Bushwhacker Zoo by UrbanPope on MtGO

Creatures (32)
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Experiment One
2 Flinthoof Boar
2 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Goblin Guide
4 Hidden Herbalists
4 Narnam Renegade
4 Reckless Bushwhacker
4 Wild Nacatl

Non-Creature Spells (9)
4 Atarka’s Command
1 Devastating Summons
4 Lightning Bolt

Lands (19)
4 Arid Mesa
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Forest
1 Sacred Foundry
2 Stomping Ground
1 Temple Garden
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
3 Destructive Revelry
2 Gaddock Teeg
4 Kor Firewalker
3 Relic of Progenitus
2 Roast
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben


When the Revolt mechanic was spoiled, many players were very excited about the possible Modern playability of cards that used the mechanic. The most notable card from Aether Revolt that is set for Modern and Legacy playability for years to come is Fatal Push. However, some other Revolt cards may have fallen under the radar, but are ready to make an impact in Modern.

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This Bushwhacker Zoo deck piloted by UrbanPope on MtGO on January 31 maximizes two powerful Revolt cards; Hidden Herbalists and Narnam Renegade. Hidden Herbalists operates as a slightly less powerful Burning-Tree Emissary (can’t immediately cast Reckless Bushwhacker), and Narnam Renegade is an excellent play on turn 1 or turn 5, and is a welcome inclusion to the deck. Notably absent is Greenwheel Liberator, which with Revolt activated is a 4/3 for 2 mana, which this deck is definitely in the market for. I think its exclusion is a little suspect, and I’ll be including a full playset in my changes at the end of the article.

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Bushwhacker Zoo came on the Modern scene about a year ago, but has never been able to stake a claim for itself as a tier 1 deck. Revolt creatures are certainly good inclusions in a deck that are already playing a lot of fetchlands, and also frequently attacks with many creatures knowing one will die in combat. This specific list has 16 1-drops that you are happy to play on turn 1, 10 hard-hitting or mana neutral 2-drops, 12 removal spells or combat tricks, and of course 4 Reckless Bushwhacker. I’m a little suspicious of Devastating Summons. In the late game, this deck generally has more mana than it knows what to do with, but I can’t imagine that seeing a Devastating Summons in your opening is a great feeling.

Additionally, I think not having a copy or two of Dryad Arbor is a mistake. The creature-land is excellent against some problematic cards like Liliana of the Veil, and it represents a 1/1 creature when you draw a fetchland in the late game, which is much more relevant than you may think in a deck that features Reckless Bushwhacker. In the sideboard, I think the 1 copy of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben seems a little out of place. In a deck that can’t search for it (or even filter its draws), 1 copy of a hate card is very close to zero.

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In this Modern metagame (which is still slightly undefined), Bushwhacker Zoo matches up in an interesting way. It’s notably weak to cards like Anger of the Gods or Wrath of God, but tends to thrive against fair decks that has limited removal spells, as their removal spells are stretched and Reckless Bushwhacker‘s burst damage is particularly effective. It’s also not bad against the combo decks of the format, as a race is very plausible, and the small pieces of disruption from the sideboard are frequently enough to get the job done.

If you’re looking for an explosive Modern deck that can win games against any matchup due to its impressive power, I highly recommend Bushwhacker Zoo. Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Devastating Summons

-2 Hidden Herbalists

-1 Narnam Renegade

-1 Bloodstained Mire

+4 Greenwheel Liberator

+1 Dryad Arbor


-1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

+1 Destructive Revelry

This is day 33 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll cover a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 32 here, where we covered a favorite from Pro Tour Kaladesh that is looking to carve out a piece of the Standard metagame for itself.

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