Which of these Standard Decks Best Used Nahiri’s Resolve?

ChrisCee July 26, 2023 6 min
Which of these Standard Decks Best Used Nahiri’s Resolve?

Nahiri's Resolveimage is a pretty neat card from March of the Machines: The Aftermath that became a weirdly effective component of a good number of Boros-based MTG standard decks. In a vacuum, it isn’t anything too amazing, and the bigger fruits of your labor (aside from the initial sorcery evasion) don’t really come until your next turn.


But, the card does offer a lot of recurring advantages. The most obvious combo for it would, of course, be ETB triggers. It is essentially a free flicker effect per turn, with only the initial mana investment required, and does its job almost immediately, as opposed to something like Chrome Host Seedsharkimage or even Elesh Norn, Mother of Machinesimage.


The interesting part of its effect is two-fold. First, there is no restriction on the number of cards you can exile. Meaning, for each nontoken artifact or creature targeted, you greatly improve the value of Nahiri’s Resolve. And second, the cards will still safely return to the field even if the enchantment was destroyed later, because both the exiling and returning are part of the same effect.

As we have already witnessed over several months, Nahiri's Resolveimage has become a sort of quasi-win condition for a good number of decks that benefit from the aforementioned advantages. We’ll take a look at the best versions of these builds made so far, and explain with a bit more detail what makes them work.


Nahiri’s Resolve and Mirran Equipments

The color identity of Nahiri’s Resolve, plus its central flavor, inevitably places itself as one of the key cards of the current version of Boros equipment decks. Namely, deck builds whose cards mainly comprise of equipments with the For Mirrodin! ability, as well as other cards legal in Standard that happens to do the same, such as Citizen's Crowbarimage.

The strategy is straightforward. You simply maintain a cumulative setup of equipped tokens, until the earliest arrival of Nahiri’s Resolve. You then create more bodies to either replace what is lost or to defend, hopefully giving you enough advantage to win using the deck’s primary flair.

Of course, the deck cannot be too dependent on Nahiri’s Resolve. The Mirran equipments themselves need to stand independently during early game, and that means carefully weighing your options for the first three turns. You can also include an alternative accelerating option, such as Nahiri, Forged in Furyimage, though the synergy with Resolve should be kept intact.


Wasted ETB spamming potential?

While it is very tempting to add cards like Jor Kadeen, First Goldwardenimage, Kemba, Kha Enduringimage, or even the super potent Astor, Bearer of Bladesimage to this build, it is recommended to focus on just the equipments when using Nahiri’s Resolve. Split the targeted removal priority between the tokens and the artifacts, and only attempt to recoup the strategic losses using either Bladehold War-Whipimage, Nahiri's Resolveimage, or even via a Rabbit Batteryimage.

As for how it ranks among other Nahiri’s Resolve builds, it is by far the simplest to use, although it just outright loses against many decks that simply ignores your battlefield lingering setups. So don’t expect miracles while climbing the ranked ladder. On the bright side, this deck is one of the cheaper paper Standard decks to build that doesn’t resort to alternatives.

Gameplay Video

(via LegendVD)

Featured Cards:


Nahiri's Equipment


Nahiri’s Resolve and ETB Effects

Arguably the more “popular” type of Nahiri’s Resolve deck is the ETB trigger build, simply due to the sheer variety of available choice cards from various players (unlike the ability-locked equipments build). The catch is that balancing the deck becomes surprisingly more difficult when stretching beyond Boros colors, even if there should theoretically be better ETB triggers outside it.

On the lower tip of the spectrum, you have staples like Ambitious Farmhand // Seasoned Catharimage and Spirited Companionimage. Solid choices, of course, but nothing too impressive. At the far end would be something like Etali, Primal Conqueror // Etali, Primal Sicknessimage or Portal to Phyrexiaimage, which are absolutely awesome for Nahiri’s Resolve, but would simply be just a “win more” move. They should just be treated as a secondary win condition instead.


On the bright side, you do get to unwittingly lock down opponent ETB effects using her

There’s the general alternative idea to add Elesh Norn, Mother of Machinesimage to these builds. But almost all of the better builds skip her completely as she’s just too slow to put on top of what is already a rather slow setup card. She herself cannot benefit from Nahiri’s Resolve either, and this puts her in direct conflict with the mana curve for these decks.

