Breya, Etherium Shaper | Illustration by Clint Cearley
There’s nothing like seeing the look of dismay on an opponent’s face when you go to remove one of your own game-pieces: they just know that you’re about to take advantage from it. I’ve already gone through the best overall sac outlets in Magic, but it can pay off to specialize. There’s no blood in the water this time, only steel and iron, nuts and bolts.
Even with the overlap with overall sac outlets, focusing on sacrificing artifacts still nets a lot of cards. Which artifact sac outlets are the best in each color? What payoffs can you look for when playing them? Let’s jump in and find out!
What Are Artifact Sac Outlets in MTG?
Oswald Fiddlebender | Illustration by Steven Belledin
An artifact sacrifice outlet is any card that can sacrifice an artifact, usually for some benefit. The cards on this list let you sacrifice artifacts multiple times, with the more generic and free effects taking higher spots.
I differentiate a sac outlet from a generic sacrifice effect by whether the effect is repeatable. Cards like Deadly Dispute and Scrap Mastery are excellent artifact sacrifice tools, but I don’t consider one-shot effects as outlets.
I’ve also excluded effects that don’t specifically call out artifacts. For example a card like Korvold, Fae-Cursed King can fill the role of a sac outlet, but this list is narrowed down to cards that specifically mention artifacts in their rules text.
Best White Artifact Sac Outlet
#1. Oswald Fiddlebender
White doesn’t get in on the artifact sacrificing game much, but Oswald Fiddlebender is a standout. It has a Birthing Pod effect that works up a mana value chain of artifacts, leaving you with a better permanent on each activation.
Best Blue Artifact Sac Outlets
#3. Clan Crafter
#2. Arcum Dagsson
Arcum Dagsson turns artifact creatures you control into non-artifact creatures from your library. It’s a tough ability to play around and can even force other players to sacrifice their artifact creatures.
#1. Sai, Master Thopterist
Best Black Artifact Sac Outlets
#8. Soldevi Adnate
Soldevi Adnate doubles as an artifact and creature sac outlet. You turn your offering into black mana, and higher mana value sacrifices yield more mana.
#7. Dockside Chef
Dockside Chef cooks up extra card draw by sacrificing creatures or artifacts. It’s cheap to cast and reasonably cheap to activate, which helps it slot into decks full of artifact tokens.
#6. Fain, the Broker
Fain, the Broker lets you move your game pieces around for different effects, one of which turns an artifact into a 2/1 Inkling token. Fain is versatile, and with enough mana you can untap and cycle through its abilities multiple times.
#5. Keskit, the Flesh Sculptor
I personally play Keskit, the Flesh Sculptor in a mono-black artifact deck partnered with Armix, Filigree Thrasher. While Armix plays board control, Keskit serves as an on-board sac outlet while keeping your hand and graveyard stocked.
#4. Bag of Devouring
Bag of Devouring is both a great sac outlet and an insurance plan if you’re sacrificing permanents to other effects. Keep a d10 handy; you’ll need it to rebuy your artifacts once the bag has done its job.
#3. Ruthless Technomancer
Ruthless Technomancer stocks you up on Treasure tokens when it enters the battlefield. From there you can sacrifice artifacts to reanimate creatures. It’s ramp, a sac outlet, and reanimation all in one package.
#2. Braids, Arisen Nightmare
Braids, Arisen Nightmare is a terrifying creature to play against, especially if it hits the board early. It’s not a traditional sac outlet since you can’t activate it on demand, but it does repeatably sacrifice permanents on your end step.
#1. Herald of Anguish
The sacrifice ability on Herald of Anguish is one of many reasons to play this card in an artifact-themed deck. It’s a handy way to pick off small creatures while the persistent discard effect puts a damper on your opponents’ hands.
It also has improvise, so you can drop this much earlier than most 7-drops.
Best Red Artifact Sac Outlets
#13. Scion of Opulence
Two artifacts are a steep price to impulse draw a single card.
#12. Breya’s Apprentice
Even though it turns artifacts into extra cards, it’s a dead average creature.
#11. Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer
Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer is great at making sure your important artifacts stick around. You need a few expendable artifacts laying around to do so, but Slobad has no mana requirement for its ability.
At worst it’s a free artifact sac outlet.
#10. Bosh, Iron Golem
Bosh, Iron Golem is extremely overpriced by today’s standards. You’ll sink 12 mana before you sacrifice your first artifact.
Of course, most decks interested in Bosh probably have ways to sneak it into play, after which it becomes a sacrifice outlet that takes huge chunks out of life totals.
