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Thread: Zoo

  1. #1
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    Zoo

    There's a modern 1K coming up, not sure if I want to go or not. The format doesn't interest me nearly as much as legacy, but I see an opportunity to take advantage of a shifting metagame with zoo. It's consistent and proactive, likely slightly faster than traditional burn but slightly slower than Prowess Red. The difference is resilience with a go-wide strategy. Heavy emphasis on 1-drops and blasting with Bushwhackers. Rancor is to make Lynx a 2 powered threat even without land drops and to make 1-drops huge.

    4x Wild Nacatl
    4x Loam Lion
    4x Kird Ape
    4x Steppe Lynx
    4x Experiment One
    4x Burning Tree Emissary
    4x Reckless Bushwhacker
    2x Goblin Bushwhacker
    4x Lightning Bolt
    4x Lightning Helix
    4x Rancor
    4x Windswept Heath
    3x Wooded Foothills
    3x Arid Mesa
    2x Scalding Tarn
    2x Stomping Ground
    2x Sacred Foundry
    2x Temple Garden



    Sideboard is a crap-shoot, probably something like this:

    3x Tormod's Crypt
    3x Destructive Revelry
    2x Grim Lavamancer
    3x Kor Firewalker
    4x Path to Exile
    Brainstorm Realist

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    Re: Zoo

    Uber-necro here, I haven't played Modern in 2020 yet...

    Looking at this dude and thinking it might be time to rebuild Zoo with possibly 8 Steppe Lynx. Being red is a pretty big upgrade, which means it can be played off Burning-Tree Emissary. The amount of absurd 1-drops will be incredibly powerful, blitzing for huge damage. I think this replaces Experiment One easily enough.



    Rough list:

    4x Wild Nacatl
    4x Steppe Lynx
    4x Akoum Hellhound
    4x Kird Ape
    4x Loam Lion
    4x Burning-Tree Emissary
    4x Reckless Bushwhacker
    4x Lightning Bolt
    4x Lightning Helix
    2x Rancor
    12x fetchlands
    6x shocklands (maybe 1-2 basics)

    Sideboard options (I have no clue what the format looks like right now...)
    Path to Exile
    Destructive Revelry
    Tormod's Crypt
    Deflecting Palm
    Ghost Quarter
    Cleansing Wildfire
    Stony Silence
    Ancient Grudge
    Blessed Alliance
    Surgical Extraction

    This guy *might* be good enough, haste is better than first strike like Plated Geopede. I don't think I want 2 mana dudes though unless it's BTE or Bushwhacker.
    Brainstorm Realist

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  3. #3

    Re: Zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Rough list:

    4x Wild Nacatl
    4x Steppe Lynx
    4x Akoum Hellhound
    4x Kird Ape
    4x Loam Lion
    4x Burning-Tree Emissary
    4x Reckless Bushwhacker
    4x Lightning Bolt
    4x Lightning Helix
    2x Rancor
    12x fetchlands
    6x shocklands (maybe 1-2 basics)

    Sideboard options (I have no clue what the format looks like right now...)
    Path to Exile
    Destructive Revelry
    Tormod's Crypt
    Deflecting Palm
    Ghost Quarter
    Cleansing Wildfire
    Stony Silence
    Ancient Grudge
    Blessed Alliance
    Surgical Extraction
    Narnam Renegade is a much better version of ape and lion when you are already playing fetches. This card is often overlooked whenever I see bushwhacker zoo variants list like these. Another thing to consider when playing zoo variant like this is Atarka's Command. Command can deal loads of unexpected damage in a single turn when combined with bushwahckers.

  4. #4
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    Re: Zoo

    I will get the ACommands in there, I can easily cut some number of Rancor/Helix.

    Narnam Renegade is ok, I might replace Loam Lion with that. The deathtouch is fine, but it will enter as a 1/2 a non-zero amount of times, and I don't know how I feel about that. Its greatest value is in being green so I can cast it off BTE. It's likely that Goblin Guide is actually a strict upgrade, but I am also eyeballing Pyroclasm as a potential sweeper.

    The real question: is an 8-steppe lynx deck viable in modern? I haven't played the format in over a year, so I don't know the answer to that.
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    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  5. #5

    Re: Zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    The real question: is an 8-steppe lynx deck viable in modern? I haven't played the format in over a year, so I don't know the answer to that.
    Various prowess decks are tier 1 so lava dart is one of the most played cards atm, you might be able to play around it or have a plan to board out your 0/1 and rely on bigger cards like tarmo etc but I think it's something that needs to be considered

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    Re: Zoo

    Thanks for the tidbit, being weak to Lava Dart would be very bad. Losing 2 creatures at instant speed for only R would be devastating. Mutagenic Growth could be an option alongside sandbagging fetchlands.

