Saturday, 5 April 2014

First Attempt at Modern Zoo

Ever since Wild Nacatl was unbanned, I thought it would be fun to build a deck with it. As I drafted ZEN a lot I already had a bunch of fetch lands, which helped a lot. I really want the allied colour fetch lands to be Modern legal as it would help a lot. I have been trying the deck out with no Tarmagoyf as I only have the one, and went to a Modern tournament in St Albans with the deck below. I am trying a bunch of 2-ofs to see which ones I like. 

One Drops
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Kird Ape
4 Loam Lion

These creatures make up the bulk of the aggressive creatures. I had been considering some 2/1's as well, and might try a couple out sometime, but if there are a lot of 1/1's around it makes them less effective, whereas the 2/3 Apes and Cats can be blocked by smaller creatures and still be around. 

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Path to Exile

Two lots of efficient removal. I loved playing Lightning Bolt when it was legal in Standard. I seem to have gone off red decks in Standard since it rotated out, maybe it just doesn't feel the same (not that I play much Standard). 

2 Rancor - I was trying this one out but never really drew or played it. It was my plan for a bit more reuse in longer games while still being useful early on (attach to a Nacatl and swing for 5...).I might replace one or both of these with something else. 

Two Drops
2 Strangleroot Geist - Fairly Efficient, although I have a couple of effects that give +1/+1 counters, which does work too well with this unless it has died once already. 

2 Stormblood Berserker - I'm still not sure about these. It is cheap for a 3/3 that is really hard to block, especially with the amount of removal I have to mess up combat. 

4 Lightning Helix - A slightly harder to cast Lightning Bolt, but the extra life is nice to offset the mana base...

2 Travel Preparations - I quite liked these, the extra counters is good and I get to use it twice. This is usually for longer games, but if used early on it can help get some extra damage in quickly. 

Three Drops
2 Woolly Thoctar - I thought these worked quite well. These are sort of my Tarmagoyf replacement, although it is always the same size. I had meant to keep track of graveyards for interest, the one or two times I remembered to a Tarmagoyf would only have 3 or 4 power. I'm considering adding another one. 

2 Kitchen Finks - I almost didn't run these as I was worried about having too high a curve, but I can see myself adding in an extra one or two. 

2 Ajani, Caller of the Pride - The +1 ability is quite good for some extra bumps. The -3 is usually for finishing games. I took some of the Cat tokens for the -8 just in case, but can't realistically see myself getting to that point. 

Lands
4 Arid Mesa
2 Verdant Catacombs
2 Marsh Flats
3 Misty Rainforest
3 Stomping Ground
3 Temple Garden
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Forest
1 Plains

The Basic Lands are there so I have some insurance against Blood Moon, and so I can fetch something untapped without paying 3 life for it...

Sideboard
I wasn't really sure what to do for a sideboard. Some of the guys on the MTG Google+Community recommended Graftdiggers Cage, so I'll see if I can get hold of some of them. 

4 Destructive Revelry - Hits Artifacts and Enchantments so a nice all-rounder. 
4 Fulminator Mage - I know people play Tron at that store and this was all I could think of at short notice. 
3 Electrickery - Thought it would be something good against Hexproof when overloaded, and also against Bitterblossom Tokens
4 Relic of Progenitus - Again, short notice picking graveyard hate. Graftdiffers cage would probable work better here. 

Tournament
In the first round my opponent had mana problems both games (first not enough and then too much). It turns out they had switched out some lands for a standard deck so had a really odd mana base. 

In the second round, my opponent was playing a burn deck and due to me fetching shocklands, I lost on their turn three (although it was a close game). I was more conservative with land the next game and got it a lot closer but they killed me in response to a Lightning Helix. 

In the third round, I won against Tron. The second game was getting drawn out as I had awkward mana so couldn't cast some of the cards in my hand - I had about 4 creatures on board but they had a Wurmcoil Engine (and then a second one). I was lucky to top deck a second white source just when I needed it to play Ajani and make a Woolly Thoctar fly for the win. This match was the first time I used my sideboard, but didn't really use any of the cards from it. 

In the final round, I played against another burn deck and kept a "high" curve hand (i.e a couple of three drops and enough land) in the first game not knowing it was a burn deck and lost fairly quickly. I didn't do too much better in the second game. 

Considering it was the first time I played the deck, I think 2-2 wasn't too bad. I had a headache a lot of the time, but I suspect that was more due to tiredness due to the new baby :-) I might tweak the deck a little bit and see if I can play it again sometime. It was fun to play, even if choosing which lands to play and search for and in what order can get somewhat complicated.