So I’m going to be forthcoming in my shame: I’m not good enough to keep playing Affinity in the current environment. I’ve become irrationally irritated with the fact that [mtg_card]Kolaghan’s Command[/mtg_card] is everywhere. After playing a game recently where we were in turn 11~ with my opponent at 1 and my only permanent in play being a single [mtg_card]Darksteel Citadel[/mtg_card], I decided that enough was enough.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I think that card is very powerful. It’s powerful enough to be maindeckable while simultaneously being a hate card against Affinity, and Affinity has a hard enough time beating hate cards. Rustle had been screwing around with the idea of playing a Bant deck that was just very resistant to discard spells and aimed to play fair Magic. When I first saw the deck I thought “This pile of garbage can’t possibly win a game of Modern.” For some reason, though, that deck stuck with me. Maybe it was because I was already toiling for a different deck to play in the throes of my Affinity woes, or maybe it was something more.
I’ve always liked the idea of playing Exalted, and I drafted it a lot during M13 limited. The mechanic has a lot of unfortunate weaknesses though, especially in a format where [mtg_card]Lightning Bolt[/mtg_card] exists. Still, though, I couldn’t get off of the idea. Then it occurred to me…you know what [mtg_card]Kolaghan’s Command[/mtg_card] hates? [mtg_card]Loxodon Smiter[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Wilt-Leaf Liege[/mtg_card]. You know what [mtg_card]Lightning Bolt[/mtg_card] doesn’t kill? [mtg_card]Loxodon Smiter[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Wilt-Leaf Liege[/mtg_card].
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t put much testing in yet, just a few cursory games against some random scrubs on Cockatrice and a few games of me beating the crap out of Jesse while he tried to play 8-Rack, but I plan on testing it this week and deciding on whether or not this is something I want to take to the open in Charlotte this weekend. At the core the deck is a [mtg_card]Chord of Calling[/mtg_card] deck, with your “juicy” targets being [mtg_card]Sublime Archangel[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Rafiq of the Many[/mtg_card], but you’ve got a ton of other toolbox options as well. [mtg_card]Spellskite[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Reclamation Sage[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Silent Arbiter[/mtg_card]…all great matchup specific cards.
I think the biggest weakness right now is the sideboard, which was thrown together without much thought in a hurry so that I could get some test games in. It’s basically just more bullets to play though. Obviously you only have 4 Chords, but some of these creatures are just powerful enough to cast. You’re heavy on [mtg_card]Negate[/mtg_card]s because you can probably never beat an [mtg_card]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Karn Liberated[/mtg_card].
|Bant Will Make Her Dance
4 [mtg_card]Birds of Paradise[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Noble Hierarch[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Qasali Pridemage[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Eternal Witness[/mtg_card]
3 [mtg_card]Geist of Saint Traft[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Loxodon Smiter[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Reclamation Sage[/mtg_card]
2 [mtg_card]Rafiq of the Many[/mtg_card]
3 [mtg_card]Silent Arbiter[/mtg_card]
3 [mtg_card]Sublime Archangel[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Wilt-Leaf Liege[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Chord of Calling[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Windswept Heath[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Misty Rainforest[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Temple Garden[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Hallowed Fountain[/mtg_card]
2 [mtg_card]Inkmoth Nexus[/mtg_card]
2 [mtg_card]Relic of Progenitus[/mtg_card]
2 [mtg_card]Ethersworn Canonist[/mtg_card]
2 [mtg_card]Dryad Militant[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Spirit of the Labyrinth[/mtg_card]
2 [mtg_card]Stony Silence[/mtg_card]
Obviously the most powerful part of the deck is the fact that it beats Ali’s Lantern deck by having a bunch of 0/1s that can attack through [mtg_card]Ensnaring Bridge[/mtg_card] for actual damage, so that’s super nice! (For those of you out there without senses of humor, this is called a joke!) [mtg_card]Silent Arbiter[/mtg_card] is great against Twin because they have to double bolt it due to it being a 1/5, and it turns off their combo until they do. Sometimes you’ll Chord it into play as a response to their [mtg_card]Splinter Twin[/mtg_card] and they’ll just sigh deeply, and sometimes you’ll just cast it from your hand and they have to figure out how to win from there. I couldn’t figure out a great way to beat Twin in these colors without it, and since it doesn’t really have a drawback for me, it seemed like the perfect solution.
I think my toughest matchups are going to be Tron and Merfolk. I can’t interact with Tron very much and it’s probably just going to get to have it’s way with me a large portion of the time. My only real “out” to that matchup is kill them before they get to a billion mana. Merfolk is going to be tricky as well because I can see that matchup coming down to a die roll. My deck thrives on having guys with big butts who can block easily, and Merfolk is good at stripping that ability away with Islandwalk and [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card]. This matchup may be reason enough to play some kind of “lifegain” card, or more likely some creature with Lifelink, but I haven’t decided which one it should be yet. Rustle is playing [mtg_card]Rhox War Monk[/mtg_card] in his deck but I think I’d prefer something along the lines of [mtg_card]Nearheath Pilgrim[/mtg_card] since it’s easier to Chord for and doesn’t require me to actually attack with him. I certainly have the sideboard room since my sideboard right now is sketchy. I haven’t tested against Bogles or Infect yet but I think those two might be a little tough too, but until I get more familiar with those matchups I don’t want to speak on them too much.
Rustle was saying he’s playing [mtg_card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/mtg_card] in his sideboard but I think between 4 [mtg_card]Qasali Pridemage[/mtg_card] in the main, plus the random smattering of things like [mtg_card]Stony Silence[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Reclamation Sage[/mtg_card] throughout the deck, I shouldn’t have too much of a problem beating Affinity.
By Friday I hope to have a better handle on the list and expand on this a little bit, but for now my intention was to get it down on paper and open it up to the critique of the group. Until I add more on to this, happy shuffling!