Hello all! I mainly wanted to share this deck as I wanted a sort of staxy creature focused deck for a while now. I've been ping ponging between different commanders, and something about hatebears in Abzan caught my eye.

I generally would like to see if there's anything I can optimize on or remove if it's just generally bad. There is a section for cards that I like, which I'll be hesitant to swap out, but otherwise anything else goes.

Please bear in mind that the goal of this deck is NOT to infinite combo, be cEDH viable or include too many overly expensive cards (namely dual lands, Mana Crypt / Ancient Tomb / Gaea's Cradle). Most expensive cards in the list I already have ready for the deck.

All assistance and criticism is very much appreciated! the non-legal status is because Kudo, King Among Bears hasn't released (yet).

Typical hatebear style. Many different ways to lock down the board state and execute a win by either preventing your opponents from playing or killing them with combat damage over time.

Because this deck doesn't focus on infinite combos or abusable mechanics, this deck is not nor will it ever be cEDH viable. It's too slow and inconsistent to be cEDH.

As a forewarning, there is a lot of discussion around Ramunap Excavator. This is because playing lands from grave is extremely important if we want to synergize with card:Thalia and Gitrog Monster. The extra draw each time is sick, and we can play 2 lands each turn with Thalia out.

Hatebears is one of those hit and miss decks. Let's cover what you SHOULD know before taking inspiration from this deck:


  1. Lots of low-drop creature spells which act as bodies and apply a global effect to either partially or completely block actions.
  2. Many ways to restrict our opponent, creating some (iodized) saltiness which can lead to them playing much worse. Most creatures have a role and a situation for itself, which is important in the context of a tool-box style deck.
  3. Certain combos will restrict your opponent to the point of where they can, most likely, not play the game.
  4. Plenty of lands to drive down our hand. A decent amount of tutors to find what's needed to spend that mana as well.
  5. Generally is consistent T4 or sooner Thalia unless you end up drawing 2 lands and 5 high-drop cards.


  1. Little flyer interaction. We have some flyers that COULD block, but if your opponent is playing a lot of big flyers, you're in trouble.
  2. Struggles against battlecruiser decks or high-aggro decks. We don't have big creatures and losing stuff while blocking isn't ideal.
  3. Not many game-ending spells or combos. This can be remedied with adding overrun effects like the hoof OR putting in infinite combos, but everything has it's price and card swaps can be somewhat difficult. We have a section on cards that be swapped, but remember you still need an ideal board state to win in 1-turn.
  4. Dead draws can be common and potentially game ending, this is intrinsic to hatebears if you're not playing on-meta.
  5. Hatebears are very meta-focused, so you SHOULD tune the deck to your playgroup's meta if you want to win.

First we have a resource denial; making your opponent unable to do much.

Nature's Revolt + Drana and Linvala OR Cursed Totem OR Linvala, Keeper of Silence | Additional goodies: Stony Silence OR Collector Ouphe

  • This is a simple win condition in itself. We only need 2 pieces to completely lock our opponent out of tapping lands for mana. If you have also have Stoney or Ouphe out, your opponents will struggle to find an out. More often than not, having just Revolt and creature ability blockers ends the game. There are plenty of tutors to get creatures out, but Revolt can be more difficult as we only have 1 enchantment tutor.

Additionally, the more stax pieces you have to deny opponents, the better. Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines - Denies all ETB triggers to block cards like Lotus Cobra from making mana, Drannith Magistrate - Denies all non-hand casting (including command zone), Boromir, Warden of the Tower - Counters free spells cast by your opponent, which will completely deadlock them unless their spells cannot be countered.

NOTE: Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite - Removes all 2/2 lands your opponent controls and makes yours 4/4! This of course also buffs your other creatures so you can close out the game faster.


Next we have a more simpler pressure win, STRIP MIIIINE.

Strip Mine + Thalia and The Gitrog Monster + Ramunap Excavator OR ANY LAND RECURSION (Creature is just easier to assemble)

  • Pretty self explanatory wombo-combo. Play strip mine -> blow up a land. Play another land -> block up another land. Next turn you can blow up two more. Dauthi Voidwalker will also make the lands inaccessible, so land recursion on your opponents side becomes useless.

We can assemble the combos by:

  1. Crop Rotation: Allows us to search for ANY land. Saccing a land to potentially end the game is very much worth it if you have enough lands. If you have land recursion, sacrificing is mildly irrelevant.
  2. Tutors (See Tutors section): Fetch for recursion either by artifact or Ramunap or Strip Mine if you don't have.

Note: You are sacrificing mana to do this since you can only play 2 lands a turn. If you want more SPICY meatballs, get The Gitrog Monster OR Exploration OR Azusa, Lost but Seeking to blow up more lands.

Note 2: This deck isn't focused around land spam, so it's not optimized strictly for this. If the pieces can be assembled, it MIGHT be worth grinding down your opponents, but it all depends on board state and options.

