Hate bear decks in all formats tend to be the ones I’m least likely to ever sleeve up and play, and yet I always find myself losing to them. There’s just something about a bunch of creatures working together to disrupt an opposing game plan that is tough for the decks I love to beat. The fact that these decks are so creature-heavy and thus present a real clock ensures that there is little recovery time once they start to tighten the noose.
Not only are there a number of creatures with enters-the-battlefield abilities that are enhanced at instant speed, but there’s also a glut of creatures at certain casting costs. This means you can tap your mana while still representing a number of useful tricks with the creatures in your hand. This is a big tempo swing, and allows you to play more lands that might be disruptive to opposing game plans.
The queen of ruining your spell-heavy-deck-loving player is Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. A Vintage-playable card, Thalia is already a solid body at 2 power and first strike for 2 mana. With so few spells in your deck, and with all of them priced at just 1 mana, Thalia will have little impact on you and a great impact on your opponent. A Storm deck plays Baral to try to make casting spells easier, and Thalia completely negates that against everyone.
Leonin Arbiter is innocuous on the surface, but when you hear people complain about the amount of shuffling in Modern, it should be clear how good this card can be. This puts a real hurt on fetchlands, but there are also tutor effects like Chord of Calling, your own Path to Exiles, and land ramp to shut down. Combined with a full playset of Ghost Quarters that are now Strip Mines in this deck, Arbiter puts in serious work.
Tidehollow Sculler will pick apart your opponent’s curve, slow down any combo deck, or just suck up a removal spell. The fact that your opponent’s first removal spell generally has to be pointed at the Sculler to get their card back makes it quite valuable.
Dark Confidant adds card advantage to a deck with a cheap curve. It’s hard for you to get ahead on cards, but this is one way to turn that around.
Eldrazi Displacer is pretty nasty with enters-the-battlefield triggers such as Sculler’s. Displacer is also a 3/3 for 3 that makes opposing removal spells ineffective.
Flickerwisp is much better with a Vial on 3, but it can reset a land, untap a creature, get additional enters-the-battlefield triggers, remove an opposing blocker (or exile a token), and it’s a 3-power flying creature.
Blade Splicer is a nice one to hit with Displacer or Flickerwisp. Additional Golems are always nice, and flashing in a Blade Splicer to first strike down an opposing 3-toughness creature is a blowout.
The top of the curve is the newest king (queen? it?) of disruption. Thought-Knot Seer is a large 4/4 body that can exile an important card from your opponent’s hand. This is one of the scariest creatures to face down, and having the ability to blink it can lock opponents out of casting anything but instants (already made harder thanks to cards like Thalia and Arbiter). With 4 Thought-Knots and 4 Displacers, a playset of Eldrazi Temple becomes a potent addition to the deck.
B/W Eldrazi or Hate Bears is one of the most disruptive decks in Modern and a true nightmare for spell-heavy decks. With larger creatures than many opponents, it’s one of the more powerful options to play today.