How to play Naya Runes in MTG Alchemy and Standard formats

Runes are meta thanks to multiple Neon Dynasty cards.

Image via WotC

An abundance of Magic: The Gathering Enchantments and enablers from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty has created a powerful deck in the Alchemy and Standard formats.

Naya in MTG represents three colors: Red, Green, and White. Green is the primary color with Red and White as the secondary colors. The Naya Runes deck that has emerged, primarily within the MTG Arena Alchemy format, along with Standard, has a shell built around Jukai Naturalist from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty (NEO) and Runeforge Champion from Kaldheim (KHM). 

Runeforge Champion and Jukai Naturalist are creature cards that reduce the cost of Runes, allowing players to cast Runes from KHM for free when both are on the battlefield. Jukai Naturalist also reduces the cost of all Enchantments, which includes a second copy of the human monk, along with cards like Showdown of the Skalds and Touch the Spirit Realm. 

Cards like Runeforge Champion, Rune of Sustenance, Rune of Speed, and Commune with Spirits prevent the MTG deck from running out of gas. Recent versions of Naya Runes include multiple copies of Hallowed Haunting. The Mono-White Enchantment gives all your creatures Flying and Vigilance if you control seven or more Enchantments. Hallowed Haunting also creates a token upon you casting an Enchantment with its power and toughness equal to the number of spirits you control. 

The goal behind Naya Runes is to beef up your creatures on the battlefield via Showdown of the Skulls and Generous Visitor. Ideal targets in the main deck are Kami of Transience and Jukai Naturalist. And the one main difference between the Standard and Alchemy versions is Innistrad: A22 land Forsaken Crossroads.

Naya Runes can outrun Control decks early but are vulnerable to board wipes. Tamiyo’s Safekeeping can protect your creatures from direct removal and Valorous Stance can take out an opponent’s creature that doesn’t have a toughness of four by casting Rune of Might on an opponent’s creature that has a toughness of three.

Runes can also get played on lands during desperate times, prompting card draw via Rune of Speed or Rune of Sustenance that will hopefully get your engine back up and running following a board wipe. 

Playing MTG Naya Runes in a best-of-three format allows players to tech in cards that can improve matchups against decks like Mono-White and Mono-Green Aggro in Standard. Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr is a legendary Mono-White creature with Flying and Lifelink that has her power and toughness determined by the number of Enchantment and/or spirit permanents you control. 

Yasharn, Implacable Earth is a four-drop 4/4 that finds you a Plains or Forest basic land upon entering the battlefield. Touch the Spirit Realm is the only form of removal within the main deck while sideboard cards like Portable Hole, Valorance Stance, Elite Spellbinder, and Circle of Confinement can get added in when playing against other Aggro and Midrange decks. 

Players can check out how Naya Runes performers at a major MTG tournament via the Alchemy format at the Neon Dynasty Championship from March 11 to 13.