Hello everyone! I got a request for an article about Affinity. Well, since I have missed my deadline of Tuesday I think last two weeks, I try to make it up with an extra article! So let us get to it. Affinity is an Artifact aggro deck. The name of the deck comes from mechanic in the Mirrodin block. Affinity is a really powerful deck and it has nature of real aggro deck with also elements of tempo and combo. The deck combines low-cost creatures with evasion and really efficient spells like Thoughtcast and Galvanic Blast. Affinity has numerous synergies that can be complex but this is rewarded in form of fast clock. In theory Affinity can win on turn 2 but likely the win will come turn 4 or 5. Now, you might think that Affinity is simple deck with just turning creatures sideways but is really is a complex deck to play that is reliable to mana acceleration. We can have 4 mana to use by turn 2 and there are tons of lines to choose the right from.
So our gameplan with Affinity is to be extremely efficient with our artifacts. We want to have Springleaf Drum and Mox Opal in our opening hand. Our win conditions are going wide to overwhelm the blockers with our creatures that are pumped up by Signal Pest. We can also suit up Cranial Plating and attacking with a large creature. We might deal 10 infect damage with Inkmoth Nexus (love this by the way). Or just beat relentlessly with Etched Champion. In my mind, the Infect strategy is often forgotten and overlooked. Inkmoth Nexus can fly overhead for the 10 infect damage pretty hastly.
Weakness and a Trick
Like every deck, even Affinity has weakness. Since we are packing up a lot of artifacts, it is fairly easy to play hate for them. Cards with “destroy all artifacts” like Shatterstorm, shatter our game plan by resetting our board. For this Inkmoth lands that we have (Blinkmoth Nexus and Inkmoth Nexus) are good to have sticking on the board.
Arcbound Ravager is a staple in the deck, which makes math difficult. Whether an artifact is going to get blocked or killed with damage spell, Ravager’s ability to sacrifice artifacts to pump itself and then sacrifice itself to put counters on another creature instant speed will give Affinity sneaky way to grow a creature larger than the burn spell. This can be done to Inkmoth Nexus to reach the 10 infect damage quicker or abuse Vault Skirge for lifegain ability.
Matchups in General
Let’s go over some matchups. Affinity is one of the most popular decks in the format, and so knowing what to do in the mirror is important since you’ll likely play against it a lot. Collected Company feels like an even matchup. Their best way to defeat you is the combo, and so answering a Devoted Druid is really important because it is hard for them to win without it. Against Jund we are favored in game 1 but in game 2 it becomes more difficult if they are siding in Stony Silence. We need to make sure it doesn’t resolve. Against GB Rock we are heavily favoured because it doesn’t run White. RG Tron is close on game 1 but Tron might have a slight advantage against us. After sideboarding we have more answers in the form of Blood Moon and Thoughtseize. Against Merfolk we are favored because we are faster than them. Only thing we need to look out for is Hurkyl’s Recall that is their best answer against us.
UR Delver can be tricky because they are packing Lightning Bolt, Pillar of Flame, Magma Jet, Electrolyze, Magma Spray and Engineered Explosives. Against Bogles we are favourites on game 1 but in game 2 and 3 we are not because of Stony Silence, their lifelink and Path to Exile. Going first against Bogles is huge advantage. GW Hatebears is kinda the same, Stony Silence and Kataki, War’s Wage mess our game up. Against Storm we are unfavored in game 1 because of mass removal. We need Arcbound Ravager with enough Artifacts and also drawing early Etched Champion followed by Cranial Plating is key for full race mode. Smash to Smithereens and Rakdos Charm hurt us bad time. One of the few matchups where Duress is better than Thoughtseize. Burn is another close matchup. Overall, the matchup favors Affinity but it varies wildly from game to game because the individual games tend to be very lopsided one way or the other. There are more “kinds of games” where Affinity is favored. But play and draw are a big factor. If the Affinity can spew their whole hand quickly it will be hard for Burn to race. It’s all about tempo, folks, and Affinity is designed to play at a breakneck pace! The new Human tribal deck is all the rage right now, and so knowing how to fight it is key. Overall, I think Affinity has a nice matchup here because it is all about racing, which is where Affinity shines.
Here are couple of list for Affinity. I think it really depends on your meta what to play in Sideboard. I think there are not that many flex slots, but with trial and error everyone finds the best list for themselves and the meta. Affinity is a deck that requires a good pilot and for this, you need to get a lot of games under your belt. Just practice and the deck will tell it’s secrets to you and you get familiar with the matchups.
Affinity (with Glimmervoid)
4x Galvanic Blast
That’s it for this bonus article. I had fun writing about Affinity which is in my mind one of the coolest decks in Modern! Tune in next week for some more Mythical Magic
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