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Why This Unassuming Uncommon Is Going to Kill People On Turn Two

Wizards is generally careful when printing cards that can yield quick wins, but for this new uncommon, you can kill the opponent as early as turn two! Find out what DoggertQBones has in mind for this lovable scamp and what you can do to build around it!

Hello everyone!

So we’ve been able to review Lukka, Bound to Ruin, Nahiri, the Unforgiving, Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting, Nissa, Ascended Animist, and Jace, the Perfected Mind as compleated walkers, Kaya, Intangible Slayer, The Eternal Wanderer, and Koth, Fire of Resistance as our heroes, as well as Phyrexian Obliterator , White Sun’s Twilight, Sword of Forge and Frontier, Tyrranax Rex, Capricious Hellraiser, Phyrexian Arena, Solphim, Mayhem Dominus, and Phyrexian Vindicator, but we have even more sweet cards to preview! With what seems to be an innocuous card actually yields a dastardly win condition in older formats, let’s break down Cacophony Scamp!

So what we have here is the classic one mana 1/1 with two separate abilities. The first is that, if it deals combat damage, you can sacrifice it to proliferate. This is a strange ability to put in Red as Proliferate seems more helpful in Bant colors, but still not bad. The second ability is more in line with Red, when it dies, you get to deal damage to any target equal to its power. This is more or less a Goblin Arsonist on the surface as it’s a red one mana 1/1 that deals damage on death.

However, this has a very major difference over Goblin Arsonist. At their base, both are going to deal 1 damage to any target when they die, but Scamp deals damage equal to its power, not just one flat damage. With that in mind, how is this going to kill people on turn two? Enter Colossus Hammer.

Hammertime in Modern is a deck built around Colossus Hammer that’s quite high tier off the back of its powerful starts and surprising kills. When you slap a Hammer onto something like an Ornithopter, or better yet, an Inkmoth Nexus, you’re going to be killing very quickly. With Cacophony Scamp in particular, you can put Hammer on it, hit a player for 11, and then sacrifice it to deal 11 to any target which will presumably be your opponent! So if you have some lands, Cacophony Scamp, Resolute Strike, and Colossus Hammer, that’s a very easy turn two kill!

You may be thinking that this strategy is too cute or too fragile, but just needing three cards really isn’t that ridiculous. Furthermore, the opponent may be put to the test when they have had one or two turns to have something, so if their opener plus a card didn’t yield anything that can stop you, the game is just over.

So that leads us to the next question – those three cards are good together, but can a deck really be built around it? To that I say – of course!

For starters, Astor, Bearer of Blades is going to be mandatory in any Explorer build of this strategy. Not only can this help you find Colossus Hammer, it also makes the equip 1 which lets you skirt around the extremely high equip cost! To further help our consistency, Fighter Class is a two mana tutor for Colossus Hammer, however I’m sure you would play a few other silver bullet equipment as well such as Shadowspear or Maul of the Skyclaves as well. From there, if you just load your deck up with aggressive creatures and maybe some interaction, you’re on your way to a solid and powerful deck. Admittedly, Explorer may leave this deck with a bit to be desired right now as this wouldn’t be the fastest deck around, but if you’re foraying into Historic, we get a lot of really nice options.

While Ornithopter is already Explorer legal, gaining access to Retrofitter Foundry and Barbed Spike gives you a very nasty plan B where you can just make an army of 4/4s over the course of the game if you can’t combo. Furthermore, gaining access to Esper Sentinel is just always a good thing as this card is unbelievably pushed.

Lastly, while this isn’t an Arena format, I wouldn’t be surprised if this snuck into the Modern deck as well. Currently, the deck is just Mono White, but to make room for a creature that can enable more turn two kills and give them access to varied interaction, it may just be worth it.

Overall, while this may be gimmicky, I do think that examining the Hammertime archetype in Explorer and Historic is definitely worth our while. While I think this could be perfectly viable right now, imagine how nasty this may be once we get Sigarda's Aid on Arena. Oh boy.

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Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

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