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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jan 27 2021 12:00pm
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On 11/28/2020 and 11/29/2020, a well known grinder by the name of Hamuda took down both challenges with the archetype we will be talking about today. I wanted to give a big shout out to them for doing such an amazing thing. Since then, his build of Affinity has been showing up quite a bit.

The archetype we will be discussing today is Jeskai Affinity and I personally love it. It can be aggro, it can play the tempo game and it can draw a lot of cards in the process, what more is there to love?

The list we will be discussing today, got 3rd place in a challenge that took place on 1/16/2021 and was piloted by the player Mikhathara1994. This is usually the part where I ramble some more, but I am gonna stop now and get into what you came here to see.


Myr Enforcer – We all know what this creature is and in my opinion, never play this archetype with less than 4 of them.

Frogmite – I personally hate this card in the Pauper format because it is a 2/2 that gets outclassed very quickly and sometimes ends up doing almost nothing. However, it does combo well with Springleaf Drum and at the end of the day, for a deck that wants to be aggressive, a free 2 power creature that comes down early to help clog up the board, isn’t necessarily useless. This is just my opinion on the card.

Atog – Ah yes, our champion, the great Atog. Many games are won because of this card alone and sometimes you don’t even need to combo with Fling to do it. At this point, I don’t think I would ever play less than 4 of these either.

Kor Skyfisher – One of the best creatures of all time in the Pauper format. Although you don’t usually see it in the Affinity archetype, it is still quite amazing. Not only does it hit fairly hard in the air, but it can also pick back up Prophetic Prism to draw another card, pick up Azure Fleet Admiral to become the Monarch again and also does well with Thraben Inspector as well.

Thraben Inspector – Not the most aggressive creature for this archetype, but it can be a decent blocker, the points it can get in for will add up over time, it combos well with Kor Skyfisher and most importantly, it brings along a Clue token. The Clue token is quite powerful in this archetype because it is an artifact, this means it helps with Affinity, can be food for Atog or draw a card.

Ardent Recruit – I love me a Wild Nacatl. Being able to play this on turn 1 and then do what Affinity does best (play a bunch of artifacts), can put some serious pressure on your opponent early. I would like to see 3 copies and lower the Frogmite count to 1 so that you have a better chance of seeing this in your opening hand, but that is just my personal preference.

Azure Fleet Admiral – One of the new Monarch cards from Commander Legends. Although it is expensive at 4 mana, becoming the Monarch is very worth it in the long run. It also is unblockable if your opponent is the Monarch, making it easy to get it back. You only see one copy because that is all you need.

Thoughtcast – Never play less than 4 of this card. Affinity is an archetype that dumps their hand early and you will need a way to refill the tank, this is your best spell at doing this.

Of One Mind – One thing Affinity loves to do is draw cards and refill the tank. With this archetype, you end up dumping your hand very quickly and it is easy to run out of gas. The best part is that since you play 7 human creatures (Ardent Recruit, Thraben Inspector and Azure Fleet Admiral), you can often cast this for only 2 mana.

Galvanic Blast – An amazing burn spell for one mana in this archetype because you should just about always have Metalcraft turned on. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Dispel – This might seem a little random, but it really isn’t. Having a copy of this to help fight a counter war, stop a removal spell or even counter your opponents Fling can go a long way. There isn’t really any room for more copies of Dispel in the main deck, but you also don’t really need a second copy either.

Fling – The combo card with Atog that will win you many games. Always good to pack a couple of these. With Myr Enforcer, it can also be Galvanic Blast 5 and 6 as well.

Prophetic Prism and Chromatic Star – Here are your mana fixing cards. Both are great because they also replace themselves by drawing cards. Remember that if you sacrifice Chromatic Star to Atog, you still draw a card.

Springleaf Drum – Although it does not draw a card, it helps accelerate you, by turning one of your creatures (Frogmite cough) into a sort of Birds of Paradise, which can make the deck play out even faster, putting a lot of pressure on your opponent.

Witching Well – I used to be a fan of this card, but over time the format has sped up a bit and I find this to be a bit inefficient. It is true that it draws 2 cards and it can combo fairly well with Kor Skyfisher, but I like having 1 Dispel in the main deck as a Silver Bullet. That is my personal preference.

The Manabase

Ancient Den, Seat of the Synod and Great Furnace – Here are your main lands of the deck. They are your sources of color and are extremely important. Do not play less than 4 of each.

Darksteel Citadel – Artifact destruction can be annoying to play against and that goes double for having to face a Gorilla Shaman. Although it adds colorless, the Citadel is Indestructible and can still add colored sources with the help of Prophetic Prism, which helps nullify the land destruction plan that your opponents may go for.

Cave of Temptation – This is your flex land spot and I like this one. Not only does it help you fix your mana, but later in the game, it helps you grow a creature. That can be pretty huge when trying to attack on a clogged up battlefield. Keep in mind though, you can only pump a creature at sorcery speed and you lose the land to do it.

That is it for the manabase. You won’t find any basics here, as you have the Mirrodin lands instead. I know many of you fear Gorilla Shaman blowing up lands, but that is what Darksteel Citadel and Thriving Bluff is for.

The Sideboard

 

Gorilla Shaman – This is for the mirror. We can move on.

Blue Elemental Blast – Not only is this good against any red mage you will face, but it is also very good against other Affinity matchups. It deals with Galvanic Blast, Atog and Fling as well as an opposing Gorilla Shaman.

Krark-Clan Shaman – An excellent way of dealing with just about any opposing aggro deck. Please remember to hold the control key before and while using this creatures ability! If you don’t, you won’t be able to use it more than once.
  
Leave No Trace – Bogles can be a rough matchup and this will help with that. However, it can be good against other matchups as well, such as Heoric.

Red Elemental Blast – If you hate dealing with blue decks, here is the best sideboard card for those matchups.
 
Reaping the Graves – Here is where this list dips into a fourth color if need be. Against control decks or any matchup with a lot of removal, Reaping the Graves can be a huge play. Not only is it an instant, but you are Affinity, which means you can usually cast many spells in 1 turn and get a huge Reaping the Graves off.
 
Fiery Cannonade – A great board wipe spell. The 2 damage doesn’t do much to you, but it sure does a lot against a good number of archetypes you will run into. Also at instant speed.

Final thoughts and Verdict


This is personally my favorite version of Affinity. I love the addition of the white cards over things like Disciple of the Vault to try and combo your opponent out or Carapace Forger. While Forger is very good, the removal options in the format have become much better and so I like playing more value creatures more than just a 4 power creature for cheap.

The white cards add card advantage to this archetype, as well as a little speed from Ardent Recruit. One thing Affinity suffers from is running out of gas quickly, but having access to Kor Skyfisher and Thraben Inspector helps draw a ton of cards. Kor Skyfisher is a decent damage dealer as well and the points that Thraben Inspector can sneak in will add up over time.

One card I wish I saw in Jeskai Affinity is Gearseeker Serpent. This is just personal preference because it is a pet card of mine. The reason why you don’t really see it is because the Serpent can often end up being slow in this archetype and you don’t necessarily need it. I just personally would like to see it as maybe a 1 of. Other than that, I think either one of these lists are fine to use as a starting point.

Do I think you should play this archetype? Yes I definitely do. It is a great way to be introduced to the format or it could be something new and fun to play if you are looking to pick up a new deck. Be aware however, that Affinity is always a prepared for archetype and you will need to learn how to play against sideboard hate. Results with this archetype will vary, but I am sure it will bring you much success in the leagues and you have a good chance of putting up results in the challenges with a little luck and a lot of practice.

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!

That is gonna be it for this week. Thank you so much for reading and I will see you all next time!