Last updated on December 15, 2022

Ravager's Mace - Illustration by Antonio José Manzanedo

Ravager’s Mace | Illustration by Antonio José Manzanedo

Hello fellow planeswalkers! Magic has always tried to bring the 2D card game to life for its fans, weaving story and gameplay to create a true fantasy battle experience. To add some authenticity to the game, equipment cards were developed. Now your creatures to carry weapons into battle.

Today it’s time to discuss auto-attaching equipment. Can it help your Constructed or Limited decks? Do you have to have an artifact deck to make these equipment cards useful? Let’s find out!

What Are Automatically-Attaching Equipment Cards?

Heavenly Blademaster - Illustration by Zack Stella

Heavenly Blademaster | Illustration by Zack Stella

All equipment cards have some sort of equip cost, but auto-equip cards have a caveat to get around the equip cost at least once. This ability to automatically attach gives these equipment cards a real advantage over some of its counterparts.

Auto attaching allows for more combat tricks, buffing, and board presence than regular equipment cards. The speed of an automatic attachment makes some of these cards viable in your future deck construction.

Best White Auto-Equip Cards

#7. Ancestral Blade

Ancestral Blade

Let’s start with a basic automatic attaching equipment. Ancestral Blade creates a 1/1 white Soldier token and attaches itself to that token when it enters the battlefield. This basically gives you a 2/2 creature token with a cheap equip cost to move around the +1/+1 as you see fit.

#6. Barbed Spike

Barbed Spike MH2

Barbed Spike is similar to Ancestral Blade, except you make a flying Thopter token. A flying creature is nice, but this card’s automatic attach feature still doesn’t give it enough payoff to be considered outside of Limited.

#5. Shining Armor

Shining Armor

Compared to the last two cards, at least Shining Armor works as a combat trick. With flash you can give a knight that would trade with an opponent’s creature the extra toughness they need to survive, as well as vigilance for future attacks. Another very fun card in Limited, but combat tricks will only get you so far in Constructed.

#4. Paladin’s Shield

Paladin’s Shield

Paladin’s Shield is ranked one spot higher than Shining Armor just because it can attach to any creature type.

#3. Valkyrie’s Sword

Valkyrie’s Sword

Valkyrie’s Sword is a relatively cheap equipment with a mana cost of two. To fully maximize this card you’ll need a whopping seven mana. In return you get a 6/5 angel warrior with vigilance and flying. This Sword could be a consideration in Limited and that’s about it.

#2. Citizen’s Crowbar

Citizen's Crowbar

With Citizen’s Crowbar you create a 1/1 Citizen token and automatically attach the Crowbar to give it +1/+1. Sounds familiar, but this card does have nice extra text.

You can pay one mana, tap the equipped creature, and sacrifice the Crowbar to destroy an artifact or enchantment. This is a nice touch considering how strong enchantments and artifacts can be.

#1. Maul of the Skyclaves

Citizen's Crowbar

Maul of the Skyclaves is a must-consider for any aggro white deck. Giving +2/+2, first strike, and flying to a strong creature is amazing.

This pairs well with the speed of white on cards like Adeline, Resplendent Cathar and Luminarch Aspirant. You’ll easily run over your opponent’s defenses if you can get this card out on turn 3.

Best Blue Auto-Equip Cards

#2. Giant’s Amulet

Giant's Amulet

Another equipment card where you have the option to pay to create a token and automatically attach this equipment to it. I believe Giant’s Amulet is better than Valkyrie’s Sword because it costs five mana and gives your creature hexproof when it’s untapped.

A little bit of a mana sink, but hexproof is a nice keyword for a lot of deck styles.

#1. Mantle of Tides

Mantle of Tides

Mantle of Tides can automatically attach multiple times and lends itself well to blue decks that want to draw a lot of cards per turn. I’d consider this for some draw-heavy Modern decks or a nice addition to a blue Pauper deck.

