Modern affinity 2021

Modern affinity 2021 DEFAULT

Affinity was an artifact-based Modernaggrodeck. It is the extension of an archetype which first appeared in Standard when Mirrodin was introduced and has been refined with subsequent sets. Affinity used to consistently perform well in Modern and was considered one of the best decks in the format[1] before the banning of Mox Opal. Since then, the deck has never seen the dominance it once had in many formats.

Affinity gets its name from the affinity mechanic, which original builds of the deck made heavy use of. Although the name has stuck, no cards with affinity remain in most current Affinity builds. Thoughtcast is the one occasional exception.


Affinity's overall strategy has not changed since its Standard inception. The goal of the deck is to cast as many artifact creatures as quickly as possible and win through combat damage. To this end, it uses 0-mana creatures in Ornithopter and Memnite and fast mana in Mox Opal and Springleaf Drum.

The payoffs for playing artifacts include Cranial Plating and Arcbound Ravager, both of which mitigate targeted removal by shifting power among the deck's smaller creatures. Master of Etherium, Steel Overseer, and Etched Champion also synergize with the high number of artifacts and can be used to close out games.

Though most artifact lands are banned in Modern, Darksteel Citadel and the pseudo-artifact lands Blinkmoth Nexus and Inkmoth Nexus are not, which means even the mana base synergizes with the artifacts. The Nexi are also evasive creatures, and the Inkmoth Nexus can very quickly kill the opponent with poison.

The deck is also versatile in its sideboard options due to most of the cards being colorless, but having access at many cards that can produce any color with Springleaf Drum, Mox Opal and Spire of Industry.


Affinity was so dominant in Standard that it lead to most of the cards that hold up the deck being banned. The colored artifact lands are banned in Modern for the very same reason.

Justin Robb won Grand Prix Brisbane 2013 with the following decklist:

A more recent build of Affinity can be seen in the deck Daniel Brouillet used to place 22nd at Grand Prix Oklahoma City 2017. Notably, the deck plays zero copies of Thoughtcast and has replaced Glimmervoid with Spire of Industry.[1]



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    Thread: Affinity Aggro 2021

    First off, thanks for the feedback guys.

    Ancient Tomb + Chalice is definitely a way to go, there is literally only 1 card that costs 1 mana (Drum) in the maindeck. I would have to work towards that with purchases, I'm a paper-only player. I'm not sure if playing the Enforcer/Frogmite plan is the correct way to build it with Chalice.

    Regarding Mox Opal...I just had them, so as far as being on a budget, it was a non-issue. Even with 4x Opal in the deck it's absurdly cheap to build by legacy standards. I've spent less than $50 so far. Another $50 or so for the 4th Opal is an easy decision. A harder decision is shelling out for Tombs/Chalices, which is quite a bit more than $50 (about $140 for the Chalices and $150 for 3 more Tombs, I have 1.)

    In testing the tapped artifact lands haven't really been a problem. The main point is that they are artifacts so they enable Opal turn 1 and they make everything cost less. They still 'add' 1 mana even while entering tapped. The other crucial point is that they add blue mana, which is absolutely critical. What I want in the deck is useful, free artifacts that make Frogmite/Enforcer/Companion free. That's why I have a 'bad' card like Mishra's Bauble in there, just to turn on Opal and it adds mana for the affinity dudes.

    Ethersworn Canonist and Esper Sentinel are both on my list of potential cards, especially Sentinel. This deck wants to draw cards, so anything that does that for low mana cost is going to be good. The obvious place to cut is Mishra's Bauble, but again, I need a critical mass of free artifacts to enable the free dudes. I already have 2x Ethersworn Canonist, it was in the first draft, but it didn't really work towards the blitz goal. It is a strong sideboard card for sure, but I'm not sure how good it would be maindeck.

    The deck is incredibly strong at stabilizing by turn 3, even on slow starts. I'm not worried about the fair matchups too much, this can play around Daze turn 2+ so easily. Terminus isn't played very much anymore, but it's still there. The biggest worry is Null Rod, so there needs to be a plan for that. With 12 maindeck blue cards already I think it could reasonably sideboard Force of Will/Negation to answer Null Rods.

    Other ideas that I'm thinking about, that are probably bad but fall into the 'cool stuff' category:

    Paradise Mantle + Steelfin Whale = play stuff, untap Whale for every artifact, make tons of mana, Walking Balista for combo finish. Mantle is another free artifact that generates 2 mana for affinity spells.

    Somber Hoverguard = play Delver-style threats to pressure in the air

    Ethersworn Sphinx = play UW for a 4/4 flyer, cascade into more threats. The zero cost artifacts are pretty lousy to cascade into, but just getting a 4/4 flyer for 2 mana that feeds the engine is probably good enough. Qumulox is already a card, and likely easier to cast than Sphinx, but if I'm playing a non-artifact creature I want it to cost 1 mana at most, and Hoverguard is better in this regard.

    Essentially what I want the deck to do is play free threats and re-load into more free threats with 8 Thoughtcast effects. It does that very well so far, sometimes entering the degenerate zone. I'm testing this in legacy with Seat of the Synod/Mox Opal but I could easily port this over to Modern, or even Pauper, if I wanted to.

    EDIT: I'm holding out on Urza's Saga for a little bit, in case it's banned from Modern. If it's banned I should be able to pick them up much cheaper than currently. It's a calculated risk.

    Модерн! Modern Affinity! Больше артефактов дешевых и разных!




    Modern Horizons 2 had the mission to revitalize old Modern archetypes that didn’t see play for a while. Thanks to Urza’s Saga and Thought Monitor, it certainly succeeded in making Modern Affinity playable again!

    On Thursday, I trophied a MTGO League with this deck and I enjoyed the deck a lot! You can always check my VODs at to see the whole thing. If you want to buy this deck in paper, you can always click the Streamdecker link above or check out


    Thought MonitorSojourner's CompanionNettlecyst

    Thought Monitor and Sojourner’s Companion are two new great payoffs for a deck full of cheap artifacts like Memnites and Ornithopters.

    Nettlecyst was rather underwhelming and I often sideboarded out. I’d prefer to play Etched Champion instead, which is a great post-sideboard card that can also do a great job of carrying Cranial Plating. I’ve been really impressed with it against the plethora of red decks.


    Urza's Saga

    Urza’s Saga is clearly the best card in the deck. There’s some hands that don’t do anything, but you’re still keeping them because, thanks to Urza’s Saga, you’re dropping a Constuct 6/6 on turn three and one more on turn four. It can also get some mana ramp in the form of Springleaf Drum, or Shadowspear to give your Constructs trample and lifelink.

    Urza’s Saga is also amazing in this deck since it can tutor your sideboard hate pieces post-sideboard. For example, against a graveyard deck, I was able thanks to play Urza’s Saga on turn one to get a Soul-Guide Lantern on turn three to solve my opponent’s graveyard troubles.

    I’ve played with Urza’s Saga for two days in various artifact shells and overall, it’s very strong that’s won me plenty of games. Maybe it’s too powerful for Modern, but I’m happy it revitalized decks like this that faded from existence.


    Tags: Affinity, Andrea Mengucci, Artifacts, highlight mtg, Mengu, Modern, Modern mtg, Urzas Saga


    2021 modern affinity

    Mirrodin's affinity mechanic immediately emerged as one of the most powerful in Magic, and led to the creation of one of the best strategies in the history of the game. It took over Standard during its time there, before moving on to Extended and even Legacy. It was great in Modern from the start, reaching Top 8 of the very first Modern event, Pro Tour Philadelphia back in 2011.

    From there, affinity lived on as one of Modern's most familiar and favorite strategies. While great new cards and other decks constantly entered the format, affinity received little help. It stayed almost entirely the same through the years, yet it continued to survive, and at times even thrive.

    It wasn't until January 2020 when Mox Opal was banned, affinity was caught in the crossfire as collateral damage, and finally fell from the metagame. Already left behind from the broken 2019 cards from sets like War of the Spark and Modern Horizons that revolutionized Modern, the ban of its most broken card was the final nail in the coffin.

    Affinity is Back

    Modern Horizons 2 has changed the equation. By bringing some excellent new cards for artifact strategies, it's brought affinity back from the dead as a competitive deck. Best of all, most of these new cards are very cheap, so affinity has never been more affordable and accessible.

    Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Basic Budget Affinity by Adam Yurchick

    'Basic Budget Affinity' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

    Created By: Adam Yurchick




    Market Price: $146.61



    The best payoff for the affinity strategy has always been Cranial Plating, which turns any of the deck's cast of small, cheap creatures into a massive threat. Now Nettlecyst brings four more copies of the effect—with a body already attached! The extra mana required to cast and equip the card is a small price to pay for the extra value it brings. Especially considering it goes even further than Cranial Platingby increasing toughness as well. It's a real upgrade to the strategy that makes it more powerful and more consistent than ever, and it's a big reason why affinity is back in the picture.

    Thought Monitor

    While the affinity name has always stuck, over the years the artifact-based strategy evolved to play very few cards with the actual mechanic—at times none at all. Modern Horizons 2 brings affinity back to its roots with Thought Monitor. Part Thoughtcast and part Myr Enforcer, a flying body with two cards attached is an incredible deal. Especially when it can cost as little as one mana. Generating card advantage and offering the ability to hold an equipment, Thought Monitor is a real power-level upgrade to the strategy and a new staple.

    The final product is a classic affinity deck that does what the strategy has always done best. It floods the board with cheap creatures, and uses them to accelerate with Springleaf Drum and Paradise Mantle. It then assaults the opponent with its army, whether it's going wide with many creatures pumped by Signal Pest or making one huge with equipment.

    It's supported by a dash of disruption like Galvanic Blast and Metallic Rebuke, and a wealth of sideboard options enabled by five-color mana fixing—like Dispatch as an excellent creature removal spell. One of the best sideboard tools is Etched Champion—a devastating threat against opponents relying on removal spells, and a game-ender once equipped.

    Taking Affinity to the Next Level

    Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Basic Budget Affinity by Adam Yurchick

    'Basic Budget Affinity' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

    Created By: Adam Yurchick




    Market Price: $146.61


    Urza's Saga

    One of the best cards in all of Modern Horizons 2, and maybe now in all of Modern, is Urza's Saga. A land that produces up to two Construct tokens, and can tutor for an artifact is a ton of value. And it's tailor-made for a deck like affinity. It's playing no small part in the resurgence of the strategy, as well as that of many other decks. Its ubiquity has led to a hefty price tag around $30 each, but it's well worth the cost for anyone looking to take their affinity deck to the next level.

    By adding a tutor, Urza's Saga makes it appealing to play some one-of silver bullets. Hex Parasite helps take down planeswalkers or anything else with counters, and the sideboard gets access to some great tools. Grafdigger's Cage is a powerful graveyard hoser, and Shadowspear helps sustain the life total against aggressive and burn decks.

    The Final Built-Up Build

    Check out this decklist by coert, who's been successfully running affinity through MTGO Leagues and Preliminary events, and inspired my budget builds. With budget not a concern, this build holds nothing back.

    Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Affinity by coert

    'Affinity' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

    Created By: coert




    Market Price: $419.80


    If you have extra cash to spend on them, or have them handy, Inkmoth Nexus is the final way to upgrade the deck to its fullest potential. It's not a strict upgrade over Blinkmoth Nexus, which helps the main aggressive plan with normal damage, but the Infect opens up an almost combo-like potential with the eight equipment. Killing the opponent in two hits is simple, and even a one-punch K.O. isn't uncommon. It's a devastating threat the opponent must always respect, and overall makes the deck even more powerful.

    Affinity for Affinity

    I have great memories of playing with affinity through Standard. And it was my go-to Modern deck I could always rely on, despite whatever else was going on in the metagame. I was among the many who mourned its departure, but things have finally turned around for the deck. I can't wait to put mine back together with the new tools and see what it's made of today. Over 17-years-old, the affinity mechanic and strategy is still going strong. And with its great new cards I don't see it disappearing again anytime soon.

