One of the best things about Modern is that it isn't just new decks that break onto the scene and cause a stir (and lead to some good Mining Modern decks). Rather, it's that everything old can be new again, and all it takes are a few small additions or shifts in the metagame to bring one of the million tier 2 Modern decks back to the forefront.

(Re)enter Tribal Zoo.

It appears that may be exactly what David Csente has done with a 12-3 finish at GP Bilbao with Tribal Zoo, a deck that hasn't been seen in any significant number in many years at this point. But Wild Nacatl is not to be underestimated, and in a meta dominated by Izzet Phoenix it may be a good time to attack early and often and back it up with burn spells.

Also, it turns out that getting five points of damage out of a single two-mana card is a pretty good rate, and Tribal Flames is the perfect finisher for this deck. Attack with aggressive creatures, use burn as removal and then send it upstairs when you need a few points more of damage. The unbanning a while back of Bloodbraid Elf was another big win for this deck, as it's the perfect four-mana card for the strategy.

But for all the familiar pieces, there's some new tech here too. Mantis Rider doesn't remotely qualify as a new Magic card anymore, but it is the first time I've seen a deck like this sporting it. It makes perfect sense as you can emulate busted Humans starts with Noble Hierarch and Mantis Rider, while also fitting it pretty much anywhere else in the curve as well.

My favorite addition has to be Knight of Autumn. The card just does so much in this—or, really, any—metagame. Making a 4/3 Knight of Autumn has to be better in this deck than any other, and if you choose an alternate mode when it enters play it means the card is going to be very, very good for you. It fits perfectly into this deck, allowing another well-costed attacker while inserting some much-needed versatility into the list.

And if you need any other reasons to play this deck, just read Ghor-Clan Rampager. It's always a blowout, and most of your opponents will have no idea what it does until it wins you the game.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler