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The Legacy of MTG’s Artifact Cards

The Legacy of MTG's Artifact Cards


Artifact cards in Magic: The Gathering (MTG) are a unique and powerful tool that have been a staple since the game’s inception. Representing magical or technological artifacts, these cards offer a range of abilities and interactions that set them apart from other card types. Their versatility, historical significance, and the strategic depth they bring to the game make them a cornerstone in many powerful decks.

Key Takeaways: MTG’s Artifact Cards

  • Artifact cards are powerful tools in MTG, representing magical or technological artifacts.
  • They have been a staple in the game since the Alpha set.
  • Artifact cards offer unique abilities and interactions, setting them apart from other card types.
  • They can be used in various strategies, from mana acceleration to board control.
  • Understanding the cost and value of artifact cards is crucial for both gameplay and investment.
  • Artifact cards have a rich history and have evolved over various MTG sets.
  • They play a pivotal role in deck building and game strategy.
  • Investing in artifact cards can diversify a player’s collection and enhance gameplay.

What Are Artifact Cards?

What Are Artifact Cards?

Artifact cards are powerful cards in Magic: The Gathering that represent magical or technological artifacts. These artifacts usually come in the form of artifacts like swords and spears, machines, and gold coins, and usually have special abilities or properties that give them an edge over creature and other spell cards. Artifact cards often have powerful effects, such as drawing extra cards or dealing direct damage, and are often used as a cornerstone for powerful decks within the game.

Their power lies in the fact that they are usually not affected by other cards, unless specifically stated. This means that they can provide the extra finishing touches to your creations or be used as an immediate solution to a problem in your hand. They can also provide utility, such as providing extra mana or additional means of card advantage over your enemies.

Historical Significance of Artifact Cards

Artifact cards have long been a staple of Magic the Gathering. First seen in the Alpha set, artifacts have provided players with an array of powerful effects, and have often seen play in many formats.

Notably, artifacts have recently been seen in a wide range of decks, from Standard to Commander, aiding many players in a variety of different ways. Artifact cards allow players to utilize powerful game-winning effects, and often gain a noticeable advantage over their opponents. Players have even been known to used specialised artifact decks, using powerful pieces of equipment and spells to overwhelm other players.

The Current State of Artifact Cards

Artifact cards have been a long-standing part of the Magic: The Gathering (MTG) universe, and today they remain an important piece of the card game. As the game evolves so do the types of artifact cards available to players. Many decks, from casual to competitive, now include artifacts in some way and the diversity of these cards can lend powerful advantages to decks.

In recent sets, core set artifact cards have seen a spike in power. Many of these cards are staples in modern meta decks and can give players the edge that they need to take the lead. Cards like Shadowstone Portal, Panic Spellbomb, and Mimic Vat all bring powerful effects to the table and can make or break games depending on how they’re used. Artifact cards can be used to lock down powerful cards or as combo pieces to create powerful effects that can give players the upper hand.

Popular Artifact Cards Across Formats

Altar of the Brood

Artifact cards come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from useful ramp pieces to devastatingly powerful finishers. Each format has a variety of popular artifact cards that are used for different purposes. Standard has cards like Arcum’s Astrolabe, that enable multiple mana colors to be used in a deck. Commander players often look to Altar of the Brood and Mana Crypt for satisfying turns. Other formats like Modern, Vintage, and Legacy include powerful artifacts like Black Lotus and Mox Sapphire, which are great sources of mana acceleration.

In Pauper, Thraben Inspector and Mox Opal are common sight of powerful artifact powerhouses. Players often look to these cards to gain a strong position in later turns. In any format, artifact cards can be powerful tools to cement a board state of advantage. Whether it is through managing mana or controlling the board, artifacts can give an advantage that your opponent won’t be able to match.

