Stoneforge Mystic has been unbanned in Modern, and it is a race to find the best home for such a powerful card. We have seen it alongside Batterskull and various swords since its time in Standard and of course in Legacy. Fortunately, Umezawa’s Jitte stays on the banned list, so the one-two punch we see from that and Batterskull won’t take over Modern.

There are plenty other equipment Stoneforge can tutor up and cheat into play. Let’s grade them going forward in this new Modern metagame. My grading considers power level with Stoneforge and the card’s current place in the format. How happy would you be to search this card up consistently?


This is the obvious inclusion everyone knows about. It is the best equipment to get most of the time, easy and straightforward. Tutor up a basically unkillable, uncounterable 4/4 lifelink creature.

Grade: A+

The Protection Swords

These collectively form the next tier of equipment below Batterskull. Specifically, Sword of Fire and Ice gets the nod in Legacy because protection from blue allows creatures to attack through True-Name Nemesis, red covers a section of cheap removal, and the trigger says “draw a card.”

In modern I suspect many of the other swords will get their chance to shine: the protections are more relevant and cover different Modern archetypes. For flash-style control decks week one, I think Sword of Feast and Famine will be the best sword. It allows these decks to tap out first main phase for powerful planeswalkers, while untapping all their mana for your opponent’s turn for counter-magic and removal. White is probably the best protection.

Feast and Famine: A
Fire and Ice: A-
Light and Shadow: B+
War and Peace: B
Truth and Justice: C+
Sinew and Steel: C
Body and Mind: D

Sword of the Meek

We already saw Urza, Lord High Artificer in the last format use the Sword of the Meek and Thopter Foundry combo. Stoneforge offers this double duty of tutoring for one piece of the combo as well as a great B plan that can stymie aggressive decks to buy the time you need to set up with Urza.

I’m not an Urza expert, but I have dabbled. The deck seems incredibly hard to build with plenty of options on tutors, removal, and utility artifacts. I’m not sure if Stoneforge will find a forever home here.

Grade: C

Basilisk Collar

Collar has seen some fringe play in Eldrazi Tron style decks. Giving your giant Eldrazi lifelink or Walking Ballista deathtouch can be a devastating combo against creature decks.

Grade: B

Mask of Memory

To be honest, this is a pet card of a buddy of mine; but it does have a pretty good effect. Draw two, discard one is nice, and the equip cost is super low. Something to keep in mind.

Grade: D

Cranial Plating

If old school Affinity was the way to go, maybe Stoneforge can act as some redundant copies of plating. We see most people favor Hardened Scales these days, but maybe there will be a time. Steelshaper’s Gift has shown up from time to time, so why not use the actual creature?

Grade: C

Grafted Wargear

The cheapest possible equip cost and helping tokens hit hard is nothing to scoff at. There is some modern pedigree in decks like Hollow One. I think this could be a sleeper from some token-based beat down decks with stoneforge.

Grade: C


This is a great value sacrifice outlet that has seen some fringe Modern play. The quick reason to consider a card like this is, if it goes in the Urza deck previously mentioned, this is an additional Stoneforge target that would allow you to win without attacking with thopters. Not sure it is there, but a nice option to piggyback off a tutor you are already playing.

Grade: D


Some nice old mirror tech from Legacy. I think it is a little low power-level, but it is an option. I would lean toward other ways to break the mirror, like Sword of Sinew and Steel if you want an equipment to crush other equipment.

Grade: D

Runechanter’s Pike

Another card with Standard pedigree that is likely not quite good enough for Modern. If some sort of tempo spells deck adds Stoneforge for a little extra power, maybe there could be something there.

Grade: D

Elbrus, the Binding Blade

Not the most powerful card, but a really cheap equip cost. Plus, Stoneforge lets you cheat the crazy seven mana upfront cost it normally has.  Cool card, probably not up to snuff.

Grade: D

Lightning Greaves

A super fringe card, but again I really want to highlight equipment that costs zero mana to equip. We have seen decks that would combo this with Kuldotha Forgemaster in Legacy to tutor up a hasty Blightsteel Colossus. I’m not saying there is a home for something like that in Modern, but there are ways to get giant creatures in play on the cheap. Giving a giant creature haste for no mana is something to keep in mind when you can do it consistently.

Grade: D

Unsurprisingly, the power level of the equipment drops off a lot when you are looking at these fringe cards, outside Batterskull and the swords. There is still a lot to explore with Stoneforge Mystic in Modern, so a few cards may surprise us.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.