Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are Equipment Supports in Magic?
In Magic, the artifact group contains specialized equip spells, generally colorless tools that have separate mana costs for both casting and attaching to creatures, so they can be rather resource draining. However, equipment cards (unlike auras) stay fielded even if their beholder dies, making them ongoing nuisances that can really turn the tide of a match.
Equipments come in many shapes and sizes, offering various traits and often boosting a unit's power/toughness. Thankfully, the game contains several excellent supplements designed to help adorn your army. These cards generally belong to the white or red factions, and they often search your weapons or reduce the cost of playing them. Many also empower your auras, but with dozens of relic allies, which units reign supreme? These are the fifty best equipment supports in Magic: The Gathering!
50. Auriok Survivors
Auriok Survivors bears the knight subtype (and human) that can receive support through other equipment boosts we'll later see, but he's rather expensive, costing six mana and only arriving with 4/6 stats (four power and six toughness). However, when he enters the field, Survivors lets you return an equipment from your graveyard to the field, then he may attach it to himself, a nice late-game revival.
49. Taj-Nar Swordsmith
Taj-Nar carries the useful cat and knight subtypes, though he's a bit weak for his price, bearing just 2/3. Still, when he enters the field, you can pay X mana of a value you choose, searching an equipment with a matching CMC from your deck and placing it onto the field. A useful ability, though I wish it could also attach the card, rather than just playing it.
48. Loxodon Punisher
Loxodon possesses the soldier and elephant subtype, but he's rather weak at just 2/2 for the four plains he requires. However, Punisher gains +2/+2 for each equipment on him. Since players can attach any number of equipment to a single unit, you can potentially boost Punisher's stats to unholy heights (especially if the weapons themselves also ramp his stats).
47. Militant Inquisitor
Inquisitor bears a fair 2/3 stats for his price, and he gets +1/+0 for each equipment you control. The nice thing here is that your relics don't need to be attached to him (or even to other units); merely having them fielded will trigger the boost. A nice increase, though Inquisitor's human and cleric subtypes sadly lack the soldier, knight, cat, kor, and ally boosts better suited for an equipment deck.
46. Vulshok Battlemaster
As a red creature, use mountain lands instead of plains to summon Vulshok. Sadly, she needs a hefty five mana and arrives as a pathetic 2/2. Still, she has haste, letting her attack immediately, and when she enters, you attach all equipment on the field to her! This even includes opposing weapons; foes can reclaim them by reattaching them to a unit they possess, but this takes mana and can only be done on a main phase, punishing them for appropriating your pilfered forces.
45. Tiana, Ship's Caretaker
3/3 stats aren't great for a five-cost creature, but Tiana also carries flying and first strike, letting her soar over ground blockers and deal damage first in combat (avoiding a counterattack if she kills her foe). Plus, as a legendary unit, this angel artificer can serve as commander in EDH format, and whenever your aura or equipment is placed into your graveyard, she can return it to your hand at the end of the turn, helpfully reclaiming both types of creature boosts.
44. Auriok Windwalker
The wizard subtype is a nice blue complement, though it's a bit out of place in a white equipment deck, and Windwalker's stats are a frail 2/3. However, he possesses flying and can tap to attach an equipment to any creature you control, skillfully avoiding the equip fees of high-cost cards.
43. Brass Squire
An artifact creature blend, Brass Squire is basically a cheaper Windwalker, and since he's colorless, he fits into any deck. His stats are slightly lower at 1/3, but he costs one less mana and wields the same tap effect, attaching an equipment you possess to a creature you control. Note that unlike the equip ability, tap effects can be used at instant speed, meaning this can attach your tools even on your opponent's turn.
42. Grip of Phyresis
As an instant, you may cast this blue spell at any time, and it prepares your graveyard for "threshold" and "spell mastery" effects. Phyresis gains control of an equipment, then attaches it to a 0/0 germ creature token you construct. This helpfully steals an enemy's weapon, and even if the equipment doesn't boost your token's toughness (and it thus dies), you'll still retain control of the artifact, letting you grant it to other troops.
41. Auriok Glaivemaster
Glaivemaster carries the helpful soldier heritage, and though she's a puny 1/1, she only costs a single mana. Plus, as long as she's equipped, Glaivemaster gets +1/+1 and first strike, a handy upgrade on top of whatever benefits her weapon provides.
40. Kitesail Apprentice
Kitesail is remarkably similar to Glaivemaster, costing one mana and arriving with 1/1 stats. This time, he receives +1/+1 and flying when equipped, offering a slightly different set of traits. Whether you prefer flying or first strike, since he carries both the kor and soldier subtypes, I generally favor him over his land-based counterpart.
39. Godo, Bandit Warlord
Godo is a costly red unit who suffers a surprisingly weak 3/3 stats. However, this legendary barbarian searches an equipment from your library upon entering the field, putting it into play for free. While I wish he could attach the unit, Godo also carries a second effect that untaps himself and all Samurai whenever he attacks for the first time each turn. This also grants a second combat phase, letting him and your bushido troops consecutively battle (hopefully with boosted stats from equipment) in the same round.
38. Heavenly Blademaster
While Blademaster costs a substantial six mana and only bears 3/6 stats, she enjoys flying and the incredible double strike trait, letting her deal both first strike and regular combat damage (essentially hitting twice with each attack). This powerful angel also can attach any number of auras and equipments you control to herself when she enters, granting her comrades an extra +1/+1 for each unit she adorns.
37. Relic Seeker
Your goal with Relic Seeker is to land a direct attack as soon as possible (blue's unblockable auras can help with this). Seeker's a fair 2/2 human soldier, and his renown trait lets him (once) gain a +1/+1 counter when he scores a direct hit. Plus, when he becomes renowned, you get to search your deck for an equipment and place it into your hand, adeptly finding whatever blade you need.
36. Quest for the Holy Relic
Quest is an easily afforded enchantment with a powerful bonus, but it takes time to activate. Once out, it acquires a quest counter whenever you cast a creature spell; when Relic collects five, you can sacrifice it to search your deck for an equipment, field it, and attach it to a unit you control! This saves you from both its casting and equip costs; just remember, Quest only adds counters with creatures you cast, not those who enter the field through other effects.
35. Akiri Line-Slinger
One of the best partner commanders in the game, Akiri can work with another partner to offer two generals in EDH. For two mana, she bears a nice 0/3 stats as well as first strike and vigilance (letting her swing without tapping). But with zero power, why bother? Well, Akiri gains +1/+0 for all artifacts you control, rewarding you for swarming equipment (and other relics) even if they're not attached to her. Akiri's kor, soldier, and ally classes also provide one of the best subtype trios in the game.
34. Champion of the Flame
Champion is basically a cheaper version of Loxodon Punisher. He's initially weak at 1/1, but he bears trample (bleeding excess damage through blockers) and gains +2/+2 for each aura and equipment attached to him! Though his warrior rank would serve better as a soldier or knight, Champion receives a dramatic upgrade not to be overlooked when assisted by either type of creature boost.
33. Goblin Gaveleer
If you like Champion, you'll love Gaveleer. He's a similar 1/1 with trample, and he gains +2/+0 for each attached equipment (and not auras). Still, that's a prime increase, especially since Gaveleer costs one less mana. Throw in the helpful goblin subtype (plus warrior for good measure), and Gaveleer stands as one of the best goblins in Magic. I've used him to great effect in both equipment and goblin builds, and especially appreciate how cheap he is, costing well under a single dollar!
32. Open the Armory
Open the Armory is a simple search, paying two mana to pull any equipment or aura from your deck, helpfully accessing two different card types. Again, sorceries and instants assist with threshold and spell mastery, letting Armory continue to help once spent by simply residing in your graveyard.
