The Gameplan

At its best Hooru is a tempo deck, built around efficient flyers. The deck is difficult to pilot well and requires a solid understanding of who’s the beatdown (Fun Fact:  Mike Flores was a member of Cabal Rogue, an MTG super team from the 1990’s.

How do you get into the deck?

Hooru is a much-maligned archetype in the current draft meta. You could get into the deck by forcing it, but I wouldn’t recommend that method.  I typically find my way to Hooru by picking up solid Primal Cards and then moving into Justice once I see some of the premium uncommons towards the end of pack 1.  The other common way for me to move into the deck is getting passed multiple Shelterwing Riders.  That might seem far fetched, but it’s happened several times so far.  Getting a third pick Shelterwing Rider is a very clear sign that Hooru is open and you should move in.

Skycrag Draft Guide
Skycrag Draft Guide

What to prioritize in Pack 2

This is the first pack where you will not encounter any Hooru dual cards.  The Empty Throne was focused on the allied color pairs (Rakano, Elysian, Feln, Stonescar and Combrei) and you will need to focus on individual Justice and Primal cards.  Continue to pick up premium fliers and flying support cards like Windshaper.  Warcry on fliers is great and you’ll want to grab Minotaur grunts and Auric Sentries if you see them.

Tempo is often gained via stun when you’re playing Hooru and Set 1 has a ton of great options.

I don’t often splash with Hooru, but try to pay attention to what seems open in this pack and what you might want to splash.  Removal spells like Feeding Time are often worth the effort.

Permafrost
Skycrag Draft Guide

Packs 3 & 4

The last two packs should be focused on filling the holes in your curve, picking up removal and grabbing what fixing you can if your splashing.  Having a good curve is more important in Hooru than in some of the other archetypes.

Skycrag Draft Guide

Subthemes – Stun

The subthemes in Hooru aren’t as obvious as Argenport, but they do exist!  Strangely enough Stun gets some Tribalish support in the form of Fencing Master.  Playing Fencing Master on turn 3 and following up with a Jarral’s frostkin is the kind of thing most opponents don’t come back from.

Subthemes – Spark

More commonly thought of as a Skycrag mechanic, spark fits in nicely with Hooru’s gameplan.  While only found in packs 1 and 3, the best spark enabler in the game is from packs 2 and 4.  East-wind Herald is an unassuming lil elemental, but it blocks 2/x units for days and can chip in for damage easily.

Skycrag Draft Guide

Traps – Mentor

Much has been written about Mentor and its failings as a mechanic.  The most obvious is that its tempo negative, in a color pair that cares about creating positive tempo.  That being said, it does have its place in the deck, it should just be used sparingly. Spellshield Architect and Dragon’s breath are by far the best of the bunch, followed closely by Roosting Owl and Highbranch Sentry (mostly because its a 3/3 for 3).

Skycrag Draft Guide

Underdrafted and Underutilized

I’m always going to play at least one Cirso’s Meddling in my Hooru decks.  I think people overlook the fact that it is a fast spell.  Yes, it is expensive, and yes, it leaves a piggy behind, but that is mitigated when they swing with their bomb, you make it a pig and Foothills Alpha has a tasty snack.  Violent Gust kills things that get in the way of your fliers.

Common Traps

The biggest trap for Hooru is treating mentor like the primary theme for the deck. Another common downfall is having only fliers.  You will need some ground units to block with.  Also these cards:

1 Static Bolt (Set1 #194)
1 Copperhall Shieldman (Set2 #79)
1 Icebreaker (Set1 #216)
1 Soaring Stranger (Set1 #229)
1 Champion of Order (Set2 #225)
1 Psionic Savant (Set1 #360)
1 Boltcrafter Shaman (Set2 #131)
1 Icequake (Set2 #136)
1 Valkyrie Linebreaker (Set2 #102)

Some of these cards ARE playable, just not in Hooru.  Feel free to tell me why I’m incredibly wrong in the comments.

Deck Structure

Units: 17-20

Attachments: 1-2

Removal:  Hard removal is hard to find in Hooru, but you’ll want several tempo effects like Flash Freeze to push through the damage.

