Hey everyone! Welcome to another Modern Musings!  This week we are going to be talking about the recent updates Dominaria gave to the Blue Steel deck as suggested by the deck’s premier player; Zak Elsik.

What is Blue Steel?

Blue Steel is a mono-blue artifact deck based around the power of Grand Architect, designed to power out artifact-based prison cards such as Lodestone Golem as well as fatties like Wurmcoil Engine.  The deck doesn’t solely rely upon the Grand Architect however, it also has Chief Engineer, which gives all of your artifacts convoke.  While it doesn’t have as much raw power as Grand Architect, it does come down a turn earlier and can generate a ton of tempo.  Imagine the following scenario:

Turn 1: Mausoleum Wanderer

Turn 2: Chief Engineer, convoke Etherium Sculptor, convoke Throne of the God-Pharaoh

The above scenario isn’t all that uncommon either, and demonstrates the absurd synergy this deck can generate.  But don’t take my word for it, take a look for yourself:


There is a lot going on in this deck so I’m going to break it down piece by piece.

The New Cards

The main 3 cards we get from Dominaria are of course Karn, Artificer’s Assistant and Traxos.

Because we have such a high density of historic spells, Artificer’s Assistant allows us to churn through our deck and make sure that our draws are all gas.  Traxos similarly takes advantage of the fact that a good chunk of our deck is historic and is a beast when played both early and late.  Additionally, the inclusion of Minamo, School at Water’s Edge allows us to untap our Traxos at will if we don’t have a historic spell or if we simply want to untap him at instant speed.  Karn is in the sideboard as an inclusion for the more grindy matchups, generating both card advantage and threats as needed.

The Engine Cards


As mentioned before these are the backbone of the deck and enable all the most broken draws in the deck.  Grand Architect in particular is very powerful not only because he allows us to play our expensive artifacts by tapping our creatures, but he also serves as a lord, pumping our entire board as well.  Chief Engineer serves a similar role to grand architect in that he helps us play our artifacts early, but comes down a turn earlier.  Lastly, Etherium Sculptor gets a multitude of synergies here as he is both an artifact and a blue creature.  This means that not only does he make all of our artifacts cheaper by being in play, he can be convoked for with Chief Engineer and he can tap for 2 with Grand Architects ability.  A truly busted card in our deck.

The Disruption

Mausoleum Wanderer is a deceptively powerful card in our deck, as at first glance there are no other spirits (other than other copies of itself) in the deck to buff it’s power.  However it’s actually one of the best ways we protect our Grand Architect it gets pumped by his lord effect.  This not only makes it an effective flying beater, but in most cases a Spell Pierce as well.

Lodestone Golem is actually one of my all-time favorite Magic cards.  He’s like Sphere of Resistance got strapped to a Juggernaut body.  While it is not entirely uncommon to run into other artifact decks in Modern, for the most part he’s going to make your opponent’s life miserable.  The effect starts to compound very quickly if you have multiple Lodestone Golems out simultaneously.  Even just having a Lodestone Golem and a Mausoleum Wanderer out is enough to stop most opponents from casting their removal spells.

The Finishers

Throne of the God-Pharaoh is absolutely absurd in our deck and rewards us for tapping our creatures so often.  On top of that, when we’re attacking, it can speed up our clock often times by a full turn.  If the board is a stalemate however, we can tap a few of our creatures to make sure that we get in for a little damage every turn while still holding back blockers.  There’s not much to say about Traxos that I haven’t already mentioned, so I’ll leave it at that.

Notable Lands


The lands here are fairly straight forward, Blinkmoth Nexus is another flying beater, Minamo allows us to untap our Traxos, and Academy Ruins allows us to recur our scariest artifact threats.  Oboro Palace in the clouds is the only odd one, but it is simply there so we can filter some of our colorless mana from our other lands into blue mana if necessary.


Anyway, that’s all for this week. I hope you guys enjoyed the breakdown!  Next week we’re going to start gearing up for GP Vegas and talk about what decks you should probably be thinking of playing and what decks to watch out for in the Modern portion of the event.

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