The New Modern Silliness: Hammertime, Obosh, Oh Boy!
- Marin Magda
2020 was a crazy year for Modern. With so many powerful cards making their debut, it's no wonder the metagame still tends to change so rapidly and so seriously. The last two or three months alone have brought us at least two completely new decks, and another one has made a sudden resurgence.
With all the new sets and their busted cards coming out on a yearly basis, it's no surprise that deck builders didn't even fully use the potential of various older ones. Modern Horizons, being the main suspect, still keeps shaping the format. More than a year after its release, people have started turning toward its nonblue cards, most notably Seasoned Pyromancer, with great success. Unsurprisingly, companions are also doing well despite the nerfs, but there is another deck that relies on a card hardly anyone thought would be any good …
One of the silliest Modern decks that also happens to be one to beat right now, Hammertime proved everyone that hated on Colossus Hammer wrong. Thanks to cards such as Sigarda's Aid and Puresteel Paladin, you can pump your Inkmoth Nexus well enough to win on turn three without paying for the equip cost. There are many ways to achieve this, for example:
- Turn one Plains, pass (keep mana open for, say, Path to Exile)
- Turn two Inkmoth Nexus, Sigarda's Aid
- Turn three play any land, turn Inkmoth into a creature with it, use the remaining mana to cast the Hammer. Sigarda's Aid triggers, letting you attach the Hammer to the Inkmoth, swing for lethal!
Still, there are many backup plays like casting Steelshaper's Gift or Stoneforge Mystic to find a Hammer with. If you're still confused, a decklist will help you understand everything. Black splashes are common for protecting the game plan, but in my opinion, this deck should stay monowhite to focus on its explosive wins as much as possible.
|CrusherBotBG's Monowhite Hammertime, 1st Place at Modern Challenge, December 27|
One thing to keep in mind is that the Hammer will make Inkmoth Nexus lose flying, but there's a trick. If you activate the Nexus again after attaching Hammer, your 11/11 infecter will fly once more. Don't be the person who runs a ground-bound Nexus into a blocker and has the Hammer fall off at end of turn for no value. This Blinkmoth creature isn't the only viable target you can swing with. Memnite and Ornithopter may not have infect but still happily carry Hammer and Cranial Plating. Besides, they also help Puresteel Paladin's metalcraft.
As it keeps scoring in MTGO Challenges, it becomes apparent that this deck is much more consistent than one could possibly think just seeing the list. Still, it is rather easy to interact with and disrupt, making for an end result that's not format endangering, at least not yet. Its sideboard may look simple enough, but actually sideboarding, like piloting this deck, is no joke, further balancing everything out.
I don't think that anything will get banned in here for said reasons, but this may not be the best time to build it. With all the hype surrounding it, both paper and online versions have heavily overpriced key cards. Finally, keep in mind that the meta usually adapts quickly to decks like this. Its success is mostly attributed to a current lack of artifact hate in other decks' sideboards. If this changes, we will yet have to see how the deck holds up.
Another deck that doesn't seem to require any cards from Zendikar Rising or Theros: Beyond Death is Monored Obosh. This is a step up from the somewhat old Monored Prowess archetype in the way that it can go much longer in times of need. It replaces explosive, yet somewhat inconsistent threats such as Kiln Fiend and Bedlam Reveler for slower ones like Seasoned Pyromancer and, obviously, Obosh. With so many one-drops, you should be able to curve out nicely throughout the first few turns, even without cards of even converted mana costs.
The lists are pretty consistent and can't go far from here, which is great for players that don't like tinkering around with decklists. The only card that gets added and removed a lot is Bonecrusher Giant. That said, if we're not considering the spell sequencing that can be hard to pull off correctly sometimes, it's easy to just take the deck and play it. Its very low price especially complements this.
|ZTL2991's Monored Obosh, 5-0 in Modern League, December 25|
I really like how this deck does not have to resort on nearly any flex slots and how it approaches flooding. Actually, with Obosh in the mix, there's nearly no flooding whatsoever. Lands such as Sunbaked Canyon are not even necessary at this point, and that preserves your life total in the process. This is a great thing against, for example, Rakdos Shadow. Firebolt is a much needed Burst Lightning replacement that helps close games with Obosh in play, and so does Lava Dart, in all their flashback glory.
The sideboard is even more cemented than the main, with nearly all lists running all five different cards listed in this one. It makes the deck even better at fighting Hammertime, Pithing Needle having an ideal target in Inkmoth Nexus and Shattering Spree destroying whatever to your heart's content. The latter can also deal with Chalice of the Void on one because, even though the original spell gets countered, the copy cannot. Coupled with Kozilek's Return that deals with other hate such as Auriok Champion, this deck's sideboard makes it much harder to beat in games two and three.
Bonus: Rakdos Midrange
Unlike the previous two decks, this one has been around for quite a while now, but mostly in the lower tiers. However, now that players have managed to harness the power of Magmatic Channeler and, you guessed it, Kroxa, this deck soared skyhigh and is not even done rising yet. A possible 4/4 for two mana, it was just a matter of time before someone broke any part of Magic with a Channeler deck. It just happens to be one of those cards that first need to find their own home, or better yet make it, before they show their true worth.
Besides, you can't really go wrong with big threats and small spells, especially when Blood Moon is involved. With many Uro, Omnath, and Titan decks around, we're facing a meta where even Rakdos Shadow occasionally sides in a wild Moon or two. So, step aside, Ponza, this is the best Blood Moon deck now.
|Twinlesstwin's Rakdos Midrange, 5-0 in Modern League, December 29|
I believe that one of the most important things about this deck is that, despite all these one drops, Chalice on one doesn't do it that much harm. It can if dropped in the first two turns or so, but the creatures have higher converted mana costs, making it more worthless with each passing turn. It never stops Kroxa, and you can still dump all those cheap noncreature spells into Magmatic Channeler for new cards or cast them regardless for it to become 4/4. Kroxa usually doesn't leave enough spells in the graveyard for that power boost, but you are not always going to have these two threats at the same time anyway.
Rakdos Midrange is yet another deck with an awesome sideboard, but with many more options this time around. It fully supports Boil, Kozilek's Return, and Engineered Explosives, all great cards in the current metagame. Feed the Swarm finally gives it an answer to Leyline of Sanctity, and Cling to Dust is great for taking care of Uro in a pinch, or at least keeping it from escaping. Of course, there are numerous other options, so if the meta shifts, it should be able to adapt easily.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.