Yes, you've read this right. This Zegana deck differs from all the other in that it runs only PERMANENT cards except for Primal Surge, thus the name. It assembled shortly after Gatecrash release and already changed a few times. This is the latest iteration of it and I'm sure it will change more if I'll aquire cards I need. Here I go:
Self mill/draw a library - either by resolving Primal Surge or drawing/milling whole deck with the help of Zegana and someengine into Laboratory Maniac. This can be achieved even without infinite mana.
Aggro-Control - there are over 50 creatures waiting to be send into a red zone and while most of them are small their numer makes a difference. While doing damage we can control our opponents with multiple creature-based counters and bounce.
To achieve victory one must prevent his opponents from doing the same and prepare a ground for own operations. Having all-permanent deck may seem like a liability but luckly both green and blue creatures give all sorts of tools to make it happen.
Ramp - green has quite a lot of cheap, mana-producing or land-searching creatures preparing ground for beefer and more expensive stuff. There are 15 ramp creatures backed up by 2 artifacts and Food Chain to provide that early ramp (CMC 3 or less) so this deck can have some explosive starts leading to combo or board control.
Tutors - tutoring with permanents is kind of difficult but possible by all means. Real winners here are Vedalken Aethermage (tutor for Prophet, Teferi and Venser among the others), Fauna Shaman (getting Dead-Pal combo), Tezzeret (Masticore, Pod, Metamorph) and lousy Drift of Phantasms (Food Chain for the win).
Answers - Prophet, Teferi and Refugee allow playing some stuff at instant speed which protects against sorcery board wipes and enables both reactive and proactive play. Given flash, some creatures become real monsters. Spike Weaver gives tripple fog effect, Witness restocks stuff to be flashed in again, Man-o'-War bounces, Duplicant kills, Bane destroys, Sower steals and Primordial can use opponents' stuff to blow up the world. The big winner here is Temur Sabertooth, especially paired with Prophet - the best creature in deck.
Protection - some creatures like Snake, Venser or Husher allow saying NO to opposing spells and abilities without resorting to instants. There are total eight permission permanents (including Chimera) not to mention possibility of bouncing and copying them. Teferi and Gargoyle can create soft locks for decks reliant on instants and sorcery spells, disabling opposing combos and protecting our own.
How to play Primal Zegana? Simply - cast ramp creatures, durdle a little threating with an aggro, counter and remove something and finally search for one or more combo pieces and win. The most interesting games come from resolving Prophet and battling a whole table united to take us down while getting enormous card advantage with Zegana's draw.
My local group sees this as a more player friendly deck so I can play it without becoming archenemy on the spot because this deck has no early power plays - it's strength lies in a mid-late game. When I have time I'll give you more detailed strategy of how to use this deck to the fullest.
I'm almost suprised of this deck's win ratio - about or even over 80%. In the last 8 games I lost only once and only because of some mass removal and Sunder casted in short succession. If I get Food Chain or Prophet of Kruphix online it is almost impossible to stop the flow of creatures - for either combo or full control over a table.
- Voidmage Prodigy - it's too color intensive and I need every blue I have most turns
- Leyline of Anticipation - rarely gets cast and having it at opening hand is even more rare
- Garruk Wildspeaker - rarely useful and the aggro is less frequent than combo
- Decree of Silence - I'd rather cast a creature then keep 6 mana open; also hardcasting it is... hard and Teferi gives all the protection I need
- Moldgraph Monstrosity - not many sac outlets to make it useful and random clause is a nuissance
- Terrastodon - resource denial is not that needed here even if it has 9 power for Zegana
- Ixidron - while being one of the best creature based "removal" it can fold my plans when flipped from Primal Surge into a table full of important creatures. I cannot risk it.
- Yavimaya Elder - it costs 5 mana to get 3 cards, two of them being lands.
Changes I'm considering: Nullstone Gargoyle -> Void Winnower - opponents more often than not have some spells to burn before casting ones that matter and Winnower can block them entirely Deadeye Navigator, Palinchron -> ??? - thinking about removing this combo entirely as use it less and less often