(Re-posted here because it is an article)
Okay, so Artificer. Artificer is neat; nice name, cool mechanics, and not really hated by anyone. But Iím not here to tell you why I like Artificer. Iím here to tell you why I think it is one of the best cards in Adventures. We will start by looking at this versatile cardís many uses, and then talk about when to get Artificer and what to get with it.
Artificer as a Gainer
Artificerís main strength lies in its versatility. However, the most obvious use for this guy is as a gainer. The topdecking ability means you can just discard 5 Coppers instead of playing them and get to use that Mountebank (or just another Artificer) next turn (or even this turn, if you have more draw). Being able to quickly acquire engine components is vital early game, and often gives you a huge edge on those first few turns.
Artificer as a +Buy
Though Artificer is a gainer, it can also function as a source of +Buy. Say you have an Artificer in play and from 4 Coppers and a Silver. You can discard it all to topdeck a , spend it all on a , or split it by discarding some and saving some for your buy phase. Additionally, with enough draw itís entirely feasible to discard 8 or 11 cards to land that Colony or Province. Once you start greening, you can discard dead cards to get more VP or keep you engine running by also gaining Action cards.
Artificer as a Sifter/Enabler
The third and perhaps most subtle use for Artificer is a sifter and enabler. Remember, you donít need to gain anything for discarding. Enabling Tunnels, Menageries, or Coppers for Counting House is useful, not mention that since it says ďgain a card costing per card discardedĒ, with cost reduction, you can gain stuff without discarding anything, or just gain Copper if you need them. Draw-to-X is also great, and you can even trigger it repeatedly in a turn with enough Artificers.
Case Study: Artificer/Menagerie
While none of Artificerís abilities are groundbreaking by themselves, it is when they can be used together that Artificer becomes a power card. Itís synergy with Menagerie is a case in point: Discard duplicates to gain Menageries (or Artificers) while enabling you other Menageries to draw more. While any sifter can do this, Artificer has the added advantage of actually gaining the combo components while sifting. Once you draw lots of cards, you donít need to worry about a lack of +Buy, because Artificer has that base covered, too.
When itís hot
So when is Artificer good? Since it is so versatile, itís almost always useful to some extent, but Kingdoms with no gainers or +Buys really let Artificer shine. The presence of cantrips or Peddler variants also boosts Artificer, as you can quickly acquire them and play them.
When itís not
Regardless, there are circumstances when Artificer is not a good option. It is almost completely useless in Big Money (which is why this article has no section on it), and kingdoms with good trashing mean you have nothing to discard. Likewise, handsize reduction attacks like Goons or Militia really hurt, as it makes gaining those key s harder with fewer cards in hand.
Summing it up
In conclusion, Artificer is an often underrated but very strong card. Itís worth considering on most boards, and the key card more often that it would seem. Itís versatility ensures that it can perform well in a variety of roles, often combining with other cards to be a real power card.
Cantrips and Peddler variants
Big Money strategies
Opponentís handsize reducers