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Trinket Tutor


One of the things that I dislike about Modern is the fact that Trinket Mage just isn’t playable. Back in the early 2000’s, Trinket Mage was a powerhouse in formats like Legacy and Extended, finding everything from artifact lands and Pyrite Spellbomb to Sensei's Divining Top, Chrome Mox, and utility artifacts. These days? Everything is just too fast for Trinket Mage. You don’t have time to take your third turn off to find a bullet to shut down your opponent’s deck; you’ll just die before you get to play it. Unless, of course, you can find a way to make

Mono-Blue Architect ? Modern | Zac Elsik

Trinket Mage
The closest analog to this is something along the lines of [card]Mishra's Workshop" href="/p/Magic%3A+The+Gathering/Trinket+Mage%5Bcard%5D+part+disruption%2C+part+engine%2C+and+part+win+condition.+That+might+sound+like+it%27s+asking+for+a+lot%2C+but+it%27s+exactly+what+Zac+Elsik+has+done%3A%0D%0A%0D%0A%5Bcardlist+title%3D+Mono-Blue+Architect+%26mdash%3B+Modern+%7C+Zac+Elsik%5D%0D%0A%5BCreatures%5D%0D%0A2+Spellskite%0D%0A2+Vendilion+Clique%0D%0A3+Trinket+Mage%0D%0A3+Wurmcoil+Engine%0D%0A4+Chief+Engineer%0D%0A4+Etherium+Sculptor%0D%0A4+Grand+Architect%0D%0A4+Lodestone+Golem%0D%0A4+Judge%27s+Familiar%0D%0A4+Mausoleum+Wanderer%0D%0A4+Walking+Ballista%0D%0A%5B%2FCreatures%5D%0D%0A%5BInstants%5D%0D%0A2+Unified+Will%0D%0A%5B%2FInstants%5D%0D%0A%5BArtifacts%5D%0D%0A1+Basilisk+Collar%0D%0A1+Grafdigger%27s+Cage%0D%0A1+Pithing+Needle%0D%0A1+Torpor+Orb%0D%0A1+Vedalken+Shackles%0D%0A2+Chalice+of+the+Void%0D%0A2+Relic+of+Progenitus%0D%0A2+Thorn+of+Amethyst%0D%0A4+Smuggler%27s+Copter%0D%0A%5B%2FArtifacts%5D%0D%0A%5BLands%5D%0D%0A17+Island%0D%0A2+Buried+Ruin%0D%0A1+Academy+Ruins%0D%0A%5B%2FLands%5D%0D%0A%5B%2Fcardlist%5D%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Chr+%2F%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Ca+target%3D%22_blank%22+href%3D%22http%3A%2F%2Fwww.coolstuffinc.com%2Fp%2FMagic%253A%2BThe%2BGathering%2FTrinket+Mage%22%3E%5Bcardimg+align%3D%22right%22+alt%3D%22Trinket+Mage%22+caption%3D%22%22%5DTrinket+Mage+%5B%2Fcardimg%5D%3C%2Fa%3EThe+closest+analog+to+this+is+something+along+the+lines+of+%5Bcard%5DMishra%27s+Workshop">Trinket Mage[card] part disruption, part engine, and part win condition. That might sound like it's asking for a lot, but it's exactly what Zac Elsik has done:

Trinket Mage
The closest analog to this is something along the lines of [card]Mishra's Workshop decks. You don’t have the same amount of disruption, but the plan is basically the same. You spend your first turn or so setting up, casting your one mana Blue spells creatures and poking in for a point or two of damage. Then you’re looking to follow up with Chief Engineer or Grand Architect so that you can utilize your cheap Blue creatures to power out gigantic artifacts. The strength of your 1-drops is that they not only function as mana sources for your payoffs, but also as protection for them, and disruption against spell-based combo decks.

So what are the payoffs here? Walking Ballista is the obvious one, since it lets you pick off multiple creatures, particularly in matchups like Affinity or Abzan Collected Company. Wurmcoil Engine is great against various aggressive and midrange decks, though fairly poor against Path to Exile. Finally, Lodestone Golem is the creature you want against mana-intensive decks, since it will either prevent your opponent from casting enough spells to keep up with your more powerful threats.

So what does Trinket Mage do here? Trinket Mage functions as a tutor for either Walking Ballista, Basilisk Collar, or any number of your powerful sideboard hate cards, while also being a Blue creature to help power out your artifacts and a roadblock against aggressive decks. No one of these things is exciting enough to merit inclusion, but the combination of them makes Trinket Mage just versatile enough to make the cut, and that makes me enormously happy.

What’s interesting to me is that there’s a reasonable amount of utility for cards like Treasure Mage and Trophy Mage as well, which would allow you to tutor up either awesome haymakers like Myr Battlesphere or Spine of Ish Sah, or interesting hate cards like Crucible of Worlds. There’s a lot of interesting room to explore in this shell, which makes it an exciting and budget-friendly deck to consider for your next foray into Modern.

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