How do you beat W&6 with fair hatebears?

Hi community,

I'm curious to know people's thoughts on an issue I've been having for a while now:

https://scryfall.com/card/mh1/217/wrenn-and-six

This card has been a blight on my "fair" creature decks for a while now and I'm not quite sure what to do about it. I recently threw up my hands and ran 3-4 Revokers, but even that isn't a great solution. For context, I generally run hatebear Knight of the Reliquary lists that seek to abuse Cavern of Souls naming Human. I have a spicey new build of late with Vito, Thorn of the Duskrose and other Lifegain like DRS and Kambal. I also run key X/1s though like Thalia and Bob and this freaking card has owned me so often. It simultaneously nullifies MY wastelands while also waste-locking me and pinging my Thalias. I also can't run Mother of Runes to combat it because they just ping the mom and then remove it in response to it targeting itself. This card is just so ridiculously undercosted and annoying. What do I do?

Thanks,

Storm

Is it time to bring back Mayor of Avabruck? Keeps your 1 toughness humans from getting pinged, and also can start pooping out wolves to kill W6.

Except that Mayor can get pinged. I already have a working idea. Carpet of Flowers.

Would it help to play W6 yourself?

Deathrite shaman is good against it, as well as scavenging ooze. You could also try to make your deck more aggressive, to make W6 less relevant. Scab-clan marauder comes to mind.

Ankh of Mishra?

I’m not sure how the damage redirection works anymore, but maybe you can redirect the damage to W&6

A janky card, but possibly workable is Icon of Ancestry. For 3, you get +1/+1 to all your humans and you can start fetching humans off the top in the midgame if you need to rebuild. Even if you run ouphe, the +1/+1 is always there and is hard to remove (nobody is bringing in artifact hate vs humans). It adds to your clock while making thalias able to beat vengevines and such. It's a neat little card in a tribal deck.

spark hunter masticore in the side?

My opinion is that this is not just about Wrenn but this is about trying to beat a strategy that is simply put, superior to what you are trying to do. Even with your best draw, you will still be at a disadvantage. A couple of cards will not solve this. Wrenn/DRS/Waste combined with multiple draw / card selection and removal is just the kind of tempo play that beats 'fair' aggro control decks.

The reason for this is simple, your investment is based on creatures, and almost exclusively. The cards they run naturally answer creatures and more.

Thankfully not all the Xerox iterations are on DRS/Wasteland/Wrenn package. In my opinion, this package should actually be played by us. And there is actually a deck that Recklessmbermage is covering in the Junk bear thread that does exactly this. I still don't understand why you are not trying that out Noah. Just because some version of Xerox runs these cards, does not mean they 'own' it and they are the only ones that can run it. It does not make DRS/Wrenn a blue thing.

@guli @Stormanimagus While Wrenn alone may not be the ONLY problem card, it is a card that eats thalia and friends all day long. In addition to the waste/DRS issues, it's a big thorn. One card that I tried to good effect in the fastbond post-unrestriction meta was Tomik. Tomik not only stops your lands from getting ravaged, but allows you to replay your own wastes without DRS exiling them and stops Wrenn from generating CA.

Tomik is out of Wrenn's ping range too, and he flies over goyfs and oozes. He's a helluva human in the color you already run. Just for the shear fact that he stops waste/strip, I find him to be maindeckable in a lot of white decks. For 2 mana, a 2/3 flyer with that ability is sweet. The fact that you run a ton of utility lands you want to stick around, stopping wastes is even more important for you. He's a solid option.

And I still think, Wrenn or not, you will find value in Icon. It is CA + added clock in addition to the buff against Wrenn, which isn't bad.

Thanks for the input, but I think Tomik is too narrow and will just get bolted. Then the engine is turned back on. I have been testing Carpet of Flowers to much success lately as a way to burst mana on the table through a Wren and get to my fatties faster.

The Noble/Dark Confidant/Thalia/Mayor core creature base for Humans designed 5-6 years ago (A_Duck and myself worked months on this) has been utterly destroyed by printings like Walking Ballista/Wrenn/Oko and more. You get punished so hard by running the 'normal' stuff.

Some answers I can think of are:
They print an efficient card that hexproofs our investments (our creature base) is to play more powered lists yourself that generate more resource than they can handle. A good example is

alt text

The problem is that this card is not efficient , at 4 converted mana cost it is a good card, but in order to be reliable as a tactic to support our strategy of 'protect the investment' it has to be cheaper. Cheaper with a price maybe but it has to be able to get in there when it matters. Similarly how infect tries to protect their dudes.

Chubbyrain has illustrated that a list with Humans and lords can get the job done: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/3167642#online

I do not know what the match ups where, and I am especially interested in the match up vs Wrenn/Drs. It seems that his list tries to put a lot of boots on the table and win by force and relatively quickly. Having access to Humans that can grow big but do not cost 3 mana (like Knight) was most likely what made life hard on all the decks that try to get rid of all your stuff. Very interesting list.