#9. Goblin Engineer
#8. Farid, Enterprising Salvager
#7. Greater Gargadon
Greater Gargadon is unique as a sac outlet that your opponents can’t really mess with. It’s a free sac outlet while suspended and costs nothing to activate. There’s a limit to its activations, but you get a 9/7 haste creature once they run out.
#6. Audacious Reshapers
Audacious Reshapers can turn your on-board artifacts into new ones from your library. The more cards you reveal while digging, the more damage you take.
Two to three damage is a small price to pay for turning something like a Treasure token into a powerful artifact from your deck.
#5. Street Urchin
Street Urchin takes Makeshift Munitions and turns it into a background. You can pair this sac outlet with your favorite “choose a background” creature to make sure you always start the game with this effect in your command zone.
#4. Laurine, the Diversion
Alongside Kamber, the Plunderer, Laurine, the Diversion makes combat very difficult for your opponents. I wouldn’t run Laurine without its partner since Kamber easily generates the artifacts necessary to make Laurine work.
#3. Gut, True Soul Zealot
Gut, True Soul Zealot puts a serious beating on your opponents by turning useless artifacts into evasive 4/1s to add up damage quickly. Gut pairs perfectly with Street Urchin and several other backgrounds.
#2. Goblin Welder
Weld, weld, weld, look what we have here.
Goblin Welder lets you swap an artifact on board with one from your graveyard. Sacrifice a Servo, get a Wurmcoil Engine, no big deal. Welder can also mess with an opponent’s artifact if they have another inoffensive artifact in their graveyard.
#1. Daretti, Scrap Savant
Daretti, Scrap Savant literally incorporates the ability on Goblin Welder into its -2 loyalty ability. Add to that a great filtering ability and an ultimate that makes it very hard to lose the game and you’ve got an excellent artifact-themed planeswalker.
Best Green Artifact Sac Outlet
#1. Molder Slug
If Braids, Arisen Nightmare counts as an artifact sac outlet then surely Molder Slug fits in. The Slug’s ability is supposed to be a downside, but you can craft a deck that turns that effect into a benefit all while chewing through your opponents’ artifacts.
Best Multicolored Artifact Sac Outlets
#12. Ravenous Squirrel
Don’t worry, I’m not here to convince you that Ravenous Squirrel is some big splashy card you should be playing. It’s just a solid role-player for decks looking for more sac outlets, and it even pays you off by getting bigger as you sacrifice other permanents.
#11. Oni-Cult Anvil
Oni-Cult Anvil isn’t as powerful in Commander as I’ve seen it be in Constructed or NEO Limited. I think there’s probably still a home for this card in some EDH decks, because it just spits out extra sac fodder while providing another sac outlet for artifacts.
#10. Bjorna, Nightfall Alchemist
Bjorna, Nightfall Alchemist (or Lucas, the Sharpshooter if you’re into that sort of thing) sacrifices artifacts to ping creatures and goads them if they don’t die. The “friends forever” ability lets you partner up with another commander, three of which create clue tokens to feed Bjorna’s ability.
#9. Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter
Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter plays a little song-and-dance with creatures and noncreatures. One ability turns a creature into two noncreatures, while the other turns a noncreature into two creatures. Your board grows as you cycle between the two abilities, even if the payoff is somewhat middling.
#8. Thopter Foundry
Thopter Foundry is most famous for its Constructed applications alongside Sword of the Meek. That combo only goes so far in Commander, but Foundry still gives Esper () decks a way to pump out an army of Thopter tokens.
#7. Megatron, Tyrant
Megatron isn’t the most reliable way to sacrifice artifacts, but it impacts the board when it gets around to doing so.
#6. Tawnos, Solemn Survivor
There’s a lot of moving cardboard around to make the abilities on Tawnos, Solemn Survivor tick. It all boils down to making token copies of other artifacts, and the second ability is a repeatable way to sacrifice artifacts for an on-board advantage.
#5. Time Sieve
Time Sieve basically wins the game if you can find a repeatable way to make five artifacts per turn. There are plenty of cards that do this on their own including Old Gnawbone, Thopter Assembly, Bootleggers’ Stash, and Tivit, Seller of Secrets.
#4. Flamewar, Brash Veteran
Flamewar, Brash Veteran can only sacrifice artifacts on the front side, but you can stack the ability multiple times before it converts into Flamewar, Streetwise Operative. You’ll need to deal combat damage to convert back to the side that sacrifices artifacts once transformed.
#3. Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast
Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast makes its own scrap 1/1 Constructs and then sacrifices them to the -1 ability to blow up artifacts or creatures. The -6 doesn’t outright win the game, but it should put you significantly far ahead.