Power:  17-18

7-win Example Decklists

7-0

 

1 Finest Hour
1 Minotaur Oathkeeper
1 Permafrost
1 Seek Power
1 Borderlands Waykeeper
2 Copperhall Herald
1 East-Wind Herald
1 Hooru Stranger
1 Sparring Partner
1 Talon of Nostrix
1 Auric Sentry
1 Cobalt Acolyte
1 Fencing Master
1 Highbranch Sentry
3 Polymorph
1 Spellshield Architect
2 Stormcrasher
1 Wisdom of the Elders
3 Serpent Trainer
1 Victor’s Cry
1 Minotaur Duelist
1 Ceremonial Mask
1 Adaptive Predator
8 Justice Sigil
8 Primal Sigil

7-2

 

1 Levitate
1 Permafrost
1 Cloudsnake Breeder
1 Combrei Stranger
1 Crownwatch Paladin
1 Elysian Stranger
1 Hooru Stranger
1 Lightning Strike
2 Strength of Many
1 Vanquish
1 Cobalt Acolyte
1 Eilyn’s Choice
1 Ice Sprite
1 Skyrider Vanguard
2 Skysnapper
1 Stormcrasher
1 Jarrall’s Frostkin
1 Jotun Cyclops
1 Peacekeeper’s Prod
1 Ridgeline Watcher
1 Serpent Trainer
1 Valkyrie Militant
1 Duelist’s Blade
1 Mithril Mace
1 Highwind Glider
1 Sapphire Dragon
8 Justice Sigil
9 Primal Sigil

7-2

 

1 Borderlands Waykeeper
1 Cloudsnake Saddle
1 Copperhall Herald
1 Lightning Strike
1 Scaly Gruan
1 Talon of Nostrix
1 Tranquil Scholar
1 Violent Gust
1 Xenan Stranger
2 Cobalt Acolyte
2 Highbranch Sentry
2 Pteriax Hatchling
2 Skysnapper
1 Stormcrasher
1 Wisdom of the Elders
1 Jarrall’s Frostkin
2 Jotun Cyclops
2 Serpent Trainer
1 Windshaper
1 Roosting Owl
1 Adaptive Predator
2 Time Sigil
7 Justice Sigil
8 Primal Sigil
1 Elysian Banner

Cards I’m happy to play in this archetype:

Common

Uncommon

Rare and Legendary

1 Detain (Set1 #133)
1 District Infantry (Set1 #134)
1 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
1 Levitate (Set1 #190)
1 Minotaur Oathkeeper (Set2 #70)
1 Valkyrie Aspirant (Set1 #127)
1 Bring Down (Set2 #217)
1 Copperhall Herald (Set2 #71)
1 Crownwatch Longsword (Set1 #142)
1 Dragonbreath (Set2 #108)
1 East-Wind Herald (Set1 #201)
1 Inspire (Set1 #129)
1 Lightning Strike (Set1 #197)
1 Minotaur Grunt (Set1 #137)
1 Rebuke (Set1 #141)
1 Scaly Gruan (Set1 #215)
1 Stalwart Silverwing (Set2 #72)
1 Strength of Many (Set2 #73)
1 Talon of Nostrix (Set2 #74)
1 Violent Gust (Set1 #205)
1 Brightmace Paladin (Set1 #147)
1 Cobalt Acolyte (Set1 #212)
1 Crafty Yeti (Set2 #116)
1 Flash Freeze (Set1 #209)
1 Foothills Alpha (Set2 #117)
1 Highbranch Sentry (Set2 #82)
1 Skysnapper (Set1 #208)
1 Spellshield Architect (Set2 #221)
1 Stormcrasher (Set2 #121)
1 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
1 Copperhall Recruit (Set1 #158)
1 Jarrall’s Frostkin (Set1 #220)
1 Jotun Cyclops (Set2 #122)
1 Rabblerouser (Set2 #87)
1 Ridgeline Watcher (Set2 #123)
1 Serpent Trainer (Set1 #219)
1 Shield Bash (Set2 #224)
1 Spiked Buckler (Set2 #88)
1 Stalwart Shield (Set1 #162)
1 Hooru Fledgling (Set1 #159)
1 Mithril Mace (Set1 #171)
1 Skywalk Instructor (Set2 #128)
1 Cirso’s Meddling (Set2 #132)
1 Roosting Owl (Set2 #99)

