Hi everyone,

So I've been developing this list for a while and I think I've found a deck that has favorable matchups against Shops, PO, AND URw Snapcaster Mentor Control. I'll try to explain a little bit of WHY I think I can claim this, but first, the list:

"Infernal Justice League" a.k.a Junk Hatebears

Land (20):
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Marsh Flats
1 Windswept Heath
1 Verdant Catacombs
2 Scrubland
2 Bayou
1 Savannah
1 Plains
1 Karakas
1 Strip Mine
2 Wasteland

Artifact (6):
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet

Enchantment (3):
3 Stony Silence

Creature (22):
3 Deathrite Shaman
3 Dark Confidant
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3 Spirit of the Labyrinth
2 Kataki, War's Wage
2 Grand Abolisher
3 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
1 Anafenza, the Foremost
1 Shalai, Voice of Plenty

Instant (9):
3 Mental Misstep
3 Swords to Plowshares
3 Abrupt Decay

Sideboard (15):
4 Containment Priest
1 Archangel of Thune
3 Mayor of Avabruck
1 Rest in Peace
1 Kataki, War's Wage
1 Stony Silence
3 Infernal Reckoning
1 Swamp

So how can I claim this to be good vs. these 3 decks? Let's break down each matchup.

1. Paradoxical Outcome - Now when I refer to this matchup I am largely referring to the UWB breed that runs Mentor, TV/Key, Blightsteel and Balance. I believe I beat this deck with some regularity because the full moxen to get a turn 1 Stony Silence/Thalia/Spirit of the Labyrinth and I also have 3 Mental Misstep to catch certain annoying openers off guard. If I can make it to turn 2 at parity I feel as though their deck can't keep up with the torrent of hatebears this deck can deliver. 3 Spirit of the Lab and 4 Thalia is rough for a deck built around 4 preordain, 1 Ponder and 4 Paradoxical Outcome. Kambal is often just the icing on the cake and Stony Silence is just miserable for them. Grand Abolisher is also helpful in making sure your key spells resolve and also at not allowing your opponent to maximize their mana with something like EOT Vampiric Tutor. Dark Confidant is just another "inevitability" card they also have to deal with.

2. Shops - This matchup can be a bit tight and is probably the closest of the 3 but 6 plows after game 1 really help a lot. The fact that 3 of them actually gain YOU life can also be clutch if you are trying to stabilize before you die. Like, sometimes you can Infernal Reckoning a Foundry Inspector and have that be just enough life gained to stabilize in time for a devastating Kataki. Also, Kataki + Stony + Wastelands + Mayor is just a great synergistic set of cheap threats. Anafenza and Deathrite Shaman are also helpful in this matchup.

3. URw Snapcaster Mentor Control - This matchup can also be a bit swingy, but I've found that experience in the matchup really helps. This is where some of the most odd-ball cards in the 75 are at their best. Shalai is brutal for them, as is Archangel of Thune and after game 1 you get both. You can easily set a cavern to angel to make sure either or both resolve and if you can land a Kambal, Archangel gets silly in a long game. Aside from the flashy, "over-the-top" cards you also have an excellent way of interact with their early game in Thalia, Spirit, Bob and Mental Misstep. This is also a matchup where Abrupt Decay can be clutch cause it hits Pyromancers and Mentor and is uncounterable. Cavern of Souls is also hugely relevant in this matchup because you need to out-tempo your opponent and deadening the effect of their Force of Wills early can be crucial to victory. Don't fool yourself though, this matchup can be grindy as hell, and if they happen to be on a larger than normal glut of spot removal they might take it down. But. . . . don't assume that any large amount of spot removal is instant death for Junk Hatebears either. Sometimes you can outmaneuver it with tight timing and cards that interact favorably fighting theirs on the stack like Mental Misstep with a Kambal in play, for example. It's a very complex matchup with a lot of micro-interactions that take a while to get the feel for. Don't worry if you struggle at first to beat URw Mentor. The matchup isn't too bad, and I'd argue, favorable even. Also, be sure to side in those Mayors in this matchup. They are relevant here. Mayor protects Kambal from bolt in that it becomes a meat shield for bolt because Kambal is a 3/4 with Mayor in play.

