Artisan – FNM at Home Event Guide and Decklists
Looking for an escape from the the Grand Companion Jousting Tournament that is Standard right now? Just want to play some normal Magic without one of those darned Cats, Hippos, or whatever the hell Yorion is getting in your way? Well, have I got news for you!
The special FNM at Home event is back on Arena for the next 24 hours, where you can receive a code for an Arena FNM Promo Pack from your local game store for participating. This week’s format is Artisan, where you can only use commons & uncommons. Read on for more information and decklists you can use for this event!
- Duration: May 1, 2020 @ 12:00 AM PT – May 2, 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.
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! You will also find notes on some of these decks below:
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.