In my set review for Battle for Zendikar, featured in Eternal Warrior #50, I spent a great deal of time talking about one card in particular: Retreat to Coralhelm. The two-card combo with Knight of the Reliquary was obviously powerful, but I wasn’t sure if it would find a home. Bant is my favorite color combination, but it hasn’t been all that successful in either Legacy or Modern recently.
A bit to my surprise, the combo actually surfaced in both Modern and Legacy relatively soon after BFZ’s release. The Starcity Games Legacy Open held in St. Louis during late October featured a Legacy Bant deck sporting the full four copies of both Retreat and KotR, a Green Sun’s Zenith package for tutoring and mana accelleration, mana dorks, and a couple Wasteland and a set of Daze to help give your slightly-slow-for-Legacy combo a chance to emerge.
On the Modern front, the combo made it all the way to the semifinals at GP Porto Alegre. The Top 16 was dominated by South American players, and local quirks in their metagame may have influenced this finish significantly. Nevertheless, Top 8 in any GP is a real accomplishment and indicates that the deck has the chops to compete at any level if the conditions are right.
Here is the list I will be playing tonight, as piloted to the semis by Caio Amaral.
Knightfall Zoo by Caio Amaral
The obvious strength of the deck is that the midrange 4-color Zoo shell is known to be powerful in Modern already. The cost of integrating the combo win is simply that of replacing a couple removal spells or other cheap creatures that you might otherwise have included. One of the big questions about this is whether Retreat is worth a card when you do not have KotR out for the combo. Is tapping/untapping, or scrying, going to have the utility to justify its presence in those games?
Check out the deck tech video below where I discuss the deck and its card choices in greater depth.
Then be sure to check out this matchplay footage from the queues where I go up against some interesting opponents, including the popular Grixis control deck as well as a fun and deceptively-powerful Bant flicker deck.
The basic shell of this deck will win you a lot of games, so if you like the idea of trying the combo, it’s not going to hurt you too much to experiment with it. Retreat to Coralhelm can actually enable a ton of useful tricks, and I think you’ll enjoy playing around with it. Worst-case scenario, you’ve got a solid midrange Zoo deck in your hands, with all the power and consistency that style of deck promises. I was certainly happy with the deck’s performance, and can easily recommend it.