[Top 7] MTG Arena Best Artifact Decks That Wreck Hard!

MTGA, MTGA decks, Artifacts
Who would have thought that these clunky metal creatures can actually dominate

Many archetypes come and go in the history of MTG. Some archetypes get completely shut down by the current meta before they even make an impact while some last long enough to become staples in the different formats. Control is one of the archetypes that survived many rotations, rule changes, and even bannings. Tribal decks like Elves and Goblins are tried and tested and are pillars of early MTG. One archetype that seems to always find a way into the meta, whether in Standard play or other formats, is artifacts. It goes by many names like Tron or Affinity but its use of colorless creatures, artifacts, and even planeswalkers bring in a different type of challenge to every matchup. 

Let us look into the different decks, both in Standard and Historic, that are built around these shiny, steel-plated monstrosities. The ranking of these decks is based on the overall power of the deck and how it affected the metagame. 

7. Mono-blue Artifacts - Standard

You really can't run away from Teferi.

Let us start with a jank build of mono-blue artifacts. This, when placed on the hands of a good player, can string in a few dubs in ranked matchmaking. It is also a good option to build upon since it is safe from the upcoming set rotations.

What’s good about this deck

  • Rotation-proof - If you fancy this deck in Standard, you don’t have to worry about the upcoming rotation as all cards in this deck will still be legal by that time.
  • Jank is good - Weirdly built decks are one of the best decks to play in the Arena. It may not wreck as hard as Tier One decks but it can still come away with a few dubs.
  • Flavorful wins - Mill is back on board with Teferi’s Tutelage. The primary objective of this card is to enable Vantress Gargoyle but it can still function as a secondary win con by getting rid of your opponent’s deck. 

How to play this deck effectively

  • This deck has a low mana curve but the first play can start at Turn Three. Use the early turns to assess the opponent’s deck style so you can plan out your string of turns.

    • Use Stonecoil Serpent early to pressure the opponent or even just to block the early attacks. Gingerbrute can also pressure the opponent in the early game.
  • Aim to resolve Teferi’s Tutelage early to help you later on in the game.
    • Tutelage will help enable you to draw a card and enable your Gargoyle which will be a huge piece in finishing off your opponent.
    • Getting a Teferi’s Tutelage early will also help you thin out the opponent’s deck, deterring their strategy before they even have the chance to draw into them. 

Decklist

  • 4 Gingerbrute
  • 3 Solemn Simulacrum
  • 3 Emry, Lurker of the Loch
  • 4 Arcanist’s Owl
  • 4 Crystalline Giant
  • 4 Vantress Gargoyle
  • 3 Shambling Suit
  • 4 Stonecoil Serpent
  • 4 Teferi’s Tutelage
  • 2 Folio of Fancies
  • 2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
  • 3 Castle Vantress
  • 20 Island

6. RW Gadrak - Standard

A huge metal dragon. What could possibly go wrong?

Cheap artifacts that power monsters. This RW Gadrak deck utilizes early aggression from your one and two-drops to quickly transition to a huge red dragon that swings for five in the air and creates Treasure tokens to avenge the death of its fallen friends.

What’s good about this deck

  • Completely flies under the radar - This is more of a jankier type of deck that can still steal some games if you get to play it correctly. Opponents will not be ready for this deck since it is not one that is in the meta, allowing you to get a lot of surprise victories.
  • An exponential increase in power as the game progresses - You can end games early with cheap artifacts in play but while the game progresses, your creatures will get more powerful especially with Steel Overseer and other payoff cards.
  • Plenty of ways to dodge opponents - From the Stonecoil Serpent’s protection from multicolored to Gingerbrutes ability to be unblockable, this deck can play around many opposing strategies, giving you a larger room to work with.

How to play this deck effectively

  • Use Gingerburte and Stonecoil Serpent as early as you can

    • An early Serpent can be good especially with Flyers in the meta. It can also dodge a Deafening Clarion against anti-aggro decks as it has protection from multicolored.
    • Putting in early artifacts means you can have Gadrak attacking by Turn Four, pressuring the opponent hard early in the game.
  • The aggressive nature of this deck will help disguise an Embercleave in the late game.
    • Embercleave can flat out win the game immediately especially since you have a lot of attackers that can chip away its cost. Getting Embercleave, along with All That Glitters, to resolve means tons of damage to the opponent’s face.

Decklist

  • 4 Gingerbrute
  • 4 Stonecoil Serpent
  • 3 Steel Overseer
  • 4 All That Glitters
  • 3 Shambling Suit
  • 3 Light Up The Stage
  • 3 Solemn SImulacrum
  • 3 Banishing Light
  • 2 Shadowspear
  • 4 Embercleave
  • 3 Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge
  • 4 Sacred Foundry
  • 2 Temple of Triumph
  • 3 Fabled Passage
  • 7 Plains
  • 8 Mountain

5. UW Artifact Aggro - Historic

Slither your way to victory with this massive serpent.

Whoever said that aggro is only reserved to mono-colored creatures definitely hasn't played this deck yet. This bad boy can get you up those rankings quickly with its ability to surprise the enemy with lethal attacks from out of nowhere.

What’s good about this deck

  • Very aggressive set-up - Cheap creatures coupled with ways to pump your board will overwhelm the opposition at the early game. It can also out-aggro other decks as it can deal with their early aggression with Glass Casket.
  • All That Glitters can flat out end the game instantaneously - We all know by now the destructive power of All That Glitters. Its ability is amplified in this deck as all of your spells are artifacts which means slamming an All That Glitters can greatly amplify your damage output.
  • Card-retrieval services - This deck runs with two copies of Dance of the Manse which functions as a card retriever but also doubles as creature generator as it can make your Glass Casket a 4/4 attacker. It is also a very nice mana sink especially in days where MTGA’s shuffler wants you to keep drawing mana.

How to play this deck effectively

  • Get aggressive with your cheap artifacts

    • Get an early Sai on the board to help you get more value from playing your cheap spells
    • Don’t be afraid to trade cards with the opponent since you can retrieve yours using Dance of the Manse. Sacrificing your artifacts to draw cards is important as this deck lacks card draw
  • Abuse the ability of Steel Overseer. This is very crucial especially if you already have a Stonecoil Serpent on the board.
    • Voltaic Servant can double the effect of your Steel Overseer so you can get more +1/+1 counters to your creatures, helping you close out the game early.

Decklist

  • 4 Ornithopter
  • 4 Gingerbrute
  • 4 Steel Overseer
  • 3 Voltaic Servant
  • 4 Stonecoil Serpent
  • 4 All That Glitters
  • 2 Glass Casket
  • 4 Tempered Steel
  • 3 Shambling Suit
  • 2 Sai, Master Thopterist
  • 2 Karn, Scion of Urza
  • 2 Dance of the Manse
  • 4 Hallowed Fountain
  • 4 Glacial Fortress
  • 2 Temple of Enlightenment
  • 7 Plains
  • 5 Island

4. UB Affinity - Historic

Don't mess with Tezz and his army of artifacts

This deck is a copy of one of the Modern format’s huge value engines. It synergizes well giving you a huge combo that can overwhelm the board pretty fast. Drop those small, cheap artifacts and the payoff will be giant threats at the late game

What’s good about this deck

  • Access to wishboard - You have 15 extra cards that only you can interact with since it is not part of your main deck. This will help solve many threats during the game while it remains protected against the enemy’s hand disruption and mill strategies.
  • Very great combo engine - Your board will be filled up with huge threats once you get the Affinity engine going with Tezzeret and Ugin. The cost reduction is massive as you have a lot of cheap artifacts that will translate to bigger discounts on your heavy hitters.
  • A lot of enablers means massive value - Having cheap artifacts coupled with Sai and Saheeli will get you a lot of tokens that can draw you cards, provide bodies for blocking, or ultimately help reduce future costs of spells.

How to play this deck effectively

  • Use the early game to deter the opponent’s strategy

    • This deck will be very effective once it establishes its key pieces in the late game
    • The early game is meant to slow down the opponent while you slowly build up your board state
    • Use cards like Karn, the Great Creator to fetch answers for early threats on the board
  • Hold out on your cheap spells as much as you can and deploy them only if you already have Sai or Saheeli on the battlefield as they can create more bodies, giving you more value.
    • Your Ornithopters and Gingerbrutes can be used as early blockers but if you can let the opponent get in a few hits to ensure more value out of these cards, then that would be really good for your board.

