Artifacts play a very special role in EDH. They can produce mana, buff creatures as equipment and sometimes have very unique abilities. Most importantly: they are colorless and can be played in any deck - so it is good to know which of these artificial creations should be included in your deck.
Let us start with a common use of artifacts: mana. There are plenty of so called “mana rocks” that help fix and accelerate your mana development. Some of these are so good that almost every deck wants them. Let us examine the best mana rock in the format: Sol Ring.
Sol Ring is one of the most powerful Magic cards ever printed. Even though it is banned or restricted in most formats, EDH players are allowed to play it. And they should! Playing a Sol Ring gives you two mana for every turn after it is cast and is even one mana positive on the turn it is played. Having one of those when your opponents don’t gives you a huge mana advantage and allows more and more powerful plays.
Another commonly used mana rock is Coalition Relic, which can be set up to give a burst of two mana, netting you a mana advantage similar to Sol Ring, while also providing mana of any color.
Solemn Simulacrum does not give the biggest mana advantage, but the utility it brings is quite unique. It is great sacrifice fodder, a decent chump-blocker that replaces itself, and does an overall great job at setting you up for the later game. This sad lonely robot usually gets you two cards!
Now, I want to focus on another group of very powerful artifacts: equipment.
The strategy to buff up a single creature is the plan of some Commander decks, but there are a few pieces of equipment that are so powerful that pretty much every single deck can and should play them.
Lightning Greaves is one of them. The greaves can be equipped to a creature at no cost to apply shroud and haste. Shroud protects the creature from being targeted, protecting it from all the removal spells your opponents might have, while haste gets your threat ready to jump into combat immediately. The prime target would be your Commander!
You may as well get a second pair of boots for redundancy, which is also healthy for your Commander's feet! Grab Swiftfoot Boots. The boots cost one mana to equip when compared to the zero cost for the greaves, but they have the upside of giving hexproof instead of shroud, allowing you to target your own creature with spells while denying your opponents that privelege.
The last equipment I want to highlight is Skullclamp. It is an equipment, but plays vastly different than all other equipment. Its primary use is in converting weak creature tokens and utility creatures into two cards at the cheap price of one mana - what a deal! Aside from trading cheap creatures into a fresh new hand, Skullclamp also makes combat way more interesting. When you equip it to a more powerful creature you dare your opponents to destroy that creature - and refuel your resources for you in doing so!
Whenever you are building a deck, be sure to check out these staples, since no matter which colors you play, chances are that these artifacts will slot right into your deck!
We hope you enjoyed this short and sweet list of EDH Essentials.
Author: Malte Smits