Best Black Auto-Equip Cards

#2. Draugr’s Helm

Draugr's Helm

Let’s just say Draugr’s Helm is another Kaldheim auto-attaching equipment mana sink. Five mana to get a 4/4 Zombie Berserker with menace and an equip cost of four to attach to another creature later? No thank you.

#1. Mind Carver

Mind Carver

Mind Carver is an interesting card if you can quickly mill some of your opponent’s library. I’m of course thinking this pairs well with a Modern Dimir () rogue deck with the likes of Thieves’ Guild Enforcer and Soaring Thought-Thief.

This is a playable card in a build that focuses on milling an opponent’s deck.

Best Red Auto-Equip Cards

#7. Scavenged Blade

Scavenged Blade

Scavenged Blade is a straightforward equipment card. The nice part is the ETB auto-attachment to a creature. It’s nice for Limited, and maybe Pauper.

#6. Goblin Morningstar 

Goblin Morningstar

Even though it’s a gamble whether it’ll automatically attach or not, Goblin Morningstar makes the list. You basically get a 2/1 Goblin with trample if you roll above a nine.

And after you toss the die you can toss around the Morningstar to any of your creatures that need some trample for the low cost of two mana.

#5. Mask of Immolation

Mask of Immolation

With Mask of Immolation you can create a token and sacrifice the equipped creature to deal one damage to any target. The fun part is that the equipment doesn’t leave the battlefield.

If you have creatures to sacrifice, you can take out a few small targets or finish off your opponent for the win. Mask of Immolation should only be considered for decks with a ton of small creatures that you’re willing to sacrifice.

#4. Dueling Rapier

Dueling Rapier

Dueling Rapier is a much nicer combat trick than Paladin’s Shield. It gives a creature an extra two power to take out an opponent’s bigger creature for one mana, and at instant speed.

In aggro decks you can pair this with creatures that have first or double strike like Akiri, Line-Slinger and Warren Instigator to start doing some real damage. I believe the Rapier is a must-have in a Boros () artifact deck.

#3. Dwarven Hammer

Dwarven Hammer

Dwarven Hammer is a token-creating equipment from Kaldheim that actually has a little bite to it. A 5/1 Dwarf Berserker with trample can get some damage through.

The five mana cost is still steep, but with expendable creatures getting +3/0 and trample you’ll start to chip away at your opponent’s life total. The Hammer could also pair well with smaller creatures like Fireblade Charger or Skirk Drill Sergeant.

#2. Javelin of Lightning 

Javelin of Lightning

Javelin of Lightning has the same combat trick style as Dueling Rapier, but it gives the auto-attached creature first strike. It’s a better combat trick by miles.

#1. Embercleave

Embercleave

Embercleave hurts me to talk about. I’ve been burned by this card so many times. It’s an instant-speed auto-attaching equipment that gives double strike and trample! Are you kidding?

This card is the bomb card for any red aggro deck, period. The cost seems steep but is reduced for every attacking creature you control. So, off to the races with you red aggro fiends!

Best Green Auto-Equip Cards

#6. Wolfrider’s Saddle

Wolfrider’s Saddle

Wolfrider’s Saddle seems like it could be better than some other auto-attaching equipment cards, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. “Can’t be blocked by more than one creature” isn’t the bomb keyword that it may seem like.

This is a piece of vanilla equipment that deserves to gather dust deep in your collection.

#5. Rosethorn Halberd

Rosethorn Halberd

Giving a creature +2/+1 for more than one turn for only one mana is great! But Rosethorn Halberd has the stipulation that it can only be automatically attached to non-human creatures.

The cheap automatic equip is nice, but the 5-mana equip cost makes this a no-go for me.

#4. Bramble Armor

Bramble Armor

A Rosethorn Halberd repeat, but Bramble Armor can be attached to any creature type, and the future equip cost is four mana. Still not enough to tickle my fancy.

#3. Elven Bow

Elven Bow

Elven Bow can fit well into an elf tribal build of any format. It has an even bigger payoff in Alchemy with the reduced ETB cost from two mana to one. And then there’s the bonus of the token entering with reach, ruining some opponent’s aerial advantage.

#2. Skyclave Pick-Axe

Skyclave Pick-Axe

I often find myself leaning towards landfall decks. Skyclave Pick-Axe costs one mana, automatically attaches to a creature, and gives that creature +2/+2 each time you play a land. What’s not to love?

#1. Fractal Harness

Fractal Harness

Fractal Harness is an equipment card that’s only legal in Vintage, Commander, and Legacy. If you’re building a deck in one of those formats and want an equipment card, then this is the card for you.

You create a Fractal token with X +1/+1 counters on it when you play this. Each time you attack you can double the number of counters on the equipped creature. A beautiful way to grow a creature, and it can be moved around for only two mana.

Best Multicolored Auto-Equip Card

#1. Ravager’s Mace

Ravager's Mace

Okay, there’s only one multicolored auto-attaching equipment to discuss. Ravager’s Mace works with the party mechanic, so make sure to load up on clerics, rogues, warriors, and wizards.

Giving a creature menace and potentially four more power is nice, but leave this card for only the most dedicated party mechanic deck.

Best Colorless Auto-Equip Cards

#25. Utility Knife

Utility Knife

Let’s start with the very basics of colorless equipment cards that automatically attach. For one mana you can attach Utility Knife to a creature and give it +1/+1.

I don’t think it’ll give you the boost you need in most games, but it could be useful in Limited formats.

#24. Flayer Husk

Flayer Husk

Living weapon seems like a great way to get a 2-for-1 combo. Just be aware that the token is a 0/0. If you unequip it with no other help, it dies. Flayer Husk is a cheap play that may slightly pump a creature later.

#23. Necropouncer

Necropouncer

Giving a creature +3/+1 and haste for an equip cost of two mana is a great payoff. But you need to pay six mana to get Necropouncer on the field and onto the 0/0 living germ. Way too steep of a cost for my taste.

#22. Sickleslicer

Sickleslicer

With Sickleslicer you can get your Germ token to be a 2/2 and later move the equipment to boost another creature. It isn’t a very cost-effective or threatening card. There will most likely be much better uses for your mana in a game.

#21. Cliffhaven Kitesail

Cliffhaven Kitesail

Cliffhaven Kitesail is a nice addition to a lot of Limited decks. There isn’t much excitement around this card, but flying is a good keyword for attacking a vulnerable opponent.

#20. Relic Axe

Relic Axe

Relic Axe is a simple boost to one of your creatures, with an extra power for a warrior. Warriors do pair well with equipment-style decks. Cards like Akiri, Fearless Voyager or Bruenor Battlehammer might maximize Relic Axe’s usefulness.

#19. Pirate’s Cutlass

Pirate’s Cutlass

Pirate’s Cutlass is for the very specific pirate tribal build. If you’re looking into a pirate tribal deck, consider arming your scurvy-ridden sea dogs.

#18. Grifter’s Blade

Grifter’s Blade

Grifter’s Blade is another auto-attaching equipment card that gives a creature +1/+1. It gets a slight boost because of its instant speed and low equip cost. I’d consider plenty of other equipment cards before this one.

#17. Skinwing

Skinwing

I’d love to get a creature and be able to give it +2/+2 and flying. The 4-mana cost isn’t so bad, but the 6-mana cost to equip it to another creature is a big handicap. Skinwing may be more playable with other cards that lower the equip costs or allow equipping for free like Brass Squire.

#16. Strandwalker

Strandwalker

+2/+4 and reach will give you a big defense against both normal and flying attackers. Strandwalker could also be paired with cards that damage every creature like Deafening Clarion. The casting and equip costs are steep for the benefits gained, so this still isn’t an all-star card by any means.

