Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are Artifact Creatures in Magic?
Like regular artifacts, Magic's artifact creatures tend to be colorless, letting any deck access them. They essentially function like regular creatures, bearing power and toughness scores and being unable to attack or tap the turn they arrive (unless they have haste).
But since they carry both artifact and creature heritages, these hybrids qualify for a vast number of supports (and removals), letting you easily search them from your deck and recover them from your graveyard. But with hundreds of animated relics available, which monsters reign supreme? These are the 10 best artifact creatures in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Hex Parasite
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 1
Hex Parasite only needs one mana of any color, making a great first turn play. While his stats are a low 1/1 (one power and one toughness), he can spend X mana plus either one black mana or two life to remove X counters from any permanent. Additionally, for each counter removed, Hex gains +1/+0 for the rest of the turn.
This offers a versatile and adaptable way to expend leftover mana. You can remove loyalty counters from opposing planeswalkers, +1/+1 counters from enemy creatures, and -1/-1 counters from your own troops (useful for cards with the undying trait). Just remember that Hex counts as black in his color identity thanks to his text's phyrexian mana symbol, so your commander needs to be part black to use him in EDH format.
9. Armory Automaton
Armory only needs three mana, and despite mediocre 2/2 stats, whenever he enters the field or attacks, you can attach as many equipments to him as you like.
Not only does this avoid the equip costs of your own spells, it can even pilfer opposing weapons. Your opponent can recover them by paying the equip costs to reattach to one of their units, but they'll waste resources doing so and have to wait until their next main phase to try. Plus, even if they succeed, Armory can simply steal them again when he attacks. In short, this brutal relic ironically works well both in and against equipment decks.
8. Baleful Strix
Unlike most artifact creatures, Strix needs colored mana, so he only fits in blue/black builds. His stats are also a poor 1/1, but he compensates with flying, deathtouch, and an added draw when he arrives.
This, use Strix to deter aerial assaults, as he can kill something much larger than himself. Meanwhile, you gain card advantage, a sweet bargain for just two mana.
7. Platinum Angel
Sure, Platinum needs a substantial fee of seven mana, and her stats are a low 4/4 considering, but she offers flying and one of the strongest effects available: you can't lose and your opponents can't win.
That's right, even if your life hits zero or another loss condition triggers, as long as Platinum remains fielded, you're still in the game. As icing on the cake, unlike most artifact creatures, she actually carries a useful subtype, qualifying for supports from the powerful angel clan.
6. Darksteel Colossus
Sure, Darksteel needs an absurd amount of mana, but you can avoid it with free-creature (or artifact) spells like "Defense of the Heart". Once he arrives, he decimates foes with 11/11 stats, trample, and indestructible, bulldozing through blockers while resisting damage.
A powerful beatstick, but note you won't be able to recover him from the graveyard, as Darksteel automatically shuffles himself into your library if placed there.
5. Blightsteel Colossus
Blightsteel costs one more mana than Darksteel, but since you're probably circumventing the price anyway, it hardly matters. He's exactly the same, offering 11/11, trample, indestructible, and the graveyard-shuffle, but he also carries infect, letting him deal damage to creatures as -1/-1 counters and players as poison counters.
Since players lose when they collect ten poison counters, a single direct hit from Blightsteel will force a loss regardless of a player's life count, making him one of the best infect spells in the game.
Metalworker is a weak 1/2 for his price, but his unparalleled ramping ability lets him tap and reveal any number of artifacts in your hand to gain two colorless mana for each! With just three artifacts (of any type) in hand, that's six mana right there; combined with lands, you should be able to afford nearly any spell. Try to keep your hand stocked to ensure maximum gain; luckily, you can gain hand advantage with...
3. Solemn Simulacrum
Solemn's stats are a puny 2/2, but when he arrives, you get to place a basic land from your deck onto the field tapped, increasing your mana production in future turns. Additionally, when Solemn dies, you get to draw a card.
As a bonus, this effect is optional, so in the rare cases you don't want the draw (perhaps against mill decks), you can ignore it. Still, two powerful supports that fit in any build make Solemn a frequent member of my own commander decks, especially since he's surprisingly cheap, costing less than four dollars!
2. Etherium Sculptor
Sculptor has not one but two uncommon subtypes, giving twice as many chances to fail at combos. But in all seriousness, he's another artifact oddball that needs blue colored mana. His stats are a fair 1/2, but he really shines with his passive effect, reducing the cost of your other artifacts by one colorless mana.
That's a tremendous early-game boost that discounts all relic types, making Sculptor essential for blue artifact decks.
1. Phyrexian Metamorph
CMC: 3 or 4 (see below)
To play Metamorph, you can either spend four mana or three and two life. Either way, he copies any permanent on the field, letting your replicate the strongest current troop.
You can even copy your cards, although be careful not to mimic your own legendaries (else you'd have to sacrifice one). Overall, Metamorph is simply an amazing spell that fields high-cost units for just three mana, beating even shapeshifter staples like "Clone Impersonator" (who require four resources).
Supporting Artifact Creatures in Magic
While their dual type makes them vulnerable to additional removals, remember that artifact creatures benefit from many supports. For instance, you can freely field expensive units using either the artifact powers of planeswalker "Daretti, Scrap Savant" or the creature effect of "Elvish Piper."
Many cards grow in power based on the number of artifacts or creatures you control, letting today's golems skillfully empower your other spells. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of artifact creatures, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill