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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jan 24 2014 2:27pm
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 Golems are big, Myr are organized, and Constructs are... none of the above. But what they lack in reliability, they make up for in variety, as Constructs are essentially anything that doesn't occur in nature, plus a few things that do occur in nature but for some reason artificers thought they could make better (like eggs or white-collar workers). They can be funky automatons, creepy toys, Phyrexian monstrosities, and all sorts of contraptions, like dirigibles or catapults that somehow achieved sentience. And we know they're all assembled, but how are they assembled? Are they top-notch technology or just junk? Trash or treasure? Let's find out. (Warning: the sheer amount of trash might turn out to be alarmingly high).

  • Definition: every Construct card in the game
  • Number of cards: 75
  • What you need to know: Body is the sum of Power and Toughness; the Rating is calculated on a scale from 0 to 10; the entries are ordered alphabetically. All the creatures listed have the artifact type except for Slag Fiend.
  • Click HERE to go directly to the hypertextual list at the end with all of the entries.

1. 

  • Name: Adaptive Automaton   >> summary
  • Set: Magic 2012
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: The ultimate tribal tool: the lord of every tribe! This guy really conveys the meaning of the word "adaptive", uh? It's clearly good in linear aggro strategies, even if I've never been crazy for lords that just give a basic stats boost. Plus, it's just a Gray Ogre when left on its own. Of course, it's at its best when it plays the role of tribal lord #16-20 of your deck.
  • Rating: 7

2. 

  • Name: Anodet Lurker   >> summary
  • Set: Fifth Dawn
  • Converted Mana Cost: 5
  • Body: 6
  • Evaluation: The thing about Constructs: given their status of "things put together by some artificer to support their army", they make perfect candidates for the type of filler card that might or might not have some use in Limited, where color fixing is a challenge and being colorless a solution. Some of them won't even pass the Limited test, though, and this overcosted common with an awkward lifegaining trigger (sort of a worse Onulet, which is an accomplishment in itself) wasn't certainly a prime pick in Mirrodin block drafts, and disappeared into oblivion since.
  • Rating: 3

3. 

  • Name: Arcbound Worker   >> summary
  • Sets: Darksteel, Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret, Modern Masters
  • Converted Mana Cost: 1
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: The poster boy for modular. As simple and straightforward as it gets, but sometimes it's all you need. A 1/1 for 1 is rarely something an aggro player will be interested in, but that unassuming returning counter was the herald of a new era (and if you want to know all about it, read the excellent history of robots by RexDart).
  • Rating: 6

4. 

  • Name: Armored Transport   >> summary
  • Set: Gatecrash
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 3
  • Evaluation: It's a cheap 2/1 that can't be killed while attacking. Of course, you would rather have that ability in its defensive version. Which is the reason pretty much nobody ever played with this thing in a Constructed format.
  • Rating: 4

5. 

  • Name: Arsenal Thresher   >> summary
  • Set: Alara Reborn
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Except for the anomaly of Slag Fiend, this is the only colored Construct in existence. To compensate, it has all the three colors of the Esper shard. And not much else, I'm afraid. You can put it in an artifact deck and maybe hope to turn it into, I don't know, a very situational 5/5 for 4? One that requires at least two different colors of mana and is subjected to three different types of color protection or hosing (which is something an artifact deck should never worry about). Yeah, it's not gonna happen.
  • Rating: 4

6. 

  • Name: Battering Ram   >> summary
  • Sets: Antiquities, Fourth Edition, Fifth Edition
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: The only Construct that's not online yet. Let's see... "bands, but only when attacking"... Oh boy. Destroys the Walls that block it, but not before they'll get a chance to kill it... Wow. It's not hard to understand why they never reprinted it, now, is it?
  • Rating: 1

7. 

  • Name: Bladed Sentinel   >> summary
  • Set: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 6
  • Evaluation: Bladed Sentinel is part of Mirrodin Besieged's cycle of common color-aligned artifact creatures. Along with Spin Engine, it represents the Constructs in the cycle (the other creatures are (Gust Skimmer), Dross Ripper, and Tangle Hulk, which are, respectively, an Insect, a Hound, and a Beast). Vigilance on a 2/4 body isn't that bad, and the Sentinel is the only Bolt-resistant member of the group, but it's clearly a cycle of filler creatures aimed at Limited, so it's not that you could ask too much of it.
  • Rating: 4

8. 

  • Name: Brass Man   >> summary
  • Sets: Arabian Nights, Revised Edition, Fourth Edition
  • Converted Mana Cost: 1
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Hey, there were automatons in One Thousand and One Nights, too! The original Construct, Brass Man is so inextricably linked to the history of Magic that it becomes hard to evaluate. Everybody who started playing in the first years of the game inevitably had some memories of dropping this guy in the turn 1 of some game. And the reason is that while certainly not a bomb or anything, it's serviceable; a body 4 for 1 mana, with a manageable downside, is pretty decent, especially if you just aim to defend your position, something that Brass Man is pretty good at.
  • Rating: 6

9. 

  • Name: Brass Secretary   >> summary
  • Set: Urza's Destiny
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 3
  • Evaluation: I like that you have a robot secretary, but the only way to get some clerical work out of him is by dismantling him. A little creature able to cantrip itself isn't a terrible idea, but having to pay 3 mana for a puny 2/1 doesn't make this silly secretary all that alluring.
  • Rating: 5

10. 

  • Name: Bronze Bombshell   >> summary
  • Set: Dissension
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 5
  • Evaluation: A living combo piece! Gather your Donate, Bazaar Trader, Zedruu the Greathearted... or is it maybe better off by just attacking a couple times into an empty board? Either way, it doesn't seem that likely to deliver. Except for the terrible pun in its name.
  • Rating: 5

11.  

  • Name: Cathodion   >> summary
  • Sets: Urza's Saga, Mirrodin
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 6
  • Evaluation: Cathodion was the Urza's Saga re-imagining of Su-Chi from Antiquities. One mana less to cast, one point of power and toughness lost, one less mana produced with the death trigger. And of course, back when it was conceived, and then reprinted, Cathodion's 3 mana generation was sort of a downside, if not carefully handled. Some among you might remember something called "mana burn". Now that such a silliness doesn't exist anymore, Cathodion is perfectly positioned to be abused by sacrifice outlets like Krark-Clan Ironworks. And it has a great CMC/body ratio, to boot, which isn't something you can say for many fellow members of its tribe.
  • Rating: 8

12. 

  • Name: Creepy Doll   >> summary
  • Set: Innistrad
  • Converted Mana Cost: 5
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: Innistrad's attempt to reinvent the Stuffy Doll was a true failure. All combo potential gone? A randomness factor? No way. Considering all the ways with which an indestructible creature can still be sent to the graveyard these days, they could have at least reduced the mana cost of this Bride of Chucky homage.
  • Rating: 5

13. 

  • Name: Diabolic Machine   >> summary
  • Sets: The Dark, Fourth Edition, Fifth Edition
  • Converted Mana Cost: 7
  • Body: 8
  • Evaluation: When it was time to give this old, old card a precise creature type, nobody clearly knew what the damn thing was even supposed to be. The art is cryptic, the flavor text only says that it has "gears" and it's "diabolic" and "monstrous". So, let's say it's a Construct and call it a day, shall we? See how the mad world of Constructs works? Anyway, it's a 4/4 for 7 that regenerates for 3. So, the only diabolic and monstrous thing in this card is its design.
  • Rating: 3

14. 

  • Name: Dragon Engine   >> summary
  • Sets: Antiquities, Revised Edition to Sixth Edition
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Good old Dragon Engine! Same body as its almost contemporary Brass Man, yet 2 mana more to lose the downside and get a firebreathing ability that actually makes it sort of good with a Cloudpost base. Why is it not a Dragon, though? Other mechanical Dragons have been given the Dragon type. Maybe it's just too clumsily made to actually resemble a Dragon.
  • Rating: 6

15. 

  • Name: Duskworker   >> summary
  • Set: Mirrodin
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Just like Armored Transport, you can safely attack with Duskworker all day long. For 1 mana more it gets slightly better stats and some (painfully expensive) firebreathing, though, so it's microscopically less horrible. Provided you discount the fact that, according to the flavor text, it's Mirrodin's garbage collector, something that might take most of the glamour out of it.
  • Rating: 5

16. 

  • Name: Epochrasite   >> summary
  • Sets: Future Sight, Modern Masters
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: The design is cool enough: a cheap dork that becomes a more dignified beater after 3 turns of suspension (or if you reanimate it, which, I know, isn't going to happen). I'm not sure it's worth the trouble, but I praise the idea.
  • Rating: 6

17. 

  • Name: Geistcatcher's Rig   >> summary
  • Set: Innistrad
  • Converted Mana Cost: 6
  • Body: 9
  • Evaluation: Oh, look, the steampunk version of the Ghostbusters trap. Except, for some reason, gigantic, overcosted, and hating on flyers (I guess the trap could capture/mess with everything floating directly above it? Maybe). Let's focus on the overcosted part: we're paying Wurmcoil Engine mana for this things. 'Nuff said. Who you gonna call? Not the Geistcatchers, that's for sure.
  • Rating: 4

18. 

  • Name: Gemini Engine   >> summary
  • Set: Darksteel
  • Converted Mana Cost: 6
  • Body: 7
  • Evaluation: Another neat design that's just slightly below the curve. Attacking with two 3/4s isn't a bad deal, and you can also get to sacrifice the token copy for your own nefarious purposes. But the overall impact on the board is too poor for Gemini Engine to shine like it could have with a different CMC/body ratio. Which it would have totally got had been printed 10 years later as a mythic. Talk about being ahead of your time.
  • Rating: 6

19 

  • Name: Goblin Dirigible   >> summary
  • Set: Mirrodin
  • Converted Mana Cost: 6
  • Body: 8
  • Evaluation: Why, in the name of all that's holy and sacred and made of gears, should I pay 6 mana, plus an upkeep cost of 4, in order to get a colorless Air Elemental? I get that the Goblins are only able to create ramshackle mechanisms, but this is insane.
  • Rating: 2

20. 

  • Name: Grapeshot Catapult   >> summary
  • Sets: Antiquities, Fourth Edition, Fifth Edition, Seventh Edition
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 5
  • Evaluation: Another story of early artifact creatures and their tendency to suck. Somehow not requiring colored mana was considered a very big deal at the time, worth 1 or even 2 additional mana in the cost compared to similar colored bodies. And a flavor text that attributes this work to Urza and Mishra's mentor, like it was some incredible feat of engineering a la Leonardo da Vinci. And I'd like to know how many flying creatures with toughness 1 could this Catapult hit at the time (and seriously, don't call "catapult" something that does 1 damage! And where's the "grapeshot" if there's only one target?). Scryb Sprites, Mesa Pegasus, Flying Men... Anything else?
  • Rating: 3

21. 

  • Name: Grid Monitor   >> summary
  • Set: Mirrodin
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 10
  • Evaluation: Now, that's a great CMC/body ratio! Wait a minute... now, that's a damning drawback! It's still good as a finisher in a creature-scarce control deck, I guess. Granted, you can have better finishers there, since this is just a vanilla body in the end. But it comes earlier than your typical finisher, defends well, and it's colorless, which may be relevant.
  • Rating: 6

22. 

  • Name: Haunted Guardian   >> summary
  • Set: Avacyn Restored
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Body: 3
  • Evaluation: Well, in a Construct tribal deck, you might use a fast defender with first strike. Or not.
  • Rating: 4

23. 

  • Name: Hedron Rover   >> summary
  • Set: Worldwake
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Hedron Roven is Hedron Scrabbler's big brother from the following set. It becomes a temporary 6/6 when you drop a fetch land. And that's about it.
  • Rating: 4

24. 

  • Name: Hedron Scrabbler   >> summary
  • Set: Zendikar
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: The landfall application to artifact creatures. Of course Constructs are the perfect sandbox tribe for this kind of thing. I remember to have considered it in Zendikar drafts a couple times. As a 12th pick or so. Which in the end I passed.
  • Rating: 4

25. 

  • Name: Hopping Automaton   >> summary
  • Set: Urza's Saga
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Oh wow, your Gray Ogre can turn into Scryb Sprites now! I think the most notable feature of this thing is that can kill itself. Some Johnny out there might take notice.
  • Rating: 2

26. 

  • Name: Jangling Automaton   >> summary
  • Set: Weatherlight
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 5
  • Evaluation: Does a 3/2 for 3 really need a downside? Not to mention, THAT downside?
  • Rating: 2

27. 

  • Name: Kiln Walker   >> summary
  • Set: New Phyrexia
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 3
  • Evaluation: This whole parade of supreme junk, where a 3/3 colorless for 3 is something akin to the Holy Grail, makes you understand why I rate Cathodion so high.
  • Rating: 3

28. 

  • Name: Kuldotha Forgemaster   >> summary
  • Set: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Converted Mana Cost: 5
  • Body: 8
  • Evaluation: The Mirrodin sequel carefully tried to avoid all the crazy things you could do with artifacts back in the original block. Still, a card like the Forgemaster was clearly devised as a combo enabler. Don't get me wrong, it's far from broken. It costs 5 mana and comes with summoning sickness, while getting a solid toughness in exchange. Still, it's one tap action away from cheating a Blightsteel Colossus directly onto the battlefield, something that you can do as early as turn 2 in Legacy (involving some god hand with Voltaic Key, Grim Monolith, Lightning Greaves and such – you can read Pete Jahn talking about the Forgemaster's applications here). And in general it's a neatly designed, perfectly balanced card – it tutors for powerful stuff, but it requires some serious resources to get there.
  • Rating: 8

29. 

  • Name: Manakin   >> summary
  • Set: Tempest
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: The Constructs have their quasi-(Llanowar Elf). With all this crap going around, we should welcome the simple pleasure of tapping to get 1 mana.
  • Rating: 7

30. 

  • Name: Memnite   >> summary
  • Set: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Converted Mana Cost: 0
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: Here's what's possibly a characteristic of the Construct tribe as a whole: beauty in simplicity. What makes a 1/1 a big deal? The fact that it comes for free. Ask the affinity/Tempered Steel decks about it (and Protean Hulk combo, too).
  • Rating: 8

31. 

  • Name: Metalworker   >> summary
  • Set: Urza's Destiny
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 3
  • Evaluation: Metalworker is one of those cards that could only belong to a broken block like Urza. The amount of acceleration it provides in the right deck (a.k.a. the deck you built around its insane acceleration) is just nuts. The interactions with the other artifacts is the smoothest: Metalworkers's enablers are also Metalworker's targets. They essentially pay for themselves! (Some sick proto-affinity logic that only Mycosynth Golem would match, and at a much later point in the game). The only flaw is that terrible, terrible art. Why do they all look like toys on a table? Metalworker needs a fancy promo, stat.
  • Rating: 10

32. 

  • Name: Millikin   >> summary
  • Set: Odyssey
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Body: 1
  • Evaluation: There might be a case where you want to add some self-milling to Manakin's mana-producing ability. In that case, Millikin is your artificial man. I gather it's not a very frequent case, though. It might also be a case where the art and the flavor text belonged to two different cards (none of which was actually Millikin), because the former is super-menacing, and the latter is tender and comical.
  • Rating: 6

33. 

  • Name: Mindless Automaton   >> summary
  • Sets: Exodus, Time Spiral "Timeshifted"
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Counters are the one secret tech of the Constructs. Every Construct that deals with counters is bound to do something right (especially since when this guy exists). In the case of Mindless Automaton, nothing is more right than getting you cards. Its basic state only gives you one card, killing your 4-mana creature in the process, which isn't ideal, but considering it's activation-free and can be done after the Automaton chump-blocked, is already something. Plus there's an ability to turn 2 useless cards (and/or cards you want to drop into the graveyard for profit) into 1 fresh one. And of course, with anything that doubles/regrows counters it's an instant combo.
  • Rating: 8

34. 

  • Name: Myr Battlesphere   >> summary
  • Sets: Scars of Mirrodin, Commander 2013
  • Additional Type: Myr
  • Converted Mana Cost: 7
  • Body: 11
  • Evaluation: Ironically, the biggest Construct ever printed is a Myr. Here is where the irony stops, though, because Myr Battlesphere is some scary dude (or, you know, mass of dudes). It can be fetched in multiple ways (including Myr Turbine, and Myr Reservoir from the graveyard), and it impacts the board from multiple angles: it creates 4 tokens, for your sacrificial or chump-blocking necessities; it deals damage before connecting (this happens more massively in a Myr tribal deck, but the 4 little companions provide enough support already, making the Battlesphere entirely self-sufficient, which is the sign of a modern, advanced design); and it makes for a big finisher. Every Construct-based deck that's able to reach into the higher levels of the curve includes up to a full playset of this jewel of Myr technology.
  • Rating: 9

35. 

  • Name: Narstad Scrapper   >> summary
  • Set: Avacyn Restored
  • Converted Mana Cost: 5
  • Body: 6
  • Evaluation: Did anyone ever pay attention for more than 10 seconds to this bland Limited filler from a set that definitely wasn't about artifact creatures? I don't think so. Should I? Nah.
  • Rating: 4

36. 

  • Name: Onulet   >> summary
  • Sets: Antiquities, Revised Edition, Fourth Edition
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Another blast from a past that we shouldn't feel nostalgia for, Onulet was just a (Gray Ogre) with a minimal lifegaining trigger. So, a strictly better Gray Ogre, I guess. But in such an unimpressive way as to perfectly match its sad appearance of a coffee table with legs, drinking from a dog bowl.
  • Rating: 4

37. 

  • Name: Peace Strider   >> summary
  • Set: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 6
  • Evaluation: Look, it's not Obstinate Baloth. In fact, it's lacking in every department compared to that glorious Beast (amount of life gained, power, toughness). But it could be worse. It could be Onulet. Or, dare not say, Anodet Lurker. Just like its evil twin, Peace Strider does its job. Doesn't go the extra mile, but it's okay. It's not that it gets a lot of peer pressure.
  • Rating: 6

38. 

  • Name: Pentavus   >> summary
  • Sets: Mirrodin, Magic 2012, Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret
  • Converted Mana Cost: 7
  • Body: 10
  • Evaluation: Pentavus, the Mirrodin's improvement on the classic Tetravus, is a fascinating beast. It's still a bit overcosted, but unlike its predecessor, its abilities work smoothly. For instance, as long as you have 2 mana available, you can create a flying token, block pretty much anything with it (it also helps that it's colorless), then reabsorb it back into the main body before losing it. Rinse, repeat. It's a neat trick, and it's just one of the things you can do with all those counters and tokens (it's like a Doubling Season pool party!). Not essential, but definitely cool.
  • Rating: 7

39. 

  • Name: Phyrexian Devourer   >> summary
  • Set: Alliances
  • Converted Mana Cost: 6
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: When Phyrexian Devourer was created (and exquisitely illustrated by Mark Tedin, who clearly didn't have any idea of what he was actually drawing), Triskelion already existed. But Necrotic Ooze didn't. Therefore, I'm pretty sure the Devourer was conceived as one of those typical "vanilla dorks with an angle" that seriously attempt to grow bigger by randomly exiling cards from your library, or whatever else is their preposterous mechanic. It took a while for Necrotic Ooze to join the party, creating a combo where the Devourer doesn't even need to be on the battlefield. What a dork.
  • Rating: 7 considering the combo, 3 otherwise

40. 

  • Name: Phyrexian Digester   >> summary
  • Set: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 3
  • Evaluation: Basic infecter is basic. That's all you can reasonably say about this guy.
  • Rating: 4

41. 

  • Name: Phyrexian Ironfoot   >> summary
  • Set: Coldsnap
  • Additional Type: Snow
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 7
  • Evaluation: A descendant of Brass Man. At least the new stats kind of make sense, and it's a good blocker. The designer of this card clearly just wanted to showcase the snow mana symbol, though, so it's all a bit moot.
  • Rating: 5

42. 

  • Name: Phyrexian Marauder   >> summary
  • Set: Visions
  • Converted Mana Cost: variable
  • Body: variable
  • Evaluation: Boy the Marauder is bad. It's a customizable body that can't block and you have to repay from scratch every turn if you want to attack with it. It's the moronic design from hell. The only applications (entirely accidental, I assume) stem from the fact that you can set X = 0, and have it trigger an insta-death that you can exploit with Enduring Renewal and Genesis Chamber. And it's not even a great combo, and even there, it plays second fiddle to Shifting Wall, that does the same thing and is more versatile (it can block, go figure!)
  • Rating: 6 considering the combo, 0 otherwise

43. 

  • Name: Phyrexian Soulgorger   >> summary
  • Set: Coldsnap
  • Additional Type: Snow
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 16
  • Evaluation: The idea of this card is: you drop it very early, it's an 8/8, so if you just maintain it in play for a couple turns, you'll do a lot of damage. There are so many things that can go wrong with that plan. First of all, it's an 8/8 vanilla, which means you have no guarantee that it will actually connect even if you dropped it turn 2. And the really comical thing is: the earlier you drop it, the worse are the chances you'll manage to pay its crazy upkeep, because your board won't be developed enough at that point. Even going Bitterblossom into Soulgorger, your life won't be easy. And if you wait until later, it'll entirely defy its purpose, as its vanilla status will become more and more of a hindrance.
  • Rating: 3

44. 

  • Name: Phyrexian Walker   >> summary
  • Set: Visions
  • Converted Mana Cost: 0
  • Body: 3
  • Evaluation: Do you feel the awe and thrill of that "0"? It's always like that: take anything, make it cost the absolute least you can, and it suddenly becomes interesting. Phyrexian Walker isn't Memnite, but in certain decks is even better. I know I used it a few times myself within Construct tribal builds where I cared about an early blocker that could grow later thanks to Steel Overseer. I'm pretty sure it would see play in Modern if it was reprinted. Anyway, I wonder what exactly means, flavor-wise, when a creature costs zero. Doesn't it require any resource at all? Who pays for those (oddly harmless) metal legs? Are they given away for free in discount deals?
  • Rating: 8

45. 

  • Name: Pierce Strider   >> summary
  • Set: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 6
  • Evaluation: As far as life total balance goes, is it more important to gain life, as Pierce Strider's pacifist twin does, or is it always preferable to decrease the opponent's amount? The common sense would lean toward the latter, but it depends on your deck's overall plan, I guess. It's worth noting, though, that Pierce's effect is less commonly met than its counterpart's one.
  • Rating: 6

46. 

  • Name: Rackling   >> summary
  • Set: Nemesis
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: The Rack on a stick. Why should I want The Rack on a stick, though, for quadruple the cost and a negligible body? Unclear. But Nemesis got you Black Vise, too, to give you a full range of symmetrical bad choices.
  • Rating: 4

47. 

  • Name: Razorfield Thresher   >> summary
  • Set: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Converted Mana Cost: 7
  • Body: 10
  • Evaluation: Behold the artifact Craw Wurm, available at last! And in exchange of being colorless, it costs 1 mana more. And loses trample. Eh.
  • Rating: 3

48. 

  • Name: Runed Servitor   >> summary
  • Sets: Rise of the Eldrazi, Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Runed Servitor is serviceable enough. Look, most of these common and uncommon Constructs aren't really (no pun intended) Constructed playable (not that the rares are all that good, either). As far as junk goes, this is a strictly better Grizzly Bears. Could be worse.
  • Rating: 5

49. 

  • Name: Sawtooth Thresher   >> summary
  • Set: Fifth Dawn
  • Converted Mana Cost: 6
  • Body: 2+
  • Evaluation: Wait, wait, the absurd mana cost has a purpose: giving you the chance to use all the colors of mana for sunburst. Plus another mana, of course, because why not? And if you manage to have access to all the 5 colors (which is totally something you want to do on behalf of Sawtooth Thresher, I'm sure), you'll get 5 counters. Then you can use 4 of them for a mega +8/+8 one-time boost (or two moderate +4/+4 boosts, if you feel like playing cautiously with your precious Thresher). At the end, you'll remain with a 2/2. But look at the bright side: it'll still have one odd counter, so you can combo it with stuff like Gilder Bairn and Experiment Kraj. Isn't it wonderful?
  • Rating: 2

50.  

  • Name: Serrated Biskelion   >> summary
  • Sets: Weatherlight, Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: The "counters are awesome" theme keeps emerging across the Construct tribe. Serrated Biskelion isn't its progenitor Serrated Arrows, mainly because it has summoning sickness and can be dealt with in so many ways before it could even start doing something. However, Serrated Arrows doesn't combo with everyone's friend Steel Overseer, does it? And now for the more important thing: see how the Biskelion is all shiny and metallic? And how that's pretty much killed by the old, brown frame, while being exalted by the modern one from the Duel Deck? C'mon, let's be honest here. One thing is when artifacts are supposed to be ancient tablets or candelabra or stuff. But this kind of burnished mecha? It's utterly unwatchable in the old frame.
  • Rating: 7

51. 

  • Name: Silent Arbiter   >> summary
  • Set: Fifth Dawn
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 6
  • Evaluation: Silent Arbiter is severely underrated. It is occasionally played, especially in sideboards, but it should be played more. As Dueling Grounds on a stick, and with that sweet toughness 5 to boot, it's the control and combo deck's best friend. Or at least, aggro's worst nightmare.
  • Rating: 9

52. 

  • Name: Slag Fiend   >> summary
  • Set: New Phyrexia
  • Converted Mana Cost: 1
  • Body: variable
  • Evaluation: I can't tell why Slag Fiend exists. The flavor text has Urabrask, a Phyrexian Praetor, talking about forges. The Phyrexian creations, as you can see from this very list, are artifacts. Yet this thing is... an organic Construct? Then why the Frankenstein's monster Zombies (like the Skaab ones from Innistrad) aren't Constructs, too? Aside from these Melvin concerns, though, it's not particularly impressive. It wants you to drop artifacts in the graveyard to be a super-cheap big guy. I saw an attempt to break it. It doesn't really work. It doesn't even really exploit the CMC 1, unless you're playing some kind of dredge build, in which case why are you playing with this thing to begin with? I guess it was focused on the SOM block environment, even if I don't think it saw any play there, either.
  • Rating: 3

53. 

  • Name: Sliver Construct   >> summary
  • Set: Magic 2014
  • Additional Type: Sliver
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: The old Metallic Sliver didn't have the Construct type. The updated Sliver Construct, as the name suggests, does. One of the improvement of the Magic 2014's Sliver Revolution.
  • Rating: 6

54. 

  • Name: Snapsail Glider   >> summary
  • Set: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: In the right deck, it's a 2/2 flyer for 3. Let's say it's a semi-decent common?
  • Rating: 5

55. 

  • Name: Solarion   >> summary
  • Set: Fifth Dawn
  • Converted Mana Cost: 7
  • Body: variable
  • Evaluation: Solarion is better than Sawtooth Thresher because it can spend turn after turn doubling its own counters. Yay! Why these sunburst dorks don't just cost 5? I doubt a 5/5 for WUBRG would be that broken.
  • Rating: 4

56. 

57. 

  • Name: Spin Engine   >> summary
  • Set: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: The other Construct in the color-aligned cycle that Bladed Sentinel is a part of, too. If you have enough red mana, it's unblockable. Otherwise, anything would kill it. I know, it's pretty terrible, even for a common.
  • Rating: 3

58. 

  • Name: Spincrusher   >> summary
  • Set: Darksteel
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: In order to accumulate counters on Spincrusher (and if you like, make it unblockable later), you have to find something that a 0/2 soon-to-be 1/3 can block and write home about. Which essentially means a 1/1 or a 2/2. And why should they attack with their 1/1 or 2/2 into your almost 1/3? This is Spincrusher's dilemma. Oh well, at least it doesn't cost 4 mana.
  • Rating: 4

59. 

  • Name: Steel Overseer   >> summary
  • Sets: Magic 2011, Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: It's curious that such an immediately defining member for the Construct tribe (and any artifact aggro deck in general, plus a few combo builds) came in a Core set, as opposed to one of the artifact sets. But it did come, and the Mirrodin suns have never shone brighter before that moment.
  • Rating: 10

60. 

  • Name: Street Sweeper   >> summary
  • Set: Return to Ravnica
  • Converted Mana Cost: 6
  • Body: 10
  • Evaluation: I get the flavor. I really do. But boy, it hates on auras attached to a land? Could it be any more situational?
  • Rating: 4

61.  

  • Name: Stuffy Doll   >> summary
  • Sets: Time Spiral, Magic 2013
  • Converted Mana Cost: 5
  • Body: 1
  • Evaluation: At first sight, Stuffy Doll might seem like a combo card. And it is, of course, whether it's the case of an insta-win combo like Guilty Conscience, or a "soft" one like Blasphemous Act, or an extravagant one like Furnace of Rath and Lightning Bolt (or what have you). But there's another, simpler side of the Doll: it's a great, if a bit of expensive, defensive barrier. It basically only fears effect a la Infest and Black Sun's Zenith. Which, granted, aren't that rare, but mostly found in black. In any other case, your Stuffy Doll will stop any ground-based attack. More so, it'll prevent them, because you don't want to attack into a Stuffy Doll with your 8/8 vanilla.
  • Rating: 8

62. 

  • Name: Su-Chi   >> summary
  • Set: Antiquities
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 8
  • Evaluation: Su-Chi was born in an era of mana burn, which entirely prevented it to see play. A 4/4 colorless for 4 is pretty decent creature, and the new rules allow it to be a great enabler for recursive sacrifices, just like its descendant Cathodion. They should reprint it at some point, as Modern could be its scene. The (random) Chinese name might be a concern, though (as is its art, that depicts a 1950s horror movie monster that looks almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a Construct). Maybe in a Core set?
  • Rating: 7

63. 

  • Name: Summoner's Egg   >> summary
  • Set: Fifth Dawn
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Even before the weird tweet by Travis Woo that I didn't entirely understand and don't want to judge here, but got the online price of the Egg to relatively skyrocket, this was a strong, underrated card. Granted, it's a midrange trick, and you also need specific resources to go to town with it: one worthy creature in hand (which in turn means the right build), and a reliable sacrifice outlet on the board (I always go to Spawning Pit in these cases). After all, you might just leave your Egg there to discourage attacks, or even to dare the opponent to keep assaulting you. But if you have an Eldrazi under there (I personally like to use Dragons or Wurms, they're more thematically appropriate, unless you're a fan of Mamoru Oshii), you might want to bring it out before they find a way to exile your Egg along with its precious surprise.
  • Rating: 8

64. 

  • Name: Suncrusher   >> summary
  • Set: Fifth Dawn
  • Converted Mana Cost: 9
  • Body: 6+
  • Evaluation: It's an established fact that the sunburst Constructs are all more or less terrible. Suncrusher doesn't disappoint in this regard, because it's a 9-mana monstrosity with a deceivingly strong killing ability. Well, "deceivingly" if you can't read, as it involves 4 mana, the tap symbol, and one of the sunburst counters. But don't worry, you can still remove another counter (and pay 2 mana, because nothing comes cheap in the world of sunburst) to unsummon your own Suncrusher so that you can cast it again and get a fresh lot of counters. Hurrah! It's just that... with all that mana (across several colors, even), couldn't you just cast Ulamog instead?
  • Rating: 4

65. 

  • Name: Synod Centurion   >> summary
  • Sets: Fifth Dawn, Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 8
  • Evaluation: Simplicity, simplicity: Synod Centurion is a beater slightly above the curve, that just asks to be played in a deck with other things like it. Stay focused, Construct tribe, and you'll go places.
  • Rating: 7

66. 

  • Name: Tetravus   >> summary
  • Sets: Antiquities, Fourth Edition
  • Converted Mana Cost: 6
  • Body: 8
  • Evaluation: Tetravus was a cool idea, but unfortunately it was conceived back when Magic design wasn't ready to turn it into a working card (10 years later, its grandchild Pentavus would get closer to playability). I mean, what not to love in a cartoon-esque flying machine made of smaller components – renamed "Tetravite" in the Oracle wording: how cool is that? – that combine together a la Voltron (or Supercar Gattiger, for the ones who know their anime)? Did we really need the upkeep clause, though? That kinda sucks the fun out of the whole thing. And let's not even mention the overly long, absurd series of clauses about the effect of enchantments on the tokens, which lead to the Oracle text giving them the ability, "This creature can't be enchanted." Why was that so important? Ah, 1994 Magic, you were a clumsy, clumsy beast.
  • Rating: 4

67. 

  • Name: Thermal Navigator   >> summary
  • Set: Fifth Dawn
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: At first it might seem that Snapsail Glider is the same card as this one, but with a better way to attain flying. But what Thermal Navigator does is very different, actually: it provides a free, repeatable sacrifice outlet for a reasonably cheap CMC. Good sacrifice outlets are rare and precious. The Navigator isn't exactly good, but it's not a total failure, either.
  • Rating: 5

68. 

  • Name: Thran War Machine   >> summary
  • Set: Urza's Legacy
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 9
  • Evaluation: A bit outdated, considering cards like Synod Centurion have arguably a lighter downside (or one downside rather than two). But not terrible, and solid at the time it was designed.
  • Rating: 5

69. 

  • Name: Trespassing Souleater   >> summary
  • Set: New Phyrexia
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: The third SOM-block cycle of color-aligned artifact creatures (see: Soliton, Bladed Sentinel) are the Souleaters from New Phyrexia. The Construct entry is actually decent, for once. I don't actually understand why these cycles feature one or two Constructs, i.e. the typical subtype for artifact creatures, mixed with types that have usually nothing to do with artifacts, like Cleric or Hound. I mean, at this point, make the blue-aligned one a mechanical Fish or something, no? Feels wrong.
  • Rating: 5

70. 

  • Name: Triskelavus   >> summary
  • Sets: Time Spiral, Commander
  • Converted Mana Cost: 7
  • Body: 8
  • Evaluation: One thing Pentavus had lost over the original Tetravus was that the main body wasn't a big flyer anymore, only the tokens were. Time Spiral decided to remedy to that, creating the ultimate Tetravus concoction, this time with 100% more Triskelion thrown into the mix. The stats are those from Tetravus, but the tokens are created in the same way as Pentavus, and they can be instantly turned into damage, a la Triskelion. The only thing that's missing is a token reincorporation routine, so to do the block-and-it's-gone trick Pentavus does. Couldn't they combine all these elements together already, maybe drop 1 mana from the cost while they're at it, and finally give the -avus family an entirely playable member that represent them all?
  • Rating: 7

71.  

  • Name: Triskelion   >> summary
  • Sets: Antiquities, Mirrodin, Fourth Edition, Magic 2011, Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret
  • Converted Mana Cost: 6
  • Body: 8
  • Evaluation: Who would have thought that over the years that old kitchen appliance on the left would turn into the cool robotic terminator on the right? And it's not just a matter of art: when Triskelion was created, paying 6 mana to do a split Lightning Bolt sounded like a joke. But in a world with things like Phyrexian Devourer, Master Transmuter, Mephidross Vampire, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, Steel Overseer, Doubling Season, and of course Cloudpost, people kind of stopped laughing (this is where the new art has a role, too). Damage-dealing counters with no activation = danger, combo ahead.
  • Rating: 9

72. 

  • Name: Viseling   >> summary
  • Sets: Nemesis, Commander 2013
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Black Vise on a stick. Why should I want Black Vise on a stick, though, for quadruple the cost and a negligible body? Unclear. But Nemesis got you The Rack, too, to give you a full range of symmetrical bad choices. 
  • Rating: 4

73. 

  • Name: Volatile Rig   >> summary
  • Set: Return to Ravnica
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 8
  • Evaluation: This thing's flip-a-coin abilities are a mixed bag (aren't they always? Well, no, most of the times they're outright bad). It may basically die to a 1/1. It may also sweep the board after it dies, but what if you didn't want to? Well, at least it's not a 3/3 for 6 or something like that.
  • Rating: 4

74. 

  • Name: Voltaic Construct   >> summary
  • Set: Darksteel
  • Additional Type: Golem
  • Converted Mana Cost: 4
  • Body: 4
  • Evaluation: Before the Grand Creature Type Update, Voltaic Construct was, oddly enough, a Golem. Now it's a Golem Construct. Why was it even a Golem to begin with beats me. Anyway, it's a limited Voltaic Key on legs. Only, repeatable. But overcosted. And fragile. All in all, a big meh.
  • Rating: 5

75. 

  • Name: Walking Atlas   >> summary
  • Set: Worldwake
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Body: 2
  • Evaluation: It's the Construct version of Sakura-Tribe Scout. The Constructs can certainly do worse. For one, it's an useful ability in a Cloudpost build. Plus, it's actually made of atlantes. So silly.
  • Rating: 6

STATISTICS

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 Construct History (first appearances only)

  • Core sets: 3 (M11: 1, M12: 1, M14: 1)
  • Starter sets: 0
  • Special sets: 0
  • Ancient sets: 9 (Arabian Nights: 1, Antiquities: 7, The Dark: 1)
  • Ice Age block: 3 (Alliances: 1, Coldsnap: 2)
  • Mirage block: 4 (Visions: 2, Weatherlight: 2)
  • Tempest block: 2 (Tempest: 1, Exodus: 1)
  • Urza block: 5 (Urza's Saga: 2, Urza's Legacy: 1, Urza's Destiny: 2)
  • Masques block: 2 (Nemesis: 2)
  • Invasion block: 0
  • Odyssey block: 1 (Odyssey: 1)
  • Onslaught block: 0
  • Mirrodin block: 16 (Mirrodin: 4, Darksteel: 4, Fifth Dawn: 8)
  • Kamigawa block: 0
  • Ravnica block: 1 (Dissension: 1)
  • Time Spiral block: 3 (Time Spiral: 2, Future Sight: 1)
  • Lorwyn/Shadowmoor block: 0
  • Alara block: 1 (Alara Reborn: 1)
  • Zendikar block: 4 (Zendikar: 1, Worldwake: 2, Rise of the Eldrazi: 1)
  • Scars of Mirrodin block: 14 (Scars of Mirrodin: 6, Mirrodin Besieged: 5, New Phyrexia: 3)
  • Innistrad block: 4 (Innistrad: 2, Avacyn Restored: 2)
  • Return to Ravnica block: 3 (Return to Ravnica: 2, Gatecrash: 1)
  • Theros block: 0

 Conclusions: Despite their role of catch-all among the artifact tribes, Construct mostly appeared throughout Magic history in the artifact blocks, more than half of them hailing from Antiquities, Mirrodin, or Scars of Mirrodin. Fifth Dawn is the single set featuring the greatest number of them.

 Construct Colors

  • White: 1 (of which 1 Esper)
  • Blue: 1 (of which 1 Esper)
  • Black: 1 (of which 1 Esper)
  • Red: 1 (of which 1 mono-colored)
  • Green:  0
  • Colorless: 73

 Conclusions: Construct is almost entirely a colorless tribe. Is it surprising?

 Additional Types

  • Artifact: 74 (not marked on the individual entries)
  • Snow: 2
  • Golem: 1
  • Myr: 1
  • Sliver: 1

 Conclusions: Not a lot of overlapping with other types, as expected, not even the robot brothers Golem and Myr. And just the one, odd non-artifact.

 The "Recycle Your Trash" Parade


SUMMARY

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1 Comments

I must protest! by Doomhed at Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:11
Doomhed's picture
4

You forgot the most important words on Viseling- "Each opponent". It was one of the first cards worded for multiplayer, along with barbed wire. these are still some of my favorite cards for commander. Each person takes only 1-2 damage at a time from them so no one wants to commit to killing them.

I have also used the combo of false cure and skyshroud woodcutter to deal 10 damage to each of 5 opponents.