#15. Mortarpod

Mortarpod

Mortarpod is a card where you don’t mind your living weapon token having such poor stats. You don’t care about the power, you just want to sacrifice the Germ to chip away at your opponent’s life total. A nice equipment card for an aristocrat-style deck.

#14. Lashwrithe

Lashwrithe

Lashwrithe is a strong equipment card for players who use Swamps with an artifact build. Your creatures get +1/+1 for each Swamp you control, and this can be equipped for only two mana.

Lashwrithe is also versatile since the Phyrexian mana lets you pay life instead of mana to equip. It’s worth a look for a mono-black deck to aid cards like Marionette Master or Shimmer Myr.

#13. Quick-Draw Dagger

Quick-Draw Dagger

Quick-Draw Dagger is a nice combat trick that’s been decently good in New Capenna’s Limited play. Combat tricks are great for aggro decks and as creature removal against overconfident opponents.

But combat tricks aren’t so great against noncreature decks and removal spells. You just wouldn’t get enough power from Quick-Draw Dagger to compete with decks using Myth Realized or Fires of Invention, so be careful in your deckbuilding decisions.

#12. Batterbone

Batterbone MH2

Keywords are always nice to give to some of your strongest creatures. Batterbone creates a Germ token that can apply pressure to your opponent early, and it can be equipped to a better creature in the mid-to-late game.

A 5-mana equip cost is steep, but getting vigilance and lifelink on one of your bomb creatures is worth it in my opinion.

#11. Inventor’s Goggles

Inventor's Goggles

I haven’t seen too many artificer decks in my time. But if you like artifacts and want to enhance them with some artificer creatures, then add Inventor’s Goggles to the mix. It’s a straightforward equipment card that fits into its niche.

#10. Piston Sledge

Piston Sledge

Piston Sledge isn’t a bad way to put some early pressure on your opponent. A +3/+1 pump on certain creatures can tip the scales in your favor. Its equip cost also isn’t a problem with the number of Treasure, Clue, and Blood tokens you can integrate into your build.

This is a nice addition for an aggro artifact or equipment style build to go along side with cards like Experimental Synthesizer or Gingerbrute.

#9. Stormrider Rig

Stormrider Rig

Stormrider Rig is another auto-attaching equipment card to add to an aggro deck. It can be attached to a creature whenever one enters the battlefield. This gives you versatility to swing with a creature like Reinforced Ronin or Patchwork Automaton.

This is a great artifact to use in artifact or other aggressive builds in Pioneer, Modern, or Commander.

#8. Ronin Warclub

Ronin Warclub

A similar description as Stormrider Rig, but Ronin Warclub gives +2/+1 to any creature entering the battlefield. Be aware that it doesn’t say you may attach, so it attaches to whatever creature you have entering the battlefield.

This is a nice card for full attacking first and then playing defensively in your second main phase. A good habit is to always play non-haste creatures on your second main anyway, so Ronin Warclub actually reinforces good habits!

#7. Cloak and Dagger

Cloak and Dagger

There are plenty of competitive rogue tribal builds using cards like Anowon, the Ruin Thief as a commander, or Stinkdrinker Bandit in a Modern deck. With Cloak and Dagger you can give a rogue that enters the battlefield +2/0 and shroud. This is a fantastic way to protect some of your valuable rogues that create your synergy and combos.

#6. Scytheclaw

Scytheclaw

Reducing an opponent’s life total by half is amazing. The mana cost of Scytheclaw is a lot, but thankfully it creates a creature to equip it to. You just need a creature that can do some combat damage to get the huge payoff.

Keywords like unblockable, menace, or flying may be able to get the combat damage you need through.

#5. Nettlecyst

Nettlecyst MH2

For a competitive equipment build you may need to lean on a high number of artifacts or enchantments. With Nettlecyst you can now boost a creature by the number of artifacts or enchantments you control.

This along with cards like Michiko’s Reign of Truth are must-consider cards for an artifact or enchantment deck in Historic, Modern, or Commander.

#4. Hero’s Blade

Hero’s Blade

Every good hero needs a great weapon to use. Throw down Hero’s Blade on turn 2 and then you can attach the blade and give that creature +3/+2 whenever a legendary creature enters.

I love this card for any deck that includes several legendary creatures in it.

#3. Bonehoard

Bonehoard

Bonehoard is a great way to make a seemingly insignificant token become a real problem. Your Phyrexian Germ will get +X/+X, where X is the number of creatures in all graveyards.

This token can become huge, not to mention that you can equip another creature for only two mana. Cards like Voltage Surge and Murder can help the overall payoff.

#2. Hammer of Nazahn

Hammer of Nazahn

If you want the speed of the auto-attaching equipment cards, why not give it to all your equipment? Hammer of Nazahn has a very specific niche build it fits into. It gives a whole new speed to any equipment build.

This allows you to play cards like Helm of the Host, Kaldra Compleat, and Blackblade Reforged at a much faster tempo. Not to mention that indestructible is a fantastic keyword to protect your valuable creatures.

#1. Batterskull

Batterskull

Batterskull is similar to Batterbone, but on a completely different level. You get a 4/4 Germ with vigilance and lifelink, and you can return the equipment to your hand after the token is removed.

This is a very versatile equipment card that can really pump some of your stronger creature cards in the mid-to-late-game. It’s nice to have answers for board wipes, removal spells, and control decks. Batterskull is just a great card to buff any creature you control.

Best Automatically-Attaching Equipment Payoffs

Some of these auto-attaching cards fit perfectly into mono-colored aggro builds. In red, Bonecrusher Giant and Embercleave is a match made in heaven. For you white lovers, Adeline, Resplendent Cathar can win you a game with Maul of the Skyclaves attached to it. 

Cards like Bruenor Battlehammer and Halvar, God of Battle help you to move around these equipments after they’ve already been attached to a creature you control.

The Nahiri planeswalkers tend to lean towards equipment builds. I’d look at Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients and Nahiri, the Harbinger.

There are plenty of commanders that gain benefits from equipment cards. Cards like Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale, Chishiro, the Shattered Blade, and Zurgo Helmsmasher make for great Voltron commanders.

You can pair the auto-attaching equipment cards with creatures to draw cards like Puresteel Paladin, create creatures with Valduk, Keeper of the Flame, or swing hard with Goblin Gaveleer.

What Other Ways Are There to Equip for Free?

Lightning Greaves

Not all equipment cards automatically attach to creatures, but there are other ways to equip creatures for free. The first and simplest method is using equipment cards that have a zero equip cost. These equipment cards are meant to be given to many creatures in a turn. A great example of this is Lightning Greaves.

Another way to not spend mana is to use equipment cards that have alternative equip costs. Demonmail Hauberk and Gavel of the Righteous are a couple examples of cards that have non-mana equip costs.

Plate Armor and Belt of Giant Strength reduce the equip cost if you fulfill a certain requirement.

There are many cards that can use activated or triggered abilities to auto-attach equipment cards. Some examples are Sigarda’s Aid, Auriok Windwalker, and Brass Squire.

You can also build your deck around cards with abilities that reduce the equip cost or auto-attach equipment cards. For you Commander lovers, you could try Heavenly Blademaster. For the Historic and Modern fans, take a look at Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist and Armored Skyhunter.

Wrap Up

Batterskull - Illustration by Igor Kieryluk

Batterskull | Illustration by Igor Kieryluk

All right, planeswalkers, don your favorite equipment and charge into battle! We’ve now ranked the best auto-attaching equipment cards. These equipment cards should give you a real boost to your creatures without slowing down your tempo too much.

As always I’ve done my best to do research and rank the cards as the best I can. If you disagree with the ranks or feel that I missed anything, feel free to leave a comment down below or check out the Draftsim Discord to see what the community’s up to.

I’ll see you all on another plane!

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