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Thats wrong. The Rules Text is:
This card's ability targets an artifact spell on the stack. You can't play the ability unless you have an artifact spell you control on the stack to target. It does not target permanents in play.
Posted By: Sveni1980 (5/22/2009 5:13:46 AM)
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The wording is fine, you guys just don't understand the fundamental rules of the game. For the most part, the guys saying you can't activate without a legal target are right.
Posted By: NeoKoda (9/1/2011 8:41:45 PM)
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Practically speaking, they aren't worth much, but they are a 1/1 Goblin for R with an ability that sometimes matters. Back then, this was pretty good.
Posted By: Radagast (11/4/2011 9:54:22 AM)
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@NeoKoda While the wording may be right, it isn't every player who reads the entire rule set and understands all of it completely. The average casual player does nothing close, that is why there are rulings and oracle rewrites.
Posted By: Speednat (4/21/2012 11:28:00 AM)
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Hum artifact deck with

Gaea's Herald

Vexing Shusher

:D I wonder how a green/blue/red artifact deck would do?
Posted By: ICEFANG13 (9/14/2011 8:34:38 AM)
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The templating on this card needs to be fixed, if only for clarity...I can see many players agreeing with stygimoloch's interpretation of the card...
Posted By: Guest57443454 (7/2/2009 12:45:27 PM)
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Sveni's right. You can't cast a spell or activate an ability without choosing all targets for it first. Since the oracle text reads "Counter target artifact spell", you can never activate this ability without targeting an artifact spell, even if there's only a 50/50 chance it will be relevant. It's the same reason you can't cast a Counterspell if there aren't any spells on the stack.

(fun story there- I once beat a guy with my rebel deck because I never played any spells, I just used Lin-Sivvi a lot. This meant my opponent couldn't empty his hand of counterspells, which meant I could attack in under his Ensnaring Bridge and kill him.)

That said, the text is deceptive. It wouldn't hurt to add some reminder text clarifying.
Posted By: ScissorsLizard (5/2/2010 11:16:45 AM)
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Yeah, the wording simply needs one line on the end "Use this ability only when casting an artifact spell."

Problem solved, and Goblin Artisans go back to being a useless and weak creature.
Posted By: Dr_Draco (8/22/2009 12:57:29 PM)
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The comments on this card go to show that in some cases, Oracle updates can actually serve to make a card's intended function less clear. Sveni and ScissorsLizard are 100% correct, but the confusion is understandable since the wording as written seems like the target is only relevant if you are losing the flip.

Rules questions aside, I like these little guys! They are filled with delicious flavour: put your artifact into the hands of some goblins and you've got a 50/50 chance of having them improve it or ruin it entirely (though by looking at the art, you'd really expect them to ruin it).

They are also one of the earliest examples of power creep that I've noticed, considering that Mons's Goblin Raiders was printed in Beta only 5 months earlier. Granted, neither of these goblins would be considered strong nowadays, but Goblin Artisans at time of printing did everything that Mons's Goblin Raiders did - and more!

Aside from ... (see all)
Posted By: Leshrac_Nightwalker (11/19/2010 6:40:29 AM)
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The Oracle wording here is dodgy. Since the artifact-countering is listed as part of the effect rather than the cost, this becomes a one-drop, in a card-advantage-weak colour, which has a 50/50 chance of drawing you an extra card each turn, with effectively no drawback. That's pretty much changed one of the most mocked and useless creatures ever printed to a certifiable star.
Posted By: stygimoloch (2/15/2009 3:17:53 PM)
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