#2. Osgir, the Reconstructor
Osgir sacrifices artifacts to pump creatures and then creates copies of those artifacts from the graveyard.
#1. Breya, Etherium Shaper
It’s hard to top Breya, Etherium Shaper as an artifact sac outlet. The activated ability works as removal, lifegain, and finisher all in one. Thanks to the two Thopters, Breya always comes equipped with at least one activation.
Best Colorless Artifact Sac Outlets
Just like Scion of Opulence, Scarecrone ranks low because it only works with a small subset of tribal creatures. Scarecrows aren’t that popular or abundant, but the reanimation effect makes up for the limited sac outlet potential.
#10. Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound Ravager doesn’t have the most profound payoff, but sometimes having a free sac outlet on board is all you need. You can sac artifacts whenever you need to with the Ravager and then use the modular ability to dump its +1/+1 counters on another artifact creature.
#9. Ingenuity Engine
I think Ingenuity Engine is more fun than it is good. It functions as a repeatable sac outlet, but it’s hefty total 8-mana cost before you get the first activation.
At least you can hope for a good cascade off first cast, and you can always return the Engine itself to your hand for another spin.
#8. Throne of Geth
Throne of Geth is one of the cheapest sacrifice outlets and one of the cheapest ways to repeatably proliferate. You need to be in a deck that cares about proliferating and has a bunch of expendable artifacts, although the Throne can always sacrifice itself in a pinch.
#7. Retrofitter Foundry
Retrofitter Foundry is technically an artifact sacrifice outlet, but it only sacrifices Servos and Thopters. It creates those creature tokens on its own, so Foundry is closer to self-contained engine than a full-on sac outlet.
#6. Grinding Station
Grinding Station is well known for its combo potential with a couple other pieces, including the other Station cards from Fifth Dawn. Combos aside, this is just a great self-mill tool in artifact-heavy decks, filling the graveyard and sacrificing artifacts all at once.
#5. Metalwork Colossus
I’ve played enough Metalwork Colossus to know that its presence on board is negligible. Sure, you can put a 10/10 on board for as little as zero mana, but this card’s real power comes from the graveyard.
It lets you sacrifice artifacts free of charge, and the ability can be stacked to sacrifice as many artifacts as you wish before returning to your hand.
#4. Trading Post
Each ability on Trading Post gives you a resource which can then be used to pay for the next ability in line. Only one of those abilities involves sacrificing artifacts, but I’ll take that as an excuse to bring up this awesome flavorful card.
#3. Kuldotha Forgemaster
It’s a bit slow by today’s standards, but I still get “uh-ohs” when I play Kuldotha Forgemaster. It’s both a sac outlet and an artifact tutor and only requires a turn of surviving or a way to grant haste before it gets rolling.
#2. Smelting Vat
Smelting Vat is another card from The Brothers’ War that I haven’t had my hands on yet, but it has all the hallmarks of a powerful sac outlet. You can dispose of any artifact to hopefully hit two artifacts from your library with the same combined mana value.
It can always sac itself, and it works well with temporary artifact copies that you’d otherwise lose on your end step.
#1. Krark-Clan Ironworks
The Ashnod’s Altar of artifacts, Krark-Clan Ironworks generates tons of mana from the artifacts you feed it. It’s almost better than Ashnod’s Altar in a sense, given that decks full of artifacts tend to have large colorless threats.
You don’t have to worry about the fact that Ironworks can’t create colored mana.
Best Artifact Sacrifice Payoffs
There’s a whole subset of Commander strategies focused on artifact reanimation, and it works pretty much the way you’d expect it to. Find some large bombshell artifacts, get them into your graveyard, and cheat them back into play.
You don’t always want to sacrifice your big reanimation target once you sneak it into play. But sacrificing and reanimating impactful artifacts like Portal to Phyrexia or Meteor Golem can put a damper on your opponents’ board states.
“Aristocrats” is the nickname given to any deck that actively wants to sacrifice its creatures for value. It usually refers to creature-heavy decks and involves cards like Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat to turn your sacrifices into damage.
There are enough support pieces to make this type of strategy work for artifact decks, and you’ll certainly need a few sacrifice engines to pull everything together. Cards like Disciple of the Vault and Marionette Master are your “Blood Artists” in an artifact-focused aristocrats deck.
Krark-Clan Ironworks | Illustration by Tim Hildebrandt
I’ve only scratched the surface of artifact sacrificing! There are plenty of useful one-time sacrifice effects that just didn’t fit what I was going for today.
Which are your favorite sac outlets for your artifacts? Which Commander builds do you use them in most? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.
Thank you for making Draftsim your #1 stop for all things Magic!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: