Page 1 of 88 123451151 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 1742

Thread: [Deck] Affinity

  1. #1
    4eak's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jun 2007


    [Deck] Affinity

    Vial Affinity

    By: 4eak and GreenOne

    This primer is intended to be a thorough review of the deck, card selections, and metagame concerns for the aggro-combo version of Affinity, aka. Raffinity, Ravager Affinity, Vial Affinity, etc. Hopefully, this will be a good resource and reference for long-time players of this archetype and a good starting place for all new-comers to Legacy Affinity.

    Here is the old Vial Affinity thread:

    I. Introduction to Vial Affinity

    Vial Affinity is an artifact-based aggro-combo deck; it is the quintessential “synergy deck.” The deck uses fairly powerful tempo enhancing effects such as the affinity mechanic (the namesake), modular, creature-centric mana acceleration, and scalable damage components to apply a great deal of early to mid game pressure. The aggro element is both powerful and versatile, and it has enough combat tricks to act as a combo deck in the last few turns of a game as it can often bypass many control features presented by an opponent (removal, blocking, unmanageable disciple life loss, etc.). Some might say that affinity breaks several of the expected design principles of magic as it possesses the ability: to play multiple extremely undercosted spells, to dodge pin-point control too effectively, and to put more permanents in play within the first 3 turns than a normal deck should.

    The deck was born and banned in Standard. Due to the rigid nature of its synergy requirements, the deck did not change very much when ported to formats with larger cardpools. Affinity (and all of its variants) has never performed in other formats as successfully as it did in Type 2. The artifact hate and faster fundamental turn in formats with larger cardpools provide serious barriers to the success of the deck. Instead of being completely unfair in the Legacy format, Affinity is only a strong choice in aggro-control and control heavy metagames. It remains a fair deck, but never a broken one.

    Here is a current decklist of Vial Affinity:

    Lands: 18
    4 Seat of the Synod
    4 Vault of Whispers
    4 Darksteel Citadel
    3 City of Brass
    3 Tree of Tales

    Creatures: 28
    4 Arcbound Ravager
    4 Arcbound Worker
    4 Disciple of the Vault
    4 Frogmite
    4 Ornithopter
    4 Master of Etherium
    4 Myr Enforcer

    Spells: 14
    4 Thoughtcast
    4 Cranial Plating
    3 Aether Vial
    3 Springleaf Drum

    Sideboard: 15
    4 Pithing Needle
    4 Krosan Grip
    4 Chalice of the Void
    3 Tormod’s Crypt
    The deck sets up on turn 1 and attempts to regurgitate its entire hand on turns 2 and 3.

    II. Metagames for Vial Affinity

    Assuming that affinity is built and played correctly, this once dominating force from T2 is really hindered by two things in Legacy: 1.) Combo, and 2.) the amazing hate available. Each of these contributes to affinity becoming strictly a metagame deck. This deck can never be tier 1 or viable if widely sided against, but given the right metagame it is quite viable.

    Affinity is known for being able to play effectively under mana-light or mana-denial conditions, and although less known for it, the deck has good odds against blue-based metagames. It is a bomby aggro deck that is resilient to many blue control strategies, including pin-point removal and CB/top softlocks, and it consistently puts up strong pressure.

    Vial Affinity suffers from the classic aggro problem of not being able to disrupt or race Combo effectively enough. Affinity does not defeat well-played and well-built combo decks in Legacy. You can run CoTV, FoW, SoR, Stifle, Ethersworn Canonist, and Therapy, and you’ll still be lucky to go 50/50 against a competent combo player. Watering your deck’s strategy down puts you turns and turns behind on the board (on average), while your disruption simply delays the inevitable. Even if affinity can curb the losses in the combo department, it will usually require major sacrifices against other archetypes, negating the reason to play affinity at all. In environments flourishing with combo, you probably shouldn’t be playing this deck.

    The other reason why Affinity could never be Tier 1 in Legacy is due to the amount of hate available -- affinity simply can't live through it. For example, Energy Flux, Shattering Spree, and Kataki are just a few of the many exceptionally deadly tools against Affinity. Combined with several other cards, sideboards prepared for affinity would impose insurmountable obstacles.

    This “hate” problem doesn’t just keep Vial Affinity from being a Tier 1 deck, but to some degree it is a ubiquitous problem that every metagame already poses. Don’t expect this deck to be nearly as powerful, proportionately to the metagame, as it was in Standard. Like many of the Established decks, it is merely a good one, but not a great one.

    Pretty much every deck in the format has at least some a) artifact hate, b) land destruction, and c) creature removal. While many aggro and combo decks can remain nearly immune against at least one or two of the above, almost any piece of board control remains at least somewhat relevant against Affinity. Despite the common presence of these control cards, due to the raw synergy of the deck and the resilience offered by cards like Disciple of the Vault, Cranial Plating, and Arcbound Ravager, the deck can sustain or avoid several control and disruption features presented by the format. They have lots of hate, but we have lots of resilience.

    Vial Affinity, at best, is a metagame deck. You choose to play the deck because you know your opponents are not packing enough hate and that they can't outrace you with combo. However, with that said, if the metagame does not anticipate the deck (and it currently doesn't in many areas), it can be a very powerful ‘rogue’ deck. Affinity is a deck that is underestimated by many, and in part, this is why the metagame would allow for affinity to be a viable competitor. Affinity can play like a tier 1 deck, it simply can’t afford to play in a metagame that anticipates it like a tier 1 deck.

    III. Synergy & Vial Affinity’s Evolutionary Requirements

    The pivotal strength (and what some may eventually find to be a weakness) of affinity is its raw internal synergy. Vial Affinity exists in virtue of its synergy. The foundation of this synergy is the artifact land-base. For affinity spells, each land counts for double the mana, one for its tap effect, and the other to lower a spells cost through the affinity mechanic. The use of artifact lands allows for affinity spells to often be played for free even, and then mana is spent on other spells/abilities. Artifact lands also improve the offensive capacity of other spells such as Disciple of the Vault, Arcbound Ravager, Cranial Plating, and Master of Etherium which scale directly with the number of artifacts in play, and thus the artifact lands act not only as a source of mana, but also as a source of damage with each of these cards. This synergy comes at almost no cost because lands are uncounterable and free to play.

    The internal synergy is also amplified by using artifact spells almost exclusively. With the exception of Thoughtcast for draw, Disciple for comboing and resilience to control, and rainbow lands for color smoothing, all other cards in the deck are artifact permanents that have synergistic impact with the other cards in the deck.

    Vial Affinity rarely draws hands that it doesn't want to keep, and nearly every card you draw in the deck will have a positive interaction with all the other cards in the deck. Generally, everything in the deck is relevant to your current board position, and cards often have a multiplicative effect beyond their initial perceived relevance and power (artifact + disciple + ravager + modular + affinity factor + etc.). Essentially, the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts. When played correctly, the high average card relevance, synergy, and well-abused tempo mechanics gives affinity resilience and speed that is rarely matched by other aggro and aggro-combo decks.

