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Modern has long been defined by high-risk high-reward strategies, and fragile Turn 2 kills are no exception. With Bridge from Below getting the axe, players are poised to enter a new era of Modern — one far more reminiscent of the pre-Horizons metagame than post. As such, players will find themselves in a frenzied time, both exploring new options and relying on traditional successes. With that in mind, we’ve decided to showcase a hot new deck set to abuse a Core 2020 addition.

The idea is to put a Colossus Hammer into play, and then cheat on the equip cost to generate one or two turn kills. In this article, I’ll be evaluating possible card choices, as well as how the combo works and basic sideboard discussion.

The Threats

Glistener Elf | A long time eternal staple, Glistener Elf serves as the first one drop to combo with Colossus Hammer. As a 1/1 with Infect, a single hit when equipped deals eleven points — more than enough to satisfy the poison counter victory condition. While fragile, the redundancy provided warrants inclusion — though cutting Glistener Elf allows a R/W or even Mono White version of the deck, as the primary reason to play Green is for this deadly elf.

Kor Duelist | Garnering buzz recently due to exactly this interaction, a Kor Duelist equipped with a Colossus Hammer becomes an 11/11 double striker. Like Glistener Elf, this makes even a single unblocked attack lethal — as early as Turn 2.

Inkmoth Nexus | While not a one drop like the prior two threats, Inkmoth Nexus is nonetheless a powerful inclusion. With both Infect and Flying, Inkmoth is the most reliable way to kill with the Hammer, though it can only carry it for a single turn at a time. Still, the near immunity to board wipes and integration into the mana base makes Inkmoth a nearly free inclusion into this mostly two color deck. Four copies are recommended.

Silhana Ledgewalker | With both Flying and Hexproof, Silhana Ledgewalker is the final threat available to the archetype. While lacking any instant kill method, Ledgewalker nonetheless proves immune to most removal spells, and can fly over opposing blockers, giving the deck just enough redundancy to end games in a timely manner.

Enablers

Colossus Hammer | The defining card of the archetype, this M20 equipment gives a substantial power and toughness boost, for a mostly expensive cost. However, the cheap upfront cost lets us abuse undercosted free equip abilities to end the game with a single attack step. In rare situations, eight mana can be used to circumvent this three card combo, but due to the speed of the format this is uncommon.

Steelshaper’s Gift | For any nonblue combo deck, redundancy is important. While there is no other equipment suitable, Steelshaper’s Gift gives the deck access to a cheap tutor for the Hammer. Four copies is absolutely necessary, as having eight copies of each combo piece gives good odds at cobbling together a kill. Steelshaper’s Gift also works well with other potential equipment out of the sideboard, like Batterskull or any of the Swords.

Open the Armory | Primarily used as the fifth copy of Steelshaper’s Gift, Open the Armory can be used in versions that play Rancor as a way to find the trample-giving aura. Still, it’s important to evaluate Open the Armory as a more expensive version of Colossus Hammer, and even costing two mana is competitive enough.

Magnetic Theft | The only Red card in the deck, Magnetic Theft gives this strategy extra redundancy on top of Sigarda’s Aid. By being able to equip at Instant speed and for only a single mana, Magnetic Theft can contribute to Turn 2 or 3 kills — an impressive metric by any standards. For players without access to a smooth mana base, Kor Outfitter can be used as a replacement.

Sigarda’s Aid | Like Magnetic Theft, Sigarda’s Aid proves capable of enabling Turn 2 or 3 kills, but requires the equipment to be cast after it. This deviates from the strategic sequencing that maximizes the effectiveness of Magnetic Theft, and is something to keep in mind in matchups with more removal.

Supporting Cast

Giver of Runes | Quickly earning its place as a defining one drop, Giver of Runes serves as an extra body to carry the Hammer, on top of its utility. While unable to protect itself, Giver provides both evasion and disruption, as protection prevents both blocking and targetting. Four copies is crucial, as leading on a Turn 1 Giver can gives most decks a hard time.

