Deck Tech – Muzzio, Visionary Architect

Hey guys, Unmistakable here,

When considering my first contribution to the blog, it felt pertinent to write a deck tech on one of my favourite decks, which contributed to the blog’s namesake; a quickly assembling deck that forgoes mono-blue’s affinity (heh, affinity) for noncreature means of winning, instead embracing the artificial, and constructing (heh, constructing) your win condition out of thin air.And so, I present to you, Muzzio’s Workshop,

Why Muzzio?

  This is a question that I’ve considered at length. Isn’t he just a more inconsistent Arcum Dagsson? Well, yes and no. Dagsson offers the consistent construction of an engine via Myr Turbine to set up one of the many artifact-based board locks. But, it’s not quite swinging at the face with my good pal Blightsteel colossus. Similarly, Dagsson would require the cutting of ALL of the large artifact beasties that I built the deck around, ultimately building an entirely new deck to take advantage of the new commander; ultimately this was deemed unnecessary.
   So that’s why not others, here’s Why Muzzio?:
– You like stomping for your win con.
– You like big mana.
– You prefer protecting your board with counterspells over being proactive.
– When push comes to shove, you enjoy playing two players at the same time with a Mindslaver lock. (I’ve done it, it feels absolutely great)
I’d say that’s a pretty compelling argument for Mono-Blue artifacts as an archetype; Muzzio allows you to pull one of those off the top for free as early as turn 3. The randomness of the ability is what tips it for me, as Muzzio is a casual, easy to pilot deck that offers a more traditional approach to commander when your combo decks aren’t scratching that itch.

The Deck

The deck itself can be split into segments:

The Threats

Blightsteel Colossus – I’ll start with the big cheese. The harbinger of the end times. The Storymaker. This is the threat the table dreads to see get cheated into play at the end of the previous player’s turn. It signifies death, and it delivers it quickly. It’s the reason to play Muzzio.
Colossus of Akros – This one is contentious, and may leave for something else. For now though, it’s one hell of a wall, is an 8 cmc indestructible artifact for future muzzio interactions, and presents a VERY quick clock if you sink your additional (copious) mana into him lategame. He does work.
Darksteel Colossus – Blightsteel lite. The ‘Oh, thats bad, but it’s not THAT bad’. It’s a resilient, trampling threat, but it doesn’t kill as fast as its big brother. He signifies the game is ending soon, but your opponents have time to react. Aim this squarely at the person who needs to be kept down.
Darksteel Juggernaut – Another fantastic indestructible artifact that threatens to end the game. Synergises well with token producers such as the Battlesphere or Mirrorworks, and can be a tool for politics due to its forced attacking. Use with caution, but definitely use.
Memnarch – Depending on who you ask, this may be the most terrifying card in the deck. When combined with a large amount of mana, he can still your opponent’s board, lands and all. Of course, stealing lands fuels future activations, making a resolved Memnarch one of the most uncomfortable experiences your table can receive.
Mindslaver – This is one of my favourites. Be warned, finding this WILL make a target of you – but timed correctly with Academy Ruins out, you will be able to loop a mindslaver lock, effectively playing two decks at the same time. One of the most satisfying feelings in Magic, this has won me many games.
Myr Battlesphere – Surprise army. Hard-hitting, high toughness, bypasses blockers, offers artifact tokens for a free tutor with Kuldotha Forgemaster. Not as flashy as the others, but an intimidating workhorse.
Platinum Angel – A unique effect that offers an evasive body as well as decreeing that you genuinely can’t die. Empty Libraries, negative life totals, fifty poison counters – she doesn’t care. She tells you to keep going. Combined with Darksteel Forge, can make for a very awkward situation for your table.
Steel Hellkite – Evasive game ender, the bane of tokens. Make no mistake, the dragon isn’t splashy, but he threatens to close out the game the same as any other on this list.
Wurmcoil Engine – Modern allstar, this is an excellent recursion target, as well as a resilient threat that makes combat a daunting proposition.
The Utility Artifacts
 
