// floating card image

Saturday, July 14, 2018

EDH Essentials: Artifacts

July 31, 2013 by  
Filed under FAQ, In-Depth FAQ, Strategy

Artifacts play a very big factor in Magic the Gathering. As much as we love lands, as much as I love lands, artifacts play a huge factor of who is winning since the dawn of Alpha edition. Artifacts have evolved from accelerating your mana base to support you with utility and finally, provide a function that your deck is lacking.

In this blog post, we will be discussing what roles the artifacts are functioning for our advantage.



Color of Arifacts

“Colors? What color are you talking about?”

The key reason artifacts play such an important role in mtg is because of the color, which there is usually none. Without color, your development with artifacts has only 1 consideration, the amount of mana you are able to generate.


Off topic note:
I haven’t given much thought what role does color mana does. Yu-gi-oh is a card game that still functions very well as a complex strategy card game without the color mana system. Instead of using mana system, Yu-gi-oh uses their monsters cards as a form of currency. In Yu-gi-oh, players need to use their monsters to fuse or sacrifice to gain a superior and complicate monster to gain a superior board advantage.

Color mana does give a theme to the Magic the Gathering card game. The core of MTG’s being.
But still, I have yet to fully understand the colored mana served what kind of purpose.

All I can come up with is that color represents the ‘type’ of magic. Color represent a type of function of what your deck is capable of. Consider the color as an attempt to balance the game.



Mana Vault

Paid 1 and got 4 in return

EDH is always been about playing crazy bomb spells. Able to hard cast Decree of Pain and Open the Vaults can be extremely satisfying. However, to able to cast these crazy and insanely powerful spells, you need to achieve the mana base as soon as possible to gain these advantages fast.

Green function in this avenue most Excellency. Search and gain 1 or more card in terms of land cards, not only gives more mana to cast your bomb spells, spells like Cultivate also thin your deck. Thinning your deck increases your odds of drawing a better card instead of land.

However, other colors like Red are having a hard time achieving the same effect. Mana source cards like Sol Ring, Mana Vault and Darksteel Ingot provide mana per card.

Journeyer’s Kite can help in filter the deck and provide card advantage. However, investment and time are required to gain a very good advantage. However, it does provide the mana ramp function which other colors lack of.


Card Advantage

sensei's divining top

Probabilitiy Shift

The key factor of winning games, Card advantage. You have to find ways to out resource your opponent to win the game. Artifacts have provided a good alternative ways to draw cards solidly.

Based on the database, there should be 100+ cards to draw cards in artifacts. Much of these artifacts will need to be sacrificed. However, there are still decent amount of cards that provide repeatable card drawing. Although those activation cost are usually extremely high, for some colors, most notably is Red, these cost seems to be worth it.

Artifacts card drawing is critical for some colors. Red doesn’t have solid card drawing spell. They do have cards that let them draw, but usually accompanied with discarding effects, which usually result in no card advantage, but hand improvement. White doesn’t fair well either. Both, Red and White, usually gain situational card advantage via mass destruction like Wrath of God or Inferno.


I personally believe that artifacts makes mono color EDH decks function in certain degree of competitiveness.

Disk vs Wrath

Playing the role of a Wrath of God in a non White deck



Five Swords

Cream of the Crop

When I first see Zelyon Sword and Runesword back in 1997, which is the year I first started playing MTG. That is when I start to see artifacts are used to hit harder on your opponent.

Although Zelyon Sword and Runesword aren’t Equipment artifacts, they possess the same role as Equipment. Give your creature something to hit your opponent harder.

Just that Equipment does it better. They give all kinds of abilities, making your creatures much more powerful other than hitting harder. The most notable abilities are shroud, hexproof, haste and unblockable. As this equipment are meant to give certain protection, making them a certain degree of difficulty of dying.

I have to admit, this role as “hitting harder” artifact plays isn’t critical. It does shorten your opponent’s clock, however all colors have big creatures in 1 way or another.

I do see the role of “protection” as critical. A well-protected Captain Sisay or Arcanis the Omnipotent for 4 or 5 turns can really means an easier victory.

Haste General can spell a 1 hit K.O. and end the game there and then.

Do debate on the hitting harder role in the comments. I can’t see the need. Creatures that have power 5 and above are really a threat.



These are the 3 roles I can come out with my limited wisdom and foresight. Do comment and debate how artifacts that function roles that I didn’t thought of and not mentioned here.


Yours Humility



One Response to “EDH Essentials: Artifacts”
  1. You really make it appear really easy together with your presentation
    however I find this matter to be really something which I believe I might never understand.
    It seems too complex and extremely large for me. I am having a look forward on your subsequent
    submit, I will try to get the dangle of it!