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April 18, 2016

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Commander Mondays: Top Underrated Artifacts and Utility Lands

Last week, I went over my most underrated multicolour cards. Today, I’m going to do the same for artifacts and lands.

In EDH, there is a large suite of artifacts that everyone accepts as good, some people may avoid playing certain ones either due to financial constraints or out of a wish for good sportsmanship. Cards like Sol Ring and Mana Crypt each fit one of these bills. I’m sure you can figure out which is which. Besides the super obvious mana rocks, and super obvious utility pieces, there are many artifacts that I find to be fantastic that I do not believe get enough love. Today I’m going to discuss these trinkets, with a bonus section on utility lands.

Artifacts

The “Ramos” Cycle of Mana Rocks

These rocks all tap for a colour, and can be sacrificed for another mana of the same colour. I didn’t know about these cards until this year, but I don’t think I’m ever building another mono-colour deck without them, except for maybe Green. I added one to my Lorthos, the Tidemaker deck, and it was absolutely fantastic.

I didn’t think much of this card when it got printed, but I’ve seen it be incredibly useful in decks that produce lots of mana but can’t draw cards easily, such as Green or Red.

I’ve played this deck in Elves, Goblins, and pretty much every other token deck I’ve built that isn’t Black or Blue. Being able to pitch a hand of lands, or simply filly your hand when it’s empty, is just too good to pass up.

Being easily and efficiently combined with the next entry in this list, Spine can be a very useful and easy to manipulate tool if you have the right engines for it. In more casual mono-Black, Blue or Red lists it can be quite strong.

One of the best cards to use Spine with, Trading Post provides a ridiculous amount of utility on one card. I even ran it in my competitive Tasigur, The Golden Fang deck until very recently. I still have a soft spot for this thing.

I’m being serious here, this thing provides legitimate quick land ramp in decks that can’t have access to it. Granted, it becomes a dead-ish draw past turn five or so. But being able to cast Bauble on turn one or two and crack it the next turn can be quite useful if your deck isn’t doing anything else.

While not the most broken card ever printed, this thing can be a lot of fun. If we ever get the long awaited Izzet artifact commander that every EDH player has been praying for, this toy might be amazing in that deck.

I used to think this card was bad. My friend proved me wrong with his Sharuum the Hegemon deck. The sheer value this time piece can provide is insane. Tapping artifacts that don’t need to be untapped such as equipment or a Winter Orb to untap your Mana Vault over and over again seems pretty sweet.

I like to play Windfall and Wheel of Fortune effects. This screaming face book of horrors sums up how my opponents must feel watching me draw 28 cards off of one wheel.

The same player who made me like Clock of Omens taught me of this peculiarity’s existence. While I have yet to actually play with it myself, I think it has a lot of potential to be downright scary. I certainly hated having to look at it on my opponent’s battlefield while his hand is already empty.

Lands

In my mono-Black, mono-Red, and Rakdos decks where Oblivion Stone is a necessary tool, having a way to actually reuse it that isn’t Yawgmoth’s Will is quite nice. Also plays very well with White decks for getting back destroyed or countered equipment.

Mirage Slow Fetch Lands

Many EDH players have a tight budget, and just want to have a little fun. I’m a fan of Bad River and its friends for players who can’t afford Polluted Deltas. I prefer these to Evolving Wilds or the Panoramas from Alara simply because a lot more players have shock lands or battle lands and these fetches can grab those and not just basics.

Easily enough functions as a poor man’s City of Traitors can get the job done in decks that really need two mana instead of one for just a turn.

Providing another sacrifice outlet for artifact decks that need it, Phyrexia’s Core can be quiet handy if you’re not drawing your Trading Post. Having another way to sack Spine of Ish Sah is always fun.

Onslaught Cycling Lands

In decks that have enough basic lands to spare, Forgotten Cave and the others tend to be good to replace one of each basic, just for when you draw too many lands in the late game.

I hope you guys enjoyed this week’s article. I’ll back again next week with another deck list.