Hammer Time is one of the most powerful decks in Modern. It can kill on turn two, you can out grind midrange decks and it functions well in both long and short games. Lots of players have been flocking to the banner of the Hammer, looking to deal chunks of 10 damage to their opponents. Anyone can pick up Hammer Time and get most of the potential out of it, but those who are patient and learn the ins and outs are greatly rewarded. This isn’t a white aggro deck – it’s something that can produce lots of turn four kills, but you need to know when and when to not go for it.
With Hammer Time, more than any other Modern deck I’ve played, I have slow-rolled or sandbagged my cards. Very often, the best lines with this deck are unintuitive. You need to learn about layers with your Inkmoth Nexus. Sometimes you need to play Colossus Hammer before Puresteel Paladin even though you miss out on a Paladin card draw trigger. It’s very contextual. Sideboarding can also be very difficult.
You can’t go too low on combo pieces or artifacts, but there are lots of impactful cards you can side in. Even building the right 75 is a challenge – there’s no consensus list. Multiple different splashes and configurations all see success. All of these factors add up to make Hammer a difficult deck to play. However, once you put in the hours the deck offers you room to play circles around your opponents.
You can find part two of this guide here: