I just saw this card called Steamflogger Boss today, but I've never heard of a Rigger, a Contraption, or an ability called 'assemble' in Magic. Am I missing something? Does this card refer to a very rare card type like locus of which there are only a few examples? It seems like the card would make perfect sense if I could only find something that could assemble a darn contraption...
Steamflogger Boss was printed in the set Future Sight, and the card alludes to the fact that riggers and contraptions may be part of the game in a coming set (the preceding 2 sets in the Time Spiral block were about the past and present). However, seeing as there are still no mention of the assemble mechanic as of 2012, it is still primarily a joke card in the same vein as the Unhinged and Unglued sets. While a 3/3 for 4 mana isn't terrible, it is definitely weak enough that it will only see actual play in limited decks that desperately need to fill up some mid-range creature slots.
Aaron Forsythe, the director of Research and Development for Magic: the Gathering, commented that the card was purely a joke and was probably a bad idea.
Update: It is now the future. We now know what this mechanic is thanks to Unstable!
- Contraptions aren't put into your main deck. To play with them, you must build a separate Contraption deck
- In Constructed formats, such as Standard-but-with-silver-borders, Commander-but-with-silver-borders, and all-Un-set-Constructed-but-with-Steamflogger-Boss-I-guess, your Contraption deck contains at least fifteen unique Contraptions. The Contraption deck is "singleton," meaning you're limited to only one of each Contraption.
- In a Limited format, such as Booster Draft or Sealed Deck, your Contraption deck can contain any or all the Contraptions in your card pool. The fifteen-card minimum and the one-of rule don't apply. You can play whatever Contraptions you draft or open.
- Several cards in the set will instruct you or a creature you control to assemble a Contraption. To do this, turn the top card of your Contraption deck face up. Then, put it onto the battlefield under one of your Contraption deck's three sprockets, helpfully labeled Sprocket 1, Sprocket 2, and Sprocket 3.
- At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control at least one Contraption, you move the CRANK! counter forward one sprocket (so, from 1 to 2, from 2 to 3, or from 3 to 1). Then you can crank any of the Contraptions under that sprocket. This causes their abilities to trigger. You can put these abilities on the stack in any order. Also, you don't have to crank a Contraption if you don't want to.
- How you assemble your Contraptions determines what kind of infernal machine you're building. Load up one sprocket to produce a devastating turn every three turns, or spread them out to make sure you get something every turn?
Taken as a copy paste of the major points for the article detailing them here.
To all you still back in 2012, I hope this was helpful, you just have to wait 5 years or so to play with them.
Yes, Contraptions are (at time of writing) a joke, but let's not forget that a Steamflogger Boss does buff other Steamflogger Bosses (without even mentioning the many, many other Riggers that exist in the game of Magic, most of which are admittedly Changelings).
Your first Steamflogger Boss may just be a Hill Giant, but your second is a 4/3 haste, and by the time the third hits the table, you have three hasty 5/3 bad boys on your team. Okay, maybe this scenario isn't exactly the pinnacle of brokenness, but it it goes to show that Steamflogger Boss's (first) ability isn't quite useless. You could do worse for a cost of 3R...
Future Sight was a set full of "what ifs" - glimpses into possible futures for the game, and this was one of them. Some of them were simply gags, and this was one of them. (Although it's worth mentioning that new sets are starting to use terminology in the manner of assemble - detain, for instance)