    I haven't tried Elvish Reclaimer yet, it could be pretty good alongside so many fetchlands. I don't think I would activate it unless it enabled 2+ Lynxes and wasn't already a 3/4, but the option is really sweet against stuff like Tron (grabbing sideboard Ghost Quarters.)
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    Re: Zoo

    This guy looks interesting by enabling repeatable landfall triggers for Steppe Lynx/Akoum Hellhound. With shocklands it might be too much unless it's our third land and we just bounce/replay it tapped. I like that it has haste and trample, but I hate that it's terrible t1. In that sense Goblin Guide is far superior.


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    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  8. #8

    Re: Zoo

    Like you mentioned it isn't great t1 but it could be fine as a 2-of. That'd also break your string of 4-ofs so you'd have space for whatever other cute tech option

  9. #9
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    Re: Zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Sella View Post
    Like you mentioned it isn't great t1 but it could be fine as a 2-of. That'd also break your string of 4-ofs so you'd have space for whatever other cute tech option
    RANCOR!!! I think you're right, it feels like a 2-of.
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    Re: Zoo

    Saw a mtggoldfish video where SaffronOlive put together a landfall deck but used a bunch of (what I consider) sub-par card choices (Plated Geopede, Brushfire Elemental) but one thing I think he got dead-on was including Wrenn & Six. I think I'll include 2x Wrenn & Six in my list to make sure Steppe Lynx/Akoum Hellhound are reliable beefy threats in the mid-game. I can't remember if he used Elvish Reclaimer, but that seems like an ok addition as well considering it will often be a 3/4 for G.

    New list:

    4x Wild Nacatl
    4x Steppe Lynx
    4x Akoum Hellhound
    4x Kird Ape
    4x Loam Lion
    4x Burning Tree Emissary
    4x Reckless Bushwhacker
    3x Goblin Bushwhacker
    1x Elvish Reclaimer
    4x Lightning Bolt
    4x Lightning Helix
    2x Wrenn and Six
    12x Fetch
    6x Shock, maybe 1-2 basic lands
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  11. #11

    Re: Zoo

    W&6 definitely looks like it could put in work in this deck. Maybe I'll try throwing Zoo together when I eventually buy back into Modern.

    If you threw in some basics, would you prioritize forest, plains or mountain? I feel like you need the R a lot more but at the same time running 1x forest 1x plains would keep you safe from Blood Moon (assuming it matters, not sure how big it is rn in Modern)

  12. #12
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    Re: Zoo

    I wouldn't play Mountain, I would play Forest first (enables all 3 'land matters' 1-drops Nacatl/Ape/Lion) and then a Plains if I could fit it in. However, drawing a basic land in the opener is horrendous; if I can avoid playing basic lands I will, simply because perfect mana (based on fetchlands) is what makes the deck tick.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  13. #13

    Re: Zoo

    I think not playing Atarka's Command is very suspect in Zoo. Imo its the whole reason to play zoo over Burn. MD lifegain prevention, surprise blockers, and lots of landfall synergies. With 2 steppe lynxes & a fetch it does 11 damage.

    Additionally the kird apes/loam lions seem rather low power; are they really better than one of:
    Narnam Renegade
    Pelt collector
    Kytheon, Hero of Akros
    Soldier of the Pantheon
    Hidden Herbalist
    ?

  14. #14
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    Re: Zoo

    You could also consider going even higher on fetchlands. You likely never need more than 4 actual lands in play, and Wayward Guide-Beast can return lands back to give you retriggers later if you need them.

    I guess with W&6, you have more incentive to have more actual lands, but maybe you should consider Horizon Canopy or other utility lands to get more out of it?

    Especially with Elvish Reclaimer, which I would run more of, you can easily fit in a tiny land toolbox. Ghost Quarter or Field of Ruin seem like either one would be a decent 1-of? I'm not super familiar with Modern, and maybe the Tron matchup is already good?

    Bojuka Bog could also be a decent sideboard slot if you ran more Reclaimer's?

    I agree with the above poster that Kird Ape and Loam Lion are garbage. You should at the very least be running Goblin Guide over one of them.

    I'm not a big fan of the Bushwhackers either, but I don't know enough about Modern to really analyze them properly.

    Modern Zoo/Sligh should be just as capable of killing on turn 3 as Legacy Zoo/Sligh. Personally, I'd be looking at trimming some of the Bushwhackers for more burn spells, but that's just me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  15. #15
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    Re: Zoo

    Yeah, no Atarka's Command was definitely a mistake. I also think Narnam Renegade is definitely an upgrade to Loam Lion (thank you jethstriker!) Not having been involved in Modern in quite some time leaves me in the dark about the best 1-drops. I wonder about Pelt Collector, simply because the only creature that makes it a 3/3 is Wild Nacatl. At that point I'd rather just play Experiment One and Loam Lion (which still trigger evolve to make it a 3/3 easily enough, because it also counts toughness.) So Pelt Collector/Experiment One are basically no-go because of the 8x 0/1's.

