Zoo 2002 version 1.0

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: Zoo 2002 version 1.0

By MattB (Mattb) on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 01:21 pm:

Rakso started some conversation about Zoo decks, here's my new version for testing/input:

4 Call of the Herd
2 Viashino Sandstalker
2 Blurred Mongoose
2 Skizzik or Serendib Efreet
2 Gorilla Shamen

3 Fireblast
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Psionic Blast

1 Balance
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
3 Browbeat
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Fork
1 Regrowth

7 SoLoMoxen
4 Taiga
4 Volcanic Island
2 Plateau
2 Badlands
4 City of Brass
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine
2 Wastelands


Under Construction

As you can see this is an extremely aggressive design. Its goal is to kick your head in, in as little time as possible. Some of the most "questionable" card choices:

Unless a player has ~this~ deal 5 damage to him or her, target player draws three cards.
“Even the threat of power has power.” – Jeska, warrior adept
Judgement Uncommon

My basic theory for Zoo is, you're playing extra mana sources for a reason. If you want straight aggro using weenie's, then you should play Sligh or Stompy. The only reason to play Zoo is to take advantage of the extra, fast mana you're playing. So I don't mind cards that have solid effects that cost 2-4 mana. Browbeat seems made for Zoo. Either choice is bad. Of course, everyone will take the 5 damage, that's why the rest of the deck is designed to make you pay. Most decks feel very safe at 10-15 life, and are willing to take the 5. This deck can get you from 10 life to 0 very quickly.

Viashino Sandstalker

I don't see these guys played much, maybe someone can enlighten me why. With Moat out of the picture and Abyss the card that most wrecks Zoo, they seem like a solid choice if you're playing enough red.


When I decided to base the deck heavily on red, these seemed natural. I'm open to discussion, but lots of times these shorten games a full turn. Also, they are a great response to one of the decks worst nightmare's: Price of Progess.

Skizzik or Serendib Efreet

The Efreets are traditional and cost 3 instead of 4, but Skizzik seems good. I think R3 is easier to get than RRR in Zoo decks, so that's why Skizzik over Ball Lightning. Again, Skizzik's primary benefit is getting damage through despite The Abyss. In a Moat heavy environment, of course Efreets are very good.

As always, comments and input are appreciated.

By Swiss (Swiss) on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 02:40 pm:

I thought that Draw 7 cards were important to Zoo. Why aren't you running Wheel and Windfall along with Twister?

By MattB (Mattb) on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 02:53 pm:

I couldn't figure out what the 60th card on my list was, figured I'd counted wrong and put a 3rd Browbeat in. Wheel was it, sorry. As for Windfall, its good, at least as a SB card against control. Main deck, I could see it as a possibility.

By Will, the Walking Dude (Walking) on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 03:03 pm:

Viashino Sandstalker

Where/when is this better than a blurred mongoose? If they have moat the two are both useless. If they have abyss the two both serve but the sandstalker costs an extra three each turn. They can stop the sand stalker by drawing a counter at any point. They can never counter the goose. The sandstlaker dies to slighs burn or control's fire ice, goose dodges both. Sure the stlaker serves for a bit more, but at at the cost of tieing up your mana.

By MattB (Mattb) on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 03:32 pm:

Will, I like your reasoning, also more Mongeese lowers the mana curve of the deck, which would be helpful.

-2 Viashino Sandstalker
+2 Blurred Mongoose

By Razor (Razor) on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 04:27 pm:

Among any new multicolored Zoo decklist I'd like to see: 4 Wastes, 1 Strip, 4 Serendib Efreets, 4 Mishra's "Beats", 4 Jackal Pups, 4 Goblin Cadets, & 4 Savannah Lions. Call of the Herds and Mystic Enforcers may prove too slow.

Maybe a couple of Armageddon or Zur's Weirding would serve as a good finisher. Browbeat and Zur's seem to belong together.

Perhaps you might do well with either Disenchant or Tranquil Grove to stop bad enchantments. Null Rods must be in there, too either SB or MD.

I like Bolts, and Psi. Blasts but not Fireblast as much as I like Cursed Scrolls in here.
All in all it is a good start Matt.


By Redman, Relentless Leader of Scrubs (Redman) on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 04:56 pm:

Re: % wastes + 4 Mishra
5 Wastes and 4 Mishra's isn't possbile in a multicolored deck. Beleive me. I've tried. You'll have enough trouble putting together a 3 or 4 color mana base without addin colorless sources into the mix.

Re: Jackal Pups, Goblin Cadets, Fireblast
Why do people suggest putting these things into Zoo? I thought the whole reason you open yourself to nonbasic hate is so that you _won't_ be restricted to sub-par sligh cards. If you want to play these cards, save yourself some dough, cut the duals, take a bunch of basic mountains, and load up on Price of Progress.

Re: Serendib Efreet and Call
Sadly, I think he's past his prime. If you have access to green, he is replaceable with Call of the Herd. Keep in mind that few peopel play Moat anymore, and having a big guy sit back to block while pinging you only to get bolted on his last blocking assignment can really be bad against other agressive decks.

