Welcome back, y'all. Last week we were super focused on winning a PTQ and metagaming for that, but now we're gonna have some fun!What time is it? Srammer Time! That's right, we're comin' in hot with everyone's favorite cheerios connoisseur Sram, Senior Edificer and he's bringing along his trusty Colossus Hammer.
The plan here is to have a 4/4 or bigger creature as early as turn two and end the game quickly while generating value from Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Sram, Senior Edificer. Our only interaction is two Stubborn Denial in the main, but we have a lot more in the sideboard. With the kind of pump Srammer Time is capable of, you could call it the Pioneer version of Infect.
The namesake card is Colossus Hammer. It might seem awful at first glance, but with Sigarda's Aid, it's a one-mana instant speed +10/+10!
This deck is actually capable of turn-two kills. All you need is an Ornithopter, Sigarda's Aid, two Hammers and two lands! But what if we don't draw Hammer and Aid? Well, we've got Ensoul Artifact and All That Glitters to pump out some massive threats, too. Ensoul puts in double duty as it turns our useless Accorder's Shield and Colossus Hammer (without Sigarda's Aid in play) into big nasty beaters. We mostly can't keep hands without a way to make a big threat, though, so be ready to mulligan a bit more than usual with this deck.
You might not believe this, but there's more to winning a game of Pioneer than making giant creatures and attacking your opponent. Sometimes they kill those creatures, or counter your spells, or Thoughtseize you. Sometimes all three! The nerve!
To fight through that, we're jamming four Emry, Lurker of the Loch and four Sram, Senior Edificer. These legendary heroes allow us to recur artifacts from the graveyard and draw cards off of all of our equipment and aura spells, respectively, giving us a more robust game plan that doesn't just fold to one well-timed Fatal Push.
Be sure to check out the deck tech at the end of each of my videos for a more in-depth take on the card choices.
***Spoilers past here!***
I wanted to have some fun this week and test out a brew I've been messing around with for a while. I'll be honest—I didn't have high hopes for the win rate. But we went 3-1! Dope! We took down Izzet Ensoul, Jeskai Control(!) and Jund Fires. We lost a close three-game set to Bant Midrange in round four, but I felt like that matchup was very winnable as well.
The highlight for me was beating Jund Fires (round three) through a Kalitas and a lot of removal in game one and then winning game three on a mull to four! That match felt amazing and really showed off some of the power of our offbeat strategy.
Keep in mind, this format is very different after the recent bannings, and the major archetypes and decks to beat haven't been established yet as far as I can tell.
Vs. Control - If they have Supreme Verdict, bring in those Selfless Spirits. Also bring in all the countermagic and board out the Shields. We have to land a threat and keep it alive long enough to finish things. Countermagic doesn't work against Supreme Verdict, so Selfless Spirit needs to pull some weight here.
Vs. Mono-Red - Bring in Aether Gust and Devout Decree and take out Stubborn Denial and some amount of Shields. We can make a very large threat pretty quickly, so just play around Shock/Lightning Strike as much as you can and make a giant monster!
Vs. Mono-Black - These decks seem to have shifted more midrange lately, which is pretty bad for us because it means they'll have more removal. Bring in all the countermagic and Devout Decree and take out a bunch of Shields.
Vs. Nexus/Combo - Against these decks we need to bring in all the permission (and usually Aether Gust) to slow them down while we do our thing. Again, take out those Shields.
Vs. Midrange - Usually bring in more Stubborn Denial and take out some Shields. Noticing a pattern here?
"Hey, Kevin, you seem to be taking out Cathar's Shield and Accorder's Shield in every matchup. Does that mean they should just not be in the deck?"
Well, yes. Certainly not four of each, at least. I noticed how bad they were half way through the first match and boarded them out very frequently.
Going forward, I would play two of each at most, and run four copies of Ghostfire Blade instead. It still draws cards with Sram, Senior Edificer for cheap and also packs a bit of a punch on an Ornithopter or Gingerbrute. The Shields are good against burn spells and they draw cards for free with Sram, but they were the worst cards in the deck by a lot.
I might even take them all out and play some amount of Stonecoil Serpent and Hope of Ghirapur in the next iteration. Hope can be nasty with Emry looping it, and the Serpent also plays well with Emry while being a really potent target for the pump auras/equipment.
I really enjoyed brewing this one, and I hope you had fun hanging out. Srammer Time is quite a party and a good budget option as well, so give it a go and let me know how it feels!
Catch ya next week my fellow Pioneers. Until then, be safe in these uncharted territories.
Bah, who am I kidding. Go crazy! Try everything and find me on Twitter to tell me how it goes!