Raise Your Standards – Brewing R/W Hatebears in Standard


Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  With Standard in a bit of a lull due to the holiday season, now seems like a good time to try brewing up a new deck.  While I’ll be the first to admit that brewing isn’t one of my strengths, I’ll do it occasionally, especially when the format is getting as stale as the current Standard is.  For me, when I brew something up, there has to be some sort of theme or goal I’m trying to accomplish.  And what better goal to have currently than to find an answer to all of the Energy-based decks that have taken over Standard?

The Seed

The inspiration for this deck is based on the Modern Hate Bears deck.  That deck plays a bunch of small creatures (the bears) that have effects that punish your opponent while they’re on the battlefield (the hate).  While organizing some cards one day, I came across a couple of copies of Aven Mindcensor.  I knew that this card had been played in the past in the Hate Bears decks in Modern and wondered if there was enough “hate” in Standard to build a deck around.

That led me to search through the Player’s Guide books found in bundles for the sets currently legal in Standard for other possible creatures to play that also have “hateful” abilities.  Please note, when I brew a deck I use these books more than simply doing a Gatherer search, as I will often notice other cards on the page that could be useful that I wouldn’t otherwise see by searching online alone.

So, I began jotting down the cards that had abilities that I thought could be useful.  As I browsed through the booklets, I jotted down every card that I felt could have a place in the deck, not just creatures.  Some people prefer to pull out actual cards as they build, but I find a list to be easier to use (and there’s a lot less cleanup afterwards).

Here’s a list of all of the cards that I had written down as possibilities to include:

Making Sense of Things

Now that I had my list of approximately 35 different cards, it was time to start narrowing things down.  Originally my list included cards from three different colors (White, Red, and Black), but I knew trimming it down to only two colors would make the deck more streamlined.  It was clear to me when I was making my list that Red and White were the colors with the most options, but I wrote down Black cards on the off chance that it was denses with “hate” cards than it seemed.  And, while there are things I love in Black that certainly bring the “hate”, there wasn’t enough for me to justify keeping those cards around.  So, the deck would be Red & White.

My next step was to write down the CMC (converted mana cost) of each card so I could make sure there would be some sort of mana curve to the deck.  Once that was done, I took out all of the cards that I thought were just too cute to be viable strategies.  Sure, Approach of the Second Sun is a good card, but the decks that win with it are built with it specifically in mind.  Hijack and Fling combo well together, but the combo seems a little flimsy compared to the raw power of Temur Energy decks.

My final step was determining how many lands to play and how many copies of each card to include.  I decided on running 24 lands since that seemed like a good starting point.  I knew I could adjust it if I needed to after playing some games with the deck.

Here’s the starting version of the deck:

R/W Standard Hate Bears – (by Mike Likes)Tocatli Honor Guard




I know this is a very rough decklist, and I’m hopeful that after playing a few games with it I’ll be able to tweak it into a more refined version.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  I’m certain there are things that can be added or changed that will make this deck better.

Wrapping Up

That wraps up this week’s edition of Raise Your Standards.  I’d love to hear what you think about the deck above.  Let me know by leaving a comment.  Or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  Also, don’t forget to like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MTGDeckTechs/) to be sure to be notified when a new article is posted.

Be sure to join me back here next week where we’ll take a look at some good deck choices for the upcoming Store Championships.  I’ll see you then!

Mike Likes


Mike Likes

Mike Likes

Mike started playing Magic back in 1994, but gave it up at the end of 1995. He came back to the game during the Lorwyn block and has been playing ever since. Around this time, he opened and ran his own comic & game store, while also raising his newborn daughter. After 8 years, he sold his business and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. With the debut of Kaladesh, his entire family became regular Magic players. He now has hopes of competing alongside his wife and daughter at a Grand Prix or similar event in the future. #MTGDad

Comments are closed.