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Top Ten Ways to Madcap for Fun and Profit


Hello all and welcome back to all things Top Ten!

Two weeks ago I was trying to figure if I wanted to write this article around Madcap Experiment or Panharmonicon. So I flipped a coin and the Panharmonicon won. So I was expecting to write and send out this Madcap Experiment next. But then we found out that Wizards had just a two week timeframe for spoiler season instead of the normal three for a large expansion set. So I held off until we got the full on spoiler, and then looked at my normal Top Ten for a set. So now it's Madcap Funtimes!

Madcap Experiment

Madcap Experiment is a brilliant card that continues a very Red-ish love/hate relationship with artifacts. From Shatterstorm to Madcaps. Red’s pretty impulsive.

Now pretty much every artifact ever printed works with the Madcapping Fun. But some cards are clearly going to work better than others, right? Right!

So let’s take a look at the cream of the crop.

10. Goblin Charbelcher

I like Mountains. I like Red. I like the Java Jive and it likes me. Mountains and Red and the java and me. Anyways, if you are playing Madcap Experiment, then you are already playing Red. That means your Charbelcher already has the potential for double damage from a Mountain that gets flipped. And while you are flipping cards like Madcap Experiment anyway, wouldn’t like to expand that theme with this? Plus your deck would want more Mountains. And then you run fewer of the non-Mountain lands. So then you run other Mountain centric cards, and suddenly you have this really cool deck. Or you can just run a Charbelcher with a deck with 10 Mountains and some other colors or colorless lands and still have a 1 in 2 or 1 in 3 chance of doubling your damage when the land comes along.

9. Spine of Ish Sah

Some of the cards that Madcap Experiment works well with are obvious. Spine of Ish Sah is obvious. You get your 7 mana Desert Twister for just 4 mana, and you take a modest amount of damage as well. It slides perfectly into Red-based artifact builds that tend to sacrifice artifacts for stuff, which will net you another trigger, and again, all for the cheap , cheap price of that 4 mana for the fun Madcap Experiment’ing.

8. Padeem, Consul of Innovation

Goblin Charbelcher
Spine of Ish Sah
Padeem, Consul of Innovation

Lots of artifact loving cards work well together. That's the nature of artifact loving cards. In fact many of them are artifacts which is the great part about them. So why is Padeem on this list and not a lot more? Well think about it. Madcap Experiment is a good way to grab a big, giant artifact for free, right? Right! So if you go through all of that work to get a beater or powerful card, then you want to protect it. That's what Padeem does. He protects this house. But he does something else. You draw a card during your upkeep if you have the most expensive artifact under your control. Well, since you'll be dropping Spine of Ish Sah or Darksteel Forge or Blightsteel Colossus anyway, Padeem is probably going to be firing for you regularly. That makes Padeem both a protector and a card hawker. Padeem works.

7. Sensei’s Divining Top / Crystal Ball

Sensei's Divining Top
Crystal Ball

Unlike some previous Red-centric flip-a-card cards, you are not shuffling your deck first. That gives you a chance to set your deck up. You can use cards to get you that perfect artifact for the flipping, and you’ll know how far down it is as well. Oh, and if you are heading down this route for the Madcap Experiment, do you know what else works? Red cards with the new Red-draw mechanic where you reveal the top card of your library and can play it until the end of the turn. A card like Chandra, Pyromaster suits the deck just nicely. (Oh, and a special acknowledgement for the non-artifacts that have similar effects, like Sylvan Library, Soothsaying, Mirri's Guile, or Elemental Augury. As enchantments they aren’t as synergetic as these artifacts, right? But they will still work.)

6. Darksteel Colossus / Blightsteel Colossus

Darksteel Colossus
Blightsteel Colossus

Clearly, one of the best cards to flip from a Madcap Experiment is a win condition. These indestructible giants of the Magic battlefield won’t be denied easily. The swing. They smash. They are hard to handle. With the Madcap Experiment pumping, they come into play sneakily, without being countered by traditional spells. Once on the battlefield they require a very specific set of answers to survive. They are uniquely qualified for the Big Stupid Creature section of this list. So drop and smash! There are a few other big dorks that are in the conversation as well, such as Arcbound Overseer, Colossus of Akros, or even Kaladesh’s own Metalwork Colossus. Oh, and don’t be that idiot who plays Sundering Titan. Friends don’t let friends play Sundering Titan.

