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Much Abrew: Squadron Hawk Tribal (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're heading to Modern to play one of the stranger tribal decks we've ever played: Squadron Hawk Tribal! Not only do we have Squadron Hawk itself, but we're also going so deep on the "creatures that can tutor up more copies of themselves" plan that we're also running Battalion Foot Soldier and Legion Angel. Why so many Squadron Hawks? While we are using them as normal creatures to attack and block, we also have some sneaky synergies, like tutoring up a bunch of Squadron Hawks and pitching them to Force of Virtue for a free anthem or to Solitude for a free Swords to Plowshares. Two-for-one-ing yourself for a Glorious Anthem or Swords to Plowshares normally is pretty painful but not when you have a handful of semi-powerful Squadron Hawks or Battalion Foot Soldiers! How many Squadron Hawks is too many? Can we caw our way to some wins in a Modern league? Let's find out on this week's Much Abrew About Nothing

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Much Abrew: Squadron Hawk Tribal

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, we finished 3-2 with Squadron Hawk Tribal, beating Mardu Death's Shadow twice and Hideous Mill while getting crushed by Grief Blade and losing an incredibly close, long match to Izzet Murktide. 
  • Oddly, Squadron Hawk (and its friends Battalion Foot Soldier and, to a lesser extent, Legion Angel) actually felt like the most important cards in our deck. Our worst games were ones where we didn't draw a single Squadron Hawk effect and were forced to exile "real" cards to Solitude for removal, which quickly emptied our hand and made it difficult to keep up with our opponent. On the other hand, we also saw the power of Squadron Hawk. While a 1/1 flier for two doesn't sound all that exciting, it actually offers a ton of card advantage for a mono-white deck, allowing us to clog up the battlefield and freely cast Solitude and Force of Virtue without running out of cards.
  • Outside of our Squadron Hawks, we have a Human sub-theme (which is related to the Squadron Hawk plan thanks to Battalion Foot Soldier, which happens to be a Human). The main value of the Human plan in Squadron Hawk Tribal is that cards like Champion of the Parish and Thalia's Lieutenant allow us to close out the game quickly. Even though we played some really long, grindy matches in our league, our deck is at its most powerful when we can play it like a tempo deck, by sticking a couple of threats, playing a Squadron Hawk to refill our hand, and then aggressively casting our free spells to clear away blockers and force through more damage to close out the game. 
  • Emeria's Call probably looks strange in the deck. With just 20 lands, there is little chance that we'll get up to seven mana to cast it (especially since if we flood out, we tend to sacrifice Horizon Canopy, Silent Clearing, and Sunbaked Canyon to draw cards). Its power in Squadron Hawk Tribal is that it's an untapped land that is also a white card that we can exile to Solitude or Force of Virtue. It's also apparently good tech against the new Tasha's Hideous Laughter mill deck, which we managed to beat thanks to Emeria's Call having a massive seven mana value, minimizing the number of cards Tasha's Hideous Laughter mills. 
  • In general, the deck felt solid, although I do wonder if the mana base could be upgraded. Thanks to Aether Vial (which we are really good at drawing on Turn 2 or 3) and all of our free spells, we don't usually need that many lands to function. Adding more Horizon Canopy lands could help to ensure we don't flood out. The other land I really want in the deck is Mistveil Plains, which is insane with Squadron Hawks since we can keep putting copies that die on the bottom of our library and tutoring them up, although because it is a tapped land, I don't think we could afford to play more than a copy or two. And without fetch lands, we probably wouldn't find it very consistently, although in theory, we could sneak a few fetches into the deck just to find it. 
  • So, should you play Squadron Hawk Tribal? I think the answer is yes. While the deck isn't broken by any means, it did feel competitive, and it's a really unique, funny concept. Plus, who doesn't love an excuse to caw caw at their opponents?

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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