An Artificer’s Tale – Part 1; of Generals and General Plans

Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer is a strange little creature.

I remember way back when I first played magic, I had a Slobad in one of my decks (for no other reason than being red) and one of my friends had an artifact deck. Being magic novices, we took to figuring out the rules of the game (beyond the basics) for ourselves. Why would you possibly want to sacrifice your own artifacts? It made no sense, so we assumed that Slobad’s ability allowed you to sacrifice your opponents artifacts! Of course, how ridiculous this seems now. But this was a time when back when, to us, Regenerate meant ‘return this creature from your graveyard to play’. To us this also made sense, and how I loved Cinderbones. I was playing with Reassembling Skeleton two years before he actually appeared!

Ever since then I’ve never really had any desire to sacrifice my own permanents for some “insignificant” effect. Not until now, that is, as I contemplate ideas for my next EDH deck. Another legendary creature that has also grabbed my attention is Bosh, Iron Golem. He and Slobad could both be great generals, but I imagine there might be a lot of similarities between their decks. And whilst Bosh will still feature, Slobad takes the position of General winning on sheer quirkiness.

This will be the first EDH deck I have set about building for some time. Right now, however, I don’t even own a Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer! In line with my other generals, Slobad will of course have to be foil and so it is highly likely that I will be ordering that card very soon. The deck as a whole though will not be built in a week. As I hope to have loads of fun with this I aim for it to be more of a long-term project than simply building a deck.
As a result, the creation of this EDH deck is going to be a bit different. I plan to build the deck from the ground up and also on a limited budget. This does not mean that I am going to set myself a spending limit, in fact far from it. Whilst I know who my general will be and I am aware of the ability I will need to work around, my knowledge of all the potential artifacts I could use is far from great. So I hope this will almost be like a journey of discovery for me as a deck builder. What I intend to do is stick to, as best I can, the following restrictions:
– I WILL NOT simply throw together a list of 100 cards, call it a deck list, go to a singles website, order the cards and make the deck. This would completely detract from the whole point of me discovering, creating and acquiring new cards and a new deck for myself.
– I WILL start by using cards that are readily available to me. Whilst I generally do my best to keep my collection of unused cards to a minimum I do keep a small collection of spare cards. I will look through these first, as well as raiding my Rare folder. I will then ask to look through friends’ spare cards and hope to find some more ideas there.
– I WILL NOT net-deck. For me, net-decking completely destroys one of the best aspects of Magic, being able to brew a deck and make it a personal thing. Whilst I have looked around the internet a little for Slobad EDH decks prior to writing this I only really glanced at the decklists, the majority of which seemed to focus on 1v1 EDH which… lets say it’s not my preferred way to play the format 😉 This is not to say that net-decking is a bad thing, of course it is entirely subjective. But as with all my decks I want this one to feel like it is “my own”, so I hope to discover new cards and interactions for myself.
– I WILL use Gatherer and other card databases to search for cards that I would potentially like to include. As much as I would like to build the deck completely off my own back (and my card knowledge is certainly by no means bad) I am not a walking, talking database! When I do discover a card that I do not own but would like to include in my deck then I will do my best to acquire it through trading before I even start to consider the possibility of simply buying the card.
– I WILL listen to the advice and ideas of friends and the wider Magic community. Again whilst I do not want a deck list handed to me on a plate, it is always good to discuss ideas and get feedback. And after all, this is a blog! With the option for feedback and comments, both on here and through the Twitterverse, what would be the point in writing this post if I wasn’t looking to get anything from it? (Aside from hoping that others are enjoying reading it of course!)
– I WILL NOT spend more than approximately £2 in real money on any single card for the deck. As much as possible I hope to locate and trade for the majority of cards I will be after, even the rarer ones. But if I am unable to find that Umezawa’s Jitte that would be so nice to have, if I can’t get it myself that does not mean I’m just going to give up and go buy one. Whilst I technically could afford to do this, buying expensive cards is just not something I do. A lot of the enjoyment I get from deck building is the challenge of having to acquire certain cards in the first place.

And so, onto the beginning of the deck itself. Well, I already have two cards, Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer and Bosh, Iron Golem. I’m afraid it’s state the obvious time, but since both of these guys need artifacts as fuel for their abilities, ones that you actively want to sacrifice seem like they would make good inclusions! A couple of recently printed cards that instantly jump to mind are Ichor Wellspring and Mycosynth Wellspring. As does Spine of Ish Sah, and since I already own all of these they seem like a good place to start.. coincidence!? 😉

So that’s 5 cards already. Still a very long way to go though, so lets take a large mountain-flavoured bite out of the challenge and take a look at a preliminary Manabase. How about 30 Mountains? Sweet, that’s almost a third of the deck sorted in one fell swoop! 🙂 Of course there are a number of other lands that can be had fun with too. Great Furnace is a no-brainer, although unfortunately I do currently lack any of the colourless-producing artifact lands. Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds are fairly staple inclusions, and the cycling lands Forgotten Cave and Smoldering Crater seem good too. In addition I also have Madblind Mountain, Keldon Megaliths, Ghitu Encampment and Temple of the False God laying around, so I’ll throw those in for now as well.

So with 39 lands I am up to 44/100 cards. This might not be so difficult after all!

Err.. ok, so what next? … I guess you’ll just have to keep an eye on my blog to find out!

3 thoughts on “An Artificer’s Tale – Part 1; of Generals and General Plans

  1. This is basically how I try to start most of my decks, and it’s something I feel I have seen people moving away from. I can’t wait to see how this goes for you!

    • Thanks for the support! 🙂 And I agree. I used to love building my own decks but I’ve found myself so focused on Standard recently (building, testing, tuning, playing, rinse + repeat) purely for FNM purposes that I’ve really started to miss doing what I used to do!

  2. Molten Psyche could be good, depending- you should have metalcraft;
    Slag Fiend could get huge if you’re not recycling stuff too much;
    Thopter assembly gives you a bunch of tokens and is re-usable as it bounces to hand;
    Myr propagator and myr turbine also produce fodder for you.

    Steel hellkite is awesome in most decks, and is a card that I personally really, really like.

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