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Card of the Day

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Mindless Automaton 
Exodus Rare

Reviewed March 22, 2004

Constructed: 2.8
Casual: 3.1
Limited: 2.4

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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* game store owner in CA,

Wow... this is retardedly good in Arcbound deck!  (eg: see Arcbound Overseer, Arcbound Ravager & Arcbound Bruiser).  Since, when an Arcbound creature (a creature with Modular) dies, it gets to put it's counters on another creature, you just shift them to Mindless Automaton and you get to draw cards. Nice. This is seriously amazing. Now repeat after me; "Card advantage wins games." If you're playing a casual Arcbound deck, this is a must include!

In other play, it's basically trade 2 in my hand for drawing 1. In limited, it's not horrible filler.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 4.5 (Arcbound decks)
Limited: 3
Current Price:
Mindless Automaton $1.41
Arcbound Overseer $5.66
Arcbound Ravager $26.95
Arcbound Bruiser $0.19

Judge Bill

*Level 2
MTG Judge

*game store employee

Mindless Automaton

An old school card for contrrol decks, this let you sacrifice two bad cards
for one new good one, and it is in itself a cantrip, as if it resolves, it
can replace itself by removing both counters.

These days though, it has been obsoleted in any format that it can be played
(save block conctructed) by Compulsion. I never found myself wanting more
than 4 Compulsions, so I don't know why I would want to play this.

If you've got a deck that moves around counters like mad (Power Conduit,
maybe?) then this might be a good casual card. I don't see it though.

In limited, it's a body, but Tempest limited was often dominated by shadow,
so this wasn't as good. Still playable as a cantrip though.

Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 2
Limited: 2.5


* game store owner (The Game Closet - Waco,TX)

* pro tour player

* Scrye writer since 2002

Mindless Automaton
I really want to like this card but I can't.  I personally only know of one deck that was any good with this card at all.  It had some uses in its own block format, but not much else.
In limited play, I guess I would used it, but it wouldn't be a high choice.  Casual players would just turn their head at this card, since you can get a lot more for your mana.
Constructed: 2
Casual: 1.5
Limited: 2

Jeff Zand

5 Time Pro Tour

Level 2 Judge

Mindless Automaton

Modular, schmodular! Mindless Automaton probably SHOULD have been reprinted in the current ďartifact blockĒ. This artifact creature would work great with the stack, putting damage on the stack in combat in order to kill a creature before relinquishing its precious life-giving +1/+1 counters to let you draw cards. In constructed, Mindless Automaton was a favorite in a few combo decks focused around artifacts. Very cool.


CASUAL:            3.5

LIMITED:             3.5


Ray "Monk"
* Level 3 DCI Judge
*DCI Tournament Organizer
*Game Store Owner (Gamer's Edge)

Mindless Automaton


Mindless Automaton has been used in many decks, and while 4 for a 2/2 seems costly, his ability makes him worth having, and his synergy with so many different decks and types makes him one of the most versatile cards ever made. My good friend Tim has also pointed out that, for casual games, this guy is stunningly good with the Arc Bound creatures from Dark Steel.


Constructed:                 4

Casual:                         4

Limited:                        3


* Level 1 DCI Judge

*game store employee

* gaming for over 15 years
Mindless Automaton

I really like this guy. His abilities are pretty cool and I could see playing him in a madness driven deck. He makes a pretty solid pick in a draft and I was back playing when he was in constructed but I know that the metagame was pretty mean so I donít think I would have used him that much. The card draw is pretty good considering that if you have to he can replace himself immediately by just removing his two counters when he comes into play. You add this guy into the current standard and he could really go well with a modular heavy deck.

Constructed 2.5

Casual 3.5

Limited 3.5


2 Grand Prix Top 8's

Multiple Pro Tour appearances

Mindless Automaton


Ah, Otto the Automaton, how I knew thee well.  This guy worked nicely with Necro, providing an outlet for any extra cards you might need to discard during your end step.  I wonder how much play he might have seen if he had been included with the Madness and Threshold cards in Odyssey block (yoiks!).  Regardless, he was a fringe character, but solid enough to creep into a deck here and there.


This guy combos fantastically with the new Modular mechanic from Darksteel.  I have a friend who sports a casual deck with four of these and a whole bunch of Modular creatures; he has a great time in group games with it.  Recurring him also makes for a good time, either with Corpse Dance or just with Oversold Cemetery.  Heís a lot of fun, and is a fine use of a card in Mental Magic, serving as both a Madness outlet and generating occasional card advantage.  Donít be ashamed to use him with a 4cc artifact.


His primary problem in limited was being in a block in which the curve really capped at three or four a lot of the time.  Discarding stuff to him was never really an option because you probably just didnít have a lot of cards in hand.  Regardless, he always managed to replace himself, at the very least, and could occasionally be a monster.


Constructed:  3.0

Casual:  4.0

Limited:  2.5


Secret Squirrel on the

Mindless Automaton

Where have I seen this mechanic before? Oh yeah, Thopter Squadron, Pentavus and various Arcbound creatures running around today. Is it good? Not really. Card disadvantage + mana for more cards isnít the best thing. It is reusable but I donít want to spend my mana on this.

In Casual, why would I want to discard cards for more cards? If I wanted more cards, Iíd play the engines themselves.

In Limited, itís reusable card advantage which aint so bad. But it has a heavy cost.

Constructed: 2
Casual: 1.5
Limited: 2

Copyright 2001


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