II. Core of the Deck:
This is the core of Zoo. Let's go over card choices:
Tectonic Edge, Ghost Quarter, Path to Exile, Blood Moon. Welcome to a format where you can be as greedy as you want... but you still need to play basics. You want to play one of each, unless your more green white and a "Bigger Zoo" then you generally play 1-2 of Forests and Plains
Naya fetches! Grab anything you need, grab basics, grab shocks! In Dark Zoo, Blue Zoo, or Tribal, you want to use different fetches... But head to extra info for mana questions.Shock Lands! With fetches, its called Bolt lands. And yes we like to bolt ourselves to turn on all the creatures we have. You want to know more about the different colors, head to extra info!
The party cat is back! A 3/3 for one mana, She is the leader of the beat down animal gang!
For 2 mana you get a critter that can be anywhere between 2/3 to 5/6. Nothings as big, lives through all the burns, and will trample down most things in its path. 3 damage for one mana. Its removal, its burn, its cheap. Its everything you could ever want in a deck.
Something in the way of your creatures? Not anymore. While it's a downside is giving them tempo, generally the stuff that doesn't die to above, dies to path much later in the game when the tempo doesn't matter.
These are your second best lands. They let you play lands fast and easy. You are rarely past 3 lands anyways.
Not really used much, but always an option. I generally perfer strong hold as it gives haste and doesnt take a ton of mana, but take it as you will.
Manlands, they help against sweepers, and can help push through damage. Usually Gruul Zoo never gets that far in the game, but if your stretching to midrange, check these guys out.
Land Destruction has two uses in this deck. The first is a way to "delay" the late game by resource denial. The second, and most often used, is utility, killing off other lands that might cause a problem like man lands.
A rare land that is useful when you start running out of gas or need an answer, in that it draws.
All of these cards (Roughly grouped by type of creature and mana cost) All find spots on zoo's roster to some extent. A lot of these creatures are pretty weak comparison to some other, some haven't even seen play in a long time, but are shown just so you know they are an option. Again, to stress, these are all options for zoo's army, but some are not going to be a good call depending on the many zoo variations. For good examples of what you think should be used, look at the variations section.
To Zoom in on any Card or see rulings, click on the card.
These are solid bodies if you are looking for extra beaters than those mentioned in the core.
I would classify these guys as "speed" bodies. They all can come out fast and hard, but all have flaws as well. Speed, but at the cost of reliability.
These are repeatable removal, with bodies. They provide reach towards the end game, and clear a path for your bigger creatures to hit in.
The best mana ramp youll be getting in zoo. Noble heirarch allows yous to win tarmogoyf wars and give buffs to hits. Birds can give you red and black, but also gets flying for them cool kessig wolf runnings
This little oddity is a card used in mostly all in Gruul builds. Its basically a free bear. And combos very well with Experiment One and Reckless Bushwacker
All these creatures excel at being a thorn in the side of midrange, tempo, and control decks.
One of the best support cards Zoo has to offer, he can answer a lot of random enchantments and artifacts, provides a body, and even pumps lone attackers.
Graveyard hate and lifegain, all in a beater. It also has the upside of being the ban of snaocasters existance, which dominates in modern.
Knight often finds herself being 5/5 or larger. She is the ultimate stall breaker, can color fix you, mana ramp, and find things like Kessig Wolfrun.
Probably the best 3 drop we have, but the hardest to enable, as it relies hard on our 2 drops and other 3 drops. But it doesnt ever really die and makes everything into a threat.
Really only used in midrange or landfall builds, this thing can life gain and block all day.
Aggressive, its like an anti removal, midrange, and aggro beater. His nickname is King Oero and can easily dominate a board. More fair in our deck than other decks wishing to abuse him, he is a utility 3 drop that likely brings back a body with him, making him a two for one.
One of the best ways to gain life in zoo, while also being used as a great aggro blocker. Plus they comeback no matter what (sans grave sniping) allowing it to be removal/blocker/sweeper resistant
Both these beaters have a way to dodge removal, which is suprisingly "Must have" if you want a 3 cmc beater.