These are the artifacts that don’t end the game, but provide a board presence. They provide a cmc for muzzio, helpful effects such as flash or indestructible, and make your job easier.
Vedalken OrreryShimmer Myr – Flash is a powerful and often understated keyword. The ability to drop blockers at instant speed, or a Darksteel Forge in the path of a boardwipe can be a huge tempo swing. It also makes the mono-blue player with a heap of untapped mana even more unpredictable.
Clock of OmensVoltaic KeyUnwinding Clock – Untapping artifacts is incredibly powerful. It means your tapped creatures are never out of the question to block, it allows for less reaction to a Nevinyrral’s Disk, and if you have a Mycosynth Lattice (Which I don’t – yet) it offers an extra activation of muzzio – each turn in the clock’s case.
Etherium Sculptor, Wayfarer’s BaubleSolemn SimulacrumBurnished Hart – Typically used for their ramping properties, these are good for cmc providers after they’ve been utilised.
DuplicantNevinyrral’s DiskSpine of Ish Sah – Artifact based removal gives us access to some of the biggest proactive answers we have – that muzzio enables at instant speed. Being artifacts also allow for recursion after use (The disk also allows for a softlock in conjunction with the forge too).
Darksteel ForgeSwiftfoot BootsLightning Greaves – Protection for the gameplan. The boots are mostly for Muzzio, but can be used as haste enablers for your threats (I don’t know, like a colossus would be good with haste I guess); the Forge makes all of your threats indestructible which gives some inevitability; it also allows for the Disk softlock of leaving your field unscathed while obliterating every nonplaneswalker your opponents play.
Kuldotha ForgemasterMaster Transmuter – Sometimes threats get stuck out of reach of your commander. Be it in your hand, or in your deck not in the top ~7 cards, these cards will find them for you. Definitely note: neither of them require to be sacrificed or bounced; with untapping shenanigans you can obtain multiple activations a turn.
Mirrorworks – A throwback to the Tezzeret deck in the Magic Duels games, this artifact is very valuable. Doubling mana rocks and threats present a large amount of value in a very short amount of time (particularly as the untapped rocks can pay for the trigger to create an untapped rock too)
Myr Retriever– A fantastic little chump blocker that ends up being recursion, as well as a 2 cmc artifact until his time comes. A lot of value in a small package.
Phyrexian Metamorph – A catchall clone that provides flexibility and value. It can be an extra colossus, an extra duplicant/spine, or it can be an enemy commander/threat of equal value.

Staff of Nin – One of my favourites of the utility artifacts, provides a flexible ping that destroys dorks, tokens, or provides a clock; though, the best part of it is drawing two cards a turn. Filtering through land veins and providing you with more interaction is a fantastic trait.

Mana Artifacts

Sol RingThran DynamoMind StoneSky DiamondGilded Lotus – Your standard suite of mana rocks. Accelerate your game plan, help get threats out of your hand by allowing you to hardcast them mid-to-late game. Special mention to Gilded Lotus for allowing you to tap out your lands but still hold up counterspell mana.

Extraplanar LensCaged Sun – The quintessential mana doublers. I’ve elected out of other doublers such as Gauntlet of Power due to budget concerns and the fact that eventually turning my manabase into snow-covered islands will cut out the symmetry of extraplanar lens, which is my main concern.

Interaction

CounterspellDismissDissipateDissolveHinderRewindSpell CrumpleStoic Rebuttal – The counter suite. All of the good hard counters are here, some with additional utility such as exile or tuck. Rewind is in the deck as it frees up 8 mana with a mana doubler.

Acquire – A contentious pick; I may change this for Bribery in the future, but the synergy with Muzzio is fantastic. For 5 mana, you can immediately enable muzzio, as well as stealing their best artifacts (between Mana rocks, Sac outlets, Bombs, Birthing pods, there are plenty of targets); its really a meta pick.

Argivian Restoration – A fantastic tech card that nobody seems to have heard of; it’s a cheap way to recur any artifact (that isn’t a colossus) for a flat rate. It’s an excellent way to make sure your guys don’t stay dead.

Cyclonic Rift – Solid blue staple; a well timed rift can just be game over for the table, or just generally blowouts vs developed boardstates. Great tutor target, and often just the emergency button you need.

Rapid Hybridization – Efficiently costed spot removal in blue. Deals with problem creatures as and when you need to; when you’re gumming up the ground with colossi and juggernauts the token is hardly of consequence to you.

Tutors

Fabricate – When playing an artifact deck, it makes sense to play the best unconditional Artifact tutor since Tinker (Regretfully banned in EDH (for me, anyway)). Often searches up a doubler or a rock, but can provide a threat if your board presence ends up lacking mid-late game.

Long-term Plans – A tutor with a very particular purpose: putting large artifacts into your deck close to the top interacts VERY favourably with your commander’s ability (can even be cast at instant speed to help with end-of-turn shenanigans). As an alternate use, it can get ANY card and put it within the reach of Brainstorm or Fact or Fiction. Justified its inclusion in the deck after the first use.

Mystical Tutor – An instant speed tutor which allows the fetching of any spell – most likely a counter or Cyclonic rift, but the spell toolbox is flexible enough to account for most situations.

Tezzeret the Seeker – I put this under tutors because that is 90% of what it is. Most of the time my favourite use for this is tutoring for Unwinding Clock, He provides a lot more utility on top of that; untapping your rocks and pseudo-vigilance to your threats is nothing to sniff at… it just so happens that unwinding clock provides both of those things even after Tezzeret hits the yard.

