Hardened scales is one of my favorite cards to build around. It's like a playable doubling season built! I worked on a Standard deck built around this that brought Marc Jacobson and Chapman Sim to a Top 8 at the Houston Grand Prix in 2016, and have since loved the card.
More recently, I used a modern version as a super fun streaming deck. After some changes in the metagame, including the rise of the popularity of humans, the deck passed from one bunch of cute streams to another extremely playable. He took ninth place at the Grand Prix of Barcelona in the hands of Johann Fink, and then managed to conquer the Grand Prix of Prague in the hands of Lauri Pispa. I played something very similar to the Pispa list in Team Unified Modern at the Detroit Grand Prix up to the 2nd place finish.
I could play with two Canopy Horizon on Forests if I could, but Paulo was using them. Apart from this, I'm quite happy with the list. There are some other cards like Solidarity of Heroes, Endless One and Gambit of Tezzeret that might be worth trying, but I feel pretty confident in the current list. As for mana, Darksteel Citadel and the Nexi are the way to go, and they generally do not like the darker and colorless lands like Ruins of Oran-Rief and Phyrexia's Core.
One of the great advantages of playing a deck like Hardened Scales is that it is very difficult to play against. I had several times at the Grand Prix in which an opponent took advantage, while I had a lethal damage on board due to the complexity of the deck. Learning the details of the deck can help you take advantage of your opponent's mistakes.
Tips and tricks
- Always check if you're lethal because it might surprise you. Here are some tricks to maximize your damage.
- Inkmoth Nexus only needs 9 lethal counters.
- Walking Ballista can take counters after Ravager hits your opponent.
- Hangarback should collect any extra modular token before sacrificing it to Ravager to create extra tokens.
- Sacrificing Ravager to Throne of Geth can be useful in some points, as it gives you extra damage compared to sacrificing Ravager to itself, which allows you to keep the Throne at no additional cost.
- When you have two Ravagers, make sure you sacrifice one Ravager to the other.
- When you are trying to assess whether you are lethal or not, it is important to do it quickly. Here are some shortcuts to do the calculations when the hardened scales and the Arcbound Ravager are out.
- Hangarback = 2 + 2 x number of counters on it.
- Arcbound Worker = 5 total tokens (2 incoming and 3 moving)
- Animation module = 2 counters per mana spent
Let's take a quick look at a point I saw at the Detroit Grand Prix to see how you can implement one of these tricks. (Listen to the suggestion courtesy of the great Ben Weitz.)
Here, my hand is just a forest and a mox opal. Despite this, I can put my opponent Antonio in trouble. Can you find the line that does it?
First of all, sacrifice Opal and the Arcbound Ravager welding vessel. Then activate Inkmoth Nexus and sacrifice the Ravager in Throne. The Ravager modulates four counters on the Nexus, and one is proliferated on the Nexus, putting it up to 6/6. The total of my opponent's poison proliferates even up to 3, bringing them to 9 poisons. With a throne and an Inkmoth still in play, this requires more cards to answer.
Apparently, my opponent had a Karn to respond to the Nexus and a Nature & # 39; s Claim to respond to the Throne, so I probably would have lost anyway, but this line would have given me a much better chance of winning.
The sideboard is complicated because Hardened Scales is a very synchronized deck. As with all these decks, less is more. Here's what I would suggest against the biggest decks:
The human beings
U / W control
Thanks for reading, and good luck with your Scaly efforts. This deck is among the funniest I've played in Magic for a long time, and I hope you like it too!