How They Brew It - Ice It Down

Michael Celani • November 29, 2021

Svella, Ice Shaper by Andrew Mar

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Our top story tonight: now that Thanksgiving is over, you're legally allowed to enjoy winter songs, ornaments, and wreaths! Yes, it's been only one year since the government instituted the official holiday celebration calendar, informing those of us who are less socially literate when you're allowed to decorate your living spaces and offices in festive red and green. For those of you on the naughty list who put up their Christmas trees before Thanksgiving, you won't be visited by Santa this year, but instead the ho-ho-hitmen! Make sure you put out a bowl of .47 calibur ammunition and cookies for them so they're not hungry when they raid your house without knocking! Happy holidays, everyone!

Ice Ice Shaper

Hey everyone, my name is Michael Celani, and I'm more screwed than a Phillips head in an adult superstore. I'm in charge of the decor for my office's holiday party, and I ordered some ice sculptures to spruce up the place. But I forgot that it would be hot on the dance floor, so they started melting, and to make a long story short, the CFO slipped on an icy replica of Benedict Cumberbatch's head, plummeted sixteen feet through an announcer's table, and died instantly.

I have to cover up the scene of the crime, or else people will start asking questions! I'll start with the most obvious, impactful, and damning piece of evidence should it be discovered: the missing ice sculptures. I'll deal with the body later.

Svella, Ice Shaper is an infinite Manalith factory. Your early investments will pay off by helping you cast big spells later on, and it can even be activated at instant speed. Once you have enough mana, activate Svella's second ability to cast a spell from the top of your library for free. But it's not just ramping these artifacts are useful for; there are plenty of other ways put your opponents on ice with them!

Snow-Covered Artifacts

Though Svella's sculpting abilities are... limited, if I've learned one thing from my uncle, it's that felons can't be choosers. While we're hastily whipping up blocks of ice to cover for the melted statues (also known as "the murder weapon"), we should plink down a few pieces that will make that three-mana investment less of a burn on our wallet. These cards benefit from our ever-increasing stack of artifacts:

  • I am dumb, I am sad, and my brain is run by Goblin Engineer, who tutors any artifact into the yard. His engineering expertise can turn a block of ice into a fully functioning Sol Ring, which terrifies me.
  • Speaking of terrifying me, my dad Reckless Fireweaver will ping each of your opponents whenever a Manalith or any other artifact comes down.
  • Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge suddenly remembers that force is mass times acceleration once you've surrounded him with enough ice slabs, but don't count him out before then! Show your opponents' creatures their inner corpse, and he'll gladly reward you with treasure for the trouble.
  • Didn't buy a lot of Crimson Vow? Don't worry! Quicksmith Genius uses artifacts to filter your hand without bleeding you or your wallet dry.
  • Nothing says overcompensation like Maraxus of Keld. Sneak him through a Rogue's Passage and this hulking, family-sized bag of Pecs Mix can knock out even the most well-guarded foes. Just don't tap out to cast him.
  • Perfectly on theme for our ice-sculpture deck, Hellkite Igniter pumps itself up by the number of artifacts you control.
  • Looking for a target for Trash for Treasure? Try Treasure Chest, or even Treasure Vault!
  • Shrapnel Blast can really haul ice, to the tune of five damage to any target!
  • If you want a faster freeze, Battlemage's Bracers and Rings of Brighthearth copy the activated ability that creates an Icy Manalith. Don't be shy with the cost; it pays for itself!

Treasure Trails

Svella is sculpting too slow! At this rate, I'll never be able to cover up my crime of being an idiot before the cops come. Maybe I should write less morbid deck techs! This calls for my backup solution: paying everyone off, as in, an exhorbitant amount of bribery. Let's procure some treasure and really kick our artifacts-matter cards up a notch!

  • Magda, Brazen Outlaw creates a treasure whenever she attacks, and if you've got a surplus of goods she's great at spending it all on a fancy new toy just like my ex did
  • Prosperous Innkeeper isn't quite a soul sister, but he puts on a pretty good impression (helped by the shiny gold he offers).
  • Academy Manufactor manufactures clues and food out of your treasures, and extracts treasure from other incidentals like Gilded Goose and Tamiyo's Journal.
  • Knock out an opponent's Sol Ring or take some treasure for yourself when you play Plundering Barbarian, the red Reclamation Sage.
  • Tireless Provisioner is a perfect metaphor for capitalist society. Watch as your land turns to riches right before your eyes.
  • A hearty bowl of Xorn Flakes in the morning makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise. It's a little weird that I've done two cereal-related jokes in this article, but felons can't be choosers.
  • Storm-Kiln Artist discounts all your instants and sorceries by refunding some treasure. He's also a dwarf, should Madga be on the field.
  • Give an opponent something to chew on with Old Gnawbone and you'll get at least seven treasures.
  • You Find a Cursed Idol and its big brother Crack Open are removal spells that double as treasure minters.
  • Seize the Spoils, Pirate's Pillage, and Unexpected Windfall are slightly pricier versions of fan favorites like Thrill of Possibility. Throw out big artifact cards in your hand if you've got them, so you can Trash for Treasure them later. (In that case, you'd be paying the treasure in exchange for the trash.)
  • Brass's Bounty is how I describe my butt the treasure generating spell, especially with Xorn on the field. Don't cast it too early, though; it doesn't count your Manaliths.
  • Gambling problem? Roll the dice on Bucknard's Everfull Purse and Treasure Chest and see if you get lucky!
  • If you can consistently cast a creature and a noncreature spell on your turns, Fae Offering is a pretty good deal. Remember that Fae Offering itself counts as the noncreature spell for the turn it enters.

Get a Life

I think I've managed to cover up the crime scene, but I still have to do something about the body. My idea: A corpse is just someone who's run out of life, so if I can somehow stuff a bunch of life back in him, he'll be brought back from the dead! It's foolproof. But all I have are these treasures...

That's where Fangren Marauder comes in. This frankly ridiculous card turns your treasures into turbo-Food, as it gains you five life for each artifact put into the yard. That's not just your artifacts, by the way; throw out a Rampage of the Clans and you basically become immortal. If Blossoming Bogbeast is on the field, you've got an Overrun so powerful it makes Craterhoof Behemoth blush, or sneak in a Fortifying Draught kill for a more subtle approach. Aetherflux Reservoir is also a great life sink, in that it sinks away all your opponent's life.

Don't forget about other cards that want to see your artifacts die. Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer and Molder Beast can become absolutely huge, and you're never going to be out of energy for Aetherworks Marvel either. Try to keep your treasure available until you can pull off a devastating turn!

Snow Place Like Home

It seems like the police have ruled the whole thing an accident, which in retrospect makes sense. We shouldn't have held our dance on the roof in a tornado, anyway. Of course, this makes me innocent too, because you can't cover up a crime if there was no crime! It's great to be reassured that I am a moral and upstanding member of society. Anyway, time to punch an old person. See you!

Ice It Down (Svella, Ice Shaper EDH)

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Commander (1)
Creatures (26)
Sorceries (10)
Instants (11)
Artifacts (15)
Enchantments (1)
Lands (36)

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Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.