The Different Types of Artifact Cards

Artifact cards can be broken down into a few distinct categories. Artifacts are a type of permanent that generally have characteristically different properties than other permanents. They can be split into two main groups: continuous and triggered artfacts. Continuous artifacts consist of cards that create a continuous effect on the game when in play. These effects persist until the card leaves the battlefield or is otherwise modified or destroyed. Triggered artifacts are cards that perform a single effect when they enter the battlefield or when certain conditions are met.

Artifact cards can also be divided into two additional categories: colorless and colored. Colorless artifacts have no color in their casting costs, so they can be cast by any player regardless of their mana base. Colored artifacts require mana of a specific color to cast, meaning they will be more restricted in terms of who can play the card. Each color has its own restrictions and uses for these types of artifacts, making them a key component of many decks.

Crafting Artifact Decks

Creating an artifact deck can be a daunting task for the beginner Magic the Gathering player. It’s important to plan out what cards you will need for the deck to be effective. The basics of achieving a successful strategy involve having a mix of artifact creatures, artifacts that impact game play, and mana acceleration.

Players should aim to make their decks synergistic, so having cards that combo well with each other and benefit the entire deck is pivotal. To craft an artifact deck, look for cards that have some sort of mana acceleration, creatures that help you deploy your more powerful cards, and other utility pieces that can give you the edge. Then, fill in the rest of the deck with the appropriate amount of lands and other cards that will help you to win.

Pros and Cons of Artifact Cards

Pros and Cons of Artifact Cards

One of the biggest advantages of Artifact cards is their versatility. They provide a wide range of abilities that can be used in a variety of ways to enhance the player’s strategy. Artifact cards can provide protection, resources, and manipulation of cards in the hand, library, and graveyard, depending on the card. These effects range from payoffs to guaranteed access and faster activation. They also provide colorless mana, which gives players access to more powerful cards.


The downside to Artifact cards is that they can become expensive depending on the format being played in. Many Artifact cards are complex and tough to figure out until they are put into a deck and tested out. Artifacts can also be less effective in certain matchups due to their colorless nature, as some strategies simply do not need them. Additionally, cards like Disenchant and Creeping Corrosion can easily disrupt Artifact strategies.

How Do Artifact Cards Interact with Other Cards?

Artifact cards generally interact with other cards just like any other card type, however, they often have additional interactions that can change the way you think about your strategies and decks. One of the most common interactions is that Artifacts can be used to tap for mana, which can allow you to play more expensive cards than you otherwise would have access to, or even let you accelerate your overall gameplan.

In addition, there are several common cards that key off of Artifacts that can enable powerful combos and strategies that wouldn’t necessarily be possible without them. For example, cards such as Arcbound Ravager and Myr Retriever can be used to recur artifacts from the graveyard for repeated value. There are also many cards that directly interact with Artifacts such as Trinket Mage and Vedalken Engineer that allow you to search for different Artifact cards from your deck. These interactions can be very powerful in the right decks and can help create new synergies that you may have never considered.

Strategies for Utilizing Artifact Cards

Artifact cards are a powerful resource in any Magic: The Gathering deck because they can provide unique advantages and synergies. One of the most obvious strategies for using artifact cards is to focus on building your deck around them. It may be beneficial to run only artifact cards in your deck, or to include them as a main focus for your game plan.

When playing artifacts, it’s important to consider how they interact with each other. Utilizing powerful combinations between multiple artifact cards is a great way to get the most out of them. It’s also a good idea to run cards that supplement your artifact cards, such as creature cards, enchantments, and sorcery cards that are tailored to support your artifacts. This will help to ensure that your strategy is optimized and your opponents don’t have an easy way out.

What Are the Most Powerful Artifact Cards?

There are many powerful Artifact cards in the Magic: The Gathering universe. The power of any Artifact card is typically determined by its ability to manipulate or affect the game state via effects that cannot generally be replicated by spell-based cards. Much of this ability comes from the ‘Invulnerability’ ability, which allows an Artifact card to ignore various types of board-wipes.

