This week we get deeply personal on 60 to 100. Not because the deck is inspired by something that I love and have played in depth. Nope. This week we’re playing an archetype that I hate with a passion. As a Merfolk player in Modern there is one notoriously bad matchup that I dread. Every Merfolk player will tell you this deck is undoubtedly their nightmare scenario to play whenever you sit down.
Any guesses? Well if you read the title of the article, like you probably should have, you already know. The answer for those that missed it is Affinity. Affinity is a deck built around lightning-fast starts and dumping your hand with fast and efficient creatures. Cards like Arcbound Ravager, Etched Champion and Vault Skirge become scary threats once Cranial Plating hits the board with a board full of artifacts fueling it.
Now since we’re playing Commander instead of Modern, we can’t really rely on just a few threats to carry the load like we can in 60-card formats. We can take some principles of overloading on artifacts for value and making for a viciously quick aggro deck though!
There are so many great artifacts-matters commanders to pick from. Breya, Etherium Shaper has famously risen to be one of the most popular commanders in EDHREC history with over 2,200 reported decks. It’s hard to argue with that result either considering how versatile and powerful Breya can be, along with having great colors to complement the theme. Since my best friend (and fellow EDHREC budget deck maestro Andrew Cummings) already plays a pretty sweet Breya, Etherium Shaper Deck though, I have to pass on building her for myself, but she is still a great choice.
Like I said already, there are MANY options out there for you to choose from if you want to jam artifacts-matter decks. Sharuum the Hegemon is another very popular card to put at the helm, combine with Deadeye Navigator for all the combo finishes. Daretti, Scrap Savant is a deck I have seen here and there, but his mono-red color identity I’m not terribly fond of myself. Sydri, Galvanic Genius ALMOST makes the cut for me actually. White/blue/black colors lend themselves to some great access to artifact matters decks and is arguably one of the best color combinations out there if you want to play in general.
What I want to do in an artifact deck that’s trying to be more aggro than combo though, is mirror the fast starts from the Modern Affinity deck and play it out in Commander. Akiri, Line-Slinger has a built-in Cranial Plating effect, which means we don’t have to rely on finding one card for a payoff since we can staple it to our commander. And since we chose a partner commander, we get to pick someone that doesn’t leave with playing red and white like a rookie. Let’s add a partner to the mix, so we’re not stuck with the worst two-color combo, and add in the best two-color combo.
Silas Renn, Seeker Adept comes in the same box and works perfectly with Akiri. Silas Renn, Seeker Adept lets us recur our key artifacts in case they’re knocked out. Deathtouch lets us hope that, more often than not, our opponents would rather take two damage than lose a potentially valuable creature; so we’re planning to get a few triggers a game from ol’ Smirk Central.
So with all these artifacts we plan on running, surely that means Blinkmoth Urn should be a shoe-in, right? The fun part about Blinkmoth Urn is that with the improvise mechanic we can keep all the mana for ourselves by tapping it. This gives us all the mana to keep the fun flowing. Combine with all your traditional artifact nonsense that makes Commander…well, Commander, and we can sling spells all day. Staples we want to sacrifice and recur like Ichor Wellspring and Mycosynth Wellspring mean that we’re also going to generate oodles of value just by playing the game.
Some new Hour of Devastation goodies are definitely going to make an appearance in the deck as well. I LOVE Mirage Mirror as a way to “75%” the deck. Whether I’m copying someone else’s beater or making a second copy of my own stuff there won’t be a lack of targets for the new toy. When we first saw Mirage Mirror in my playgroup’s chat we certainly had some saucy ideas that I’m totally excited to work in. The only downfall is that since Mirage Mirror doesn’t retain the copy ability after you activate it, but I’m sure that for the sake of insane combo potential it’s for the best.
The other immediate add that I have is one of the splashier mythics of the set. I’ll give you a hint: he met the same fate as his big, bad demon buddy Griselbrand. As in, dead.
Yea, that’s the one. Razaketh, the Foulblooded is CRAZY powerful. The eight-costed demon shouldn’t be too much of an issue with all the mana we’re going to be able to produce, and with lots of thopter tokens floating around from cards like Efficient Construction and Thopter Spy Network we will be assembling kills so fast Donald Trump won’t even believe my claim about how fast we’ll be assembling kills. It’s the greatest, so fast you won’t even know it happened. Seriously…
So did I channel the essence of an Affinity deck this week or did I short-circuit in the process? Let me know in the comments!