Dime a Dozen #47: Under the RUG (Affinity in Pauper)

Hello everyone!

I really have no excuse. I should’ve been playing this deck all along.

You may remember variations of RUG Affinity from a previous article, or perhaps this even older one. I also have a feeling that you’ll be seeing more of it from me in the future. Why? Because in my opinion, playing Affinity is one of the most powerful things you can be doing in Pauper!

I’ve felt this way for a long time, but today I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Please enjoy this deck tech video, followed by some battling in the 2-man Queues.

Check out our selection of Journey into Nyx cards!

If you’re interested in knowing which decks I’m going to face, please click on the spoiler tabs below.

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Round 1: Mono-Blue Delver

Round 2: Pauper Tron

Round 3: Pauper Tron Rematch!

End Step

What do you think of the Affinity deck in general? How about the RUG color combination? While I’m liking it, there is probably some room for improvement.

As always, thanks for reading, and please comment!

  1. I have just put this deck together verbatim and have played a few games. Overall it has performed very well – particularly against Delver, mono-U and mono-B but despite side boarding in the pyroblasts and raze’s against a Esper Familiar deck I found the matchup to be quite difficult, losing that matchup twice. Do you have any recommendations against Esper? I really like the deck, I was getting bored of Delver, and I really appreciate the content you produce!

  2. Claye – Very cool of you to try out the deck!

    Esper is a very tricky strategy to play against IMO, and they usually just need that one turn to combo off (even if you had them dead on board or something).

    I would mulligan pretty aggressively and do what I could to disrupt them (sometimes without enough Karoos or a Familiar they can be pretty lackluster. This doesn’t happen often though).

    Good luck, and I’ll let you know if I think of anything else!

  3. Hello,

    I was wondering in match 2, game 2: the turn before uladaddy came out. when you had atog, atog, frogmite, 3 art land, and a fling in hand. How come that attack wasnt lethal? raze his only untapped land… then attack all ..float 2 mana for fling… sac everything for atog…. then cast fling… I know the math would have been lethal.. I guess I am actually wondering if mana can float over all of combat to the damage step or if the mana pool would empty after declaring blockers?

  4. isaac rice – I think I understand your question – and if I do – then the answer is “no, the mana cannot float over.”

    The lands would need to be tapped/sacrificed before the combat damage step (in order to make Atog big), and that floating mana could not remain in our pool by the time we proceeded to combat damage.

  5. Hi Jason, we know each other from mtgo, I don’t know if you remember me, I am Uspdudes there.

    So… as you probably know I did play affinity for a while and, actually, urzatron is probably the worst match for affinity out there, but there are a few comments I would like to do on that!

    First, I think it is nice to have some spot removal in sideboard to deal with Marauder, like 3 doomblade maybe. There are other options inside RUG, like lignify, snakeform (considering affinity goes to combat a lot snakeform isn’t that bad) and even exclude/remove soul can be interesting (they will stop both marauder and mulldrifters, they will also stop another annoying stuff, like chittering rats). But doomblade is the one I would prefer I guess.

    The problem with marauder isn’t just the life it gains, it is also the fact that it stops all those nice 4/4s we have. This sounds crazy, but having some equipment in the deck also helps a bit, because you can at least try to slow win with 5/5s attacking one after other (will work once in a while).

    Now one thing I would like to comment is: I am not sure if you remember but it is actually possible to kill opponent using the fling combo, even if they have marauders out.

    If you sac. the artifacts in THEIR turn, the Marauder ability goes FIRST in the stack, you can let them stack up and Fling in response, it is a bit risky because they will be plenty untapped, but it is better than losing the fling combo, since they have a tendency to nail long games.

    Galvanic blast isn’t very useful against urzatron, if you kill mulldrifter, it is 1/3 of a card, if you kill marauder, it is 1/2 a card. It is something you should totally side out and replace with something more fit against them. Even pyroblast is better, because sometimes when you counter mulldrifters they run out of gaz and get stuck with lands and not many spells. Not to mention mulldrifters are powerful blockers against somber, if you get to stop mulldrifters, you can sometimes stale the ground battle and ping their 60 life with somber.

    So, it is not an easy match, but there are lot of sutile factors that can help to turn the tide a bit! =)