Last updated on February 28, 2024

Teething Wurmlet - Illustration by Jesper Ejsing

Teething Wurmlet | Illustration by Jesper Ejsing

The most well-known iteration of a trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield in Magic is landfall, but there are equivalents that aren’t keyworded. There's “creaturefall” on The Great Henge, “enchantmentfall” on Verduran Enchantress, and, of course, “artifactfall.”

Artifact fall cards love seeing all those trinkety tokens like Treasure and Clues lying around, as well as all the Myr and Thopters of the world. Let’s explore this category and rank the best among them!

What Is Artifactfall in MTG?

Kappa Cannoneer - Illustration by Jesper Ejsing

Kappa Cannoneer | Illustration by Jesper Ejsing

Artifactfall refers to an effect that triggers whenever an artifact enters the battlefield under your control. Because this trigger isn’t an official keyword, there are variations of this effect.

It’s time to see what’s cooking in the artifact ETB space in case you haven’t looked at these cards as a group. Let’s take a look at all 34!

#34. Contraband Kingpin

Contraband Kingpin

Contraband Kingpin seems like it belongs in any Dimir artifacts deck, but in a world where I'm cutting Silas Renn, Seeker Adept in my Mishra, Eminent One deck because it’s not impactful enough, the Kingpin, which is not itself an artifact, can’t quite make the cut.

#33. Glaze Fiend

Glaze Fiend

This best of the cheaper Vermiculos variants is still not quite good enough to see a lot of play, but I stand by the idea of Glaze Fiend and Marionette Master decks.

#32. Veil of Assimilation

Veil of Assimilation

Better than the Glaze Fiend variants is Veil of Assimilation. Unplayed in its lightning fast Limited environment, this card appeals more in a format like Commander, where duplicating these effects or this card is much more in the artifact deck wheelhouse.

#31. Glassdust Hulk

Glassdust Hulk

This budget Kappa Cannoneer is okay. The cycling on Glassdust Hulk makes it especially intriguing for Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer decks with the right Azorius colors partner, but even then, I dunno.

#30. Ovalchase Daredevil

Ovalchase Daredevil

This is a fine card to consider for decks that like to use a slow drip of self mill, like  Greasefang, Okiba Boss or Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar along with The Underworld Cookbook. Add an Academy Manufactor and Clock of Omens to the latter and you have a combo.

#29. Junkyard Scrapper

Junkyard Scrapper

It seems like there are things that would break this Alchemy card, but Junkyard Scrapper is still a slow Centaur Courser with upside in a fast format. I can maybe see this in some kind of big red ramp deck that drops additional mana rocks, or as a tool to fetch cheaper pieces of the Aetherflux Reservoir and Mystic Forge decks, but I’m unconvinced.

#28. Legion of Clay

Legion of Clay

This Alchemy card doesn’t seem that great. I’d rather have a Defiler of Vigor than a Legion of Clay.

#27. Underhanded Designs

Underhanded Designs

Underhanded Designs is a wincon. It is a sloooooowwwwww one and having to pay that mana each time is rough. But those costs are easier to bear in an Ashnod, Flesh Mechanist deck. The usual suspects of black artifacts commanders get use out of this card, and if you can sync with other lifegain-and-drain cards, so much the better.

#26. Tetzin, Gnome Champion / The Golden-Gear Colossus

Tetzin, Gnome Champion The Golden-Gear Colossus

This one comes with an asterisk: Tetzin, Gnome Champion only triggers off double-faced artifacts, which means this is best as a commander, where it can pack in Lost Caverns of Ixalan cards, some Innistrad things over the years, and the Transformers cards. That feels like a narrow set of reasons to play this commander, and I would enjoy flipping to The Golden-Gear Colossus; I’m just not sure that’s quite a good enough payoff.

#25. Battered Golem

Battered Golem

Baby’s First Infinite Combo!

Battered Golem goes infinite with lost of other things in the slowest and durdliest of infinite combos. The classic is Banishing Knack/Retraction Helix, a 0-cost artifact and some kind of payoff.

My favorite newish version of this that might unlock those green artifacts decks is with Ashaya, Soul of the Wild and Bootleggers' Stash!

#24. Replication Specialist

Replication Specialist

This is a powerful effect, but the card is costly. Maybe this is a good inclusion in a deck like Mishra, Eminent One or Urza, Prince of Kroog where you may already be leaning into cheating out and copying big, powerful artifacts?

Where Replication Specialist will really shine is in decks that want this effect in a more color limited space, and that is the attractions commanders from Unfinity, Dee Kay, Finder of the Lost and Myra the Magnificent. Attractions are costless artifacts that enter the battlefield, and I'd think you'd like to copy them if you could. Having played this a bit, I can say it's not good. But it is so much fun.

#23. Steelfin Whale

Steelfin Whale

Steelfin Whale is nonsense, but in the best way. It’s only good for infinite combos, really, like the classic Banishing Knack/Retraction Helix and something like a Sol Ring.

#22. Confusion in the Ranks

Confusion in the Ranks

Confusion in the Ranks also triggers off enchantments and creatures, but this is important for today's list for completion’s sake. Especially in a world where artifact decks are often spamming tokens, exchanging one for something awesome is pretty cool. This begins to feel like chaos in a creature space, but you'll quickly break symmetry on this effect if you're the only artifact deck at the table.

#21. Teething Wurmlet

Teething Wurmlet

I get that green and artifacts don’t always get along, but this feels easily breakable with things like Trudge Garden. Until someone figures out the combo Teething Wurmlet remains a cute little oddity that has to go in Kibo, Uktabi Prince decks.

#20. Yotian Dissident

Yotian Dissident

Bonkers in The Brothers' War Limited, Yotian Dissident feels like it should be right at home in a Selesnya counters deck with an artifacts subtheme. No one is building that right now, but if you start with Esper Sentinel and Patchwork Automaton and imagine another type of build, I think you can find something cool in there. Toss in Lae'zel, Vlaakith's Champion as commander, with added Master Chef background?

#19. Ingenious Smith

Ingenious Smith

This has been decent in Standard and Pioneer artifacts matter or affinity decks, and I absolutely run Ingenious Smith in decks like Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle or Urza, Chief Artificer. Its own ETB is better than its artifactfall trigger, which is limited to once a turn.

That’s still better than the crop of cards in black and red that get temporary buffs when artifacts land, though.

#18. Lumengrid Sentinel

Lumengrid Sentinel

This is hardly played, but that seems like it’s because Jumpstart 2022 is its first reprint since Mirrodin. I can see Lumengrid Sentinel winning the game the turn it comes out if you have a decent boardstate and/or grip of artifacts.

#17. Gonti's Aether Heart

Gonti's Aether Heart

Yeah, okay. Gonti's Aether Heart can get out of hand. It doesn’t take much time for this to go nuts with Mishra, Eminent One, especially because you can use the Warform copy as the one you exile and start the process over again!

#16. Dragonspark Reactor

Dragonspark Reactor

Too durdly for Standard, Dragonspark Reactor is a nice quiet threat that's cheap enough to just sac as needed for your other synergies if it’s not going to work out. But it gets a little scarier for your opponents if it sticks around long enough in a deck with trigger copiers like Tawnos, Urza's Apprentice or Lithoform Engine.

#15. Elvish Archivist

Elvish Archivist

Come for he enchantress effect, stay for the even better Glaze Fiend variant. Elvish Archivist does both, which means you can get some nice synergies going in decks that like to run cards like The Witch's Vanity.

#14. Leonin Elder

Leonin Elder

Cat decks and lifegain decks sometimes want Leonin Elder, but thus far it doesn't see a lot of Commander play. But if you're playing the Transformers card Ratchet, Field Medic/Ratchet, Rescue Racer, maybe there’s a white lifegain artifacts deck to be made?

#13. Quicksmith Genius

Quicksmith Genius

Quicksmith Genius greases the wheels of artifact decks, and it's pretty key to decks that look for artifact graveyard recursion like Osgir, the Reconstructor.

#12. Transplant Theorist

Transplant Theorist

This color shifted Quicksmith is a bit better with its ETB and it’s hard-to-fathom activated ability. Really, it’s just nice that Transplant Theorist is in blue for decks that need this.

#11. Captain Storm, Cosmium Raider

Captain Storm, Cosmium Raider

An awesome card in Lost Caverns of Ixalan Limited, Captain Storm, Cosmium Raider is a fun commander, a key piece of other pirate decks in EDH, and it has a decent shot of finding a Standard deck some day.

#10. Arcbound Crusher

Arcbound Crusher

The classic affinity wincon still matters, whether or not you are playing it in Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp decks. Arcbound Crusher keeps getting bigger the more Treasures drop on the table. The fact that it triggers on any players' artifacts is what makes this so efficient in EDH.

#9. Sarinth Steelseeker

Sarinth Steelseeker

I'm surprised at the little Commander play this seems to see so far. Sarinth Steelseeker does a lot that Golgari () wants to do, and it seems like a good fit if someone ever figures out a good build for Meria, Scholar of Antiquity.