1 Elder’s Feather (Set1 #128)
1 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
1 Borderlands Waykeeper (Set1 #517)
1 Cloudsnake Breeder (Set2 #107)
1 Crownwatch Paladin (Set1 #139)
1 Talon Dive (Set2 #112)
1 Tranquil Scholar (Set2 #76)
1 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
1 Wild Cloudsnake (Set1 #195)
1 Aerialist Trainer (Set2 #219)
1 Auric Sentry (Set1 #146)
1 Copperhall Cudgel (Set2 #78)
1 Eilyn’s Choice (Set2 #220)
1 Emerald Ring (Set2 #80)
1 Fencing Master (Set2 #81)
1 Gilded Glaive (Set1 #125)
1 Hero of the People (Set1 #156)
1 Ice Sprite (Set1 #214)
1 Mark of Shame (Set1 #165)
1 Mirror Image (Set1 #217)
1 Polymorph (Set1 #211)
1 Silverwing Familiar (Set1 #152)
1 Skyrider Vanguard (Set2 #120)
1 Thunderbird (Set0 #27)
1 Tundra Explorer (Set1 #204)
1 Crownwatch Cavalry (Set1 #169)
1 Silverwing Avenger (Set1 #167)
1 Victor’s Cry (Set2 #91)
1 Windshaper (Set1 #230)
1 Yeti Troublemaker (Set1 #222)
1 Duelist’s Blade (Set2 #226)
1 Jotun Hurler (Set1 #227)
1 Minotaur Duelist (Set2 #93)
1 Skycrag Wyvarch (Set1 #247)
1 Throne Warden (Set1 #514)
1 Ceremonial Mask (Set1 #178)
1 Fourth-Tree Elder (Set1 #176)
1 Highwind Glider (Set2 #227)
1 Prosecutor-at-Arms (Set2 #97)
1 Sapphire Dragon (Set1 #236)
1 Adaptive Predator (Set2 #135)
1 Cobalt Monument (Set1 #418)

1 Cloudsnake Saddle (Set1 #199)
1 Eager Owlet (Set1 #144)
1 Kothon, the Far-Watcher (Set2 #218)
1 Paladin Oathbook (Set1 #140)
1 Tinker Overseer (Set1 #138)
1 Cloudsnake Harrier (Set2 #114)
1 Eye of Winter (Set1 #210)
1 Order of the Spire (Set1 #149)
1 Spirit Guide (Set2 #83)
1 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
1 Auric Runehammer (Set1 #166)
1 Copperhall Blessing (Set1 #168)
1 Deranged Dinomancer (Set1 #223)
1 Hammer of Might (Set1 #170)
1 Peacekeeper’s Prod (Set2 #86)
1 Shelterwing Rider (Set2 #223)
1 Skyward Seer (Set2 #125)
1 Torgov, Icecap Trader (Set2 #126)
1 Valkyrie Spireguard (Set2 #90)
1 Watcher of the Big Ones (Set2 #130)
1 Crystallize (Set1 #232)
1 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
1 Magus of the Mist (Set1 #233)
1 Marshal Ironthorn (Set1 #174)
1 Pearlescent Drake (Set2 #127)
1 Silverwing Commander (Set1 #175)
1 Hatchery Hunter (Set1 #237)
1 Nostrix, Lord of Visions (Set2 #229)
1 Rolant’s Fist (Set2 #98)
1 Thunderstrike Dragon (Set1 #243)
1 Valkyrie Wings (Set1 #181)
1 Mistveil Drake (Set1 #242)
1 Rolant’s Honor Guard (Set1 #183)

That’s it for Hooru!  Think I got something wrong, or didn’t mention something important?  Comment below and let me know!  Be sure to check out our other Draft Guides and Draft Snaps.

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