Seven Low-Cost Artifacts for any Commander Magic Deck
Artifacts in Magic
Artifacts are a versatile bunch; as colorless spells, they can blend into any Commander deck, no matter which colors you're using. While useful, sometimes players "waste" their mana in earlier turns by not including a sufficient amount of mana-efficient spells.
To rectify this problem, here's a list of seven cheap Artifacts perfect for any Commander deck! Banned cards aren't included, lest you see nothing but the Mox series and Black Lotus.
7. Coldsteel Heart
Mana Cost: 2
Coldsteel Heart enters tapped, preventing you from using its effect the turn it enters, but it's small mana cost lets you cast it early in any game. Coldsteel simply lets you choose a color, and tap it for one mana of that color.
Commander games, which have twice the life amounts of traditional games, tend to last longer than standard ones, so any reusable mana card can really pump out some extra juice over the course of a match.
6. Fellwar Stone
Mana Cost: 2
Very similar to the last entry, Fellwar Stone also costs 2 and can tap to add one mana to your pool. In this case, the mana's color will be one that your opponent's lands can produce. Even if those lands are different colors than yours, the mana still acts as a generic colorless mana, helping you cast your spells.
Fellwar may not always produce the color you want, but it can tap as soon as it enters, letting you use it more quickly than Coldsteel.
5. Dolmen Gate
Mana Cost: 2
An oft-forgotten card, Dolmen Gate prevents all combat damage to your creatures when they attack, letting you strike without risk of losing your army. This benefits any assortment, but works particularly well with assemblies that rely on attacking to activate abilities.
For example, one of my favorite commanders, Kaalia of the Vast, allows you to summon a high-cost creature whenever she attacks. Dolmen Gate prevents her from dying if blocked (her Toughness is only 2), allowing you to reuse her effect and quickly amass a legion of formidable titans.
4. Pristine Talisman
Mana Cost: 3
Pristine Talisman has two helpful, simple effects. It taps to add one colorless mana to your pool, and restore one life. Over time, which Commander duels have plenty of, this card generates plenty of extra mana and life.
Just be wary of Black; some of its cards can make you lose life instead of gaining it. Still, even if your opponent wields this strategy, you don't have to tap Pristine each turn, so the danger is minimal.
Mana Cost: 1
Our final three entries are all cards that I'm surprised are legal in Commander (at least as of this writing). Very few decks won't want to be running one of these bad boys.
Skullclamp enters play for a single mana, and requires an additional one whenever you wish to equip it to a creature. Its effect gives the equipped creature one extra Power and one less Toughness, and also lets you draw two cards when the creature dies.
This works wonders in several ways. You can purposefully equip it to a creature with one Toughness (yours or your opponents), perishing the creature as its Toughness reaches zero, and letting you snatch two cards. It's also a nice way to enhance strength when you need your monsters to have oomph rather than endurance.
2. Mana Crypt
Mana Cost: 0
Yikes. This card offers whoever happens to draw it first a huge advantage, as they'll be playing their higher-cost spells much sooner. Mana Crypt isn't a land, so it won't hamper your land play for the turn. It does, however, (for no mana cost!) tap to add two colorless mana each turn!
The only downside is that on each of your upkeeps, you flip a coin, and lose 3 life if you lose the flip. That's unfortunate, but only has a 50% chance to activate each turn, and hardly distracts from the awesome extra two mana each turn.
1. Sol Ring
Mana Cost: 1
Considered by many to be the best card ever printed, Sol Ring simply adds two colorless mana to your pool each turn. Like the artifacts listed today, it isn't land, so when you stack the effects of your land play each turn with the bonus mana from Sol Ring or Mana Crypt, you'll be casting Sun Titans before your opponents can even conceivably muster a defense.
While I always love drawing an early Sol Ring, I'll admit I think it should go to the ban list, as it offers whoever is lucky enough to get it first a generous advantage. It's at least already banned in standard play, so don't fret there!
Which artifact do you prefer?
Future of Magic
Hopefully you've discovered some new, efficient artifacts to bolster your decks. Don't underestimate the importance of mana gathering early in Commander games; artifacts are an excellent way to out-resource your opponent early on. And stay sharp - we have plenty more card types to cover.
Feel free to vote for your favorite of today's cards, and I'll see you at our next countdown!