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Hi everyone, and welcome to the tenth and final episode of Paupers & Kings, my series on porting Pauper decks into the Modern format while staying on a budget. I hope you have enjoyed the series, and have taken advantage of some of the crossover archetypes to break into either Modern or Pauper (or both). I’ve had a lot of fun playing lists across the formats and have myself learned a lot more about Modern in the process. If you missed an episode, here is a link to all ten articles.

For our final week we’re taking a look at Affinity. The goal in both formats is similar: smash down a bunch of robots and/or artificers and beat face. In Modern our guys tend to be free or very cheap, and we get a lot of them, and we gain value with cards like Signal Pest, Cranial Plating, and Arcbound Ravager. In Pauper we rely more on the metalcraft ability and Affinity for Artifacts to cheat out 4/4s before our opponent knows what’s happening.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Affinity in Pauper

We’re playing Eredion’s list in Pauper, a choice I made after he stomped me with it in a Daily Event while I was playing Hexproof. His mastery of the list notwithstanding, I like a lot of the choices he has made in putting his list together as well. Here is his 75:

Affinity by Eredion (Pauper)

Land (18)
Great Furnace
Seat of the Synod
Tree of Tales
Darksteel Citadel
Vault of Whispers

Creatures (16)
Atog
Carapace Forger
Frogmite
Myr Enforcer

Spells (12)
Thoughtcast
Galvanic Blast
Perilous Research
Fling

Utility (14)
Flayer Husk
Ichor Wellspring
Prophetic Prism
Springleaf Drum
Chromatic Star
Sideboard (15)
Dispel
Doom Blade
Electrickery
Krark-Clan Shaman
Serene Heart
Ancient Grudge
Relic of Progenitus

The stars of Affinity in Pauper are Myr Enforcer and Carapace Forger, and many a match is won by simply swinging in with these mighty 4/4s before your opponent has a chance to mount much of a defense. Even so, the creature that really inspires fear in the list is, of course, the wily Atog. Anytime he is on the table, especially in the mid- to late-game, he can be a game-winning threat. Because of his potential for explosiveness, your opponent is often forced to make bad blocks, lose advantage on the board, and eventually be either overrun to have something giant Flinged at his face.

Flayer Husk is great in the mirror and gets your guys out of Flame Slash range, while also providing another 1-drop artifact to fuel your Affinity count. Six draw spells help ensure that you don’t run out of gas and, combined with nine cantripping artifacts, you can really draw cards with the best control lists, at least for awhile.

Eighteen land feels right, and the Vault of Whispers help enable Doom Blade out of the board, a necessity for guys like Fangren Marauder who will, left unchecked, completely ruin your day.

Eredion’s list is on the cheap end, even for Pauper, mainly because he doesn’t run Hydroblast or Pyroblast in the sideboard. That said, it’s a well-tuned list that will compete with any deck you run up against; you’re more than getting your money’s worth. It’s under 10 tix to put together online, and just $34 to build in paper.

Myr-Enforcer

Affinity in Modern

For Modern, we started with iBelieveable’s list, and modified it to be slightly more on the budget end. You have a lot of choices when building Affinity in Modern, which I love. Some lists run as many Master of Etherium as possible alongside Welding Jars to protect them, while others focus more on exploding out of the gate and winning as early as possible. Affinity can win on turn three and will often win by turn four, well before some opponents have done more than put down a mana dork or gotten their mana bases under control. Here is the Modern list we played.

Affinity (Modern)

Land (20)
Blinkmoth Nexus
Glimmervoid
Inkmoth Nexus
Darksteel Citadel
Island

Creatures (28)
Arcbound Ravager
Etched Champion
Master of Etherium
Signal Pest
Steel Overseer
Vault Skirge
Ornithopter
Memnite

Spells (12)
Thoughtcast
Cranial Plating
Springleaf Drum
Sideboard (15)
Etched Champion
Chalice of the Void
Dismember
Torpor Orb
Whipflare
Ancient Grudge
Illness in the Ranks

The number of must-answer threats here is huge. Arcbound Ravager, Steel Overseer, Master of Etherium, and Cranial Plating all have a major impact and will win unless answered. Even if they take care of your creatures on the ground, your lands are ready to transform and start flying over the battlefield. Inkmoth Nexus can easily win in a single swing with a cranial plating later on in the game, and at that point your opponent will be hoping to top-deck answers since they’ve likely used all their resources handling your other threats.

I like drawing two cards for so I added in 4x Thoughtcast from the original list. Some lists run Galvanic Blast or even Dispatch, but I liked staying in a single color as much as possible. I was tempted to try out Ensoul Artifact because it works so nicely with Darksteel Citadel and Vault Skirge but it didn’t end up in this list. All of our threats are viable on their own, using an extra card and opening ourselves up to a 2-for-1 situation didn’t seem ideal.

You can make Affinity a budget list in Modern, more or less, just by taking out Mox Opal. I’m sure it’s handy for explosive starts, but at $150 for a playset online, I’m happy to pass. After that, you’re looking at $15 for the 4x Arcbound Ravagers, $50 for the 8x Nexus lands, and less than $30 for the rest of the mainboard. That’s under $100 online for the main 60.

For the sideboard, Etched Champion, Ancient Grudge, Whipflare, and Dismember all are important players, and none of them are too expensive. After that you can fill in with whatever awesome artifacts you have laying around: Pithing Needle, Chalice of the Void, and Torpor Orb are all cards that can do work. Glimmervoid and Springleaf Drum mean you can bring in nearly any color from the board, so cards like Rule of Law and Illness in the Ranks are viable options too, just don’t get greedy with any cards that require double mana unless it is , since that’s the only color we can really call our own.

Affinity on the Play

Three videos for each format this week. I played far, far more in Modern as I enjoyed the deck so thoroughly, but only filmed three. My current record with Modern Affinity is 10-2, though, and it is now my favorite Modern list alongside U Tron.

 

In Pauper, Affinity rewards practice and expertise. I’ve played against Eredion twice now in Daily Events, and while we are 1-1, his expertise with Affinity is apparent regardless of if he wins or loses. My point is that the deck is stronger than it seems by watching me play it; I’m sure my misplays were numerous and costly.

Next week on Paupers and Kings

Sadly, there is no next week on Paupers and Kings. Thanks for tuning in to the series, and I hope you enjoyed it! My next endeavor will have a stronger, more particular focus on Pauper and the competitive metagame. Let me know what directions you’d like to me to take, or if you’d like to see anything in particular covered for Pauper.

Until then, may your craniums always be plated.

/bava

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