Tuesday Night Takeover

Sludge Strider Artifacts Pauper EDH

“It`s robot fighting time!

Art:Sludge Strider by Franz Vohwinkel

Sludge Strider is a very cool commander. Artifacts are a pretty popular strategy within PEDH, but I feel like no one talks about or plays this commander; this is a little surprising because it really feels like an artifact-based extort deck with the addition of blue. I did a ton of testing with this one today and have been having an absolute blast with it. I had a ton of success in testing against various strategies, and my playgroup also wanted to test and play with it as well; it definitely seemed to be a fan favorite. It certainly falls into a more casual artifact deck and I think that is super appealing to players of any skill level. I am very excited to show you all this deck today. Without further adieu, let’s get it!

The Deck:

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Sludge Strider Artifacts!

Commander (1)
Sludge Strider

Creatures (26)
Disciple of the Vault
Leonin Elder
Etherium Sculptor
Oaken Siren
Priest of Yawgmoth
Sage of Lat-Nam
Vedalken Engineer
Ethersworn Shieldmage
Foundry Inspector
Howling Golem
Moriok Replica
Soldier Replica
Windwright Mage
Wizard Replica
Cabal Paladin
Faerie Mechanist
Filigree Attendant
Stone Retrieval Unit
Glassdust Hulk
Steelfin Whale
Myr Enforcer
Sojourner’s Companion

Instants (8)
Arcane Denial
Cast Down
Doom Blade
Generous Gift
Go for the Throat
Grasp of Darkness
Stern Lesson

Sorceries (4)
Feed the Swarm
Reverse Engineer
Vampire’s Kiss

Artifacts (26)
Aether Spellbomb
Blood Fountain
Chromatic Sphere
Moonsnare Prototype
Necrogen Spellbomb
Nihil Spellbomb
Arcane Signet
Azorius Signet
Cogworker’s Puzzleknot
Cranial Plating
Dimir Signet
Ichor Wellspring
Inverted Iceberg
Mephitic Draught
Mnemonic Sphere
Mycosynth Wellspring
Neurok Stealthsuit
Nimblewright Schematic
Spare Supplies
Tithing Blade
Bonder’s Ornament
Fieldmist Borderpost
Golem Foundry
Obelisk of Esper
Tinker’s Tote
Firemind Vessel
Lands (35)
Ancient Den
Command Tower
Darksteel Citadel
Goldmire Bridge
Mistvault Bridge
Razortide Bridge
Seat of the Synod
The Dross Pits
The Surgical Bay
Vault of Whispers

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Why Sludge Strider?

Sludge Strider is a very cool card that makes a large majority of our deck better; the one mana cost past the early game is not a deterrent really at all, and basically, adding Extort to artifacts entering or leaving is very strong. Sludge Strider does cost four, so we can’t get them out till at the earliest turn three, but there is no reason to sandbag any early artifacts and not play them out since we do get the leave triggers as well. Sludge Strider also triggers on things like artifact lands, so the opportunity for triggers is abundant. Sludge Strider is a very cool esper commander, and truthfully, I am a little surprised that more people do not play this one.

Deck Overview:

This section contains information about cards in the deck and how they function within the deck! I also highlighted some of my favorite cards in the deck!


I want to highlight a trio of creatures that are very cool Moriok Replica is an awesome source of card draw for the deck and is basically a small creature with a Night's Whisper attached. Soldier Replica is also very strong and can directly help us in combat, especially against bigger creatures we may not be able to beat in combat. Wizard Replica is a great card that can act as a pretty strong gotcha if an opponent goes all in on a spell. Myr Enforcer is one of the best attackers/blockers in the deck and is almost always free; the same is true for Steelfin Whale, which is a card we love to attack with since we can very easily untap it consistently. We do have two creatures that discount a large majority of the deck in Etherium Sculptor and Foundry Inspector reduce almost half of the deck and can make a ton of the cards free. We also have some artifact payoffs in Sage of Lat-Nam, which is a strong card draw engine for the deck and is the perfect sac outlet to trigger Sludge Strider. Priest of Yawgmoth is another great sac outlet that produces a ridiculous amount of mana perfect for paying for those Sludge Strider triggers. Because we “Extort” with Sludge Strider, we also have Disciple of the Vault, which is a great source of damage for the deck. Cabal Paladin is arguably the best creature in the deck since every artifact turns into a Shock, which allows us to put a ton of pressure on our opponents. Cabal Paladin draws a ton of hate so I always try to have some form of protection for them.


Interaction is the name of the game in our instant package, to start off, we have a trio of strong counterspells in Arcane Denial, Essence Scatter and Counterspell it doesn’t really matter if we use these offensively or defensively but we do only have the trio so be mindful about that. We do have some strong single-target removal like Grasp of Darkness and Cast Down, which help us take out opponents’ threats and clear the way for us in combat. Stern Lesson is a great card draw spell that triggers Sludge Strider and gives us a powerstone token, which is a consistent plus one for our mana but only for artifacts, which in this deck is a good majority of it.


We are quite light on sorceries, but they are all impactful, to start off, we have Thoughtcast and Reverse Engineer in this deck. Both of these are pretty close to almost free, and in the case of Reverse Engineer, we rarely pay anything, now that’s some efficient card draw. Vampire's Kiss is an interesting card for the deck, but I really like it., damage truthfully does not matter at all, but the two blood tokens and subsequent Sludge Strider triggers on both creation and exit of the blood tokens makes this card a powerhouse in the deck. Feed the Swarm can be used to kill creatures, but the most important thing it gives is enchantment removal, which is perfect for all of those Armadillo Cloaks that are out there or pretty much any strong enchantments our opponents might have.


We have a ton of mana rocks, they trigger our commander and help us get our colors established, some of my favorites are Obelisk of Esper, Bonder's Ornament and Arcane Signet and pretty much all of the signets. Enough about the mana rocks. Let’s talk about the artifacts that love to get sacrificed, like Ichor Wellspring, Mycosynth Wellspring, and Nimblewright Schematic which are all great to trigger Sludge Strider and provide a ton of value for the deck. Neurok Stealthsuit is perfect for a high-value creature and can be moved around as needed. Cranial Plating is one of the best ways to increase our damage, and for only two blacks, it regularly can help creatures attack for fourteen or fifteen, depending on how established our board is. Tithing Blade // Consuming Sepulcher provides an edict effect, and when we craft it and flip it, we get more damage to our opponents and more life for us. Tinker's Tote is one of the best cards we have against aggro strategies since we get additional blockers, Sludge Strider triggers and some life! One of the best creature producers in the deck is Golem Foundry which pump’s out three/three’s like crazy.

Land Base:

To start off we have artifact lands like Seat of the Synod and Vault of Whispers which both trigger Sludge Strider, but more importantly we have artifact duals like Goldmire Bridge and Razortide Bridge which also trigger Sludge Strider and help us establish all of our colors which in a three-color deck is very important. As always, I like to include supplemental card draw in the deck in The Surgical Bay and The Dross Pits. More card draw is pretty much always good. There is not too much to say about the rest of our land base. I have had a ton of success with this, and with mana rocks in the deck, we never have trouble establishing our colors.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • Our commander positions us decently well against aggressive strategies since we consistently have a strong way to gain life, which can really hurt creature-based aggressive strategies.
  • We have a ton of utility in our artifact package that allows us to grab our lands, draw cards, create more artifacts and tokens, and even some that control what our opponents do, like Necrogen Spellbomb and Tithing Blade // Consuming Sepulcher
  • Even though our deck is focused on artifacts, since we are in Esper, we have quite a decent suite of interaction that can be used offensively or defensively and helps us slow down opponents or protect ourselves against more control-heavy opponents.

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • We are quite weak to artifact hate and have almost no recursion.
  • Our commander is a little expensive and requires extra mana to take advantage of their ability; this makes us slower overall.
  • In the same way we are weak to artifact hate, we are weak to creature hate. Specifically, our artifact payoffs like Etherium Sculptor or Priest of Yawgmoth

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

There are no infinite combos or loops within the deck. Our commander is a slow drain but allows us to drain our opponents regularly, and the consistent damage and life are quite strong. This damage is pretty much equivalent to an Extort trigger, and the life gain can also be very beneficial for us. We typically win the game through combat since we have a ton of creatures that are pretty great attackers, like Myr Enforcer and Glassdust Hulk. One of my favorite damage sources in the deck is Cabal Paladin, which in this deck is basically casting Shock four to five times a turn.


Artifacts are so much fun, and I am very happy to build an artifact deck that isn’t combo-focused; Esper is the perfect flavor win and the perfect setup for so many strong artifacts and artifact card payoffs. I did a ton of testing on this one today and have had so much fun with it. This deck is certainly not CPDH, even though I have seen some builds that are, and if you love artifacts and combat decks, I hope you enjoyed this one. Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!