Magic’s artifact creatures, like ordinary artifacts, are usually colorless, allowing them to be used by any deck. They behave similarly to ordinary creatures, with power and toughness ratings and the ability to attack or tap on the turn they arrive (unless they have haste).
However, because they have both artifact and creature ancestors, these hybrids are eligible for a wide range of supports (and removals), allowing you to search your deck and reclaim them from your graveyard quickly. But, with so many animated relics to choose from, which creatures rule supreme? These are Magic: The Gathering’s top artifact creatures!
To get to this point, we’ve gone a long way. Time Vault was previously regarded as a strong artifact and the most deadly card in the deck. You could always play Black Lotus, but Time Vault was limited for a long time. It was prohibited, and while there were many discussions over which cards deserved to be banned and which did not, this was never one of them.
The Vault’s potency was evident even if it hadn’t offered up the prospect of endless turns before your opponent concluded his second. But things change, and we now have sharper players as well as a tiny gem known as Oracle.
If you look at it another way, Oracle could be the most powerful artifact of all because it has the ability to modify what other cards do at any time. Time Vault was brought back from exile after requiring players to give up a turn in order to obtain one, no matter what tactics they used. Of course, now that everyone has forty-seven better things to do that don’t use colored mana and aren’t all limited, practically no one goes to the Vault.
Seat of Synod
While this card isn’t technically “broken,” it is effectively an extra land card that you can play because it costs nothing to cast and provides land for no tap cost, potentially allowing you to play some of blue’s more devastating cards in your first turn, or in most cases, your opponent’s first turn. If you’re playing in modern or standard, you can play four of them, which allows you to swap out land slots for this card, which doesn’t count against your one land per turn limit.
Sword of Body and Mind
The Sword of Body and Mind is a three-cost Artifact that grants +2/+2 as well as protection from Green and Blue. When the creature does damage, you make a 2/2 token and compel the player to discard ten cards, making this a strong choice against combo decks.
The first is Hex Parasite, a one-mana 1/1 with a surprising amount of power owing to its ability. You can remove up to X counters from a permanent for X mana and one Black or Phyrexian mana, and Hex Parasite gets +1/+0 for each counter removed.
While your immediate impression may not be “wow, that’s incredible,” you may also use this on enemy permanents, like Planeswalkers. That means you can kill Planeswalkers, render an Everflowing Chalice worthless, and do just about anything else. This is one 1/1 that should not be overlooked.
Armory is just only three mana, and despite his poor 2/2 stats, you may equip him with as many items as you want anytime he enters the field or attacks.
This not only saves you money on your own spells, but it may also steal enemy weaponry. Your opponent can reattach them to one of their units by paying the equipment costs, but they’ll lose resources and have to wait until their next main phase to do so. Furthermore, even if they succeed, Armory may take them when he assaults them. In short, this nasty relic strangely performs well in both equipment decks and against them.
Gauntlet of Might
The most deadly red card used to be Wheel of Fortune, and the second was… an artifact? While the concept of connecting an artifact to a hue may appear novel, it is, like most things, an old notion reinvented.
When the only thing stopping players from seriously considering Mana Flare was that they were too busy saving up to buy their last Mox. They had enough respect for their red creatures to make sure most of them could survive a Lava Dart, even if they didn’t know how good Lightning Bolt was, let alone that they’d be picking dogs with darts, Red has a reputation for being a harsh hue.
Gauntlet of Might was a super-powerful card to the unsophisticated Magic eye. Would it even be played in today’s society, let alone be worth more than fifty dollars, no matter how rare? Yes, in casual games, but not in real competition.
This card is compelling since it lets you summon some incredibly terrifying creatures every round. The best thing is that you may pick how powerful these creatures are for a one-time expenditure of life, and every round, it just reuses that same sum. Pay half your life total, get a 10/10, 20/20, or more, then equip it with a few of the artifacts on this list, and you’ll receive everything back plus some.
Masterwork of Ingenuity
Because it copies any Equipment on the battlefield, Masterwork of Ingenuity has a variable cost to equip. You can replicate either your own or your opponent’s equipment, making this a highly versatile card depending on the condition of the board. If some effects protect enemy Artifacts, Masterwork of Ingenuity bypasses them, enabling you to duplicate them anyway.
From little to enormous, we have Phyrexian Triniform, which is a nine mana 9/9 creature. The Triniform is called for the fact that when it dies, it leaves behind three 3/3 Golems.
