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Much Abrew: The Return of Hammer Time (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. One of my favorite decks that we built and played last year was Hammer Time—the Turn-2-kill Colossus Hammer combo deck. We first built and played it right after Core Set 2020 was released last summer, and while a few other people picked it up at the time, it mostly lay dormant as Modern Horizons (Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis) and then Throne of Eldraine (Oko, Thief of Crowns) dominated the Modern meta. Well, now, thanks to Ikoria, there is a renewed interest in the Turn-2-kill power of Hammer Time thanks to Lurrus of the Dream Den, which is not only a free-roll in the deck (since all of our cards are naturally one or two mana) but also makes the deck much more resilient by allowing us to recast combo pieces that get hit by discard or removal, giving Hammer Time the ability to play a longer game while still keeping its Turn-2-kill power. As such, we're trying out the new and improved non-budget Lurrus Hammer Time deck today. Is it finally time for Colossus Hammer to become a legitimate top-tier card in Modern? How good is Lurrus of the Dream Den in the deck? How many opponents can we kill on Turn 2? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Lurrus Hammer Time

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The Deck

  • Record-wise, we finished our league 3-2, but the deck felt extremely strong. The new and improved build of the deck is incredibly good at killing on Turn 2 and surprisingly resilient as well, thanks to Lurrus of the Dream Den (and a bunch of ways to protect our combo pieces). Our losses mostly came to decks that simply out-comboed us, with our loss to Grishoalbrand being a good example, where we had a Turn 2 kill but our opponent had a Turn 1 kill.
  • Perhaps the best aspect of Hammer Time is just how redundant the deck is. We need three pieces to kill our opponent on Turn 2 or 3: Colossus Hammer, a one-shot-kill creature, and a way to equip Colossus Hammer for free. Normally, combos that require three pieces aren't that consistent, but when you dig deeper into how the deck is built, you'll see that we actually have eight or even 12 copies of each of our combo pieces.
  • The rest of our deck is devoted to protecting and supporting the combo kill. Giver of Runes and Spellskite give us plenty of ways to stop our opponent from fizzling our combo kill with targeted removal like Lightning Bolt, Fatal Push, and Path to Exile. Meanwhile, Shadowspear gives us a backup equipment to find with Stoneforge Mystic and Steelshaper's Gift if we already have Colossus Hammer, while also helping us to beat aggro (thanks to the lifegain) and blockers (thanks to trample). 
  • Oddly, Lurrus of the Dream Den didn't actually do that much in our matches, but that was more because it either killed our opponent before we needed to cast it or because we got stuck on two lands, rather than because Lurrus is bad. Being able to recast Colossus Hammer or a Kor Duelist from our graveyard is a great way to grind out wins in slower disruption-heavy matchups; plus, Lurrus of the Dream Den is a fine creature to equip with a Colossus Hammer if we don't draw something better. While it doesn't win in a single attack, as our companion, it is always in our hand, and lifelink means that in aggro matchups, a 13/12 Lurrus of the Dream Den will put the game out of reach in just a couple of attacks. Basically, even though Lurrus of the Dream Den didn't do that much in our five-match league, it's great in the deck and will win us games that we otherwise wouldn't win.
  • The main deck of Lurrus Hammer Time feels really solid. I wouldn't change a thing. However, the sideboard could use some work. Our main struggle was beating other combo decks that were just as fast as our deck (or even faster). Cards like Damping Sphere, Grafdigger's Cage, or Deafening Silence all work with Lurrus of the Dream Den's restriction and could help to shore up our matchup against other fast combo decks. They should be in contention for sideboard slots, at the very least.
  • So, should you play Lurrus Hammer Time? I think the answer is pretty clearly yes. The deck is fast and consistent, which is a good place to be in Modern, and the addition of Lurrus of the Dream Den gives the deck a whole new line of attack in going long against removal-heavy control and midrange decks. While the sideboard could probably be improved a bit (being in white, we have access to some of the best sideboard cards in the format, and we should probably take advantage of more of them), the deck's power level is really high. It's more than good enough to 5-0 a league or compete on an even bigger scale.
  • The other nice thing about Lurrus Hammer Time is that it isn't dependent on Lurrus (which was exemplified in our league, where Lurrus of the Dream Den was rarely cast). In general, I'm nervous about recommending that people buy or play decks built around companions in non-Standard formats, just because the odds that they get banned are high (and this is especially true of Lurrus of the Dream Den, which is the companion most likely to be banned in Modern). Thankfully, Hammer Time should still be good even without Lurrus, so even if the banning does come, you should still have a playable deck.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! 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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