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Affinity
Keyword Ability
Type Static
Introduced Mirrodin
Last used Modern Horizons 3
Reminder Text Affinity for [text] (This spell costs {1} less to cast for each [text] you control.)
Storm Scale 2[1]
Statistics
24 Affinity for artifacts cards
{W} 8.3% {U} 45.8% {R} 12.5% {W/U} 4.2% {U/B} 4.2% {artifact symbol} 25%
1 Affinity for Plains card
{artifact symbol} 100%
1 Affinity for Islands card
{artifact symbol} 100%
1 Affinity for Swamps card
{artifact symbol} 100%
1 Affinity for Mountains card
{artifact symbol} 100%
1 Affinity for Forests card
{artifact symbol} 100%
1 Affinity for Tokens card
{U} 100%
1 Affinity for Clowns card
{R} 100%
1 Affinity for Food card
{G/W} 100%
1 Affinity for artifact creatures card
{M} 100%
4 Affinity for Equipment cards
{R} 75% {R/W} 25%
1 Affinity for Daleks card
{B/R} 100%
1 Affinity for historic permanents card
{W} 100%
1 Affinity for planeswalkers card
{W/B} 100%
1 Affinity for outlaws card
{R} 100%
Scryfall Search
keyword:"Affinity"

Affinity is a keyword ability that reduces the mana cost of a spell by the number of permanents of a certain type that the player controls. It first appeared in the Mirrodin block.

Description[ | ]

The ability is always written as "Affinity for [something]". The most common instance is "Affinity for artifacts" (see Frogmite). However, a cycle of Golems (consisting of Dross Golem, Oxidda Golem, Razor Golem, Spire Golem, and Tangle Golem) appeared in the Darksteel expansion, each with affinity for a particular basic land type.[2][3] Hum of the Radix functions as an "anti-affinity" enchantment, increasing by {1} the cost of all artifact spells for each artifact its controller owns. Mycosynth Golem grants affinity to artifacts for all artifact creature spells cast by its controller, in addition to having Affinity for artifacts itself.

Mirrodin block's cards with affinity contributed heavily to the Second Combo Winter and soured public perception towards the mechanic. The mechanic was considered for a return in the Scars of Mirrodin block but rejected because it had been so destructive for the metagame in its first appearance.[4]

Affinity for artifacts appeared as a one-off in War of the Spark with Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge.[5], followed by a reintroduction in Modern Horizons 2, alongside a new variant in Junk Winder's "Affinity for tokens".

R&D officially promoted Affinity to a deciduous mechanic with its return in Phyrexia: All Will Be One.[6][7][8] The set debuted Affinity for Equipment, with some classic Affinity for Artifacts in the Commander release. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth featured Affinity for Food.

Tomik, Wielder of Law has "Affinity for Planeswalkers". Notably, his mana cost only has {1} in generic mana (the only Affinity spell to have that amount of generic), suggesting it is a Commander design as the tax would be reduced by the Affinity ability. Outlaws of Thunder Junction featured Affinity for Outlaws.

Unkeyworded affinity[ | ]

Affinity was always designed to use a variety of objects, but the disastrous first try gave the keyword a bad reputation. In between the near-two-decade gap between the debut in Mirrodin block and its return to becoming deciduous Phyrexia: All Will Be One, various other forms of Affinity were tested for a better sense of how to cost them. However, the mechanic was not keyworded to save keyword learning space, while some designs have wordings that are not practical in using Affinity phrasing. Saheeli, the Gifted (Commander 2018), Gearseeker Serpent (Kaladesh), Emry, Lurker of the Loch (Throne of Eldraine) and Reality Heist are examples of un-keyworded "affinity for artifacts", which were not errata'ed to have affinity after the policy change.

Other un-keyworded objects of affinity include:

Ten spells that care about Party have "Affinity for creatures in your Party", but the wording for Party and the wording of Affinity mix poorly. In a similar vein:

The next list does not require controlling the objects to discount, such as a certain quality of players, cards in other zones, or other player's creatures.

Rules[ | ]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

Affinity
A keyword ability that reduces how much mana you need to spend to cast a spell. See rule 702.41, “Affinity.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 702.41. Affinity
    • 702.41a Affinity is a static ability that functions while the spell with affinity is on the stack. “Affinity for [text]” means “This spell costs you {1} less to cast for each [text] you control.”
    • 702.41b If a spell has multiple instances of affinity, each of them applies.

Rulings[ | ]

  • The affinity ability reduces only the amount of generic mana you pay. It can't reduce how much nongeneric mana you pay.
  • Affinity can't reduce the cost to cast a spell to less than {0}.
  • Affinity doesn't change the spell's mana cost or converted mana cost. It just changes how much mana you pay to cast the spell.
  • The cost reduction is set before you have to pay any costs for the spell. If you sacrifice an artifact while paying the spell's costs, that artifact still counts toward the cost reduction.

Examples[ | ]

Example

Into Thin Air {5}{U}
Instant
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs {1} less to cast for each artifact you control.)
Return target artifact to its owner's hand.

Notable cards with affinity[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Mark Rosewater (2023-01-23). "Hi Mark! I saw that there's an affinity...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. Mark Rosewater (January 19, 2004). "To Affinity And Beyond". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Aaron Forsythe (July 30, 2004). "The Power Behind Affinity". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater, Drive to Work #263 "2010"
  5. Mark Rosewater (March 31, 2019). "AFFINITY FOR ARTIFACTS IN STANDARD?!". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  6. Mark Rosewater (January 16, 2023). "Maro’s Phyrexia: All Will Be One Teaser". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  7. Mark Rosewater (January 23, 2023). "Is affinity deciduous now?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  8. Why is There Just 1 Flashback Card in Phyrexia: All Will Be One? (Video). Good Morning Magic. YouTube (January 25, 2023).
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