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Budget Deck Guide: Modern Fiddlebender Hammertime

When a player is getting into Modern either for the first time or after an extended break, the process of selecting a deck to pick up and play is a very personal thing. Finding a deck that speaks to you, a deck that’s fun, competitive, and interesting to you is one of the best things in the world. Once you find a deck that speaks to you there are a few different barriers to overcome. You’ll need people to play with, time to spend playing, and money to buy a deck.

Buying a deck is of course a huge barrier to entry, it’s no secret that Modern decks are prohibitively expensive. My goal with these budget deck guides is twofold.

  1. Get you in the door of your playgroup or FNM with a playable, but budget-friendly deck. These lists are not tier one options, but MTG is a lot of fun even when you’re not playing the best deck and actually getting to play the game is the most important thing..
  2. I want to make sure that the money you spend is well invested into the archetype of your choice, so that you have a clear path to upgrade to a non-budget version over time. Building the decks this way gives you a lot of flexibility in the amount that you want to spend.

This is a guide for a budget version of Hammertime, featuring the powerful AFR card Oswald Fiddlebender to give you access to a versatile toolbox. Here’s the list:

Budget Modern Fiddlebender Hammer

Coming in at a little over $150 this budget version of hammer gets to keep the deck’s core engine of Colossus Hammer, Sigarda’s Aid, Puresteel Paladin, and Shadowspear. Oswald Fiddlebender and Ingenious Smith can give the deck both the consistency and sources of card advantage the deck needs to outgrid opposing strategies.

 

Oswald brings a powerful new toolbox to the deck that lets you attack from unique angels. Oswald of course can Fiddlebend for a Colossus Hammer or Shadowspear, but Oswald also gives the deck access to an infinite combo.

Lightning GreavesCrackdown Construct

The first part of this combo is Lightning Greaves. Greaves adds a lot of angles of attack to the deck. It can protect creatures from a removal spell at instant speed with Sigarda’s Aid. It draws a card off of Paladin. It will allow you to activate Oswald the turn you play it.

The second piece of the combo is Crackdown Construct. Construct, when paired with Lightning greaves and another creature on the battlefield, allows you to activate Greaves infinite times and trigger Construct’s ability over and over, then when you end the loop you can re-equip Greaves to Construct and attack with an infinitely big creature. The biggest weakness to this combo is that it can be chump blocked. Thankfully the deck does have access to a copy of Shadowspear to give your construct trample, unfortunately in this budget version you don’t have access to Stoneforge Mystic or Urza’s Saga to find the Spear as often, but you of course can still fiddlebend for it.

This combo isn’t this deck’s plan A, but having access to a combo like this gives you a lot of flexibility when developing your gameplan. It also doesn’t cost you very much to only play one construct as a tutor target in a deck that already wants to play Greaves and Oswald.

 

Another powerful tool this deck has access to is Nettlecyst, a card that’s really impressed me whenever i’ve cast it. It gives you access to a huge creature when it comes down, and with a relatively cheap equip cost it can turn your zero mana artifact creatures into a dangerous threat.  A really important thing to keep in mind when building budget decks is that you want to find powerful but inexpensive cards like Nettlecyst that fit well into your archetype. Nettlecyst also synergizes with Puresteel Paladin, and Sigarda’s Aid, to make the deck a more cohesive unit.

One important thing to understand about any budget deck is what cards you should buy first when you decide it’s time to upgrade. WIth this deck it’s pretty straightforward. Urza’s Saga is not only one of the most powerful cards in Modern, this is the archetype where it shines the brightest. It’s my opinion that once you get this budget deck list together every dollar that you invest into the deck should go towards copies of Urza’s Saga.

After that you’ll need to pick up copies of Stoneforge Mystic. A card that’s a good role player in the archetype, but has an inflated cost due to price-memory. The last pricey cards you’ll absolutely need to pick up are Esper Sentinels and Inkmoth Nexus. Both cards are key players in the deck, I would recommend picking up Sentinels before Nexus but it’s close. Once you have your Sagas, Mystics, Sentinels, and Inkmoths, you can make your other deckbuilding decisions that every hammertime player has to make. Do you want to splash Black? Do you want to play Lurrus or three mana equipment? Do you want to play Mishra’s Bauble? How many horizon lands do you want to play? The answers to these questions will be different depending on who you ask them to, and they’ll depend on what the metagame looks like.

To help give you an idea of what to build to, here’s the decklist I would currently recommend building towards:

No Budget Hammertime

As always thanks for reading, my first Modern deck was a budget deck posted here on ChannelFireball (beck and call elves) and I think that these lists are really important for getting new players in the format.

 

Here’s how I would sideboard with the Fiddlehammer list:

Izzet Murktide

In:+4 Dispatch, 4 Burrenton Forge-Tender

Out: -4 Ornitopter, -1 Nettlecyst, -1 Crackdown Construct, -1 Springleaf Drum, -1 Oswald Fiddlebender

[collapse]

 

Mill

NO CHANGES

[collapse]

 

Esper Reanimator

In: +4 Relic of Progenitus

Out: -1 Nettlecyst, -1 Ichor Wellspring, -2 Ornithopter

[collapse]

 

Jund Saga

In:+1 Relic of Progenitus, +3 Dispatch, +4 Burrenton Forge-Tender

Out: -4 Ornitopter, -1 Nettlecyst, -1 Crackdown Construct, -1 Springleaf Drum, -1 Oswald Fiddlebender

[collapse]

 

Hammertime

In:  +4 Dispatch

Out: -1 Nettlecyst, -1 Springleaf Drum, -1 Lightning Greaves, -1 Ornithopter

[collapse]

 

Burn

In: +4 Burrenton Forge-Tender

Out:  -1 Crackdown Construct, -1 Springleaf Drum, -1 Lightning Greaves, -1 Ornithopter

[collapse]

 

Living End

In +4 Relic of Progenitus

Out: -1 Nettlecyst, -1 Springleaf Drum, -1 Lightning Greaves, -1 Ornithopter

[collapse]

 

Temur Rhinos

In, +4 Burrenton Forge-Tender

Out: -1 Nettlecyst, -1 Springleaf Drum, -1 Lightning Greaves, -1 Ornithopter

[collapse]

 

Elementals

In, +4 Burrenton Forge-Tender

Out: -1 Nettlecyst, -1 Springleaf Drum, -1 Lightning Greaves, -1 Ornithopter

[collapse]

 

UWx Control

NO CHANGES

[collapse]

 

Amulet Titan

In: +4 Dispatch, +3 Damping Sphere

Out: -4 Ingenious Smith, -1 Nettlecyst, -1 Ornithopter, -1 Springleaf Drum

[collapse]

 

Mono Green Tron

In: +3 Damping Sphere

Out: -2 Ingenious Smith, -1 Nettlecyst

[collapse]

1 thought on “Budget Deck Guide: Modern Fiddlebender Hammertime”

  1. Thanks for posting this! I am returning to MTG after a very long time away, and looking for a decent and upgradable deck to play Modern with. I used to play Turbo Stasis back in the day.

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