Pelt Collector is likely the real deal. Id also note that Knight of Autumn is likely the nuts too. It dies to bolt, very true, but the compacting of side slots, being BBelfed, and at worst, having beef, is a very... VERY good call.
Its been a while since Ive played magic, but I'd start trying to look at zoo with those cards in the mix. The truth is, while you might want to say "Pelt is just another nacatl." Thats really not a bad thing. Nacatls are good... so is pelt. Nacatl with trample is good. Nacatl with regenerate is good. I see no reason why you wouldnt want more 1 mana 3/3s.
They need to grow, sure... But as a long time zoo player, Ive said every time people have asked "Why is zoo not as good anymore?" the answer is simple... Everything else is better. WHy would you run 2/3s in a world of 1 mana 5/5s? The more zoo can adopt this "I hit hard early, I grow bigger in the late game" with creatures like Kytheon or Experiment one, the better. I just happened that most of the creatures they print like this (See: Sunblade elf suck.
This one doesnt. Its text pretty much reads it will be a 3/3. There was very little trouble of that with just ETB effects with E1, there will be less with that and dies triggers.
I think the correct thing to focus on zoo, at least small zoo, is not to be a red deck, but be a green stompy deck. Dont use pump effects, use burn and white sideboard.
Might have our first playable Zoo card in a long while. Its a Wooly Thoctar that can't be chump blocked. GGG sucks, but its pretty close to RGW, so its more or less just an upgrade. I'm not sure it replaces Smiter as an option, but its beefy. Would have rather had trample, only dies to push really.
If you were in the market for a 3 drop that deals damage and doesnt want to be blocked, this fits the bill. like I said, upgrade and replaces thoctar. He wasnt seeing much play, but this makes him wholy irrelevant.
Wanted to bring up dromoka's command again quickly (I mentioned it a few pages ago).
I've been playing a lot this week on MTGO, with 2 dromoka's command in an otherwise pretty normal build. I have been continuously impressed with how powerful its been.
Just played a league where command provided me with three separate game-breaking blowouts. Making a smuggler's copter a 4/4 in response to a bolt, while simultaneously fighting and killing a TITI about to flip. Or edicting UW off a dsphere to free two voices. Or completely wrecking my taxes opponent's combat math.
I know these seem like Christmas-land scenarios... but they keep happening. Against good opponents on real decks.
I know it seems "too cute", or just less consistent than helix or path. I'm not going to claim I'm correct (might just be getting lucky). But next time you cast one of those other spells, stop for a second and see if dromoka's would have been any good. Let me know if you have results either way.
Command got way... way less good when push was printed. Thats my concern. Im not saying its not good... i love modal cards. But it had 3 modes in the past. Enchant sac is a .5, fight is a 1, counter is a .5, removal counter was 1.
Push and path are now the bulk of removal, bolt isnt as unanimous as it was. So its now got "2.5 modes" 1, .5, .5, .5. Its not as good as it used to be. The modes arent aging well.
Atarkas for example has 3 solid modes all the time and will age well because they are good in a vacuum not meta dependent. Cryptic has 4 and ages well. Same with abraid even.
In legacy I played one due to back to basics and price of progress. In modern there is only path and blood moon (and pain) so I still think theres really no reason to run it. I did in really red decks like blitz
So aside from the list I put out, which I still think is still pretty good, I said Id put out a thalia version... but I keep thinking about doing it and then running away... because what deck do you do with thalia? Small with aggro beats and leverage thalias ability to mess up the opponent to speed your aggro?
I can see that, its a low cmc, that messes with combo and removal... but then Im depriving myself from that 20 20 20 mix and missing burn...
Or I can do value creature town and basically run the same build as the renegade, but with less burn. I already have thalias in that board, so its not really a big change.