Path to Exile | Removing problematic threats like Meddling Mage or Thing in the Ice is important, as it can be difficult to beat these cards. While dismember is an option, Path gets the nod due to preserving life total. Additionally, Path can be used on your own creatures to accelerate into the eight mana necessary to equip the hammer.

Noble Hierarch | A long time staple of Green decks, Noble Hierarch synergizes with the Infect threats, while accelerating into quicker combo kills. While not strictly necessary, Noble Hierarch compensates for a stretched mana base, and is the best way to win with Velocity.

Dryad Arbor | While not explicitly a threat, Dryad Arbor gives the deck access to a tutorable creature that is integrated into the mana base. This is a flex slot, and should be replaced by Pendelhaven in removal heavy metagames.

The Sideboard

Nature’s Claim | A catch all answer for most artifacts and enchantments, Nature’s Claim gives the deck access to a cheap answer for a variety of permanents. It is likely that this slot should be something else, as Nature’s Claim will be unable to hit a Chalice on 1 — a number that represents a near auto win for the Chalice player.

Path to Exile | A fourth copy of this ubiquitous removal spell resides in the sideboard, for matchups like Humans or Arclight, though it can be used to great effect against many decks.

Shapers’ Sanctuary | While not a silver bullet sideboard card, Shapers’ Sanctuary serves as a cheap deterrent to most removal spells. By guaranteeing any threat targeted replaces itself, Shapers’ Sanctuary gets the nod over Spellskite mostly due to the low cost.

Apostle’s Blessing  | An additional protection spell, Apostle’s Blessing is most effective in removal spell heavy matchups, though it may not be able to provide evasion and protection at the same time. One copy is sufficient, though this could easily be Blossoming Defense or Vines of Vastwood.

Gaddock Teeg | A haymaker sideboard threat, Gaddock Teeg stops most planeswalkers in the format, while acting as protection against Supreme Verdict. Still, the ability to shut off combo decks like Storm or proactively prevent Chalice from being cast warrants at least a two of.

Grand Abolisher | This unorthodox choice functions similarly to Gaddock Teeg, but shuts off any interaction on your turn. While often going to be removed, any game involving Grand Abolisher is a precarious one for most opponents.

Rest in Peace | With Faithless Looting strategies long persisting as dominant features of Modern, Rest in Peace is an exceptional choice for decks with little to no access to graveyard utilization. Hammertime has no card that use the graveyard in this way, giving the deck access to powerful sideboard cards.

Dismember | Similarly to Path to Exile, interacting with both Meddling Mage and Thing in the Ice is critical in the current state of Modern. However, the main reason to play Dismember is due to the ease of casting — even an Inkmoth Nexus or a Forest can cast it, giving the deck an additional one mana play.

Other Card Choices

Kor Outfitter | A slower but easier to cast Magnetic Theft, Kor Outfitter is an appealing option for all in versions — play more Outfitter and Open the Armory for turbo fast combo kills.

Batterskull | A threat that can be found with Steelshaper’s Gift or Open the Armory, Batterskull is a sideboard option in Burn heavy metagames — though it also has utility in longer matchups as a recurring threat.

Loxodon Warhammer | Finding powerful equipment to search up is difficult, but Loxodon Warhammer provides Trample and Lifelink — two keyword abilities noticeably lacking from the original list. While giving at least pseudo-evasion is appealing, the slow and clunky nature of the Warhammer has relegated it to the sideboard for me, though it is in strong consideration.

Serra Ascendant | The other excellent one drop available to the archetype, Serra Ascendant trades a one hit kill ability for a nearly insurmountable lifelinking body. A single hit, whether blocked or unblocked, is often enough to turn on its ability, making it an evasive win condition.


Thanks for checking out our Hammhertime Deck Tech, and let us know which decks you want next in the comments below.