Is Bird the Word? - $50 Nadu Bird Kindred Deck Tech

Nadu, Winged Wisdom | Illustrated by Daren Bader
Birds of Paradise | Illustrated by Darrell Riche

Hello, everyone! In honor of Nadu winning the most recent Pro Tour, I wanted to build a Nadu, Winged Wisdom deck, but instead of being just a degenerate combo deck, it's actually a Bird kindred deck. There are two honorary Birds to act as win conditions, but otherwise, I've managed to fit 30 different feathered friends. As always, the deck will cost $50 or less, excluding the price of the commander, so without further ado, let's get into it.

Scrying Birds

First, let's talk about the Birds that let us set the top of our library. There are a surprising number of Birds that let us scry or set the top of the library, creatures like Augury Owl, Sage Owl, Silver Raven, Spire Owl, and Thaumaturge's Familiar. These Birds ensure we have enough lands on the top of our library to keep comboing off with Nadu. 

Targeting Birds

To trigger Nadu, we need to target creatures with spells or abilities, so let's add Birds that allow us to do that. Avian Oddity and Windcaller Aven can target after being cycled, Keeper of the Nine Gales and Mist Raven let us return permanents to our hand, allowing us to re-trigger our scrying Birds, and Harrier Strix, Hunting Moa, and Whippoorwill all have different abilities to trigger Nadu. 

Drawing Birds

In order to get to our combos, we need to draw cards, and to help, we can use some of our Birds to draw cards. Sadly, Palace Familiar, Murder of Crows, and Ithilien Kingfisher need to die or have other creatures die to draw. While Thieving Magpie and The Goose Mother let us draw when they deal damage or attack. To help supplement the draw, we can use Airborne Aid and Distant Melody.

Bird Protection

Before we get into the win conditions, we need to have some way to protect the combo. Originally, I wanted to add counter magic to stop interaction, but I decided to use single-target protection to also trigger Nadu, so I included Blossoming Defense, Royal Treatment, Snakeskin Veil, and Tyvar's Stand. You could add Heroic Intervention as board-wide protection, but it didn't fit into the budget sadly. 


To win with Nadu, we need to trigger their ability multiple times a turn. The combo isn't deterministic and can be hard to track in paper, so it'll take some practice to do it quickly. 

The Equipment

Equipment are the easiest way to get multiple triggers from Nadu's ability. If you happen to have Shuko laying around from when it was under a dollar, you should add it, but I don't think it's worth the $30+ price tag at the moment. Instead, we can use Equipment that costs one to equip, like Bone Saw, Lavaspur Boots, and Bonesplitter. The two Equipment that cost zero have some weird downsides: Lightning Greaves has to be moved between creatures since it gives shroud, and Grafted Wargear forces us to sacrifice the creature once it becomes unequipped. However, if you were unaware, you can target creatures with equip abilities of Equipment that are already equipped to those creatures; in other words, Equipment that is attached to a creature can be equipped to that creature using the Equipment's equip ability, so Grafted Wargear can trigger Nadu twice before you move it from the attached creature.

The Creatures

The next part of the combo is getting enough creatures to repeatedly target for Nadu's ability. Much like the Modern deck, we want to use Springheart Nantuko to make 1/1s that we can target; otherwise, Scute Swarm can snowball with just a few Landfall triggers. The goal is to draw our entire deck to find the final pieces of the puzzle. 

The Final Pieces

I wanted to add Thassa's Oracle, but it was too expensive; instead, we have a weird three-card combo of Zuran Orb, Ruin Crab, and Splendid Reclamation. Once we get most of our lands into play, we can use Zuran Orb to sacrifice them, then use Splendid Reclamation to return all of our lands back to play, triggering Ruin Crab to mill out the table. 

If you can't mill someone out for some reason, you can use Blessed Respite and Gaea's Blessing to loop this combo, giving you infinite life and Landfall triggers thanks to Spelunking having your lands enter untapped. 

For back-up, I added Retreat to Kazandu and Retreat to Coralhelm to give us even more ways to target our creatures, and I added Llanowar Scout, which gives us infinite Landfall triggers with Simic Growth Chamber and Retreat to Coralhelm. 

Tutors for the Combo

Finally, to help us combo consistently, I added a few tutors to find key pieces. Tolaria West lets us find Zuran Orb or Simic Growth Chamber, Muddle the Mixture finds Springheart Nantuko or Llanowar Scout, and Fauna Shaman gets any creature in our deck. 


Some of the upgrades are cards I already mentioned: Thassa's Oracle adds an easy and constant way to win, Shuko, while I think overpriced at the moment, is still solid to add, and Sensei's Divining Top lets you set the top of your library. 

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Ben has been playing Magic since 2012 and started creating Magic the Gathering content in October of 2022 on YouTube under the name BathroomBrewsMTG ( Primarily focusing on budget EDH content. When he isn't thinking or talking about MTG, he is usually playing video games, spending time with his wife or playing with his two cats. You can find him on Twitter @BathroomMTG.