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Playing Pauper: Domain Zoo

Welcome back, one and all to Playing Pauper! Peregrine Drake has been banned so we're back to our regular schedule of content. This week we're featuring an aggressive deck that attempts to have as many basic land types in play as possible.

Check out the matches, then read the discussion below. If you enjoy Playing Pauper, subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube channel! It helps us draw more people to the channel, and it helps you to never miss any of our great video content.

Domain Zoo Intro

Domain Zoo vs Elves

Domain Zoo vs Kuldotha Jeskai

Domain Zoo vs Dimir Flicker

Domain Zoo vs Dimir Teachings

Domain Zoo vs Esper Renewal

The Deck

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Kird Ape and Wild Nacatl fill the aggressive one-drop slot, while Kor Skyfisher lets us replay our enchantments for card advantage.

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Qasali Pridemage is a versatile and aggressive creature in our colors, and Matca Rioters and Renegade Freighter are a pair of three-drops that can attack for five apiece.

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These burn spells provide much needed removal and reach for the deck. 

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These two land Auras fix our mana and Nylea's Presence cranks our domain up to five for Matca Rioters and Tribal Flames.

The Sideboard

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Electrickery does serious work against Elves and other aggressive decks.

Pyroblast is way too powerful at one mana and is a great sideboard card against decks running blue.

Vines of Vastwood can counter a removal spell and hit the opponent for four extra damage at the same time, and is good against control decks with targeted removal.

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Ancient Grudge is there to help defeat Affinity, while Ray of Revelation is for taking down Hexproof/Bogles.

The Matchups

Against other aggressive decks our creatures are large, our removal is good, and Matca Rioters and Renegade Freighter can do huge amounts of damage at once. This is a deck built for racing and it's good at it.

Against control decks, Domain Zoo struggles. Even with the card advantage provided by Kor Skyfisher or the reach potential of two Tribal Flames doing ten damage, it can be hard to win a game that goes long. See our second game against Kuldotha Jeskai for an example of how long this deck can survive under the right circumstances, but don't expect every game against control to go the same way.


Based on our record in the games, we can assume that Domain Zoo probably wouldn't thrive in a control-heavy metagame, but it might be viable if the meta shifts. Thanks so much for reading and watching, and please accept my apologies for the hiatus we were on recently. I have special plans for improving the series in the future, and I hope to keep Playing Pauper entertaining and informative for many, many episodes to come.


Viewer submissions are open! I'll still be playing known decks occasionally, but I'll mostly be playing:

  • Decks submitted by viewers
  • Decks created from viewer challenges (e.g. build a deck around Horned Kavu)
  • Decks created by Jake (especially ones comprised of cards from new sets such as Kaladesh)

Email me at or Tweet to me @JakeStilesMTG with your decklist or challenge, and I'll give you a shout-out if I use your submission!

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