August 05, 2015

Standard Blue-Red Ensoul Artifact


2015 Player of the Year Mike Sigrist took a unique strategy to Pro Tour Magic Origins last weekend. Blue-Red Ensoul Artifact has been a fringe deck since Magic 2015 was released, but Magic Origins gave the deck what it needed to push it over the top.

I remember testing for last year's Pro Tour, and Ensoul Artifact was one of our top decks. But we decided it was too fragile and inconsistent to take to the Pro Tour. So what changed in the past year? The biggest chance is the addition of Hangarback Walker, a very powerful card in this deck—and in Standard period, for that matter. This card is now a staple found in many different Standard strategies, and of course it shines in a deck that's based around artifacts.

Another card that's excellent in this deck is Chief of the Foundry. I remember when I first saw this card, and I immediately compared it to Master of Etherium. Chief of the Foundry is only a 2/3, whereas the Master has the potential to be gigantic. When I played it in Affinity, it was pretty common for the card to be a 10/10 or larger. 2/3 is pretty tiny in comparison, so I thought Chief of the Foundry was unplayable. Boy was I wrong. The synergy he has with Hangarback Walker alone is more than enough to warrant a slot in this deck.

Blue-Red Ensoul Artifact is the fastest deck in Standard right now. With an opening hand of Ornithopter, Springleaf Drum, Darksteel Citadel, and Island, you can begin attacking for 5 on turn two. Shrapnel Blast allows you to win by turn four. Most decks don't have the resources to stop a 5/5 indestructible creature that early in the game. I watched this happened at Pro Tour Magic Origins, as Mike was able to win most of his games before his opponent had enough lands on the battlefield to play any answer to his threats.

Mike Sigrist's Blue-Red Ensoul Artifact

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