However, the more opponents you have, the stronger this card becomes because it includes an encore, albeit for twelve mana. Encore copies this Creature for each opponent, requiring it to attack them this round if possible before sacrificing the token at the end of the turn. If you have three opponents, you will conclude that round, having dealt nine damage to each of them and being left with nine 3/3s as a result.
Strix, unlike other artifact creatures, requires colored mana to function, therefore he can only be used in blue/black combinations. His stats are likewise a 1/1, but he compensates with flying, deathtouch, and an extra draw when he comes.
Strix can be used to discourage aerial assaults because he is capable of killing something considerably larger than himself. In the meanwhile, you get a card advantage, which is a great deal for only two mana.
If Masticore isn’t handled with, he’ll be stronger than the bulk of decks. He needs to be since once you play Masticore, you don’t have a deck anymore. Instead, you’re up against a Masticore, who will devour each card you draw.
There are methods around this, such as discarding unimportant cards using cards like Squee or Goblin Nabob, or using other tricks like Stroke of Genius to draw extra cards that may be used to pay, but most individuals who played the Masticore did so fairly.
They didn’t give a damn. When you’re spending all of your mana to defend your Masticore and utilizing it to kill every guy your opponent deploys, who needs cards? In Limited, few decks could defeat a Masticore even if it had no support, and despite the fact that a large chunk of the cost of this card is a one-time fee, players who utilized Tinker would often fetch a Masticore.
Darksteel Colossus has a number of positive attributes. It’s indestructible, which means you can’t destroy it once it’s on the battlefield, and you can’t put it in the graveyard no matter what you do. The only drawback is that it costs 11 mana to summon, and it can be exiled, but that’s about it. What are the disadvantages of exile?
Many cards that exile a creature destroys the creature first, nullified by the indestructible aspect. If he’s on your side and your opponent doesn’t have a solution, you can pretty much count yourself successful.
Lightning Greaves is a two-cost Equipment card that grants Haste and Shroud to a target creature. Because it costs no mana to equip, you can use it whenever you wish to do massive damage without the worry of being countered by spells. Due to its low mana cost, you can easily transfer the Artifact from one creature to another.
Because Blightsteel Colossus costs twelve mana, we’re moving from very, very huge to “look at the absolute magnitude of this creature.” Of course, you do receive a Creature that is well worth the investment because it has trample, infect, indestructible, and is an 11/11 for that price.
That’s more than enough to win the game with only one or two assaults, and it even shuffles back into your library if it lands up in your graveyard, which is a nice bonus. It’s just bad it’s so expensive.
Platinum has a high mana cost of seven, and her stats are just 4/4, but she has flying and one of the greatest effects available: you can’t lose, and your opponents can’t win.
That’s correct, you’re still in the game as long as Platinum is fielded, even if your life drops to zero or another losing circumstance occurs. To top it off, unlike other artifact beings, she possesses a beneficial subtype that qualifies her for assistance from the strong angel clan.
Cursed Scroll is a no-cost way to deal continual damage to players and/or kill creatures. It just requires that you empty your hand, and it does so rapidly that it may be used in decks that strive to empty their hands as quickly as possible.
It’s set up to be available at the precise moment when it’ll be most useful. Stop wasting time with your Cursed Scroll and use the cards you already have! The unfortunate aspect about Cursed Scroll is that it was frequently as good as casting any of half the cards in the deck it was a part of, and in half of your match-ups, it would earn you a card on every activation.
You’d swiftly have your opponent on the ropes with your hand, then hammer them with the Scroll once your mana was free. A Cursed Scroll with an empty hand, like Masticore, is enough to beat a lot of decks in the long run since you get to Shock them every round as they run into lands.
It’s not quite as strong as the Masticore, but it only costs 1 mana, and you’ll almost certainly draw some spells in the interim. As two decks of inexpensive creatures square off, a lot of match-ups come down to who gets their Cursed Scroll or gets to trigger it constantly.
It dominated the Pro Tour in its block until it was banned, after which everything went back to normal. You may even win some control match-ups by playing the Scroll on the first turn and killing them fifteen turns later with it. It isn’t easy to see this card being anything other than fantastic for a deck that doesn’t enjoy holding cards if the game doesn’t conclude in four or five turns.
Bow of Nylea
Is there a more adaptable artifact out there? This card provides all of the benefits of equipment without the trouble of actually having to equip it. This card may be used every turn to strengthen a monster, your health, or your deck or inflict additional damage against flyers.
What could possibly make this card any better with all of this going for it? Hold on to your britches because it also grants deathtouch to any attacking creatures under your control, and it only costs 3 mana to cast and 2 mana to use. Do you even have a green deck if you don’t have this card in your green deck?
Skullclamp is a one-mana Artifact that costs one mana to play and one mana to equip. The +1/+1 effect allows you to draw a large number of cards by suiciding your troops. This is one of the greatest two-mana draw mechanics, making it simple to replenish your hand. Opponents will think twice before stopping your unit with this Artifact since it will grant you two cards if it dies.
Some of Commander’s greatest Artifact Creatures are very expensive, eh? Memnarch is a seven-mana 4/5 that is average in combat but can be a nightmare to battle against if you’re not cautious. Memnarch, you see, has two extremely valuable abilities.
The first ability costs three mana and transforms a permanent into an Artifact, which is entertaining but not particularly useful on its own. The second ability, which costs four mana, allows you to acquire possession of an Artifact. When you combine the two, it’s quite simple to steal anything valuable from an opponent, which we find amusing.
Sure, Darksteel requires a ridiculous amount of mana, but free-creature (or artifact) spells like “Defense of the Heart” can help you avoid it. Once he arrives, he decimates enemies with 11/11 stats, tramples, and indestructibility, bulldozing over blocks while repelling damage.
Darksteel is a strong beatstick, but you won’t be able to get him back from the graveyard since he would shuffle himself into your library if put there.
Many players were irritated by Black Vise, and it was one of the major luck factors in early Magic. Because there were no one-drop and two-drop decks back then, and there was no play/draw rule, if this came out on turn one, you’d count yourself lucky to only take six damage. Opening the game with more than one put someone in easy burn range before it even began, which exacerbated lopsided games.
The more damage Black Vise causes, the slower your draw is. The more difficult it is for your opponent to deal with the rest of your deck, the more damage Black Vise will cause. Control decks and anybody else who desired to retain a full hand had no choice but to deal with it, or their game would be ruined. It might even be coupled with the terrible phrase “all players draw seven cards” or even Howling Mine to cause even more havoc later in the game, making already broken things even more broken.
Even decks played Vise primarily to get a one-drop out of their hand and out from under the Vise of an opponent! When the Pro Tour was formed, the decision to limit Black Vise was eventually taken.
What few people knew was that Black Vise was fending against two far more serious dangers. Land Tax was the first, and Necropotence was the second. If one of these cards is used, all pretense of card parity is thrown out the window, providing the user with so many additional cards and choices that it is nearly impossible for them to lose unless they are murdered soon.
Because utilizing Land Tax and Necropotence both need a full hand, Black Vise is a big thorn in both tactics. Necropotence is particularly difficult since they spend life drawing cards, and three damage every round is likely to kill them. With Vise limited, the resulting cards and decks created even more havoc than the Vise had previously. The vise has reappeared with increased casting costs, crippling the card since you can’t hit their initial seven-card hand, and the restriction’s aftermath has acted as a warning ever since.
We don’t think there’s anything more potent than this card. Have you ever attempted to play a game on your own? You basically don’t have to do anything other than activating this card every turn. That’s OK because your opponent doesn’t have to play any cards, has a maximum hand limit, and discards all of their cards when you mill them to death at the conclusion of the game. Put out all of his lesser cards and squander their instants if you want to deal some damage.
Sword of Animist
Sword of the Animist costs two mana to equip and costs two mana to play. Every time you attack with a creature that has it equipped, you can search your deck for lands, making this a powerful draw engine for ramping decks that want to build up a lot of lands.
While we believe that several of the other items on this list are more powerful, there aren’t many that offer as much adaptability or fit in as many settings as Walking Ballista. Walking Ballista is a 0/0 that costs XX and has X counters +1/+1 on it. After that, you can spend four to add another counter to it or remove a counter to ping anything for one damage.
This card’s strength derives from your ability to improve it. If you can give it deathtouch, you’ll have a quick and easy way to get rid of any problematic Creatures. You’ve won the game if you can grant it lifelink, and you have an Archangel of Thune out. When you combine it with The Mimeoplasm and a large enough Creature, you’ve once again won the game out of nowhere.
Walking Ballista is a genuinely exceptional card and one of the greatest Artifact Creatures in Commander. You can fool about it and alter it like a weapon in a game, which makes it a truly outstanding card and one of the best Artifact Creatures in Commander.
You have the option of spending four mana or three mana and two life to play Metamorph. In either case, he copies any permanent on the field, allowing you to duplicate the most powerful troop currently on the field.
You can even duplicate your cards, however, you must be cautious not to duplicate your own legendaries (otherwise, you will have to sacrifice one). Metamorph is a fantastic card that deploys high-cost troops for only three mana, outperforming even shapeshifter mainstays like “Clone Impersonator” (who require four resources).