Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Artifact Equipments in Magic
Like standard artifacts, equipment spells in Magic tend to be colorless, letting them fit in any deck. To use them, you first pay their initial base cost, then their "equip" price whenever you actually attach them to a creature. Doing so often raises the unit's power and toughness while imparting battle-related traits, helping you dominate in combat.
While we're ranking today's weapons by aesthetic and not function, swords tend to be some of the strongest weapons around, so you'll encounter several menacing blades for top-tier decks. But which sabers catch our eyes with their impressive artwork? These are the 30 coolest swords in Magic: The Gathering!
30. Hero's Blade
Usability Rating (out of 10): 7
This interesting design widens and curves as the blade travels away from the hilt, and the red strap offers a personalized touch. And in combat, Hero's Blade can automatically attach itself to legendary units who enter your field (perfect for commander format), adeptly saving the hefty equip cost and granting its beholder a sweet +3/+2.
29. Sword of Kaldra
This legendary weapon offers another curved design with a dragon-like hilt, and anything held over lava is automatically cool. While both its base and equip costs are demanding, Kaldra grants a massive +5/+5 and automatically exiles any foe it strikes.
28. Veteran's Armaments
The art here is simultaneously grim and optimistic, a nice contrast for this well-used weapon. Armaments boosts its user when it attacks or blocks by the number of attacking creatures, useful when you swarm tokens, and you can automatically attach it to units with the soldier subtype as they enter the field.
27. Glaive of the Guildpact
While half of this decorative blade is cropped out of its image, you'll see some familiar designs if you look closely at its hilt. And for reasonable mana prices, it bestows vigilance, menace, and +1/+0 per gate you control, rewarding you for using corresponding lands.
26. Pennon Blade
I'm not sure if wrapping a banner around his blade is the smartest battle tactic, but at least this knight will die in style. Sadly, despite its intimidating looks, the blade itself isn't amazing, only offering +1/+1 per creature you control. The only problem is a hefty equip cost of four, which would probably serve you better elsewhere.
25. Pirate's Cutlass
Here, the cutlass itself and the surrounding beach and waves are beautifully drawn, highlighting the radiance of nature. Cutlass isn't the sturdiest equipment, offering a mere +2/+1, but upon entrance, it can attach to a pirate for free, assisting swashbuckling structures.
24. Trusty Machete
A shadowy figure cuts through a dense forest with his reliable blade... and it's not half bad in battle. It only boosts a troop by +2/+1, but its low entrance fee and modest equip price makes it more affordable than many weapons.
23. Ogre's Cleaver
Want to fight like Nightmare from Soul Calibur? This enormous, one-sided tool is the weapon for you. Cleaver grants+5/+0, although its hefty equip cost makes it somewhat unwieldy. Use it alongside cards that equip your sabers for free (like "Kazuul's Toll Collector") to circumvent its awkwardness.
Utilizing a Japanese rather than European design, No-dachi is one of the few katana you'll see in Magic, and its impressive backdrop invokes a sense of power. Sadly, it's not the best weapon, only granting +2/+0 and first strike, not an amazing bonus with its sizable equip cost.
21. Blade of Selves
This intangible weapon utilizes a translucent design, and the icy cavern it rests in augments its mystical feeling. Unfortunately, it's somewhat situational, only giving a creature myriad. When you attack, this creates duplicate tokens attacking other players, but you lose the tokens at the end of the combat, suffer a sizable equip fee, and don't gain any benefit in 1v1 games.
20. Sword of the Meek
Despite its humble name, Meek cuts a blazing path through the dark, looking every bit as impressive as a legendary sword. And while it only bestows a modest boost of +1/+2, the ability to freely attach it from your graveyard to a 1/1 creature entering the field makes it great discard fodder and hard to permanently remove.
With a two-pronged appearance reminiscent of the Halo energy blade, Deathrender could fit in both fantasy and sci-fi environments. And its unique effect earns its dramatic name, granting +2/+2 and allowing you to field a creature from your hand for free when your equipped warrior dies, attaching Deathrender to it. Plus, its inexpensive equip makes it easy to manually rotate between warriors.
18. Short Sword
For such a simply-named saber, Short Sword's intricate design and colorful stained glass environment render an awe-inspiring sight. While it only ever imparts +1/+1, its low fielding and equip costs make it easy to employ.
A blade that can destroy planets themselves, this energy-infused permanent seemingly awaits a worthy owner to unleash its power. It has a strong ability, destroying all permanents (including lands) other than itself when its wielder inflicts combat damage to a player, but its bulky prices and lack of stat increases restrict it from true greatness.
16. Heirloom Blade
A weapon passed from generation to generation, Heirloom's inscribed symbols and sapphire jewel illustrate its power. It grants a sweet +3/+1, and whenever its wielder perishes, you reveal cards from your library until you find a creature with a matching subtype, adding it to your hand. Throw in a surprisingly low equip fee, and you've got an easily-transferred broadsword for any tribal build.
15. Sword of the Animist
Here's a shining elven blade wielded by Nissa herself, one of green's most infamous characters. It's also one of the best artifacts in the game, granting a modest +1/+1 but allowing you to place a basic land from your deck onto the field tapped whenever Animist's owner attacks.
