This is the only 2 mana card in the game that also produces 2 mana. The closest cards to it would probably be Fyndlhorn Elder and Sol Ring…one of those is very good and the other…well…very bad. Vedalken Engineer will accelerate out 5 mana artifacts on turn 3, or help you cast more mana accelerators to build up to something even more powerful.
My first incarnation of this deck tried to generate ridiculous amounts of mana with the Engineer, Ur-Golem's Eye, Blinkmoth Urn, and Talismans. With this mana it would cast Bosh, Memnarch, Aladdin's Ring, and other over-costed goodies. Unsurprisingly, while impressive, this deck wasn't very effective in any sort of competitive play. Something had to change.
I decided that the deck would be better if it tried to cast 4-drops instead of 5-drops (or more). While the Engineer has the ability to allow you to cast a 5 mana artifact on turn 3, you still have to get lucky enough to have 3 lands, the Engineer, and the 5 caster you want in your draw. In order to do this you might have to fill your deck with difficult to cast artifacts, making the times you do not get the Engineer in your draw much worse. 4 mana artifacts work nicely because you can also use talismans to accelerate them out. It is good to still have a few expensive artifacts to make use of your explosive mana – but it's important not to clog the deck (and your hand) with them.
The second incarnation of this deck worked much better. Its primary kill is Myr Incubator or Lodestone Myr, or a combination of both. Notice how it has lots of artifacts that cost 4 mana like Lodestone Myr, Arcbound Crusher, and Icy Manipulator…I won't count Frogmite.
This deck is very straightforward – play out lots of dangerous artifact creatures and smash face with them. Arcbound Crusher and Lodestone Myr have one thing in common – they start small, but get very big faster than you can say “Giant Growth”. While it is not busy winning with one of those two creatures, Myr Incubator will do the job; it will almost always get enough guys to kill your opponent the next turn. Notice that a 5 mana artifact did make the cut – Mind's Eye. Getting one of those out on turn three is rather good.
This deck is interesting because it teaches you how to use your mana efficiently. It's an okay deck to play against your friends, but I think it is more valuable as a learning tool for people who are trying to better understand deckbuilding.
One of the cards that will be underestimated in this deck is the Arcbound Crusher. This guy is a monster, have no doubts. It will quickly grow to at least 5/5 and beyond. The best part is that when they kill it, you can just ship the counters over to your Lodestone Myr, Frogmite, or Silver Myr (or Incubator token if it somehow came to that). This means if they want to stop him they may very well have to pull it off twice.
Tips on Playing the Deck:
If you have a Lodestone Myr and a Myr Incubator out, you can attack with the Lodestone Myr and pump him with all the freshly made incubator tokens, winning that turn, rather than waiting for all your tokens to be un-summoning sick.
- Mind's Eye cannot be used with Vedalken Engineer – it is a triggered ability, not an activated ability. Also, don't forget that you can use Mind's Eye on your opponent's draw step.
- You want to play out your artifact lands if you have a Frogmite or a Lodestone Myr, but you'll often want to hold them otherwise to help grow Arcbound Crusher.
- Icy Manipulator can count as one of your 5 mana artifacts since you want to save a mana to use it.
Adding More Money to the Deck
This deck can go many different directions – it can become more like the original approach I spoke of, with lots of high casting cost rares like Memnarch and Blinkmoth Urn, or it can become a sleeker version of this deck. I recommend a sleeker version of what I showed here. Two cards that will really help out are Howling Mine and Blinkmoth Nexus. Howling Mine is great because it replaces Mind's Eye. You can shut it off by tapping it via Lodestone Myr, so your opponent will not get the bonus but you will – for much less mana than Mind's Eye. The Nexus is stellar because it doesn't really hurt your mana base and gives you an evasion creature to put your Modular counters on. It also gives you a little flying defense, where you only have Icy Manipulator right now.
Overall this deck has the power to win games in a spectacular manner, but its real value comes from the lessons it can teach you about deck building – things like mana curve, acceleration, color mana requirements, business spells, and synergy.
Until next time, Serum Powder.
NateHeiss on Magic Online