Tribal Death’s Shadow Zoo by anarkist on MtGO

Creatures (22)
4 Death’s Shadow
2 Goblin Guide
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Street Wraith
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Wild Nacatl

Non-Creature Spells (20)
4 Tribal Flames
4 Boros Charm
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Might of Alara
4 Mutagenic Growth

Lands (18)
2 Arid Mesa
1 Blood Crypt
4 Bloodstained Mire
1 Breeding Pool
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Steam Vents
1 Temple Garden
2 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Dismember
2 Fatal Push
3 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Kolaghan’s Command
2 Lingering Souls
2 Path to Exile
1 Rise // Fall
2 Stony Silence


Zoo decks have long been a favorite of aggro-leaning players in Modern, especially since the unbanning of Wild Nacatl. The normal version of the deck was Naya, but a secondary version of the deck was always on the fringes. This deck was 5-colored and took advantage of Domain cards and the considerably kind mana base of Modern. With the advent of Death’s Shadow decks in Modern, traditional Zoo decks have fallen by the wayside, but this 5-Color Zoo deck combined with Death’s Shadow may bring this archetype back.

The core of this deck is the cheap creature package. Wild Nacatl, Goblin Guide, and Monastery Swiftspear get the party started early, with special emphasis being placed on Wild Nacatl as it’s the best-sized creature per mana, allowing it to power through early blockers. Tarmogoyf and Death’s Shadow are the other creatures in this deck, and both require a little extra help to be effective. This is where Street Wraith and fetchlands come into play. This deck already played fetchlands and cheap removal spells, so adding Street Wraith to get a creature into the graveyard and lose life for free is a no-brainer.

This deck plays a series of burn spells and pump spells that can be used to clear blockers or push through extra damage. Boros Charm and Lightning Bolt are the easy inclusions, but Mutagenic Growth, Might of Alara, and Tribal Flames require a little more specific deckbuilding. Mutagenic Growth encourages you to push through blockers, and combos very well with Boros Charm, while Might of Alara and Tribal Flames are the reason why this deck is technically all 5 colors.

In the sideboard, this deck has the ability to play the longer game or hate out certain poor matchups. Dismember, Fatal Push, and Path to Exile bring more removal spells into the deck against creature-reliant strategies, while Kolaghan’s Command, Lingering Souls, and Rise // Fall all want you to play a longer game that grinds the opponent out. Lastly, Ancient Grudge, Grafdigger’s Cage, and Stony Silence are aimed at some of the most linear decks that Modern can throw at you.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


No changes.


-1 Ancient Grudge

+1 Rise // Fall

This is day 187 of’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 186 here, where we featured a Legacy deck that wants to cast cheap spells to take advantage of powerful, cheap creatures.

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