 Lovestruck Beast
-1 Toski, Bearer of Secrets
-1 Showdown of the Skalds

This has to be our worst matchup. Our clock is too small and it’s tough to outrace Zenith Flare. You need a quick fast start. I wouldn’t even play Glass Casket if it wasn’t for Irencrag Pyromancer, which has been insanely problematic in the new builds.

For everyone asking: No, Klothys, God of Destiny and Soul-Guide lantern are not the way to go. They might be decent cards against cycling, but just not for our deck. They don’t help our game plan and all and are just clunky cards that don’t even help you win. All they do is make you lose a bit slower, which is just not worth it. Again: Klothys is not bad. But not every deck can or should play it in every situation.

Sultai Ultimatum

InOut
+2 Roiling Vortex-2 Gemrazer
+3 Reidane, God of War-1 Jespara Sentinel
-1 Giant Killer
-1 Toski, Bearer of Secrets

This can be a tough matchup, because you need to be fast on board while not dying to the Ultimatum. You still need to have all your grindy cards of course, because that can also be a winning plan B if they don’t find their game finisher quickly enough.

End Step

Thank you so much for reading my guide again, and as always, let me know in the comments if you have any questions. With no other deck I have struggled to come up with a sideboard plan like with this one, so all of your input would be greatly appreciated.

See you next time, wizards!


Sorquixe

Alexander Steyer, 23 years old. Qualified for Mythic Championship VII, Zendikar Rising Championship and Arena Open Winner.

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