When I first read Hullbreaker Horror, I thought it bounced a spell or permanent just one time when you played it. Kind of like a big Remand that can’t be countered and comes with a big uncounterable body. That’s possibly a sideboard option against control decks, but nothing to write home about.
Well, yesterday in my first couple of matches of the new Standard, I got absolutely smashed by an Izzet deck built around it and found out that it actually does the bounce trigger for every spell you cast!
Given that the most popular colors in Standard are currently blue and red, the 7/8 body is quite hard to kill. I got to experience this myself when I was playing Izzet Dragons. We exchanged some card draw spells, creatures and removal. Then, my opponent managed to stabilize and played the big 7/8 Horror. At this point, I’m looking at a counter, Dragon’s Fire without a Dragon, Spikefield Hazard and a Shatterskull Smashing, and there is just nothing I can do. For the rest of the game, all I can do is keep casting my freshly drawn Goldspan Dragon and Memory Deluge, but my opponent has a Memory Deluge of their own, which gives them a steady stream of new cards that make sure I never get to resolve another spell for the rest of the game.
Hullbreaker Horror is one of those cards that you have to play with to really see how good it is in practice and I have to say I was very impressed with what I saw.
You can build the deck in many ways and any two-color combination seems reasonable. Huey already covered an Azorius version, and an Izzet version is fairly easy to make by just substituting the Dragons for it. I picked these two Dimir and Simic version from Twitter just to give you an idea of what these decks could look like.
Whatever colors you’re playing, your goal should be to be a control (or ramp) deck that has Hullbreaker Horror at the top of the curve. You want to play a lot of answers to make sure you can stay alive and then have it take over the game. Card draw spells like Memory Deluge are great because they are a great source of repeated card advantage, while counters might be a little less desirable because you can’t play them when there is nothing on the stack to trigger the Horror. Having a couple of copies of Jwari Disruption or Syncopate seems quite reasonable to me though.
Here’s an interesting Dimir list from Bryan Gottlieb:
I've found my lane, and I will not be leaving it any time soon pic.twitter.com/5uNWnj9epS
— Bryan Gottlieb (@BryanGo) November 12, 2021
And a Simic list from TopdeckKing1:
So far day 1 Hullbreaker is nuts a quick 6-0 on stream another 4-1 on mobile, this deck has big legs in the format so far.
— TopDeckKing (@TopDeckKing1) November 12, 2021