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Urza, Lord High Artificer - Critical Mass (v1.0)

Commander / EDH Construct Mono-Blue Theme/Gimmick Thopter Tokens Tokens

KBK7101

Maybeboard

Artifact (1)

Untap (1)

Tokens (1)


Updated - 12/31/21

Proxies - 0

Alter Sleeves - https://www.altersleeves.com/product/7po8kmeeh2ehnsb?printing_id=39004

Sleeves - Dragon Shield Matte (Blue)

Deck Box - Ultra Pro : Modern Horizons - Urza, Lord High Artificer

Playmat - Ultra Pro - Black Lotus

Hello and welcome to my deck based on (arguably) the most iconic character in Magic's long history, Urza! Despite being mentioned on cards as far back as Alpha and being the main character of Magic's overarching story for much of the 90's, it wasn't until the 2019 Modern focused expansion, Modern Horizons, that Urza finally got a card to himself, in the shape of Urza, Lord High Artificer. It's been a while since this card released and it's synergies are well known (while some are downright notorious). It's main gameplan is creating a token army and then using a card such as Sakashima's Will to turn all of our wimpy 1/1 tokens into massive copies of Urza's construct token and then swing in for the win. So, while this deck may not be anything groudbreaking, I do hope it's a bit different from most Urza builds out there due to the complete and total lack of stax and it's combat-centric gameplan. This idea for this deck came about while researching a mono-blue commander to fit in alongside my Multani, Maro-Sorcerer and Feldon of the Third Path decks as mono-colored decks featuring the most iconic characters in all of Magic. There was never any question which one the mono-blue one was going to be. You can't get more iconic than Urza! Urza is extremely easy to "break", so I also took a few steps to neuter his power level a bit. This deck does manage to explode very quickly but tends to run out of gas just as quickly.

The deck's title comes from the title of the final arc of the Brother's War novel.

Before we get into the deck itself, a little bit about me (feel free to skip this part if you want, I really don't mind!). I've been playing Magic since early 2019 and have been playing mostly Commander/EDH since around the release of Throne of Eldraine. My usual playgroup consists of my two brothers with the rare fourth player being my brother-in-law. My meta consists of all the decks I have listed on here along with some others that I have made and currently have listed as private. When I first started playing Magic, the idea of going to a FNM/some sort of LGS event seemed crazy to me and I was content to just play at home. Once I started playing EDH, though, the urge to play and meet new people started to grow. I was about to dive into my LGS scene right around the time the covid-19 pandemic started. Because of that, I still haven't played with anyone outside of my own house, so please keep that in mind when commenting. I'm an avid deck-builder and I build decks around themes, lore and/or characters rather than broken/infinite combos. I have a LOT of decks but I've only posted a few of them on here publicly but am in the middle of restructuring my deck folders and making more of them public. Most of the decks I build are based around commanders that aren't as common or popular as, say Kess, Dissident Mage or Atraxa, Praetors' Voice. While the term "budget" has a wide meaning, my decks do have one, so please do not recommend insanely overpriced cards such as Jeweled Lotus or Mana Crypt. They're much too expensive for me to justify putting in this deck, no matter how good they'd be. I'm also not looking to add any "fast mana" sources such as Mana Vault or anything like that, so please do not recommend those either. With all that said, let's get into the deck!!

***Note : All research came from Scryfall, Youtube, EDHREC and here on Tappedout.

***Second note : This deck features and complete and total lack of stax pieces and will never include them, as I do not find that type of gameplay interesting. Please do not recommend them.

CUSTOM CATEGORIES FEATURE CARDS IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS. THEY ARE NOT DUPLICATES. DECK CONTAINS 100 CARDS.

This deck features two copies of Urza. One is the normal MH1 version with this alter frame listed at the beginning of the description. The other is a proxied version of the MH1 timeshifted old-bordered etched foil variants from Modern Horizons 2. I switch between these depending on what kind of mood I'm in.

Where to begin with Urza.... Urza, Lord High Artificer depicts Urza during the final days of the Brothers War (sometimes known as the Antiquities War) where much of Terisiare is war-torn and barren. This isn't Urza as a planeswalker, this is Urza at the peak of his human potential, leading his artifact forces against his brother Mishra in the days leading up to, and culminating in, the battle on Argoth.

He has three abilites. Each one is powerful in its own right but all three together on one card push Urza into "Most powerful commanders of all time" territory. His first ability creates a 0/0 artifact creature token that gets +1/+1 for each artifact you control. This is the same "Karnifact" token that Karn, Scion of Urza creates. This ability and token is the main focus of the deck (more on that in a second). His second ability is the one that has earned him instant fame as one of the most powerful Magic cards ever printed, "Tap an untapped artifact you control: Add ". This ability allows us to crank out artifacts faster than nearly any other type of deck out there. It is INSANELY powerful. Most of the artifacts in this deck are very cheap, CMC-wise, to help us ramp as fast as possible. His third ability, for , lets us shuffle our library to exile the top card and play it for free. Another insanely powerful ability, but not quite the focus of this deck.

Our gameplan is simple. Play Urza as early as possible and ramp as hard as fast as we can to cast as many artifacts as possible and to create as many tokens as we can and then use cards like Masterful Replication and Sakashima's Will to turn all of our creatures and/or artifacts into giant threats to swing in and win. As I said earlier, this is Urza in the build up to the final battle with Mishra and this deck reflects that by having us create an artifact army and then going to war with other players. For me, flavor > function.

In an effort to make this deck a little less "degenerate" and a bit more "fair", we run no protection for Urza and very little recursion. This was a conscious choice in an effort to make the game a bit more fun for the table.

This deck features two planeswalkers. Karn, Scion of Urza is mainly here to create tokens. He creates the same construct tokens that Urza does, so he is a main piece of our gameplan. His +1 and -1 abilities are also good, but he is mainly here for tokens.

Tezzeret, Artifice Master on the other hand, is a triple threat of token creation, card draw and tutoring. His +1 creates a thopter token, advancing our tokens strategy. His 0 ability lets us draw a card, or two cards if we have three or more artifacts (which we usually will). His -9 lets us search our library for a permanent card and throw it onto the battlefield during each of our end steps via an unremovable planeswalker emblem. All three of these abilities are incredibly synergistic with our gameplan and it is one of the most powerful cards in the deck.

Shimmer Dragon, Vedalken Archmage, Curiousity Crafter and Padeem, Consul of Innovation all offer us varying degrees of card draw, whether they be cast triggers, tap abilites, upkeep triggers or by combat damage. Padeem also provides our artifacts with a nice hexproof bonus.

Myr Battlesphere, Thopter Assembly, Sharding Sphinx, Whirler Rogue and Sai, Master Thopterist are some of our main token generators, Sai being the best among them. Whirler Rogue also has a nice unblockable ability, which works wonders with our gigantic construct tokens.

Master of Etherium, Steel Overseer, Crashing Drawbridge and Chief of the Foundry are all ways to buff our creatures in one way or another. The drawbridge can help us surprise attack our opponents after we amass a token army. Master of Etherium is a great Sakashima's Will or Masterful Replication target.

Filigree Attendant is a fantastic clone target for cards like Sakashima's Will and Masterful Replication.

Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Workshop Attendant are simple, creature-based artifact recursion.

Artificer's Assistant lets us scry every time we cast an artifact which is very helpful in keeping the deck running smoothly.

Arcum Dagsson and Kuldotha Forgemaster let us tutor for something with their abilities. Dagsson tutors for Blinkmoth Urn to help us ramp to the moon and Forgemaster can tutor for any creature that we need at that moment (like Meteor Golem for removal or Filigree Attendant for a clone target).

Jhoira's Familiar, Ornithopter of Paradise, Foundry Inspector and Ornithopter all offer us some sort of ramp. Ornithopter is a 0 mana artifact which we can tap with Urza for a . Shimmer Myr lets us cast artifacts at instant-speed.

Meteor Golem and Steel Hellkite are for removal.

Thopter Spy Network, Metallurgic Summonings, Efficient Construction, Trail of Evidence and Mirrodin Besieged are our main token generators. A few of these offer additional benefits but their main role is to create as many tokens as possible. The tokens are artifacts and can be used as ramp using Urza's second ability and help to build our boardstate before we cast one of our cloning finishers. All of these are key to our gameplan.

The Antiquities War is an alternate finisher to our clone cards. While not as powerful as turning our artifacts into construct clones, turning all of our artifacts into 5/5s is nothing to laugh at.

Mirrormade could be any of the above or any other artifact as well.

Pongify and Rapid Hybridization are cheap and efficient removal.

Counterspell, Negate and Swan Song are this deck's counterspells. Not a huge fan of counterspells, so these three are all this deck will have for now. Might reevaluate in the future.

Perplexing Test is equal parts protection and boardwipe. It can either bounce all non-token creatures or all token creatures, saving ours from removal or clearing the way for our construct army to get through.

One with the Machine and Paradoxical Outcome are both for card draw. Outcome is also partial board-wipe protection.

Open Into Wonder is a game-ender with our construct cloning cards.

Dramatic Reversal offers up MASSIVE turns with Urza and a few artifacts on the board.

Merchant Scroll, Solve the Equation and Mystical Tutor are the decks tutors. These are used to find Open Into Wonder or one of our finishers (see below).

As I've been saying, Sakashima's Will and Masterful Replication are this deck's win conditions. Either of these cards can turn our board of mana rocks/small 1/1 tokens into MASSIVE construct threats. Example, if we have a few mana rocks out and a handful of thopters/myrs/servos alongside our construct tokens, we could potentially have a board of 15 15/15 construct tokens. From there, we swing at the player with the least amount of blockers or cast Open Into Wonder to seal the deal.

Rise and Shine is a bit like The Antiquities War as it's a back-up win condition that isn't quite as strong as the two cards above, but could still get the job done, provided you pay it's Overload cost.

Mystic Reflection can do some stupid stuff with Thopter Assembly and Myr Battlesphere.

Most of these are cheap artifacts that are either mana rocks, or are cheap enough to be cast before Urza so he can use them as mana rocks. Some have secondary effects like the Wellsprings that can draw us a card or find us a land, but they're mainly here because they're cheap and Urza can abuse them. Some exceptions to this are Genesis Chamber and Servo Schematic, which provide tokens, Spellbook which gives us no maximum hand size and Blinkmoth Urn which can help ramp us IMMENSELY.
The basic land art for the deck is from Time Spiral. Island TSP:289 and Island TSP:287 show a broken and desolate Dominaria, which is exactly the kind of art this deck needs, flavor-wise.

Other than our basics, we have some typical artifact-synergy lands such as Seat of the Synod, Darksteel Citadel, Academy Ruins, Buried Ruin and Inventors' Fair. Myriad Landscape and Saprazzan Skerry help us ramp. Memorial to Genius draws us some cards while Mystic Sanctuary and Halimar Depths help us to recur a spell and smooth out our top deck. Reliquary Tower is another source of no maximum hand size and Field of Ruin fits flavorfully. Command Beacon is a great way to cheat out on command tax after Urza inevitably gets killed a few times.

The best land in the deck is, without question, Urza's Saga. Not only is it a total win for a vorthos player like me, but all three chapters are relevant to our gameplan. It even makes us a construct token just like Urza and Karn do!

If you decide to build an Urza deck that focuses on tokens, these are cards that I would definitely recommend, as they are key parts of my gameplan for this deck -

This deck hasn't seen any actual games yet. Will be updated once it does.

That's about everything I have for now. I'd love some feedback on it's relative power level as well as any recommendations on how to make it play a bit more smoothly (but not 100% smoothly. I don't want it to be super overpowered) as well as any good artifact token generators. Hopefully I've made an Urza deck that's a bit different from the insanely fast combo decks or the incredibly punishing stax decks that he tends to lead.

And, yes, my hype for the 2022 expansion based on the Brother's War has me VERY hyped. Hoping to see some classic names in that set and it's accompanying commander precons!

Thanks for reading!

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69% Casual

31% Competitive

Date added 3 months
Last updated 3 weeks
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

5 - 0 Mythic Rares

32 - 0 Rares

27 - 0 Uncommons

17 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.06
Tokens Ape 3/3 G, Bird 2/2 U, Clue, Construct */* C, Construct 0/0 C, Copy Clone, Emblem Tezzeret, Artifice Master, Frog Lizard 3/3 G, Golem 3/3 C, Myr 1/1 C, Servo 1/1 C, Thopter 1/1 C, Thopter 1/1 U
Folders All Decks, Legends of Dominaria
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Revision 3 See all

1 month ago)

+1 Alrund's Epiphany maybe
+1 Karn's Temporal Sundering maybe
+1 Time Warp maybe