#8. Dowsing Device / Geode Grotto

Dowsing Device Geode Grotto

The Dowsing Device side of this does a lot in an artifact aggro deck, and if you flip the Geode Grotto you get a lot of potential finishing options, especially in decks with lots of artifacts and a Rogue's Passage.

#7. Mirrorworks


I've gone off with this by copying copies with Mishra, Eminent One and Warform shenanigans in the late game with lots of mana around. In those circumstances Mirrorworks can cause havoc even with something as simple as Jester's Cap for 90s cred. It’s all that and a bag of chips!

But if you want to play good Magic (booo-ringgg!) you can just use the Ashnod's Altar and Myr Retriever you already have in any artifact deck to go nuts with it.

#6. Hedron Detonator

Hedron Detonator

Less effective than our top cards because it only targets one opponent at a time, Hedron Detonator still packs a punch. The ability to grab some impulse draw is kind of huge, as well.

#5. Kappa Cannoneer

Kappa Cannoneer

This card does a lot. Kappa Cannoneer goes infinite with Animation Module and Phyrexian Altar, or, in the Legacy Bomberman shells with Lion's Eye Diamond and Auriok Salvagers. In any kind of affinity deck or the kinds of deck that use a lot of low cost artifacts like Mishra's Bauble, this can be an early game wincon. Fun fact: This triggers its own ability when it enters the battlefield.

#4. Grinding Station

Grinding Station

Maybe this is the most reliable way to mill out all opponents in EDH? Grinding Station does this with a variety of combo pieces, some of which you’d likely already have in a deck. This will make you the archenemy in an EDH game, so be careful.

#3. Canoptek Spyder

Canoptek Spyder

Canoptek Spyder is limited to artifact creatures or vehicles, so another asterisk, but boy can this start dishing out cards in the right deck! Conveniently colorless, as well!

#2. Ingenious Artillerist

Ingenious Artillerist

A good buddy to our number one card here, this can rack up damage in decks like Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter, Prosper, Tome-Bound and many more. Ingenious Artillerist is pretty much a must-include in an artifact-centric deck.

#1. Reckless Fireweaver

Reckless Fireweaver

Reckless Fireweaver is better, though. It’s cheaper and better than the Artillerist’s newly templated and nerfed text that allows all the damage from a big drop of artifacts, from say a Spell Swindle to get stopped by a Stifle. This may be the best card on this whole list.

Artifactfall Cards Addendum

Another sequence of artifactfall cards trigger only when you cast an artifact spell. This is obviously less powerful since it doesn’t trigger when tokens drop or when opponents drop artifacts, but there are still some powerful cards here. You have the bonkers Biotransference, well-known bangers Sai, Master Thopterist and Myrsmith, combo-enabler Mirran Spy, and newer cards like Patchwork Automaton and Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant.

Here’s the full list if you’d like to dig for some synergistic treasures:

Best Artifactfall Payoffs

The best payoffs here in Commander are for artifact-heavy decks of different kinds.

Artifact Recursion Decks

These decks want to mill artifacts or sac and then recur them from the graveyard. These are probably the hardest decks in this list to make work, as you can imagine looking at the abilities on Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Tocasia, Dig Site Mentor. A more powerful option is Imotekh the Stormlord from the Necron Warhammer 40k deck.

Artifact Sac Decks

These decks usually like to quickly churn through cheap artifacts to gain different kinds of synergistic advantages. Having ETB effects from artifacts really helps up their power level.

Key commanders for these decks are Breya, Etherium Shaper, Osgir, the Reconstructor, and Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter. Farid, Enterprising Salvager is an interesting card that shows promise in these sorts of builds.

Affinity Decks

These decks want to cast and make a lot of smaller artifact creatures to enable actual affinity cost reductions, like for Urza, Chief Artificer, or for other mana or card advantages, like for Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain and Urza, Lord High Artificer. The ETBs are nice with the volume of artifacts at play in these decks.

“Go Big” Artifact Decks

These decks want to ramp to huge, powerful artifacts, often to copy them or their effects to really take over the game. The newest arrival in this space is Mishra, Eminent One, but others include Bosh, Iron Golem and Muzzio, Visionary Architect.

Wrap Up

Reckless Fireweaver - Illustration by Deruchenko Alexander

Reckless Fireweaver | Illustration by Deruchenko Alexander

Most artifactfall cards have been made in the last few years, and I think it’s a fun and interesting design space. As with all things post-Dockside Extortionist, the concern about Treasure proliferation means this might be a tentative area for WotC design for a while. That said, as long as cards like Dockside and Smothering Tithe are out there, cards that trigger off artifact ETBs will always be more powerful than they look.

Which of these cards have been most effective in your builds? Let me know in the comments below or on the Draftsim Discord.

Happy crafting!

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