    This strength of its synergy, however, can act as a weakness in deckbuilding. There is a common misconception about how the deck can evolve in a format. Many people fail to realize the problems with a deck that requires every single piece in the deck to maintain synergy; essentially, it is very difficult to change the deck without upsetting the synergy of the deck itself. For example, even to add Legacy staples like Swords to Plowshares or Stifle, or using more unusual cards like Cloud of Faeries and Somber Hoverguards while subtracting other relevant artifacts, acts as a barrier not only to a proper mana base (and the abuse of it), but it waters the deck down, eliminating the very strength of its synergy.

    If you cut artifacts for non-artifacts, you decrease your card relevance in terms of the average progression of your aggro-combo gameplan itself. Even cutting certain artifacts for others can demonstrate a decrease in synergy. Watering the deck down only prevents affinity from doing what it does best, which is the abuse of its internal synergy. This means that Affinity has very limited sideboard options and few evolutions available. Admittedly, this misconception is fairly widespread because it is difficult to see the web of synergy interactions that each card helps to compose.

    While this might seem harsh to some, the truth needs to be said: Like a few other popular archetypes (Burn is a good example), Affinity has a well-earned reputation for bad players and poor builds. It is often a deck that is picked up by Legacy newcomers as it is an obvious port that most have encountered. Many people believe they've got an innovation or improved variant of Affinity, and in reality, they simply don't have a better deck.

    Affinity is a deck that is shackled down by its internal synergy and is largely unable to evolve beyond a rare new card that comes out in a new set (e.g. MoE).

    Taking into consideration the two-edged sword of synergy, Vial Affinity will fail to evolve away from a very specific type of aggro-combo. While there is work being done on agro-control versions of the deck, such as AfFOWnity, 8-Ball, Deep Blue, etc., none of these decks are concerned with the raw agro-combo role which is played by Vial Affinity. To add control components is to weaken its architecture as an aggro-combo deck. Even further, removing an aggro card for a control card is more than just a 1 for 1 substitution in affinity. The change forms a much larger loss in the aggro-combo functionality of the deck than merely 1 card (as synergy multiplies an aggro card’s relevance), while there only remains 1 control card to be gained. This loss isn’t worth it. For Vial Affinity, if you are playing control cards in the main, you have misassigned your role.

    Vial Affinity will continue to specialize and develop as an agro-combo deck if it wishes to further its competitive advantage. Developing and modifying affinity requires a great deal of justification. Adding and subtracting cards from affinity is innately more difficult and complex to do correctly. The opportunity cost of running one card and not another is difficult to measure in this deck. Now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t innovations to be had, but with a deck that revolves so much around its internal synergy, the proponents of the status quo are fairly justified in denying the vast majority of “innovations and tech” that people prescribe. Just remember, it all adds up. All too often, modifications actually decrease the effectiveness of the basic shell of vial affinity.

    As some will not fully recognize there are diminishing returns and limits to substitutions in this deck, we need to clarify a fairly universal principle for those individuals who wish to innovate and evolve affinity: There is a difference between a deck that can win a game and an optimal deck. Most every build can win some games, but some builds will win more than others. Optimal builds will have the best chance of winning (not just 'some chance'). Winning some is not the same as winning the most possible, and we are interested in optimal builds that have the highest probability of winning. This misunderstanding can make it difficult for many people to see why their tech is suboptimal or flat out sucks. They still win games in spite of their tech, not in virtue of their tech.

    Clearly, Vial Affinity is at a disadvantage in terms of how it can evolve. It takes a new card from a new set, like Master of Etherium, to have serious impact on the archetype. Speaking of which, Master of Etherium has filled in the last few unknown slots of the deck, and it is safe to say we have a stable and optimized build of the deck because of this card. We don’t need to worry about filling in gaps with cards like Goyf, Confidant, or Fling. Until new cards born for the deck come out in future sets, innovations will be small for this deck. Vial Affinity is a deck to fine tune, not revolutionize.
    Last edited by 4eak; 01-26-2009 at 01:17 AM.

  2. #2
    4eak's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jun 2007


    Re: Vial Affinity

    IV. Main Card Choices

    I’ll try to work from the most important cards to the least. The only exception is that I’ll be placing the mana-base that supports the deck at the end, even though I consider it central to the deck.

    Arcbound Ravager—This is the strongest card in the deck. For 2 colorless he’s almost immune to removal, in fact he punishes removal on almost all of your permanents, and he scales with your artifacts. He is an artifact-board-based tog. He converts permanents into resources that are transferable (often unblocked) damage while abusing Disciple of the Vault. Ravager channels your board position into damage based tempo. Assuming you don’t need your permanents after you’ve won, Ravager makes the most of your board by efficiently sacrificing into stronger board positions than any normal deck has the right to boast. The card should have cost 4-5 mana for what it does.

    The stack tricks with this card can be as basic as sacking to live through a bolt, to sacking out for disciple triggers and putting modular on an unblocked creature, or even much more complex tricks on the stack. He gives the deck versatility. Ravager allows you to overcome a great deal of control elements in the game, negating the effectiveness of removal and blocking, while simultaneously creating a huge threat on the board.

    A poor pilot will overextend with this card, while a competent pilot uses Ravager to remain resilient and explosive. It takes experience to know when and how to go ‘all in’, and when to use it defensively, and without a doubt, it offers poses some of the more difficult questions for Vial Affinity pilots.

    Master of Etherium— A titan tailormade for Affinity. It is almost tied for power level with Cranial Plating. This addition to Vial Affinity has evolved the deck even further into a bomby, scalable aggro deck, and has pushed Affinity over a threshold need for using almost artifacts exclusively. He not only scales without sacking or equipping as an artifact ‘lord’, but he also pumps the rest of your artifact creatures by +1/+1. It is not uncommon for this card to put 10, 15, even 20 damage on the table.

    MoE makes Tarmogoyf look like a pansy. He can tower over Phyrexian Dreadnought. MoE is one of the hardest hitting creatures in the format. His mana-cost and artifact-needs warp the deck, but it is worth it. He can edict your opponent every turn, act as a great blocker if necessary, and if he goes unanswered for a single turn, then your opponent will die. He is not, however, a replacement for Ravager.

    There appears to be a conflict of interest between MoE and Ravager, but in practice you'll see why the deck should play both Ravager and MoE. They play different roles. MoE is best when he is unanswered (essentially, when you were already winning), while Ravager is at his best when they have answers (when you were in a even or losing position usually).

    Ravager's ability to punish control is the bridge from losing/even positions to even/winning positions. He pushes through damage where MoE cannot, and he converts targets of removal into permanent damage on the table. Clearly, they have different roles. The primary similarity is their ability to scale with artifacts in play. Scaling damage components are the reason artifact lands are powerful in the first place. MoE/Ravager/Plating are the holy trinity of the artifact deck.

    Cranial Plating—The 3rd pure scaling card of the deck. While it can be mana intensive, this card wins games. Like ravager, it turns each artifact on the table into 1 damage. Unlike the ravager, you don’t have to lose your permanents to reap the benefits. This card is so central to the aggro theme that it is an auto-4.

    Cranialed creatures play a similar role to Atog in that the equipped creature is a definite threat, one that often functions as a bluff-card or forces your opponent into less preferred positions. You will often equip your weakest creature (Arcbound Worker/Ornithopter), forcing your opponent to pin-point control the least of your creatures, while other cards like Frogmite and Enforcer swing through. And, if unblocked, a single connect from an equipped creature might be the end of your opponent. Additionally, cranial can play as a defensive card, making your blocker of choice lethal. This is a versatile card.

    The instant equip is often overlooked by an opponent. While less necessary now’n’days, it can switch to unblocked creatures before damage is on the stack, and that gives you an upperhand. Double black can be difficult to come by, however, a proper mana-base can afford this in the mid and late game.

    Disciple of the Vault — His ability is brokenly good. His obvious synergy with Arcbound Ravager can turn his 1 mana cost into massive amounts of damage. I am not surprised to see his 1 mana cost turn into my opponent’s 10 life loss. This card is excellent in multiples. While he creates auto-win circumstances past 3rd turn when you have a Ravager on the board, his largest strength is Legacy is his ability to punish control and removal.

    His role has diminished since the days of Standard, but he is still a necessary component of Vial Affinity. Many have tried to remove Disciple of the Vault, as he isn’t an artifact and is merely a 1/1 for one if nothing is hitting the graveyard. The basic rule is this: He may or may not be good when you were already winning, but he is insanely good when you are tied or could be losing. For example, mass board sweepers can become deadly with disciple on the board, and it often forces control players into pin-point removal before they can sweep the board.

    Opponents often forget about disciple both in the deck, hand and in play. This gives you an excellent information advantage that will often surprise the opponent as they didn’t properly anticipate the effects of Disciple. For opponent’s that are strategically prepared for it, you can use it as a bluff card from Vial. Generally, it is best to hold back on playing Disciple until mid to late game if possible. While he is a lackluster 1st turn play, his late game vial-into-play can flat out win games on the stack. Top-decking this card can turn losing-board positions into winning ones.

    I cannot stress this card enough. Disciple isn’t just about winning very fast with a Ravager. Decks that would seek to lock Affinity out or control the game are put in dangerous positions because of this card; Disciple is a key card to defeating any deck sporting control.

    Aether Vial—Probably one of the strongest 1cc cards in all of Legacy, and as part of its namesake, Vial Affinity can abuse this card better than most. Against an unknown deck or anything with blue, this is the best first turn play in the deck. This card is a ‘must-counter’ for blue-based control and aggro-control decks. If it resolves, then you are in an excellent position to push through uncounterable bombs and punish removal.

    Aether vial is a tempo enhancing card (as demonstrated in several decks), it offers:
    • Uncounterable creatures; very powerful against permission and Counterbalance decks
    • Makes the deck resilient against land destruction
    • Enables you to keep 1 land hands
    • Mana Color Smoothing
    • Mana Acceleration (each use beyond the first is all gravy)
    • Playing Creatures as instants (most importantly Disciple/Ravager tricks)
    • It is an artifact.
    • Remains relevant from start to finish

    The general rule for the deck: Where Vial Affinity deserves to be played, Vial deserves to be played. If Aether Vial is somehow a terrible choice in a specific metagame, then Vial Affinity is a terrible choice in that specific metagame. You are playing in a metagame that is simply too fast for Affinity to be competitive.

    Aether Vial is not an optional card for optimal builds of Vial Affinity. With that said, the exact number you can run is optional. Because there are diminishing returns to the card and we have access to Drum, 3 is an acceptable minimum. Others may run 4, and that is also very acceptable.

    Thoughtcast— Thoughtcast is the bridge from the early to mid game, and there is no replacement for it. Card advantage, straight up 2 for 1, usually for 1 mana, and it draws NOW. This is 2/3’s of an Ancestral recall at sorcery speed. While this isn’t a cantrip, primarily because it is played after turn 1 (usually around turn 3), it is extremely undercosted card advantage. I cannot stress enough: learn to trust your card advantage. Too many people don’t see the relevance of drawing in affinity.

    It is easy to see where you don’t like Thoughtcast. The color and affinity factor are definitely constraints on its playability, but MoE makes blue an obvious choice. And, you may even say, why waste the slot when I would rather have a threat in my hand than a thoughtcast? The difference is that Thoughtcast allows you to run only the most relevant threats, increasing your average card relevance like a cantrip, while also giving you a much stronger mid-late game because of card advantage. It is both card quality (from a deck building perspective) and card advantage. Thoughtcast is very similar to Ringleader in Goblins.

    Card advantage is not mere card advantage in affinity either. Card advantage in affinity often translates into immediate tempo advantage as well. Unlike other decks that spend their entire turn and all their mana trying to generate card advantage, at the expense of that turns increase in tempo, Affinity is almost uniquely able to do both. Those other decks might be tapping out or expending very important resources to even draw cards, however, affinity can pay one mana, and in most cases will still have resources left to play what it drew. For example, drawing an enforcer and a land off a thoughtcast (a fairly weak Thoughtcast actually) and playing them that turn has immediate effects. Outside a few control cards, most other decks will not experience tempo advantage in the same turn that they gained true card advantage. Affinity gets the best of both worlds with Thoughtcast.

    This card is so powerful that it alone makes blue the most relevant color to have on the table in affinity (although black comes in a close second). If I drop a first turn land (assuming I might lose it), and if I have a choice, it will never be a blue producer. Resolving thoughtcast is that important.

    Springleaf Drum— This is the other explosive mana accelerant, and it enables the fastest wins when the deck is left uncontrolled. It serves a slightly different purpose than Aether Vial in that it smoothes your colors for all spells, making MoE/Disciple/Thoughtcast easier to cast, but it also enables a diverse sideboard.

    Vial Affinity is in great need of 1st turn mana accelerants that are not card disadvantage, and generally this card plays slots 4-6 in the mana accelerant slot. This is superior to Chromatic Sphere/Star because it actually accelerates (not just smoothes colors), and it is superior to Lotus petal because it doesn’t create card disadvantage. This card helps you regurgitate your hand into play.

    THIS CARD DOES NOT REPLACE AETHER VIAL; IT COMPLEMENTS AETHER VIAL. Vial Affinity cannot afford to remove either Vial or Drum from the main. I suggest running 3 of each, because both of these card suffer from diminishing returns in multiples. But, if you goto 4 on either card, Vial should be first.

    Frogmite—Bread’n’Butter. You never play this for 4. Usually he drops for free, but once in a while you’ll pay the 1 or 2 to put him into play. 0-2 payed cost for a 2/2 Artifact creature with a very high actual CC is excellent (CC-based removal have difficulty with him). Frogmite is to your 2nd turn as what Arcbound Worker is to your 1st turn. This is a solid play, and it is part of bricks and mortar that binds this deck together in synergy.
    I haven’t much else to say about this card. Removal of this card will cause your aggro-combo Affinity deck to fail. Don’t leave home without it.

