Artisan – FNM at Home Event Guide and Decklists
So here we are just a few months before rotation, and aren’t you just tired of seeing the same old faces clogging up your Standard queues? Too many rares and mythics for decks that are about to be gone for good anyway? Just want to play with some of the best and most fun Draft chaff out there instead, save your wildcards, and get to try out a new deck or twenty? Well, have I got news for you!
Today’s weekly FNM at Home event has returned to give you free stuff once again; you can receive a code for an Arena FNM Promo Pack from your local game store for participating (see details below). This week’s format is Standard Artisan, where you can only use commons & uncommons that are legal in Standard (shocking, I know). Read on for more information and plenty of decklists you can use in the event!
- Duration: July 10, 2020 @ 12:00 AM PT – July 11, 2020 @ 12:00 AM PT
- Format: Artisan
- Entry Fee: Free
- Ends After: You can play as much as you like for the duration of the event.
- Match Structure: Best-of-one matches (BO1)
- 1 Win: Rare Individual Card Reward (ICR)
- 2 Wins: Rare Individual Card Reward (ICR)
You can also redeem one code for a MTG Arena Promo Pack every week, which will reward you two in-game cosmetic items – includes all 36 (the Ajani sleeve will be temporarily unavailable as it was recently featured as a separate reward). Sleeves featuring the Japanese Planeswalker alternate art, new Guild-themed sleeves, Ikoria card styles, the Tamiyo player avatar, and more. The code is obtained from your local game store’s online community, as outlined in the Wizard’s official article:
HOW TO GET A REWARD CODE FROM YOUR STORE
Some stores have robust online communities, and others will be forming them for the first time. If you’re already part of such a community, great! Check with them and get connected.
If you aren’t part of a local game store’s online community, or if they don’t have one set up, there are a couple ways you can get connected. One is to simply reach out to your store and ask (give them a little bit of time—many of them are getting this information today as well). Another is to head to locator.wizards.com to find your local game store’s website. Not every store has a website on there right now, but our teams here are reaching out to our stores to help them set up options and connect them to our store locator. Many of them will be setting up online communities through Discord, WhatsApp, and Facebook, so you may have to join or download one of those applications.
Step-by-step, here’s how it works:
- Play in the event (win or lose as much as you want)
- Take a screenshot of your event page
- Go to locator.wizards.com to find your local game store’s website
- Join their social media channel
- Share your screenshot with a nice message on their channel
- Store will message you a code* through that social media channel
*Note: While supplies last. Not all stores are participating. Limit one code per account. Sharing a screenshot with your local game store does not guarantee you will receive a code.
You can view all of our decklists from the previous event in the Artisan deck section! There are old descriptions of the ones I brewed for the last event below the M21 decks, and some of them will certainly still be powerful enough to compete, though Zenith Flare is now banned so it won’t be Boros Cycling!
- The Artisan format tends to be much more small creature-oriented than Standard; even non-aggressive decks tend to have plenty of Shock targets, since the last few Standard formats have introduced a whole host of cheap good creatures at lower rarities and there aren’t many wraths to punish go-wide strategies. For that reason, you’ll see many of these decks are much more low-to-the-ground than you might be used to!
- Artisan’s fixing is bad (and its 2-colour lands entirely come into play tapped), and the card quality isn’t usually good enough for good mono-colour decks. For this reason, most decks will be 2-colour, and even the aggro decks will sadly be weighed down by some number of taplands; having reasonable mana is worth some awkwardness.
Scroll down for descriptions of every deck!
The premier meme deck of the format, I built Shrines to try to counteract what the other decks are doing as best we can – its core strategy is fantastic against Control to begin with, giant Gatebreaker Rams are a great way to beat Green decks, and Archway Angels provide an insurmountable amount of life for most aggro decks. Try it out for yourself; I suspect there won’t be a more fun deck in the entire format, and this build should also be capable of stealing plenty of games!
If you end up especially loving this deck, check out a Standard version here!
Watcher of the Spheres is a huge addition to this archetype, which was previously lacking good 2 drops and had to make do with playing stuff like Staggering Insight, which I felt was too much of a nombo with Loyal Pegasus to be worth including. Lofty Denial and Miscast add some nice options for disruption, and much of this deck plays at instant speed now, which gives it some serious staying power.
This build of Boros is more of a value aggro deck than the ones we’ve seen before, looking to leverage the new card Alpine Houndmaster to go really wide and outgrind opposing removal spells. Selfless Savior is a fantastic boon for this kind of strategy, allowing you to protect your Houndmasters and other high value targets for just one mana, and I’ve been very impressed with Selfless Hallowblade and Siege Striker in the M21 draft format, and suspect they’re good enough to make it big in Artisan! Siege Striker is especially great with Faerie Guidemother, and threatens to deal colossal damage by itself, especially with all the ways to buff it this list has.
I suspect an Azorius build of Tutelage is also decent, but I’ve long had more success with Dimir than Azorius Control in Artisan, so I stuck with Old Faithful! This is quite the departure from the old Dimir Control decks, and it may be that simply playing Sanctum of Stone Fangs and Nightveil Predator for win conditions is better, but I think Tutelage does enough to replace those, benefits from the masses of card draw you want to run anyway, and allows you to focus more on your suite of answers, which I’ve expanded to include Grasp of Darkness. I suspect Grasp is better than Heartless Act in Artisan, since there are many ways to put counters on things and a couple of strategies focused on doing just that (you might see if you scroll a little bit more!), and Dimir can afford to play a million taplands so its mana is good enough for it.
While Izzet Drakes has morphed into “Izzet Flying Aggro” in large part, thanks to some inclusions from the last few sets, the strategy remains the same – play a bunch of creatures that scale with the game but are good at any point, good disruption, some card draw, and have a low curve. Soul Sear is a really powerful addition to this strategy, being an instant speed answer to most of what ails you, and being an okay (if a bit pricey) answer to Seasoned Hallowblade, a very commonly played aggro card in the format.
I suspect the new Gruul build is at its best yet, now that we can cut cards like Paradise Druid which Gruul isn’t the right kind of deck for at all but we were forced to play (here’s the Ikoria build for reference, and in case you’d rather tweak that), and instead maximise threat density! Quirion Dryad, the format’s Tarmogoyf, quickly threatens to outsize every other creature, and allows us to put more effort into protecting such a cheap and powerful threat. I felt we were playing enough noncreature spells to make Heartfire Immolator a decent threat, with it hitting hard with its Prowess body and then acting as removal if you need it to.
High Huatli is a fragile all-in deck with a powerful and synergistic gameplan, that will run right over other decks if undisrupted! The plan is to play a bunch of 1 drops with high toughness, play either Huatli or High Alert to immediately make those into massive threats, and kill your opponents as early as turn 4. If your opponents can’t deal with planeswalkers and enchantments easily, which goes for most of the format other than Control decks (and those may well not realise what you’re doing and tap out on turn 3 so they can’t counter you!), they may find themselves buried under an endless wave of colossal sea creatures!
Here’s a deck that’s very different from the previous iteration, because M21 gave so much to this strategy, and enables us to play a grindier more value-oriented role, with some absurd drain to boot. Basilica Bell-Haunt is an incredible enabler for the “gain 3 life to do a thing” strategy, Griffin Aerie is fantastic if it produces even two Griffins, and cards like Sanctum of Stone Fangs and Faith’s Fetters are perfect for this kind of strategy. The mana in this deck is significantly better, since you’re not trying to curve Daxos into Bloodthirsty Aerialist anymore! The package of Indulging Patrician, Gray Merchant, and Sanctum has a ton of synergy, and overall I think this will be one of the best decks in the new Artisan meta.