Chalice of the Void

Popular Artifact cards include launched staples like Chalice of the Void, Metalworker, Sol Ring, and Mind Stone. Other cards like Chromatic Star, Ancient Den and Scrabbling Claws generate powerful and unique effects. For those looking to really push the boundaries of what’s possible with Artifact cards, powerful combos like Eldrazi Displacer and Sandstone Oracle provide powerful board-control effects.

The Pros and Cons of Playing Artifact Decks

Artifact decks in Magic: The Gathering offer a range of powerful and creative strategies that can enable you to triumph over your opponents with ease. From decks that can hit quickly and with overwhelming force to decks that are slow but resilient and hard-hitting, the possibilities are limited only by the user’s imagination. However, such strategies come with their own set of risks and rewards, which need to be taken into account.

On the plus side, artifact decks are relatively simple to build and maintain, requiring only a limited number of cards. Additionally, many cards in artifact decks remain viable in multiple formats and, with the right combinations, they can yield powerful results. On the downside, artifact decks are often more expensive than the average deck and they can come off as one-dimensional or predictable when used in the wrong context. Furthermore, the power of the deck can prove to be unsustainable, making it difficult to switch strategies at the last minute.

How Do You Sideboard Against Artifact Decks?

The main goal of side-boarding against an Artifact deck is to reduce the effectiveness of their cards and increase the efficiency of yours. Adjustments should be made on an individual basis, based on what you learned during the game or have seen from their deck. A few basic tips include removing artifact-synergy cards like Shatter Effect, or cards with low utility against Artifact decks like Dismember. Cards that can target or interact with artifacts like Ancient Grudge are also good candidates for side-boarding.

When it comes to dealing with opposing Artifact decks, it’s important to look for cards that can disrupt powerful artifacts. Cards like Karn Liberated and Ratchet Bomb offer great ways to take out troublesome artifacts without having to dedicate too many slots in your deck to taking them out. Additionally, cards that can destroy permanents like Swords to Plowshares or Balance can also be a great way to disrupt Artifact decks because they can hit any permanent, including artifacts. One last important thing to consider when side-boarding against Artifact decks is the fact that some of them run cards like Sundering Titan that can devastate your board. Cards that can take care of pesky creatures like Bane of Progress or Path to Exile can be great additions to any deck facing Artifact decks.

Best Practices for Playing Artifact Decks

When playing an Artifact-based deck, it is important to remember the fundamentals of playing Magic. The core of every Artifact deck is developing the board control to take the game and the key factor in doing this is knowing which cards to play and when. A good Artifact deck should always have a plan, so it is important to know what your deck wants to do on every turn and why.

When playing an Artifact deck, it is equally important to think ahead and make sure you have the mana available or open to react to your opponents’ plays. Having certain counterspells in the sideboard can also prove to be an important advantage when playing against a control-oriented deck. It is also important to remember to watch your mana curve and make sure all of your artifacts have value in a certain match-up. By controlling the board and playing cards that interact with your opponent’s plays, you can ensure that your Artifact deck will be successful.

Artifact Cards and the Modern Meta

The modern game of Magic: The Gathering employs a wide variety of tools for players to explore. Artifact cards are one of the most powerful tools in the game, offering card advantage and scaling power that even the most experienced players can struggle to exploit correctly.

Artifact decks combine powerful acceleration and a high resource cap with efficient pieces of equipment and enchantments. Artifact decks can be highly resilient and can exist in many different forms throughout the various game formats. In the ever-changing world of Magic, the relevance of Artifact cards in the modern meta has become increasingly relevant, as these cards open up all kinds of possibilities that can be useful in most matchups.

Mox Emerald

Artifact decks rely heavily on artifact mana acceleration, such as Mox Emerald and Sol Ring, to get an early advantage in the game. These mana rocks can provide an unexpectedly high amount of mana in the early turns while also providing resources in more midrange and control matchups. These mana rocks also allow artifact decks to use powerful interaction cards, such as Strix, Serum Powder, and Thopter Foundry.

