Getting Muddy

Ali Aintrazi provides you with a primer on Metalworker, a deck he played to the Top 32 of Legacy at #SCGBALT and which he thinks is well positioned for #SCGPHL.

Cling . . . clang . . . bang . . .

Ali: "Dude, what are you doing?!"

Welder: "Working, boss! Working for you. I’m making you a gift! You’re gonna like it this time, I promise!"

Ali: "Uhhh . . . where’s my Lodestone Golem?"

Welder: "I wrecked your metal guy, boss. But look, I made you an ashtray! He wasn’t that friendly anyway. He made me cost more."

Ali: "Sigh . . . I’ve gotta teach you the ways of metalworking, young one. Pull up a chair, stop tinkering, and listen up."

So you want to learn about Metalworker in Legacy. That’s why you’re here, right? Before we start, let me just say Metalworker is hands down my favorite deck in Legacy. It can play as the aggressive deck, the prison deck, or the control deck. This may surprise you, but my favorite style of Magic deck isn’t ramp or control—it’s actually prison decks. I just want to lock my opponent out of the game completely. This kind of Magic is almost always one-sided fun. As my good friend Bob would say, "Fun, at any cost."

I think . . .

Here is the list I played at the StarCityGames.com Legacy Open in Baltimore:

For what it’s worth, I was 6-2 going into the final round. I decided to draw with Ben Friedman to lock up money; I had no idea that two X-2s would make Top 8 thanks to Brian Bruin-Duin unintentionally drawing his match. The losses I had were 100% my fault since I was rusty in Legacy.

This is the list I would play in the future, with the exception of cutting Staff of Domination completely from the maindeck and adding the third Blood Moon. Decks are so greedy in Legacy right now. I mean, come on—have you seen [author name="Drew Levin"]Drew Levin’s[/author] five-color Pyromancer deck? It does look pretty sweet. Sweet, but super greedy.

How Does This Deck Work?

If you’re unfamiliar with Metalworker (I’m sorry) let’s talk about it real quick. The deck tries to cast big threats extremely quickly in the form of artifacts. It has multiple ways to do this with actual Metalworker, Grim Monolith, eight Sol lands in Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors, and three Lotus Petals. These all allow you to easily power out your big threats or accelerate you into a very early Blood Moon or a Chalice of the Void on one.

Even though Metalworker speeds you up and lets you generate a ton of mana, Goblin Welder is the bread and butter of the deck. With a Welder in play, you no longer have to fear countermagic or artifact hate since you can start Welding out your crappy artifacts for Wurmcoil Engine. You just need one Wurmcoil to get the party started. The deck can also power out a turn 1 or 2 Lodestone Golem, putting the brakes on all decks and halting Storm and Belcher strategies altogether. This deck has all the tools to shut down any deck, especially after sideboarding.

Let’s take a look at a few cards.

Key Cards

Kuldotha Forgemaster: Tinker is banned in pretty much every Magic format ever. While Kuldotha Forgemaster is nowhere near the power level of Tinker, one activation will usually end the game for you. You can tutor up the second or third Lodestone Golem, get Wurmcoil Engine so you and Gloria Estefan can turn that beat around, or can send your opponent to the Stone Age by getting a Sundering Titan—fun for everyone involved.

Lodestone Golem: This card isn’t too exciting, but it brings the beats and brings them hard. Getting one online is annoying for your opponent, but if you have two out, you might as well have written their name in Death Note.

Metalworker: My baby! If you ever untap with this cutie, your opponent is in for a world of hurt. You can easily jam twelve mana’s worth of spells if your opponent is kind enough to let it stay in play.

Goblin Welder: Sigh. I never really truly appreciated Welder until I started playing with it more. While it may not be as important as Metalworker in the early game, during the mid and late game it completely and utterly takes over a game—not to mention it makes Force of Will look like a complete joke. The Commodores would say that he is a Brick House.

Cavern of Souls: The rest of the lands are pretty self-explanatory I think. While Cavern is a little obvious, you may not know some things about it. Things to note: Metalworker is a Construct along with Kuldotha Forgemaster. Lodestone Golem and Sundering Titan are both Golems. We also abuse this by running the full amount of Wurmcoil Engines. Last but not least, Cavern of Souls lets you resolve your Goblin Welders—even if you’ve already cast Chalice of the Void for one. Pretty spicy!

Chalice of the Void: I used to only play three of this card maindeck or played it in the board only. Mistake. Mistake. Mistake. Don’t run less than four. This card is so bonkers! It shuts down so many decks when you play it for one and protects your guys from Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, and most of the relevant discard spells in the format.

The better you know your opponent’s deck, the more you can abuse this card. For instance, a Chalice on one against Storm is very good, but against Belcher it’s not nearly as good. Against them you want to Chalice for zero right away. I played against a Veteran Explorer deck, and by game 2 I quickly learned what the sweet spot for Chalice was. It was three, as three shut down his Vendilion Cliques, Eternal Witnesses, and the dreaded Pernicious Deed.

Sensei’s Divining Top: The first copy of this card is always nice to have. It also combos well with Voltaic Key, allowing you to draw an extra card with the Top. It plays sweet with a Forgemaster as well since you can activate it to draw a card, maintain priority, and then sacrifice it to Forgemaster. This way you get to tutor for an artifact and draw a card.

Lightning Greaves: Ellie Goulding wears these sweet boots when she sings "Starry Eyed," so please tell me why your creatures shouldn’t. Yeah . . . thought so.

Lotus Petal: I’ve found Petal to be better than Mox Diamond and Mox Opal. You really need the extra mana on turns 1 and 2. Mox Opal doesn’t do that, and Mox Diamond is too conditional—I never felt safe playing it alongside twenty lands. Lotus Petal also instantly turns on your Goblin Welders, allowing you make all the Wurms. Can you imagine how strong Black Lotus is? So many Legacy decks play this card, and it’s so much worse than Lotus.

Duplicant: Another card for the Show and Tell decks. All the cards do pretty much the same thing, but I like to diversify my hate. This answer actually kills them too if they drop an Emrakul.

Blood Moon: This card just destroys so many decks in Legacy. A lot of the format is so very greedy right now. If you paid attention to my good friend Jonathan Suarez, he won many a game by resolving a turn 1 Blood Moon and painting the world red in Baltimore. Oh! You came here to play Magic? That’s cute.

Voltaic Key: This card isn’t too exciting, but it does what it does. It used to be better when you needed to cast that Blightsteel Colossus in your hand and the only way to do it was with Key and some mana accelerant like Metalworker, Grim Monolith, or Thran Dynamo. Now it just lets you use your Monoliths over and over, allows you to draw extra cards with Sensei’s Divining Top, and gives one of your creatures pseudo-vigilance (you’ll catch someone at least once by untapping your Wurmcoil Engine).

Bottled Cloister: Very good against decks that want to rip your hand apart, it acts as an Ignorant Bliss every turn. It’s not like you’re countering spells anyway or have any instants in your deck.

Ensnaring Bridge: Another prison card. This is usually enough to put Show and Tell away. It also buys you a lot of time against midrange/aggro decks.

Steel Hellkite: For annoying little green men, Goblins [Editor’s Note: . . . ], or an annoying permanent.

Spine of Ish Sah: Very good against Show and Tell decks and another way to instantly deal with a troublesome permanents. If it didn’t go back to your hand, I would have one maindeck for Goblin Welder to tinker with. Going back to your hand isn’t always bad, but I’d rather it stay in the graveyard.

Karn Liberated: I like Karn against slower Jace decks and decks that try to grind you out. Seven mana isn’t too bad for this deck. Have you seen the average converted mana cost of this deck? I haven’t either, but I assume it’s pretty high.

Trinisphere: I want to play a Commander game. Can we please slow down? I need to cast my big cards. Trinisphere is mostly for Storm decks, but it also works decently well against Omniscience.

Platinum Emperion: When keeping it real goes wrong. I DON’T LIKE PEOPLE MESSING WITH MY LIFE TOTAL! You want this card when Wurmcoil may not be enough—like against Goblins, Elves, and other decks that can attack you for approximately 29,851,496,516 life.

Honorable Mentions

Gamble: I really like this card, but it’s a huge nonbo with Chalice of the Void and Chalice is much stronger right now than Gamble is.

Blightsteel Colossus: I’ve played one too many games where this guy just rotted in my hand. If you noticed, it’s not even in the sideboard because I don’t ever really want it against anything. The only decks I may want it are against Pernicious Deed decks or Jund. Even then Wurmcoil is usually enough, and Wurmcoil is actually castable.

Trinisphere: I feel like Blood Moon is much better right now in the maindeck. It shuts down many more decks than Trinisphere.

Crucible of Worlds: We’re not playing Mox Diamond anymore. I know this can recur Wastelands, but again Blood Moon is better than Crucible right now.

Phyrexian Revoker: A very strong card indeed. I used to play it, but I just feel like I want to jam big threats and ask "can you deal with this?" instead of playing in answer card like Revoker. Its clock is also like molasses.

Myr Battlesphere: A solid card against Jace decks. It also works really well with Metalworker. I can actually see this card sliding into the board or even the maindeck. The maindeck is very tight though.

There are infinite sideboard options we could have like Ratchet Bomb, Defense Grid, Sword of X and X, All Is Dust, Cursed Totem, Spellskite, Batterskull, Mindslaver, Phyrexian Metamorph, Staff of Nin, all the artifact graveyard hate, Silent Arbiter, and the list goes on. I didn’t play any graveyard hate because I didn’t want to fill up four or more sideboard slots. Also, Ensnaring Bridge does a number against Dredge decks. You just have to adjust depending on what decks are seeing play. Be a chameleon—adapt.

Why Should I Play This Deck?

What’s wrong with you? You need more reason to play this deck? Fine. Most of the current Legacy metagame is all combo or midrange, and this deck is suited very well against those types of strategies. Batterskull meet Wurmcoil Engine. Deathrite Shaman doesn’t completely wreck your deck. A Chalice for one is almost a free win against so many decks, as is Blood Moon. Come on . . . you’re casting Wurmcoil Engine in Legacy. Go have some fun!

Thanks for reading; if you have any questions or comments, you know where to leave them!

Ali, World Eater