Pauper Grixis Affinity Tips, Tricks & Sideboard guide By Mogged

09/01/2023 · 9 min read

Affinity and the Pauper Metagame

For many years now, affinity has been widely considered one of the best decks in the Pauper Format.

Since the introduction of dual affinity lands, affinity has consistently dominated the Pauper Metagame . It has remained the most popular deck, standing the test of time and outlasting its long-time rival, Ux Fairies.

Affinity Staples

This deck features a core of powerful cards that are consistently used as its foundation.

The 18-20 manabase of affinity lands .

Including both, the old and the new ones.

Our set of Affinity lands
Our set of Affinity lands

The undercosted affinity cards
Myr Enforcer
0.05 Tix
0.3 Tix
Galvanic Blast
0.24 Tix

The latest additions to its core are Deadly Dispute in combination with Sacrifice Outlets.

Deadly Dispute
0.08 Tix

One of the notable aspects of these cards is that they have very generic effects that do not restrict you to a specific archetype. Drawing cards, playing vanilla creatures, and dealing damage are all highly flexible effects, allowing you to build your affinity deck towards either end of the aggressive-control spectrum. Personally, I tend to prefer cheaper cards, but there are numerous options available.

Some examples of affinity decks I have tried in the past include:

  • Go Wide affinity
  • Infinite combo affinity
  • Affinity burn
  • Affinity control
  • Ninjaffinity
  • Wildfire affinity
  • Humans affinity

In today’s metagameMonored  is the current boogeyman, and we have to adapt in order to beat it without taking too much away from our strategy.

My Current Grixis Affinity Version

The is the affinity list I have been using lately, and I will break it down in this guide:

Affinity. Builder: Mogged.MTGO - Magic Online
Top16 in MTGO Pauper Challenge #12504299 01-Jan-2023
Maindeck (60)
Creature [11]
1  Gurmag Angler   $0.29
1  Krark-Clan Shaman   $0.99
1  Kenku Artificer   $0.59
4  Frogmite   $0.69
4  Myr Enforcer   $0.99
Artifact [11]
3  Blood Fountain   $0.35
4  Ichor Wellspring   $0.25
4  Chromatic Star   $0.25
Instant [14]
3  Metallic Rebuke   $0.25
3  Reckoner's Bargain   $0.79
4  Galvanic Blast   $2.49
4  Deadly Dispute   $2.99
Sorcery [4]
4  Thoughtcast   $0.99
Enchantment [1]
1  Makeshift Munitions   $0.25
Land [19]
1  Silverbluff Bridge   $0.69
3  Drossforge Bridge   $0.59
3  Mistvault Bridge   $0.29
4  Seat of the Synod   $2.29
4  Vault of Whispers   $1.49
4  Great Furnace   $2.79
Sideboard [15]
1  Blue Elemental Blast   $0.59
1  Nihil Spellbomb   $0.79
2  Krark-Clan Shaman   $0.99
3  Gorilla Shaman   $0.49
4  Hydroblast   $1.99
4  Pyroblast   $6.49
Buy this deck:

$100.17 Tix @cardhoarder   $2.50 / Week @cardhoarder   $53.78 @tcgplayer   $75.09 @cardkingdom  

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These are the 3 options that I choose to maximize in order to be resilient versus red aggro: Frogmite, Reckoner’s Bargain and Metallic Rebuke.

0.04 Tix
Reckoner's Bargain
0.01 Tix
Metallic Rebuke
0.03 Tix

In this strategy, Frogmite significantly lowers the curve of the deck. It allows you to utilize some of the deck's significant card advantage as early as turn 2, and even if it trades off with Lightning Bolt, the time it buys you is still a net gain.

However, this card also has the potential to enable Metallic Rebuke very early, and it can be sacrificed to Bargain for a gain of 4 life. Overall, it plays a vital role in low-to-the-ground fights.

Tips and Tricks

Play the right lands

Sequence your untapped lands first for maximum speed in game 1, and your taplands first after sideboarding against gorilla shaman or other shatter effects.

Sacrifice timing

The most important trick with this deck is timing the sacrifices. There are many ways to exploit this and disrupt your opponent's plans.

Sacrifice Wisely
Sacrifice Wisely

Using deadly dispute or Reckoner’s Bargain to sacrifice a Krark-Clan Shaman with it’s triggers on the stack can net you extra value.

Chump blocking and sacrificing this can be super important as not only you extract value from your chump blocks but could also mean that you can stop the lifelink of a 10/10 cat which comes up very often in the gates matchup.

Sacrificing your things could also help you avoid an exile effect like Dust to Dust to gather targets for your Blood Fountain.

Chromatic Star
0.04 Tix
0.3 Tix
Myr Enforcer
0.05 Tix

Chromatic Star & Affinity

This is a very weird interaction, basically the affinity cost is reduced for the count of Chromatic Star even if you sacrifice it to cast your affinity cards, this doesn’t come up often but when it does it could be extremely important. For example a spot where you need to both cast your spell and maximize your chances to draw a land, stay aware of this hidden opportunity!

Affinity matchups

Affinity has historically had a favorable matchup against blue decks such as Ux Fairies and its successor, UB Terror, though these can be difficult to navigate and may go either way. You can learn more about UB Terror in my previous guide .

Affinity performs well against less popular decks and newcomers like Tron, and it is also faster than gate decks.

So, is affinity unbeatable? It is certainly a strong and formidable choice, but no deck is unbeatable; cards like Gorilla Shaman and Turn to Dust are its Achilles' heel.

Affinity nighmares
Affinity nighmares

The only things preventing Affinity from complete domination and eventual banning are these two cards. While Affinity has a strong advantage in Game 1, Game 2 requires much more caution, as you must constantly invest instant-speed mana to deal with these two cards. Every turn, you must choose between playing around them or focusing on executing your game plan, by taking a significant risk.

Your defenses are Metallic Rebuke and Hydroblast.

Metallic Rebuke
0.03 Tix
8.07 Tix

Sideboard guide

I will provide a small explanation and my winrate evaluation for our side if both decks are played optimally.

Monored (55% Winrate)

It is very easy to refill with cards so all your efforts should be put into preserving your life total.

Affinity (50% Winrate)

Games are usually centered around Gorilla Shaman postboard which means indestructible dual lands in the opening is an indicator of future victory.

UB Terror (60% Winrate)

Long games usually benefit affinity making us the aggressor in this matchup more often than not, it should be easy to outgrind them with blood fountain if we sequence our spells correctly.

Boggles (50% Winrate)

Game 1 is really hard to win, we get a little better postboard but this battle is usually decided by our opponent’s draws, look to keep fast hands, it’s almost impossible to answer everything they got.

Tron (55% Winrate)

We have no way to interact with their lands, but Metallic Rebuke will always threaten to counter the fog, making the tron players invest a lot of mana earlier than they would want to.

UW Gates (40% Winrate)

Dust to Dust is extremely hard to combat since it needs constant mana investment for Metallic Rebuke and Deadly Dispute making the game smoother for them postboard.

UR Fairies (55% Winrate)

Very difficult to navigate, we have to find windows and take calculated gambles by firing multiple spells in a turn through counterspells. We are a little better at grinding but we should still be vulnerable to their ninja-fae lock.

Final words

If I were challenged to a Pauper duel by Mengucci with no prep time and the stakes being that the loser would be sent to the shadow realm, I would choose Affinity as my blind deck choice without hesitation. It is that powerful.

If you liked this article maybe you will also find interesting on of the following ones Temur Creativity Primer & Sideboard Guide [Modern], Winning MOCS with Mono Green devotion: deck primer & sideboard guide, Getting ready for the Vintage Superqualifier: Vintage Simic Fair Primer, Discovering Legacy part 1: Blue Based Decks

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MTGO Grinder
Mogged is one of the MTGO grinders behind many of the top winning decks across formats. He has the most Challenge top8s and wins in 2021, and is currently leading in Challenge wins in 2022. His articles show a deep understanding of the MTG theory and are great for those looking to improve their gameplay, better understanding the game, and learning how the metagame evolves over time.


Published: 2023-01-09 00:00:00

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