    MTGO Modern - Affinity

    Most Modern decks only die once, never to return, but such is not the fate of "classic" Affinity. One of longest-surviving Modern decks flat out died after the ban of Mox Opal, one of the format's strongest artifacts. Modern Horizons 2 managed to revive the deck, and we probably all know how … or do we?

    mox opal - urza's saga

    Back in the day, when Modern was a completely different format, Affinity was one of the decks to beat for years. It only started to fade away when other decks drastically rose in power, while Affinity didn't really get much. In fact, there was nothing for it to "get." It was still powerful.

    Before we get to the current state of this deck, however, a little history lesson is in order. Chances are not everybody knows what Affinity used to look like. Before the Mox Opal ban at the very beginning of 2020, it was almost a completely different deck …

    Affinityless Affinity (Robots)

    You've probably heard of the affinity for artifacts mechanic. Yes, the one that reduces the casting cost of a spell by the number of artifacts you control. That one.

    While, of course, this is how the deck got its name and how it now works (again), it wasn't always this way. In 2013, a decklist that took first place at a Grand Prix only featured Thoughtcast as the only card with affinity for artifacts.

    The original affinity creatures such as Frogmite and Myr Enforcer weren't that good at the time. Not as good as Steel Overseer and Etched Champion, that is. The lack of good artifact lands was probably another reason for their absence. It's much easier to rack up the artifact count nowadays, but first things first. In short, while these builds also rely on having many artifacts on the board, their biggest payoffs were Arcbound Ravager and Cranial Plating. It was more vulnerable to board clears, and the artifact Beast only made these issues worse. Swinging just a few times with a well-protected threat does seem like an easy job, but midrange decks were very powerful at the time, too.

    It's a good thing how Mox Opal was banned before the printing of Urza's Saga. At first glance, it almost looks like it's mostly, if not single-handedly, responsible for the grand return of classic Affinity. I'm somewhere in the middle on this. Allow me to elaborate on why Urza's Saga was such a big deal.

    Urza's Saga Gave Robots Life …

    Other than just plain strong, Urza's Saga is one very weird card. First, it's currently the only tournament-legal enchantment land. Second, it has two very busted abilities, but which one is stronger isn't as obvious as it may seem. What's more, an ability that's weaker in other decks is much stronger in Affinity decks!

    The third ability, the one that fetches artifacts and thus avoids counterpells, is crazy, but not the strongest here. Currently, the fetchable targets that see competitive play are Shadowspear, Aether Spellbomb, Gingerbrute, Memnite, Ornithopter, Welding Jar, and Springleaf Drum. There's also the occasional Pithing Needle or Soul-Guide Lantern or Relic of Progenitus, often lurking in the sideboard. The list goes on, as even Signal Pest has started seeing play again. My point being? You still can't get Cranial Plating, which remains the deck's foremost win condition, and can't get a land, as lands do not have a mana cost. Racking up the affinity count is of course a huge asset, but the Saga's targets aren't that big. (Gingerbrute and Ornithopter very well might be, as they can easily swing for lethal if you happen to already have a Plating on board.)

    urza's sagaspringleaf drum

    Springleaf Drum is important, if not in the context of the Saga's third chapter but for its second chapter. Starting with both cards and a zero-drop on turn one means one can start constructing Constructs as early as turn two—a feat otherwise only Hammertime is able to pull off. In fact, having played the deck, I think that the Saga's second ability is stronger than the third, often to the point where it's not even close. At least that's the case with Affinity, the deck that benefits from it the most. Here, Construct tokens are not just a distraction, but one of the bigger win conditions. Their stats often reach two digits each, and since you'll usually end up with at least two such creatures, your opponents are bound to crack under their pressure. In the end, who needs evasion when you can create 20 or so power in just a few turns? That's not to mention how well Shadowspear works with these, healing you back to full health in no time while cutting through chump blockers.


    Finally, Constructs are another way to up the artifact count. Although Galvanic Blast is the only common main-deck inclusion that features metalcraft, trust me, it matters more than meets the eye.

