If you’re a fan of robots, constructs and other metal monstrosities, well let’s just say Magic: The Gathering is the right TCG for you. Right from its earliest days, Magic has had its fair share of walking machines. Decades later, there are all kinds of great MTG artifact creatures worth popping into your decks, if you can get yours hands on them.
From artifacts that can be your MTG commander, to efficient choices that can slot into any strategy, we’ve scoured a bunch of MTG sets to find the best artifact creature cards of all time. Here’s exactly what makes them so great.
- Walking Ballista
- Esper Sentinel
- Blightsteel Colossus
- Solemn Simulacrum
- Platinum Angel
- Baleful Strix
- Karn, Legacy Reforged
Walking Ballista is a fantastic MTG artifact creature thanks to its method of turning +1/+1 counters into damage. While it’s hardly an efficient blocker, In a deck that can throw these counters around, the Ballista can be a killing machine. If you can give it death touch it can eliminate an entire board.
There are also loads of MTG combos using the card. The most infamous involved Heliod, Sun-Crowned – a two card combo that lets you end the game. As soon as Heliod gives Walking Ballista Lifelink you can dish out infinite damage. This combination of cards saw Walking Ballista added to the MTG banlist for Pioneer.
An astonishingly good card draw spell for White, Esper Sentinel works brilliantly in Commander. That’s because EDH players love casting spells, and they hate restraining themselves, even if they ought to to avoid giving another player a big advantage.
Getting to draw multiple cards off a one mana creature feels great. Players won’t even be thrilled when they finally remove Esper Sentinel, since they probably spent more resources than you to deal with it.
One of the biggest creatures in all of Magic: The Gathering, Blightsteel Colossus costs a staggering twelve mana. What you get for that is an indestructible 11/11 trampler that has infect. Thanks to the way poison works, Blightsteel is a one-hit kill if it’s not blocked, but throwing creatures in front of this beast will see them killed or shrunken, and you’ll likely still take some poison damage.
A 12-mana creature probably should be able to end games the way Blightsteel Colossus does, and he doesn’t do anything on the turn he comes in. The real nastiness comes when you have some way to cheat the cost of the spell, and get it out early.
Solemn Simulacrum isn’t much to look at in terms of stats, but this cute little robot provides such good value that he can find a spot in basically any Commander deck. Not only is Solemn Simulacrum a great MTG mana ramp card, allowing colors that aren’t green to cheat out extra lands, it also draws you a card when it dies!
Now that’s what I call a platinum ability! This MTG artifact creature literally prevents you from losing the game, and also says your opponents can’t win. You could be at -100 life, but as long as Platinum Angel sticks around, you’re still in the game.
Like Solemn Simulacrum, Baleful Strix does a lot for a little. It not only replaces itself and can take out a creature thanks to deathtouch, it’s also an evasive flier and an artifact creature, meaning it has plenty of synergies to work with. It’s a good target for flicker decks, brilliant with ninjutsu – and while it’s not worth playing in every Dimir deck, this artifact creature is wonderfully efficient.
Karn, Legacy Reforged
The MTG artifact creature that artifact creatures love best, Karn, Legacy Reforged is great whether you’re going wide with lots of little artifacts and tokens or tall with a few massive ones. He creates loads of free mana for you, which you can spend on big artifacts that will buff Karn himself. It’s a great bit of artifact synergy, and one of the few highlights from March of the Machine: Aftermath.