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PDH Framework Tech

Nephalia Academy, by Adam Paquette, owned by Wizards of the Coast © All Rights Reserved.

Now that I finished talking about Commander 2016, let’s talk about some options for filling out the rest of the decklists I talked about in that series. I’m sure you astute readers noticed that I only mentioned about twenty cards for each commander, leaving you to fill in and make the deck yours. But sometimes, finding those last few cards can be tricky. So between series about Commander precons, I’ll be talking about some staple or filler cards.

Much like any other format, PDH has its own set of staple cards. At the common level, we need to delve a little deeper to find certain effects that fit our deck’s needs. In PDH, we don’t have access to Sol Ring, Sensei’s Divining Top, Fetch Lands, Tutors, and more things not found in the typical common. Or do we? Here I’ll be digging deep through commons to find what may be our format’s staples. Today, I’ll just be talking about artifacts, and how their versatility can make your deck stronger and more efficient.

Artifacts are seen in every EDH deck, and PDH is no different. Though there are some decks that don’t want any artifacts, they are the anomaly and not the norm. What makes artifacts so appealing? Simply, their colorless cost. Having no color requirements, artifacts can easily fit into any deck, without even needing the right colors to cast. As such, artifacts can provide extra sources of colored mana, while not needing them. So, what are the best artifacts for this role?

Let’s start with the Borderpost cycle. These rocks were put out in Alara Reborn, a set known for its flashy multicolored spells. What’s great about these rocks is their alternative casting cost. Instead of paying three mana, two of which is colored, you instead can return a basic land to hand and pay one generic mana. While this may put us a land behind, it can smooth out our color requirements nicely.

The next cycle worth mentioning is the beloved Signet cycle, from Ravnica. This is another block that made heavy use of multicolored themes, and as such, needed the mana. The signets all cast for two generic, and only need a one mana payment to generate two mana of the respective guild’s colors. These were talked about in the article “Top 10 Mana Rocks” (Link to the article here), so I don’t need to explain much more about them.

The next few artifacts are useful for filling your hand, or filtering your draws. In EDH, this is typically done with Sensei’s Divining Top, which sadly is one rarity too high to be legal in our format. Lucky for us though, we do have access to the relatively unknown Pauper Top, Darksteel Pendant. Just like its big brother, the pendant is difficult to remove. Additionally, we can run the Seer’s Lantern, which can provide mana, or sometimes a much needed scry. Relic of Progenitus gives every deck graveyard hate, and can even replace itself once you bomb every yard. Mind Stone is similar, except giving us more mana instead of grave hate.

Next up for artifacts is the equipment package I feel most decks want. Since PDH is a much more combat focused format than EDH, a healthy selection of equipment can assure us victory. I won’t be talking about strict power and toughness boosts, rather a decent utility package.

The longbow is a great utility piece depending on who you equip it to. Throw it on a deathtouch creature, and now you can kill anything. Put it on something with infect, you now have a 10 turn clock. At worst, it can ping an opponent or remove creatures with one toughness. Not a bad worst case scenario. The scope can get us some extra ramp, and removes the need to draw that basic land on top of our deck. Whispersilk Cloak is a powerhouse, granting protection in every deck, no matter the color. And lastly, Prying Blade makes us Lotus Petals every time we connect. Throw this on a double-striker and we’re ramping by two a turn.

I think next we’ll want to talk about some useful trinkets that can filter land from our decks. There’s not many, but since some decks are quite mana hungry, they’re good to know about.

Well, let’s now cycle back to one last cycle of cards I think could find a home in most decks. Spellbombs grant us some amazing utility and options. All of them can grant card draw, but their other effects vary greatly. There are actually two cycles of spellbombs, but I’ll only list what I think are the best five, one for each color.

I think that wraps up this discussion nicely. While not every deck wants all of these, I think many of them will end up wanting a few. The utility that artifacts can provide is indispensable, and not to be overlooked. Hope you enjoyed this part of the talk, and will join me for part two, before we delve into Commander 2015!




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