It’s Tuesday O’Clock! Time for a Deck Tech!
Hello and welcome to Only On Tuesdays! One of my favorite commander cards to come out in the past few years (much to the dismay of my friends) is Zada, Hedron Grinder. Zada is a simple commander that can easily win you the game out of nowhere. For the first few turns, you simply create a couple of tokens and pass the turn. People don’t view you as a threat because all you have is five 1/1 goblin tokens and Zada on the battlefield. Then suddenly you have 40 cards in your hand, 12 mana floating, and 28 9/9’s with trample, haste, and double strike. If the table slept on Zada, it was very easy to get a turn 5 win with the deck that could kill everyone all at once.
This deck was one my first forays into combo and is still one of my favorite decks to play. Zada was very explosive and was very scary for my opponents to face. Seeing 3 or more tokens on my side of the table was a legitimate threat that had to be dealt with. One of my absolute favorite things about this deck was despite how fast the deck could combo off, it still only cost about 50 dollars for me to build the entire deck. Using primarily commons and uncommons for the combo makes the deck extremely cheap to build and still strike fear into all of your opponent’s hearts.
With how much fun I was having with Zada in Commander, I was curious to see if I could translate the deck into Modern. As much as I love Commander, Modern is my preferred format, and being able to play with playsets of cards would really help with having a higher density of the cards that matter. The only issue is I no longer have access to Zada all the time. Zada is key to this kind of deck, and without her, the deck becomes a mediocre token deck. Fortunately, Zada’s effect isn’t unique, and thanks to Eldritch Moon we have access to Mirrorwing Dragon as well as Zada. Hopefully, this redundancy will allow us to ignore the fact that we can’t have Zada in the command zone at all times.
One of the key cards in this deck and the reason to play this deck in Modern as opposed to Commander is Expedite. If you have Zada on the battlefield and a few creatures, Expedite quickly becomes a strictly better Ancestral Recall! In Commander, only 1 Expedite can be in the entire deck, leading the deck to play some questionable cards, such as Rile, in order to fulfill the card draw requirement. In Modern, 60 card decks, and the 4 of rule allow you to play the best possible cards for the deck and more reliably draw them.
Once you have cast your Ancestral Recall+ the next step is to do it all over again. With the help of rituals such as Battle Hymn and newcomer Skirk Prospector, you can generate a ton of mana to cast more spells, get more creatures on the battlefield, and then draw even more cards with another Expedite. Finally, once all of your creatures have haste, and you have 10 cards left in your library, you swing with all of your creatures and cast Mutagenic Growth a to effectively cast Overrun for free.
So, now that you have absolutely smashed your opponent in game 1, game 2 will be going much more differently. As your opponent brings in cards such as Damping Sphere and Negates, you side out all of your combo pieces and bring in Hellriders. This transformational sideboard can catch people completely off-guard, as Hellrider is a powerful finisher that can deal a ton of damage out of nowhere, especially when combined with 5 or more tokens on the board.
And the best part of all of this is just like the Commander deck, this deck is insanely cheap. Costing 45 dollars in paper (and only 10 tix) for something that can absolutely wreck your opponents day is incredibly satisfying. This deck is not the most consistent, and won’t be winning any Grand Prix’s here soon, but as a fun deck to pull out to impress your friends, Zada won’t let you down. If you would like to see this deck in action, be sure to check out my stream twitch.tv/tuesdaytastic at noon MDT on August 31st. Thank you all for reading, and I hope you have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!
Link to Decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1299782#paper