This one isn't as straight forward as above as it does not lock our opponent out of resources, so they can still respond.

Thalia and The Gitrog Monster + Felidar Retreat + the following:

This will allow us to get 4 triggers from Felidar every turn. The main drawback is we will only get so many repeatable triggers. We only have 12 basics in the deck, 5 nonbasic fetchable lands (3 shocks + Dryad Arbor + Indatha Triome). Maybe this is something to improve in the future..?

This one is a bit tricky, but we'll go over all of the cards that ramp and how we'll generally use them.

Basic ramp permanents:

Sol Ring | Arcane Signet | Avacyn's Pilgrim | Birds of Paradise | Deathrite Shaman

  • Are all basic ramp cards that should be played early to get CMDR out faster. Deathrite is hit and miss, and can be easily swapped for any other 1-drop dork. If no one drops lands in GY early, it's basically a somewhat useless 1/1 body. Be mindful if you do not open with any ramp cards in your opening hand, you're threatening a dead draw later, so bear this in mind. Fiend Artisan was added to make dead draw creatures slightly better, but we'll cover that in the tutors section.

Yasharn, Implacable Earth

  • Searches for TWO basics, which go to your hand. This can be massive if you run out of land drops. Synergizes really well with Felidar Retreat and our commander as we can play both lands immediately.

Ramp spells:

Three Visits | Nature's Lore | Entish Restoration

  • Visits and Lore are for simple ramp and mana fixing if needed. You should always be searching for missing colors, but avoid Indatha Triome if you can cast another card off the land drop. There should be plenty of mana-fixing non-basic lands in the deck, but sometimes you get just hosed out.

Entish is a bit of a strange ramp card. It acts similarly to Crop Rotation in that you need to sac a land as an additional cost. You get 2 basics minimum and 3 if you control a creature with power 4+. Always wait for CMDR or a creature with power 4+ unless you really need the mana or are missing colors, which usually ends up being black mana.

Crop Rotation:

Crop Rotation

  • Just here to thin your deck, fix colors or search for a utility land. If you have Flagstones of Trokair, you can replace it with a triome or shock land to get more color variety and later play from graveyard with recursion cards and you also still get the crop rotation land as well, which is sick.

Okay, now let's just get this out of the way... Yes, this deck has cards that I like rather than immediately benefitting the deck. These can all be subbed out for better cards, most of which lesser CMC.

Avacyn, Angel of Hope

  • Avacyn is my favorite MTG card. She is very expensive, needs to be hard cast since we do not run graveyard fillers, and provides no resource denial against your opponents. Her only use cases are for board wiping creatures via Damn, wiping lands via Armageddon or allowing you to alpha strike without worrying about losing creatures. If you wanted to swap her out, I'd suggest doing so with a 1-drop dork like Elvish Mystic or a tutor like Vampiric Tutor

Sheoldred, Whispering One

  • Good ol' Sheoldred. Another expensive creature that has little value in terms of control. She does have the benefit of swampwalk, which means it's possible to kill someone just with her. Creature recursion is nice, but we don't want our stuff to die unless we're podding via Eldritch Evolution OR Fiend Artisan. If your opponent has any sort of token generation, Sheoldred's value is severely diminished. Unlike Avacyn, she is more useful overall but having in cost makes it more difficult to cast spells if you haven't ramped for basics. I'd swap for Craterhoof Behemoth if you dislike Sheoldred.

Sigarda, Host of Herons

  • Sigarda is mainly here to give us an out when our opponents are playing heavy sac decks such as Teysa Karlov with Grave Pact. We can sac a creature or two here and there, but too many and we lose the game. This deck has plenty of other ways to avoid this, but having hexproof on her, flying and adding more redundancy just seemed cool. One of the biggest issues is that she does not STOP our opponents in their tracks, only stops them from forcing us to sacrifice things. With the Eldrazi becoming more and more common with more support (MH3 CMDR), we're likely to see more annihilator effects as well, so maybe Sigarda will becomes slightly more meta for mid-range decks, but I doubt. I'd suggest swapping for The Gitrog Monster since you get more value from saccing lands.

Eldritch Evolution

  • A bit of a weird card. 3 mana to pod +2 CMC creature out is quite interesting. Overall, I think you're better putting in Sylvan Tutor so you don't need to sac anything, but I always liked having the ability to pod before combat which can remove a hatebear that isn't needed. It also thins your deck and is almost never a dead draw unless you control no creatures, which rarely happens.

Nature's Revolt

  • Yeah, the worst card in the deck bar none. Absolutely terrible CMC for making lands 2/2's which can get you killed if an opponent hooves or overruns. I wanted a use for this card ever since I made my Meren deck, but unfortunately Living Plane is objectively better. The only downside is it's $270 price tag vs Revolt's $3, so I was not willing to spend that much on a niche card. If you wanted to replace this... just pick really any other hatebear like Opposition Agent. There is the option of Living Plane, but that card is way too expensive ($$$) for it's niche use here. It's faster and gives smaller creatures as a tradeoff; but it's objectively better.

