I want to paint you a picture.
You walk into a packed bar. The lights are low, and there's a haze of cigarette smoke in the air. Sinatra is playing softly in the background. You tug lightly at the collar of your best outfit you decided to wear for the evening, hoping to attract a suitor.
You make your way through the sea of people, hoping to find some reprieve with a cocktail. That's when you see him. His blue scales shine in the dim light as his piercing red eyes meet yours. A smile tugs at the corners of your mouth. You compliment his Lightning Greaves. He lifts a Natty Light to his lips, chugging it down before slamming the can against his Mask of Memory, reducing it to an aluminum frisbee. He lets out a loud belch, scratching his scaly hand against the plate of his Argentum Armor.
"Thanks! My mom bought them for me."
Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders is a legendary Merfolk Artificer that taps for two colorless, and gives equipped creatures flying and haste. However, there is a catch to this Sol Ring on a stick. These two colorless can only be used to cast artifact spells or activate abilities of artifacts. This makes him the perfect leader for the Iota Zeta Zeta Epsilon Tau fraternity. Dalakos is a steadfast engineer by day, and a brew-slamming party Merfolk by night.
While Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders was not the Merfolk of your dreams, you two exchanged some words that you will never forget. For instance, his opening pickup line involved him telling you the story about how he got in a fight the other night with someone known as Champion of the Flame. Don't underestimate this card, however! While he's a 1/1, rest assured this little guy packs a punch. For two mana you get a trampler that gets +2/+2 for each Equipment attached to it. If your opponent allows this card to live, they will live to regret it.
Armory Automaton is the standard for any Equipment deck and Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders' #1 hypeman. When he's not singing Party Rock Anthem, he is the guy who makes sure his frat brothers are well taken care of. Whenever this 2/2 enters the battlefield or attacks, you may attach any number of target Equipment to it. This reduces your equip costs to zero, and thanks to Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders, this wonderful little Construct gains flying and haste. Suddenly your little 2/2 can halve an opponent's life total in the blink of an eye.
Pia's Revolution is truly a must-include in any artifact deck that runs red. For three mana, this red enchantment acts as a way to return your artifacts from the graveyard to your hand. Your opponents can prevent this, however the price to pay is 3 life. While this may seem like a small price to pay, 3 damage eventually adds up to a lot, especially in a four-person Commander pod.
Fumble is a great way to save an attacking creature and its Equipment from being destroyed. You move to combat with your flying Metalwork Colossus armed to the teeth with Equipment. Suddenly, your opponent casts Path to Exile! In response, you cast Fumble, bouncing your precious Construct to your hand and attaching all Equipment to another creature, saving you the mana and effort of those pesky equip costs.
If any Equipment was a party pooper, it would be Worldslayer.
Worldslayer originally entered the deck as a way to politics your way around your opponents swinging at you. Picture Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders shouting "Come at me, bro" in a Denny's parking lot at 3am wielding a sword that could destroy everything around it...even the parking lot! While Worldslayer is a good way to create some leverage in a stressful game, the ultimate result would be so detrimental to you that wielding it wouldn't be worth it. Yes, you can wipe your opponent's entire board, but you also suffer as well.
Another card that left the party a bit too soon was Bludgeon Brawl. This card was originally one of the first added to the deck. It just made sense! This three-mana red enchantment makes your noncreature, non-Equipment artifacts into equipment. The equip cost is equal to X, where X is the artifact's converted mana cost, and the equipped creature also gets +X/+0. However, the card was cut due to the fact that in that moment the deck barely ran any noncreature, non-Equipment artifacts with the exception of a Sol Ring and a Talisman of Creativity. While Bludgeon Brawl would have been a wonderful addition to the deck, it would've only had a select few targets, and unfortunately had to be cut to make room for some sweet artifacts.
You and Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders are having a good time. Two Natty Lights in and you're starting to warm up to his party lifestyle and charismatic charm.
Then she enters the room, his ex-girlfriend, Saheeli, Sublime Artificer. She is beautiful, stunning even, and you start to wonder how a Planeswalker like her fell into the crowd of this party-going Merfolk. Saheeli, Sublime Artificer's static ability allows her to generate Servos every time you cast a noncreature spell. However, this is not where her talents end. Her -2 turns target artifact you control into a copy of another target artifact or creature you control. Imagine the rush of transforming a 1/1 Servo into a 12/12 Darksteel Juggernaut with flying and haste thanks to Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders.
Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders rambles on endlessly about the various exploits he and his frat buddy Darksteel Juggernaut had gotten into during his undergrad days. I had never heard of Darksteel Juggernaut before it was brought up during one of my streams. This indestructible behemoth's power and toughness are equal to the number of artifacts you control and must attack each combat if able. This particular brew runs 30 artifacts, making the probability of Darksteel Juggernaut entering the battlefield as a major threat exponentially greater. Couple this big hitter with Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders' ability to give flying and haste, and equipment like Inquisitor's Flail or Scytheclaw for a game-ending combat phase.
Hammer of Nazahn is not only an auto-include for Dalakos Equipments, it's also the most flavorful aspect of it. When Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders isn't showing off his snazzy Equipment at bars, he's at home putting his welding certification to work, tirelessly working to craft amazing wearable wonders! Any magical metalsmith needs the proper tools to craft their armaments, and Dalakos forges his best works of art with Hammer of Nazahn. This four-mana artifact helps you to get past equip costs whenever it or other Equipments enter the battlefield. The secondary ability of +2/+0 and indestructible is just gravy on this big beautiful biscuit of flavor!
In the midst of trying to impress you, Dalakos ends up describing his body as a "living weapon."
While he may have been hitting the gym lately, this Merfolk pales in comparison to the two living weapon cards that make this deck pack a real punch: Batterskull and Scytheclaw. Living Weapon is too good not to run, due to the fact that it automatically generates a creature token that can do some serious damage due to Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders giving them flying and haste.
However, these two cards pale in comparison to Godo, Bandit Warlord and Helm of the Host. These two cards elicited groans of disgust from chat, and rightfully so. Attach Helm of the Host to Godo, Bandit Warlord, and swing to create a copy of your Barbarian. This token allows you to tutor over and over again for your nastiest Equipment each time you swing. Attaching Helm of the Host to Godo, Bandit Warlord is a surefire way to end the game, and your friendships with those in your pod.
I so desperately wanted to run Hellkite Tyrant in this deck! For six mana, this 6/5 Dragon with flying and trample steals your opponent's artifacts when you deal combat damage to them. The card also reads that at the beginning of your upkeep, you win the game if you control 20 or more artifacts. I am a sucker for alternate win conditions, and Hellkite Tyrant seems to be a shoe-in in this deck that runs 30 artifacts and a handful of artifact token generators.
Once Hellkite Tyrant enters the battlefield, a target will be painted on your back. In a deck that functions off of swinging, it felt weird to have only one alternate win con. As much as I adore Hellkite Tyrant, an updated version of this deck would most likely see itself without our scaly, winged friend.
Dalakos was a challenge for me as a brewer. Finding the balance between the number of artifacts and creatures was something I struggled with.
Toward the end of the brewing process, I noticed a couple things that I wish I could have added. The deck lacks methods to buff creatures with flying, and has a hard time addressing other decks that have flying blockers. Favorable Winds solves the first problem. If your opponents manage to get rid of Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders, Archetype of Imagination can maintain your flying advantage over your opponents while robbing them of it as well.