Decklist

  • 4 Ornithopter
  • 4 Gingerbrute
  • 2 Ritual of Soot
  • 3 Tyrant’s Scorn
  • 2 Grasp of Darkness
  • 2 Vraska’s Contempt
  • 3 Emry, Lurker of the Lock
  • 2 Sai, Master Thopterist
  • 4 Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
  • 2 Karn, Scion of Urza
  • 4 Karn, the Great Creator
  • 3 Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge
  • 1 Ugin, the Ineffable
  • 1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
  • 4 Interplanar Beacon
  • 4 Watery Grave
  • 4 Drowned Catacomb
  • 2 Temple of Deceit
  • 6 Swamp
  • 4 Island

Sideboard

  • 4 Meteor Golem
  • 1 Tormod’s Crypt
  • 1 Platinum Angel
  • 1 God-Pharaoh’s Statue
  • 1 Sparkhunter Masticore
  • 1 Stonecoil Serpent
  • 1 Grafdigger’s Cage
  • 1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
  • 1 Shadowspear
  • 1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
  • 2 Sorcerous Spyglass

3. Bant Golos - Historic

Watch me dominate a game by just playing lands.

Though not completely an artifact deck, this deck still boasts one of the stronger artifact creatures in the game: Golos, the Tireless Pilgrim. This deck utilizes lands to ramp, attack, and win with Golos being the primary enabler and Field of the Dead the primary win condition.

What’s good about this deck

  • The current meta doesn’t have an answer to FIeld of the Dead - There are only a handful of decks in the current meta that run Field of Ruin while there are very few decks that really look into land destruction so once you get this going, you can easily get the win.
  • Mana flood? Not a problem. Mana screw? Doesn’t exist. - This is pretty much self-explanatory as you have more than half of your deck devoted to lands so say goodbye to mana screw. The only time that you will hate the number of lands in this deck is if you can’t draw a Field or Golos. 
  • The huge threat of value in the latter stages of the game - If you manage to hold off your opponent’s aggressive goblins, they can just scoop immediately since you have a huge arsenal that can contribute to their demise.

How to play this deck effectively

  • Use your spells to survive the early onslaught of aggressive creatures and spells in the meta.

    • The current meta in Historic caters to a wide range of creature-based, aggressive decks. The key to winning a game is to survive long enough to reap the value of the Field of the Dead.
    • Use Sylvan Awakening as an early defensive spell in case you are facing an overwhelming amount of creatures.
    • If you can take damage and still be at a comfortable range, do so. Uro can get you some life gain every once in a while. 
  • Use your board clear loosely since you have six board wipes on the main deck. I think six is already more than enough since you probably have established the board by that time. 

 

Decklist

  • 2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
  • 4 Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
  • 2 Sylvan Awakening
  • 2 Rallying Roar
  • 4 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
  • 3 Oracle of Mul Daya
  • 2 Shatter the Sky
  • 2 Cleansing Nova
  • 2 Settle the Wreckage
  • 3 Explore
  • 2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
  • 2 Hydroid Krasis
  • 1 Blast Zone
  • 1 Bojuka Bog
  • 3 Fabled Passage
  • 4 Field of the Dead
  • 2 Breeding Pool
  • 1 Glacial Fortress
  • 1 Hinterland Harbor
  • 1 Sunpetal Grove
  • 2 Temple Garden
  • 1 Temple of Mystery
  • 1 Temple of Plenty
  • 1 Temple of Mystery
  • 1 Savai Triome
  • 1 Zagoth Triome
  • 1 Raugrin Triome
  • 1 Indatha Triome
  • 2 Island
  • 1 Mountain
  • 1 Plains
  • 1 Swamp
  • 2 Forest

2. The Ozolith - Standard

Let me reserve those counters for you.

Probably one of the best artifacts in the Standard meta, The Ozolith has a wide range that can cater to any deck type. This Sultai version completely maximizes the potential of this very card with almost every element of the deck able to generate counters.

What’s good about this deck

  • You won’t mind having your opponent kill your creatures - The common problem of creature-based decks is, of course, creature removal and board wipe. With The Ozolith, you will even be grateful to your opponent if they decide to wipe the board as you will get to preserve those counters.
  • Early ramp enables a great late game position - You get access to 11 creatures with ramp potential which will ensure that you get to establish your board well. These creatures also utilize counters so even they can contribute to getting points up on The Ozolith.
  • Very scary late-game potential -  A deck like this thrives in the more ground out games since the more counters you get, the greater the damage you can deal. 

