M15: Chief Engineer

Blue, and especially the Vedalken are good at building artifacts. Just look at Grand Architect, being able to generate lots of mana so you can make artificats. Now, with Convoke in the new Core set, there is a somewhat slimmer variant. It ramps a little less in some situations, but it’s more reliable in a way; It doesn’t need blue creatures or a lot of Islands to work.

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The way Chief Engineer works has a lot of moving parts, but it boils down to the fact that you can tap a creature to make an artifact cheaper. Ornithopter as a free way to help cast your Pentavus or Myr Battlesphere? That sounds pretty good. Then, having the tokens to tap for even bigger stuff? Great!

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He is heralded as the new Affinity by some, even if he’s more balanced. The problem with Chief Engineer may be that it doesn’t work that well in multiples. A second Engineer doesn’t do much more, except than tap for Convoke. For a Chief Engineer, he surely doesn’t make Vedalken Engineer">Vedalken Engineer much more efficient, although the pseudo-haste does help a little.

It’s an interesting card in several formats though. It’s cool for Commander, along Artifact-centric commanders like Sydri, Galvanic Genius, Muzzio, Visionary Architect, Memnarch or Sharuum the Hegemon. Not everything in Commander can be a Master Transmuter, so having some redundancy is nice.


The Chief Engineer can even be an interesting addition to a Cube, for an Artifact subtheme. It certainly makes picking up a Sentinal Dispatch more interesting, turning the little defenders into additional ramp. And in M15 drafts it makes it easier to play artifacts like Soul of Phyrexia, if you’re really lucky to somehow pull both.

The return of Affinity it’s probably not. A more splashable, more easy to curve Grand Architect, well yeah. It’s only as good as the artifacts it can help bring out, but at least it’s ramp in a color that doesn’t get much of it.

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