Nobody likes going against this deck in MTG Arena, and I have to take back what I said about Temur Elementals being the breakout deck of M20. It’s actually Zombie Scapeshift that’s the breakout deck.
From Lands Into Zombies, This Deck Just Beats You Down!
In just two weeks, Hareruya had a sudden spike of Zombie Scapeshift decks, comprising 10.77% of their current meta, with Boros Feather coming to a close second at 9.67%.
Here’s the decklist that I managed to curate from Harerurya’s Takeuchi Ryota:
Why Is This Deck So Darned Good?
It’s because of these 2 cards: Scapeshift and Field Of The Dead!
The combo just runs on itself the moment you’re about to hit 7 or more different named lands.
Now, Field of the Dead puts up 2/2 Zombies once you hit 7 lands with 7 different names. This deck has 28 lands with lots of 1-of’s, so it’s really not that difficult to hit that goal.
From there, you just continue to churn out Zombies as you drop more lands. The more copies of Field of the Dead that you have, the more Zombies you have.
So if you have 2 copies of Field of the Dead, you get 2 Zombies per land drop.
Scapeshift is more of a finisher than anything else because it allows you to really fetch for lands with different names. The most number of Zombies that I’ve seen from a Scapeshift deck was about 17 from 1 Scapeshift.
There’s just no coming back from that.
The Ramp Cards
A lot of the spells on this deck are meant to fetch you more lands early on in the game.
Circuitous Route lets you search for 2 basic land cards or Gate cards and put them into the battlefield tapped.
Growth Spiral lets you draw a card and plays a land from your hand.
Grow from the Ashes lets you fetch for a land card and puts it on the battlefield tapped. If the Kicker cost was paid, you get to fetch 2 basic land cards and put them into the battlefield.
Then you have your creatures that allow you to dig for more lands or play lands from your hand.
Arboreal Grazer is a 1-drop that’s a first-turn drop that lets you curve up quite nicely.
Elvish Rejuvenator lets you look at the top 5 cards of your library and lets you put a land into the battlefield from those 5 cards.
Everything about this deck is to just let you play a lot of lands early on the game to get you the advantage and to let you play Field of the Dead as soon as you can.
The Big Krasis and the Small Teferi
Even if you don’t get to play out Field of the Dead early on, you have Hydroid Krasis and Teferi, Time Raveler to stall the game long enough.
With a lot of lands early on in the game, you can drop a huge Hydroid Krasis that should put the pressure on the board while giving you life gain and draws out cards for you.
Bant Scapeshift or Zombie Scapeshift, however you want to call it, is a really annoying deck to play against because the creatures aren’t something you catch with counter spells.
There’s not enough land destruction spells on Standard right now that could ever provide an answer for Field of the Dead.
A lot of players on MTG Arena are using Bant Scapeshift to climb up to Mythic ranking this season, and I bet we’re going to see this deck until rotation hits.
Check out Bad Boy Gaming's run using the Bant Scapeshift deck: