Spotlight Cube Series – Artifact Cube

Posted in Magic Online on December 14, 2021

By David McDarby

Welcome to Artifact Cube! This will be the Magic Online's spotlight cube running for a week starting on December 15 and focuses on that ancient card type. Often colorless, sometimes not, once mono, poly, or continuous, and often the most powerful card type in the game: the humble artifact.

  • Digsite Engineer
  • Master Transmuter
  • Disciple of the Vault
  • Bludgeon Brawl

Artifacts-matter cards as Richard Garfield intended.

Artifact or Arti-fiction

This cube differs to the regular cubes we generally have on Magic Online in a few ways:

  • 570 Cards as opposed to 540
  • Four copies of certain cards
  • No green cards

I hope that I still have your attention, so let me explain:

Cubes generally exist on a spectrum, with "good stuff" on one end and "synergy" on the other. Good stuff, meaning cards with high floors that are generally "good" in most cases (or strong in regards to quadrant theory to some), and synergistic, meaning the cards generally have lower floors but create holistically higher ceilings when combined with other cards in the cube.

Artifact Cube is quite close to the "synergy" end of the spectrum. While we're not a full-on Rube Goldberg combo cube, there are slightly fewer creatures here, and more weird concoctions being made with artifacts, than you'll see in other cubes.

  • Ingenuity Engine
  • Coveted Jewel
  • Prototype Portal
  • Mycosynth Golem

Artifact Cube asks the simple question: what will you create?

As you might expect, most cards in Artifact Cube care about, or simply are, the titular card type. Not every single one (I'm looking at you black), but most. And we wanted to help reinforce this by including as many artifact lands as we could. But there are less than 20 artifact lands in existence, and most are quite destructible. We didn't want the gameplay to revolve around destroying these particular artifacts and prevent players from actually playing the game, so we bumped up the fixing in this way: each of the six color pairs in the cube have four copies of the indestructible Bridge tap land cycle from Modern Horizons 2.

  • Drossforge Bridge
  • Goldmire Bridge
  • Mistvault Bridge
  • Razortide Bridge
  • Rustvale Bridge
  • Silverbluff Bridge

These ain't the only fixers, but they are the only cards that break the generally accepted 1x cube rule.

Only including six cards of a ten-card cycle must mean a color was cut. And that color was green. To nobody's surprise, green has the least synergy with the artifacts (outside of ways to remove them), so we simply removed that color from the cube. Playing only a subset of colors in a Magic Online cube is nothing outside the ordinary, as we've hosted Autumn Burchett's Bant Cube, Ryan Overturf's Grixis Cube, and Eli Rice's Temur Cube. So, if you're a fan of mono-green, you might want to look elsewhere, namely almost every other cube in existence. But if you wanna see how deep the Yore-Tiller rabbit hole goes, continue on.

While you can still add forests to your deck, this is all you would need them for.

Artificer's Intuition

So now that you know the deal, how does this dang thing actually work? Most of our Limited formats (and cubes) are built around two-color pairs. Often non-removal multicolor cards will give you a hint as to what you will be doing:

  • Dance of the Manse
  • Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
  • Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast
  • Hidden Stockpile
  • Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer
  • Bruenor Battlehammer

Some possible routes for you to take on your artifact Journey

And while that's sometimes true in this environment, the one thing every color cares about is . . . artifacts! That leads to a much less "on rails" environment. Each draft of 45 cards will have an extremely high amount of playables, in part because over half the cube is colorless, but also because there are only four colors present to begin with.

  • Signal Pest
  • Krark-Clan Ironworks
  • Academy Manufactor
  • Phyrexian Triniform
  • Nettlecyst

While these are all colorless artifacts, they are all posing wildly different questions.

Some things this cube doesn't have:

  • Cards that immediately and completely warp the game for the player who draws it: Mishra's Workshop, Metalworker, Tolarian Academy, etc.
  • An "Eldrazi" cube. While our Eldrazi friends are indeed colorless, finding out when they don't work with some of the cards in Artifact Cube can be a huge feel-bad.
  • Efficient shatters. Red and white have a moderate number of shatters spaced out from three to five total mana value. Black has a lot of ways to remove artifacts if they're creatures or in the hand, and blue is so in tune with artifacts, it doesn't need any removal or theft outside of counterspells.
  • Equal artifact balance among all the colors. Black just isn't quite there (yet) and has a few more interactive "good stuff" cards like removal and disruption than the other colors.

It's a school of thought that when all your special pieces are similar, none are special at all. The hope is that this cube balances aggro, combo, ramp, and control and rewards players for taking cards that seem weak but turn out to be exactly what their deck needs. Additionally, the existence of 30 extra cards gives a little more variety to the card pool you might see each draft.

The Artifact of War

  • Bronze Guardian
  • Trickster's Talisman
  • King Macar, the Gold-Cursed
  • Goblin Engineer
  • Welding Jar
  • Breya, Etherium Shaper

And, finally, just some more sweet cards to show you as a send-off.

Like all the events we offer on Magic Online, I do hope you enjoy this one. It's a little out there, and due to some issues that cropped up with the Super Jump event, we had to debut this one a little earlier than planned. Don't you worry, though, our special Magic Online-themed Jumpstart experience will release during the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty season next year. Also, we have Vintage Cube immediately following this cube for the holiday season! You can always check out the Magic Online schedule on our event calendar here.

As always, I read everyone's feedback, and there are more cubes coming, including more from you, the community. So, whether you played your fair share of MUD back in the day or just really enjoy your Breya, Etherium Shaper Commander deck: buckle up, hold tight, and watch out for shatters as you try out Artifact Cube!

Product Manager David McDarby (@J_Beleren on Twitter) and the Magic Online Team

Full Artifact Cube Card List

Card Name
Arcbound Javelineer
Court Homunculus
Esper Sentinel
Giver of Runes
Thraben Inspector
Toolcraft Exemplar
Arcbound Prototype
Cathar Commando
Gold Myr
Ingenious Smith
Oswald Fiddlebender
Puresteel Paladin
Relic Seeker
Sram, Senior Edificer
Stoneforge Mystic
Blade Splicer
Bygone Bishop
Danitha Capashen, Paragon
Digsite Engineer
Losheel, Clockwork Scholar
Skyclave Apparition
Starnheim Courser
Zirda, the Dawnwaker
Armored Skyhunter
Auriok Salvagers
Daring Archaeologist
Halvar, God of Battle
Icingdeath, Frost Tyrant
Kor Sanctifiers
Master Splicer
Rebbec, Architect of Ascension
Sanctum Gargoyle
Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle
Angel of Invention
Bronze Guardian
Cataclysmic Gearhulk
Cavalier of Dawn
Rambunctious Mutt
Stonehewer Giant
Sun Titan
Angel of the Ruins
Nahiri, the Lithomancer
Blacksmith's Skill
Brought Back
Unexpectedly Absent
Dismantling Blow
Master's Call
Faith's Reward
Servo Exhibition
Sram's Expertise
Akroma's Vengeance
Austere Command
Dispeller's Capsule
Origin Spellbomb
Portable Hole
Ancestral Blade
Barbed Spike
Cogworker's Puzzleknot
Dancing Sword
Glass Casket
Maul of the Skyclaves
Spear of Heliod
All That Glitters
Tempered Steel
Merchant's Dockhand
Chief Engineer
Etherium Sculptor
Glint-Nest Crane
Silver Myr
Animating Faerie
Emry, Lurker of the Loch
Etherium Spinner
Grand Architect
Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator
Master of Etherium
Muzzio, Visionary Architect
Sai, Master Thopterist
Skilled Animator
Thada Adel, Acquisitor
Treasure Mage
Tribute Mage
Trinket Mage
Trophy Mage
Clever Impersonator
Faerie Artisans
Faerie Mechanist
Master Transmuter
Padeem, Consul of Innovation
Quicksmith Spy
Urza, Lord High Artificer
Vedalken Archmage
Vedalken Humiliator
Whirler Rogue
Voracious Greatshark
Shimmer Dragon
Torrential Gearhulk
Gearseeker Serpent
Scholar of the Lost Trove
Thought Monitor
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
Tezzeret the Seeker
Tezzeret, Artifice Master
Depths of Desire
Metallic Rebuke
Stoic Rebuttal
Confirm Suspicions
Spell Swindle
Masterful Replication
Commit // Memory
Rise and Shine
Transmute Artifact
Argivian Restoration
Reverse Engineer
Saheeli's Artistry
Aether Spellbomb
Giant's Amulet
The Blackstaff of Waterdeep
Trickster's Talisman
Witching Well
Courier's Capsule
Midnight Clock
Bident of Thassa
Copy Artifact
Ensoul Artifact
Mirrodin Besieged
The Antiquities War
Thopter Spy Network
Disciple of the Vault
Forsworn Paladin
Hex Parasite
Dark Confidant
Kitesail Freebooter
Leaden Myr
Scrapheap Scrounger
Syndicate Trafficker
Voldaren Bloodcaster
Armix, Filigree Thrasher
Defiant Salvager
Emissary of Despair
Fain, the Broker
Falkenrath Forebear
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Magus of the Will
Murderous Rider
Skullport Merchant
Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire
Braids, Cabal Minion
Cabal Paladin
Gonti, Lord of Luxury
King Macar, the Gold-Cursed
Ovalchase Daredevil
Pitiless Plunderer
Ravenous Chupacabra
God-Eternal Bontu
Sidisi, Undead Vizier
Sly Requisitioner
Tergrid, God of Fright
Geth, Lord of the Vault
Marionette Master
Noxious Gearhulk
Salvage Titan
Herald of Anguish
Fatal Push
Infernal Reckoning
Deadly Dispute
Heartless Act
Bake into a Pie
Perilous Predicament
Battle at the Bridge
Bone Shards
Agonizing Remorse
Resourceful Return
Grim Tutor
Heartless Pillage
Pointed Discussion
Praetor's Grasp
Beacon of Unrest
Taste of Death
Blood Fountain
Executioner's Capsule
Nihil Spellbomb
Draugr's Helm
Implement of Malice
Metalspinner's Puzzleknot
Scepter of Fugue
Wishclaw Talisman
Mask of Griselbrand
Skeleton Shard
Whip of Erebos
Bolas's Citadel
Underhanded Designs
Phyrexian Scriptures
Bomat Courier
Goblin Welder
Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
Dockside Extortionist
Goblin Cratermaker
Goblin Engineer
Iron Myr
Magda, Brazen Outlaw
Orcish Vandal
Tavern Scoundrel
Audacious Reshapers
Breya's Apprentice
Captain Lannery Storm
Feldon of the Third Path
Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge
Pia Nalaar
Quicksmith Genius
Thopter Engineer
Toggo, Goblin Weaponsmith
Valduk, Keeper of the Flame
Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient
Manaform Hellkite
Opportunistic Dragon
Oxidda Scrapmelter
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Quicksmith Rebel
Wild Celebrants
Arcbound Slasher
Birgi, God of Storytelling
Goldspan Dragon
Hoarding Dragon
Combustible Gearhulk
Godo, Bandit Warlord
Hoard-Smelter Dragon
Moltensteel Dragon
Ruin Grinder
Dargo, the Shipwrecker
Slag Strider
Bosh, Iron Golem
Daretti, Scrap Savant
Galvanic Blast
Molten Frame
Shrapnel Blast
Molten Blast
Incendiary Sabotage
Smashing Success
Unexpected Windfall
Kuldotha Rebirth
Subterranean Tremors
Indomitable Creativity
Kari Zev's Expertise
Saheeli's Directive
Seize the Spoils
Trash for Treasure
Goblin Barrage
Madcap Experiment
Boots of Speed
Implement of Combustion
Pyrite Spellbomb
Lightning Spear
Mask of Immolation
Dwarven Hammer
Hammer of Purphoros
Bludgeon Brawl
Ghirapur Aether Grid
Dance of the Manse
Talisman of Progress
Hanna, Ship's Navigator
Arcanist's Owl
Glassdust Hulk
Ethersworn Sphinx
Talisman of Dominance
Silas Renn, Seeker Adept
Hostage Taker
Tezzeret the Schemer
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Deadeye Plunderers
Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge
Rakdos Charm
Talisman of Indulgence
Valki, God of Lies
Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast
Unlicensed Disintegration
Hidden Stockpile
Talisman of Hierarchy
Tidehollow Sculler
Anguished Unmaking
Utter End
Merciless Eviction
Talisman of Creativity
Tawnos, Urza's Apprentice
Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders
Saheeli Rai
Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
Reclusive Artificer
Saheeli, the Gifted
Storm the Vault
Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer
Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp
Akiri, Line-Slinger
Talisman of Conviction
Akiri, Fearless Voyager
Arcbound Shikari
Forging the Tyrite Sword
Bruenor Battlehammer
Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero
Nahiri, the Harbinger
Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer
Alela, Artful Provocateur
Ethersworn Adjudicator
Sharuum the Hegemon
Mythos of Snapdax
Breya, Etherium Shaper
Chamber Sentry
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
Hangarback Walker
Stonecoil Serpent
Walking Ballista
Bonded Construct
Hope of Ghirapur
Signal Pest
Arcbound Ravager
Lesser Masticore
Myr Retriever
Myr Sire
Ornithopter of Paradise
Perilous Myr
Phyrexian Revoker
Steel Overseer
Vault Skirge
Voltaic Servant
Academy Manufactor
Burnished Hart
Chief of the Foundry
Clockwork Servant
Cogwork Assembler
Crystalline Giant
Etched Champion
Filigree Familiar
Foundry Inspector
Junk Diver
Myr Welder
Palladium Myr
Pilgrim's Eye
Porcelain Legionnaire
Scrap Trawler
Scrapyard Recombiner
Shambling Suit
Shimmer Myr
Skittering Surveyor
Spined Thopter
Trespassing Souleater
Crystalline Crawler
Lodestone Golem
Mindless Automaton
Molten-Tail Masticore
Myriad Construct
Phyrexian Metamorph
Solemn Simulacrum
Traxos, Scourge of Kroog
Treasure Keeper
Bladegriff Prototype
Darksteel Juggernaut
Kuldotha Forgemaster
Precursor Golem
Razormane Masticore
Scuttling Doom Engine
Steel Hellkite
Thopter Assembly
Wurmcoil Engine
Meteor Golem
Myr Battlesphere
Myr Enforcer
Platinum Angel
Sojourner's Companion
Ancient Stone Idol
Blightsteel Colossus
Metalwork Colossus
Mycosynth Golem
Phyrexian Triniform
Platinum Emperion
Karn, Scion of Urza
Ugin, the Ineffable
Apostle's Blessing
Tezzeret's Gambit
All Is Dust
Engineered Explosives
Everflowing Chalice
Mishra's Bauble
Mox Opal
Sigil of Distinction
Welding Jar
Bag of Holding
Bloodforged Battle-Axe
Brittle Effigy
Ceremonial Knife
Colossus Hammer
Flayer Husk
Gremlin Mine
Manifold Key
Masterwork of Ingenuity
Retrofitter Foundry
Wayfarer's Bauble
Alchemist's Vial
Blackblade Reforged
Coldsteel Heart
Cranial Plating
Golden Egg
Goldvein Pick
Guardian Idol
Guild Globe
Hammer of Ruin
Heart of Kiran
Ichor Wellspring
Investigator's Journal
Lightning Greaves
Liquimetal Coating
Liquimetal Torque
Mask of Memory
Mazemind Tome
Mind Stone
Mycosynth Wellspring
Nim Deathmantle
Prismatic Lens
Prophetic Prism
Servo Schematic
Shrine of Burning Rage
Shrine of Loyal Legions
Sleeper Dart
Smuggler's Copter
Spare Supplies
Swiftfoot Boots
Sword of the Animist
Treasure Map
Umezawa's Jitte
Wedding Invitation
Bonder's Ornament
Cultivator's Caravan
Gate to the Afterlife
Grafted Wargear
Heirloom Blade
Loxodon Warhammer
Mimic Vat
Mirage Mirror
Piston Sledge
Sculpting Steel
Skyclave Relic
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Sinew and Steel
Sword of Truth and Justice
Sword of War and Peace
The Celestus
Treasure Chest
Unstable Obelisk
Birthing Pod
Bomat Bazaar Barge
Coercive Portal
Fleetwheel Cruiser
Grinning Totem
Hammer of Nazahn
Hedron Archive
Krark-Clan Ironworks
Mystic Forge
Prototype Portal
Sisay's Ring
Trading Post
Unwinding Clock
Ur-Golem's Eye
Dollhouse of Horrors
Eldrazi Monument
Forsaken Monument
Memory Jar
Panoptic Mirror
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
The Deck of Many Things
Ugin's Nexus
Coveted Jewel
Dreamstone Hedron
The Immortal Sun
God-Pharaoh's Gift
Ingenuity Engine
Kaldra Compleat
Spine of Ish Sah
Hallowed Fountain
Razortide Bridge
Razortide Bridge
Razortide Bridge
Razortide Bridge
Mistvault Bridge
Mistvault Bridge
Mistvault Bridge
Mistvault Bridge
Underground Sea
Watery Grave
Blood Crypt
Drossforge Bridge
Drossforge Bridge
Drossforge Bridge
Drossforge Bridge
Godless Shrine
Goldmire Bridge
Goldmire Bridge
Goldmire Bridge
Goldmire Bridge
Silverbluff Bridge
Silverbluff Bridge
Silverbluff Bridge
Silverbluff Bridge
Steam Vents
Volcanic Island
Rustvale Bridge
Rustvale Bridge
Rustvale Bridge
Rustvale Bridge
Sacred Foundry
Arid Mesa
Blinkmoth Nexus
Bloodstained Mire
Buried Ruin
Dread Statuary
Fabled Passage
Flooded Strand
Inkmoth Nexus
Inventors' Fair
Marsh Flats
Mishra's Factory
Polluted Delta
Power Depot
Prismatic Vista
Ruins of Oran-Rief
Scalding Tarn
Urza's Saga

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