5. Platinum Emperion

I am sorry. I wish I had thought this up myself! But it comes from reddit and then every writer ever has followed. The concept is simple. Only run Platinum Emperion instead of other artifacts. It doesn’t matter how deep you go, when the Emperion arrives, you won’t move your life total to reflect the damage! So basically in an otherwise-artifactless deck, Madcap Experiment becomes a 4 mana Platinum Emperion, a 8/8 beater that has the cool, ”Won’t change my life total no matter how much you may want to,” thing going on. (In fact, you can’t even respond to the Emperion. The ability doesn’t go on the stack, and you can’t respond by killing it. It arrives, it takes damage, you move on)

4. Mycosynth Golem

Platinum Emperion
Mycosynth Golem

Due to the free nature of a card like Madcap Experiment, your deck might have a few cards that are a bit hard on the mana costs. Do you know what would help? That’s right, mana rocks! Sol Ring and friends are here to help you drop your fun and pricey cards. Sure! Do you know what else would help? This shiny Golem! Now all of those artifact creatures have affinity for artifacts. Is the Madcap Experiment in an artifact deck already? That’s likely. So you have a serious price reduction for your stuff. Now it won’t drop all of your artifacts, just the creatures, and it does have to hit the battlefield first. But the Golem of all things Mycosynth is a clear winner in a deck with Madcap Experiment.

3. Darksteel Forge

Darksteel Forge is awesome. Who doesn’t like giving the team the classic indestructible fun times. Every artifact, including your artifact creature/beaters are now almost impossible to handle. You’ll need a specialized amount of artifact and indestructibility control, with cards like Into the Core or Return to Dust some of a few answers I can think of. Both the Forge and the Madcap love the artifacts and fit into those decks, with is great . . . but . . . 

The problem with Darksteel Forge of course is that you want to play in a deck with a bunch of other artifacts, right? So how do you push the Forge to being one of your top reveals? I don’t know! Maybe some earlier cards on this list such as Sensei's Divining Top or Crystal Ball from #7 would help. Or perhaps you might offer some help above at say, #1.

2. Bosh, Iron Golem

Darksteel Forge
Bosh, Iron Golem

Sure, there are some big beaters that come to mind with this card (see #6 below) but there are some red-centric things you can do too! After all, your Experiment is in….red. (Just like that Goblin Charbelcher at #10). So why deny yourself the pleasure of your color? Bosh is fine because he’s a beater, and he’ll throw artifacts at people’s head. And of course the heavier artifact, the more damage it’ll do. Since both Bosh and Madcap are Red, it’s not like they won’t fit together. And since your artifacts might tend on the more expensive side of life . . . 

1. Enlightened Tutor

Enlightened Tutor

Most artifact heavy decks are running artifact tutors already, right? Right! So a card like Enlightened Tutor is going to slide on in nicely and neatly. People are running this, or similar stuff, already. So are you, so good job! Meanwhile we have stuff like this Madcap card mucking about. Use Enlightened Tutor to put the best, most powerful artifact you have on top of your library, and then cast Madcap Experiment. Hmmm, I wonder what you’ll flip? You won’t dig far that’s for sure! That’s just as reliable as Tinker combined with an artifact. Both basically search your library and put an artifact into play. This is card disadvantage, just like Tinker, but the card quality is worth it, and both halves are good on their own. The best part is that your deck can have a few one-ofs that are really good in the right situation for you to Enlightened Tutor + Madcap for. See also Academy Ruins.

And there we are! We have cards that help the Experiment be more reliable, cards that want to get dropped via the result, and even card that want to help once stuff is down. Padeem. Bosh. Darksteel Forge. Darksteel Colossus. Boom! You’ve got this.

Are you ready for the Madcap Experiment to blow up your kitchen table? I am!

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