Professional Face-Breaker | Illustration by Dan Scott
Where are my artifact lovers at?
Tinker Time is the MTG precon equivalent of hoarding. Stock up on Clues, Treasures, Land Mines, and so on, just to watch your pile of trinkets grow without ever doing anything with them.
This Commander precon is the least thematically tied to its mother set March of the Machine, but it offers a fresh take on an artifact deck. Today I’m upgrading Tinker Time, taking it from an out-of-the-box battler to a self-sufficient deck at your typical Commander table.
Let’s dive right in!
Tinker Time is a Temur () artifact deck from the March of the Machine Commander precons. It’s what some players refer to as a “tchotchke” deck, or one that cares about the different types of artifact tokens. We’ve seen numerous artifact precons, but this one’s distinction is that it cares about artifact tokens with different names.
The commander is Gimbal, Gremlin Prodigy, which awards you for amassing various tchotchkes by making giant Gremlin tokens, and then it gives your big tokens trample. It’s a fun build-around commander that encourages creative deckbuilding by asking you to create as many different tokens as possible.
Rashmi and Ragavan might be better in a vacuum, but I’m keeping the core identity of the deck intact and rolling with Gimbal.
- Tinker Time (Green-Blue-Red deck)—100-card ready-to-play March of the Machine Commander Deck with 2 Traditional Foil Legendary cards and 98 nonfoil cards
- 10 Planechase cards and 1 planar die to trigger unique abilities and jump across the Multiverse
- 2-card Collector Booster Sample Pack—contains 2 special treatment cards from the March of the Machine main set, including 1 Rare or Mythic Rare and at least 1 Traditional Foil card
- Deck introduces 10 never-before-seen MTG cards to Commander
- Accessories—1 Foil-Etched Display Commander, 10 double-sided tokens, Life Tracker, and deck box
Strengths and Weaknesses
Tinker Time’s greatest strength is its fun take on the typical artifact deck and the way it lends itself to customization. The precon attempts to find off-beat, quirky artifact tokens from cards like Everquill Phoenix and Bloodforged Battle-Axe, but there’s room for discovery and experimentation.
the deck doesn’t really play into any major themes from MOM, though, and it feels like the black sheep of its lineup. This is especially strange given that Growing Threat is already partially an artifact deck, making Tinker Time feel like it exists for the sake of making extra product.
I’ll be making 15 changes to the original list, upgrading the deck to make it more viable against well-established casual builds. These will be budget-conscious swaps that take the deck to the next level, and same as the other precons, I’ll be doing away with the Planechase sub-theme.
Suggested Cut: Masterful Replication
This deck already uses Rise and Shine to turn your trinket heap into damage, and Cyberdrive Awakener (a.k.a., the blue Craterhoof Behemoth) is even better. It’s an S-tier artifact finisher that gives this deck a decisive wincon.
Masterful Replication fits the theme fine, but it’s hard to line up the second mode. Awakener fills the 6-drop finisher slot better.
Suggested Cut: Path of the Animist
I guess they didn’t want to tread on the Growing Threat deck, but this precon doesn’t include any Incubator tokens. I landed on Glistening Dawn because it makes giant creatures and Gimbal gives them trample. The fun part is that Incubators have different names on either side, so Dawn can be a +2 to your tchotchke count.
Path of the Animist got the Planechase treatment, which is to say it has no place here.
Idol of Oblivion
Suggested Cut: Fractured Powerstone
I’m realizing I could just recommend Idol of Oblivion for just about any deck. It’s that good, y’all. It takes care of all your card advantage needs and occasionally pop out a 10/10 token, which is more useful here than in the average deck.
Something, something Planechase. Something, something Fractured Powerstone. You get it.
Jaheira, Friend of the Forest
Suggested Cut: Ichor Elixir
Forget about Displacer Kitten, Jaheira, Friend of the Forest is the broken Battle for Baldur’s Gate card that no one talks about. It usually pays for itself the turn it comes down and gives you a ritual-like flood of mana from thereon out. This card’s absurd, people.
Something, something Planechase (again). Something, something Ichor Elixir.
Kibo, Uktabi Prince
Suggested Cut: Dance with Calamity
How dare they make this precon and not include the almighty Banana token! Kibo, Uktabi Prince rights that wrong, with bonus artifact removal. Funnily enough, Rashmi and Ragavan is a monkey, so Kibo pumps them too.