Maybe this is obvious, but if you want to avoid a 1 damage ping, you need 2 toughness creatures. More bears, less pikers.

@vaughnbros

As soon as there are enough worth running let me know.

@stormanimagus

This Hatebear list of mine is a year old, but no 1 toughness creatures:
https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=22551&d=353640&f=VI

When BUG was at its highest, I found that a combination of Rest in Peace and Mirran Crusader was devastating. Rest in Peace to stop Deathrite and Tarmogoyf as well as their card advantage engine like Snapcaster Mage and Delve spells. Mirran Crusader was the hot techonology against Oko and was almost unbeatable for BUG.

Recently, however, BUG has become BUGR with Wrenn and Six and Bolts, which is much worse as Wrenn and Six is indeed a major problem for Hatebears and Bolt is bad news as well. However, I've found that these decks are still very soft to graveyard hate, whether they're playing Tarmogoyf or Dreadhorde or whatever, and it's also the case for the non-black versions.

I still think that Rest in Peace is a great card against these decks, but the main problem is that Rest in Peace is not that stellar against Bazaar decks these days. And of course if you yourself is on Deathrites and/or Knight of the Reliquary, Rest in Peace might not even be an option.

I also like Sanctum Prelate (as you likely know), as Prelate @ 1 is devastating against Dreadhorde decks, but admittedly it's not that great vs the black versions that run Trophies and/or Decays.

Another card I've always been fond of is Thalia 2.0 (both in general and against Wrenn strategies in particular), which isn't killed by Wrenn, slows their land recursion down and is generally a good card in many matchups.

Of course you could also run stuff like Deathrite Shaman (which I think you already are) and Scavenging Ooze which I think is pretty good at the moment.

I don't think there's any crystal clear solution, any one card that destroys Wrenn based decks, but a combination of cards that give you a small edge against these decks should give you a fighting chance.

I remember you played that green enchantment that gives your creatures shroud at some point (I forgot its name) - perhaps that's something to look into again?

Best regards.

last edited by Griselbrother

@griselbrother said in How do you beat W&6 with fair hatebears?:

I remember you played that green enchantment that gives your creatures shroud at some point (I forgot its name) - perhaps that's something to look into again?

Dense Foliage?

@griselbrother

The power of hate bears and hate walkers is that they aren’t just a lock piece. They also threaten to kill your opponent (or bury them in CA for the walkers).

@chronatog said in How do you beat W&6 with fair hatebears?:

@griselbrother said in How do you beat W&6 with fair hatebears?:

I remember you played that green enchantment that gives your creatures shroud at some point (I forgot its name) - perhaps that's something to look into again?

Dense Foliage?

Hmm, no it wasn't that one. I don't remember the name sorry, but Stormanimagus likely does, as he was the one playing it.

@vaughnbros said in How do you beat W&6 with fair hatebears?:

@griselbrother

The power of hate bears and hate walkers is that they aren’t just a lock piece. They also threaten to kill your opponent (or bury them in CA for the walkers).

Uhm, Yeah. Sorry, I'm not really sure what your point is?

last edited by Griselbrother

@griselbrother

My main point is the stuff like Rest In Peace and Shroud enchantment are nice effects, but they aren’t threats. Reducing your threat density hurts the strategy.

@vaughnbros said in How do you beat W&6 with fair hatebears?:

@griselbrother

My main point is the stuff like Rest In Peace and Shroud enchantment are nice effects, but they aren’t threats. Reducing your threat density hurts the strategy.

Ah, I see what you mean now and I agree, but only to a certain point. This is a question of speed vs disruption which is actually a very complex topic. Basically, you want to win while preventing your opponent from winning, but if you prevent your opponent from winning at all, it doesn't really matter how fast you kill them.

You could also look at this from a "time" perspective, ie. how much time do you give your opponent to win? However, time is a relative concept in Magic, and I think it's a misconception to look at it in terms of turns (as in how many turns do you give your opponent), because it doesn't really matter how many turns they get if they can't do anything with them.

Hatebears have always played non-creature threats (or answers or whatever you want to call it), for the reason that the disruption those cards provide is higher than that of creatures. Chalice, Thorn, Stony Silence, Misstep, Grafdigger's Cage, or, if you go way back, Choke, etc. come to mind. Conversely, Tarmogoyf isn't a hatebear either, but it might be a good card to play still.

If, say, Rest in Peace lowers your opponent's chances of winning enough then it might be a valid call to play that card even though it doesn't attack. At one time, most Dreadhorde players literally had no way of winning through a Prelate @ 1 but I would never attack with it because I didn't want it to run into a Snapcaster Mage, and it didn't matter at all when I started attacking. Similarly, Peacekeeper is technically a Hatebear, but it might as well have been an enchantment because, well, it can't attack.

When all this is said, I do agree that you probably shouldn't just load up on enchantments or artifacts and try to prevent your opponent from winning, but rather find the right balance between speed and disruption. This is what the most succesful Hatebear-like strategies (Shops and Eldrazi, which, technically, are using the same strategy) are so good at.

last edited by Griselbrother
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