FABLES FROM KITCHEN TABLES – LET’S BUILD PART 11

Hello, readers! This week I return to my ongoing Let’s Build series to work on one of the ten new legendary creatures introduced to us in the Commander 2013 expansion. In the Let’s Build series, I explain my thought process on the card choices revolving around the general or strategy those colors enable.

Despite having done an article on my deckbuilding process for Marath, Will of the Wild already, I feel like there are other generals I want to expand on. This one may not be the most popular, but I feel he’s extremely well-poised to make an impact on multiplayer tables and shake up the metagame–Shattergang Brothers.

For the longest time, I’ve really wanted Wizards to print a legendary Grave Pact that doesn’t restrict your colors like Savra, Queen of the Golgari does, and finally, my wish has been answered. It comes with its ups and downs, however:

+It’s multicolored
+It still only costs 4
+It also deals with artifacts and enchantments, which is huge

-Each ability costs 3 to activate
-It’s rather one-dimensional due to being shoehorned into card choices
-It’s difficult to cast and then immediately activate, making it vulnerable

That being said, despite its innate strengths and weaknesses, I believe I’ve cracked the code, and I like the list I’ve come up with so far.

CHOOSING YOUR GENERAL

The Hammer Bros. are really efficiently-costed, and have an un-ignorable presence on the battlefield. Being able to consistently trade resources with the entire table is incredibly powerful, in addition to the deck’s propensity to generate resources as well as take them away.

The trick is to use these abilities while drawing cards and recurring threats, eventually grinding your opponents out of resources with power players such as Goblin Welder, Wurmcoil Engine and Trading Post.

A BREAKDOWN OF YOUR GENERAL

1BRG

4 is a really good spot to be in, but what’s unfortunate is the lack of 2 colorless in its upfront casting cost. Turn 2 off a Sol Ring would just be living the dream.

Legendary Creature – Goblin Artificer

Definitely something you don’t want to just up and ignore, if you’re looking for a Jund flavor for your Goblin tribal general, let the Hammer Bros. be your go-to. This, however, is by far not a tribal list. (I ended up cutting all of the Goblins from the list other than Goblin Welder)

2B, Sacrifice a creature: Each other player sacrifices a creature.

This effect might as well have “tokens” written all over it, and in Jund colors, you will find no shortage of both tokens and dorks willing to die for the greater good.

2R, Sacrifice an artifact: Each other player sacrifices an artifact.

Artifact tokens are obviously a very high priority for the deck to use, but notable are the aforementioned Goblin Welder, Wurmcoil Engine and Trading Post; together, the three are a disgusting engine of attrition that can grind opponents out from either artifact or creature angles.

2G, Sacrifice an enchantment: Each other player sacrifices an enchantment.

Admittedly, this ability is a little more complex to make useful than you’d first think. Obviously, the first card you’d think of is Rancor, but the problem Rancor has is how awful it is in this deck. This is not a deck that wants to be attacking all the time. This is more of a control deck than anything else, so I decided to look elsewhere for inspiration. Turns out there’s a lot of enchantments with global benefit that I can just sacrifice whenever they attempt to benefit someone else, and that plan ends up working just fine.

3/3

Obviously, the Hammer Bros. combat stats are largely irrelevant for this shell, but in the tribal shell, a 4-mana Goblin with that much value that also has a cost-effective body attached is just absurd.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE DECK?

The concept is the deck is very simple: Screw around with incrementally-generating resources, recur these resources to use again, and use every resource you’re generating to strip your opponents’ resources down to nothing.

There are spot removal spells peppered around to deal with enemy incrementals that out-attrition you, but basically, so long as you aren’t against the nightmare matchup–Sigarda, Host of Herons–the deck has a number of resources at its disposal with which to stay afloat in most situations while still whittling your opponents into the dust.

Victory is achieved through your mass army of tokens and your modest finishers. Punching in for 5-7 damage may seem weak on the surface, but this deck is all about the slow, grindy victory.

