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Hatebears (also called Hatebear) refers both to a specific archetype as well as a suite of creatures. Like most of the bear creature types printed in magic (e.g. Grizzly Bears), Hatebears are creatures with traditionally 2/2 power and toughness, but have additional effects of resource denial, taxation, or stax effects that together create effects that are greater than the sum of their parts. Hatebears as an archetype is a creature-centric strategy that employs a high density of Hatebear creatures in order to stifle opponents' resources with an array of efficiently-costed creatures. As a semantic distinction, many stax decks with a high number of creatures could be considered hatebear decks.

Hatebears decks tend to win through combat damage with their creatures, assembling a combo (e.g. Reveillark, Karmic Guide, Murderous Redcap), or through encouraging opponents to concede through resource denial.

Hatebears are commonly found in decks that include white.

Popular Hatebear Cards

Popular Hatebears Commanders


Hatebears decks seek to employ efficiently-costed creatures with additional effects to slow down and disrupt opponents while they continue to develop a board state or assemble a game-winning combo. Hatebears tend to interact with opponents in the following manners:

  • May contain the word "can't", "don't", or "instead" to subvert an expected game mechanic:
e.g. Gaddock Teeg, Hushwing Gryff, Aven Mindcensor, Containment Priest, Eidolon of Rhetoric, Collector Ouphe
  • May increase the mana cost of other spells:
e.g. Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Vryn Wingmare, Glowrider
  • May interfere with untapping or cause permanents to enter tapped:
e.g. Manglehorn, Thalia, Heretic Cathar, Imposing Sovereign, Loxodon Gatekeeper, Hokori, Dust Drinker
  • May cause or encourage players to sacrifice one or more permanents:
e.g. Kataki, War's Wage, Magus of the Tabernacle, Spelltithe Enforcer
  • Limit card advantage for opponents:
e.g. Spirit of the Labyrinth, Alms Collector, Leonin Arbiter, Aven Mindcensor
  • Protect you from opponents:
e.g. Dosan the Falling Leaf, Grand Abolisher, Aegis of the Gods, Selfless Spirit, Dauntless Escort

Strengths and Weaknesses


  • Hatebears decks are often incredibly efficient in terms of mana-cost and impact, emphasizing lower average converted-mana-cost cards with powerful effects. As a result, Hatebears decks can often begin influencing the game early on, and have tremendous resilience once multiple Hatebears have been deployed on the battlefield.
  • By emphasizing low-costed creatures, Hatebears decks can often capitalize on breaking parity against their own downsides and disproportionately affect opponents, such as Thalia, Guardian of Thraben or Gaddock Teeg.


Hatebears are often targeted and specific in their nullifying effects, which means many hatebears may be mismatched against an opponent’s strategy (e.g. a Hushwing Gryff against a spellslinger deck).

  • The efficacy of Hatebears to close out games is often dependent on reaching a critical mass of them on the battlefield. Hatebears decks are board-dependent and creature-centric, meaning they can be particularly susceptible to mass removal such as board-wipes (e.g. Wrath of God or bounce/sweeper effects (e.g. Cyclonic Rift).
  • Hatebears decks additionally tend to lack any traditional ‘top’ end or higher-costed haymakers, instead emphasizing slowing opponents down, which can make them difficult to close out games without a combo-based finisher or concession.