Artifact (2)

Enchantment (1)

Instant (1)

  • Sensei's Divining Top is a great card. I think everyone knows this. It would be great in the deck even if it were not part of its main combo: difficult to remove, great synergy with shuffle effects, and sometimes a free artifact cast per turn with a cost reducer on the field. As it is, it's a combo piece that helps find other combo pieces, or whatever else you may need. Just try to use it quickly and decisively, as you'll be spinning a lot.

  • Batterskull attached to Sharuum (or anything else) means good pressure, life gain, and a large blocker. Especially potent after a board wipe.

  • Steel Hellkite offers flexible removal when it connects, getting around hexproof and keeping tokens in check.

  • Mirrodin Besieged and Sai, Master Thopterist are so good in this list that it's a wonder it took me so long to add them. You're unlikely to win by going wide with tokens, but they provide excellent fodder for Skullclamp, Krark-Clan Ironworks, Kuldotha Forgemaster, Time Sieve, and for blocking. Thopter Assembly provides similar utility outside its combo.

  • Tezzeret the Seeker, slept on for many years in favor of his other versions, is by far the best artifact synergy planeswalker for this deck. His -X can search for most combo pieces since they're low cmc. Sensei's Divining Top, Baleful Strix, and Sol Ring are common targets, but utility eggs like Nihil Spellbomb, the capsules, or even Expedition Map can provide answers to a variety of problems.

  • Peacekeeper likely won't stay on the board for long, but preventing a few big combat swings can be key while preparing for your game-winning turn. Maze of Ith fills a similar role, and it often encourages attacks against other players since they likely want to trigger their combat damage effects.

  • Memory Jar deserves a mention as the card that probably facilitates game wins more than any other. Drawing 7 is good, but artifact recursion means it can often draw 14–28 cards before finding what you need to close out the game.

  • And Blightsteel Colossus ᕦ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)ᕤ

  • So, why not Sharuum the Hegemon + Phyrexian Metamorph / Sculpting Steel? Mostly personal preference. It sometimes felt like an anticlimactic end to games when deployed, and I didn't always enjoy having to explain the interaction to players who were unfamiliar with it. While the feeling is subjective, and some players just don't like infinite combos of any kind, the combos that made it into this version feel a lot flashier and/or are easier to see coming, which allows for more interaction from opponents and equates to more fun, without sacrificing much power. There's also the matter of the third piece of the combo: Disciple of the Vault, Altar of the Brood, Bitter Ordeal, or Marionette Master. I found each has its own problems. Marionette Master is too much mana for the purpose that it serves. Disciple of the Vault dies easily and can't be brought back if it does, meaning it has to sit in your hand until you're ready to win. Altar of the Brood is a mandatory trigger that does nothing to help your game state outside the combo, and can even help other decks that like to use their graveyard, so it similarly has to sit in hand. There are also niche cases where opponents can't be milled out, like the old Eldrazi titans. I found the best choice to be Bitter Ordeal, but this still means you need 9+ mana to execute: 6 to cast Sharuum the Hegemon (assuming the copy artifact is in the graveyard) and 3 more for Ordeal, and likely a bit extra to protect the combo against creature removal or a Counterspell with your own. For all of these reasons, I've found the deck much more enjoyable to play without the combo that Sharuum is best known for.

    So why Sharuum the Hegemon at all? There have been some good Esper artifact commanders printed since then, but I don't think any of them provide the same simple and flexible utility that bringing back any artifact from the graveyard can provide. I won't list all of the potential contenders, but most of them are build-around commanders in a way that Sharuum is not. She can sit in the command zone for most of the game, then cast when there's something juicy to get back, with an extra 5/5 flyer on top. Opponents are discouraged from removing her since that means another artifact can be brought back later. I keep waiting for the day that Wizards prints a better commander for this deck, but maybe you just can't beat the original.

    One of the deck's biggest strengths (in my opinion) is that it aims to minimize the number of combo pieces that are unimpactful until ready for their "intended" use—a problem that plagues janky combo decks. Most of the combo pieces mentioned above can provide meaningful utility or flexibility while playing the setup/control game until ready to combo off, while redundant recursion like Emry, Lurker of the Loch, Scrap Trawler, and Academy Ruins / Buried Ruin provide resilience and late-game power. It's also entirely possible to win without comboing off through sheer card and mana advantage once the parts are up and running.

    Exile effects/graveyard hate and general artifact hate are the deck's greatest and most obvious weaknesses. Exile can be circumvented by sacrificing to Krark-Clan Ironworks or Thopter Foundry in response, but there's not much counter to artifact hate besides your own counterspells. It's just something to embrace when leaning so heavily into a single card type.


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    95% Competitive

    Revision 17 See all

    (1 month ago)

    -1 Mistvault Bridge main
    +1 Mystic Gate main
    Date added 8 years
    Last updated 1 month
    Exclude colors RG

    This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

    Rarity (main - side)

    4 - 1 Mythic Rares

    48 - 3 Rares

    21 - 2 Uncommons

    18 - 0 Commons

    Cards 100
    Avg. CMC 3.05
    Tokens Bird 2/2 U, Myr 1/1 C, Phyrexian Germ 0/0 B, Thopter 1/1 C, Thopter 1/1 U, Treasure
    Folders Tapped Out - User Decks, Favorite Decks
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