“As she took the wheel of the Weatherlight for the first time in a millennium, Jhoira knew she’d been right to restore the ship. Anything was possible now.“Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain is a 3/3 Human Artificer that costs 2 generic, 1 blue, and 1 red. Her ability says that whenever you cast a historic spell, you draw a card. Historic was a mechanic introduced in the Dominaria set back in 2018. Artifacts, legendary spells, and sagas – a sub-type of enchantments, are historic. Needless to say, this deck will focus on artifacts, but the whole strategy is to play artifacts which will lead to drawing cards until you find one of your cards that can end the game. There are also some crazy combos that can go into this deck.
Artifacts can be some of the most broken cards in the game because they are not bound by the limitations of the color pie. The right artifacts can help different colors achieve things that specific color was not designed to do or help to push a color into the realm of ludicrous speed doing what that color was designed to do, but all of that is a different topic. Right now let’s look at some of the cheap artifacts you may want to consider running. Ramp is always a must in commander and yes, you want Sol Ring, Mana Crypt if you can afford it, Izzet Signet, Arcane Signet, Talisman of Creativity, Manakin, Hedron Crawler, Palladium Myr, Iron Myr, Silver Myr, all of that good stuff. If it can produce mana for a relatively cheap casting cost, you probably want it. You can also use Urza, Lord High Artificer to in essence turn each of your artifacts into a mana rock.
Although not quite the same as mana ramp, cards that reduce the cost of other cards are also very helpful. Herald of Kozilek and Ugin, the Ineffable reduce the cost of colorless spells. Etherium Sculptor and Foundry Inspector reduce the costs of artifacts specifically. While Jhoira’s Familiar reduces the cost of historic cards. If you are lucky enough to have all of these in play at the same time, they will reduce the cost of your artifacts by 6. But just by having two or three of these in play, the majority of your deck is probably free.
Cards like this won’t fill up a commander deck. You still need more low cost artifacts and they need to be reasonably usable. A deck full of mana rocks won’t actually do anything unless you can properly utilize all of that mana. Shimmer Myr gives your artifacts flash enabling you drop them at anytime. Scrap Trawler can get back an artifact card when an artifact is put into your graveyard. Tormod’s Crypt can stop a player that is using graveyard synergies, or just come down as a 0 cost artifact which can draw a card as long as you have Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain in play; sure it’s not great, but it’s not entirely useless either. Master Transmuter can put any artifact into play for the low cost of 1 blue mana and returning an artifact to your hand. This can basically turn a humble mana rock like Sol Ring into a mighty Wurmcoil Engine. Phyrexian Metamorph can then double the fun by copying any artifact or creature in play, including your opponent’s.
Some other ideas about artifacts to include are equipment. Bone Saw and Accorder’s Shield don’t have a lot to offer, but they are very cheap and casting one with Jhoira in play gets you a free card. Throwing a Skullclamp into the mix helps accelerate card draw in a build that can make a lot of tokens, more on that later. Any of the swords of ___ and ___ from Mirrodin or Modern Horizons will be great additions as they all give a power/toughness boost, protection from two of the five colors, and a good combat damage trigger. You could also run Vehicles like the Weatherlight itself.
Although creating artifact tokens won’t draw cards with Jhoira, token centered builds are possible and they can get out of control just as easily as other token decks. Sai, Master Thopterist creates a 1/1 thopter token whenever you play an artifact. Saheeli Sublime Artificer makes a 1/1 servo token whenever you cast a noncreature spell. Golem Foundry gets a charge counter whenever an artifact comes into play and you can then remove 3 charge counters to make a 3/3 golem token. Karn, Scion of Urza, like Urza, Lord High Artificer, can make a 0/0 construct that gets +1/+1 for each artifact you control. And finally, you can dump all of your mana into a huge Hangarback Walker and when it’s destroyed, it makes a number of 1/1 thopter tokens equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on it. Since Hangarback Walker costs 0, you can always return it to your hand from the graveyard with Scrap Trawler. Combine that with a sacrifice outlet, like Grinding Station, and you can repeatedly make a bunch of tokens. With Urza, Lord High Artifcer in play, all those thopters can produce a blue mana to recast the walker.
Now we are getting into the more powerful and expensive artifacts. I’ve already mentioned Wurmcoil Engine which has some nasty synergies with this deck. A 6/6 with lifelink and deathtouch that leaves behind a 3/3 with deathtouch and a 3/3 with lifelink is already nuts. Metalwork Colossus is a 10/10 that costs 11 mana, but its cost is reduced by the total converted mana cost of all the noncreature artifacts you have in play which can make it free. Traxos Scourge of Kroog is a force to be reckoned with. It can only untap when you play a historic spell, but since this is an artifact centered deck it might as well have vigilance. Darksteel Forge is just a good card to have in an artifact deck. The only way an opponent can truly threaten you now is if they can exile your artifacts, and there are only 6 cards that can do that, and only 5 of them are legal in commander. Combined with Urza’s ability to create blue mana, you can steal your opponents stuff with Memnarch. This actually works better with Mycosynth Lattice as you don’t need to use Memnarch to turn the permanent into an artifact before taking control of it; otherwise it will cost 7 mana to steal one thing.
Now for ending the game. Aetherflux Reservoir can get pretty high up there when your spells cost nothing or next to nothing. It can be used at instant speed as well so you can also use it as a bargaining/political tool. With something like Wurmcoil Engine in play, you can use Masterful Replication to turn all of your artifacts into a Wurmcoil Engine, yikes. Hellkite Tyrant can win you the game if you control 20 or more artifacts, which shouldn’t be a problem for this deck, but even if you have a hard time getting to that number, it can steal all of the artifacts of any player that it deals combat damage to. Mechanized Production can make a token of the artifact its enchanting, which can be a thopter token, then when you control 8 artifacts with the same name, you win the game. With the main theme of the deck being play artifacts to draw cards, you run the risk of drawing your entire deck, so having a copy of Laboratory Maniac is a good idea, just in case.
Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain is not necessary to win with this deck, but she helps accelerate it towards victory. A deck like this doesn’t use a lot of removal. The goal is to outpace your opponents rather than interact with them. If you do want some form of interaction, counter spells are probably your best bet. With Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain as your commander, you will be ready to harness the power and knowledge of the artificer. Which commander do you want to see next? Let me know in the comments down below.