Semi grave hate, while also building on your teams power. The black relegates her to being only used in some dark zoo lists and some tribal, but she is a beating, her and her goat.
Selective tutor and refueling, though now mostly outclassed by Collected Company
If you want giant beats, not much better than a 4 mana 4/5 trampling rhino who helixs. His coloring means that hes only a tribal option, but its a strong reason to do it.
//i.imgur.com/bFnFxoH.jpg"/>[/card]">Hooters here is an insanely good beat stick. But he needs a little build around. Hes not goyf, but a pretty good impression of him. Make sure you feed him with fetches, burn and ghor clans! No knights though.
By giving your creatures (actually, everything) indestructibility, this doubles as a hard hitting burn card, and creature protection.
Its at its best vs aggro, but a 6 point lifeswing is never bad. This used to be one of the cores of zoo, but due to other more powerful tools like the commands, has fallen out of favor. Still, it should be on your radar
2 mana 5 damage, 'nuff said. Well, it does mean you need to be 5 colors also.
Often 2 mana for 6+ damage, it can also negate lifegain and save your team, it can also give reach to block flyers and pump a steppe lynx, but these are corner cases.
Much more midrangey, this spell is a swiss army knife in 3 mana. Al modes, kill an artifact, discarding cards, bringing back dudes, or shocking, is relevant at all times.
Kills finks and voice of resurgence dead, which is great since they are some of the biggest threats to the zoo deck.
Kill all the dorks. This is a great choice when there is tokens, delver, and small aggro.
Proactive. You can cast it with free mana, and let it hang out. Feeds goyf.
The best spell against other aggro. Its often paired with searing blood but double red makes it hard to cast.
Feeds goyf pretty much. If you need an extra spell to do so, but its useage is very outdated.
On par with Lightning Bolt and Path to exile. If you are in black you should highly consider this as part of your removal options.
Paths 5-8 if needed. Better in light white splashed decks. Some decks, like suicide zoo, even like the life lose. With a flexable mana cost, if your white light, this is a good alternative.
You got white mana? AND SHOCKLANDS? Heres more paths. Not always guarantee, especially in a format with abrupt decay,
Makes your 1 mana dudes hit even harder. This is great in a one drop heavy zoo, making your critters manage to still climb over blockers for some damage, and toss this aura back into youre hand
It can be like a green ponder. While less raw game winning value than collected company, if you run 5ish planeswalkers in the deck, this provides insane filtering value
Void removal with a pump? Yes, please. This spell can often be the cause of your opponent going to half their life on turn 2. (turn one nacatl, swing with it on turn 2, causing the opponent to crack shock for a bolt, only to have the bolt voided and take 7 more damage. Opponent is at 10 life.
With above average creatures This is almost always removal + a pump/enchantment kill/Bolt void or burn hate
If you're into black, this is a premiere kill spell card. It takes out a wide range of problem creatures as well as enchantments, artifacts and walkers too!
A source of card advantage and removal rolled into one. Being the only "real" turn 3 walker we can use, he often is a win con against the slower decks.
A more grindy verison of Elspeth. Over a little bit more time, she will be better than Elspeth, since she gives you alot more options, but is a full turn/2 slower to flat out win the game
Super flying aggro! Knight is a bomb who will win the game on her own. She can guard herself, and when the time is right she turns the tables.
Burn and board control. Sometimes being a 4 mana helix is enough. But if the game goes long Ajani will start to grind the game to a halt, allowing you to break a stall.
Basically, a draw engine. It also can poke people and make big threats unable to block. With card advantages and ways to stop chump blockers, you'll win the game quick.
Need blockers? Make 4. Beat control or any combo aggro. The flexabily makes it a great higher curved threat. Pairs great with gavony township.
Instant speed ranger of Eos with all upside. Great for toolboxing, pumping out more aggression, or slipping over counters.