Treasure Mage – My least favourite tutor; its most common targets end up being Caged Sun or a niche tech card like Duplicant or Steel Hellkite. The most unfortunate part is that he’s not the greatest in your opener, as often the target sits in your hand doing nothing until you have the mana.

Trinket Mage – The spicier of the two magi. Has a number of excellent targets; Sol ring, Seat of the Synod, Darksteel Citadel, can even fetch Top if your budget allows (currently mine is in another list, but it would be great here). can often also play the target almost straight away.

Card Quality

Brainstorm – A well warranted staple of Muzzio; allows you to see more cards while putting expensive cards back on top, to either shuffle away with a tutor or to flip off the top with your commander.

Fact or Fiction – An incredibly efficient card draw spell, the benefit of this over any other spell of its ilk is that no matter what the piles are, you always get what you want (Looking at you, Steam Augury and Epiphany at the Drownyard), while being able to generate a lot of card advantage at instant speed (Oh yeah, that’s there too.)

Rhystic Study – A perennial blue staple; a ridiculous amount of card advantage that can be fired and pays for itself after at least 2 triggers. As a rule of thumb though; do NOT make a point of calling out EVERY trigger. It’ll make you or the enchantment a big target, just to get you to shut up.

Thirst for Knowledge – Another instant-speed draw mechanism that is good if you pitch two unneeded cards, or great if you pitch a weak artifact. Pitching a bomb if you see Argivian Restoration is also a fantastic way to set up pressure plays early on in the game.

– Sensei’s Divining Top: This little artifact is a staple of any commander deck, really. Powerful topdeck manipulation, this legacy staple allows your top 3 cards to become an extension of your hand. It allows you to put artifacts to the very top of your deck to make live hits off of low cmc activations (Say, for example, you could only activate with an artifact with a converted mana cost of 1 on the field), and it also allows you to manipulate your library to make Long-term Plans into an instant speed Demonic Tutor.

Lands

I won’t go into deep detail on the lands, but there are a few solid examples to note. Academy Ruins allows a cheap (to the tune of 12 mana) lock with Mindslaver. Also allows for the constant reuse of your bombs and utility creatures; making the deck incredibly resilient to removal and boardwipes. The other land I would like to note is Phyrexia’s Core. An unassuming land, It serves as a very cheap way to tuck your colossi back into the deck if you’re facing exile-based removal. It adds to the deck’s resiliency in such an unassuming way, I can’t help but appreciate it.

Discussion

As a gameplan, the deck plays consistently but different; You ramp in the early game, you are ramping, hitting land drops, holding up mana. Drop your commander, pick your win condition off the top of the library. Sometimes it’ll be Blightsteel Colossus, sometimes it’ll be Memnarch, sometimes it’ll be Mindslaver. The outcome differs, and that makes it interesting. Sometimes it’ll be none of the above, and you’ll duplicate your flips with Mirrorworks and win through sheer outvaluing of your opponents. The list in its current incarnation is restricted by budget constraints, but if somebody looked to upgrade the list, a small list would include:

– Vedalken Shackles:When your opponent’s best threats become your best threats, it can create some very interesting scenarios.
– Mycosynth Lattice: The artifact interactions in this deck are countless; the more the list is examined, the more plentiful the interactions. It enables lands to be destroyed with Nevinyrral’s Disk, it allows your ENTIRE FIELD (lands, commander et al) to be untapped at each upkeep with Unwinding Clock; that Prophet of Kruphix is banned is surely testament to the power of that quality. Darksteel Forge makes your field indestructible – with afforementioned Disk synergy, it creates a hard lock where you keep your field and nobody else does. It also has another handy synergy with another card on the list…
– …Karn, Silver Golem. He’s on the considerations list for multiple reasons; Turning your high cmc noncreatures into large blockers/attackers at short notice is fantastic, a quite literal wall is nothing to be sniffed at either. The main reason he is here though, is the synergy with the Lattice. With both of these online, Karn’s ability becomes ‘1: Destroy target land.’. Through this, you can create an incredibly lopsided, hostile environment for traditional decks, and grind out opponents through mana deprivation while you continue churning threats out.
– Finally, The Blue Fetchlands: This set of cards is a necessity on the way to full optimisation. The shuffle effects offer (arguably negligible) amounts of deck thinning, increasing the probability of live flips and draws, as well as providing the shuffle effects requested by Brainstorm or Sensei’s Divining Top.

That’s it for me now folks, if you feel like leaving a comment, feedback on the writing style would be appreciated. Anything that you would like more detail about? Less detail? I’d love to hear what you think. For now, Unmistakable out.

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