    Arcbound Worker—A truly underestimated card. This is a high synergy card. He enables combos, enables affinity, and greatly assists ravager-based board positions. His value to the deck (while different in function) is comparable to what Mogg Fanatic was in pre-Goyf Goblin decks. Vial Affinity really needs a 1 drop artifact creature, and this is the best one out there.

    At 1 for 1/1 on the table he is fair. But, his artifactness and modularity allow him to do some extraordinary things for his cheap casting cost, making this card much better than 1 for 1/1. The death of Arcbound worker is not the death of 1/1 on the table (as long as you control another artifact creature). Not only can you get disciple triggers, but the modular ability allows your 1 mana spent to continue being damage on the board. In most cases, to assume his removal or sacrifice is to assume that you spent 1 mana for 2 consecutive 1/1’s with multiple synergies in between.

    Arcbound is definitely a combat tricks creature with excellent synergy. He can be sided out, but he cannot be removed from the main.

    Myr Enforcer—He is a fattie in Legacy and an aggro-control slayer. He is a clock, and he becomes castable generally on 3rd turn. He is a threat that the opponent cannot ignore. Myr Enforcer is to the 3rd turn as what Frogmite is to the 2nd turn. Enforcer comes into play earlier than a 4/4 creature should, and this is exactly the sort of tempo advantage that an aggro deck seeks.
    • He is a free 4/4 body that is easy to drop in a 45-50 artifact count deck.
    • He punishes anyone who is chump blocking MoE/Cranial/Ravager.
    • He is pure aggro, and that is what Vial Affinity is all about.
    • He is your necessary pressure when you don't have MoE/Cranial/Ravager.
    • He becomes better in multiples (a fact which many have forgotten)

    I am amazed at the number of people that opt not to run him. He is an great drop 3rd turn or 10th turn, and multiples are certainly a good thing. When you find yourself in board positions that do not seek to sac out to ravager, and you don’t have MoE, Enforcer is the largest and often most relevant creature on the board. Enforcer can be seen as a stabilizing aggro card in this deck, allowing affinity to reach critical mass.

    At any point you would cast this card, he is mana-efficient. A turn 2, 3, or 4 enforcer will often win games. Think of Enforcer as being similar to Arrogant Wurm in UG madness, only better--He is cheap fat that furthers the very game plan that an aggro deck like Vial Affinity is trying to play.

    Ornithopter—Sometimes an underestimated card. 0/2 for free not only gives you early game artifact-factor, but it gives you something even more important: evasion. Ornithopter is damage over the top, and affinity desperately needs good ways to maximally abuse modular and cranial plating. This creature will win you countless games that non-evasion non-artifact creatures could not.

    Ornithopter helps Affinity bend the rules of magic by making permanent based tempo plays that can only be matched by Vintage Workshop decks. Ornithopter greatly increases the overall synergy of the deck which improves the aggressive aims of the deck. The card:
    • Carries Cranial Plating better than any other card in most situations
    • Is a strong modular target
    • Generates mana very effectively off Springleaf Drum, especially in the first 2 or 3 turns
    • Improves the odds of playing and increases the utility gained from Master of Etherium
    • Punishes decks that can't block him by channeling your board's artifact-based damage accelerants (Plating/Ravager) through him.
    • Increases "Affinity" factor at NO cost. Myr Enforcer and Frogmite love this card.

    This is another card that Affinity players/builders think about removing. After all, 0/2 flying doesn’t sound great. But, like worker and frogmite, this card is part of the tempo engine that stitches the deck together, and it will win countless games flying over defending creatures.

    Land—The landbase is often misunderstood. The artifact lands in particular are fundamental to the deck's construction. You can run no less than 12 artifact-type lands (preferably 15 or 16), and no less than 17 lands total (preferably 18 or 19).

    What is an artifact land to Affinity? Each land=
    • 1 Mana per turn
    • -1CC of up to 12 cards or a -0.2 shift in the average CC of the deck (this is tempo)
    • +1/+1 Counters for Ravager
    • 1-4 Disciple Triggers
    • 1-4 +1/+0 Cranial Plating
    • 1-4 MoE Lord pumps

    People who play affinity with the mindset of running the fewest possible lands with the most spells possible are missing the point. The artifact lands might be subtle, but they are extremely powerful in this deck. So, while you can certainly win games with only 1 or 2 land in play, you will often fail to recognize what those 1-2 lands really did for you during the game. The best part about land in this deck is that land is never a dead draw. Land can always be put to use beyond mana production. This means that affinity, just in virtue of its land, has a higher average card relevance than would be initially expected. Don’t be afraid to run 19-20 lands in this deck. Seriously people, this is Legacy, wasteland.format, PLAY MORE LANDS!

    Just to give you an idea of the difference between 16 and 18 lands:

    With 16 lands
    Having X or more lands in your opening hand:
    1=90% 2=61% 3=27%
    Having exactly X lands in your opening hand:
    0=10% 1=29% 2=34% 3=20% >4=7%
    Having one color in hand (a drum or a land that can produce a certain mana source): 60%

    With 18 lands
    Having X or more lands in your opening hand:
    1=93% 2=69% 3=35% >4=11%
    Having exactly X lands in your opening hand:
    1=24% 2=34% 3=24% >4=11%
    Having one color in hand: 70%

    Seat of the Synod, Vault of Whispers— Start here, and fill in the rest.

    Darksteel Citadel — For most Vial Affinity players, this is an auto-4, but there are a few metagames where it would be acceptable to not play this card. This opens the deck up to a 4th color, man-lands, or color-smoothing. If you see LD (and most of us will see a lot of it), then play this card.

    Tree of Tales—I suggest green as your third color in Affinity for a single card: Krosan Grip. If you don’t play Krosan Grip (which is most likely a mistake), then Ancient Den or Great Furnace are the replacements.

    Rainbow Land-Affinity, problematically, can be color-starved. While Aether Vial and Drum curb the mana color inconsistencies to some degree, affinity is still reliant upon other chromatic mana producers. In order to have a proper mana base for both the main, and especially for the cards in your sideboard, you’ll need to run rainbow lands.

    You don’t want to be sitting on Disciple, Thoughtcast, MoE, and instant equip Cranials because you don’t have the color available. In fact, without a proper mana-base to produce the rainbow, you actually decrease average card relevance in this deck. It is absolutely essential that affinity has the ability to use every single component of its hand as soon as possible.

    You can play Glimmervoid or City of Brass. You cannot play less than 2 of them, and in testing, 3 has been an optimal number. I suggest City of Brass for most, but Glimmervoid is also acceptable under several conditions. Ask yourself if your lifetotal matters. If it does, then think about using Glimmervoid, otherwise stick to City of Brass.
    Last edited by 4eak; 01-26-2009 at 02:39 AM.

  3. #3
    4eak's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jun 2007


    Re: Vial Affinity

    V. Sideboarding

    Sideboarding options are actually fairly limited for this deck. All too often the sideboard just waters the deck down too much. There are a few exceptions, some because they don’t water the deck down too much by being artifacts, and others because they are abnormally powerful against the decks which we expect to face in metagames where Vial Affinity can be viable. Here are the two general sideboard cards that are ubiquitous:

    Pithing Needle— is the only card I never change in my sideboard. It answers bad shit, and the main reason it isn’t in the main is because it can’t be played first turn in the first game. Don’t leave home without this card.

    Tormod’s Crypt—I consider this card optional, depending completely on your metagame. It is better than Relic though, so if you choose to run GY hate, then this is likely to be the better card.

    For the other slots, there are two real sideboard concerns:

    a.) Are you building it to answer combo?
    b.) What is your third color? (or rather, what color will your sideboard dictate?)

    If A, then you’ll need to use cards like:
    • Chalice of the Void (the strongest card available)
    • Ethersworn Canonist (stronger against storm than resistor effects)
    • Thorn of Amethyst
    • Sphere of Resistance
    • Cabal Therapy (not as useful anymore, but an option)
    Choosing to sideboard against combo is a big risk. You probably shouldn’t even be playing Vial Affinity in tournaments where you expect to see a lot of combo. Even after a full 12-15 card sideboard for combo, you’ll be lucky to see 50/50 matches against combo experts.

    For those who aren’t committing their sideboard to answer combo, when considering B.) we are really asking, do we want white, red, or green? I believe the answer is that we need a color with disenchant effects.

    Good targets for Disenchant effects:
    • Counterbalance/Top
    • Vedalken Shackles
    • Moat
    • Humility
    • Ghostly Prison/Propaganda/Elephant Grass
    • Powder Keg
    • Pernicious Deed
    • Engineered Explosives
    • Nevi's Disk
    • Survival
    • Dreadnought
    • Chalice
    • Crucible of Worlds
    • Energy Flux (if you somehow see this card)
    • Solitary Confinement
    • Jitte/Swords
    • Vial
    • Needle
    • Smokestack
    (yes, I know a few can drop'n'pop without passing priority after they resolve)

    Legacy control decks, which make up a huge portion of the competitive decks that are played, are artifact and enchantment oriented decks. Every one of them is really attempting to resolve their big artifact and/or enchantment and create massive card advantage through it.

    DE effects prevent that card advantage and control, and if resolved, it is the most relevant answer to any control deck in Legacy (LD is also quite powerful but unplayable in this deck). Blue-based control strategies are innately hard to metagame against because they can use permission to overcome whatever hate you bring in against them. Here is where Krosan Grip is so powerful, and the reason we should play green as our third color.

    Split Second DE is the biggest kick in the nuts to control, not just because it kills their precious CA-generating controlling artifact or enchantment, but simply because they really can't stop it. It has changed the way control decks operate, and it will continue to shape Legacy.

    Seals or Naturalize is clearly worlds behind the value of K-grip in the sideboard. When you side in K-Grip, you are back in the aggro role because you don't need to worry nearly as much about baiting counters, slow rolling, etc. Other cards used to answer control, which don't have split second, are so inferior that many aren't even worth playing (even if K-Grip didn't exist).

    Lastly, while Needle can do things KGrip cannot, it is also generally less potent, it is counterable, one can play around the card, and it gives up a serious information advantage. KGrip can be sandbagged, and that makes it even more potent against the metagames where Vial Affinity merits play.

    The generic sideboard that isn’t intended to answer combo:

    4 Pithing Needle
    4 Krosan Grip
    3-4 Tormod’s Crypt
    3-4 Metaslot

    VI. Notable Exclusions

    Blinkmoth Nexus— Before SoA, I believe it was an auto 3x. After SoA, I've not had as good of results when I use the card. The problem with Nexus is that he is both colorless and not a natural artifact. MoE demands natural artifact lands or color smoothing. Nexus does not add affinity factor unless you are tapping it to itself, and even then, it only matters on the 2nd affinity spell casted in a turn (which is unlikely).

    We don’t require the flying from this card, we do require our lands to be artifacts or color smoothers though.

    Epochrasite—Some have found the card useful in testing, but I do not recommend the card. It is expensive, too conditional, too slow to abuse effectively, and it costs us slots we can’t afford. It would fit either the Worker or Enforcer slot, and unfortunately, it fills neither of those cards' roles as effectively. Worker has too much synergy on first turn, and Enforcer is too free and guarenteed to be a 4/4.

    Atog— Atog is as close to ever as being dead to affinity. That card gets rocked by removal and it isn't an artifact. MoE/Plating/Ravager are just stronger. It is in the wrong color, it overextends, and it doesn’t permanently scale with your artifacts.

    Shrapnel Blast—My love, my heart. I am so sad that I cannot run this card anymore.

    This card isn’t an artifact, and essentially doesn’t provide enough synergy. While it isn’t exactly card disadvantage when you take the time to analyze it, the card is no longer appropriate due to the existence of Master of Etherium (and its deck requirements) and because we need to play disenchant effects.

    There are metagames where not playing Green or not playing Darksteel Citadel could maybe be acceptable or worth the risk to gain access to Shrapnel Blast in the side. For the majority of people, I don't recommend playing Shrapnel Blast anymore. If you play them, 2 has tested best, and 3 is really the maximum.

    Fling/Soul's Fire—Worse than Shrapnel. Fling is a card that is too narrow and conditional while also suffering from not being an artifact, and it is merely a cool thing. It converts your most important card on the board into damage, unlike Shrapnel which creates almost the same damage (on average) for the cost of the least important card (even non-creature) for damage. If Shrapnel is dead, then this card doesn’t even stand a chance. Soul’s Fire is also just too expensive and conditional.

    Goyf/Confidant—These are dead to Vial Affinity. They cost too much, do too little, and while they belong in some decks, they don’t in this one. We have much better creatures that come out much sooner. They aren’t artifacts, and while that might seem like it could shore up affinity’s game against control; playing these cards merely slow your normal gameplan while not really preventing you from losing against decks that answer us.

    Enlightened Tutor— Aggro-combo decks are redundant for a reason. They need to maximize their card advantage and negate the need for mulligans (which is a form of card advantage). While it can grab interesting cards in the sideboard in games 2 and 3, like Hanna’ Custody, the card disadvantage and color problem makes this unplayable. In most cases, you would be E-Tutoring for a bomb, and in that case, the card disadvantage is simply never worth it.

    Dispeller's Capsule—Not a terrible card, but the coloring is difficult to cast and bends mana-base over to make it work. K-Grip is just flat better if you need a DE effect.

    Executioner’s Capsule—Slow, and has no target worth the loss in aggro to play this.

    Umezawa's Jitte—This card is simply too mana-intensive for the deck. It doesn't fit, especially not at the expense of a Plating.

    Tidehollow Sculler—Double colored Artifact-Fiend plays the wrong role, is too easy to answer and remove, too hard to cast in the first place, and there are much better alternatives. He also suffers from the Dark Confidant syndrome; I don't want to swing with him, even in an aggro deck.

    Tidehollow Strix—The color cost is problematic. This is much stronger than Sculler as it has seriously potent mechanics in flying and deathtouch. Perhaps a decks with 4x of CoB/Vial/Drum in certain creature heavy metagames could consider the card, but testing has shown that it is still too hard to cast.

    Ethersworn Canonist—E-Canon is just not that amazing in the mainboard of Vial-Affinity. Vial Affinity is an aggro-combo deck that isn't very interested in controlling the game with cards like E-Canon unless you are playing against combo. He can be sideboard material, but that signifies that you anticipate playing against combo, which is a metagame where Affinity may not even belong.

    Meddling mage—double color, has Confidant Syndrome, and really only merits play against combo. Canon and Spheres are just strictly better for Affinity (although I wouldn’t say the same for other decks).

    Etherium Sculptor— The card is expensive for what you get in aggro-combo affinity. It does too little too late. I like the card, but it just doesn't add enough to the deck for the slot. This deck already has better ways to cheat mana at this point. The sculptor is very nice in affinity decks that play, well...fewer affinity cards, weaker mana-bases, and higher mana-curves. That card really belongs in aggro-control affinity decks, but it has no place in Vial Affinity.

    Thirst for Knowledge—Thoughtcast that costs 2 more mana. Not worth it. We have bombs and mana acceleration to play.

    StP/Stifle/Annul/Trinket mage/Dreadnought/FoW—These are not to be played in an aggro-combo deck, they belong in an aggro-control deck. Vial Affinity does not hold back mana and cripple its tempo to play cards like Stifle or StP. These cards are never worth the opportunity cost of just playing straight threats and acceleration. Wrong role, wrong deck, wrong thread.

    Chrome Mox—The speed used to be worth it because it pushed Affinity over that threshold of standard’s fundamental turn, enabling wins way too early. Legacy is too fast and Affinity is comparatively too slow to use card disadvantageous mana accelerants.

    Somber Hoverguard—Too expensive for what you get, and he isn't an artifact.

    Glaze Fiend/Moriok Rigger/Salvage Slasher/Homunculus—Worse than the cards they would replace. If you were going for highlander Affinity, then sure. Slasher could see sideboard use, but it would be very limited.

    VII. Matchup Analyses

    These are broad matchup analyses using the popular versions of these decks. Some of these analyses will differ from the opposing deck’s primer; I attribute this difference to a general lack of testing against Affinity lists (including cards like MoE,) with proper pilots. We could not include all matchups, and we didn't give percentages or perfect walk-through strategies. But, this should be a decent rundown of how Vial Affinity performs against a good portion of the field.

    Ad Nauseam Storm: heavily unfavorable
    Look for hands that can do massive damage in the first 2-3 turns. Remember that disciple triggers with their artifacts too. Chalice@0 is very effective against them, as is a turn 2/3 Ravager+Disciple. Quick damage might destabilize AdN, and that is you general goal.

    TES: heavily unfavorable
    They have too many paths to victory and you literally can't do much but try to race their mediocre hand. They're also siding Shattering Sprees, you're done.

    Solidarity: unfavorable
    They are much slower than tendrils combo decks, and that gives you a shot at racing them. Unlike most agro decks, we do have the ability to win on 3rd and 4th turn, which is where they can begin to combo (3 land minimum). Depending on your sideboard, this match could come close to even.

    Aggro Loam: even to favorable
    They're an aggro control deck with really big threats that disrupts opponent's mana too. Unfortunately for them you have 4 indestructible lands, 6 non-land mana generators and 4 Cranial + 4 MoE that are bigger than their threat in the early game. Ravager often screws their math with Devastating Dreams.

    Goyf Sligh / Boros: even to favorable
    Try to hold the fort in the first 2-3 turns and take less damage possible. At this point your biggest dudes (Ravager, MoE, Enforcer) should be in play and you should become the aggressor. Watch out for Price of Progres, never make more than a couple of land drops unless you need them and use ravager to eat your lands to take less damage. Chalice from the side is golden.

    Burn: even
    Do whatever you can to win the dice roll. This mathup is a straight race, but they have control cards to slow you down (eg. bolt a Frogmite wearing a Plating). Here Ravager, MoE, Enforcer and Cranial shines. Don't be shy with sacrificing artifacts on ravager as long as you have other modular targets. Proper timing is required with ravager to avoid lethal burn spells. Post side you have Chalice and they got Spree, and both are huge.

    Dragon Stompy: favorable
    If you play first then Chalice@1 is not going to wreck you, you're going to laugh at Blood Moon effects (you play colorless spells and have 3 drums and 3 vials for the coloured ones), and many of your creatures are bigger than theirs. Trinisphere can make you cry though. If the opponent is attacking with a Jitte-wearing dude remember to block and sacrifice the blocker to ravager, so they're not putting counters on Jitte. Postside you got Krosan Grips and they are siding Spree/Pyrokinesis

    Dreadstill: even to favorable
    You can lose if they got an early Dreadnought, but their main strategies are to build card advantage with Standstill and CB/Top. Unfortunately for them, your ability to put so much power on the table in the early turns (and vial) doesn't work well with standstill, and the CB/top engine doesn't work well against vial and 3cc, 4cc and 7cc spells. Watch out for EE (don't play other 2CC cards if you already have a cranial plating but go for an enforcer instead) and for Stifle on modular triggers.

    Enchantress: slightly unfavorable
    You're an aggro deck and their deck is made to beat you. However, you actually have many good solutions to their control cards:
    Elephant Grass: Plating, Ravager, MoE, Disciple+Ravager
    Moat: Ornithopter+ Ravager/Cranial, Disciple+Ravager
    Everything that it's not Solitary Confinament is not an hard lock against us. Goblin suffers much more from those control cards.

    Goblins: even
    If they don't have the lackey draw you're the aggressor. Your dudes are bigger, but if they are given time their card advantage will bury you.

    Ichorid: slightly unfavorable
    They are a combo deck, so they always have the chance to goldfish you. However, if they don’t turn 1 kill you, then you have a shot. Ravager is golden here because it lets you sacrifice your creatures at instant speed to remove their Bridges. We're also playing graveyard hate in the sb.

    Slivers: favorable
    Your creatures are bigger, and Crystalline is not great when the opponent has zero targeting spells. Just watch out for Winged sliver. You're the aggro deck here. Watch out for Harmonics post SB too.

    Survival: slightly favorable to slightly unfavorable
    There are a billion survival builds. They could play Pernicious Deed, Elves, FEB and all kind of stuff. Bring in Needles and Krosan grip and you should be doing good.

    UGb Threshold: favorable
    They have a poor aggro matchup, especially against those who are not playing all their spells in the 1cc and 2cc slots. They also don't have huge SB cards against us, so just beat down with your big dudes.

    UGw Threshold: slightly favorable
    Fairly similar to UGb, except they have a few stronger tools in StP and often an E-Tutor toolbox in the main. Some are running Trygon Predator as well. Bomb them.

    Team America: favorable
    Their mana denial is powerful against the format, but our deck does a fabulous job of playing through the hate. Tombstalker is a hard hitter, but we are much more likely to have a fatty on the table.

    UGr Canadian Thresh: slightly favorable
    Like other Thresh lists, they run the standard agro-control goodstuff, and they are susceptible to our general strategy. UGr differs in its ability to convert from the control to agro role more effectively than other variants (burn is versatile). Builds running both Swans and Trygon Predator have a fair shot as they have good control and a combo to finish.

    Landstill: even to favorable
    There are a lot of versions of this archetype. Deed and Disk are very potent, and in combination with top cards from each color, landstill decks designed to beat agro will have a fair chance at winning. Landstill decks that try to abuse CB/Top or emphasize permission become favorable as their stack control is less relevant against us.

    MUC: slightly favorable to favorable
    Permanent-MUC and Draw/Go have weak matches against us. They will overemphasize the power of B2B against us, and that will cost them. Artifact board control components are their only true means to defeat us. You must learn to play against shackles; your decisions will change dramatically with that card, but it is hardly unstoppable. Powder Keg is a pain, but it is nothing compared to Disk.

    Merfolk: slightly unfavorable to even
    They are an aggro-control deck with heavy emphasis on creatures. They are very consistent, and they have a solid draw engine. Builds designed with answering combo in mind won’t be as problematic, but if you are playing Affinity (which is an anticipation of a lack of combo), then chances are the merfolk player will also be building in the same way. They usually have some relevant sideboard cards like Annul too. If they are using Null rods, then you can be in a lot of trouble. For those who run them, Sowers and shackles puts us in the danger zone even more. We do have larger creatures though, so it is winnable.

    ITF: slightly favorable
    The deck has both a high skill requirement and it is a CB/Top based (which puts them at a disadvantage against good affinity players), but it has both relevant removal and a good clock (for a control deck). Their card quality easily converts into raw card advantage, and their engines are formidable if given the time to abuse them. They are still at a disadvantage against an explosive aggro-combo deck that can play around removal and permission with a very consistent clock. K-Grip and Needle, like in all our control matches, are exceptionally powerful against them, while they have little to side against us.

    White Stax: even to slightly favorable.
    Trinisphere in general sucks for us. It owns our affinity factor. It doesn’t make this match unwinnable, just very difficult if they drop it first turn. Normal Armageddon stax is actually favorable for us, but tweaked variants can easily give us serious problems. Dutch stacks has a stronger game with 4x Moat and 4x Humility to completely hardlock us.

    Pox: slightly favorable
    We can deal with their mana denial, but their pox effects wreak havoc on our board at large. It can slow us many turns. Luckily, they lack a serious clock, and we can chain bomb them until one sticks. Some variants can hardlock us, while others can overemphasize creature control; both of which are bad for us. However, these are both unlikely variants and generally considered subpar against the rest of the field.

    MWC/Quinn: unfavorable
    It depends on the build. The more they concentrate on answering combo, the better your odds. It is possible but unlikely to win before they can lock you out game 1, and game 2 becomes better as our sideboard is more relevant. If they are using Painter/Servant, then it means we can’t slow roll.

    Faerie Stompy: even
    It really depends on their draw and who goes first. Their deck can burst out of the gates, shut down your hand, and win in a few turns. If the game goes past turn 5, then you are likely to win. I consider their mulligan requirements to follow combo/prison like strategies, and as such, expect that they will have hands that you aren’t going to beat, and likewise, expect they’ll be drawing hands that just don’t have what it takes to beat you.

    Imperial Painter: unfavorable
    While Blood Moon isn’t going to kill us at all, it does slow us down. They have a solid combo and some decent control features. Their sideboard is badnews too. Shattering Spree + Trinisphere in a combo deck gives them a serious advantage.

    Closing Comments:

    Our bombiness, resilience to mana denial, and abuse of Vial gives us a serious advantage against current control and disruption strategies. Most of these decks could easily be modified to shut Affinity out with powerful hate cards, but they currently don’t. Our matchups against control and agro-control decks are favorable because they aren’t preparing for us.

    Vial Affinity is an aggro deck first and a combo deck second.

    The strength of an aggro deck in Legacy is that it can play so many raw threats in the deck. Few decks can afford to play 20-30 creatures in it, and even fewer can play such synergistic ones that build each other up. It is difficult to answer that many creatures. There are not many control and aggro-control decks that can honestly answer us unless they are sideboarding specifically for the deck (Energy Flux, etc.).

    This deck drops raw power on the table. It has a unique ramp, excellent fatties, and often combos into strong creature-based damage positions. A single FoW doesn't destroy a hand of Affinity, or even timewalk our opponent very much. The deck is fast, but also resilient against 1 for 1 control cards, and it bombs the opponent.

    Last edited by 4eak; 01-26-2009 at 11:15 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    First Comment!!

    Wow, this is one if not the best Primer ever.

    It takes time to read all, but i can say that's an enjoyable and interesting reading.

  5. #5
    kicks_422's Avatar
    Join Date

    Feb 2006



    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Great primer, guys. Great job. I've picked the deck up just a couple of months ago, and if this primer were around back then, I wouldn't have spent too much time trying to learn everything about the deck.

    And, on Springleaf Drum:

    I just had to stress that out. Very, very important, as most players think Vial is too slow and just replace it with Drum.
    The Source: Your Source for "The Source: Your Source for..." cliche.

  6. #6
    Trapped inside my embryonic cell
    KillemallCFH's Avatar
    Join Date

    Dec 2006

    Stoughton, MA


    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    I didn't really get a chance to read the whole primer yet, but from what I have read, it looks pretty good. One thing I think you should've mentioned though.
    Blinkmoth Nexus— Before SoA, I believe it was an auto 3x. After SoA, I've not had as good of results when I use the card. The problem with Nexus is that he is both colorless and not a natural artifact. MoE demands natural artifact lands or color smoothing. Nexus does not add affinity factor unless you are tapping it to itself, and even then, it only matters on the 2nd affinity spell casted in a turn (which is unlikely).

    We don’t require the flying from this card, we do require our lands to be artifacts or color smoothers though.
    One of the best parts about Blinkmoth Nexus right now is its ability to win through a Standstill. Whether or it is needed or if your matchup is already positive without enough is another subject for debate. Still, you should at least make mention of its use as a tool against Standstill.
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg 'IdrA' Fields
    good sir, you appear to be somewhat lacking in intelligence. please refrain from posting until this is remedied, since it renders your opinions slightly less than correct and has a tendency to irritate more informed forum-goers.

  7. #7
    4eak's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jun 2007


    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    @ KillemallCFH

    I think it is important to recognize that decks playing Standstill will be playing wastelands and specifically man-lands that are bigger and badder than Blinkmoth. In theory Blinkmoth might seem like a solid card against Standstill decks, but in practice you'll find it doesn't matter much. You will almost always lose the race under standstill, so it becomes a non-issue when you are forced to break it early anyways. Luckily, you shouldn't see too many Standstills because you empty your hand fast enough that they must stabilize before they could play the card. You hope to be winning before they stabilize.

    The real exception to the standstill race is Aether Vial. But, you are winning because of Vial, not because of Blinkmoth.


  8. #8
    Always dazed
    GreenOne's Avatar
    Join Date

    Apr 2006

    Ravenna, Italy


    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Well done. This is one of the best primers on The Source, and hopefully this will act as an answer for all the people that once in a while asks things like "why vial is in the deck? Drum is better!".
    In retrospect, I was one of those people..

    Thanks for citing me as co-author, but in fact I only did part of the Matchup Analyses. You're the real deal
    Quote Originally Posted by Tacosnape, TrialByFire, Silverdragon mix
    We got Goyf Threshold, Deadgoyf Ale, Survival of the Goyfest and Goyfalid Breakfast.
    It probably won't end until we have decks like Goyf Stax, Goyfbelcher, Goyfchantress, Vial Goyflins, Goyfstill, Goyf from the Loam, Faergoyf Stompy, Goyf-Pox, Goyf Confinement, 8-Land Goyfstompy, and the Dave Gearhart classic, Goyfidarity.
    And Ichgoyfrid, Red Deadgoyf, GES, 42landand4goyf.dec, Goyf Game and Ill-Gotten-Goyf-y Pop
    Currently Playing: Nourishing Lich.Deck
    Current Record: 1-83-2

  9. #9

    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Good stuff. This makes for a grand new beginning for Affinity. I'm testing your build right now.

    Has anyone playtested anything from Conflux? Or is it all just garbage?
    My MTG Blog
    "The game is not worth the candle."

  10. #10
    Fear The Wrath Of God

    Join Date

    Nov 2007


    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    great primer, indeed one of the bests on the source

    I have one question

    Dragon Stompy: favorable
    If you play first then Chalice@1 is not going to wreck you, you're going to laugh at Blood Moon effects (you play colorless spells and have 3 drums and 3 vials for the coloured ones), and many of your creatures are bigger than theirs. Trinisphere can make you cry though. If the opponent is attacking with a Jitte-wearing dude remember to block and sacrifice the blocker to ravager, so they're not putting counters on Jitte. Postside you got Krosan Grips and they are siding Spree/Pyrokinesis

    you mean before dmg on the stack sack the blocker to ravager so that no combat dmg is done ?

  11. #11
    Win or lose, it begins with...
    Arsenal's Avatar
    Join Date

    Mar 2007

    Milwaukee, WI


    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Quote Originally Posted by kirbysdl View Post
    It's good to be mindful of the past, so:

    Thanks for the very well-organized primer!
    This was one of the very first things 4eak had in his initial OP.

    I'm not a fan of Affinity in Legacy, but 4eak's primer has given me a clear insight as to what makes Affinity tick, what situations to be mindful of, etc. Good job.

  12. #12

    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Very informative read, the old affinity forum was severely outdated. Hopefully this new updated list and primer, will put all random peoples card choices and sub-optimal lists to rest. Good job 4eak

  13. #13

    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Slayer001 View Post
    you mean before dmg on the stack sack the blocker to ravager so that no combat dmg is done ?
    No, you put the damage on the stack, then in response you sacrifice your creature -> combat damage on your creature fizzles.

    Your way has some disadvantages, one glaring one would be when the opposing creature has trample as the full damage will just be trampled through where-as that isn't the case when you sac after combat damage.

    Another probably bigger disadvantage is that if you don't put the combat damage on the stack you won't be killing their creature either.

  14. #14
    Chief Head Chief of the Department of Redundancy Department
    b4r0n's Avatar
    Join Date

    Dec 2005



    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Nessaja View Post
    No, you put the damage on the stack, then in response you sacrifice your creature -> combat damage on your creature fizzles.

    Your way has some disadvantages, one glaring one would be when the opposing creature has trample as the full damage will just be trampled through where-as that isn't the case when you sac after combat damage.

    Another probably bigger disadvantage is that if you don't put the combat damage on the stack you won't be killing their creature either.
    He's talking about Umezawa's Jitte, which triggers on combat damage. To prevent them from getting counters on their Jitte, you can declare a blocker and sacrifice it before damage. No damage is dealt to you or your creature, so their Jitte gets no counters.
    Quote Originally Posted by Volt View Post
    And make no mistake, a Hulk Flash dominated metagame is shit on a plate. Sure, it made for an interesting GP and possibly even attracted a few curious newcomers who wondered "I wonder what it's like to eat shit?" or "I wonder what it's like to make other people eat shit?" That's all fine and dandy, but I'll be glad to say "Good riddance!" to Flash when I wake up tomorrow.

  15. #15
    Fear The Wrath Of God

    Join Date

    Nov 2007


    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Yes, thats what I mean but I think you can do it both ways if you are likely to kill the jitte wearer you can best do it after dmg on stack

  16. #16
    Bardo's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2004

    Portland, Oregon


    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Wow, excellent work. I believe this is, hands down, the best primer this site has ever seen (certainly better than anything I've written for MTS). The strategy, card choices and weaknesses sections were insightful, accurate and honest. The match-up section was fair (No "This deck beats everything" attitude.) I appreciate that. :)

    Anyway, really, really good stuff that wisely avoids "Cool Things" territory (FoW, etc.). I had some questions I was going to ask ("Where's Canonist?"), but you did a good job answering them proactively.

    As for your list, it looks as good as it's going to get.

  17. #17

    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    So I guess we get nothing in Conflux?
    My MTG Blog
    "The game is not worth the candle."

  18. #18

    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Pltnmngl View Post
    So I guess we get nothing in Conflux?

    Some people seem to think that esperzoa should be tested. He would make the deck to top heavy, and he would be competing with MoE slot, when master is a monster. No new cards from conflux, everything is to weak, and doesnt click with the rest of the deck.

  19. #19
    raharu's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jun 2007



    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Bardo View Post
    Wow, excellent work. I believe this is, hands down, the best primer this site has ever seen (certainly better than anything I've written for MTS). The strategy, card choices and weaknesses sections were insightful, accurate and honest. The match-up section was fair (No "This deck beats everything" attitude.) I appreciate that. :)

    Anyway, really, really good stuff that wisely avoids "Cool Things" territory (FoW, etc.). I had some questions I was going to ask ("Where's Canonist?"), but you did a good job answering them proactively.

    As for your list, it looks as good as it's going to get.
    So we're in agreement that the list had 0% wiggle room and doesn't need to be discussed right now? Could we... iDunno, sticky it so it won't get lost in the depths of page 6? The deck is obviously relevant to the meta, but there isn't much posting to do in the thread... Weird situation here.
    Team Battletoadz: Fuck the Meta-police?

    If it's all in our heads, it's best that we don't loose them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nihil View Post
    Mother of Runes is a woefully underplayed Tier 1 card.
    Quote Originally Posted by dude 666 View Post
    Power wouldn't lay in the hands of the few if the general population was more educated and actually voted. Why should the government care about you if you don't vote? (Partially why I hate the electoral college and 2-party system)

  20. #20

    Re: [Deck] Vial Affinity

    I wouldn't say zero wiggle room. Even meta's that are perfect for Affinity may need to make a slight adjustment here and there. Let's just say 0-5%.
    My MTG Blog
    "The game is not worth the candle."

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)