The Affinity deck is known as the fastest and most consistent aggressive deck in the format. However, it is also one of the most difficult decks in Magics history to pilot optimally. The goal of Affinity is to establish a strong board presence as fast as possible, using zero mana creatures such as Memnite and Ornithopter, alongside Springleaf Drum and Mox Opal to power out several creatures each turn. In addition to these cards, the deck plays several lords – cards that make the Affinity players board much more threatening. The most commonly played of these cards are Arcbound Ravager, Cranial Plating, Etched Champion, Steel Overseer and Master of Etherium. The Ravager makes it difficult to use removal against the creatures, as any target can immediately be sacrificed to Ravager, making him larger. This creature also makes it difficult to predict all the damage that the Affinity deck is capable of doing at any given time. Commonly Affinity decks win with Cranial Plating, which is often cited as the most powerful card in the deck, as it provides enormous power boosts to creatures. This is made even more powerful by lifelink through Vault Skirge or infect through Inkmoth Nexus . The ability to move the Plating at instant speed only increases the efficacy of this equipment. The three-drops of choice in Affinity are Etched Champion and Master of Etherium, which either provide a practically unkillable threat or an additional massive power boost.
Sideboarding Against This Deck
How does one beat Affinity? Artifact hate. Affinity is a deck that has a very good matchup in game 1 against almost any deck, then becomes much weaker after sideboarding due to all the powerful hate cards in the format. If you are worried about Affinity, playing more maindeck creature removal as well as sideboarded artifact hate will help immensely. The most powerful artifact hate cards in Modern include Ancient Grudge, Stony Silence, Shatterstorm, Nature’s Claim, Kataki, War’s Wage and Wear / Tear. General Wrath of God and especially Creeping Corrosion style effects do wonders in this matchup.
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