31. Leonin Den-Guard
Leonin Den-Guard bears a solid 1/3 stats for a two-cost creature, and helpfully carries the useful cat and soldier subtypes. Plus as long as she's equipped, she receives +1/+1 and vigilance, making her a fierce combatant who remains untapped and ready to block even after swinging.
30. Raksha Golden Cub
Raksha requires a huge seven mana, so consider gimmicking him with free-creature spells. He arrives with a subpar 3/4 stats, but he carries vigilance as well as the cat and soldier subtypes. Even better, while equipped, all your cat creatures (including himself) gain +2/+2 and double strike, a massive increase that often ends the game with a double-power feline invasion (dibs on that as a band name).
Depending on just how saturated your deck list is with equipment and other artifacts, Metalworker can provide huge amounts of mana to fuel your spells. While he's a weak 1/2, he can tap and reveal any number of artifacts from your hand, gaining two colorless mana for each! With just two or three relics, that's a huge wealth of resources, and since Metalworker himself is an artifact creature, you can even reveal duplicate copies for the trait.
28. Sunspear Shikari
For two mana, Shikari's a sturdy 2/2 with the handy cat and soldier subtypes. Plus, while equipped, she attains first strike and lifelink, which gains you a corresponding amount of health whenever she deals damage (against either an opponent or their creature).
27. Strength of Arms
Strength of Arms is an instant that only costs one mana, and provides a creature +2/+2 for the rest of the turn, letting you triumph in a battle your opponent expected to survive. Plus, if you cast the spell while controlling an equipment, you create a 1/1 white human soldier token, letting Arms serve as an excellent upgrade/creature duo.
26. Magnetic Theft
Another single-cost instant, Magnetic Theft simply attaches a target equipment to a target creature. This can catch opponents by surprise thanks to its quick-play speed, and it can even target enemy units, attaching their weapons to your troops. Actual control of the equipment doesn't change, letting them (and not you) reattach it later, but this forces them to waste mana, and in the meantime, you can make great use of their arsenal. Or, simply use Theft to attach your own equipment and avoid high equip costs on powerful but pricey cards like Batterskull.
25. Nazahn, Revered Bladesmith
Legendary Nazahn carries a decent 5/4 stats and harbors the cat and artificer subtypes. Although he costs six mana, when he enters the field, you can search an equipment from your deck, and if it was "Hammer of Nazahn," you can also field it for free! Thankfully, Hammer is a powerful tool we'll later see, and searching other cards is still beneficial.
Either way, whenever an equipped creature you control (possibly including himself) attacks, Nazahn lets you tap a defending creature, hindering your opponent's ability to block your assault.
24. Leonin Shikari
Shikari's another 2/2 cat soldier who costs just two mana, offering plenty of power even on her own. Better still, she lets you attach equipment at any time you could play an instant (which should be always). Thus, you can now readminister your gear on the fly, adapting to any situation without having to wait for your next main phase.
23. Kazuul's Toll Collector
Toll Collector's ogre and warrior lineage aren't quite as useful as could be desired, but he carries a solid 3/2 initial stats. Plus, he can pay zero mana (a hefty fee, I know) to attach an equipment you control to himself. You can only do this at sorcery speed (on your main phases), but it's still an excellent way to harness powerful weapons without paying their equip price.
22. Ironclad Slayer
Ironclad Slayer is white's Toll Collector counterpart, costing the same amount of mana and entering with an identical 3/2 stats. However, rather than attaching relics for free, this human warrior lets you recycle an aura or equipment from your graveyard to your hand when he enters the field, reclaiming lost units for future usage.
21. Valduk, Keeper of the Flame
Yet another three-cost 3/2, at the start of combat on your turn, this legendary unit creates a 3/1 elemental token with haste and trample for every aura and equipment attached to him. These tokens are exiled at the end of the turn, but their high power, haste, and trample make them daunting attackers before their departure. A powerful force; I just wish Valduk carried more compatible bloodlines than human and shaman.