    … But Not Without Backup

    The Saga is the single most influential addition to Affinity, but it's not the only one that put the current version together. There are many cards that are not necessarily underrated but not mentioned a lot either, save for a few exceptions. I'll start with the exception, which is Thought Monitor. It's been talked about a lot because of the initial prevalence of Food decks that ran Urza. Gathering heaps of artifacts on your half on the battlefield was already simple enough with this deck, how can one not expect it to be even easier with Affinity? Like that's not enough, the Monitor fixes the main flaw of Thoughtcast, which is not providing a body. Having a flying creature that also happens to be an artifact is so big that it completely negates the lackluster stats! Not having a body, on the other side, usually means running a playset of Thoughtcast isn't a viable strategy.

    thought monitortreasure vault

    Next up are the lands. At the time of writing, playsets of Silverbluff Bridge and Treasure Vault seem to have become the new standard. Not too long ago, Razortide Bridge saw more play than Treasure Vault. The Bridges' indestructibility made sure your Glimmervoid will not go to waste. Sure, Bridges enter the battlefield tapped, but it's almost as if they provide mana right away, at least for actual affinity creatures.

    Speaking of affinity, I cannot miss Sojourner's Companion. Even Myr Enforcer can be good enough here, and some lists do manage to cram in a few copies. This is its buffed-up version and, as such, is more than welcome. If played early enough, which it certainly can be, it's a tough nut to crack. Now imagine it being able to get you any artifact land to prevent mana screws. Expectedly, the result is a huge piece of the puzzle that might not hold it all together but sure is necessary to form the entire experience.

    sojourner's companionnettlecyst

    There are a few flex slots too, more than one might expect. Nettlecyst is among the craziest to me. I still think it's heavily underrated. Not only does it create a Construct-like token out of thin air. It also lets you attach it to an unblockable beater. And don't forget that Urza's Saga is an enchantment. That may not affect affinity, but it enlarges the Germ!

    At long last, Jegantha, the Wellspring is a companion to this deck because why not? If a game goes a bit too long, you have a decent 5/5 body for five mana you'll easily pay because red is usually a secondary color. Its companion condition is fulfilled by default and, well, you still have plenty of room in the side. I won't further talk about the sideboard because it's too customizable for me to cover reliably/in full. While Affinity gets hated a lot because everybody carries Hammer hate, its sideboard options remain fantastic. Etched Champion is still great. So is Metallic Rebuke. So is Ghirapur Aether Grid. The list goes on, and on, and on …

    The Biggest Variants

    Affinity now has not one, but two big decks that keep racking up 5-0s rather consistently. One is beyond classic; it's what you get when you combine the soul of old Affinity with the new cards mentioned in this article.

    The other one has a same premise, but with an additional win condition. "Regular" Affinity wins by spitting many artifacts, then inflicting sustained damage until it wins. Neoform builds do the exact same thing, but with the added benefit of using the titular card to get Craterhoof Behemoth to land.

    While this build can be even more explosive than the previous one, I'm not that big of a fan. Galvanic Blast is the only true piece of interaction, and red is a great sideboard color as a whole. With blue and white already being able to hold off your opponents, I prefer having access to forgotten gems like Ghirapur Aether Grid. When all your artifacts get shut down with a hate piece like Stony Silence, at least you still get to use them to fuel the grid.


    When all is said and done, because of cards other than Urza's Saga, I can't help but get Hammertime vibes here. That was a deck that was viable before the Saga stepped in, but now it's just god tier. It is more consistent than Affinity, in particular because Saga fetches its biggest win condition, but not Affinity's, which could arguably be Cranial Plating. Still, there's a pattern here, which is that the Saga greatly improves both decks.

    Hypothetically, if this land ever does get banned, perhaps because of its crazy consistency, both decks will remain viable. Affinity will likely stop being a competitor at the highest level, but it should remain playable nevertheless, at least as a fantastic budget option. Until then, don't forget—winning game one and carefully crafting the sideboard goes a very, very long way here!

    Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


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