A player who has priority may play an artifact card from his or her hand during a main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty. Playing an artifact as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 409, “Playing Spells and Activated Abilities.”)
When an artifact spell resolves, its controller puts it into play under his or her control.
Artifact subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: “Artifact — Equipment.” Artifact subtypes are also called artifact types. Artifacts may have multiple subtypes. (You can find the complete list of artifact subtypes under “Artifact Types” in the glossary at the end of this document.)
Artifacts have no characteristics specific to their card type. Most artifacts have no colored mana symbols in their mana costs, and are therefore colorless. However, there is no correlation between being colorless and being an artifact: artifacts may be colored, and colorless objects may be card types other than artifact.
Artifact creatures combine the characteristics of both creatures and artifacts, and are subject to spells and abilities that affect either or both card types.
Artifact lands combine the characteristics of both lands and artifacts, and are subject to spells and abilities that affect either or both card types. Artifact lands can only be played as lands. They can’t be played as spells.
Some artifacts have the subtype “Equipment.” An Equipment can be attached to a creature. It can’t legally be attached to an object that isn’t a creature.
An Equipment is played and comes into play just like any other artifact. An Equipment doesn’t come into play attached to a creature. The equip keyword ability moves the Equipment onto a creature you control (see rule 502.33, “Equip”). Control of the creature matters only when the equip ability is played and when it resolves. The creature to which the Equipment is to be moved must be able to be equipped by it. If it can’t, the Equipment doesn’t move.
An Equipment that’s also a creature can’t equip a creature. Equipment that loses the subtype “Equipment” can’t equip a creature. An Equipment can’t equip itself. An Equipment that equips an illegal or nonexistent permanent becomes unattached from that permanent but remains in play. (This is a state-based effect. See rule 420.)
The creature an Equipment is attached to is called the “equipped creature.” The Equipment is attached to, or “equips,” that creature.
An Equipment’s controller is separate from the equipped creature’s controller; the two need not be the same. Changing control of the creature doesn’t change control of the Equipment, and vice versa. Only the Equipment’s controller can play its abilities. However, if the Equipment adds an ability to the equipped creature (with “gains” or “has”), the equipped creature’s controller is the only one who can play that ability.
Some artifacts have the subtype “Fortification.” A Fortification can be attached to a land. It can’t legally be attached to an object that isn’t a land. Rules 212.2h–k apply to Fortifications in relation to lands just as they apply to Equipment in relation to creatures. Fortification’s analog to the equip keyword ability is the fortify keyword ability. (See rule 502.65, “Fortify.”)