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Top Ten Underplayed Artifacts in Commander


Hello Awesome Folks! Have you ever wondered what happened to a key artifact that used to get played but doesn't anymore in Commander? Ever wonder about an artifact that never took off and you thought it should? This article will look at non-mana rocks and non-pieces of equipment which already got their own article with fewer than 8k over at EDHREC.com. Since most artifacts lack a color, having that few is pretty rough on the good stuff. Cards printed in the past year will not apply.

Honorable Mention #1 - The Circle of Loyalty

The Circle of Loyalty

This is run in 3565 decks! It's a six drop that costs one fewer for each Knight you control, so that lets you know that it likes Knight tribal. Each legendary spell you cast makes a 2/2 vigilance Knight to swing and hold the fort. That works well with Friends brews that can make tokens to block attacks while swinging away.

I also like it in Shrine decks that can attack your foes and go wide quite easily. I also just like it in legendary matters brews like those led by either Sisay. Then this is a Glorious Anthem on all your stuff, so that's pretty strong with the going wide brews. Then you can tap it and four mana to make a 2/2 Knight, for the blocking and the 3/3 with this under your control. Nasty good here, right?

Honorable Mention #2 - Veilstone Amulet

Veilstone Amulet

This is run in 2566 decks!When you cast any spell, your dorks gain hexproof for the turn. That's quite good in decks with instants and key creatures, which is quite common in modern day gaming with all of those Considers and Brainstorms getting played these days in brews with a creature count of 20 or 25. Imagine your typical Simic Ramp deck with 10 ramp spells, 10 interaction spells, 10-15 card draw spells and cantrips, and 25 creatures and 5 big spells. That Krosan Grip and Fact or Fiction can now be used with this to give your stuff hexproof at instant speed to counter that overloaded Cyclonic Rift or Mizzium Mortars or that Murder and Swords to Plowshares coming your way. Quite nice together, right? I think so as well!

Honorable Mention #3 - Angel's Trumpet

Angel's Trumpet

This uncommon is played in 2943 brews! This 3-drop works on everyone. It gives all the stuff vigilance, which is good at swinging and holding back for blocking. Drop it before you attack, swing with your stuff at the tapped out or open player, and then pass. At the end of each players turn (yours too remember) you tap all untapped dorks that did not attack, and then that player eats damage from the artifact for each one tapped. This one does not have an exception for defenders, so it's really strong against them.

I love this in group hug decks alongside classics like Howling Mine brews where you are giving everyone cards, but they have to swing to prevent tapping and damage taking. I also like this in pillow fort decks hiding behind Ghostly Prison effects since they are unlikely to attack you en masse. Maybe with one or two dorks each player. I also like this in decks that use going wide to win, but also need to hold back blocks. I'm thinking of planeswalker brews with ones like Elspeth, Sun's Champion that win with a bunch of tokens but need blockers to prevent attacks on her. I also like this in a brew that punishes attackers with things like Caltrops and Powerstone Minefield. This thing should be getting loads more play!

#10. Relic of Progenitus

Relic of Progenitus

This is the Portent of this article (in my first Top Ten of Underused Cards I included Portent at under 10k and made the argument that it's loads better than cards that get 3x the number of play).

This is registered in 7898 decks over at EDHREC.com. I run this in around a third of my decks that I build for you here; I also run Scavenger Grounds in those brews as well. This 1-drop can tap to exile a card from a foe's graveyard of their choice. Do it early when they have one choice and then keep up as one card is added and you can get loads of removal over time. Then you can spend one, exile this, exile all graveyards, even yours, and then draw a card. Since it replaces itself for colorless mana, I sometimes pull a land for it.

That ability to act as a brake on all graveyard use and abuse at instant speed is why it so good here. Too many leaders care about breaking the graveyard like Meren of Clan Nel Toth. Reanimation? Flashback? Incarnations like Anger and Genesis? Self-recursive stuff like Bloodghast? Recurring Mindslaver? You can break it and draw a card. Plus, you can just pop it to draw a card if you need something. I run it in any deck that does not run much or any recursion. Love it loads! It's my favorite artifact against graveyard use, and if you aren't running against any in this game, you can just crack it, and then replace it, and keep on going. What answers are as flexible or as powerful as this common one drop?

#9. Throne of Geth

Throne of Geth

This is used a palindrome number, at 5555 times! This 2-drop uncommon can tap to sacrifice an artifact for free, no waiting around for a tap like on a dork and no mana needed, just tap and sacrifice and then you can get a free proliferate. In this era of massive Treasure, Blood, Food and Clue-making, this is pretty easy to push and just a few lands and dorks will make this work.

This can work in anything from +1/+1 counter brews to infect and poison counters to planeswalkers with their loyalty to lands with storage counters and Vivid lands. It's very strong as a free artifact death in those brews that care about have a free artifact sacrifice and then do fun Aristocrat-y things. As you can see, this colorless dork fits a lot of shells, and you can use and abuse it quite ably. I really like it in a brew with a commander that arrives with counters like Ghave, Guru of Spores.

