M14: Maindeck artifact removal

Last week, we determined that it doesn’t make sense to run maindeck enchantment removal in M14. Today, we’ll determine whether it makes sense to run maindeck artifact removal.

This spreadsheet has a list of all artifacts in M14. None of the artifacts are common except Sliver Construct, and about half are unplayable. Of the rest, Darksteel Ingot is indestructible, and Elixir of Immortality will usually be sacrificed in response. That leaves 1 common, 4 uncommon, and 5 rare artifacts that you may wish to destroy, so an average 8-person draft will only have 9 artifacts, or about 1 per player. Of these 10 artifacts, only 2 uncommons and 2 rares are playable or exceptional, and there will only be 3 of those opened in an average 8-man draft.

Given these numbers, there’s no reason to maindeck Demolish and Smelt. Since your opponent is unlikely to have many playable artifacts, I would not even recommend siding in Demolish or Smelt unless you see multiple artifacts that you want to be able to destroy. Also, Solemn Offering, Naturalize, and Bramblecrush are no more maindeckable than previously determined.

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