20. Kemba, Kha Regent
Kemba is white's version of Valduk, costing three mana and possessing a slightly superior 2/4 stats. Her tokens arrive at the beginning of your upkeep, and they're 2/2 cat creatures. They don't have trample or haste, and you only get one for each equipment (and not aura) attached to Kemba, but they also aren't exiled at the end of the turn, letting you amass them as time passes. Valduk and Kemba each hold advantages over the other, but Kemba's slightly superior cat and cleric subtypes give her a small edge against her crimson counterpart.
19. Kor Duelist
Kor Duelist as a typical 1/1 for one mana, but as long as he's equipped, he gains the fierce double strike trait. Give him a weapon that boosts his power to make better use of his new dual-hitting capabilities, and remember that his kor and soldier subtypes combo well with supports we'll soon encounter.
18. Novice Knight
Novice Knight bears an astonishing 2/3 stats for someone who costs just a single mana. That said, he also carries defender, preventing him from attacking, although he can still block. However, while equipped, Novice loses defender, letting him assault your foe with his increased powers. Toss in the human and knight synergies and you have one heck of a first turn play.
17. Stoneforge Acolyte
Acolyte possesses a nice 1/2 stats for his low price, and he carries not two but three subtypes, chaining well with kor, artificer, and ally companions. His cohort effect lets you tap him and another untapped ally you control to look at the top four cards of your deck. You may reveal an equipment from them and add it to your hand, placing on the other cards on the bottom of your deck in any order. A useful if somewhat limited search, further justifying an already-impressive card.
16. Armament Master
Armament Master finally showcases the advantages of devoting to kors, specifically needing two white mana but arriving as a hearty 2/2 kor soldier. Plus, each equipment attached to him gives your other kor creatures an extra +2/+2, letting you empower not just Armament but his kinsmen for each weapon he brandishes.
15. Weapons Trainer
Weapons Trainer enjoys a fantastic 3/2 stats for his low price, and he adopts the human, soldier, and ally subtypes (making him a useful cohort for Acolyte). Plus, as long as you control an equipment (even if it's not attached), Trainer grants your other units +1/+0, a minuscule but appreciated increase that benefits all monsters regardless of their factions.
14. Stonehewer Giant
Stonehewer demands a fair chunk of five mana, but he joins the fray as a solid 4/4 giant warrior with vigilance. Even better, he can spend two mana and tap to search your deck for an equipment, field it, and attach it to a creature, granting three excellent equipment supports each time you exhaust him.
13. Kor Outfitter
Outfitter's another sturdy 2/2 troop, and when he enters the field, you can attach an equipment you control to a creature you control. Whether he grants the weapon to a teammate or receives its himself, Outfitter skillfully avoids the equip cost and employs the kor and soldier subtypes.
12. Balan, Wandering Knight
Balan's moderate cost of four mana yields a 3/3 warrior with first strike. However, this upgrades to double strike when he has two or more equipment attached. Thankfully, Balan's next trait spends two mana to attach all equipment you control to himself, and this can be performed at instant speed. As icing on the cake, Balan enjoys the cat and knight subtypes, and he may serve as commander in EDH.
11. Sram, Senior Edificer
While I wish Sram had more compatible heritages than dwarf and advisor, he only costs two mana, can serve as commander in EDH, and bears a respectable 2/2 stats. Better yet, he lets you draw a card whenever you cast an equipment, aura, or vehicle, granting some much-needed hand replenishment and rewarding multiple types of cards.
Sram's a fun, low-cost commander who you can reliably field on turn two, and he's won me several monowhite matches. I've used him as both a general and a simple support, and he's remarkably cheap for a competitive legendary, often costing less than two dollars!
10. Steelshaper's Gift
Steelshaper's Gift provides a restricted Open the Armory, only able to search an equipment (and not an aura) from your deck and add it to hand. However, since it costs half the mana, it's an excellent way to find a needed weapon on turn one or spend leftover resources on later rounds.
