The maindeck of D&T tends to have three pieces of equipment: Umezawa’s Jitte, Sword of Fire and Ice, and Batterskull. The sideboard often includes a fourth piece of equipment such as Sword of War and Peace or Manriki-Gusari. What follows is a discussion of the strengths of each piece of equipment as well recommended times to fetch each one.
Umezawa’s Jitte is best suited for matches where your opponent relies on small creatures (e.g. the mirror, Elves, Infect, Delver). It serves as colorless removal that can deal with even difficult to answer cards like Mother of Runes. In equipment mirrors, you can hold the counters to stop your opponent from successfully equipping or connecting with their equipment.
Batterskull provides a swift, uncounterable clock off Stoneforge that many decks just can’t beat. The GBx decks in particular really struggle to deal with a Batterskull once it is in play. Fetch this against Jund and BUG decks and expect them to expend a ton of resources dealing with it. Against many Delver decks, especially RUG, there are no maindeck outs to this card. Even in matchups where it is not at its best, when you play a turn one Mom into a turn two Stoneforge, the protected Batterskull will go all the way. Be careful about fetching this in matchups where your opponent has a ton of spot removal, as the Batterskull will likely get stranded in your hand. Be wary of fetching this if your opponent plays True-Name Nemesis as well. This is my least-fetched piece of equipment in game one scenarios.
Sword of Fire and Ice
Generally speaking, Sword of Fire and Ice offers relevant protection as well card draw. It is great at pushing damage through problematic blockers like Baleful Strix, Young Pyromancer tokens, and True-Name Nemesis. It is often the best piece of equipment to fetch when boards are relatively empty, as the card draw can really pull you ahead. I wouldn’t fetch this in matchups where you expect the board to get stalled with non-blue/red creatures, but it’s probably my go-to equipment most of the time.
Sword of War and Peace
Sword of War and Peace is my preferred 4th piece of equipment for the sideboard, as it is extremely versatile. The protection is incredibly relevant against the many Swords to Plowshares decks of the format as well as in the mirror. Secondly, the damage output of the sword is incredible. While most pieces of equipment provide a four damage boost, SoWaP has the potential to do nine damage on its own. Against combo decks, you can threaten to end the game with a single connection.
It completely changes the way many of your matchups play out. Against Lands, their constant Loaming becomes a liability, and Punishing Fire is no longer an out once your sword is equipped. Against UW Control, they must find a Terminus to get your creatures off the table, and a wall of Monastery Mentor tokens won’t help. In the mirror, you can immediately switch to an aggro role and finish off your opponent in a few turns. Against combo decks, your Stoneforges are now live draws instead of dead weight.
This piece of equipment is incredibly narrow, but also incredibly powerful. It is fantastic in the mirror and Stoneblade matchups, but has zero applications elsewhere. If you feel like you really need to improve those matchups in particular, this is your card. That being said, it isn’t great elsewhere; in the matchups where the opponent happens to have equipment in the deck but the equipment is not central to the gameplan (e.g. Merfolk, Eldrazi), the card really isn’t good enough to bring in.
Sword of Light and Shadow
This is a card that I like in theory, but I’ve disliked in practice. The protection from white is relevant, as is the ability to recur creatures. The issue is that actually getting creatures back doesn’t happen. In many of the grindy matchups where this card would be good, the removal of choice is Swords to Plowshares and/or you are boarding in Rest in Peace. That means that in practice, this sword’s trigger is only gaining you three life.
Sword of Feast and Famine
If you aren’t playing Mirran Crusaders and want to push damage through Tarmogoyf, this is a viable option. SoFaF is also pretty solid against combo decks, as the discard is yet another way to muck with their gameplan. I haven’t ever been thrilled to play this card, but I can see scenarios where it might work.
Sword of Body and Mind
The protection on SoBaM will let you push damage through True-Name Nemesis, Leovold, Emissary of Trest, and Tarmogoyf. Generally speaking, this is one of the weakest swords, and it will not make the cut. I’ve played it here and there (e.g. right after GP Loisville when Reid Duke’s TNN deck was everywhere), but this probably shouldn’t be in your deck unless you have very good reasons for playing it. The downside of milling your opponent is very relevant in Legacy.