Call is within Bolt Range, but handily blocks the 2/x's common to other Type one agressive decks, and had to be removed, countered, etc. twice. It's also yor best answer to Balance.

Call and Dib in the same deck is risky, as they printed a card called Mana Drain.

Re: Savannah Lions
Another card that once saw greater play. Right now, unless you commit to a heavy white component of your deck , I don't reccomend them. There are enough one drops in other colors that you usually don't have to complicate your mana base by requiring these guys. Basically what I'm saying is that if you commit to havey white, play Lions, otherwise not. Also keep in mind what commiting to heavy white will mean.

Re: Null Rod


7 SoLoMoxen

Re: Disenchant, et. al.
I'd say since if you have enough Green and White, Wax/Wane is your best choice, otherwise Tranquil Domain and Aura Fracture are strong possiblities.

Re: Zur's Weirding
I'm trying that out myself. Works nicely with Browbeat and perhaps other put into hand effects (Abundance and Guided Passage come to mind). Can get nasty with Sylvan Library and Draw 7s.

On the eariler deck:
It's interesting, but it seems to me to be too much like a sligh deck with a couple of changes. Might you be better off with a structure similar to Land-Grant Sligh? With more red in the base, you might even be able to use Skizzik's kicker with a little more reliability.

I don't think 2 Shaman are enough. I usually like 3 or none.

I think your deck above has a few too many Mana Drain targets. You have lots of acceleration, but I'd be at least a little wary of the quantity of 3+ cc spells, especially since Wastelands could make your mana situation a little hairy.

Psi Blast is just ok, if your playing such heavy red, why not Incinerate? Also takes out pesky regenerators.

Balance doesn't seem to fit the theme of the deck, I'd question its usefulness.

Why Fork?

Why no Sylvan Library?

By CooberP, the Aura Fracturer of B2Bs (Cooberp) on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 10:35 pm:

Why Zoo?

By Kirdape3, the Court Jester of Beatdown (Kirdape3) on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 12:32 am:

Here's how I'd try Zoo these days, sticking to the R/G/u framework.

4x Nimble Mongoose
4x Hidden Gibbons
4x Blurred Mongoose
4x Call of the Herd
4x Kird Ape

4x Lightning Bolt
4x Incinerate
2x Fire/Ice
2x Sylvan Library
1x Ancestral Recall
1x Time Walk
1x Regrowth

3x Cursed Scroll

1x Mox Ruby
1x Mox Emerald
1x Mox Sapphire
1x Black Lotus
4x Land Grant
4x Taiga
4x Tropical Island
4x City of Brass
2x Mishra's Factory

4x Tranquil Domain
4x Red Elemental Blast
3x Masticore
4x Rootwater Thief (?)

The lack of draw-7s is only explained by the Cursed Scrolls; two steady damage a turn is more important to me than getting a power spell Drained and a Morph dropped on my head. If there exist a ton of Moxen in the area, swap out the Blurred men for Shamans; I'm metagaming for heavy Sligh and other aggro presence.

By MattB (Mattb) on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 12:37 pm:

Thanks everyone for the input.

Razor: I don't like 1cc creatures in Zoo (other than Shaman). The Moxen make 2cc or 3cc guys easy to get, so I'd rather play them. Zur's Wierding or Armageddon are things I'm going to try (we should start a Wierding discussion to build a deck, it should be possible to make a good one), but this deck is more oriented towards finishing a game before you'd get a lot of use out of Wierding.

Redman: I agree with most everything you wrote. On Fireblast, I wanted to try it as a finisher. The Fork goes into that category also. Fork/Fireblast rules of course, but even when you don't have that, Fork can be useful. Basically, I wanted to try those cards, they may leave for other options.

Re: Disenchant
I'm not sure I need maindeck Disenchant effects. True, Moat and Ivory Mask screw me pretty well, but few people play those. The deck is fairly Abyss resistant at this point. If I was going to play them, to me the choice would be between Wax/Wane, Aura Blast and Seal of Cleansing.

Psi Blast:
My thinking with Psi Blast was diversity of damage colors. I agree with you though, there are too many cards that cost 3 or 4, so Incinerate, Fire/Ice or Chain Lightning should be considered.

I personally don't like the 1cc guys for Zoo (though if I was going to go that way, I like your creature mix). Also, my theory on Cursed Scroll for Zoo is, it gives another major target for Gorilla Shamen, that already screw you pretty badly. Also, Powder Keg for 1 gives your deck major issues. I'd like to play Scrolls or Black Vise, but they seem very vulnerable to cards that are already very good against you. I see Shamen all the time, so they're a major consideration.

With everyone's input, here's the new decklist:

4 Call of the Herd
4 Blurred Mongoose
1 Skizzik
3 Gorilla Shamen

2 Fireblast
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Incinerate
2 Fire/Ice

1 Sylvan Library
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
2 Browbeat
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Fork
1 Regrowth

7 SoLoMoxen
4 Taiga
4 Volcanic Island
3 Badlands
4 City of Brass
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine
2 Wastelands
1 Undiscovered Paradise

Thanks again for the help, any additional thoughts?

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