UR Twin vs. Modern: Affinity

Welcome to the third article in my series on UR Twin—this week I’ll cover the Affinity matchup, also known as Robots.

For the purpose of covering as many variations of your main deck and sideboard as possible, I am using an aggregate deck list, which has more than 75 cards but contains pretty much everything that is commonly played in the archetype.

UR Twin Aggregate


Contrary to the last two matchups I covered, Affinity does not have enough variation between deck lists to separate them into multiple categories. The main difference between most lists is that they either have 4 Galvanic Blasts and main-deck Spellskites or Thoughtcasts and Master of Etheriums.

Needless to say, if they are playing the blue version, you have a much better matchup—in fact I would say you are a clear favorite. The red version totally depends on their speed and if they draw their  Galvanic Blasts and Spellskites. Those variables account for an unfavorable matchup.

Spell Snare is your most valuable weapon as it deals with most of their problematic cards (Spellskite, Arcbound Ravager, and Cranial Plating). If you have it early and can combine it with Snapcaster Mage, you’ll easily be able to play a long game where combo’ing early won’t be a necessity. In fact you’ll probably have time to find Dispel and protect the combo.

Be careful with your Cryptic Commands—if you tap down their creatures at the beginning of combat, they can still activate manlands after the spell’s resolution and even attach a Cranial Plating with double black mana for lethal. Consider bouncing a permanent instead of drawing a card.

Electrolyze is great in this match, even Spellskite can’t deal with it completely.

Sideboard Options



(If you happen to play against the blue version of Affinity, keep a few more combo pieces.)

Right off the bat, Anger of the Gods is not particularly good—I usually use Pyroclasm as my sweeper of choice, but Wild Nacatl is a huge presence, so I sideboard Anger. If you are stuck with Anger of the Gods, I wouldn’t always board it in because it depends on what you board out.

Roast also isn’t the best, and the sideboard plan has it coming in. This depends on the number of cards you have that are better—usually I’ll keep 1 on the draw, where Remand is very mediocre.

Speaking of Remand, it’s not as bad as against Infect or Burn, but it isn’t spectacular. On the play I don’t mind having 2, even 3, but on the draw I’d rather be down to just 1. If you suspect they have more than 3 Etched Champions/Master of Etheriums, then Remands become a little more useful.

You want Pestermite over Deceiver Exarch for three reasons:

  1. It’s a better blocker, most of their creatures fly and the ones that don’t (Etched Champion) can’t be blocked.
  2. It’s a better attacker in a game plan where you don’t rely on your combo.
  3. The 4 toughness on Deceiver Exarch does not stop Galvanic Blast or Dismember.

It sounds counterintuitive to board out Dispels when Galvanic Blast is good against your combo, however, after sideboarding they have Thoughtseize, Spell Pierce, Galvanic Blast, and Spellskite—that’s just too many cards to even fight that war—just stay off the combo as your main game plan.

Pia and Kiran Nalaar is phenomonal in this matchup. It does everything:

I’ve been trying to fit the 2nd copy of Pia in my sideboard as it’s also good in other matchups, but I can’t find room for it. If you do, go for it.

Spellskite is not a card I run in my own 75, however I understand it’s a versatile sideboard card. If you have it, it’s reasonable here, blocking Etched Champion, protecting your combo from removals, and it stops Arcbound Ravager. It’s definitely better than any of your Remands.

Vendilion Clique is just okay, but I prioritize having at least 1 of either that or Peek in my deck after sideboard, it can sometimes prevent an opponent from bluffing their answers to Twin too much at a very low cost. I prefer Clique to Peek, for the same reasons that Pestermite is good.

Lastly, Jace, Architect of Thought was not included since I never had a good enough reason to bring it in, but it was close every time. While its +1 ability sounds good, I’m not looking for card advantage and it’s somewhat scary to have it die to a Cranial Plating or even just face a Cranial Plating that would hit you while you’re tapped out.

Thank you for reading, and see you next week as I cover another matchup!


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