The Zoo is Dead, Long Live The Zoo!

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After falling short of top eight at a Modern IQ/PPTQ that I played in recently, I was itching to play some more Magic. Luckily, SCG Philly was right around the corner. I was still up in the air about what I should play for the Sunday Premier IQs: either Constellation in Standard or some form of Zoo in Modern. I stuck to my guns and my best deck and played Zoo.

So as you can see, it is my normal Zoo list, but with the key change of cutting Lightning Helix for the two planeswalkers, Gideon Jura and Garruk Wildspeaker. I ended up going 5-2-1 on the day, good for a top 32 finish which equated to two open points and $50 cash money. The decks I played against were as follows

Round 1: Affinity, W

Round 2: Junk Pod, W

Round 3: RG Aggro, L

Round 4: Delver, L

Round 5: Junk, W

Round 6: Junk, T

Round 7: Affinity, W

Round 8: Affinity, W

I won every post sideboard game against Affinity and I can safely say that was due 100 percent to having three copies of Ancient Grudge to bring in.

My two losses on the day came at the beginning and the middle of a grueling headache. I feel like I punted at least a portion of each match, but I decided to stay in and try to grind it out. Luckily, after wandering the floor asking every single player and judge that I knew (easily over 30 people), I was able to acquire something [Ed. note: Drugs, most likely] to make my headache subside marginally.

Garruk Wildspeaker and Gideon Jura were overachievers on the day and I’m glad I made the decision to play them roughly 30 minutes before the start of the tournament.

Overall, it felt like a decent day, but I knew I needed to be doing something more powerful, so I set my eyes on Birthing Pod because I owned most of the deck already. As of January 19, 2015, though, this became a terrible idea as Pod just got the banhammer.

On To The Next Idea

Naya Zoo is just not cutting it anymore. I need to go big and I need to hit hard. I took some inspiration from Craig Wescoe and his top-16 finish at GP Omaha and crafted the new Zoo, featuring our new lord and savior Dr. Siegeman Rhinoceros.

Siege-Rhino-Khans-of-Tarkir-Spoiler

My New List

I have only just begun fleshing this deck out, but it feels immensely powerful and I am excited to see how the Modern metagame will adapt with the fall of Delver and Pod, and presumably the rise of BGx and Splinter Twin.

I will keep updating my progress in Modern and Standard and my quest to meet my obscene goals for 2015. Thank you all for reading, and until next time, do yourself a favor and just start casting Siege Rhino—assuming you aren’t already.

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Max Perlmutter

Zookeeper at Ajani and Garruk's horde of monstrous creatures.
I am a competitive Magic player located in Philadelphia. I specialize in the Modern format and play aggressive strategies for the most part in constructed. In limited I have an affinity for awful tempo decks and the durdliest control decks (RIP FKK Sultai Control). I hope through my writing I can help us all improve as people and as players in the Magic community.
Max Perlmutter

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