Combos with Knight of the Reliquary by letting you cycle through all you're lands in the deck, and have a huge threat left. It uses extra triggers to tap down blockers, or untap mana dorks for extra mana. Remember Kessig Wolfrun and Senjiri Steppe as great cards to help in the combo
Blood rush can make it cheap burn, or lets you climb over chump blockers. At worst its still a 4/4 creature.
Faerie Macabre Grafdigger's Cage Relic of Progenitus Leyline of the Void Tormod's Crypt Loaming Shaman
Deglamer Nature's Claim Natural State Shattering Spree Wear (Wear//Tear) Tear (Wear//Tear) Dromoka's Command Qasali Pridemage Reclamation Sage Vandalblast Ancient Grudge Back to Nature Destructive Revelry Disenchant Kami of Ancient Law Naturalize Qasali Pridemage Seal of Primordium Tin Street Hooligan Unravel the Æther Aura Barbs Aura of Silence Krosan Grip Shatterstorm Creeping Corrosion Fracturing Gust
Tunnel Ignus Blood Moon Molten Rain Boom Fulminator Mage Crumble to Dust
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Torpor Orb Hushwing Gryff Aegis of the gods Hallowed Moonlight Spirit of the Labyrinth Eidolon of the Great Revel Gaddock Teeg Spirit of the Labyrinth Rule of Law Ethersworn Cannonist Eidolon of Rhetoric Aven Mindcensor Leyline of Sanctity Unified Will Swan Song Stubborn Denial
Grand Abolisher Vexing Shusher Guttural Response Boros Charm Domri Rade Collected Company
Vines of Vastwood Blossoming Defense Selfless Spirit Ghor-Clan Rampager Thrun, the Last Troll Chained to the Rocks Chandra, Pyromaster
Dryad Militant Grim Lavamacer Rending Volley Roast
Searing Blaze Volcanic Fallout Pyroclasm Fiery Justice Kitchen Finks Feed the Clan
Burning-Tree Shaman Skullcrack Atarka's Command
Quote from LanternI need to find this list stat.
Quote from KDPfenthing"He plays in a walk in humidor so keep his foils from bending. He once kept an all land hand just to know what it felt like to be mana flooded. He uses power nine for ante. He is the most interesting magic playing in the world." Old man, "I don't always tap basic lands for mana, but when i do, I tap Gurus."
Quote from zombie_sky_diverWhere is everyone seeing this?
Quote from Lantern
TableTopMagic's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Main Deck60 cards4 Arid Mesa1 Blood Crypt2 Forest1 Horizon Canopy1 Kessig Wolf Run1 Marsh Flats2 Misty Rainforest2 Plains1 Sacred Foundry2 Stomping Ground1 Temple Garden1 Treetop Village4 Verdant Catacombs23 lands3 Deathrite Shaman2 Kitchen Finks4 Knight of the Reliquary2 Lotus Cobra4 Loxodon Smiter3 Noble Hierarch1 Qasali Pridemage4 Tarmogoyf2 Thundermaw Hellkite25 creatures4 Lightning Bolt3 Path to Exile7 other spells1 Ajani Vengeant3 Domri Rade1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant5 planeswalkersSideboard1 Aven Mindcensor1 Batterskull3 Blood Moon1 Combust1 Qasali Pridemage2 Stony Silence1 Sword of Light and Shadow2 Thrun, the Last Troll1 Thundermaw Hellkite1 Torpor Orb1 Ulvenwald Tracker
Quote from xmas_asnLost to Eggs... 2-0
Quote from Dusty The LionIsn't that part of the reason to run Thalia mainboard? I dropped her turn two against eggs then gold fished the rest of the game.
Quote from xmas_asnI don't know, but I do know he went 9-0 with out it. If you win 9 out of 10 without it I think he is doing ok.
Quote from Dusty The LionA fair enough assessment. Eggs isn't a big part of the meta anyhow I guess.