9. Nahiri, the Lithomancer
Planeswalker Nahiri can serve as commander and offers three great equipment boosts, her only problems being a hefty five mana cost and disappointing base loyalty of three. Still, +2 creates a 1/1 kor soldier and lets you attach an equipment to it, -2 places an equipment from your hand or graveyard onto the field, and -10 creates the equipment "Stongeforged Blade," which can equip for free and offers +5/+5 as well as double strike!
8. Armory Automaton
While his 2/2 stats are low for his cost, Armory counts as both a creature and an artifact (useful for Metalworker), and whenever he enters the field or attacks, you can attach any number of equipment to him! This lets you adhere your own weapons and even opposing units for free, and I appreciate how you can exclude cards, letting you keep gear attached to units who need them more.
7. Hammer of Nazahn
CMC: 4 (and 4 to equip)
Yep, this relic supports itself and its kin. While it takes four mana to both field and equip, remember that Nazahn, Revered Bladesmith can search and play it for free. Additionally, when Hammer or another equipment enters the field under your control, you can attach it to a creature for free, handily avoiding your initial equip cost. Plus, this legendary artifact grants its beholder +2/+0 and indestructible, protecting against damage and destruction, the most common types of removal.
6. Puresteel Paladin
Paladin requires both its mana stem from white plains lands, but he offers two excellent equipment boosts. First, when an equipment enters the field under your control, you can draw a card—even if it wasn't cast. Then, his metalcraft makes your equip costs zero as long as you control three or more artifacts, skillfully tallying even non-equipment relics in this count. Finally, his knight subtype stacks excellently with . . .
5. Auriok Steelshaper
Steelshaper reveals the purpose for swarming knights and soldiers: while he's equipped, all your soldier and knight cards (including himself) receive a nice +1/+1, supplementing Steelshaper's initially poor 1/1 stats. Additionally, he reduces the mana cost of your equip effects (but not their initial casting) by one, letting you easily shuffle them between warriors without draining your mana pool.
4. Stone Haven Outfitter
Outfitter's kor, artificer, and ally subtypes grant several synergies, and she only requires one of her mana be white. She also grants any equipped creatures you command an extra +1/+1, and whenever an equipped creature you control dies, Outfitter lets you draw a card, a valued hand-replenishment for your arms deck.
3. Danitha Capashen, Paragon
Legendary Danitha only carries 2/2 stats, but her first strike, vigilance, and lifelink more than compensate. She also brandishes the human/knight subtypes and reduces the mana cost of your aura and equipment spells by one! An excellent trait, but remember that this only diminishes the initial price, not the actual equip cost.
2. Sigarda's Aid
For a permanent that only costs one mana, Sigarda's Aid bestows two amazing benefits with no drawbacks. First, you can cast cast both auras and equipments as though they had flash, letting you play them at instant speed. Then, whenever an equipment enters the field under your control, you can attach it to a target creature without having to pay its equip fee.
Combined, these traits let you suddenly cast and equip a weapon, making your opponent hesitant before attacking, as they'll know you may have a metallic ace up your sleeve. Aid remains one of my favorite white cards, as it's inexpensive in both gameplay and market value, often attainable for less than two dollars!
1. Stoneforge Mystic
The undisputed queen of equipment supports, Mystic carries the kor and artificer subtypes, and when she enters the field, she lets you add any equipment from deck to hand. While her stats are subpar at 1/2, she can also tap and spend two mana to play an equipment from your hand, greatly reducing the prices of your heavier tools.
With her powerful supports, I often use Stoneforge even in builds where equipment isn't the main theme, as her search and continuous castings make her well worth two mana and crucial to any equipment victory.
What Are the Best Artifact Equipments in Magic?
We've encountered a wealth of excellent equipment supports, but with hundreds of utensils, which are most worth your time? The powerful "Sword of" spells offer affordable costs with a heap of impressive direct-damage benefits and boosted stats, "Lightning Greaves" can equip for free and offers both haste and shroud, and "Masterwork of Ingenuity" inexpensively copies any equipment on the field.
There's plenty of awesome gear to blend into any deck, and these supports should have you well on your way to an equipment victory. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of equipment supports, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill