Top 10 Blink Artifacts for Dr. Madison Li

(Dr. Madison Li | Art by John Stanko)

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, Here Tomorrow!

Welcome to Too-Specific Top 10, where if there isn’t a category to rank our pet card at the top of, we’ll just make one up! (Did you know that Portcullis is the only artifact that can automatically exile any creature when it enters the battlefield, regardless of how it got there?)

With the announcement that there will be not one, but two Jeskai Energy Precons this year, I bet I'm not the only one just itching to try out Dr. Madison Li.

With that said, I do think I have a different way of approaching her than most will.

Top 10 Jeskai Energy Creatures

  1. Aethersquall Ancient
  2. Lightning Runner
  3. Electrostatic Pummeler
  4. Aethertide Whale
  5. Aetherstorm Roc
  6. Aether Theorist
  7. Shielded Aether Thief
  8. Thriving Turtle
  9. Multiform Wonder
  10. Aether Swooper

That's right, more than half of the classic creatures that make energy in Jeskai do so upon entering the battlefield, and that's not just true of the ones at the top of the list!

So, with the bulk of existing creatures that make energy doing so upon entering the battlefield, there has to be a way to take advantage of Dr. Li's penchant for artifacts and all of said creatures at the same time, right?

Top 10 Jeskai Blink Artifacts

Put simply, if we know one part of our artifact deck is going to, well, not be artifacts, then the other parts need to be. So the question is: If we're looking to blink all of these ETB creatures that make energy, then what artifacts can do that for us?

Criteria: An artifact within the Jeskai color identity that can exile and return either creatures or permanents. As is tradition, all results are ordered by EDHREC score.

10. Helvault

(699 Inclusions, 0% of 3,591,602 Decks)

All in all, you could do worse than the Helvault when it comes to keeping your creatures safe. Three mana to hit the board isn't overly pricey, and holding up one mana to save a creature isn't bad, either. The only thing keeping Dr. Li from loving this card is that "put into a graveyard" bit. What we're looking to do is set up loops that will let us blink artifacts and creatures repeatedly, racking up energy and enter the battlefield effects as we do so.

With that said, if you are building Dr. Li, and are leaning the probably more popular direction of just an artifact deck that has sac effects, then this might be a solid option for you. We just can't make the room to do another thing when we're already doing two separate things.

9. Cold Storage

(1,028 Inclusions, 0% of 3,591,602 Decks)

With that said, if we had a card that provided the sacrifice all on its own, that would be another deal entirely. Don't get me wrong, Cold Storage's three mana to activate is a little steep, but the fact that you can do it repeatedly is huge, as is the sacrifice both being free and at instant speed. Combine all that with the fact that Dr. Li can bring it back directly to the battlefield with her last activated ability, and what we have here is a card that is going to be an absolute gut punch in the late game.

8. Portcullis

(1,430 Inclusions, 0% of 3,591,602 Decks)

All right, I'm gonna be up front with you: Portcullis is, well, a lot. It's going to make you the target of any table you play it into, with nobody able to get creatures out on the board. It's going to be inconvenient and exile your creatures when you absolutely, positively need them in play. It's going to be constantly removed, and you'll have to go get it back with Dr. Li, spending precious energy you could be drawing cards or looping other artifacts with. It's going to be a constant headache to keep track of whenever it gets blinked, especially since the odds are good that the creature that blinked it will probably have been blinked by it when it entered.

That last part, though? Maybe it's worth the effort. If you can manage to land a Blink Cat with a Portcullis in play, for instance, you're looking at infinite blinks of both Felidar Guardian and each other creature stuff under Portcullis!

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If that's a bit too good for the power level you're aiming for, however, then might I instead suggest Yorion, Sky Nomad? With Yorion's trigger waiting until end of turn to return the Portcullis, it instead sets up a repeating loop at every end step where Yorion returns Portcullis and all its other targets to play, then is immediately exiled again by Portcullis, for both of them to be exiled so you can do it all again at the next player's end step.

Where we do need to be careful, however, is with abilities like Leonin Relic-Warder and Fiend Hunter that have two separate triggers. It might seem like you can loop Relic-Warder and Portcullis like you could Felidar Guardian, for instance, but in reality it ends up leaving play before its ETB trigger resolves, resulting in you exiling Portcullis forever rather than letting it return. Be careful!

7. Synod Sanctum

(1,546 Inclusions, 0% of 3,591,602 Decks)

At one mana, Synod Sanctum is just the kind of cheap artifact we're looking for to take advantage of Dr. Li's cast trigger. At two mana to exile something once a turn, however, I'm a bit underwhelmed by the actual abilities of the card. Even if we do manage to start looping it from the graveyard with Dr. Li, for instance, it re-enters tapped, meaning we'll have to wait a turn before we can spend four mana to exile one thing once again. When you're comparing that against some of the other options on this list, it starts to feel a bit lackluster fairly quickly.

6. Aligned Hedron Network

(1,695 Inclusions, 0% of 3,591,602 Decks)

Aligned Hedron Network, on the other hand, feels like an even better version of Portcullis, selectively grabbing huge creatures while keeping our commander and a ton of our utility creatures on the board. The only issue? Most of the stuff we want to blink is also under five power, although Dr. Li's +1/+0 ability can help with this somewhat.

The question is, is the very limited amount of creatures we'll have that can routinely blink with Aligned Hedron Network and the fact that it's an iffy possibility of a one-sided board wipe enough to warrant its inclusion? Given that we're going to be at least somewhat focused on artifacts, I think the answer is no.

5. Mirror of Life Trapping

(4,043 Inclusions, 0% of 3,364,697 Decks)

Mirror of Life Trapping, on the other hand, really is Portcullis without the huge downside. We'll have our various ETB creatures enter, get their trigger, then be exiled until another creature is cast, at which point we'll get their trigger again. There is the significant downside of it not really working with all the other blink shenanigans we have in the deck, but that seems like a small price to pay for getting a Panharmonicon that will, in all likelihood, screw with opponent's plans while helping with ours.

4. Mysterious Limousine

(4,526 Inclusions, 0% of 1,565,819 Decks)

Mysterious Limousine is kind of a terrible blink card, if we're being honest. Five mana to blink one thing a turn, attached to the very real possibility that this dies in combat every time you do so. What has it this high on the list, then? Well, two things: One, its "blink" can also just be removal, if you need it to be, as you don't have to choose to exile anything else. Two, its ETB synergizes with other blink effects, allowing you to blink it to reblink something. Those combined effects make this a close thing in my mind, but probably are enough combined to let us throw this in as an artifact blink option.

3. Voyager Staff

(7,112 Inclusions, 0% of 3,591,602 Decks)

One that was never in question, however, is Voyager Staff. A one-mana artifact that sacrifices itself is exactly the kind of synergy we're looking for with Dr. Li, and it not requiring a tap means that we can even loop it repeatedly with Dr. Li's ability in the same turn. In short, this will be one of our favorite things to see anytime we draw it.

2. Golden Argosy

(10,148 Inclusions, 0% of 3,034,634 Decks)

I may have been on the fence about Mysterious Limousine, but pretty much no one is when it comes to Golden Argosy. Four mana to repeatedly blink an entire board's worth of creatures is a great deal, and despite the card not possessing the flying that the art very much implies it does, the six toughness keeps this from dying in most combats, as well. Perfect include for exactly what we're trying to do.

1. Conjurer's Closet

(86,121 Inclusions, 2% of 3,591,602 Decks)

I am, I must admit, less enthusiastic about our number one card. Don't get me wrong, we're should be playing Conjurer's Closet. Unlike Voyager Staff and Golden Argosy, however, I'm not always going to be stoked to see this card. Blinking one creature a turn is just not all that impactful in the grand scheme of things, especially at five mana. In short, it's fine. In my humble opinion, this is at the top because people are too lazy to look at the deep well of other blink options, not because it's the best blink artifact. So, with that in mind, we're gonna see if we can't be the first domino here, and we're not going to play Conjurer's Closet in our artifact Blink deck. Groundbreaking, I know.

Honorable Mentions

Honestly, our list is pretty all-inclusive this week. There were one more artifact that qualified for our criteria in Tawnos's Coffin, but it's not really anything that warrants too much mention. So instead, let's look at all the cool new artifact energy options we will be taking advantage of in the new precon!

First off is the best Equipment of the bunch (although in a Blink deck, Junk Jet comes close), T-45 Power Armor. It does the blink thing for energy if you can't afford the steep equip cost, but honestly even with an equip of three this seems more than worth it. +3/+3 and your choice of menace, trample, or lifelink for the rest of the game is a heck of a deal! It pales in comparison to its artifact creature version, however, with Assaultron Dominator coming down for two mana, also immediately getting you two energy, and then triggering for counters any time any artifact creature attacks. Honestly, you're going to see this thing in non-energy decks, it is that good. Which brings us to the last of the bunch, which is currently being largely ignored. I get it, Synth Eradicator feels a bit clunky, wanting both to tap and to attack. That really ignores what the card is saying, however, which is a simple flow chart of: Do you have energy? If yes, tap for free Lightning Bolt; if no, swing in, you now have energy.

Now that we've got those teed up, then, why not take a look at the deck?

Commander (1)
Land (33)
Aggro (9)
Ramp (16)
Blink (12)
Draw (8)
Energy (15)
Removal (6)

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While it can be a bit slow to start, not having all of the various low-cost blink stuff that usual Blink decks do, once Dr. Li gets one of these engines from out top ten down, things pick up fast. Another nicety over your average Blink deck is that there is no struggle to finish games out with red in the equation. Combat is always an option, but there is no issue with doing direct damage with energy or any number of red artifact staples like Reckless Fireweaver, Dragonspark Reactor, or the new blink staple, Rose Room Treasurer.

Nuts and Bolts

There always seems to be a bit of interest in how these lists are made (this seems like a good time to stress once again that they are based on EDHREC score, NOT my personal opinion…), and people are often surprised that I’m not using any special data or .json from EDHREC, but rather just muddling my way through with some Scryfall knowledge! For your enjoyment/research, here is this week’s Scryfall search.

What Do You Think?

And finally, what do you think of blink, artifacts, and energy coming together? Are you brewing Dr. Madison Li, or upgrading her precon? If so, are you putting in some blink effects for the energy?

Let us know in the comments, and we'll see you at the table with installed USB and power outlets. Convenient, that.

Read more:

Top 10 Azorius Spells for Lavinia, Foil to Conspiracy

Political Puppets Precon Upgrade


Doug has been an avid Magic player since Fallen Empires, when his older brother traded him some epic blue Homarids for all of his Islands. As for Commander, he's been playing since 2010, when he started off by making a two-player oriented G/R Land Destruction deck. Nailed it. In his spare time when he's not playing Magic, writing about Magic or doing his day job, he runs a YouTube channel or two, keeps up a College Football Computer Poll, and is attempting to gif every scene of the Star Wars prequels.

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