Nearly every set has a card like Mechanized Production. For Kaladesh it was Metallurgic Summonings. For Eldritch Moon, maybe it was Mind’s Dilation. For Oath of the Gatewatch it was Crush of Tentacles. I’m talking about splashy blue mythics that do unique, and usually game-winning things. Metallurgic Summonings was an exciting card, and I think Mechanized Production is just as exciting, but a little more difficult to build around.
The card reminds me a lot of Followed Footsteps, only instead of making copies of creatures, you’re making copies of artifacts. And you could also, you know, win the game. Like I said on last week’s Magic TV during Hit or Myth, any card that says “win the game” on it deserves a closer look.
If you want a recent example of the card in action, Twitter user Mildy Vein reached out to me with the following Tweet the other day:
— Mildy Vein (@Mildy_Vein) January 27, 2017
As you can see, the card is capable doing some work, even in Limited on something as innocuous as an Irontread Crusher. But then again, let’s be realistic: Putting Mechanized Production on a noncreature artifact actually makes it somewhat difficult to deal with, especially in game 1. There aren’t a lot of decks that can deal with Clues, or even the Mechanized Production itself, in game 1.
I didn’t even consider Clues when I first read this card. For some reason I didn’t think to combine an Aether Revolt card and what amounts to an Innistrad mechanic. I now see the folly of my ways. The best part is that it gets me excited for a lot of the underplayed blue and green enchantments from Innistrad, and other cards that can quickly accumulate Clues.
- Bygone Bishop can trigger multiple investigations. If you get even 2 Clues from this guy I consider it having done its job.
- Confirm Suspicions is the perfect counter for a Mechanized Production deck. Considering that if Mechanized Production makes a token for you on the upkeep it would win you the game—you only need 7 artifacts before that point. Confirm Suspicions provides nearly half of those!
- Erdwal Illuminator grants you a second Clue each turn so long as you’re making a first. It’s also a 1/3 flyer for 2 mana, which isn’t the most impressive body in Constructed, but it’s definitely not terrible. Thraben Inspector investigating twice is nothing to scoff at.
- Ongoing Investigation is great if you’re going to try and beat down with the likes of Thraben Inspector or tiny flyers. ROnly 1 creature has to deal combat damage, and you only get 1 Clue regardless of how many creatures deal damage.
- Tamiyo’s Journal, while obscure, can provide a steady stream of Clues. It costs 5 mana, which is more than Mechanized Production, and brings up an interesting point: You don’t have to play Mechanized Production on curve. In fact, it’s actually better as a late-game win condition in a control deck that comes out of nowhere. The Journal also lets you search out the Mechanized production if need be, which is a ridiculously useful tool.
- Thraben Inspector and Tireless Tracker: Come on.
- Trail of Evidence is exactly the engine you want. Heck, this allows your Confirm Suspicions to make 4 Clues, which is a ridiculous number.
- Ulvenwald Mysteries is one of the best Clue engines available, so long as you’re playing a creature-heavy strategy. I’m not sure we will be, but it’s definitely an option. The problem is that you usually want to go either heavy spells (Trail of Mystery) or heavy creatures (Ulvenwald Mysteries).
I’m curious to see what a heavy spells version of the deck might look like, so let’s see if we can come up with one.
U/W Mechanized Production
This is a pretty rough draft. Ultimately, when you look at the deck, there isn’t really that much white, but the white cards you do have are all pretty good and necessary. In the end, I cut Fumigate for Baral’s Expertise. Returning 3 creatures should work similarly while allowing you to cast something else for free, like a Glimmer of Genius or even a Mechanized Production to set up the win next turn.
The deck only has 8 creatures, but they’re all relevant as they provide Clues. I only went with 3 copies of Trail of Mystery, as we don’t want to overload on the 3-mana enchantment. As far as Magic strategy goes, this is a card that “does nothing” when you cast it. The hope is that with an Erdwal Illuminator, cards like Glimmer of Genius will provide 2 Clues. Your Confirm Suspicions will generate 5! That’s pretty ridiculous. Heck, even Baral’s Expertise will likely net a Clue by the time you’re casting it. If you’re able to play the Expertise and cast a mechanized Production with an Illuminator and a Trail in play, that’s already 3 Clues by the time your next upkeep rolls around. That’s not too shabby.
I will admit that I have no idea if Mechanized Production is a competitive strategy in Standard, but short of the opponent maindecking Fragmentize, it is difficult to get rid of. And just like Metallurgic Summonings, I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw some Production decks floating around in the near future.
Don’t forget, the strategy works with any artifact and not just Clues (those just happen to be some of the most resilient options and most easily produced). You can also use Thopters (with things like Whirler Virtuoso) or Servos (with things like Sram’s Expertise and Servo Exhibition). The problem I see there is keeping the creature you enchanted with Production alive until your next upkeep, but the mythic Aura does happen to be in the color of counterspells.
Let me know what ideas you have rolling around for Mechanized Production. I’ll catch you later!