Anyway, I hope this sparks some conversation, and even, perhaps, some civil debate.


last edited by Stormanimagus

So this is intriguing to me, and the notion that a life gaining plow turns around the shops matchup is pretty enticing, but if 6+ plows could beat the deck, why don't the snapcaster + plow + fragmentize decks wreck shops? Is it just that also having creatures is relevant?

I have found the hardest cards in shops to beat for this deck are ballista and anything large, and I know stony silence can help with the ballista, but there are only 3 main and even with 4 post board, it is almost a guarantee that in some games we aren't going to draw that. In those games spot removal is very mediocre against ravager decks, to make that "life gain plow" into "condense two creatures together?

I am not totally against the deck, and the fact that you have had success makes me want to test the matchup, but can you talk a little more about the MU, and specifically whether two basics is sufficient post board? You mention kataki + stony + wastelands + mayor, but i guess i would counter with spheres + wastelands + ballista + any other creatures before you get all that online, since they are running more fast mana and not altogether that high of a curve.

As a corollary, and this is meant to be a thought experiment, what makes this better than White Eldrazi, similar access to disruptive threats, bigger creatures, equivalent access to plows. I am not saying it isn't, but as a former hatebears player, and white eldrazi player, i found that eldrazi was just a version of hatebears where the threats mattered more to my opponent, and that deck has not been at the top tier for awhile now.

All that aside, I am going to throw this together when i get home to test against shops, because if it is even decent, let alone good, I am hopping back on the hatebears train.

@garbageaggro All very good points. I will try to answer them based on my experience. One thing though before that is that I don't think the shop matchup is stellar but I would put it at above 50%.

  1. The Ballista Problem - Sure Stony Silence is helpful but generally the Stony Silence is there for Ravager and Steel Overseer. Nabbing Ballista is just gravy. The way you really beat Ballista, I've found, is that you overload it with targets it must answer and hope they don't have a Ravager to give it insane amounts of counters. You do all this very early in the game by having a glut of 2-drops.

  2. Why 6 plows matters. You are able to follow up a plow on their foundry inspector with bodys that make the game irritating for shops because they are now slowed by their own spheres. The Snapcaster decks that also run a lot of removal do not "just wreck shops" largely cause they run one of the worst cards in the format vs. spheres as a 4-of in Preordain. My list runs no such nonsense. I run Deathrite Shaman. Deathrite Shaman >>>> Preordain as a 1-drop vs. Shops.

  3. This is better than Eldrazi because you have less anti-synergy with Stony Silence (ie you don't play or rely on Sol Ring/Mana Crypt and can survive your own Stony far more readily). You also don't run Sol Lands so this deck weathers a wasteland storm from shops far better than Eldrazi does.

  4. In general, the way you beat shops is early tempo advantage. You also bait their ballista out with something like Bob, and then follow up with Kataki to slow them down or even pick off permanents. Also, one card you didn't mention but is actually decent vs. them is Abrupt Decay. It's a removal spell for most things you care about in their deck INCLUDING Sphere. Also, do not forget that Anafenza is a total house vs. shops because it prevents Modular and Hangarback Thopters from happening. The shops matchups is definitely tighter than the other 2 and if I find it too close for comfort I may add some more cheese for it down the road but for now, I'm ok with where it's at.


So i think i am on board with all of this but 3. Specifically "weathering a wasteland storm better" white eldrazi ran between 26 and 30 mana sources, and you run 26. Yes there curve was a bit higher, but all the lands in eldrazi make mana and some of yours don't. I would argue that it is easier to get color screwed against wasteland here, than it is to get "sol land screwed" there.

