Zoo Kid in Town

It’s been awhile since just casting fair creatures was a reasonable strategy in Modern. At this point, you’ve either got to be doing something unfair or back your creatures up with an enormous amount of disruption, right? Serox seems to think that Zoo is still reasonable, and they have an exciting deck I can’t wait to take a look at:


Wild Nacatl
It’s been quite awhile since we’ve seen Wild Nacatl doing anything in Modern. This deck backs up Wild Nacatl with Knight of the Reliquary and Planeswalkers to try to apply a little pressure early, control the board in the midgame, and then get in for a couple huge hits in the late game. Don’t misunderstand what this deck is trying to do. This is no midrange deck, as evidenced by the lack of Collected Company and the low density of value lands. This deck is trying to hit fast and hard, and be just enough bigger than the other aggro decks to keep you from losing quickly.

One of the things I like most about this deck is the high density of singletons, which give you a broad suite of effects to play to. It helps to keep your opponents guessing and helps to ensure that you have avenues to victory no matter how the game is going. Are you getting shut down by Lingering Souls? You can hit Thundermaw Hellkite or Bonfire of the Damned from the sideboard. Worried about graveyard shenanigans? You’ve got a couple Scavenging Oozes. Is the ground stalled out? You can find your Elspeth, Knight-Errant or Ajani, Caller of the Pride and take to the skies to kill your opponent.

One of the best ways to win in Modern is to apply fast pressure and back it up with just a little bit of interaction. Sometimes that interaction is in the form of a Lightning Bolt or Path to Exile. Other times it’s your single Boros Charm protecting you from a sweeper or a Qasali Pridemage swinging a race against Affinity. If you’re looking to play a fair beatdown deck, the combination of Wild Nacatl and Knight of the Reliquary seems like a very strong core to do it with. When it’s backed up with a couple of carefully selected hate cards and pieces of interaction, you ought to be able to buy yourself just enough time to sneak in lethal damage.


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