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CardShark Content - Vincent Lovaglio (1/30/2004)

The release of the middle set in a block means the start of preparation for the Block Constructed Season and the Block Pro Tour, this one being Pro Tour Kobe. Without a doubt, the most highly played deck there will be Affinity.


Affinity has been dominating since the release of Mirrodin and is considered by many as the best deck in Standard. For those of you who have not been awake for the past few months, Affinity is a deck that relies on cheap artifacts that accelerate into larger artifacts with affinity such as 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.)
. The deck eventually finishes off with a large 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.
that flies over for the win.


Now, let us analyze what makes Affinity so great in Standard, and being that it is Mirrodin-heavy, we should have no trouble switching these tools to an all-Mirrodin Block metagame.


1. A versatile manabase with acceleration: Many Affinity decks run three colors, giving it many sideboard options, and allows it use several devastating spells in the maindeck. Unlike most decks whose mana base is not strong enough to support more than 2 colors, the high artifact count combined with acceleration in the form of color-fixing Talismans, 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.
, and Glimmervoid
Glimmervoid
GlimmervoidSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
281
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Text:
At end of turn, if you control no artifacts, sacrifice Glimmervoid. T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
.


2. Speed: Many aggressive Affinity builds can empty their hand by turn 3 with a good draw. Frogmite
Frogmite
FrogmiteSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
172
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.)
s and Enforcers can hit play as early as turn 2 and they certainly provide the beats. Combined with effective burn spells like Pyrite Spellbomb
Pyrite Spellbomb
Pyrite SpellbombSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
232
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
R, Sacrifice Pyrite Spellbomb: Pyrite Spellbomb deals 2 damage to target creature or player. 1, Sacrifice Pyrite Spellbomb: Draw a card.
and 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.
, the game can end in a hurry.


3. Permission: Affinity is able to protect its fast critters with an assortment of counterspells such as Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.
and Override
Override
OverrideSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
45
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each artifact you control.
.


4. Card Drawing: Affinity also boasts of the best card drawers in the set. Thoughtcast
Thoughtcast
ThoughtcastSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Draw two cards.
and Thirst
Thirst
ThirstSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
When Thirst comes into play, tap enchanted creature.During your upkeep, pay U or bury Thirst.Enchanted creature does not untap during its controller's untap phase.
IGZvciBLbm93bGVkZ2U= as well as a set of cycling Spellbombs allow the deck to keep up the pressure in the late game.


So with these points in mind, I will work to create the most stable Affinity block deck.


1. Mana Base
Affinity's mana base is not only made up of lands. It also includes Talismans and 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.
so it is divided into two sets, acceleration and lands.
Acceleration
2 Talisman of Progress
Talisman of Progress
Talisman of ProgressSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
256
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. T: Add W or U to your mana pool. Talisman of Progress deals 1 damage to you.

4 Talisman of Dominance
Talisman of Dominance
Talisman of DominanceSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
253
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. T: Add U or B to your mana pool. Talisman of Dominance deals 1 damage to you.

4 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.

Land
4 Glimmervoid
Glimmervoid
GlimmervoidSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
281
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Text:
At end of turn, if you control no artifacts, sacrifice Glimmervoid. T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

4 Vault of Whispers
Vault of Whispers
Vault of WhispersSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Land
Type:
Artifact Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
286
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(Vault of Whispers isn't a spell.) T: Add B to your mana pool.

4 Seat of the Synod
Seat of the Synod
Seat of the SynodSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Land
Type:
Artifact Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
283
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
(Seat of the Synod isn't a spell.) T: Add U to your mana pool.

4 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.



2. Speed
Affinity has an aggresive side that is highlighted by such hits as 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.
and 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 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.)

4 Frogmite
Frogmite
FrogmiteSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
172
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.)

3 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.

4 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.

3 Pyrite Spellbomb
Pyrite Spellbomb
Pyrite SpellbombSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
232
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
R, Sacrifice Pyrite Spellbomb: Pyrite Spellbomb deals 2 damage to target creature or player. 1, Sacrifice Pyrite Spellbomb: Draw a card.



3. Permission
Standard Affinity usually is backed by eight counters but in Block I feel that 6 is enough.
4 Override
Override
OverrideSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
45
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each artifact you control.

2 Last Word
Last Word
Last WordSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
23
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Last Word can't be countered by spell or abilities. Counter target spell.



4. Card Drawing
Thoughtcast
Thoughtcast
ThoughtcastSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Draw two cards.
and Thirst
Thirst
ThirstSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
When Thirst comes into play, tap enchanted creature.During your upkeep, pay U or bury Thirst.Enchanted creature does not untap during its controller's untap phase.
IGZvciBLbm93bGVkZ2U= keep the threats going.
3 Thoughtcast
Thoughtcast
ThoughtcastSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Draw two cards.

4 Thirst
Thirst
ThirstSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
When Thirst comes into play, tap enchanted creature.During your upkeep, pay U or bury Thirst.Enchanted creature does not untap during its controller's untap phase.
IGZvciBLbm93bGVkZ2U=
3 Aether Spellbomb
Aether Spellbomb
Aether SpellbombSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
141
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
U, Sacrifice Aether Spellbomb: Return target creature to its owner's hand. 1, Sacrifice Aether Spellbomb: Draw a card.



5. Sideboard
Affinity's mana base allows it to play several great hosers in its board.
4 Disciple of the Vault
Disciple of the Vault
Disciple of the VaultSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
62
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever an artifact is put into a graveyard from play, you may have target opponent lose 1 life.
-Keeps opponent from playing mass removal unless they want to get burned.
4 Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
-For the Affinity matchup.
4 Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.
-For WW and other non-artifact aggressive decks.
3 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.
-For the control matchup to regenerate after an Oblivion Stone
Oblivion Stone
Oblivion StoneSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Sam Wood
Text:
4, T: Put a fate counter on target permanent. 5, T, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove all fate counters from all permanents.
activation.

I hope that you have learned a bit from this article and that you are preparing for your first Mirroding Block Constructed PTQ. Good luck.


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