Honestly, just swap for Ohran Frostfang to give you aggro openings and draw.

Dryad Arbor

  • Non-basic forest creature. Tutorable with forest fetches and creature fetches. Can be swapped out for a basic forest. I like it as we can use it as a body for pumping and podding if needed later.

Sounded better in my head honestly...

Demonic Tutor

  • Classic tutor card. 2 mana to search for any card is pretty sick. You ideally want to search for engine cards like Ramunap Excavator OR Crucible of Worlds OR Conduit of Worlds OR Felidar Retreat. Getting cards that allow for grave land recursion is extremely important as it allows to thin out the deck with fetches and cleanly sacrifice lands which can be used in 2nd main phase while also giving us an extra draw when we attack.

We also want to consider searching for stax pieces, so saving the tutor for later can be valuable as well. If your opponent stacks playing a lot of mana rocks, Collector Ouphe OR Stony Silence should be tutored for. fighting against battlecruiser deck? Kudo, King Among Bears makes all creatures base P/T 2/2, which we can later keep the board clear with Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite unless our opponents have creature buffs.

Eldritch Evolution

  • Good ol' Eldritch! Not only is the art sick, the effect is also pretty good. Mainly used to pod into a better board state. We can search for answers or Ramunap Excavator to get our attack engine purring. Ideally, you just search for whatever locks down the strongest opponent, but always make sure you're not podding off a creature that will enable an opponent too much. Not much else to say, just search for whatever you need.

Finale of Devastation

  • Quite powerful fetch card. We pay and and we can potentially search for any creature in our deck/grave along with getting a potentially massive P/T buff to creatures. Since we're not running hoof, you ideally just want this to search for Ramunap Excavator OR Birds of Paradise OR Avacyn, Angel of Hope OR Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. More often than not, we end up with a lot of mana we generally struggle to consume, so this card makes up for it in droves. If only this card had trample too...

Eladamri's Call

  • One of the best creature tutors in the deck. We're ideally searching for Ramunap Excavator as usual, but we can search for ANY CREATURE, which allows us to search for and start podding with Fiend Artisan if we really need to. Always keep an eye on the board state and search for the best creature to drop. The more mana you have available, the better it is to search for stronger creatures like Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite or Avacyn, Angel of Hope which both create a target on themselves to give hatebears some room to breathe. It's an instant as well, so you can gamble on casting at your opponent's end steps so they have less time to play reactionary to the search. The creature goes directly into our hand, which is nice!

Enlightened Tutor

  • Pretty straight forward search card. We always want to be searching for Conduit of Worlds OR Crucible of Worlds OR Felidar Retreat OR Nature's Revolt. The first two are obvious -> play lands from grave and either spam destroy lands with Strip Mine or ramp into a locked down board state. The latter two are situational. Felidar is better overall if you already have land recursion since it's a heck of a good engine card, but Revolt can end the game if you have Linvala, Keeper of Silence OR Drana and Linvala. Unfortunately, we sacrifice a draw for it, but for instant-speed , we'll take it!

Worldly Tutor

  • Self explanatory search card. I generally look for Ramunap Excavator if you can, but it's often more important to get the hatebear effects in play.

Let's keep the creature part quick:

Fiend Artisan

  • Good podding creature. Stops dead creature draws if that creature blocks us or doesn't give any benefit. We can also sac the 2/2's from Felidar Retreat to start filling the board. Acts as a mana dump too. If we manage to get Sheoldred, Whispering One out, we can start saccing creatures that won't enable the opponent too much and bring them back next turn.

Ranger-Captain of Eos

  • A 50/50 creature tutor. Most times we want to searching for Birds of Paradise OR another 1-drop dork, but we could technically search for Esper Sentinel if we really needed to. We can also search for Dryad Arbor since it's both a creature and a (nonbasic) land. Arbor can be risky since it can be removed easily, but the option is there if, say, we already have the other 1-drops on the field.

Recruiter of the Guard

  • Allows us to search for many, many bears. Kudo, King Among Bears to homogenize the P/T of creatures. Gaddock Teeg for locking down high-drop noncreature spells; but locks us out of Finale of Devastation, so be careful. We can always sac with Thalia though. Collector Ouphe so artifact-heavy decks are quite useless; watch out for Mycosynth Lattice as it will make everyone unable to tap for mana. Those are just a few examples of reactionary searching.


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Revision 5 See all

(1 week ago)

+1 Dryad Arbor main
+1 Felidar Retreat main
+1 Fiend Artisan main
+1 Recruiter of the Guard main
Date added 2 weeks
Last updated 1 week

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

12 - 0 Mythic Rares

57 - 0 Rares

14 - 0 Uncommons

5 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.86
Tokens Cat Beast 2/2 W, Soldier, The Ring, The Ring Tempts You
Folders Decks I want to build
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