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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jul 27 2020 12:00pm
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Today we will talk about one of my favorite Pauper archetypes ever, the Affinity archetype. In my personal opinion, Affinity is and will always be one of the best archetypes to both have fun with and try to do well in a tournament with.

Affinity has been around for so long, I honestly can’t imagine Pauper without it. It has it’s ups and its downs, but Affinity is always there. With Fling and Atog looming over our heads, with Myr Enforcer threatening to win the game before we even blinked an eye. Alright I know, you all get the point.

Today we will look at a challenge winning deck list from 7/12/2020. The pilot of the deck is a twitch streamer by the name of Yamakiller. Yamakiller is a very good player and does well in just about any tournament he plays in. In Pauper, he mainly plays Affinity and has done well with it multiple times. I’m gonna stop rambling now and get right into the deck list.
 


Frogmite and Myr Enforcer – The classic creatures of the archetype. I hate playing Frogmite because it is a 2 power creature that usually ends up doing nothing but be used for SpringLeaf Drum fodder, but it does do the job well and someone needs to do it. This is just my opinion of the card, do not take it as gospel. Also in this list you are more combo based, so Frogmite fills a few different rolls.

As far as Myr Enforcer is concerned, I personally would never play less than 4 in this archetype. You want to be able to power out an Enforcer or 2 as quickly as possible in every game.

Geerseeker Serpent – I love this creature, I just wish Affinity could afford to play a third copy, but between having this and Myr Enforcer, you would end up having too many big drops that could clunk up your opening hands and throw off the consistency.
 
Carapace Forger – A very good aggressive 2 drop that Affinity loves to have. Never play less than 4, but do keep in mind that you need 3 artifacts in play for it to be a 4/4 creature, so when you are letting Atog eat artifacts for whatever reason, keep this in mind.

Atog – The bread and butter of the archetype. This is your big win condition and combo with Fling and much to my dismay, Atog is extremely good at the job it needs to do.

Galvanic Blast – This is the removal spell of the archetype, as Galvanic Blast will almost always be a 4 damage spell and at instant speed. The fact it can also go to the opponents face is icing on the cake. Never play less than 4.

Fling – While this is pretty good at being a burn spell later on in the game, since it will usually be at the very least 4 damage. It serves a greater purpose of Atog and Fling for a one turn kill.

Prophetic Prism, Springleaf Drum and Chromatic Star – Affinity is a deck that, while it does play a lot of artifacts, it also plays a lot of cards that require actual colors to cast. These 3 cards help you actually cast your spells and so they are required. Springleaf Drum can also be great because it can ramp you, allowing you to play a lot of spells in 1 turn. Chromatic Star is great because it can also be used as fodder for Atog and you draw a card.

Thoughtcast and Witching Well – While Thoughtcast is a main staple of Affinity and always will be, Witching Well is a new addition to the archetype.

In the past, most Affinity players have played cards such as Ichor Wellspring and Perilous Research to draw extra cards and keep the gas flowing so that you can keep putting more and more pressure on your opponent.

However, with Witching Well it only cost 1 mana, which can be huge when trying to power out a Myr Enforcer quickly. It also lets you scry 2 when it comes onto the battlefield, which can also be huge when you are trying to dig for specific cards, or set up the next couple of turns so that you can combo your opponent out and it can also draw 2 cards, albeit it does cost 4 mana to draw said 2 cards, it still draws 2 cards by itself.

Dispel – Removal spells and counter spells are a problem. With Dispel you now have a chance to tell your opponent “no, you don’t need that removal spell to resolve, you are good for now”. It also really helps when trying to combo kill with Fling and Atog.

The manabase is very straightforward. You play 4 of each of the artifact lands that you need the colors of. 1 basic Island because most of your important spells are blue and then you have 4 copies of Darksteel Citadel because it survives artifact removal, which stops your opponent from trying to land screw you with cards such as Gorilla Shaman. While Citadel does only add colorless mana, remember you play Prophetic Prism and to a less extent, Chromatic Star.

Sideboard

1 Electrickery – A staple sideboard card of the Pauper format for anyone who has the red mana to play it. Pesky decks such as Elves, Goblins and Faerie archetypes hate this card.

1 Flaring PainPrismatic Strands can be a huge problem, even for this archetype as it counters Galvanic Blast and can completely shut off your Atog and Fling kill. The reason to only play 1 copy of this card is because it has Flashback and you only need 1 copy. You never want or will usually need a second one, nor do you want to lose the game because you drew the second copy and it did nothing to help.

2 Gorilla Shaman – Pretty much for the mirror, but I suppose you could bring it in against other archetypes if you think they have enough artifacts to warrant it.

3 Hydroblast – For any red deck you may come across. It can also be extremely good in the mirror as it counters or kills Galvanic Blast, Fling, Atog and Gorilla Shaman.

2 Krark-Clan Shaman – For any aggro deck you come across. Remember on Magic Online, with this card, before doing anything, hold down your Control Key on your keyboard so that you can use his ability multiple times in a turn.

4 Pyroblast - Do you hate blue decks? Well than use this card to possibly and hopefully help solve that problem!

2 Relic of Progenitus – Graveyard shenanigans are a big thing in Pauper. Tortured Existence archetypes, Reanimator, Mystical Teachings archetypes and for some reason and of course, Tron archetypes (Wizards do the right thing).

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

As per usual, Affinity will always be a known threat in the Pauper format. It is also one of the best decks I would suggest new players pick up because it can teach you so many things. It can teach you when to go fast, when to slow down, how to bait removal/counter spells, how to set up a combo, the list honestly goes on.

What I love best about this particular list from Yamakiller is that there is no funny business going on. Sure you can use cards like Disciple of the Vault for more reach, Auriok Sunchaser to be more aggro, or I have even seen players adding Lightning Bolt for more removal/reach, but instead Yamakiller decided he just wanted to play all the best cards. It shouldn’t go without mentioning that Yamakiller is one of the strongest Mtgo grinders today and has played Affinity in pauper for quite some time to very good results, so it is in no way surprising to see him do so well.

While this list isn’t making any history, as we have seen plenty of Affinity lists like this before, if I were someone new to the Pauper format, or I have been playing for some time and wanted to try Affinity, I would easily start here. Do I think this list/archetype will bring you fortune in leagues? Yes I do, but there is a bit of a catch.

Yes, I do think Affinity is great and can win extremely easily. However, do remember that Affinity is also a deck that has a lot of hate cards that can be used against the archetype. Gorilla Shaman and Gleeful Sabotage are very popular sideboard cards and are just 2 of a long list of good hate cards for Affinity,

This does not mean Affinity is easily beaten, but sometimes all it takes is 1 Gorilla Shaman or 1 Gleeful Sabotage to slow you down long enough for your opponent to run away with the game. Remember I said sometimes. In my opinion, give Affinity a try, it might just be the archetype you are looking for!

That is gonna be it for me for this week.

Would you like to compete in a free Pauper tournament with some great prizes? Head on over to Gatherling.com on Tuesday nights at 8pm EDT and play in our weekly Pauper Classic Tuesday's event! Join the chat #PCT to chat with us and feel free to find most of the competitors on Discord!

Thank you so much for reading, see you all next time!