Artifact cards often offer a variety of playstyles and strategies, and in the right metagame, they can prove to be a powerful choice. Recent sets have included powerful and versatile Artifact cards, such as Murmuring Bosk and Mox Amber, which can form the centerpiece of a strong Artifact deck. Whether you’re looking for a way to take on the current metagame or just a new way to explore the game, Artifact cards offer a wealth of potential.

How Does the Cost of Artifact Cards Affect Their Use?

The cost of an Artifact card can greatly vary depending on the type of card, rarity, set, and the format that the card is being used in. Many players invest in Artifact cards with the primary purpose of using them in competitive play within specific formats. While some cards can be quite expensive to obtain, they can often provide a significant edge in battle scenarios, making them desirable investments.

However, the high cost of certain cards may not be worth it for players who only play casually. For example, if a rares artifact card is not used in a specified format, then the player doesn’t get a return on the investment. There are also cases where the card type is not as beneficial as one would have hoped–in some formats, artifact creatures are rendered essentially useless due to their inability to attack and block. Additionally, the presence of more resilient and powerful non-artifact cards can be a greater benefit than an artifact of the same cost. Players should research which cards are most desirable for the format they are playing, and make the call from there.

Is It Worth Investing in Artifact Cards?

When it comes to collecting Magic the Gathering cards, many players choose to invest in artifact cards due to their historical significance and potential for profitability. Artifact cards are some of the oldest and most popular cards in the game, and the majority of them are legal for use in all sanctioned tournaments as well as for casual play.

Artifact cards have varying prices that depend on rarity, play ability, and the overall appeal of the card. Prices can range from five dollars all the way to several thousand for rarer cards. While investing in artifact cards offers the potential for resale in the future, there is also the risk of the card’s value decreasing over time. Before an investor makes a purchase, it is wise to research the current card values and sales trends so they can make an informed decision.

What Are the Best Sets for Collecting Artifact Cards?

When it comes to collecting Artifact cards, there are a variety of different sets available. Most players tend to prefer the original sets such as Alpha, Beta, and Unlimited due to their rarity and historical value. However, sets from more modern releases such as Core Set 2021, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, and Theros Beyond Death also offer great selections of Artifact cards.

These newer sets provide some more affordable options when it comes to Artifact card collecting, as some of these more recent cards are typically much less expensive than the older cards. Additionally, these sets offer a wide variety of different powerful Artifact cards, giving players the opportunity to acquire cards for their Artifact decks in the format of their choice. Whether you’re a casual or competitive player, there are a lot of options available to you when it comes to collecting Artifact cards.

Common Misconceptions About Artifact Cards

Common Misconceptions About Artifact Cards

One of the most common misconceptions about artifact cards in Magic: The Gathering (MTG) is that they are inherently weak or inferior to other card types. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Artifact cards offer some of the most powerful and varied effects in the game, ranging from game-changing board wipes to creature protection and buffing.

The second misconception about artifact cards is that they are costly and difficult to craft. While some specific cards carry a higher price tag, many artifact cards are actually quite affordable and easy to acquire. The key is researching the most cost-effective ways to craft the deck, such as buying singles instead of a whole set or searching for deals on secondary market sites.

What Are Some Creative Uses for Artifact Cards?

Artifact cards offer a wide range of strategies and combinations that can be used in different settings. They are a powerful and versatile tool with which to bolster any deck, and their effects can even be enough to completely change the way a game is played.

For starters, artifacts can be used to activate powerful abilities. These include powerful mana acceleration, card drawing tools, and stat-boosting items. Some artifacts, such as Contagion Clasp and Alchemist’s Vial, can even act as pseudo-creatures and give players a variety of options to work with.

Moreover, artifacts can be used to cover weaknesses of particular decks. This can come in the form of colorless removal or utility cards such as Winter Orb, Trinisphere, or Phyrexian Furnace. Other artifacts, such as Mystic Forge, can be used to have better access to certain colors that may be difficult to work with in other decks. Finally, cards like All is Dust and Sundering Titan can be used to completely reset the board and allow the player to gain a significant advantage over their opponent.

What Are the Important Takeaways of MTG’s Artifact Cards?

Artifact cards are a unique and powerful tool in Magic: The Gathering (MTG). By understanding how they interact with other cards and using them in the right decks, players can use them to great effect.

One of the most important takeaways when playing with artifact cards is to understand their restrictions. Many of them are powerful, but they come with conditions that must be carefully judged in order to make the best decisions. For example, many artifact cards can only be used if a certain number of mana is available. Understanding these restrictions can help players make more informed decisions and create more powerful decks.

In addition, recognizing the advantages of artifact cards can be beneficial to players. Effects that can otherwise be difficult to access are often available via artifact cards, while many artifacts can also be used as a means of access additional value. Finally, understanding the difference between low- and high-cost artifact cards can be important in understanding the value of a certain card and how it can best be used.


Artifact cards have carved a niche for themselves in the vast universe of Magic: The Gathering. From their historical significance to their current state in the game, they offer players a plethora of strategic options. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, understanding the intricacies of artifact cards can give you a significant edge in the game.

Related Reading: MTG’s Artifact Cards

Artifact – MTG Wiki
Artifacts in Magic: The Gathering represent magical items, animated constructs, pieces of equipment, and other objects. The card type “artifact” is broader than the typical definition, meaning natural items can also be considered a Magic “artifact”. Historically, artifacts were distinct from other card types as they were the only cards with wholly generic mana costs. Several sets and blocks have had “artifacts matter” as a major mechanical theme, including Antiquities, the Urza’s block, the Mirrodin block, and more. The article delves into the history, variations, interactions with colors, and rules associated with artifact cards.


What Are Artifact Cards?

Artifact cards are cards in Magic: The Gathering (MTG) that typically represent artifacts and other non-living objects. They are typically colorless and have no specific subtype. Artifact cards typically have abilities that are different from other cards and will interact differently with other cards in the game.

What Are the Different Types of Artifact Cards?

Artifact cards can be divided into two groups: permanents and non-permanents. Permanents are cards that remain in play until destroyed, while non-permanents are cards that are discarded after use. Artifact cards can also have specific subtypes such as Equipment, Vehicles, or Planeswalkers.

How Do Artifact Cards Interact with Other Cards?

Artifact cards interact differently with other cards than non-artifact cards. For example, artifact cards are usually immune to effects that target specific card types, such as enchantments and sorceries. Artifact cards can also have unique abilities that allow them to interact with other cards in creative ways.

What Are the Most Powerful Artifact Cards?

The most powerful artifact cards are typically those that can provide a significant advantage in the game. Popular powerful artifacts include cards such as Sol Ring, Umezawa’s Jitte, and Sensei’s Divining Top.

How Does the Cost of Artifact Cards Affect Their Use?

The cost of an artifact card can affect its use in the game, as cards that are expensive or rare tend to be more powerful. However, some powerful artifact cards are also affordable, making them accessible to all types of players.

Is It Worth Investing in Artifact Cards?

Investing in artifact cards can be a good way to build a more powerful deck. As artifact cards are typically colorless, they can be used in any deck regardless of the color combination. Investing in powerful artifact cards can also be a good way to diversify your collection.

What Are the Best Sets for Collecting Artifact Cards?

The best sets for collecting artifact cards vary depending on your preference. Popular sets for collecting artifact cards include Modern Masters, Commander, and Kaladesh Remastered.

What Are Some Creative Uses for Artifact Cards?

Artifact cards can be used in creative ways to gain an advantage in the game. For example, some artifact cards can be used to create powerful combos or to protect your other cards from being destroyed.

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