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Zoo decks contain efficient creatures to attack (Kird Ape, Savannah Lions, Serendib Efreet…) and direct damage to kill enemy creatures and the opponent (Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Psionic Blast, X-spells).

The most famous is Bertrand Lestrée's deck from World championships 1994 finals. It is GRUb, with a lot of direct damage (including the dreaded Channel + Fireball combo) and efficient creatures in Kird Ape and Argothian Pixies (+ Serendib Efreet in the sideboard).

RUG zoo decks are often known as “Arabian zoo” since there are several creatures from the first expansion set.

The other common zoo deck in Old school is “Fantasy zoo”, which is usually UWR, featuring Savannah Lions, Serendib Efreet, and Serra Angel (and usually no

Arabian Zoo

Also known as Quicksilver in some European latin countries, uses the good Arabian Nights creatures

  • Kird Ape
  • Serendib Efreet
  • Ernham Djinn
  • Serendib Djinn (no more than one)

City of Brass are also often played, meaning that this deck is quite vulnerable to City in a Bottle.

Argothian Pixies are also often included, as they dodge the ubiquitous Mishra's Factory.

Videos about a controllish version of 2016, with 2 REB, Mana Drain and 3 Power Sink main deck, along with Channel + 2 Fireball:

I am not convinced about this particular version (especially Channel for only 2 Fireballs), but it is a good introduction.

Martin Berlin (2016)

Played at Ivory Cup 1 (top 8).

Daniele Brunazzo (2018)

Daniele won the Colombus night (EC rules: 4 Strip Mine) in 2018 in Genova before the Fishliver Oil cup 2 (report).

Here is what he played in 2019 at Fishliver Oil cup 3 (7th place).

Baptist Matthys (2018)

Baptist reached the finals of the 2018 European old school championships in Paris with Arabian Aggro (decklist.

Gwen De Schamphelaere took Baptist's fine-tuned version to the semi-finals of the Fishliver Oil cup 3 in 2019.

This is probably my favourite build (no Chain Lightning), I am not sure about the main deck Stone Rain (vs LoA, is Black Vise not better?) though.

RUG zoo

To avoid being crushed by City in a Bottle, there are versions with less Arabian Nights cards.

Here are two decklists with a lower mana curve (Scryb Sprites instead of Erhnam Djinn) played by Svante Landgraf.

Ivory Cup IV (07/2021):

BSK 2021 (11/2021):

Fantasy zoo

Replacing green with white gives access to outstanding removal and the best old school creature (Serra Angel), along with the best one drop: Savannah Lions.

Here is Tibia's take at n00bcon X for a place in the top 8 (2018).

White zoo

This is a crossbreed between zoo and GW(x) Ernhamgeddon or Ernham on ice, as it uses the same creatures and the white arsenal (Disenchant, Swords to Plowshares), but no Armageddon, Icy Manipulator, Ice Storm, Balance (at least main deck).

Played by Cermak at n00bcon 9 (3rd place)

magicthegathering/oldschool/zoo.txt · Last modified: 2022/04/15 14:24 by carl