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CardShark Content - Vincent Lovaglio (3/26/2004)

Ravager Affinity, the most dominant deck in Standard, made its breakout performance at the Mirrodin Block Constructed Pro Tour Kobe. Although Big Red won the tournament, Ravager Affinity was one of the talks of the tournament. Now, the powerful combination of Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound RavagerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Sacrifice an artifact: Put a +1/+1 counter on Arcbound Ravager. Modular 1 (This comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it. When it's put into a graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature.)
, 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.
, and Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
, plus a variety of cards abused by the Affinity mechanic are being piloted to top finishes at Regionals in Europe.

Although the decks vary from build to build, they almost all have the base of:

4 Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

4 Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound RavagerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Sacrifice an artifact: Put a +1/+1 counter on Arcbound Ravager. Modular 1 (This comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it. When it's put into a graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature.)

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.

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.)

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.)


The cards that make up the rest of the deck is what makes each Ravager Affinity build unique.

Some builds run red and blue as well as black for the powerful finisher in 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.
and extra card drawing in 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.
. Most builds also run a combination of 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.
to protect from Akroma’s Vengeance
Vengeance
VengeanceSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Keith Parkinson
Text:
Destroy any one tapped creature.
, Ornithopter
Ornithopter
OrnithopterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
0
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
as an Affinity enabler, and Arcbound Worker
Arcbound Worker
Arcbound WorkerSet: Darksteel
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Modular 1 (This comes into play with one +1/+1 counters on it. When it's put into the graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature)
as a creature pumper and turn 1 drop.

There is one build of Ravager Affinity that I feel is equal in power to the others that are dominating European Regionals. It utilizes one of the most powerful cards in Darksteel,

Aether Vial
Aether Vial
Aether VialSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
At the begining of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial. T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play.
. Before I explain the deck, let me explain the card that is most important to it.

Aether Vial
Aether Vial
Aether VialSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
At the begining of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial. T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play.
is a one mana artifact. At the beginning of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on the Vial. When you tap the Vial you then put a crature card wth converted mana cost equal to the number of counters on the Vial into play. Why is this ability so good? One, it allows you to play creatures without any fear of counterspells, which can be huge if U/W Control takes back its rightful seat as best control deck in the format. It is also important because it allows you to play creatures at instant speed, giving them a hastelike ability with a surprise allowing you to take down opposing creatures in combat. It also works well against Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
. However, the most important thing about the Vial is its ability to essentially forgo the mana curve and still play threats. This means that if you are mana screwed, you can still put up a fight, and if not, you are essentially doubling the number of threats you play per turn.

However, there is a drawback for using the Vial. It will not work unless you have a sufficient number of threats in your hand. This means that Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
must be accompanied by another card drawer in order to keep the card and threat number in our hand high even after using the Vial. This causes me to cut the red 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.
that most builds use in favor of blue and 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.
.

The only other unusual card choice in the deck is Genesis Chamber
Genesis Chamber
Genesis ChamberSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Whenever a nontoken creature comes into play, if Genesis Chamber is untapped, that creature's controller puts a 1/1 Myr artifact creature token into play.
. While poor card advantage against Goblin Bidding and Ravager Affinity in the first few turns of the games, in combination with Aether Vial
Aether Vial
Aether VialSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
At the begining of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial. T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play.
, you will gain the card advantage back over the long haul with seemingly endless weenies.

I would also like to say how great Blinkmouth Nexus has been in this deck. It isn’t used in most Ravager Affinity lists, but it should be. It is that good.

Onto the deck, sideboard, and matchup analysis.

Vialed Ravager
4 Aether Vial
Aether Vial
Aether VialSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
At the begining of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial. T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play.

4 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 Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

4 Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound RavagerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Sacrifice an artifact: Put a +1/+1 counter on Arcbound Ravager. Modular 1 (This comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it. When it's put into a graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature.)

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.

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.)

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 Arcbound Worker
Arcbound Worker
Arcbound WorkerSet: Darksteel
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Modular 1 (This comes into play with one +1/+1 counters on it. When it's put into the graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature)

4 Ornithopter
Ornithopter
OrnithopterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
0
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying

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.

3 Genesis Chamber
Genesis Chamber
Genesis ChamberSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Whenever a nontoken creature comes into play, if Genesis Chamber is untapped, that creature's controller puts a 1/1 Myr artifact creature token into play.

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.

3 Darksteel Citadel
Darksteel Citadel
Darksteel CitadelSet: Darksteel
Color:
Land
Type:
Artifact Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
164
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Indestructible. (This is not a spell.) T: Add 1 to your mana pool.

3 Blinkmouth Nexus
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 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.



Sideboard
4 Pyroclasm
Pyroclasm
PyroclasmSet: Ice Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Text:
Pyroclasm deals 2 damage to each creature.
: OK, I was lying about cutting red completely. The sideboard options provided by red are so abundant, starting with a 2 mana one sided Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
against Goblins.

4 Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
: You need this against RavAffinity, simple as that.

4 Stabilizer
Stabilizer
StabilizerSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Players can't cycle cards.
´´Hold that thought.´´ - Pemmin, Riptide survivor.
: Your hoser against Astral Slide
Astral Slide
Astral SlideSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn.
, it cripples their entire deck.

3 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.
: Switch these with Darksteel Citadel
Darksteel Citadel
Darksteel CitadelSet: Darksteel
Color:
Land
Type:
Artifact Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
164
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Indestructible. (This is not a spell.) T: Add 1 to your mana pool.
against Goblins and Affinity.


Now, lets see how Vialed Ravager does against the rest of the field.

vs. Goblin Bidding (65-35)(70-30)

Ravager Affinity has a very good matchup against Bidding and so do you. In game one, your creatures are bigger and faster than goblin opponent and you are able to utilize your Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
much better than they can. After board, Pyroclasm
Pyroclasm
PyroclasmSet: Ice Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Text:
Pyroclasm deals 2 damage to each creature.
destroys them. It is also especially deadly if you cast it with a number of Myr tokens via Genesis Chamber
Genesis Chamber
Genesis ChamberSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Whenever a nontoken creature comes into play, if Genesis Chamber is untapped, that creature's controller puts a 1/1 Myr artifact creature token into play.
and Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound RavagerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Sacrifice an artifact: Put a +1/+1 counter on Arcbound Ravager. Modular 1 (This comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it. When it's put into a graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature.)
.

vs. Ravager Affinity (50-50)(50-50)

Both games are just about even. Game one goes down to who draws the most 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.
s and the second comes down to who Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
s the most.

vs. Astral Slide
Astral Slide
Astral SlideSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn.
(45-55)(70-30)

Game one is difficult but very winnable. Your constant flow of threats will either overwhelm them or they will gain advantage with Astral Slide
Astral Slide
Astral SlideSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn.
. However, sideboarding brings the match way into your favor. Stabilizer
Stabilizer
StabilizerSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Players can't cycle cards.
´´Hold that thought.´´ - Pemmin, Riptide survivor.
cripples the opponent as well as being an artifact that enables Affinity.

As you can see, Aether Vial
Aether Vial
Aether VialSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
At the begining of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial. T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play.
can definitely make an impact on Standard. In fact, I feel that Vialed Affinity is so powerful that it is a viable choice for me at Regionals. Test it and see if you like it.


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