How to play this deck effectively

  • Mana is really important in this deck so it is crucial to establish your ramp cards early. 

    • With cards like Stonecoil Serpent and Hydroid Krasis, the bigger the better. To get these to become huge threats, you need a lot of mana so prioritize your mana advantage in the early game.
  • Aim to get a good curve of spells to maximize your mana advantage.
    • An ideal start will be Turn One Ozolith, Turn Two ramp, and Turn Three will be dependent on your opponent and your available resources but getting either a ramp card or any of your three-drops can swing the tide in your favor.
  • Capitalize on the meta’s lack of ability to deal with artifacts. The Ozolith is your primary objective and because of the current meta, you should expect that this will survive longer than it should so just focus on playing creatures with counters.

Decklists

  • 4 The Ozolith
  • 4 Stonecoil Serpent
  • 3 Growth-Chamber Guardian
  • 4 Incubation Druid
  • 4 Hydroid Krasis
  • 4 Simic Ascendancy
  • 2 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
  • 4 Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig
  • 4 Polukranos, Unchained
  • 3 Crystalline Giant
  • 4 Overgrown Tomb
  • 4 Breeding Pool
  • 2 Temple of Malady
  • 2 Temple of Mystery
  • 2 Fabled Passage
  • 4 Island
  • 4 Forest
  • 2 Swamp

1. Mono-green Tron - Historic

The Spirit Dragon looms over the whole Historic meta.

A far superior version of mono-green ramp decks, Tron will ensure that you get to your huge threats early. These spells offer a huge variety of ways to interact with the opponent from clearing their whole board to flat out banging for lethal, this deck has it all.

What’s good about this deck

  • Access to different ramp cards - Mono-green is known for having plenty of ways to cheat mana in the game. Having this ability is especially vital in this deck as it ensures that you get to bring in those huge spells earlier.
  • Removal and board wipe in one card - Ugin definitely hates small creatures. The Spirit Dragon’s +1 ability can deal with a huge chunk of creatures in the format while its -X can completely reset the opponent’s board.
  • Has access to additional cards outside the game - The advantage of playing Karn in this deck is it allows you to have more cards that can deal with specific matchups without altering the spread of your main deck. You can get in many different answers with Karn’s ability to access your wishboard. 

How to play this deck effectively

  • This deck will reach its full potential early if you focus on ramping in the early game.

    • The key to maximize the deck is to use the early turns to prepare for bigger turns in the latter stages of the game. You have a lot of ramps available in the deck so your opening hand should at least contain a few of them.
  • Use your wish board accordingly. There are a lot of threats to your deck in this format. Getting the right cards off your Karn can dictate how the game will swing.
    • Drop your Karn only if you need access to your 15 additional cards. There’s a variety of removal in the meta and due to Karn’s power, it will attract the majority of it so make sure that you really need something from your wish board before dropping Karn.

Decklist

  • 4 Llanowar Elves
  • 2 Arboreal Grazer
  • 4 Solemn Simulacrum
  • 1 Carnage Tyrant
  • 2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
  • 4 Mind Stone
  • 4 Cultivate
  • 2 The Great Henge
  • 4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
  • 3 Karn, the Great Creator
  • 3 Ugin, the Ineffable
  • 3 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
  • 1 Karn’s Bastion
  • 1 Blast Zone
  • 2 Field of Ruin
  • 20 Forest

Sideboard

  • 4 Meteor Golem
  • 1 Tormod’s Crypt
  • 1 Platinum Angel
  • 1 God-Pharaoh’s Statue
  • 1 Sparkhunter Masticore
  • 1 Stonecoil Serpent
  • 1 Grafdigger’s Cage
  • 1 Blackblade Reforged
  • 1 Shadowspear
  • 1 Soul-Guide Lantern
  • 2 Sorcerous Spyglass

Artifact decks are either very much finely tuned or very janky, there is no in-between. One thing’s for sure, though, is that it is a very enjoyable archetype whatever format you play it in. It is really good for casual play but still packs a punch in ranked. Hope this list gave you all the information you need to get the most out of your artifact deck. Happy shuffling!

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Born and raised in the cold City of Pines, Erik is a master of rhymes. Songs and sagas of games untold, Erik will discover and unfold.
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