Welcome friends! Do you like to lay low and appear to durdle while you set up your win conditions? Do you like to cheat big fatty artifacts onto the battlefield? Do you like to play politics? How about one-sided board wipes and bluffing (or not bluffing) counterspells? Yes? You blue-blooded Island Tapper, you! Urza would be proud!
Let’s take a look at a mono blue artifact deck that should help us fly under the radar at our local game store pod games or in free for all matches with our EDH playgroup. Muzzio, Visionary Architect is a deck that I like to bring out on occasion when I know that my opponents are playing decks that will draw attention away from me or when I want to join the durdly river of others playing control. Muzzio is fairly easy to play, his ability lets us look at the top cards of our library where is equal to the highest casting cost of an artifact we have on the battlefield. We can then reveal any artifact card and put it onto the battlefield.
The trick to playing Muzzio artifacts involves politics, control and a bit of luck. Let’s begin our story!
Mono Blue Artifact Commader – Arcum vs Muzzio
I have never played or played against an Arcum Dagsson Commander deck but I have read the stories and tales of his reputation. Thanks to some degree of randomness and limitations on his ability, Muzzio, Visionary Architect is an acceptable fixed version of Dagson. Or so I am lead to believe.
Honestly, Wizards.com writer Adam Styborski put the Arcum vs Muzzio comparison into words better than I ever could, so I have included an excerpt from his Muzzio article on the Mothership, Let’s Make a Deal
Here’s what Adam had to say…
Muzzio, Visionary Architect is something a little different. He’s not a combo, but a value, engine. With the right deck construction, it’s easy to see that Muzzio will find something you can put into play almost every time you activate him. What it is will probably be random (scry and other deck-setting effects aside) and may not be exactly what you want in any situation. Compared to an effect like Treasure Trove, paying four mana to “draw” an artifact of your choice directly onto the battlefield is a great deal.
Arcum is a pure tutor while Muzzio is a value engine with randomness. Well said. So with that, lets take a look at how we can play Muzzio and maybe even alleviate some of that randomness. But first, here is the deck list!
Muzzio EDH Deck Mono Blue Artifacts
How to Play a Muzzio EDH Deck
Politics: Muzzio, as a 1/3 creature, is not menacing in the least. However, those that are familiar with his ability and how he is able to churn out mechanical creations may not want him on the board for very long. For this reason, we have to dedicate a chunk of our early game to protecting the Artificer with countermagic or playing politics. Almost everything we do, including casting Muzzio, needs to be nonchalant as not to draw attention to ourselves. If an opponent does raise an eyebrow to our commander being cast, we need to convince him/her along with the rest of the table that there is no threat here, our hand is terrible, and/or we are several turns from being able to do anything. Fearmongering may be necessary as we look to divert their attention by convincing opponents there is greater threats on the board.
How exactly does Muzzio work?
Stacking the deck: Obviously we want to flip over our key artifact pieces and win conditions on demand with the activation of Muzzio’s ability. In order to shift the percentages of luck versus strategic placement we need ways to stack the deck in our favor. One of the best cards in the entire deck for taking the randomness out of Muzzio’s ability is Long-Term Plans. LTP puts any card within the top three of our library and it’s an instant so we can cast it and activate Muzzio all at the end of an opponents turn. Blue mages will see the value of leaving mana open for countermagic (or bluffing countermagic).
Sensei’s Divining Top, Preordain, and Telling Time can provide a portion of manipulation so Muzzio is not driving blind. Looking at the top few cards of our library can provide us some insight on whether or not to try and flip an artifact into play.
What if we have an artifact in our hand that we want to cheat into play? Easy enough, let;s put it back on top of our library by using Brainstorm, Dream Cache, or the big man himself, Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Of course the best one of the bunch is Scroll Rack which is the biscuit to Muzzio’s gravy.
Most of the draw spells are included to help us stack the deck, but I might as well throw out a few honorable mentions for some oddball favorites. I love the old man, old border art of Impulse and it may very well be my favorite draw spell in the game. Also included is Staff of Nin and Mind’s Eye for their abilities to help us draw cards and the fact that they can help increase Muzzio’s digging range.
