Much Abrew: Hammer Time but in Historic Brawl | Astor, Bearer of Blades

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Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we’re doing some Historic Brawling with one of my favorite Dominaria United legends: Astor, Bearer of Blades. The four-drop’s ability to let us equip for just one mana (and also give Vehicles a crew cost of one) makes it the perfect way to bring one of my favorite archetypes to Historic Brawl: Hammer Time! While calling a 100-card singleton deck with one copy of Colossus Hammer “Hammer Time” is probably a bit of a stretch just because the odds of us finding Hammer any given game aren’t great (although Astor, Bearer of Blades‘ enters the battlefield trigger helps, cheating a Colossus Hammer onto a creature early in the game is just a scary in Historic Brawl as it is in other formats. Thankfully if we don’t draw our hammer, we can win with other equipment or a fleet of Vehicles, or maybe even by summoning Voltron with Mechtitan Core! How does Astor, Bearer of Blades play in Historic Brawl? What sweet shenanigans does it enable?  Let’s get to the video and find out on today’s Much Abrew About Nothing!

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Much Abrew: Astor’s Hammer

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, Astor played great. We ended up dropping only one match, to a Mono-White The Wandering Emperor deck that had a ton of artifact hate. But Historic Brawl isn’t about winning so much as it’s about doing sweet things and having fun. So, what are some of the sweet things Astor can do?
  • One thing I really like about Astor, Bearer of Blades itself is that it doesn’t really mind dying. On the battlefield, it’s super powerful by letting us cheat on our crew and equip costs. But if our opponent kills it, we get to reuse its enters-the-battlefield triggers to draw a Vehicle or equipment, which is also very strong. While the commander tax gets annoying eventually, since Astor starts off at just four mana, being able to cast it two or even three times in a game isn’t all that hard, especially with the help of some ramp. Unlike many commanders that really need to sit out on the battlefield to be good, Astor, Bearer of Blades is almost always good, whether it lives or dies.
  • Well, first, we did get to see Colossus Hammer go off. Astor, Bearer of Blades‘ ability to equip it for one mana instead of eight is really strong. We had multiple games where we just kept equipping and smashing our opponent with Colossus Hammer until they died. 
  • The deck’s Vehicle plan is also really fun. Thanks to Astor and cards like Peacewalker Colossus and Mech Hangar, we’re pretty good at turning our Vehicles into creatures, which, in turn, lets us ramp with Colossal Plow, kill things with Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, flip Conqueror’s Galleon, and more!
  • While it didn’t come up much in our video matches, perhaps my favorite part of the deck is Glorious End and Chance for Glory, both of which are essentially three-mana extra-turn spells that nobody expects to see out of a Boros deck. Sure, they come with the downside of losing us the game during the next end step, but our deck can deal so much damage thanks to Colossus Hammer, our other equipment, and our Vehicles that we can usually kill our opponent during the extra turn—or, at least, that’s the idea. While we can cheat death with the help of Cloudsteel Kirin, we’re mostly playing the cards fairly and trusting that we can finish off our opponent during the extra turn, rather than trying to Stifle the deadly trigger.
  • Otherwise, most of the creatures in our deck are either equipment / vehicle support cards (things like Koll, the Forgemaster, Akiri, Fearless Voyager, and Bruenor Battlehammer), literal equipment (Lion Sash, Lizard Blades, and Cloudsteel Kirin), or card draw (Sram, Senior Edificer, Laelia, the Blade Reforged, and Urabrask, Heretic Praetor). Apart from their primary purpose, having some creatures on the battlefield is especially important for our deck because they let us crew our Vehicles. Even with Astor, Bearer of Blades reducing the crew cost to one, we still need a creature on the battlefield to drive our cards. 
  • So, should you play Astor in Historic Brawl? If you like the play style, the answer is yes! The deck is good, but more importantly, I find it super fun to play. It generates lots of sneaky card advantage, gets in massive attacks, and really does feel a bit like a 100-card singleton version of Hammer Time! If you’re a fan of vehicles, equipment, or Hammer Time in other formats, Astor’s Hammer might just be the perfect Historic Brawl deck for you!

Conclusion

Anyway, that’s all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.