Whir of Invention | Illustration by Christine Choi
Artifacts are one of the strongest card types in Magic. There’s a reason the Power 9 is composed of six of them. Artifacts are primarily colorless cards, which lends a variety of powerful effects to any deck.
But, like any Magic card, artifacts are only good when you can cast them. This is where tutors come in, allowing you to find the perfect artifact card to enact your game plan (or halt your opponent’s) whenever you need it. So let’s check out the best artifact tutors in Magic!
What Are Artifact Tutors in MTG?
Enlightened Tutor (Eternal Masters) | Illustration by Howard Lyon
Artifact tutors are cards that let you search your library for an artifact card and put it into your hand. They can also put it directly onto the battlefield or even into the graveyard. The important part of these cards is that they let you find an artifact from your deck and give you access to it without having to draw it naturally.
They’re powerful because they increase the consistency of your deck. Reducing variance lets you play out your game plan and impede your opponent’s plans far more effectively. Tutors function like extra copies of your best and most important cards. What could be better than that?
Best White Artifact Tutors
#2. Oswald Fiddlebender
Oswald Fiddlebender is a nifty little card. Basically Birthing Pod but for artifacts, it lets you turn the littlest artifacts on your board into the biggest ones in your deck.
This card does two very powerful things. It sacrifices your artifacts to enable death triggers, and puts the tutored card right into play for immediate impact and value.
#1. Enlightened Tutor
Enlightened Tutor isn’t just white’s best artifact tutor, but one of the best artifact tutors in general. Putting the tutored card on top of your library means you need to plan out your sequence of plays, but it’s worth it to find any artifact for a single white mana at instant speed.
Plus this card can also find enchantments for added flexibility.
Best Blue Artifact Tutors
#14. Renowned Weaponsmith
Renowned Weaponsmith can generate a substantial mana advantage as a card in an artifact-matters deck. A Sol Ring-esque card, even just for artifacts, is nothing to sneeze at.
But as a tutor? This card is so narrow that it’s more of a mana dork. A blue mana dork, which is unique, but a mana dork nonetheless.
#13. Anchor to Reality
Rather like Renowned Weaponsmith, Anchor to Reality’s main weakness comes from its narrow scope. Only getting equipment and vehicle cards means this card only works in specific decks.
That said, there are powerful equipment like Skullclamp and the Swords, and Anchor to Reality puts them straight into play, so there’s utility here.
#12. Artificer’s Intuition
This is an interesting little card. Artificer’s Intuition allows you to find cheap artifacts by discarding artifacts from your hand. It’s also important to note that this is a repeatable ability. You can use it as many times as you’d like.
It also stockpiles your graveyard with artifacts for cards that care about that, like Replenish.
Tutors that put their target directly into play are always strong. That said, Reshape costs a lot. It effectively tacks onto whatever you’re searching for, meaning you’ll struggle to have the mana for more expensive artifacts.
Making you sacrifice an artifact as an additional cost is just another price you have to pay and makes this a two-for-one if an opponent counters it, making it a weaker choice.
Fabricate is the cleanest, most literal example of an artifact tutor here. You find an artifact from your library and put it into your hand. But three mana is a lot for this effect, and being sorcery speed also hurts this card’s playability a bit.
It’s worth running, just not super exciting.
#9. Treasure Mage
Treasure Mage is also three mana and sorcery speed, but it does leave a body behind, and flicker effects let you get multiple uses out of its ability. There are several Mages that tutor for artifacts, but this card only getting expensive artifacts gives it a little less utility than its contemporaries.
Big artifacts are great for ending games but don’t help if you’re missing land drops or looking to play this early.
#8. Trophy Mage
Trophy Mage can help the early game. You can presumably cast anything you find off it since you cast the Mage, which could include mana rocks like Chromatic Lantern and Worn Powerstone, or disruptive pieces like Trinisphere and Static Orb.
#7. Tezzeret the Seeker
The first planeswalker on the list, Tezzeret the Seeker is fairly expensive but has the benefit of putting the artifact directly into play. Its first loyalty ability also helps offset its cost by untapping any mana rocks you might have used to play it, and it’s got an ultimate that can win a game.
#6. Tribute Mage
Like Trophy Mage, Tribute Mage benefits from finding cards you can always cast since you had the mana for this one. Finding artifacts with a mana value of 2 is also very useful in EDH since most of the mana rocks that see play in that format cost two mana, like the Signets and the Talismans.