Protecting and Assembling Win Conditions
Big Machine Beatdown
The preferred way to win in this Muzzio mono blue artifact build is through combat damage. Flipping over a Darksteel Colossus or Blightsteel Colossus at end of turn will have defenseless players gulping in fear. There is also a good selection of mid-range beatsticks for us to play with such as Wurmcoil Engine and Steel Hellkite.
Sometimes our random flipation results in a few of our second stringers taking the field. Myr Battlesphere, Inkwell Leviathan, and Platinum Emperion provide intermediate threats or defense. The rest of the creature selection for the deck include fun pieces like Karn, Silver Golem, survival in the form of Platinum Angel or utility like Duplicant.
Oh, and then there is Memnarch. Yep.
Muzzio Soft Locks
There are a couple of soft locks that could help us combo off or keep the board clear for the big machines. The first option is an infinite mana combo courtesy of Basalt Monolith and Rings of Brighthearth. Once infinite mana is established, the Staff of Domination should let us set up control, dominate the board and begin the victory process. There is also the destructive tendencies of Nevinyrral’s Disk with Darksteel Forge or Soul of New Phyrexia. Honestly, that should be enough to have our friends ready to shuffle up for a new game.
Protecting the Machines
Countermagic: Obviously our opponents are going to want disrupt our plan, especially when they see the gears start to move. For that reason, we have a handful of countermagic to protect our board. as you can see, it’s your normal run-of-the-mill counterspell package with Thwart holding the place of a missing Force of Will. I feel inclined to point out that Desertion can steal and artifact from our opponent in addition to simply being used as a hard counter. Oh, and I realize Mana Drain might not be in everyone’s “run-of-the-mill” counter package, but this Italian print is a product of my recent Christmas gift cards and is an ebay special. Quite ecstatic to have it in the deck. Not only that, but Mana Drain’s colorless mana can help us get our toys on the field on our next turn.
Shroud: In addition to counterspells we have our Lightning Greaves and Neurok Stealthsuit to help keep Muzzio churning or protect our colossi from Path to Plowshares. The instant speed maneuverability of the Steathsuit makes it one of my favorite equipments for blue.
Removal: We also have a complimentary assortment of board wipes designed to put the wrench to our opponents but leaving the Visionary Artificers creations in-tact. Oblivion Stone and Nevy’s Disk blow up the board leaving behind anything protected by Darksteel Forge or one of the Colossus. All is Dust and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon can liquidate everything except non-colored permanents and we have all seen an overloaded Cyclonic Rift or two in our Commander days. The deck is a bit weak to spot removal so hopefully Spine of Ish Sha will be available to rid ourselves of anything a counterspell might have missed.
Let’s just begin by stating that there are a few overperformers in Muzzio’s Tutor Toolbox. As previously discussed, Long Term Plans can put any artifact three deep and in perfect range for Muzzio’s ability to flip it into play. Tezzeret the Seeker is an all-star and our Ring of Three Wishes prove to be plenty. Trinket Mage, Treasure Mage and Fabricate are on theme and help further our search for the deck’s archeological treasures.
Lots of Mana – Rocks and Land
It takes a lot of oil to keep the Muzzio artifact engine running so we will need plenty of extra mana sources. Seven mana rocks plus Caged Sun for doubling Island production has been sufficient thus far. The higher casting cost mana rocks have also proved quite resourceful in allowing us to dig deeper when we activate Muzzio’s ability. I have found Burnished Hart decent for early game ramp to ensure we have blue mana available and the Expedition Map is valuable when trying to dig out one of our utility lands. Metalworker, on the other hand, has been under-performing. I relate this to the lack of mass draw, so hopefully it will have it’s day to shine.
Outside of our Islands we have an array of utility lands that come in handy from time to time. Minamo, School at Water’s Edge is my newest acquisition and allows a double use of Muzzio’s ability. Although, we need to make sure that he is not equipped with our Boots or Stealthsuit since Minamo cannot target him if he has shroud. Academy Ruins is our only reusable source of recursion and can do a lot of work. Another mention is our two artifact lands Seat of the Synod and Darksteel Citadel both of which have a nice interaction with Master Transmuter as another way to cheat artifacts into play. A couple of cycling lands, Strip Mine, and Phyrexia’s Core (for a sacrifice outlet) finishes off our decklist.
Muzzio, Visionary Architect. What do you think? Have you played or played against Muzzio before? Questions Comments? Please reply below! Thanks for listening!
On to the Next!