Dime a Dozen #25: War Machines

Hello everyone! I’m feeling more and more like Affinity is going to be my current deck of choice among the top performers. It just feels really powerful, creating board states that are not only overwhelming but also downright absurd. The chain of Frogmites, Myr Enforcers and Somber Hoverguards tends to produce free wins against unprepared adversaries, and is bolstered by the innate acceleration of Springleaf Drum. On the whole Affinity is not so much an instrument of precision as it is a rusty metallic bludgeon. Even resolving Fling, all the while sacrificing an elephantine Atog, feels primitive in its brutality. That’s not to say that playing Affinity doesn’t feel good, because it certainly does!

The deck has been referred to as aggro-combo, though I like to think it fills more of a midrange role within the Pauper metagame. The game plan we’d ideally like to have unfold involves early color fixing, followed by under-priced creature threats (Carapace Forger), and supplemented with burn (Galvanic Blast) and card advantage (Thoughtcast). If that isn’t enough (it usually is), we also have a long-range Atog-plus-Fling finisher that keeps opponents from ever truly being safe. In fact, Affinity does so many things well I’m surprised it’s not sponsored by the Swiss Army.

This isn’t to say that the deck has no weak spots. Truth be told, there are a number of cards that persecute the strategy with extreme prejudice. Gorilla Shaman, Ancient Grudge and Gleeful Sabotage are just a few examples. Size-indifferent removal by way of Mono-Black Control can also equate to an uphill battle. In spite of all this, Affinity still performs consistently well in the Daily Event metagame.

Today I’m going to pilot the latest iteration of my RUG Affinity deck. This won’t look too different from the one I piloted in Dime a Dozen #16 and wrote about in Dime a Dozen #23. Below you can find the decklist, and below that is a deck tech video (followed by a few matches)!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these videos! I’m still looking to improve the deck and test various configurations of it. Let me know if you’d like to see more coverage of (RUG?) Affinity in future installments. As always, thanks for reading and please comment!

You can find Jason
hosting the Pauper’s Cage podcast
on MTGO as BambooRush
on Twitter @dimecollectorsc
and on Youtube at youtube.com/dimecollectorsc

  1. M3G1: You had no reason to play that Fling (and Galvanic Blast). You can simply pump the Atog to lethal damage and pass priority with mana floating: If he does do something, you can response with Fling (and if needed Galvanic Blast). If he does nothing, you lose the floating mana and the game proceeds to the Combat Damage step, resulting in lethal damage from the Atog without him being able to do anything before that.

  2. Christian – Glad you pointed that out! At the time I didn’t think that was the case, and was too paranoid for my own good. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Hey Jason, what do you think of soul’s fire in this deck? It’s fling for one more mana that doesn’t sacrifice the creature. Seems very good with Atog – you can sac all of your permanents, cast it, and then hit them with the atog. Maybe a split with fling?

  4. Anonymous – Hi! I’ve never heard of that card before — good find! It doesn’t seem too bad, even though Affinity plays a low land count. By the late part of the game you will have that much mana.

    Not sacrificing isn’t always too helpful, since if you’re going for a lot of damage you need to sacrifice most of your stuff anyway (so it’s pretty all-in regardless). I still think it could be playable.

  5. Soul’s Fire is much easier to disrupt than Fling, since your opponent can kill the creature in response and then you get nothing from your spell. The only way to disrupt Fling is with a hard counter — that’s part of what makes it such a powerful spell, IMO.

  6. I get the feeling that the original affinity list is much better than this.

    I never played it much but I guess the reason it plays 4 springleaf drums is because it has 4 Disciples of the vault to ramp you early. Not playing black to have more mana fixing artifacts doesn’t really make your deck more consistent manawise, it just makes it slower as your earliest creatures to use drums of off is atog or frogmite.
    Also the reach they provide is very relevant when you need to steal the game by pumping to atog, or just saccing your mana fixers.

    I’d say the effect of not playing black on your mana base is irrelevant comparing to how much worse your atogs, flings and drums become. It also means you have a worse sideboard plan vs. fissure and stompy.