That all aside, i think the other arguments are pretty compelling. Typically I haven't been a huge fan of AD just because early black and green in these white heavy decks feels tough to me, but I typically ran more basics. The Anafrenza interaction is pretty neat. Like I said I will build it and check it out.

@garbageaggro Abrupt Decay can be awkward for the manabase (though that is where DRS is supposed to shine), but I just don't know of any other card that kills a mentor and can't be countered and also takes out annoying "free wins" like Time Vault. It's a highly versatile card that really has saved the day more times than I can count.

So I have been trying to decide how necessary green is to the list? I think the reasoning might come down to having decay available against oath, but I wanted your feeling about that matchup and how close it is.

@garbageaggro The exile effect from DRS is also huge vs. dredge and academy rector decks. That is a major reason for splashing green.

I have basically always found DRS to be too slow against dredge in game 1s, and haven't played against rector in my meta. But point taken. In those matchups it is also plausible to just play 1 savannah and no other green and just fetch it right?

Howdy, so I am working on a mostly WB version of the deck and I was vacillating on a couple things.

Here is the list with which I am starting :

My thought was that I could maybe get by with Karn over bob as the CA engine, which I think is better, but likely that means I would want to also run a different lock piece in place of stony silence in the main (namely damping sphere). I would also probably run 1 additional revoker at that point.
That may or may not be feasible against shops (read Ballista) any thoughts?

Hi all!

This saturday I took 2nd place at our yearly vintage tourament Hulen "The Cave" Open in Bømlo, Norway. I played a GWRB hate list and it worked so well that I decided to share it with you. This seems like the correct thread to post it in. The 13-man field looked like this:

3x oath, 2x dreadhorde arcanist, BUG Fish, White Eldrazi, Ravager Shops, Survival, Grixis Control, Paradoxical Outcome, Bomberman and myself.

My list was built to beat ravager and PO and tweaked to beat oath and dredge:

3 wooded foothills
2 windswept heath
2 verdant catacombs
2 savannah
2 taiga
1 bayou
4 wasteland
1 strip mine
1 karakas
1 maze of ith

1 black lotus
1 mox emerald
1 mox pearl
1 mox ruby
1 mox jet
1 elvish spirit guide

1 chalice of the void
4 wrenn and six
1 sylvan library
1 engineered plague

4 swords to plowshares
2 mental misstep
4 force of vigor

4 deathrite shaman
4 thalia, guardian of thraben
4 collector ouphe
2 containment priest
4 knight of the reliquary

1 the tabernacle at pendrell vale
1 bojuka bog
1 ghost quarter
1 forest
2 grafdiggers cage
2 lightning bolt
2 containment priest
2 stony silence
1 tireless tracker
1 dovin, hand of control
1 choke

We played 5 rounds of swiss into semifinals. I wont give much detail. I was drunk the entire tournament and hoped the deck would kinda pilot itself. It worked well until the finals. Anyhow, it went like this:

2-0 against white eldrazi: Very real games, the first game took 40 minutes. I ended up grinding him down. Wrenn and six was a house.

2-0 against paradoxical outcome: My deck is pure hate in this matchup and did its job. I am unsure if I controlled a monastery mentor with engineered plague. Maybe that was in a dream.

2-0 against oath: He resolved Griseldaddy. I had karakas.

2-0 against oath: I think I destroyed oath at least once with force of vigor. I drew containment priest in both games against oath, which make these matches less than representative.

1-2 against bug fish: The deck worked well. In both games I lost, he was down to 2-3 permanents, yet beat me with true-name nemesis.

Semifinals: I went in as first seed, one of the oath plyers came in at second, UR dreadhorde arcanist 3rd and bug fish 4th. The fish player conceded to me because he needed to be elsewhere, so I went straight to the finals.