14. Sword of Vengeance
Resting on an exquisite purple cloth, the Sword of Vengeance adds a gold tip to its silver blade, and its flavor text asserts its power, whether fake or a genuine relic. True to its size, Vengeance needs a fair sum of mana, but affords an impressive array of abilities: +2/+0, first strike, vigilance, trample, and haste, perfect compliments for an aggressive build.
Shining with holy might, Godsend actually needs colored mana, meaning only white decks should employ this legendary. However, it contains +3/+3 and can exile a creature that its wielder blocks or is blocked by. Additionally, opponents can't cast cards with the same names as ones Godsend has exiled. Admittedly, this bonus is of limited use in singleton formats like commander, but it's a great boon in standard playstyles.
12. Mage Slayer
This unique, bone-carved weapon rests in a cemetery while awaiting a worthy champion. Similar to Godsend, it takes three mana to both equip and cast, and it needs colored mana (red and green in this case). It doesn't boost stats, but when its wielder swings, Slayer inflicts damage to the defending player equal to your attacker's power, essentially doubling your onslaught.
11. Sword of Body and Mind
Rippling with forest and island-infused energy (yet colorless in cost), this blade belongs to the infamous "Sword of" set. Each grants +2/+2 and protection from two colors, blue and green in this case. Additionally, they offer direct-damage effects; when you strike an opponent, Body and Mind gives you a 2/2 wolf token and mills the top ten cards of your target's deck into their graveyard.
10. Sword of War and Peace
Here's the updated, more-majestic take on the Sword of War and Peace, combining the powers of plains and mountains. It bestows +2/+2 and protection from red and white. Plus, upon a direct hit, it damages your victim equal to the cards in their hand while you gain life equal to the number in yours.
9. Sword of Fire and Ice
Burning with red-hot fire while freezing enemies with chilling steel, this is one of the best equipment spells in the entire game. For reasonable mana prices, your troop receives +2/+2, protection from red and blue, and you draw a card and deal two damage to any target when you score a direct hit. Remember, protection prevents corresponding units from blocking, making it easy to land these critical blows.
8. Sword of Light and Shadow
The sleek, almost tendril-like of this blade impresses, mixing the powers of light and dark. The blade imparts +2/+2, protection from white and black, and the direct-damage abilities of regaining three life and returning a creature from your graveyard to your hand.
7. Sword of Feast and Famine
The twin colors in Feast and Famine paint a death-riddled picture, and it's as deadly as its name sounds, offering +2/+2 and protection from black and green. Additionally, it harnesses two excellent abilities when spilling an opponent's blood, forcing a discard and immediately untapping all lands you control.
6. Hedron Blade
The simplistic, almost steampunk-like design of Hedron Blade is a sight to behold, even if the weapon itself isn't great. It's not terribly expensive, but only grants +1/+1 and deathtouch when blocked by a colorless creature.
As war rages around it, this formidable weapon butchers any who dare engage... well, in theory. Unfortunately, Greatsword isn't terribly helpful, only granting +3/+0 despite its mid-range prices. You can easily obtain better stats for less mana with other steel instruments.
4. Sword of Dungeons & Dragons
Stemming from one of the semi-official "Un" sets, this blade pays homage to Wizards of the Coast's infamous role-playing series. Between the intricate design of the weapon, the looming gold dragon in the background, and the stat increases alongside unique cleric and rogue protections, there's a lot to love here.
3. Trepanation Blade
This ominous weapon looks capable of piercing straight to the heart with its jet-black point. It offers some interesting traits; when its user swings, the defending player reveals cards from their deck until they reveal a land. Your troop gains +1/+0 for the turn per card revealed, then the player sends the cards to their graveyard. While somewhat dependent on chance, this can help mill your opponent into a deck-out loss.
2. Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang
A dragon coils around this saw-toothed weapon, fitting considering its effects. Fang boosts its holder by +5/+5, and its equip cost is relatively low compared to its base fee. Additionally, whether attached or not, you can spend six mana and exile Tatsumasa to create a flying 5/5 dragon spirit token, and when that unit dies, Tatsumasa returns to the field. Thus, its shifts between strengthening a creature or serving as one itself based on your current needs.
1. Blackblade Reforged
Simple yet beautiful, this dragon-slaying weapon is wielded by infamous planeswalker Gideon, one of white's biggest heroes. Blackblade grants stat increases equal to the number of lands you control, gradually gaining power as the match progresses, and it equips to legendary creatures for a much-reduced fee, making it great for commander format.
I'm especially fond of harnessing Blackblade in land-swarming green decks, and it's surprisingly affordable for a competitive legendary, costing well under two dollars!
Supporting Artifact Equipments in Magic
The generally-colorless nature of today's blades qualifies them for any structure, but they're especially useful among red and white themes, who offer several equipment supports to quickly field and attach your weapons.
And while swords are some of the most visually-appealing equipments available, don't overlook other tempting artifacts like "Lightning Greaves" and "Batterskull." But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of stone-forged sabers, vote for your favorite sword, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill