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CardShark Content - Brian Baker (1/30/2004)

Affinity’s been out for a while now, and it’s still the major power to beat in Type 2. Other decks have certainly become more powerful since the release of Mirrodin, but nothing smashes your head in with as much consistency as affinity. What else says “I’m going to DESTROY you” quite as effectively as a turn 4 9/9 Broodstar
Broodstar
BroodstarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Flying Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
(with 2 formidable Myr Enforcer
Myr Enforcer
Myr EnforcerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Myr
Rarity:
C
Number:
211
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.)
s for another 8 damage?) Not a whole lot, my friends.

But do not despair! While this nigh unbeatable hulk of a deck has only become stronger, so has the opposition. And what better engine to defeat affinity than…. affinity!?

Yes, you heard (read?) me correctly. Affinity has a speed that is matched only by goblins, so rather than shun it completely, we’ll twist affinity to our own evil purposes. The deck that I’m showing you comes with 2 assumptions: you’re willing to put some money into a deck, and that the opponent is playing with artifacts, affinity or not.

For the first part, I of all people know that certain things in life have a claim over your money- important things, like food and shelter. I don’t imagine that this deck would cost very little to assemble, so I just wanted to throw that caution out there. Secondly, I think that the odds are high that, in this day and age, the opponent will run with some kind of artifact in the deck. Should they not, there’s still enough speed burn to go for the throat.

So, without further ado, here we go:

Anti-Affinity Affinity
Red (20)
2:Fireball
Fireball
FireballSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Fireball does X damage total, divided evenly (round down) among any number of targets. Pay 1 extra mana for each target beyond the first.

2:Sulfuric Vortex
Sulfuric Vortex
Sulfuric VortexSet: Scourge
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
106
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, Sulfuric Vortex deals two damage to that player.
Whever a player would gain life, that player gains no life instead.

3:Furnace Dragon
Furnace Dragon
Furnace DragonSet: Darksteel
Cost:
9
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Matthew D Wilson
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Affinity for Artifacts, Flying. When Furnace Dragon comes into play if you played it from your hand remove all artifacts from the game.

3:Pulse of the Forge
Pulse of the Forge
Pulse of the ForgeSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
66
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Pulse of the Forge deals 4 damage to target player. Then if that player has more life than you return Pulse of the Forge to its owner's hand.

3:Shrapnel Blast
Shrapnel Blast
Shrapnel BlastSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
106
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
As an additional cost to play Shrapnel Blast, sacrifice an artifact. Shrapnel Blast deals 5 damage to target creature or player.

4:Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

3:Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath
Dragon BreathSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
86
Text:
Enchanted creature has haste.
R : Enchanted creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
When a creature with a converted mana cost of 6 or more comes into play, you may return Dragon Breath from your graveyard to play enchanting that creature.

Artifact (20)
2:Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.

2:Serum Tank
Serum Tank
Serum TankSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
240
Artist:
Corey D. Macourek
Text:
Whenever Serum Tank or another artifact comes into play, put a charge counter on Serum Tank. 3, T, Remove a charge counter from Serum Tank: Draw a card.

2:Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.

4:VGFsaXNtYW4gb2YgImpulse
Impulse
ImpulseSet: Visions
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Bryan Talbot
Text:
Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library. Shuffle your library afterwards.

4:Talisman of Indulgence
Talisman of Indulgence
Talisman of IndulgenceSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
255
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. T: Add B or R to your mana pool. Talisman of Indulgence deals 1 damage to you.

4:Welding Jar
Welding Jar
Welding JarSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
274
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Sacrifice Welding Jar: Regenerate target artifact.

4:Isochron Scepter
Isochron Scepter
Isochron ScepterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Mark Harrison
Text:
Imprint - When Isochron Scepter comes into play, you may remove an instant card with converted mana cost 2 or less in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) 2, T: You may copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy without paying its mana cost.

Land (20)
20:Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.


“But,” you say, “there’s no Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
s! No Echoing Ruin
Echoing Ruin
Echoing RuinSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
59
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Destroy target artifact and all other artifacts with the same name as that artifact.
s (a personal favorite)! Only one card even gets rid of artifacts at all!” Dear reader, that one card is all you need.

Furnace Dragon
Furnace Dragon
Furnace DragonSet: Darksteel
Cost:
9
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Matthew D Wilson
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Affinity for Artifacts, Flying. When Furnace Dragon comes into play if you played it from your hand remove all artifacts from the game.
. This isn’t your grandpa’s dragon, overcosted and entirely too restricted in use for actual play. For RRR, you get a 5/5 flyer that wipes the board clean of all artifacts (no recursion for you, Myr Retriever
Myr Retriever
Myr RetrieverSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Myr
Rarity:
U
Number:
215
Artist:
Trevor Hairsine
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Myr Retriever is put into a graveyard from play, return another target artifact card from your graveyard to your hand.
!) Suddenly, there’s no opposing Broodstar
Broodstar
BroodstarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Flying Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
to get in the way of your nice, new, fat flyer. All you’ll be losing are utility and speed artifacts, which you shouldn’t need for much longer. Not quite an equal trade for the affinity-star player, is it?

The deck, as you can tell, also features the best of the best when it comes to burn. It’s quite possible to deal an opponent 20+ damage without ever plopping down a dragon (not that it would hurt all that much.) Pulse of the Forge
Pulse of the Forge
Pulse of the ForgeSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
66
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Pulse of the Forge deals 4 damage to target player. Then if that player has more life than you return Pulse of the Forge to its owner's hand.
, my favorite of the new Pulse cards, is a monster with or without the return to hand ability. If you are at a low enough life that it gets thrown back, there’s no hope for the opponent. Shrapnel Blast
Shrapnel Blast
Shrapnel BlastSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
106
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
As an additional cost to play Shrapnel Blast, sacrifice an artifact. Shrapnel Blast deals 5 damage to target creature or player.
needs no introduction. Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
might be primarily used to keep the field clean of all those annoying little threats, but can hit the other player’s head for the extra little punch.

Don’t let them think that they can get away from your burning with a little bit of life gain, either. That’s what our good friend Sulfuric Vortex
Sulfuric Vortex
Sulfuric VortexSet: Scourge
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
106
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, Sulfuric Vortex deals two damage to that player.
Whever a player would gain life, that player gains no life instead.
is for. Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath
Dragon BreathSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
86
Text:
Enchanted creature has haste.
R : Enchanted creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
When a creature with a converted mana cost of 6 or more comes into play, you may return Dragon Breath from your graveyard to play enchanting that creature.
has a not-so-subtle part in this story- either throw it directly onto a Dragon for good fast times, or get it out early on a weak opposing creature, then Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
it right into your graveyard. Good times either way.

You’ll notice that I use mountains instead of Great Furnace
Great Furnace
Great FurnaceSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Land
Type:
Artifact Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
282
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(Great Furnace isn't a spell.) T: Add R to your mana pool.
s. This is very very deliberate. Although Furnaces will help speed along a Dragon, you need to remember 2 things. First, although you want to put out a Dragon quickly, you do want to let the opponent build up their artifacts first. The more they lose, the more you win. Secondly, you want to come out of a Dragon-wipe far ahead of your opponent. If you have no land, you’re not ahead. If you put down a Dragon and have at least 3 red mana available next turn, you’re set.

Card draw is always more difficult for burn, and that makes it that more important for us. Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.
and Serum Tank
Serum Tank
Serum TankSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
240
Artist:
Corey D. Macourek
Text:
Whenever Serum Tank or another artifact comes into play, put a charge counter on Serum Tank. 3, T, Remove a charge counter from Serum Tank: Draw a card.
fill this role, but this is arguably the deck’s greatest weakness. Use your own imagination.

Speaking of using your imagination, I’m leaving the sideboard up to you again. I would recommend 1 or 2 of some cards that the deck calls for less than 4 of (like Sulfuric Vortex
Sulfuric Vortex
Sulfuric VortexSet: Scourge
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
106
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, Sulfuric Vortex deals two damage to that player.
Whever a player would gain life, that player gains no life instead.
) so you can sub in what works for you between games. You know your own playing environment much better than I do, however, so this part is all yours.

As a side note, I received a fair amount of response from my last article. While it was all positive and I appreciate the feedback, a great deal of it concerned the sideboard that I purposely left out. Like I said, you know your own meta way better than me, so it’s a deliberate attempt to leave it up to you. All of the feedback was good, though, and I want to thank those who wrote me.

So, until next time, enjoy the new Darksteel cards, and I hope you have the pleasure of showing affinity how the red mage gets things done.


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