Magic the Gathering: Arena’s Artisan event is in full swing, featuring a fun format and some beautiful rewards to boot. I’ve got five fun brews you can use to combo, draw, or swing your way to victory. Plus, two more brews that may very well be the decks to beat during this event. Let’s empty that draft chaff box and get to the decks!
First up, we have a pair of Golgari decks that use two very different strategies to win the game.
Artisan Arena Adventures is designed as a combo deck with an aggressive backup plan. Your main way to win is to use Edgewall Inkeeper to draw and play out your adventures and knights, resolve a Lucky Clover or two, then use Curry Favor (the Smitten Swordmaster‘s sorcery) to drain your opponent to close out the game. If the main plan doesn’t work though, we’ve also got one copy of Overcome to use our wide board to kill our opponents. Sprouting Renewel pulls double duty as a convoke-able knight or as enchantment removal, while Spark Harvest lets us deal with a nasty planeswalker or two who might try to ruin our day.
While it may share a color pair, our Syr Konrad, the Grim Artisan deck couldn’t be more different. Our goal here is to fill our graveyard with creatures using Glowspore Shaman and Gorging Vulture, then using Syr Konrad or Lotleth Giant to finish off the game. Molderhulk acts as a cheap bruiser once your graveyard is full, and Kraul Harpooner removes annoying fliers while still adding to your Undergrowth count. If you’re looking for a combo finish for the deck, replace the Spark Harvests or the Molderhulk’s with Forever Young to empty your graveyard and trigger a massive damage dump using Syr Konrad.
Butts! Butts! Butts!
A fun deck no matter the format, Artisan High Alert uses its namesake enchanment to turn cheap walls and zero power creatures into powerful butt-kickers. Azorious Knight-Arbiter gives the deck some inevetibility in the late game, while Elite Guardmage can help draw some additional cards and gain back life you may have lost while setting up. Angelic Gift gives your otherwise vanilla bruisers some evasion, and replaces itself to help you find either more creatures or dig for your High Alert.
Could it be a budget deck-tech article in 2019 without Grumgully, the Generous? Yes – but not today! This deck focuses on adding tokens to your creatures, either through Grumgully’s ability or riot triggers and then growing them wil proliferate triggers courtesy of Evolutions Sage and Pollenbright Druid. Finally, the Trollbred Guardian gives all your now massive creatures trample to end the inevitable board stalls. Season of Growth helps fix draws and turns fight cards into cantrips, while Bond of Flourishing helps you find the creatures (or land drops) you need.
Yes, It Is Tokens.
A creature-light deck, Izzet Tokens wants to draw cards, cast spells, and create tokens on the ground using Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and in the air using Improbable Alliance. Eventually, the goal of the deck is to overwhelm your opoonent with value, or draw into the single copy of Ferocity of the Wilds to suddenly boost your board and kill your opponent.
Azorious Is The Pair To Beat
While the meta hasn’t shown up yet, there are two fairly obvious strategies that you’ll either need to beat or join. Both are budget versions of two decent standard aggro decks – All That Glitters and Azorious Fliers.
Artisan that Glitters seeks to stack up enchantments and artifacts so that the deck’s namesake card can create a giant, evasive threat to kill you. If that doesn’t work, Saheeli and the deck’s cavalcade of efficient removal and card draw noncreature spells will eventually create a fearsome board of tokens.
Artisan Azorious Fliers is a fairly straightforward strategy – play cheap fliers, turn them sideways to kill your opponent. Hypnotic Sprite gives you an extra flier that also doubles as a way to protect your birds, while Faerie Guidemother can pull double duty as a 3 CMC 3/2 for a turn. Rally of Wings allows you to win out of nowhere, or to turn unprofitable trades or chumps into a one-sided board wipe.
Both of these decks are likely to be popular, as their strategies are fast, straightforward, and a little hard to disrupt once they get going. Plus, cards from either deck can give you a cheap start on a ladder-worthy deck to grind out the standard ladder queue.
Hopefully these decks give you a leg up on enjoying the Artisan Event. Let me know if there’s any changes you would make to the decks, or if you have a fun brew you’re playing during the event!