One fundamental weakness of this type of Nahiri’s Resolve deck (aside from meta viability, of course) is that it is far less explosive when it comes to flickering targets. Since your investments are creatures only, it is very easy for your opponent to interrupt with targeted removal or board wipes, usually leaving only one creature to flicker by the time Nahiri’s Resolve lands.

Because of this, the ETB trigger choices usually become more conservative, or just outright rely on built-in protection, such as Sanctuary Wardenimage. Even with more offensive options like Twinshot Sniperimage, you generally still sacrifice the mana curve versatility of the deck just so that Nahiri’s Resolve’s overall impact on the build isn’t affected.

Gameplay Video

(via SwayzeMTG)

Featured Cards:


Mardu blink


Nahiri’s Resolve and Prototype

A far less used build of Nahiri’s Resolve, one that is locked to just a few cards within The Brothers’ War set. If there were more viable Prototype cards with different doable mana costs and synergistic effects, who knows, maybe a dedicated MTG standard deck would have been made. But at least, the concept remains theoretically sound for the few ones that are worth flickering.

At the moment, most Nahiri’s Resolve decks that do use Prototype include only one or two kinds of these notable creatures:

  • Boulderbranch Golemimage – an unremarkable card with two different base life gain values. Can theoretically help the player survive while the board is empty after the flicker (while returning with a bigger body).
  • Combat Thresherimage – works as a slower Spirited Companionimage, so it doubles as an ETB trigger target and a solid double striker when flickered (thus also benefitting greatly from the +1/+0 bonus)
  • Phyrexian Fleshgorgerimage – a simple modal-body creature that is fairly useful in using both stats, with lifelink for built-in (player) defense. Already somewhat popular with cards like Undying Maliceimage before, so it simply gets a “free” upgrade via Nahiri’s Resolve. The opponent also gets to pay 1 more life with each copy of Resolve in play if they do decide to target it.
  • Steel Seraphimage – already quite versatile on its own, so like Fleshgorger, merely gets a free stat upgrade via the flicker.

Aside from basic choice limitations, you also have to keep in mind that some cards with Prototype don’t play well with flicker at all. Arcane Proxyimage, Skitterbeam Battalionimage and Woodcaller Automatonimage, for example, requires explicitly to be cast before their effects can be used.

If you intend to use any of these cards for Nahiri’s Resolve, it is best that you just treat them as bonus components, and not pursue any focused strategy on them. If they happen to survive and are available, good. Otherwise, just let those Fleshgorgers be bait for removal.

Gameplay Video

(via LegenVD)

Featured Cards:


Boros Flicker


Nahiri's Resolve and Transformed Sagas?

The question has certainly come to mind from time to time whenever the option is available. Theoretically, although you lose the creature, you do get the lore counter effects once again when it returns as a saga. But realistically, you cannot do this for more than one or two targets per game. The selection is also very small and very specific to certain decks, that it is impractical to list everything that could be affected positively by Nahiri's Resolve.


You probably don't need extra Plains at this point, and any of its legal reanimation targets are already up and away.

In addition, keeping the transformed creature generally becomes the better choice to pressure your opponent. This also results in your opponent focusing on these permanents, thus making them far more susceptible to instant-speed removal.

Well... you do retain that one very small benefit of speeding up the transformed saga via Haste, so there's that, at least.


BONUS: Nahiri’s Resolve and Jank Combo(s)

One particular jank combo card that I really liked with Nahiri’s Resolve is Encroaching Mycosynthimage. As many of you already know, making Nahiri’s Resolve survive long enough prior to the banning of Invoke Despairimage was nigh impossible. Letting it stay on the battlefield is a bit easy now, but that doesn’t mean this card is safe from all the currently viable enchantment removal in Standard.

With Encroaching Mycosynth, Nahiri’s Resolve can also protect itself from sorcery speed removal and board wipes. Not only that, but because everything else would be artifacts too, you can extend the flickering effect to anything and everything that is not a land.

Which takes us to the main theme of this jank build: flickering battles. If flipping them requires combat resources… why not just keep using their front-side effects forever? The build you see here gives us a preliminary glimpse of the wacky concept, which could then be improved towards other ideas that can either utilize Encroaching Mycosynth more independently, or simply abusing the basic combo even more.

Gameplay Video

(via Kazooshi)

Featured Cards:


Battle Blink 🌞🥶😈🔥

About ChrisCee:

A witness since the time the benevolent silver planeswalker first left Dominaria, ChrisCee has since went back and forth on a number of plane-shattering incidents to oversee the current state of the Multiverse.

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