    4x Wild Nacatl
    4x Narnam Renegade
    4x Goblin Guide
    4x Akoum Hellhound
    4x Steppe Lynx
    4x Burning-Tree Emissary
    4x Reckless Bushwhacker
    4x Lightning Bolt
    3x Atarka's Command
    3x Lightning Helix
    2x Wrenn and Six
    12x fetch
    8x Shocks/Basics/Canopy lands


    I don't need more than 2 lands in play, but lands trigger my dudes so I got the count up to 20. The plan will always involve wanting several 1-drops by turn 3 to enable a Bushwhacker/Command blitz. Grind power comes from W&6 and reach from 10 burn spells. I don't know if Lightning Helix is correct or not; again, I'm not familiar with Modern right now. I think Prowess decks are fairly good, so having the lifegain in races seems good. Maybe it should be Boros Charm, but I'm not sure. Sideboard will be some mix of Path to Exile, Stony Silence, Wear/Tear, Veil of Summer, Destructive Revelry, Deflecting Palm, Ghost Quarter, etc.
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 10-20-2020 at 06:40 AM.
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  16. #16

    Re: Zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    You could also consider going even higher on fetchlands. You likely never need more than 4 actual lands in play, and Wayward Guide-Beast can return lands back to give you retriggers later if you need them.

    I guess with W&6, you have more incentive to have more actual lands, but maybe you should consider Horizon Canopy or other utility lands to get more out of it?

    Especially with Elvish Reclaimer, which I would run more of, you can easily fit in a tiny land toolbox. Ghost Quarter or Field of Ruin seem like either one would be a decent 1-of? I'm not super familiar with Modern, and maybe the Tron matchup is already good?

    Bojuka Bog could also be a decent sideboard slot if you ran more Reclaimer's?

    I agree with the above poster that Kird Ape and Loam Lion are garbage. You should at the very least be running Goblin Guide over one of them.

    I'm not a big fan of the Bushwhackers either, but I don't know enough about Modern to really analyze them properly.

    Modern Zoo/Sligh should be just as capable of killing on turn 3 as Legacy Zoo/Sligh. Personally, I'd be looking at trimming some of the Bushwhackers for more burn spells, but that's just me.
    Reclaimer wasn't great in the main to begin with (I notice Safety cut it for the Atarka's in his latest list, which is probably correct). I think we're better off just going full aggro. I do agree that we should try and fit in some canopies though.

    Tron is probably an okay matchup as long as we have some burn spells to close it out. The deck doesn't really do much to interact with us early so if we can beat them down turns 2-3 a Bolt or two should seal the deal. Plus Tron has been pretty absent recently, deck's still around and viable but it's not every other game like it used to be lol.

    I don't know if I'd cut any Bushwhackers, and if I did, I'd probably only cut 1. The card is just so instrumental in a lot of our strongest turns.

    @Safety updated list looks good. I'm sort of split between Helix and Charm myself. Prowess is still pretty decent right now, and it's also pretty cheap, so you might see it a lot at locals. We probably beat mono-R prowess type decks in creature quality and can try and grind them out or something assuming we don't get blitzed to death.

    My big question is how we stack up against Humans.

  17. #17

    Re: Zoo

    Why are we not playing wayward guidebeast? Wasn't that the whole point of revisiting the thread? The lower cmc and more face damage seems important in a bushwacker deck.

  18. #18

    Re: Zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeplcheep View Post
    Why are we not playing wayward guidebeast? Wasn't that the whole point of revisiting the thread? The lower cmc and more face damage seems important in a bushwacker deck.
    Guidebeast feels weird, we don't want to play it turn 1 but I do see what you mean about it being good on a Bushwacker turn. I guess the question is whether or not its better than a burn spell, unless there's still some creatures we can cut.

  19. #19
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    Re: Zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeplcheep View Post
    Why are we not playing wayward guidebeast? Wasn't that the whole point of revisiting the thread? The lower cmc and more face damage seems important in a bushwacker deck.
    The whole point of revisiting the thread was to include 8x Steppe Lynx (Akoum Hellhound.) Guide Beast isn't good on turn 1 because it sets us back a land drop (twice if we attack turns 1-2) and we still want to 'curve out' turn 2 and 3 with Emissary/Atarka's command. It is good at retriggering landfall in the mid-game, but so is W&6. Between the 2 cards I think w&6 is definitely the more powerful card, hands down.

    Here's a list that I will likely copy to start testing/tweaking:

    https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=27733&d=420181&f=MO


    Here's another recent 2nd place finish with a similar idea, just a few more lands and also uses Renegade Rallier (pretty cool tech!)

    https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=27765&d=420383&f=MO
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  20. #20

    Re: Zoo

    Looking at those lists, how do we feel about the paths maindeck opposed to the 8-10th burn spells?
    Rallier is interesting.

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