#8. Ugin's Nexus

Ugin's Nexus

This mythic is run in just over 5k at 5115. It's a powerful double blast. This keeps your foes from gaining extra turns which is quite common in many metagames - so if that's yours, here's your new baby. And then when it is destroyed you can exile and take an extra turn, and that's nice. I really like it here as a colorless way to brake extra turns and take an extra turn in one card. It's also pretty cheap on the secondary market despite being printed as a mythic some time ago. Use it! Abuse it! Just don't refuse it!

The rest of this list is under 5k.

#7. Crown of Doom

Crown of Doom

This fun thang is played in 4889 decks. Whenever a creature attacks the player or a walker they control, they get a double power boost. Then you can spend two mana to give it away, and then they cannot give it back to you since it reads "other than the owner" and you are the owner even if you are not controlling it. You can give it away the turn you drop it, just save up that mana until you have five. This is secret tech in my real life mono-Red Fumiko deck where you are forcing everyone to attack, but giving them a boost to attack the person with the Crown of Doom as well as yourself. It's very strong in any political deck with things like goading and the Vow cycle of auras and even pillow fort decks where they won't be swinging at you and politically minded brews of all colors.

#6. Sentinel Tower

Sentinel Tower

Whenever I am creating one of these lists, I look for underplayed cards in key archetypes, in this case the beloved Spellslinger that casts loads of instants and sorceries to trigger game winners like Guttersnipe to win the game. This is played in 4717 decks. This will shoot any target for damage if cast on your turn. That can ramp up quite quickly. This really loves Storm brews with sorcery win cons that build up on your turn as well as basic Spellslinger stuff. Also note that this is colorless and will fit into any of those archetypes no matter the color combo. This Tower is going to rise!

#5. Erratic Portal with a shoutout to Portal of Sanctuary

Erratic Portal
Portal of Sanctuary

They are 4217 and 1468, respectively. The first Portal will drop and then bounce a dork to the owner's hand unless they spend one mana. The idea here is that you can bounce your stuff for one mana and just won't pay the tax, and then you can save them from removal, reload a key ETB trigger on a Mulldrifter and loads more. You can also target a foe's thing for a tax of a mana, and if they left one mana, tap at the end of the turn, tax them, and then untap and do it again and bounce it.

The second Portal can only be used on your turn, bounces your dork and Auras to your hand from it. This is brilliant in Aura brews that have cast triggers like Enchantresses to draw cards as well as self-bounce brews that usually use blue. Nice pair!

#4. Druidic Satchel

Druidic Satchel

With 4208 decks, this doesn't have a lot of registration. But it has so much potential! Three to cast, two to tap. You will get a positive effect, reveal the top card of your library and get this result:

  • Creature - 1/1 Saproling token
  • Land - Ramp it untapped and ready to be tapped
  • Other - Gain 2 life

See how cool that is! A free untapped ramp if the top of your library is a key part of that ability don't sleep on it, since this can slide into brews that aren't heavy in green rampage. Then you can get the free dork for your dorks which should be pretty high, in a normal deck with 40 lands and 25-30 creatures you have a 65-70% shot at getting a dork or ramped land with the tapping. The life gain is nice in those builds that care.

I love this in top of library decks like the Esper one we got in a Commander precon as well as with Commander classics like Sensei's Divining Top and Sylvan Library where you can ramp for two mana the top land of your library you put there or make recursive 1/1s. It's also great with cards that reveal the top card of your library. Nice synergy there.

#3. Belbe's Portal AND Dragon Arch

Belbe's Portal
Dragon Arch

They are at 4121 and 3148. The former is a 5-drop that can choose a creature type and then drop it from your hand. Clearly it wants to go into any tribal deck, one of the most common archetypes from Boros Samurai to Dimir Ninjas. The latter is also a 5-drop - this time two tap to drop a multicolored dork from your hand to the battlefield for free. This is awesome in brews with a lot of gold options like Five Color Dragons, but not Allies and Slivers. Enjoy the power of this free pair!

#2. Vedalken Shackles

Vedalken Shackles

Just 3295? How? This 3-drop will steal an opposing dork as long as the Shackles are tapped, and you can skip untapping them. If the power is less than or equal to your Island count you can take it all day long. There are tons of mono-Blue decks out there where this would flourish and yet none are playing this. I also like this in two-color brews with 15 Islands like Azorius or Dimir Controlling brews. I also like with ramp since you can keep grabbing more Islands like Simic. I also like this with sacrifice brews that can steal, sacrifice, and then steal again. Great card!

#1. Ratchet Bomb

Ratchet Bomb

Our top-scoring artifact is used in just 2388 decks at EDHREC.com. This is a better version of the classic Powder Keg. You drop it for two mana, and then have two tap options - the first to add a charge counter, and the second to destroy each nonland with casting cost equal to the charge counter count. As a reminder, this can destroy all tokens since they do not have a casting cost, and given how prolific Treasures are right now, a mass removal spell for all tokens for colorless mana and immediate effect seems pretty strong. And then you can also sweep other tokens as well. Then you can grow this into a strong card that destroys the right casting cost to keep your stuff safe. From hurting that planeswalker about to ultimate to that key dork to those nasty 2-drop Hatebears your foe is running, there is a lot to like here, love this thing's power level way much! How about you?

And there we go! So...what did you think of my deck? Anything in here that I missed? Anything that inspires your own deck building? Have an awesome day!

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