Dance with Calamity is a wildly fun card, but it doesn’t fit the context of this deck whatsoever.
Svella, Ice Shaper
Suggested Cut: Replicating Ring
Svella, Ice Shaper ramps slower than Replicating Ring, but it also has a significantly higher ceiling and adds Icy Manalith to your artifact token checklist. Waiting for Ring to multiply is a fun dream, but games are usually over before you get even remotely close.
Mythos of Illuna
Suggested Cut: Imprisoned in the Moon
Imprisoned in the Moon is fine. It’s just a mid-tier removal spell with no other notable applications. I’m ditching it for Mythos of Illuna, which creates a token copy of any permanent and sometimes doubles as removal. It’s hard to slot into the average deck but is awesome here.
Suggested Cut: Aid from the Cowl
Fae Offering is the ultimate trinket card. The trigger condition is easy, and the reward is plentiful. Triggering it once is an automatic +3 for Gimbal, and each token has utility aside from the commander.
Aid from the Cowl is present because it’s easy to trigger revolt with Treasures and Clues and such, but you can do without. It’s clunky card advantage that doesn’t guarantee a hit.
Visions of Phyrexia
Suggested Cut: Thoughtcast
I landed on Visions of Phyrexia as a Powerstone token generator. I’m removing a lot of the pure card draw spells for synergistic forms of card advantage, which is why Thoughtcast is getting cut. Nothing wrong with the card, but Visions plays into the token and artifact themes and gives you a steady stream of extra cards.
Suggested Cut: Stroke of Genius
Warhammer 40k is the Commander gift that keeps on giving. Sicarian Infiltrator is already an excellent card, even more so when you care about named tokens. Squading just once is already equivalent to casting Stroke of Genius for X=2.
Again, I prefer card advantage that furthers your board position and plays into your strategy over pure card draw spells.
Suggested Cut: Reverse Engineer
Big Score is growing on me lately. It shapes your hand, plays at instant speed, ramps, and shows Gimbal a Treasure token if you don’t already have one. It’s not raw card advantage like Reverse Engineer, but it’s also more flexible and synergistic.
Toggo, Goblin Weaponsmith
Suggested Cut: Vedalken Humiliator
Forgive me for adding Toggo, Goblin Weaponsmith, but the card is just so darn neat. Rock is a unique token that becomes a miniature removal spell when needed.
The third printing of Vedalken Humiliator is just as mediocre as ever. Even with metalcraft active 100% of the time. It only has utility on offense, and this isn’t a hyper-aggressive deck.
Canoptek Scarab Swarm
Suggested Cut: Thopter Assembly
Warhammer 40k is the Commander gift that… Wait a minute, why does that sound familiar?
Canoptek Scarab Swarm is another 40K standout that hoses a graveyard and leaves you up a bunch of tokens. It easily outclasses Thopter Assembly, a relic of the past that doesn’t even work if you already have other Thopter tokens on board.
Suggested Cut: Hellkite Igniter
Hellkite Igniter is too expensive and easy to interact with, so I’ve cut it to for Reckless Fireweaver, the Impact Tremors of artifact decks. You already have Hedron Detonator for this style of effect, but Fireweaver is cheaper and hits everyone.
You could even make room for Ingenious Artillerist if you want even more redundancy.
Suggested Cut: Master of Etherium
When Professional Face-Breaker isn’t breaking faces, it’s generating Treasure[card] tokens and turning them into extra cards. I don't care for [card]Master of Etherium here. Large nontoken creatures aren’t that impactful, and I’d rather invest time into making bigger Gremlin tokens with Gimbal than using a lord for the same effect.
The Mana Base
You can give this deck the usual Temur mana base make-over with whatever lands you have on hand. The precon has a pretty sturdy foundation for a 3-color deck, but you can improve with Snarls and Temples.
There are several lands that produce different tokens that might be of use here. Hall of Tagsin, Voldaren Estate, and Foundry of the Consuls are examples of lands you might consider to eek some extra value from your mana base.
We’re Done Tinkering
Fae Offering | Illustration by Lucas Graciano
That’s a wrap on Tinker Time. As I mentioned, this deck opens itself up to customization and personalization quite well. There’s no shortage of fun ways to produce differently-named tokens and maximize the deck’s potential, I just wish it tied in with the mainline set a little better.
Have you been playing this deck? If so, do you have any fun trinkets or tech cards you’ve had success with? Let me know in the comments below, or over in the Draftsim Discord.
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