Let's discuss zoo tech

Posts: 4,845
So, as far as I understand following cards are in pretty much every zoo:

Flame Imp
Argent Squire
Young Priestess
Knife Juggler
Dire Wolf Alpha
Harvest Golem
Scarlet Crusader
Defender of Argus

And that's already 24 deck slots.
(Correct me if I included something by mistake or missed some cards.)

And then I've often seen different combinations of following cards used in remaining slots:
Mortal Coil
Elven Archer
Abusive Sergeant
Faerie Dragon
Amani Berserker
Ironbeark Owl
Shattered Sun Cleric
Dark Iron Dwarf
Argent Commander

Is there anyone who can explain how to properly choose cards for the remaining slots? I tried swapping around, but I couldn't get a feel for what actually improved the deck and what didn't.

There are even some aggro versions that run leper gnomes, power overwhelming and leeroy. Are they generally better in the current meta or are they good only against specific matchups?
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Posts: 611
Abusive sergant,Dark iron dwarf are a must have, it allows your 1 mana argent squire to trade with 3-4 mana minions, or your flame imp to trade with yeties, azure drakes, auctioneers.
Shattered sun cleric works similar to abusive and Dark iron(also a must have imo), the advantage there is that it also buffs the health by 1 meaning you can try to get your minions out of board wipe range(for example getting a Dark iron dwarf to 5/5 to prevent death from flamestrike or getting flame imp 4/3 to prevent consecration death).
Amani berseker is used as a counter board wipe, especially versus paladins and priests.Their Holy nova/conseceration do 2 damage enraging him forcing ether one more card for clear or 5 damage minion to trade with/go face.
A buffed faerie dragon can be a pain in the !@#$ to kill when it gets buffed by something like a Shattered sun cleric, but i dont run it.
Mortal coil can be good but i dont run it too.
Owl is situational, its usually terrible when you need to be aggresive but silencing something like a sunwalker or another heavy taunter can win you the game.

If you want to run both scarlet crusader and argent squire a blood knight might be a good idea too, it can be really big versus token druids, shamans and mirror matchusp.

Argent commander is another great addition to the deck it will allow you to close the game or make good trades.(like killing an Azure Drake)

I don like lepper gnomes, they can be pinged by hero powers like rogues,mages,druids, they can be used as card draw with wrath/mortal coil and die to aoe wipes too easy.
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Posts: 494
I Prefer Owl to Scarlett in one slot, Spellbreaker instead of one dwarf and Argent Commander instead of one Priestess.

This gives us a better game against Druid and freezemage (As you can unfreeze your own stuff) at the loss of a little turn one consistency.

I tend to also play one Power Overwhelming instead of Mortal Coil. It means I get behind in the game a bit more often but also means I have plenty of removal for the mid/late game as well as a third soulfire.

My current list, that took me to rank 4, although I've found it's fine to experiment as long as you don't stray TOO far (After a while I noticed I had too many tricks and reset to a full net version before straying again one card at a time. I'm very happy with this build now though for the current meta)

2 Soulfire
1 Power Overwhelming
2 Abusive Sergeant
2 Argent Squire
2 Flame Imp
1 Shieldbearer
2 Voidwalker
1 Young Priestess
2 Dire Wolf Alpha
1 Ironbeak Owl
2 Knife Juggler
2 Harvest Golem
1 Scarlett Crusader
2 Shattered Sun Cleric
1 Dark Iron Dwarf
2 Defender of Argus
1 Spellbreaker
2 Doomguard
1 Argent Commander

This plays less face and more board control than many versions.
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Posts: 4,845
So I played some more and here are conclusions I've come to:
Argent Commanders are pretty much mandatory. They are good in every situation and provide immediate damage, which is invaluable.
Abusive sergeant is not that good. Battlecry is good, but the body is disappointing. It comes down to the fact that too often it's not the card that I want to see.
Shattered Sun Cleric is good because its battlecry is never bad, and it has additional value combined with shieldbearers, divine shields and amani, so I also consider that a must-have.

So I adding those cards I pretty much got reynad's decklist.
I have no idea if it can reach higher ranks in the current meta though.
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Posts: 740
Kolento said yesterday that Abuse Sergeant is the best card in the Zoo-Deck and I think he isn't wrong with that :-)

You need the +2 Damage-Buff very often, especially when you have cards like Voidwalker / Harvest Golem etc. with more life than attack.
You can kill a 2 or 3 Mana Minion with your Argent Squire for free or a Yeti with a 3-Attack-Minion, when you have Abusive.

I think I will try the Zoo Deck this season. I only played maybe 30 games with it in the last months, but I have to say it's fun to play.

I took the Kolento-Zoo-Deck and swapped out 2 cards. I think 1 Young Priestess is enough, you can't choose sometimes which minion she should buff and it's just a 2/1 Murloc in Turn 1 when you don't have anything else to play and start first.

I also think that one Dire Wolf Alpha is enough, it's not a good Turn 2 Play when you have anything else and dies to Golem for free.

I added 2 Fearie Dragons instead, they are very very good, when your opponent has Backstep / FrostBolt / Wrath in his hand but no minion @ turn 2. It can be played @ turn 2, when you don't have a Knife Juggler/Armani, no matter what you or your opponent has on the board.

My Decklist @ the moment (maybe discard the Scarlet and add a King Mukkla when I get one in a pack, Blood Knight can be very annoying). I also think of adding a Blood Knight for the Shattered Sun Cleric to be better vs Aggro Rogue/Token Druid/Zoo/Ramp Druid (Sunwalker).

2x Soulfire
2x Voidwalker
2x Elven Archer
2x Flame Imp
2x Abusive Sergeant
1x Young Priestess
2x Argent Squire
2x Amani Berserker
2x Knife Juggler
2x Faerie Dragon
1x Dire Wolf Alpha
1x Shattered Sun Cleric (King Mukkla maybe)
2x Harvest Golem
1x Scarlet Crusader (Blood Knight maybe)
2x Dark Iron Dwarf
2x Defender of Argus
2x Doomguard
Edited by BeFoRe on 7/4/2014 3:34 AM PDT
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Posts: 4,278
Honestly, Doomguard is actually pretty optional. It can be good of course, but Argent Crusader can be more reliable, and more useful in variants using PO.
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