#5. Transmute Artifact
Transmute Artifact is a little wordy but quite strong. It can turn a larger artifact into a smaller one right away, or turn a smaller artifact into a more expensive one with a bit of a mana investment.
This is similar to Reshape, except it gives you far more options and can just tutor an artifact into your graveyard for .
#4. Arcum Daggson
Putting the tutored card into play is super strong, and Arcum Dagsson doesn’t even require a mana investment to do this. It requires some deckbuilding foresight since it needs both artifact creatures to sacrifice and noncreature artifacts to tutor for, but that’s a deckbuilding requirement well worth building around when the card can turn your measly little Thopter token into a Bolas’s Citadel or Portal to Phyrexia.
#3. Trinket Mage
The last of the Mages, Trinket Mage is also the best because it can find some of the best artifacts. Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Sol Ring, Chalice of the Void, Grafdigger’s Cage… the list of targets goes on and on.
With better hits than any of its peers, this card is easily the best Mage and just one of the best artifact tutors.
People who play Vintage and Vintage Cube are likely familiar with Tinker’s insane power. So powerful, in fact, that it’s been banned in every sanctioned format except Vintage, and it’s restricted there. It costs next to nothing and takes almost no setup to use this on turn 2 or 3 to deliver an incredibly powerful threat.
Tinker could arguably top this list if, you know, it was playable and not banned virtually everywhere.
#1. Whir of Invention
Costing triple blue makes Whir of Invention one of the more mana-intensive cards on this list, but it more than makes up for it in sheer utility. It doesn’t just put the tutored card into play but can be cast at instant speed. Did an opponent cast a troublesome planeswalker? Grab Pithing Needle before it resolves, and your opponent gets no use out of it.
Improvise offsets the amount of mana you need by letting you tap artifacts you don’t need untapped like Void Mirror and Damping Sphere, making this super well-rounded and insanely strong.
Best Black Artifact Tutor
#1. Disciples of Gix
Black gets one lonely artifact tutor, but it beats out green without any. Disciples of Gix sends the tutored cards straight into the graveyard, working well with reanimation and recursion effects like Open the Vaults.
Best Red Artifact Tutors
#3. Hoarding Dragon
Hoarding Dragon is a fairly unique tutor. It doesn’t give you immediate access to the card, exiling it until the Dragon dies. It poses an interesting conundrum for your opponents: let you have a 4/4 flier, or deal with the artifact you exiled?
One drawback is that the Dragon has to die to get the artifact back. If it gets removed from the battlefield by other means, that card remains exiled.
#2. Goblin Engineer
Goblin Engineer is another card that pitches the artifact straight into your graveyard, but it can get a cheap artifact back with its activated ability. Sending the tutored card into the ‘yard is a boon for red, which already wants to interact with artifacts in its graveyard.
This card works great with other red recursive spells like Trash for Treasure and Daretti, Scrap Savant.
#1. Magda, Brazen Outlaw
Topping off the list is one heck of a dwarf. Magda, Brazen Outlaw is an incredibly solid turn 2 play, exerting pressure on your opponents while generating mana in the form of Treasures.
Its tutor ability is also very strong. It takes very little work to create five Treasures, and the utility of finding artifacts or dragons without any restrictions makes it easy to end a game with Magda.
Best Multicolored Artifact Tutors
#4. Mishra, Artificer Prodigy
Mishra, Artificer Prodigy is a fascinating little card. It doesn’t do much in Commander (kind of nothing, really), but the ability to tutor multiple copies of the same artifact to the battlefield is intriguing.
It doesn’t just search your library, either. Searching through multiple zones at once makes this an efficient card, even if it has high deckbuilding requirements.
#3. Sphinx Summoner
Sphinx Summoner is just simple, clean value. It’s a little expensive at five mana, but it finds another artifact creature and pressures opponents with flying. And flicker shenanigans allow you to get a ton of value out of this card by finding more and more creatures since this is an enters-the-battlefield ability.
#2. Saheeli Rai
Saheeli Rai’s -2 might have broken Standard at one point, but its ultimate is an obscene artifact tutor. We’ve talked at length about how putting one artifact into play is good, so how about putting three into play?
It does take a lot to get it to that point, but dropping three artifacts onto the battlefield can end the game.
#1. Nahiri, the Harbinger
Speaking of game-ending ultimate, Nahiri, the Harbinger can remove a player from the table in the blink of an eye. No blockers? Hello, Blightsteel Colossus. Troublesome permanents? Drop a Cityscape Leveler on somebody.
This card is also massively flexible since it finds artifacts or creatures. You need to recast them, but that can be a boon for cards with cast triggers like Emrakul, the Promised End.
Best Colorless Artifact Tutors
#9. Treasure Chest
Treasure Chest tutors any card into your hand or an artifact straight to the battlefield… five percent of the time. But it can also create a powerful burst of mana or draw you a bunch of cards far more often.
This card isn’t exactly good, but it’s certainly fun to play with.
#8. Skyship Weatherlight
Rather like Hoarding Dragon, Skyship Weatherlight makes you work a little for your tutored artifacts. Hitting multiple targets is good, but the randomness of the second activated ability makes it trickier to use. The more artifacts you remove, the less likely you’ll get the one you need, but then you’ll have access to more cards over the course of the game.
This is probably too expensive to be useful, but it could be fun.
#7. Myr Turbine
Myr Turbine is fairly narrow with its tutoring ability, but putting cards like Myr Battlesphere into play is pretty powerful. It also works really well with cards that alter creature types like Maskwood Nexus and Arcane Adaptation.
#6. Moonsilver Key
Moonsilver Key is a pretty cheap (if narrow) tutor. The flexibility of finding mana rocks or basic lands is nice, and it costs virtually nothing to activate this card.
A second copy of Mana Crypt or Sol Ring is good, especially when this can also fix your mana and trigger any abilities that care about artifacts dying.
#5. Vexing Puzzlebox
Vexing Puzzlebox will find any artifact and put it straight on the battlefield for no mana but a lot of time. It takes a while to accumulate 100 counters to find your best artifact.
Kind of like Treasure Chest, this card is more fun than good. But the influx of new proliferate cards in Phyrexia: All Will Be One could make this far more viable.
#4. Scrapyard Recombiner
Scrapyard Recombiner is a tribal card, but Constructs are artifact creatures. It can sacrifice itself to trigger modular, or sacrifice other creatures with modular to trigger their ability.
Altogether a useful if narrow card that, again, works really well with Maskwood Nexus and friends.
#3. Kuldotha Forgemaster
Kuldotha Forgemaster is another card that puts an artifact right into play without costing any mana. Sacrificing three other artifacts can be a lot, but the Forgemaster can sacrifice itself to make it easier.
Since this is an activated ability it also means that most counterspells can’t stop the oncoming artifact.
#2. Inventors’ Fair
Speaking of activated abilities, Inventors’ Fair lets you find any artifact by paying some mana and sacrificing it once you have three or more artifacts. It also gains life at the three artifact threshold, giving it some extra utility.
Going down a land generally won’t hurt an artifact-centric deck too much either since they tend to either ramp really hard or run a ton of cheap spells.
#1. Urza’s Saga
Crowning the colorless artifact tutors is Urza’s Saga. It takes a few turns for the tutor to go into effect, but it hits all those best artifacts listed with Trinket Mage, and even puts them into play.
The second chapter’s ability also lets this card develop a massive threat while finding those wonderful cards. And the tutor ability doesn’t even cost mana. This card is busted.
Best Artifact Tutor Payoffs
While finding artifacts is great value, tutors are only as good as the cards they get. The best cards to tutor for are artifacts that either function as silver bullets to stop your opponent’s gameplan, or ones that win you the game. Cards like Pithing Needle, Grafdigger’s Cage, and Void Mirror are powerful disruptive pieces that put in a lot of work to stop your opponents.
Tutors that put expensive artifacts into play are also great for deploying powerful threats like Bolas’s Citadel and Portal to Phyrexia well before you could actually hard cast those cards. You can also find game-ending combo pieces. For example, the combination of Etherium Sculptor, The Reality Chip, and Sensei’s Divining Top allows you to draw your entire library and win with Thassa’s Oracle, and all of those pieces can be found with the artifact tutors listed above.
Inventors’ Fair (Kaladesh) | Illustration by Jonas De Ro
Artifacts are one of Magic’s strongest card types, and the ability to find the one you need when you need it makes artifact tutors powerful themselves. Between finding silver bullet answers to super specific threats and getting game-ending threats of your own, artifact tutors offer incredible consistency and flexibility to artifact-centric decks.
That said, it’s important to remember that tutors are only as good as the cards they tutor for. If the only artifacts in your deck are a handful of Signets, it’s probably not worth running some of these cards.
What did you all think of my rankings? Is there anything you’d change? Let me know in the comments below or over in the Draftsim Discord.
That’s all from me for now. Stay safe, stay healthy, and wash your hands!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: