ello and welcome to the second week of previews here on magicthegathering.com. I've always been a fan of Myr. I used to Incubate them all the time. Scars of Mirrodin brings back the cuddliest of artifacts and they look as if they've gained a lot of power since their debut in Mirrodin. If you're as eccentric as me you've probably been wondering the same thing: Where do Myr come from? Well, when a mommy Myr and a daddy Myr love one another very much ... No wait, that's something different. Myr are made by Myrsmiths. What the heck is a Myrsmith?
This is a Myrsmith:
Scars of Mirrodin is stocked with a huge number of artifacts so triggering the Myrsmith won't be too difficult. Evasive creatures (creatures that are difficult to block because they have flying, intimidate, etc.) will probably be at a premium for players looking to beat a Myrsmith in a race. This thing can pump out a lot of chump blockers that can greatly change the outcome of any race situation. It's not just for defense, though. Myrsmith can be, and probably will be, used in a lot of aggressive decks that look to take advantage of its ability to present a lot of power on the board for a small investment.
Take a look at Tempered Steel, for example, a card that was previewed at the PAX party last weekend. Myrsmith will be busy pumping out 3/3s when you have a copy of Tempered Steel on the battlefield. 3/3s are pretty big, it's going to be tough for an opponent to muster up any sort of opposition if every artifact you play is joined by an extra 3/3. It's like turning every artifact into a mini-Broodmate Dragon.
ChannelFireball.com recently previewed Myr Galvanizer, yet another card that makes Myrsmith more impressive than it already was. Myr Galvanizer not only pumps all the Myr you create, but it lets you give them pseudo-vigilance or untap the ones that tap for mana to create a huge spike in available mana.
Magicthegathering.com previewed Myr Battlesphere last week. Myr Battlesphere lets this type of deck do a lot of exciting things. Tom described the day when Aaron Forsythe designed Myr Battlesphere in his last column. Aaron was parading around the office explaining the card to anyone willing to listen. I don't blame him! This is one of the most flavorful cards I've seen in a long time. The artwork is hilarious. Honestly, there isn't anything quite as fun as a giant rolling mass of Myr. If you want to see a casual Myr Battlesphere deck then you should check out Noel deCordova's column from last Thursday. It can be found here.
Myr Battlesphere is very tricky. It works exceptionally well with Myr Galvanizer. You can attack with Myr Battlesphere and all your Myr except the Galvanizer, then with Myr Battlesphere's trigger on the stack you can activate the Myr Galvanizer's ability and untap all your attacking Myr and use them to pump the Battlesphere and dome your opponent. Myr Battlesphere can come out as early as the fourth turn if you have a Gold Myr and Palladium Myr to speed things up. I see myself having a lot of fun with Myr Battlesphere in the coming months. Prepare to get rolled!
Myrsmith is the type of card I love building around. It does something very focused that can be made more powerful with cards that have a natural synergy amongst each other. Cards like Tempered Steel, Myr Galvanizer, and Myr Battlesphere all have amazing synergy with the Myrsmith. Let's try to put together a deck for the new Standard that gets maximum value out of this powerful Human Artificer.
We want our deck to be packed with artifacts. The Myrsmith is only good if we can reliably activate it. With that in mind we need to decide which non-artifact cards are absolutely necessary and reserve the rest of the deck's space for cards that will activate the Myrsmith.
Tempered Steel seems to carve out a spot as a card that is an absolute must for this type of deck. A constant +2/+2 for the team is certainly powerful enough that we should save four slots. Our deck needs a lot of artifacts, but Tempered Steel makes all of those artifacts very powerful. Think about how much power you get out of a Myr Battlesphere when you have a Tempered Steel in play, that's a heavy load of Myr.
I wanted a removal spell that would help us against dangerous cards like the Titans from Magic 2011. Oust seemed like a good inclusion here, but I couldn't help but think we could do better. Brittle Effigy hasn't seen much play yet, but I imagine it could be huge in a deck like this. I don't want to play too many rares, though. I'll probably stick with the Oust for now, but I recommend trying out Brittle Effigy if you decide to build this deck and already have a few copies of the Magic 2011 rare in your collection.
Now it's time for the artifacts. Remember, the more artifacts we play, the more powerful our Myrsmith will be. We want all our artifacts to work well with the deck, but we may make non-myr exceptions if they're powerful enough.
