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Much Abrew: [Bogardan] Hammer Time (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Over the past couple of years, Hammer Time has evolved into one of the best decks in the Modern format. So today, we're going to give Modern Hammer Time another try, but it's probably not the Hammer Time you're thinking of—we're playing Hammer of Bogardan Time! I honestly forgot that Hammer of Bogardan was even legal in Modern until someone posted a 5-0 finish with a weird new take on one of my favorite archetypes—Mono-Red Prison—but with most of the lock pieces, like Chalice of the Void and Ensnaring Bridge, hiding in the sideboard in favor of the repeatable but super-expensive Lightning Bolt on the main deck. The goal seems to be to lock the opponent out of the game with Blood Moon and then slowly burn them out with [[Hammer of Bogardan], three damage at a time, for the low, low cost of eight mana. Can the other Hammer Time compete in Modern? Is Hammer of Bogardan actually a playable card in the format? Let's get to the video and find out on this week's Much Abrew About Nothing

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Much Abrew: [Bogardan] Hammer Time

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Discussion

  • We started off slow with Bogardan Hammer Time, dropping the first two matches of our league, before storming back to win the last three without dropping a game, giving us a 3-2 finish. 
  • The deck is interesting. The main deck almost plays like a weird version of Burn mixed with Mono-Red Prison. Our hope is to lock our out opponent with Blood Moon and then win either with Chandra, Torch of Defiance or by casting Hammer of Bogardan a bunch of times. Then, after sideboarding, we can bring in traditional Mono-Red Prison pieces like Chalice of the Void and Ensnaring Bridge if the matchup is right. The plan sort of worked, although it was a little bit disappointing to get snowballed by Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer in our first match since it seems like our deck is designed mostly to beat the stupid monkey, with a ridiculous number of cheap answers.
  • As far as Hammer of Bogardan itself, it was a bit hit or miss. It's a super-slow card, which is a problem in aggro matchups. Three mana is a lot to pay for a Lightning Bolt, and five mana to return it to hand might as well be infinite when you're being beaten down by a horde of cheap creatures. On the other hand, it was a surprisingly strong finisher once we locked up the game with a Blood Moon and our sideboard prison pieces. Earlier in the league, we made the mistake of sideboarding it out on occasion, but then we struggled to find a way to close out the game, so it's probably not a great idea. Trimming a couple of copies might be fine, but without the Hammer, we only have Chandra, Torch of Defiance as a finisher, which is risky.
  • As a lover of Mono-Red Prison, I'm really torn on the idea of keeping the prison pieces in the sideboard. The upside is that there are matchups where Ensnaring Bridge and Chalice of the Void are bad. The downside, as we saw against Temur Rhinos, is that in matchups where they are good, it's really hard to win game one, and there's no guarantee we'll be able to win both games two and three even with our sideboard haymakers. The other issue is that we're not a great Chalice of the Void–on-one deck since we've got a ton of one-drops, which might mean the current build can't really support it in the main deck. But I am intrigued by the idea of using Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer as a sort of bad Simian Spirit Guide, as a way to play Blood Moon on Turn 2. 
  • Speaking of Blood Moon, it's still pretty awesome in Modern and maybe even better than it used to be since it's one of the best answers to Urza's Saga, and Urza's Saga is everywhere at the moment. That said, the power of cards like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Dragon's Rage Channeler means that a decent number of red-based decks in the format don't care about Blood Moon very much, which means there are times when we need to sideboard it out. 
  • In general, I really liked the deck. While I'm still not sure the build is optimal, it's close enough to win a lot of games, and it's really sweet to see something Mono-Red Prison–adjacent be competitive in Modern for the first time since Simian Spirit Guide was banned. If you hit the right matchups, the deck can easily 5-0 (see our last three matches), although it does feel somewhat high variance in the current meta (see our first two matches). 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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