While Rakdos Sacrifice has to include a lot more awkward cards and medium sacrifice outlets than its Constructed variant, and the Cat Oven combo is banned in Artisan, Mayhem Devil and Claim the Firstborn are still absurd cards, and M21 introduced Village Rites, one of the best sacrifice outlets in all of Magic. This deck can’t grind quite as well as its Constructed variant, and will instead have to settle for killing your opponent with tons of burn and drain!
This is probably the most self-explanatory deck of the entire list, and it’s one of the most obvious ones to spring from M21! Conclave Mentor is a ridiculous card, and combines fantastically with all the proliferate synergies War of the Spark brought us. Gird for Battle is an extremely efficient way to put counters on things, and Jiang Yanggu represents a ton of value, especially when proliferated. All in all, I suspect this deck is extremely powerful and hard to disrupt, especially with Selfless Savior and Fight as One to sponge removal spells. It’ll often be better to wait with Conclave Mentor or Evolution Sage on turns 2/3 and play other stuff, to ensure you have protection for them ready and get immediate value.
With Reclamation’s dominance over recent Standard, I felt it was only right that I try to make an Artisan version work! While this deck has some issues that the Standard version doesn’t have, e.g. it can’t go exponential in the same way, as there aren’t very many good expensive instants at common or uncommon, and it has much worse mana, every other Artisan deck is much weaker than its Standard variant too! I tried building a Temur version of this first, but was kind of disappointed with it and felt like Black was a bigger draw when Expansion//Explosion isn’t available, since the removal quality is much better, and I felt Discovery/Dispersal was one of the few good expensive instants out there.
I originally intended this deck to be an amalgam between Elementals and Mutate cards, since there’s some good crossover there and the payoffs aren’t good enough to be quite as dedicated to one of those strategies, but it just ended up feeling more like Jund, with beatdown creatures and solid value cards to take over the late game. The elements of this deck might be too disparate to work out amazingly, but Spined Megalodon is pretty strong against the format’s Control decks, and I do think the Risen Reef package is very powerful, alongside the overwhelming power of the format’s Tarmogoyf in Quirion Dryad.
Old Ikoria Decks
I suspect Boros Cycling may be the best deck of the entire lot, certainly the best introduced this time round, because it’s been making some waves in Standard already and this version doesn’t change very much! As always, you use a critical mass of cyclers to run a really low land count, churn your deck incredibly quickly, find your payoffs, chip them a little, and then burn them out in spectacular fashion with Zenith Flares for millions.
Azorius Auras suffers a little from the Healer’s Hawk ban, but remains a strong deck with a very focused gameplan – suit up a 1 drop with one of your 7 payoff auras, protect it with K Blessing or Alseid, and go to town! Arcanist’s Owl and Heliod’s Pilgrim help provide longevity in the late game, ensuring you draw your busted auras again and again until they run out of removal. I suspect with the addition of Pilgrim, the deck should grind much better while keeping its busted 1 drop into Staggering Insight curves, and I’ve included a few Silver Bullets to help Pilgrim along; I’ve lowered the number of Enchantments and Artifacts for Owl and All that Glitters a bit, but 24 should still be more than sufficient.
Izzet Flash has ever been popular in Artisan since the format tends to be pretty small-creature oriented, and Izzet Flash preys on the small ones with its suite of fantastic efficient removal, and then uses a host of countermagic to answer the big ones. Sprite Dragon is a massive addition in Ikoria, greatly improving its density of good threats. I expect it to be one of the best decks right now, since it seems like it would be pretty good against both Cycling and Azorius Auras – the formula of kill all their creatures and then counter their Zenith Flares while having your own pressure is pretty good in both those matchups. I suspect my Pilgrim Azorius Auras and the more midrangey decks will be capable of outgrinding it, so I’ve left in a lot of creatures to try to facilitate that pressure plan.
I decided to build Simic Mutate very greedy, with tons of card draw and ramp. Lead the Stampede with 32 creatures will usually draw three cards and I suspect this deck will be very hard to outgrind as a result and be able to recoup the card disadvantage of Mutating very easily. The best cards in the deck are Starrix and Parcelbeast, which will often run away with the game by themselves if not killed immediately!
Orzhov Lifegain seems strong in post-Ikoria Artisan, since Call of the Death-Dweller and Mire Triton are both solid pickups. Sadly, the Healer’s Hawk ban hurt this archetype a lot, but I suspect it still has a lot of potential. I chose to build this deck in a less Aristocrats sort of way (originally I planned to include Serrated Scorpions, Bastions, and Cruel Celebrants) because I wanted to have more reliable lifegain triggers since we’re running really a lot of Pridemate-esque cards now; I chose to even include Gideon’s Company just to ensure I would have a Pridemate on board. I’ve mostly tried to keep it to cards that are reasonable by themselves/at least buy time – no Soulmenders here! One card I debated including was Revenge of Ravens, but it’s really not what you want to do against Cycling and this deck is good enough against other Aggro decks already.
I’ve essentially thrown a ton of cards that are great with the Evolution Sage and Fertilid combo – put in stuff like Merfolk Skydiver as back-up Evolution Sages and a powerful mana sink, and have Incubation to dig for Evolution Sage. I’ve seen how big Evolution Sage can go in War of the Spark Limited, and it’s quite the sight to behold… This is certainly the deck I’m most excited to try myself, though how good it is really depends on how easily people can kill Evolution Sage and Merfolk Skydiver; if all you’re seeing is Red, it might be time to look elsewhere, but if they’re trying to grind with interactionless Mutate stuff, this should go way over the top!
Orzhov Humans gets access to the best removal spell in the format in Dire Tactics, alongside a powerful swarm/drain strategy and a great anthem. It’s packed full of 3 mana Enchantments, but they’re all extremely powerful and your opponents are going to be in for a rough time once you set a couple of them up… I suspect this deck will excel against any deck that tries to attack on the ground, having infinite blockers and lifegain in Cruel Celebrant and Bastion of Remembrance.
I noticed there was a lot of overlap between Humans and Knights, and plenty of decent ones, enough that I wanted to try to make Sanctuary Lockdown + Inspiring Veteran happen. I’ve been very impressed with Weaponize the Monsters in my Draft aggressive decks, and I suspect it is good here also as a means of leveraging Light Up the Stage and all your disposable creatures into a late game kill, and at blowing your opponents’ Azorius Fliers right out of the sky! I’m not entirely sure if I’m stretching myself too thin with this deck and trying to do too much, and that’s my main concern with it, but in theory I’m playing a lot of powerful cards and they have good synergies!
Gruul’s creatures outsize pretty much all others in the format; Anax can be as much as a 7/3 on turn 4 if followed up by Rampart Crasher! Auspicious Starrix + Paradise Druid is a powerful combo, granting the Starrix Hexproof permanently, and this is the best deck to make use of that since it’s going to be very hard to double block against all Gruul’s tricks. The lack of trample is a problem, so I’ve left 3 Collisions in to try to avoid getting chumped to death by the Aristocrats-type decks, and hopefully there’s enough interaction to prevent small Deathtouchers from being a problem either.
Thanks to Luis Caparroz for submitting this deck! Personally, I think I would run Neutralizes over Sinister Sabotages, since I think the option to cycle is much more valuable than scry 1 in general, but otherwise I am happy with the core of the deck so I’ve left his original list up. Nightveil Predator is really hard to interact with in Artisan outside of sacrifice effects like Plaguecrafter so you successfully blank almost all the removal in the format. Ill-Gotten Inheritance, while a bit weak, is your best means of catching up in the late game. Narset, as we all know, is an extremely powerful card but especially so against the Cycling decks I expect will be cropping up – with Narset out, they can’t cycle on their turn and only once on yours until they kill her; it will often be worth not even minusing her against them as a result! I could see having the 3rd Cry mainboard, since I suspect the meta will have a lot of creatures that are susceptible to it.
Check out the Historic Artisan Event guide for even more lists you can adapt!
Our site provides decks for almost every Arena event, so just check back whenever you need them – here’s the event schedule.