Nate Welcomes Mirrodin To Magic Online

Building On A Budget - Affinity

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The time is now--Mirrodin cards have arrived on the scene and everyone is excited. I've been waiting to write about Mirrodin decks for a long time. I want to make the first deck I write about with the new set a good one, and Affinity is arguably the deck that will set the standard for the next few months. Affinity has many faces, however; each person builds it a little differently. One deck, many options. This is the mark of the open-endedness that is Mirrodin.

I prefer using Lightning Greaves and Nim Shriekers in my Affinity decks, especially since when building on a budget where there's no room for the ever-popular Broodstar or Glimmervoid. With the lack of lands that generate more than one color of mana and a broad mana base (due to several artifact lands of random colors just because they, in effect, generate 2 colorless mana), I decided that the creature base should be largely artifact and I should avoid using non-colorless spells as much as possible. This particular version only has 16 spells that aren't colorless, and none of them have more than one color (half of these draw cards).

The key to any Affinity deck is to come out fast and strong--similar to a Beatdown deck. After you spend your cards coming out fast, you'll need to refill with card drawing and do it all over again until your opponent begs for mercy. There are three basic builds of Affinity from what I've seen.

  • The first is a basic Atog build. This deck utilizes fast artifacts and Atogs to create a lethal attack very quickly. Some also use Second Sunrise.
  • The second is the Aggro-Control build. This deck tries to play out creatures such as Frogmite and Myr Enforcer for little or no mana, leaving up countermagic mana on the same turn.
  • The third deck is fast and explosive--no frills, all beaters. This is the deck I like best, and a budget version is listed below. (Note that the price for this deck is based on predicted costs.)
Building on a Budget - Affinity

This deck has only sixteen creatures, but they come out fast enough to do some serious damage. The best way to play the deck is to get Lightning Greaves on the table--speeding your assault up by an entire turn. This card feels more and more like Fires of Yavimaya every time I play with it. If you liked Fires, you will like Greaves.

Your goal with this deck should be to attack with a Myr Enforcer on turn three.

Yes, attack with a seven-mana 4/4 on turn three. What? Aren't we talking about Block Constructed here?

It is really quite simple when Affinity is involved. Just play out an artifact land turn one alongside an Aether Spellbomb or Welding Jar. On turn two, play another artifact land and cast a Lightning Greaves. On turn three, play yet another artifact land and cast the Enforcer for 3 mana, then slap the Greaves on it and attack!

Attacking with 4/4s on turn three is more than most Goblin decks can hope for, let alone Block decks. Of course, this is the format where on turn four, a Nim Shrieker can easily hit for seven. Add these factors together and you will discover a turn-five kill.

In truth, these draws may be slow because we're building on a budget. If you throw Chrome Mox into the mix...well, all sorts of crazy things become possible. Like turn one Lightning Greaves, turn two hit with Enforcer with a little boost from Welding Jar.

Mirrodin Block Constructed is going to be a crazy and fun format, folks.

The deck is simple to play--no real tricks besides Aether Spellbomb. Many times you'll find it necessary to fend off an assault by holding back Myr Enforcer until you can win with your fliers. An interesting addition to this deck would be Skeleton Shard, since you can basically bring back and play your 4/4s for Black Mana.

Adding Money To The Deck

The first card that should go in this deck is Broodstar, without a doubt. After that I would put in Glimmervoid, and then maybe Chrome Mox. The Moxes depend on what else you add to the deck--I would play them if you have twenty non-colorless cards in the deck. Remember, in an Affinity deck it's often wise to play a Chrome Mox even without the imprint. No artifact you have in play is completely useless when you're playing Affinity.

While I'm not going to predict what might be good sideboard cards for this deck, I can safely say that artifact hate should be around in full force. Oblivion Stone really hurts this deck as well, so having Shatters in the sideboard (cast off of Great Furnaces and Glimmervoids if you have them) alongside Pyrite Spellbombs can make for a good splash.

The Mirrodin set is pretty exciting and I plan to write a good deal in the upcoming weeks about the interesting decks that are now available.

Until then, make sure that you can't lose and your opponents can't win.

Nate Heiss
Team CMU
NateHeiss on Magic Online

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