Hey everyone! Welcome to another Modern Musings.  Today I’m starting a three part series on artifact decks that people have either forgotten about or are flying under the radar. The card we are focusing on this time hasn’t really been seen in a while.  If you read the title of the article, then you of course know that I’m talking about Metalwork Colossus.  This is a card I was huge on in Standard when it first came out, but Mardu Vehicles proved to be too strong for its deck and I feel like the card has mostly fallen into obscurity.  It’s a shame since the card is so fun, so let’s look at what we can do with the card in Modern.


So roughly it gets cheaper based on the noncreature artifacts you have on board.  In Standard, the deck that best utilized it used things like Hedron Archive and Cultivator’s Caravan to accelerate into Colossus.  We are going to follow a similar pattern for Modern, but fortunately, we have far more efficient mana rocks.  Enter the Borderposts:

If you haven’t seen these babies before, they basically allow you to exchange your land drop for a three CMC mana rock.  For our purposes, this is actually the absolute best thing we could ask for.  While you can technically play Colossus decks in Modern without these, I don’t see why you would want to, considering how efficient they are for you.  Besides Borderposts, what other manarocks does Modern give us access to?

What Mind Stone lacks in efficiency, it makes up for in utility, allowing us to draw a card when we no longer need the mana.  Talisman is mostly just along for the ride as we need a little bit of filler in the two-drop mana rock slot and there really isn’t anything better.

At the top of our mana rock curve we have the familiar Hedron Archive, as well as Dreamstone Hedron.  Amusingly, while I was writing this I noticed that Hedron Archive is just two Mind Stones taped together, while Dreamstone Hedron is three.

The Utility

While a good chunk of our deck is mana rocks, we need some additional help in actually drawing our Colossuses (Colossi?).  Fortunately, we have a plethora of artifact support cards to choose from.

If you played the Standard version of this deck then this little bird should look pretty familiar.  Glint-Nest Crane serves a nice dual purpose in our deck as it both helps us dig for appropriate artifacts as well as preserve our life total.

What blue artifact deck would be complete without Thirst for Knowledge?  Thirst allows us to dig at instant speed, which means that we can leave up mana for removal spells or counterspells and spend our mana where it benefits us most.

Treasure Mage is one of the ways that we can tutor up our Metalwork Colossuses or Akroma’s Memorial (yes, we are in fact playing Akroma’s Memorial, I’ll get to it in a sec).  It finds us our finishers and it plops a 2/2 body into play.  Not too bad.

Sanctum of Ugin is one of our prime combo Pieces as it lets us search for additional copies of Metalwork Colossus.  If we have enough artifacts to make Colossus free then we can use this to chain together a second copy onto the battlefield immediately.

Academy Ruins lets us get back important artifacts that have been destroyed or allows us to loop our Mind Stones for cards or Mindslaver for the win.

Helps protect our life total early and tutors for artifacts later on to help us close out the game, simple, but effective.


Condescend allows us to put our abundant mana to use in countering our opponents spells and filtering our draws.  This allows us to keep our opponent guessing when we have mana up to whether we are going to counter their spell or just cast an end-of-turn Thirst for Knowledge

This is about as close as you can get to Counterspell in Modern, and that’s pretty much how it functions.

Spatial Contortion takes advantage of the fact that we are running quite a few colorless mana sources in our deck.   This means that instead of having to sacrifice life for Dismember as a removal spell we can just cast this instead.


Akroma’s Memorial is fantastic in our deck, since from most board states it makes our Colossi free and gives them the much needed evasion in the form of flying and trample.  One of the problems that the Standard version suffered from is the fact that it was so easy to chump our 10/10s.  This is why being able to get Akroma’s Memorial off of Treasure Mage is such a big deal.

The Antiquities War is actually one of the main reasons I wanted to revisit this deck as it gives us most of what we want in an alternate win condition.  I know that in previous versions of this deck, March of the Machines was a popular include.  While this lacks the surprise factor that March had, I believe that it more than makes up for it with the ability to get two artifacts from the top ten cards of your deck.

Finally, last but not least, we have Mindslaver.  Mindslaver is included here so that we have a win condition that doesn’t necessarily involve attacking with creatures.  This is important so that if our opponent plays Ensnaring Bridge we don’t just have to scoop.  In case you aren’t familiar with the loop, if you get 12 mana + Academy Ruins, then you can take all of your opponent’s turns and eventually they deck themselves (you don’t deck yourself because you keep putting Mindslaver on top of your library).  It seems like an awful lot of mana to pull off, but in reality, sometimes even activating Mindslaver once is enough to win you the game.

The Deck


That’s all for this week. I hope you enjoyed the first part in my little series.  I have more spicy artifact decks in store, so stay tuned!

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