Affinity is a Modern staple, and it feels like an archetype that has always been around and always will be. Of course, at certain times it's either a great or terrible idea to actually play in a competitive event. Right now, I recommend it, there are less Stony Silence and spot removal spells than there have been in quite some time. Without being able to interact with Affinity, it can produce some very quick wins. Alex Majlaton is a longtime Affinity player who recently picked the deck back up and has been doing extremely well with it, and I've decided to battle with it as well.

Affinity isn't going to change much from list to list. Most of the cards are set as the artifacts synergize with the deck so well you can't really cut one of the super important pieces. The room for innovation comes with the colored mana spells and sideboard options. The two copies of Thoughtcast have been strong, as this deck can run out of gas pretty quickly because of how fast you play out your hand.

As far as the sideboard, there are so many different potential options to choose from. It's hard to go wrong with picking and choosing what cards to play in the sideboard if you have a couple cards to bring in for all the popular matchups. It isn't necessary to go overboard here, as most decks in the format are forced to try to be more reactive to counteract your gameplan after sideboard. This is an aggro deck, and it produces creature-based kills in a way no other deck is able to.

The matches here are three matchups in a very large format, but they did go well and should help showcase what the deck is capable of. The Mono-Red Creativity deck seems sweet, though having not tried it myself it's hard to say how competitive it actually is. That is another way to cheat Eldrazi creatures into play, though unfortunately the Platinum Emperion plan does still lose to Inkmoth Nexus.

The mirror match can obviously go either way. There are certain cards that you really want to draw like Cranial Plating, while there are others like Etched Champion that look comically bad. This match shows that it's okay to mulligan in search of finding one of your haymakers. The match against Mill was weird. They can't really race your good draws, and the Ensnaring Bridge plan didn't work out all that well.

Since our opponent had spot removal spells and was trying to kill our creatures after sideboard it took away from their plan of being able to mill our deck away. That is an issue Affinity can present since boarding in cards to try to answer its explosive starts force many decks to dilute their primary gameplan.

Affinity is actually very good against most of the top decks. Hollow One has trouble beating a big flyer, and with all the cheap creatures in the Affinity deck you don't really get run over by Gurmag Anglers and Hollow Ones. Humans is another deck that doesn't have straight-up removal spells, and you are pretty happy when the matchup turns into a race, a story similar with Tron. Many decks don't have a ton of spot removal besides Jund, but there you can rely on Etched Champion to do the heavy lifting. This is a deck I expect to continue to do well this weekend in Hartford.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield