Transmute Artifact



  • I think Transmute Artifact is one of the most broken cards in Old School and it is very good in Vintage too but not played much lately. This card used to compliment the Tezzarator decks of old as another way to find the Time Vault or the Voltaic Key.

    This card offers other flexibility with some reanimate spells. The tradeoff of trading an artifact then paying the cost will not get you a Blightsteel Colossus but it can get a Steel Hellkite or some other fun things.

    The advantage of this card is that does not require a sacrifice until it resolves so counterspells do not hurt you in the same way that they do with Tinker. It is also unrestricted so running 2 or 3 can be very strategic.

    Can we discuss strategies and deck to make this card playable in Vintage?



  • @moorebrother1 probably best to also play Mana Drain, right? Obviously want Vault/Key. Or maybe not? Perhaps you want continuous artifacts so you can use Null Rod to shut down PO?



  • @wfain I think that is the cool part of the card, you could play control with Mana Drain and Null Rod or go for combo with Vault/Key. It is versatile.



  • @moorebrother1 I suspect you want Drain either way. I’m pretty sure Tinker is better than the first Transmute, so it follows that you may want Blightsteel to begin with. Drain would let you occasionally Transmute into him too.



  • I admittedly have not played much Vintage lately, but when I was playing I tried out Transmute Artifact several times and I was never really happy with it. Tinker has a big edge on Transmute Artifact because it lets you cheat out expensive artifacts. It's like stapling Demonic Tutor to a Show and Tell.

    Transmute, by contrast, always functioned like a worse version of Trinket Mage, in my experience. Sure, you can tutor for a cheap artifact at sorcery speed, but... how often is this the best card for that job? Assuming you really want to get something that costs 2 or 3 instead of 1, now we're talking about paying 3UU or whatever to tutor... and we're crossing into what Tezzert costs. On top of all that, Demonic Tutor does the same thing for X+1B instead of X+UU+sac so...

    I think it's just a function of a card that is really legitimately broken just not being competitive with other broken cards.

    Now, if there was a deck that really needed to pump artifacts into the graveyard or really wanted another useful sacrifice outlet, maybe we'd be talking. Transmute does put two artifacts into the yard, and if that angle is something you can exploit, maybe it has a place.



  • @maximumcdawg Looking at existing decks, if I were to put 1 or 2 Transmute Artifact into a Grixis Control deck, then I have Yawgmoth's Will plus Vault/Key. The issue is not losing the artifact, the issue is getting a better replacement.

    Thinking about this card with a Damping Sphere strategy means you accelerate into a prison piece. If you are playing cards like Grim Monolith, then you can get something that cost 5 or 6 on turn 2 depending on the deck design.

    To me the question is around strategy, I think there is a deck that wants this card, and I want to find a home for it. The Grixis deck is already very efficient and it is not even the better Xerox deck. An Esper artifact deck could maximize this card with some control pieces.

    Or you could play a blue mid-range aggro artifact deck that works like a toolbox. Kind of a Survival of the Fittest style play with Transmute Artifact and Tezzeret the Seeker and/or Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas.

    The question is what shell would best fit with this kind of card. You get to play from your deck and from you graveyard. I think that this card is being overlooked right now.



  • I think the issue with the card is and always has been there are other better options.

    Tinker is generally considered better for above stated reasons. But it is restricted, so let's say you want 2? It feels as if most people would sooner play Tezz1, Mystical tutor for Tinker, Demonic tutor for tinker, etc since those cards not only provide more versatility than just being tinker number 2, but are also way easier on your mana base as opposed to the UU needed for Transmute (plus the difference you may have to pay.)

    The fact is that Tinker is a shockingly powerful card that ends the game when it's played a fair portion of the time, so you really do not want more than 1. It is also very vulnerable to a number of answers and therefore can be a liability against some decks even at 1.

    The good news is that the 150-200 dollar price tag it is holding right now is stemming from Commander where Tinker is banned and Transmute will likely remain an amazing card and keep the price and usage elevated.



  • @protoaddct Transmute is also a staple in Old School.



  • @moorebrother1 said in Transmute Artifact:

    @protoaddct Transmute is also a staple in Old School.

    Yea, I just didn't think that was the overwhelming reason the card is demanding the price tag it is right now. I don't think you can even read the number of players that play old school off a stat sheet while standing under the shadow that commander casts over it.



  • Well of course Tinker and Demonic Tutor are better than Transmute, not sure why this needed to be pointed out. The point would be to supplement those with Transmute.

    I played a Two card monte a while back that used Transmute to the get Grindstone, Key, Time Vault and Painter's Servant for cheap. Wasn't anything great, but the Transmute did the job to get the combo pieces reliably.



  • @protoaddct said in Transmute Artifact:

    @moorebrother1 said in Transmute Artifact:

    @protoaddct Transmute is also a staple in Old School.

    Yea, I just didn't think that was the overwhelming reason the card is demanding the price tag it is right now. I don't think you can even read the number of players that play old school off a stat sheet while standing under the shadow that commander casts over it.

    If you want evidence of old school warping prices look at the price of Strip Mine.



  • I think grim monolith with this card is very interesting. Maybe adding Paradox Engine and go for a big mana loop.

    I know there is a bunch of artifact hate but this would play a lot of blue so it could defend itself. I've been looking for a deck that can break Paradox Engine.



  • I have fun playing TA with Coveted Jewel, chaining them into other Jewels, and a Sharuum in the end. But that's maybe just the child in me.



  • @wagner said in Transmute Artifact:

    Well of course Tinker and Demonic Tutor are better than Transmute, not sure why this needed to be pointed out. The point would be to supplement those with Transmute.

    I played a Two card monte a while back that used Transmute to the get Grindstone, Key, Time Vault and Painter's Servant for cheap. Wasn't anything great, but the Transmute did the job to get the combo pieces reliably.

    I think you are missing my point. The competition to be in your 60/75 is already fierce. Once you get all the "required cards" out of the way, of which there is a lot for most tinker style decks, you really only have a few flexible slots to fit in cards. Given the option of having a second tinker that is not quite as good as tinker, versus more counter magic or whatever, and then realizing that you already have other cards in the list that can function as a stand in to tinker like the above listed cards, most people realize it is no longer worth it.

    Compound that with the fact that most artifacts in your deck are 0-1 mana cards and the thing you want to search for range from like 2-12 and it is a much more costly proposition. I think most of the time people just rightfully look at the card and say "this is too costly to use and I do not really need it"



  • I always enjoyed the sidebard Transmute in the 2014-2015 era SCV decks with burning wish.

    The MD slot seems not powerful enough to warrant multiples, but when those md slots are shared among a wish board the possibilities open up I think.

    Not sure how viable a wish board or burning wish is in current format. Maybe when/if PO gets the axe along with some other cards then Transmute/burning wish will open up as viable again.



  • Couldn't Goblin Welder make Transmute Artifact, insane? I know you are 3 for 1ing yourself but it is repeatable and represents very good value if done correctly I would imagine.


  • TMD Supporter

    I think you have to look at it the other way. Yes sometimes transmute aritfact is entomb for welder, but is welder good enough to play now, and does a UU entomb with upside do enough to make it playable. I think the answer is no.



  • @garbageaggro I agree, I am just saying that if someone would want to play Transmute Artifact, then they may want to consider Goblin Welder.



  • @rat3de Well, let's play that out. What's the best line here?

    T1 - Land, Welder
    T2 - Mox, Mox, Transmute away one Mox to bin Inkwell/Sphinx, Weld out?

    That's not too shabby but it's a pretty long line of things to have to occur.



  • @MaximumCDawg I agree wholeheartedly, I was just saying that it may be worth adding to help Transmute out big boys without having to make huge amounts of mana. I think if you wanted to play Transmute it would be boring to only be tutoring out small things like Vault/Key, Top or whatever other useful artifact you can find.


 

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