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Contraption is an artifact subtype introduced in Future Sight with Steamflogger Boss, and expanded upon in Unstable.[1][2][3]

To remind you that they shouldn't be put into your regular deck, Contraption cards have a unique card back.[1]


Contraption card back

All Contraptions are artifacts that begin the game in the Contraption deck until they get assembled. Assemble, reassemble and crank are keyword actions associated with this mechanic. When a Contraption gets assembled or reassembled, it is put on the battlefield face up onto one of the player's three sprockets. The back face of a Contraption, and thus the top card of the Contraption deck, indicates which of the three are sprockets the contraption is placed on. The Contraptions can be assembled by players or Riggers.

At the beginning of your upkeep, you move the CRANK! counter one spot to the right, and sprocket 3 goes back around to sprocket 1. When it is moved, any number of Contraptions that were placed on that sprocket can be cranked. Contraptions have a triggered ability that triggers when you crank them. You choose the order in which Contraptions are cranked each time you move the CRANK! counter.

If one of the Contraptions would go to the graveyard, it's placed into the scrapyard instead, a special zone reserved for broken Contraptions.

Contraptions have a watermark placed in the bottom right-hand corner to show which Unstable faction they belong to.[1] They are borderless, so they could potentially be used in black border one day.[4] However, because of the different card back, they are currently not Legacy legal.[5][6]


It was stated by Aaron Forsythe that Contraptions were meant as a joke.[7] His statement ensured that players wanted it and they bugged Mark Rosewater about it ever since. Thus, Rosewater vowed to figure out contraptions' design before he would retire.[8]

Kaladesh seemingly fitted the right circumstances for contraptions, but Rosewater argued against it.[9][10] Contraptions finally got done properly in Unstable, as revealed by Mark Rosewater at SDCC 2017.[11] The design of Unstable predated Kaladesh.


From the Comprehensive Rules (April 29, 2022—Streets of New Capenna)

  • 205.3g Artifacts have their own unique set of subtypes; these subtypes are called artifact types. The artifact types are Blood, Clue, Contraption, Equipment (see rule 301.5), Food, Fortification (see rule 301.6), Gold, Treasure, and Vehicle (see rule 301.7).

Contraption deck[]

The Contraption deck is the collection of Contraption cards that a player plays with.[3]

  • In Limited, you may play with whatever combination of Contraptions you open or draft. You're not required to play them all and you can play duplicates.[2]
  • In Constructed, you must play a minimum of fifteen Contraptions and you may only have one of each.[2]
  • In Commander, Contraptions do not count as a part of the 100 cards deck.


  1. a b c Matt Tabak (November 13, 2017). "Unstable Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. a b c Mark Rosewater (November 13, 2017). "The Un-Ending Saga, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b Mark Rosewater (November 22, 2017). "Unstable FAQAWASLFAQPAFTIDAWABIAJTBT". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (November 11, 2017). "Do Contraption cards lack a silver border so they can potentially be used in black border one day?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. Mark Rosewater (November 11, 2017). "Contraptions are not legal in Legacy, or any other format that doesn’t include Un- sets.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  6. Mark Rosewater (November 11, 2017). "Will it be possible to get one in play in Legacy?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  7. Aaron Forsythe (May 4, 2007). "Are You From the Future?". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (August 28, 2016). "What are contraptions?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  9. Mark Rosewater (September 15, 2016). "The reason Kaladesh doesn't have assembling and contraptions is that it would not fit on this world". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  10. Mark Rosewater (October 10, 2016). "Odds and Ends: Kaladesh, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater (July 23, 2017). "Magic Panel Info". Blogatog. Tumblr.