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Face the Artifacts


Hello, everyone! Every week I try to find you new and interesting decks that you can take to your local tournament or play online. Much of the time there's no common ground with these decks. They'll be a varied assortment of different colors or play styles, but this week is a little different. This week I have a variety of decks that have one thing in common, Artifacts. Let's get started.

Azorius Artifact Aggro

The first deck I have for you this week is an aggro deck with a plan for the long game. Let's take a look at it:

Steel Overseer
Since every creature in this deck except for Emry, Lurker of the Loch is an artifact, you should get a lot of mileage out of Steel Overseer. With Steel Overseer's activated ability, which puts a +1/+1 counter on each artifact creature you control, you'll have the ability to grow your creatures large enough to deal with any threat your opponent plays. It also allows you to get large enough that your opponent might have trouble blocking your creatures when they attack.

You'll often find it necessary to block with your artifact creatures in the early stages of the game, regardless of whether this will destroy them or not. This will allow you to stay alive long enough so that you can cast a large Dance of the Manse. Doing so allows you to return the artifact creatures that have gone to your graveyard, and hopefully you'll be able to bring them back as 4/4 creatures. Doing this will usually result in you turning the tables on your opponent and you can take control of a game you were otherwise losing.

Thanks to Steel Overseer's ability to grow your creatures in size, if you have to play Shatter the Sky as a means of gaining control of the game, you'll often be able to draw a card. However, Shatter the Sky isn't the only means of removal this deck has. Elspeth Conquers Death allows you to exile any permanent your opponent controls that costs three or more mana. Not only is this a great way to get rid of a difficult to deal with creature, but you can also use it on things like enchantments or artifacts that your opponent is benefitting by having in play.

Esper Super Artifacts

The next deck I have for you features a combination of Artifacts alongside some powerful Planeswalkers. Let's take a look at the deck:

Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge
Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge was the buy-a-box promo for War of the Spark. His static ability gives your creature and planeswalker spells affinity for artifacts. That can allow you the potential to play spells for free, which is always a powerful ability. Tezzeret's starting loyalty is five and you'll usually want to use his +2 loyalty ability nearly every turn. It's a great way to deal a bit of damage to your opponent while gaining you the same amount of life. Because of this ability, it's quite possible to win the game without attacking your opponent at all.

Another great planeswalker in this deck is Saheeli, Sublime Artificer. Her static ability creates a 1/1 Servo artifact creature token whenever you cast a noncreature spell. Since there are only two creature spells in the main deck, you'll have many chances to trigger this ability. The best part of this ability is that it triggers upon casting the spell, not upon the spell's resolution. That means that you'll get your Servo even if the spell you've cast is countered.

Another great way to gain a bunch of artifacts on an ongoing basis is through Smothering Tithe. Whenever your opponent draws a card, you'll gain a Treasure artifact token unless that player pays 2 mana. Most players will allow you to gain at least a couple of Treasure tokens since they'd rather use their mana to advance their plans. Take advantage of these "free" artifacts, and use them to get more life/damage from Tezzeret's +2 loyalty ability or to cast additional spells faster than normal.

Dalakos Artifacts

The final deck I have for you this week features a legendary Merfolk Artificer from Theros Beyond Death. Let's take a look at it:

Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders
Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders can tap for 2 mana that you can only spend to cast artifacts or to activate the abilities of artifacts. This can allow you to cast artifacts much earlier than normal. Renowned Weaponsmith has a similar ability, so by using these creatures together, you'll be ramping out artifacts very quickly. One other thing to keep in mind is that the equip cost on an artifact is activated ability, so Dalakos can be used for this. This ties into Dalakos's second ability, which allows equipped creatures you control to gain flying and haste.

While there aren't a lot of good equipment cards in Standard, there are a couple worth mentioning. Embercleave is the obvious choice for equipment. It has become a Standard staple card for many decks, and for good reason. The other equipment in this deck is Shadowspear. While it doesn't equip for free when you first cast it, Shadowspear only costs 1 mana, so you can get it into play much quicker than Embercleave. Like Embercleave, it gives the equipped creature +1/+1 and trample, but instead of double strike, Shadowspear provides lifelink. If you happen to play this deck and manage to equip both weapons to the same creature, let me know, as it sounds like a story for the ages.

This deck also plays a copy of Shimmer Dragon, which was only available in the Throne of Eldraine Brawl Decks. This Dragon is a 5/6 flying creature that has a fair chance of gaining hexproof. It also allows you an easy way to draw cards each turn by tapping two untapped artifacts you control. Card advantage helps win games, so be sure to take advantage of this ability every turn if possible.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there are multiple decks that can take advantage of playing artifacts. Each of these decks has a focus on artifacts, but each plays very differently.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. Also, feel free to share this article with your friends anywhere on social media. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!

- Mike Likes

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