Finals, against UR dreadhorde arcanist: This was the deck I feared the most in the field. I believe it is a bad matchup pre-board and knew he had blood moon in the sideboard (this was also the reason I put a forest in the side, which ultimately was a bad choice). We played a long game one, where he outplyed me, or I made a few stupid mistakes. I lost game to to turn one blood moon. Having the forest in play did not help.

The maindeck worked exceptionately well. Sideboard is a mess. Ill write a few comments on specific card choices in another post. Gotta go.

Comments on some of the card choices in the GWRB list above:

4 Force of vigor main: I went from 3 to 4 maindeck when I saw how good they are in the deck and after realizing they would be quite relevant in the field. Of the 12 other decks in the meta, they are only weak game 1 against dreadhorde arcanist and BUG fish. The UR arcanist deck I lost to in the final sides in blood moons, so I need to keep all 4 forces in against it. Playing the full playset means putting a premium on green cards in the deck, especially since collector ouphes come out in several match-ups.

4 collector ouphes main: As I mentioned before, I built the deck to beat ravager shops and PO. Against the field I met, 4 ouphe is probably not justified. It is a liability against oath of druids and weak against the "fair" decks. For green-based hate decks in general, I would think they are quite important, since it gives these decks a disruptive 2-drop beater on a power level close to that of Thalia, that pitches to force of vigor.

4 wrenn and six main: Speaking of two-drops that pitch to force of vigor, this card was pretty amazing. Most of the time, it was a functional ramunap excavator that was more resilient to removal. But the option of pinging any target once a round is very relevant. Against oath, it is importantly not a creature, which can build my manabase and/or weaken theirs whilst not activating oath. It can also pluck off spirit tokens after I have wasted their orchard. In the finals, I attacked Thalia into arcanist, bounced Thalia with Karakas after first-strike damage, then played wrenn and six to finish the arcanist off. I shaved a copy once, but never saw the need to cut any more of them. They were well worth the red splash.

4 knights of the reliquary main: This card is arguably too slow for vintage. If it gets to untap, however, it dominates the board. I think it is finally a good vintage card, because force of vigor slows games down to where it becomes effective. I am happy I played four. In the meta this Saturday, I would only side them out/shave copies against grixis control, PO and bomberman.

1 engineered plague main: When looking over sideboard plans against the expected field, I noticed that the engineered plague in the sideboard would come in against about half the field. Against other decks, it has marginal uses that make it decent to use game 1, such as naming "spirit" against oath or "monk" against PO. I was happy about running one in this tourney and will consider doing it again.

2 containment priest main: These are here because I expected 2-3 oath decks and one dredge deck in the meta. On the other hand, I had a hard time finding additional creatures to play. I considered green two-drops like Teeg, Scavenging Ooze and Pridemage and even going to 3 mana for big Thalia or Tireless Tracker. Ultimately, I decided to shy away from these weaker cards and play containment priests, since they are at least situationally powerful. Any ideas here are more than welcome.

Strong sideboard cards: 2 containment priest, 2 grafdiggers cage, 1 tabernacle, 2 stony silence.

Sideboard cards I am happy I ran, even though they could be something else: 1 bojuka bog (no dredge), 1 ghost quarter, 2 lightning bolt, 1 tireless tracker.

Sideborad cards I should not have played: 1 forest, 1 dovin, 1 choke. Choke is win-more with the waste package and wrenn and six. Dovin came in against blue decks, but would have been much stronger as a second sylvan library: Sylvan is cheaper, has a more powerful effect in these match-ups and pitches to force of vigor. The forest was me panicking five minutes before the tourney, when I heard one of the arcanist decks played blood moon in the side. The deck cannot realistically operate against a blood moon anyway, so any green card to pitch to force of vigor would be more effective than the stupid forest. In game two in the final, I had an open fetchland when he played moon turn one. I debated what to do, but went for the basic forest. By the time I had drawn a green card to pitch to force of vigor, he was able to force of will. Meanwhile, the basic forest did nothing.

I will happily respond to questions and/or criticism!

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