Return of the Hawk

Posted in Feature on September 10, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

It's been long enough since we've seen Squadron Hawks carrying Swords that I was legitimately surprised to see such a deck among Daily Event lists on Magic Online. This isn't exactly the UW list that dominated Standard for so long, as it's got an additional color, but the Squadron Hawk-Sword combo is still alive and well.

Squadron Hawk

The main thrust of this deck's strategy is to disrupt opponents with Inquisition of Kozilek, Mana Leak, and Spreading Seas, all while pressuring them with Squadron Hawks, Swords, Lingering Souls, and Elspeths. The combination of Spreading Seas and Tectonic Edge can sometimes just win games by itself, especially given the mana bases people tend to play in Modern.

Spellskite is awesome in this deck, too, even more than it normally is. It does its usual job of blocking small creatures, making removal spells less good, and totally hosing Splinter Twin and Hexproof, but there's sword of an important reason this deck gets to play it main. Equipping a Spellskite justifies its inclusion, mainly because it was so close to playable to begin with, and a 2/6 with protection from various colors really is difficult to stop.

Elspeth and Lingering Souls provide more bodies for Sword purposes, as well as just playing offense and defense with their usual efficiency. I kind of like the one Clutch of the Undercity too, even if it does look a little random. It's basically an Elspeth/Supreme Verdict split card, with the additional bonus of aggressively bouncing a permanent if need be.

Speaking of sweet one-ofs, check out the sideboard: one Blessed Reversal (which I'm sure you had to check to see what it does), one Fracturing Gust, one Mana Leak, and one Mortify, among others. I've always been a big fan of lots of one-of sideboard cards, just to make sure as many bases are covered as possible. I have to admit, I don't exactly know what Blessed Reversal is for, but much like this deck, it seems sweet.

thepekay's Esper Caw-Blade

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