Standard Green-White Hardened Scales

Posted in Daily Deck on October 12, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

Hardened Scales is a very unique Magic Card. It doesn't do anything by itself, but when combined with the right creatures, it does quite a lot. Today's deck, piloted by David Phelps to a Top 16 finish at the Open in Indianapolis last weekend, is built around this one-mana enchantment.

Hardened Scales was a deck we played a decent amount of in our Future Future League, and our lists were actually pretty close to David's. To optimally build this deck, all of the creatures have to give you +1/+1 counters in some way. Some of these creatures offer repeatable effects, while others are one-shot deals.

The repeatable effects are definitely the cards that make this deck work and the reason to play Hardened Scales. Those cards are Hangarback Walker, Abzan Falconer, and Managorger Hydra. With a Hardened Scales in play, each activation or trigger will give you two counters, which can really add up over time. Abzan Falconer is a great finisher. There will be times when you'll resolve one and just win the game on the spot with a virtual three-mana Levitation.

Most of the spells in this deck are combat tricks that just get better with a Hardened Scales in play. Usually combat tricks aren't very good in Standard, and they are better saved for Limited games. However, the combat tricks in this deck serve multiple purposes. They either have multiple functions, such as Valorous Stance and Dromoka's Command, or just get so much more powerful with a Hardened Scales out.

One combat trick that is great in this deck is Inspiring Call. David only chose to play one copy in his main deck, but we played a lot of this card in FFL. This card's main purpose is to help your team survive against a mass removal spell like Planar Outburst. It will often draw you two or more cards, which is a great way to refill your hand against a control deck.

David Phelps's Green-White Hardened Scales

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