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By: jcf, Jose Freitas
Nov 12 2018 7:19pm
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Etherium Sculptor       Seeker of the Way         

Etherium Sculptor and Seeker of The Way...

What would happen if we put those seemingly unrelated cards together ? 

Etherium Sculptor will reduce neither Seeker of the Way's cost nor trigger its ability. However, each noncreature artifact you cast will pump Seeker, and the deck we are about to see is capable of casting tons of those once in a while.

Well, of course the centerpiece of such deck must be... well... you know who... Red... bald... smiley...

Atog

Let's add a couple burn spells and draw spells to see how it goes.

Here is my initial list:

 

 


About some of the card choices:

2x Springleaf Drum: Most Affinity decks will play 4 or at least 3 copies of this card. It is a great support card for the archetype, both fixing colors and giving some mana ramp to the deck. But to perform well, this card needs a considerable amount of colorless weenies, usually Frogmites and some copies of Flayer Husk. This version doesn't run that many colorless creatures, having multiple copies of Springleaf Drum in the starting hand will probably feel clunky, two copies feels right for this deck.

2x Lonely Sandbar: I like the cycle land here for consistency. This deck wants to find at least two lands to start drawing cards or putting threats in play. Lonely Sandbar helps that and also helps against flood later. I chose to have extra blue lands for three reasons: We can play a second turn Etherium Sculptor plus Springleaf Drum quickly giving access to other colors. Blue is the card with draw spells that could bring more lands and the most important reason: Hydroblast is the best card to deal with Gorilla Shaman, so having blue non-artifact lands can be valuable against hate.

4x Darksteel Citadel: Some Affinity decks doesn't use this card, they opt to go all four colors carrying both Carapace Forger and Disciple of the Vault maindeck. I can't argue those are two very powerful cards and the results are there to prove the deck works.

Nevertheless I prefer versions with Darksteel Citadels instead. This card can become gold against hate after sideboarding, helping against cards like Gorilla Shaman and Ancient Grudge.

4x Etherium Sculptor: One of the backbone cards of the deck, one or two copies in play allows you to cast a ton of artifacts in a row, pumping Seeker of the Way and Atog to ridiculous sizes.

4x Lightning Bolt: One of the inspirations for this deck was Kuldotha Boros. Having access to eight burn spells looked like so much fun on the other side. I had to try it. While Bolt does pump Seeker and is a nice defensive spell, I ended this league under the impression Myr Enforcer would be a better card in this slot for this particular list.

No Fling:  In this version, I opted to include no Fling because I was playing so many burn spells anyway. I am not sure this was the right call.

4x Atog: Well, this is one of the best creatures in the whole Pauper format and almost any Affinity deck will have four copies. 

4x Seeker of the Way: One of the perks of playing Seeker is having a better game one against Burn decks. Lifelink can matter and I did see this card getting huge once in a while. Multiple copies can feel clunky sometimes, I am not sure but maybe 3 copies is the right amount.

4x Hydroblast: I think this is one of the most important cards in the sideboard for Affinity, both stopping scary Gorilla Shaman and giving an important aid against Burn.

3x Journey to Nowhere: This adds an interesting new dimension to the sideboard, being able to deal with Fangren Marauder and Gurmag Angler. I love how you can actually sacrifice Journey to Nowhere to Perilous Research in response to the ability, exiling the creature permanently. 

The League:

Match 1:

Game 1:

I keep a clunky hand with some card draw to chase for more lands. Opponent mulligans and start fast with Frogmite and Atog. I get scared but I drew red mana on my third turn, then I cast Galvanic Blast on their Atog and they decide to sacrifice two artifacts to save it. While Atog did stay, that slowed the opponent down and I was able to build my own side. Soon after I end up killing my opponent with Atog and one Lightning Bolt to the face.

Game 2:

I keep a flooded hand with blue mana for Hydroblast. My opponent surprises me with a second turn Naturalize. After that opponent gets color hosed and I keep bashing with Seeker of the Way. By the time the opponent starts to cast spells it is to late.

VICTORY!

Match 2:

Game 1:

I keep with an all Boros hand, no blue mana no blue spells. Opponent begins with Forest and Wild Growth. I topdeck Darksteel Citadel and decide to play it instead of a coloured mana. Opponent casts Arbor Elf and I use my red land to cast Lightning Bolt on it. They start to destroy my lands and I start to hit with Seeker of the Way. They keeps destroying my mana sourcess but I keep topdecking more. Seeker and Atog end up taking the game.

Game 2:

I keep a risky hand with just two lands and one Springleaf Drum. The had a very slow start with Mountain and Faithless Looting. They missed their second land drop showing they were mana hosed. When they finally cast the second Faithless Looting I decide to counter it with Hydroblast to prevent them from finding lands. They eventually find land but my game is already developed. 

VICTORY!

Match 3:

Game 1:

After thinking for a while I keep a risky hand. I have only one colorless land but also one Springleaf Drum and one creature of each color, so any coloured land I draw will give me access to all colors. I decide to take a chance. My opponent mulligans for six. I get very lucky and topdeck a timely Seat of the Synod, while opponent starts casting slivers. They attack but my Atog holds them back. They manage to exile my Atog but a couple Seeker of the Way combined with burn spells and draw spells end up taking the game.

Game 2:

I sideboard all the removal available in. I get a one land hand again and mulligan to another one land hand, this time I keep hoping to draw more lands. I struggle to find land but my opponent lacks green mana giving me time to find my mana base. I find lands and cast Atog that once again acts as a Moat. A couple Seeker of the Way combined with Krark-Clan Shaman end up taking over.

VICTORY!

At this point I am dreaming of a 5-0 result, but sadly things start to go downhill from here.

Match 4:

Game 1:

I start with a decent hand, two lands color fixinh and a couple of burn spells. They have a very fast start with two Burning-Tree Emissary and one Nest Invader on their second turn. I try to slow things down bolting one Burning-Tree Emissary but they follow up with Elephant Guide. Very soon their creatures are out of reach for my burn spells and I lose.

Game 2:

I sideboard in all the removal available. I have a bad starting hand and mulligan to six, the new hand is playable but risky, with no removal at all. I play a couple Seeker of the Way that help me slow things down but they are not enough, I struggle to find lands and my opponent outraces me.

I think I made a couple mistakes this game, one of them is not playing Terrarion first turn, I was trying to maximize Seeker of the Way's damage, but that ended up slowing down a hand that was already slow. I don't know if I could win the game even if I played it perfectly, but there is a chance it would be possible to turn things around. Let me know what you think!

LOSS!

Match 5:

Check the vídeo here!

Game 1:

I keep a decent hand, a couple draw spells and color fixing.  My opponent starts slow with Radiant Fountain followed by (Orzhov Basilisca). Multiple (Etherium Sculptur)s speed things up on my side, however my opponent kills them and runs out of removal. A couple turns later a huge Atog takes over.

Game 2:

Opponent starts casting Doom Blade on my Seeker of the Way. I cast two Atogs, but a Prismatic Strands in their graveyard messes with my plans. The game goes on stalled for a while and my opponent casts Guardian of the Guildpact plus Pestilence, controlling the board. After a long and grinding game, I end up with one card in library and concede.

Game 3:

This game was very similar to game 2. I have a decent start with burn spells and card draw, but they grind out with tons of removal and a Guardian of the Guildpact and Pestilence combo. I have a really hard time dealing with Guardian of the Guildpact making me consider Myr Enforcer might actually be a good addition to the deck. After a very long game the kill all my threats and then me with a couple flyers and Guardian of the Guildpact.

LOSS!

Final result: 3-2.

Not so bad.

Conclusion:

This felt bittersweet. At the end of the third round, after winning six games in a row I was under the impression I would go 5-0 or at least 4-1 in this league. While I still got a positive result, I also felt a few game choices and deck choices could have increased my chances a bit. 

After this league I traded one Perilous Research for one copy of Fling and switched all Lightning Bolts for four Myr Enforcers. Most of the time casting a 4/4 for zero mana is just more powerful than dealing 3 damage for one mana and with all those artifacts in the deck anyway, it happens often. 

After a while I also tried a dark version of the same deck, basically switching Seeker of the Way for Glaze Fiend and adjusting mana of course. Seeker is a bit better in the defensive aspect but Glaze Fiend has evasion and can get bigger. I do remember attacking with a 16/16 Glaze Fiend once, not bad for a 2 mana creature.

I think this deck is absurdly fun and can be quite powerful with a bit of luck. If you like to play affinity and want to try something slightly different, I totally recommend it!

Battle well and have fun!