~In Magic: The Gathering, Artifacts represent magical items, animated constructs, pieces of equipment, or other objects and devices. In previous sets, Artifacts were often inanimate creatures, sometimes a land, and once even a fortification. Like enchantments, artifacts remain in play until something removes them. Artifacts are distinct from other cards in that they are colorless, and can be played using any color or colours of mana. Only once do I recall an artifact card requiring 2 colourless and one blue mana.
Recently (OK, a few short years ago), Wizards of the Coast introduced Equipment Artifacts. Equipment has carried over to the Morningtide set in the form of Tribal-themed Equipment. These Equipment cards enter play just like other Artifacts and may be attached or equipped to a player's creature to provide the stated effect. Should the creature be slayed (may your Deity forbid it) during the course of the game, the equipment still remains in play and may be equipped to another creature.
We are presented with 12 Lorwyn-set Artifacts consisting of 7 rares and 5 commons. Of this bunch, only two are equipment.
NAME / COST / Rarity
Colfenor's Urn / 3 / Rare
Deathrender / 4 / Rare (Equipment)
Dolmen Gate / 2 / Rare
Herbal Poultice / 0 /Common
Moonglove Extract / 3 / Common
Rings of Brigthearth / 3 / Rare
Runed Stalactite / 1 / Common (Equipment)
Springleaf Drum / 1 / Common
Thorn of Amethyst / 2 / Rare
Thousand-Year Elixir / 3 / Rare
Twinning Glass / 4 / Rare
Wanderer's Twig / 1 / Common
As for the Morningtide set, there are 6 Artifacts containing 1 rare and 5 uncommons. Of this, 5 are equipment cards.
NAME / COST / Rarity
Cloak and Dagger / 2 / Uncommon (Rogue Equipment)
Diviner's Wand / 3 / Uncommon (Wizard Equipment)
Door of Destinies / 4 / Rare
Obsidian Battle-Axe / 3 / Uncommon (Warrior Equipment)
Thornbite Staff / 2 / Uncommon (Shaman Equipment)
Veteran's Armaments / 2 / Uncommon (Soldier Equipment)
The flavour and theme of the Lorwyn block are again echoed within Artifacts. There are 5 Artifact Equipment cards for each of the five classes offered; Soldiers (Kithkin, Giant, Treefolk, Merfolk, Faerie), Shamans (Elemental Flamekin, Treefolk, Goblin, Elf), Wizards (Giant, Elemental, Merfolk, Faerie, Kithkin), Warriors (Giant, Goblin, Treefolk, Elemental Flamekin, Elf), and Rogues (Goblin, Merfolk, Kithkin, Faerie, Elf) within Lorwyn.
The common text within these cards read "Whenever a (stated Class) creature comes into play, you may attach (stated Artifact Equipment) to it". Furthermore, a mana cost is provided to equip the given artifact to the creature which varies from card to card, but expect to pay 2 to 4 mana.
Whatever type of deck you have decided to build, chances are that there is a spot for an artifact which may play an integral part to that deck's success. Personally, I have had some limited success with the inclusion of several Springleaf Drums in my Merfolk Milling Deck to satisfy my tap-happy fish. I have also provided a pair of Door of Destinies in another aggro deck to enhance what my tokens may swing for.
For an engaging article stuffed with Artifact yumminess, drop by WOTC and read Mark Rosewater's article.