Myr Galvanizer is everything we're looking for. It pumps our team and accelerates our mana when it's combined with Palladium Myr or multiple copies of Gold Myr. It works as a nice combo piece with Myr Battlesphere and it's worth noting that it's a 4/4 beatstick when you have a Tempered Steel on the table. There's a lot of buzz regarding this guy. A reader of mine, Lester Hawkes, found a sweet combo with this card. Myr Galvanizer, plus Splinter Twin, plus any mana-producing Myr. You enchant the Myr Galvanizer with Splinter Twin, tap it to make a copy, tap the other Myr to use the copy's ability to untap both other Myr, tap the enchanted Myr Galvanizer to make another copy, use the mana Myr to activate the copy's ability to untap all the other Myr ... rinse and repeat. Attacking for infinite damage with Myr on turn four seems pretty exciting. I'll save that deck for another week.
Origin Spellbomb is an especially nice piece of metal when you have Myrsmith on the battlefield. It nets you a pair of Myr and draws you a card. I've always had an irrational amount of love for Spellbombs, but I really think it fits here. The new Spellbombs seem less designed for combo-oriented decks and more designed as balanced cards that can have a lot of synergy with other cards. Myrsmith and Origin Spellbomb were made for each other. The Myr token created by Origin Spellbomb can actually be a huge force in the early game. Think about it:
Turn one: Origin Spellbomb
Turn two: End of opponent's turn, sacrifice Origin Spellbomb, make a 1/1 Myr token.
Turn three: Play Tempered Steel, attack with a 3/3
(And you've only used one card!)
That may seem exciting, but it's not nearly as exciting as the things that can happen when you have a Myrsmith in play. You can even use the Spellbombs to play around Day of Judgment. Simply play the Origin Spellbombs and use the Myrsmith's triggered ability to make some extra 1/1 (possibly quite larger) Myr tokens. Continue beating your opponent down until he or she pulls the trigger on Day of Judgment. Then simply pop the Spellbombs before your turn starts, make some extra Myr, and refill your hand with more threats. Your opponent had better have an extra Day of Judgment in hand—otherwise, things look pretty good for the home team.
Gold Myr may seem unexciting, but cards like this are surprisingly good. It's important that we can accelerate into our more powerful spells. It's also nice if we can pay for the Myrsmith trigger every time we cast an artifact spell. Gold Myr lets this deck do things like third-turn Lodestone Golem. If your opponent's deck doesn't have a lot of removal then a play like this can be absolutely backbreaking.
Speaking of Lodestone Golem. Here's a card worth trading for. It may have just been a rare piece of sideboard tech for players in the know (I'm looking at you, Brad Nelson). Once Scars of Mirrodin is released I think it's safe to say that this will be one of the better cards available to all the new artifact decks. It may still die to Lightning Bolt, but that problem is quickly solved with a Tempered Steel. Opponents will have a lot of trouble keeping up if all their spells cost extra mana to cast. Imagine if your opponent had two Lodestone Golems in play. Yeah, it's pretty brutal. This deck can stick a Lodestone Golem as early as turn three with the help of Gold Myr. A deck relying on Day of Judgment will be so far behind by their fifth turn that it's extremely unlikely their Day of Judgment will be good enough. This is probably one of the better trade investments you could make right now.
Palladium Myr is another card that may not seem too exciting. This will all change the first time you cast a Myr Battlesphere on turn five or earlier, though. I've always been a huge fan of permanents that make more than one mana. It's a unique type of card advantage, but it's still card advantage. Two lands is still two cards. It may be a lot easier to kill a Palladium Myr than a land, but the advantage granted is often worth the risk. Palladium Myr doubles as a threat here, too. Palladium Myr can fight with almost anything once we have a Tempered Steel or Myr Galvanizer on the battlefield.
Myr Battlesphere is a perfect top end for this type of deck. I've already spoken in length about the powerful things you can do with this card, but it's hard to truly express how much fun a card like this can be. Magic can be a lot of things: A common hobby amongst friends, a competitive outlet, mental exercise, or something to do while your DM is having a BM. No matter what it is to you, though, Magic is always fun. Everyone that plays Magic does so because they love the game and has fun when they play. A card like Myr Battlesphere really pushes the limits of fun. This isn't trip-to-the-ice-cream-shop fun—it's log-flume fun.
The last engine I'd like to include here is Emeria, the Sky Ruin. I've always been a big fan of this card and an artifact heavy block will probably allow me to play more mono-colored decks that can abuse these types of lands. The deck has enough early game board presence to put your opponent on their heels. If your opponent is lucky enough to survive the beginning of the game then your Emeria, the Sky Ruin will ensure a constant stream of threats in the late game.
Here's the final list! Remember, if you have any copies of Brittle Effigy they can be used as substitutes for the Oust.
Check out Doug's article today for more exciting Myr action! Also, be sure to look up the location of the Prerelease nearest to you. Prereleases are some of the best ways to make new Magic friends and have new Magic stories.