When Mox Opal was legal, Urza, Lord High Artificer had been a very popular Modern card, and the same used to be true for Whir of Invention. Sometimes the two even worked together, a combination dubbed "Whirza." However, all of the quirky artifact shells fell from grace along with the Opal ban.
Recently, Wizards helped them back onto their feet with the printing of Urza's Saga. A Construct-creating engine and way of finding silver bullets was clearly going to be good in an artifact deck. Between Mishra's Bauble for card draw, Aether Spellbomb for removal, Soul-Guide Lantern as graveyard hate, Shadowspear to give Constructs trample and lifelink, or Pithing Needle to stop annoying permanents, there are enough zero- or one-mana artifacts in Magic to dig a player out of almost any hole.
The main payoffs in the deck are indeed the Constructs created by Urza's Saga and the man himself … and also Thopters! The deck contains the combo of Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek, which works as follows: You pay one mana and sacrifice the Sword to the Foundry's ability to create a 1/1, the Sword comes back, and you're up by one Thopter and 1 life. You can repeat this process as long as you have mana. A lot of fair creature decks already cannot beat, say, five blockers and 5 life every single turn.
But it gets better. With Urza on the battlefield, you can tap both the newly created Thopters and the Sword for a total of two mana per Foundry activation and go off: you create an arbitrarily large number of Thopters, gain an arbitrarily large amount of life, and get an arbitrary amount of colorless mana. You can then pump the "infinite" mana into Urza's final ability to play out your whole deck.
One of the problems of the archetype has always been interaction. You could technically play Fatal Push or Path to Exile, but these only deal with creatures and you want to minimize the number of non-artifacts too. Adventures in the Forgotten Realms comes to the rescue with Portable Hole.
It's an excellent answer to early pressure and exiles any nonland permanent, so it gets rid of Wrenn and Six, Stony Silence, Rest in Peace, and the likes. Plus, it's a cheap artifact, meaning you can easily get it with Whir of Invention—and all copies already on the battlefield can also help pay for a larger Whir! The Hole makes the whole artifact toolbox so much better, it's no wonder the deck quickly picked up a full playset.
If you like artifact decks, toolbox decks, and you enjoy playing interactive games with a nice combo finish—this deck is certainly for you!
|White-Blue Whirza by Capriccioso, Top 8 at Modern Challenge|
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