Looking for a way to get a leg up on your competition in MTG?
One particularly aggressive strategy is to use creatures or artifacts with infect. This ability became infamous for a good reason when it was first introduced.
Not many creatures have infect, though, especially when you use decks with specific colors. You can squeeze more into your deck by using artifacts.
So what are the MTG artifacts with infect?
We’ll give you the full list and more in this guide. This is what you’ll learn:
- What infect is
- Which MTG artifacts have infect
- Our suggestions regarding this ability
What is Infect?
Infect was an ability that came out for the Scars of Mirrodin block. It was only used in this block, which means you can find infect cards pretty much only in Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Besieged, and New Phyrexia.
We have a guide on infect in these three sets here.
How does it work? It affects the way damage is applied to creatures or players.
If you attack with a creature with infect, it does damage to other creatures as -1/-1 counters and to players as poison counters. The reason infect is so aggressive is that any player can only have a maximum of ten poison counters before they lose the game.
Regardless of what your opponents’ life totals are like, if any one of them gets ten poison counters, they’re done. And it’s extremely difficult to remove poison counters once they’ve been given.
It’s unlikely your opponents will have an answer when their poison counters start stacking. At this point in time, aside from using expensive cards like Karn Liberated to restart the game, the only way to remove poison counters from yourself is to use an old and rare card called Leeches.
MTG Artifacts with Infect
The infect mechanic was featured a lot throughout the Scars of Mirrodin block. Because of that, there’s a surprising number of artifacts that either have or give infect.
Those cards are as follows:
- Blightsteel Colossus
- Core Prowler
- Corpse Cur
- Grafted Exoskeleton
- Ichorclaw Myr
- Pestilent Souleater
- Phyrexian Juggernaut
- Plague Myr
- Trigon of Infestation
- Vector Asp
If you’re looking for a mean card, you pretty much can’t get any meaner than using Blightsteel Colossus. It doesn’t give your creatures infect, but it is an artifact creature that has infect itself.
With trample and indestructible, your opponents will want to remove this card from the battlefield as soon as possible. It just won’t be easy for them to do so at all.
Even though it’s small, Core Prowler can be nasty for your enemies. That’s because when it dies and goes to the graveyard, it proliferates.
Proliferate lets you choose a player and counter and increase the counters they have of that type by one. That means you can increase an opposing player’s poison counters by one as a side effect of Core Prowler dying.
Do the people you’re playing against keep destroying your infect creatures? That’s not a problem with Corpse Cur.
On top of having infect, it can bring a creature back from the graveyard to your hand when it enters the battlefield.
Most of the artifacts on this list are also creatures that just happen to have infect. That’s where Grafted Exoskeleton differs, because it’s an equipment that can give a creature infect.
The downside is that if it becomes unattached from the creature, you’re forced to sacrifice that creature. But on the right creature, this card can be devastating.
When Ichorclaw Myr attacks, players have to make a difficult choice: either take one poison counter, or block with a creature and have that creature take -3/-3 to its power and toughness.
That’s what makes it a deceptively small artifact creature. It might not necessarily be a huge game-changer like Blightsteel Colossus, but it will still help you put pressure on the other players.
This is another card that hurts from beyond the grave. When Necropede is destroyed, you can use it to put a -1/-1 counter on any creature.
It’s basically like getting to infect from the graveyard.
A sort of flexible card, Pestilent Souleater lets you turn its damage to infect at any time.
You could attack with it as normal, for example. If your opponent lets it through, you could pay one black mana or 2 life to turn that 3 damage into poison counters instead.
Unlike the other artifacts on this list, Phyrexian Digester is in some ways rather basic. It’s a simple artifact creature with infect – no additional abilities here.
However, if you’re looking to add as much infect as possible to your deck, it’s another source to utilize.
Like its name implies, the Phyrexian Juggernaut is bit of a force to be reckoned with.
It has infect, so its 5 power gives 5 poison counters to opponents or 5 -1/-1 counters to blocking creatures. Because it attacks every turn if possible, other players will be forced to deal with it quickly or lose in just a couple turns.
With Plague Myr, you’re not only getting infect, but you’re also getting some mana.
This flexibility lets you use it a couple different ways. You can use it as a tiny attacker or blocker, or you can tap it for mana when you just need a little extra.
This card doesn’t have or give infect – rather, it creates creatures with infect. Trigon of Infestation lets you pay 2 mana to put an insect on the battle field with infect.
If you’re willing to pump a lot of green mana into it, you could make a small army of infect insects to threaten other players with.
Vector Asp is a little bit like Pestilent Souleater. You can pay one black mana at any time to give it infect.
If someone were to attack you, you could block with Vector Asp and pay to give it infect. This would lower the attacking creature’s power and toughness by one permanently.
While most of the cards on this list could be useful in a variety of infect decks, arguably the strongest is Blightsteel Colossus. This is doubtless the reason why it’s so expensive.
Since it has infect and a power of 11, it could give any player more than the 10 necessary poison counters in one hit.
And with trample, even blocking it doesn’t do much more than delay the inevitable. Trample lets damage go past the blocking creature if its toughness is less than the attacker’s power.
That means when Blightsteel Colossus is out, your opponents need to find an answer fast, or they lose the game.
One thing to note with infect, though, is how inflammatory it is by nature. Some groups of friends forbid each other from using it in their games.
Before you use infect, consider making sure other players in your group are okay with it.
You’ll also want to be ready to defend any of your infect creatures. You may want to think about using hexproof artifacts, which we’ve written about previously here.