Stony Silence and Artifact Lands

To finish out this week’s Modern flair, let’s talk about a deck called Robots (or back in my crotchety Old Fogey days, “Affinity”). It uses lots of artifacts to make your opponent and his life total very sad. The Legacy version (and the original Standard version) made delightful use of the artifact lands like Great Furnace and Seat of the Synod pulling double duty thanks to Affinity for Artifacts. While those particular little nasties aren’t legal in Modern, they are in other formats where Stony Silence[card] is often used to mess up the deck they’re in.

So how hard does the Silence shut down decks like Affinity? Pretty hard. Silence locks down the activated abilities of all artifacts, with no exceptions for mana abilities. That means a Stony Silence will render a playset of [card]Great Furnaces pretty worthless since they can no longer tap for mana. They’re still there, they still count for Affinity, but you can’t use them to generate mana. And for the Nexi (in both the Blinkmoth Nexus and Inkmoth Nexus varieties), common inclusions in the archetype? Well, those don’t get hit as hard. They’re not artifacts normally, so you’re free to animate them to smack your opponent around, or tap them for mana… at least, until you activate them. Once you animate your Nexus it becomes an Artifact Creature Land – Blinkmoth, and that ‘artifact’ type means Silence starts working on it. You can still attack with the land (assuming it doesn’t have summoning sickness), but you won’t be able to animate it again that turn for whatever reason, nor can you tap it for mana. And if it’s an original Blinkmoth rather than an Inkmoth, it also won’t be able to tap to make a Blinkmoth bigger, because Silence starts working on it once you animate it. So, if you want your Nexus to make some mana AND be a dude, do it in that order!

That brings an end to Modern Week here at the Rules Tip blog. I hope we’ve helped you out with your potential stream of Modern Masters games, and I hope I’ll see some of you at GP Houston this weekend!

Today’s Rules Tip written by Trevor Nunez

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