Magic: the Gathering

Game Guide

Pauper: Jeskai Affinity Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

, Comment regular icon0 comments

A comprehensive guide to Jeskai Affinity Pauper, providing a detailed overview of the deck, tech choices, and sideboard strategies. Learn how to build and pilot the Pauper archetype to take down your opponents!

Writer image

revised by Tabata Marques

Edit Article


This deck may look very similar to other types of Archetypes that already exist in the current metagame.

This is true, sometimes gluing two decks together makes them better. This maybe the case here!


Loading icon

Jeskai Affinity takes cores from popular decks like the Myr Enforcer / Thoughtcast from Grixis Affinity. Kor Skyfisher / Experimental Synthesizer from Mardu Synth.

This gives us pros and cons of each archetype and other sideboard/game plan options being different color combinations.


So why Jeskai Magic Symbol wMagic Symbol uMagic Symbol r?

Loading icon

About Jeskai Affinity

Cutting the potential of Black cards isn't free! Deadly Dispute and Blood Fountain are great cards for a deck with Myr Enforcer and a lot of artifact fodder in them.

The idea behind the White is that you get access to better lifegain options like Navigator's Compass and Golden Egg because we run Glint Hawk and Kor Skyfisher. Not only that, our Draw Engine includes very real threats that all fly. These changes give us an advantage against Faeries and Mono Red.

Looking deeper at the card choice's helps understand where the power level of the deck lies.

The Maindeck


Loading icon

Kor Skyfisher is still an incredibly powerful card in pauper. A 2 mana flying 2 / 3 is a great stat line and the "downside" of returning a permanent can and will be an upside pretty much all of the time.

This and Glint Hawk are the cards that impact our card choices we put in the deck. This Is because turning their downsides into advantage is how you end up burying your opponent.

Glint Hawk is your Kor Skyfisher 5-8 for the most part. The main interaction this shines over Kor Skyfisher is when in the midgame you can chain Glint Hawks with Experimental Synthesizer a lot sooner and a lot more efficient, costing one Mana really brings the power out the power of the Interaction.

Frogmite is the best filler creature for this sort of deck. However, it does a lot more in this build of Affinity than the traditional one you are used to.

Helping you bridge the gap between 4-7 to cast your Myr Enforcers is the main reason this is here, especially when we run a lot more non artifact permanents. But Frogmite also lets us commit our Glint Hawks and our Kor Skyfishers early, when we need to play for the board. When we need to play for the board, for example; against Aggro or to be the aggressor against a Combo Deck.

Myr Enforcer the threat everyone fears. A free 4/4 Creature. What is not to fear here. This is your true payoff for all the artifacts. The Card can come down in multiples or even just slots into play whilst you are drawing through your deck. Avoids a lot of traditional removal like Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning. Myr Enforcer army can stone wall a wide board allowing you to stabilize. It can also turn the corner and kill your opponent in a matter of turns.

Kenku Artificer is a threat that against some archetypes just closes out the game. Making 3/3 indestructible bridge is game changing. The strength of this card against traditional Affinity is recurring with Blood Fountain. We don't have access to that, but we are able to buy it back with Kor Skyfisher. This is obviously much more susceptible to removal, but if they're killing your Kenku Artificer, the Kor Skyfisher is usually surviving, along with a flying bridge. It seems like a lose - lose situation for your opponent.


Finally, Dawnbringer Cleric is my flexible slot, this has been many cards throughout my testing period. But overall, a card that is never bad and has general utility against most of the metagame, if good enough for me.


Loading icon

Running Artifacts. Check. Killing the Opponent by attacking. Check. Galvanic Blast is the removal spell of choice. The card is incredibly strong for any deck running the amount of artifacts we are running. The card kills pretty much anything in the metagame outside 5/5s out of Dimir Tolarian Terror. It also points upstairs in a pinch and costs 1! Card is incredibly strong and free to include.

Journey to Nowhere fixes the gaps in between. Anything bigger that can't be killed by Galvanic Blast this answers. I find having more than four removal spells is necessary because we are playing Experimental Synthesizer. Sometimes we are going to reveal a Galvanic Blast when we don't want to, so having more than four makes that not a big problem.

It also has a nice interaction with Kor Skyfisher. You can play Journey early with no real worry. If something more problematic comes along, return Journey to Nowhere to your hand and replay it.

Makeshift Munitions is the final removal spell. But it plays more like a threat, It gives you inevitability. If your opponent can't answer it you can simply throw all your creatures, spare artifacts and even lands upstairs. Not to mention this card is just game winning against any deck like Faeries.


Loading icon

Experimental Synthesizer is well known for its power level since been added in neon dynasty. It synergizes well with Deadly Dispute and Kuldotha Rebirth as shown in two of the best decks, Affinity and Kuldotha. It also Combo's well with Kor Skyfisher and Glint Hawk as seen in other decks like Boros Synth and Mardu Synth.

We are utilizing it as the latter engine. The card can be a topdeck in the late game, next thing your opponent knows, we have cast 3 creatures, drawn 5 cards and removed their threat. Building this deck, you can see Synthesizer was in my mind the entire time. The most expensive card costs 3 Mana, everything above that usually costs 0-1. This card along with the creatures really allows us to compete with the rest of the metagame.

Navigator's Compass may look like an odd choice, maybe even a bad one. However, it fills a slot that we really need. That is an early artifact to play, that gains life and fixes our mana.

Chromatic Star is the card you would usually find in that slot, because combined with Deadly Dispute it gives you an extra card and gains you a Treasure. Due to being Jeskai, we don't have the ability to flood the board full of artifacts as much as Grixis can due to the absence of Blood Fountain. We want all our artifacts to stay in play unless we are throwing them at our opponent with Makeshift Munitions. This makes Navigator's Compass fill that slot perfectly.


Following the same logic, Golden Egg is another artifact that gives you card advantage with Kor Skyfisher and Glint Hawk when you can't find your Synthesizers. Other Affinity lists would usually have Ichor Wellspring in this slot, but that really isn't necessary here with no sacrifice outlet. We utilise the extra lifegain and color fixing when we can instead.


Loading icon

Thoughtcast has been pushed to the side as the best draw spell in artifact-based decks by Deadly Dispute. However, Deadly Dispute isn't worth splashing a 4th Color for.

Kenku Artificer is the reason we play Blue in this deck and having access to Thoughtcast is just an added bonus. Card is still strong, just Ancestral Recall is better than a 1 mana Divination.


Loading icon

I am going to just talk about all the lands together, as they should be self-explanatory. I find we need to run all artifact lands because not every permanent is an artifact and it can prove awkward sometimes to get the count high enough for Myr Enforcer. We are almost maximizing on Bridges, so we have the best targets for Kenku Artificer.

These land choices do make us a lot worse postboard to Dust to Dust and Revoke Existence, but we make up for it by having the Kor Skyfishers and Glint Hawks be powerful cards against most white decks.

Mulligans, Ideal Hand & Gameplay

This deck has a simple game plan against every deck, the main difference is when we execute that game plan.

Identifying what your opponent is playing early on is key. In some games you want to use Glint Hawk and Kor Skyfisher to return Navigator's Compass other games you need the card advantage gained from Experimental Synthesizer.

There are some games where going wide as fast as possible is key, so returning a Frogmite or a Myr Enforcer can be useful as you mitigate the downside of the fliers and can quickly redeploy these threats. So it is very much a choice to identify what sort of game plan you need to execute.

A hand I would keep is one with a few early artifacts to play, a removal spell, a threat and a draw spell. Like this:

Loading icon

Even though the hand has no blue, the Navigator's Compass provides that. If needed you can easily Glint Hawk to recast the Compass if you believe life will matter.

Overall, these types of hands are very solid keeps as they allow you to play your game plan but also allow you to adapt if needed.


The Sideboard

Loading icon

Gorilla Shaman is a fairly simple card choice, it is mainly another option against affinity, it is a solid option to use when combined with Dust to Dust. It additionally has other uses in other matchups where you can destroy Blood Tokens, Treasures and other Mirrodin Artifact Lands.


Dust to Dust is the best Artifact hate spell to have in your sideboard if you are able to play white. This being able to exile 2 Modern Horizon Lands or 2 Myr Enforcers is great value. Not running anymore is to have game and sideboard slots against others.

Revoke Existence is similar to Dust to Dust being able to exile Modern Horizons Lands and Myr Enforcer. It is worse than Dust to Dust being able to exile only one, but can be cast a turn earlier. Additionally, being able to hit enchantments is good against Bogles.

Loading icon

Krark-Clan Shaman is a great tool at controlling the board. It isn't as great in Grixis Affinity, as we have less fodder to sacrifice. However, having access to the card is game winning in some matches. Very versatile when you don't know what to expect.

Dawnbringer Cleric is a card choice I like because it is never really bad. A 1 / 3 body that can exile a Chainer's Edict or Ephemerate is good. Gaining life and being able to deal with problematic enchantments.

Blue Elemental Blast is a card to deal with the Red menace. It is the best card to have access to when wanting to have game against Burn. Deals with anything you need to worry about, and counter any spell that could be an issue.

Sideboard Guide

Vs Mono Red


Loading icon


Loading icon

The reason behind these changes is to remove cards that are slower and not as impactful, for life gain and Blue Elemental Blast.

Match up can be fairly difficult, but it is very reliant on finding Navigator's Compass and rebuying it as many times as possible with Kor Skyfisher.

Vs Mono Blue Faeries


Loading icon


Loading icon

This matchup should be fairly solid. Your draw engine is flying creatures, and resolving these are key to stalling the game to let Myr Enforcer and Kenku Artificer take over the game.

The Dawnbringer Cleric has surprisingly overperformed for me against Fae. Killing Moon Circuit Hacker and blocking everything on the ground indefinitely is not nothing.

Vs Dimir Terror


Loading icon


Loading icon

This matchup is very dependent on how fast the Terror player is out the gates. You need time to set up and get your engine going to clog the board to trade with annoying creatures.

Kenku Artificer is your real MVP here and having an infinite blocker will buy you lots of time. Dawnbringer Cleric is here to mainly provide you some interaction with annoying cards with Flashback like Deep Analysis and Chainer's Edict.

Vs Bogles


Loading icon


Loading icon


This is the type of archetype where the versatile sideboard cards are for. Revoke Existence hitting Ethereal Armor and even exiling Rancor, so it doesn't go back to their hand is pretty useful.

Krark-Clan Shaman being able to answer pretty much the entirety of their Hexproof creatures with very low effort is the reason to run 3 as well. To find it consistently early against the Bogles player.

The reason we are cutting Galvanic Blasts over Journey to Nowhere is the consideration that our opponent has access to Freewind Falcon. Both are overall pretty weak, but having access to what your opponent could have on their board is pretty important.

Vs Affinity


Loading icon


Loading icon

All these cards should be fairly self-explanatory, all are good at dealing with the artifact lands.

Putting the opponent down to 1 land is fairly common.

Ensuring you hit your land drops and disrupting your opponent's land drops, seems to be the best route to victory.

Alternative card choices

I have considered a lot of different options in the main and the side. All help deal with certain decks just depending on what you expect to face.

Loading icon

Kuldotha Rebirth and replacing Golden Egg with Ichor Wellspring can provide early aggression and allow you to close games out quickly. However, in testing many archetypes were prepared for all the 1/1s, so ultimately decided to remove it from the list.

Metallic Rebuke is a card that doesn't really fit this deck like the rest of the cards do. I have changed the amount I play through testing and brewing this deck. One video has me playing 2 of these, but it's just so anti-synergistic. When all your artifacts either attack or have activated abilities it's really hard to get this to be a 1 mana Counterspell. Having access to this card is however it has been an important catch all. So putting this back in the list could change in the future though.

Red Elemental Blast is a generally good card to have access to. Great at dealing with Tolarian Terror or forcing a card through, by countering a Counterspell. The card also doubles up to deal with Faeries.

Loading icon

Relic of Progenitus is a solid card choice to fight against Tolarian Terror. Being an artifact is great for Myr Enforcer and it also replaces itself in a pinch.

Smash to Dust similarly to Dawnbringer Cleric is rarely dead. Destroying an artifact is never a bad option to have access to. Doing an Electrickery impression helps clear up Faeries too. The final mode is never really that useful but killing walls and even Sunscape Familiar or Thermo Alchemist.

Omen of the Dead is probably the card that I really want to fit in this deck. Even though it is black, being able to cast it off Navigator's Compass and being able to constantly rebuy it with Kor Skyfisher is an incredibly powerful effect.



Overall, this deck is a great alternative over standard affinity, and has a lot of different options to help against whatever metagame you need to beat.

Thoughtcast is still a powerful draw spell too and don't sleep on the power of Kor Skyfisher in an affinity shell. Navigator's Compass is a good option to fight against the Red Menace.

Till Next time!