CARD CHOICES

The first thing to establish is our creature token generators and recursive creatures. Obviously, the creature clause is the most common for the Hammer Bros. to throw out there, so creating tokens and having creatures to constantly sacrifice is the clear cut best option for that clause.

In-
Gravecrawler
Tenacious Dead
Bloodghast
Nether Traitor
Reassembling Skeleton
Ophiomancer
Pawn of Ulamog
Sprouting Thrinax
Ogre Slumlord
Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper
Rapacious One
Wurmcoil Engine
Genesis Chamber
Spawning Pit
Druidic Satchel
Mimic Vat
Trading Post
Golgari Germination

After that, we establish our card advantage engines and spells. Generating resources is the most important part of this deck, as we always want to be having more than our opponents at all times.

In-
Viscera Seer
Myr Retriever
Eternal Witness
Glissa, the Traitor
Junk Diver
Yavimaya Elder
Solemn Simulacrum
Charnelhoard Wurm
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Cultivate
Kodama’s Reach
Diabolic Tutor
Skyshroud Claim
Increasing Ambition
Rise of the Dark Realms
Skullclamp
Culling Dais
Ichor Wellspring
Braid of Fire
Fecundity
Necromancy
Phyrexian Arena

The next batch of spells we take a look over is our suite of removal. Certain all-purpose spells and problem permanents can pose problems for this deck, so we pack a decent suite of spot removal to deal with those problem cards.

In-
Acidic Slime
Butcher of Malakir
Golgari Charm
Beast Within
Putrefy
Attrition
Furnace Celebration
Grave Pact
Necrotic Plague

Now that we’ve established the general game plan, we move on to the last little suite of spells that haven’t yet been covered – the win conditions, the power players, and the neat little incrementals.

In-
Blood Artist
Sol Ring
Lightning Greaves
Nim Deathmantle
Birthing Pod
Stranglehold
Vicious Shadows

Now we move onto the lands. As usual with my articles, we first jump into the color enabling lands.

In-
Blood Crypt
Stomping Ground
Overgrown Tomb
Command Tower
Sulfurous Springs
Karpulsan Forest
Llanowar Wastes
Shadowblood Ridge
Mossfire Valley
Savage Lands
Tainted Peak
Tainted Wood
Temple of Abandon
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

After establishing our color-enabling lands, we move onto colorless and utility lands.

In-
Bojuka Bog
Cabal Coffers
Grim Backwoods
Khalni Garden
Kher Keep
Temple of the False God
Thespian’s Stage
Volrath’s Stronghold
Yavimaya Hollow

Now that we’ve covered all of our nonbasics, we establish the numbers on the basic lands.

In-
5 Forests
4 Mountains
6 Swamps

And with that, we’ve arrived at the finished product!

(This list as posted in this article will not be final. If you want to see what changes might have occurred to the list since the posting of this article, check out the decklist posting on MTG Salvation at http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=557634.)

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Well, there you have it, my initial draft for the Hammer Bros. The deck will likely undergo some changes, as some slots are simply there to test the waters, but we’ll see how testing goes. For now, let this be a reference for anyone looking to build a deck for the Shattergang Brothers.

Until next week!
~L

Adapting to EDH Metagames:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1177
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1252
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1317
Part 4 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1370
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1454

Building on a Budget:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1522

Choose Your Champion:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1594
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1868
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2539

Dragon’s Maze Prerelease Weekend:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1810

Guidance:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2548

Hits & Misses of:
Dragon’s Maze -http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1870
Innistrad - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2586

M14 –  http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2295
Theros - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2508

Legen-Wait for It-Dary:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2264

Let’s Build:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1606
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1595
Part 3 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2214
Part 4 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2278
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2303
Part 6 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2310
Part 7 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2323
Part 8 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2336
Part 9 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2341
Part 10 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2525

Let’s Talk M14:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2228

Let’s Talk Theros:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2362
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2378

Planeswalking and You:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2184 

Resource Management:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2200

Stacking Up Commander 2013:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2561

The Slippery Slope:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2440

Trial & Error:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2089

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