March of the Machine Deck Tech: Modern Affinity With New Halo Hopper

Genoslugcs April 23, 2023 4 min
March of the Machine Deck Tech: Modern Affinity With New Halo Hopper

Gameplay Video By Meryn MTG

There's been a lot of talk about the most powerful cards, abilities, and mechanics from March of the Machine. We've covered incubate decks, battle decks, phyrexian tribal decks, and more. Today, I'd like to do something a little different. Instead of building around some big flashy rare or brand-new mechanic, I'd like to highlight a deck that's added a common from MOM into a classic archetype.

The common I'm talking about is Halo Hopperimage, and the archetype is Affinity. Affinity has undergone many changes since its inception and now once again plays like the deck's original incarnations, where it cared about the Affinity keyword ability. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the deck list and break down how the it works.


8-Frog Affinity By Meryn Moon

Main 60 cards (22 distinct)
Creature (26)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (15)
Land (19)
Side 14 cards (8 distinct)

Deck Breakdown

Artifacts are the bread & butter of this deck - Specifically, low mana value artifacts that can hit the board quickly. Having a lot of artifacts on the board allows you to cast any of your creatures with "Affinity for Artifacts" way ahead of schedule and for little to no mana. The new card from MOM, Halo Hopperimage, doesn't actually have Affinity but does have convoke, which also works well with the zero mana creatures in the deck.

Establish A Board Of Artifacts

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Putting as many artifacts into play as possible is the game plan for turns one and two. So, the deck plays four copies of both Ornithopher and Memniteimage. Furthermore, the deck plays a total of 12 lands which are also artifacts in Darksteel Citadelimage, Mistvault Bridgeimage, Tanglepool Bridgeimage, and Treasure Vaultimage. This makes putting two or three artifacts into play on turn one relatively easy.

Artifact Payoffs

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Ok, you successfully loaded the board in the first few turns. Now what? Well, now most of your creatures (while not huge threats alone) will be free. Halo Hopperimage can be cast by tapping down a few creatures, and then it (and all the creatures you just tapped) still contribute to reducing the cost for spells like Frogmiteimage, which comes right after it on the curve.

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Remember that come turns three and four, you'll likely have several artifact lands in play too. Since they reduce the cost of your creatures and tap for mana, even casting the more expensive creatures like Thought Monitorimage and Sojourner's Companionimage happens quickly.

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A Motley Crew of 2/2s and 4/4s may not seem overly powerful, but considering how quickly they can be out and attacking, you don't want to underestimate them. That said, a few key cards help to make them hit harder. Cranial Platingimage is a long-term staple for this archetype and can turn even the smallest creates into threats. Once the deck establishes itself, it's easy for the equipped creature to be getting a +6/+0 or more boost from this. And remember, Cranial Platingimage counts itself too!

For two black mana, you can switch it between creatures at instant speed, too - Which makes simply chump-blocking the biggest creature very hard for your opponents to do.

Next, there's Urza's Sagaimage. In the second chapter, you can tap it and make massive construct tokens, further contributing to your overall artifact count as well as being beaters. If you play this deck enough, you'll win a few games with these tokens. The deck also runs a few singleton artifacts that can be grabbed from the deck with the final chapter. They are:

  • Gingerbruteimage - To be a hasty, pseudo-unblockable attacker that you can suit up with Cranial Platingimage.
  • Haywire Miteimage - To answer problematic artifacts or enchantments in game one.
  • Aether Spellbombimage - For bouncing opposing creatures and cantrip when not needed.
  • Pithing Needleimage - To disrupt opposing Planeswalkers, creatures with abilities, and utility lands.


The sideboard contains 14 cards, as the deck runs Jegantha, the Wellspringimage as a companion. There's no great synergy with Jegantha, but the deck coincidently meets the requirements, and having access to a 5/5 without any downside is quite good.

The sideboard is mainly full of more utility and hate artifacts that can be tutored for with Urza's Sagaimage. Here is a small rundown of what role each card fills.


I love affinity decks. I played the deck in the golden age when Mox Opalimage was still legal in Modern, and you could one-shot opponents with Arcbound Ravagerimage and Inkmoth Nexusimage. The deck has changed a lot since then, but I always like revisiting it and keeping my eye out for some new piece that could go in. That said, I was happy to see Meryn testing out a brand-new common from MOM. Check out her channel if you like janky decks in Modern or Pioneer.

As we end the article, I'd like to recommend that any of you Modern players who have never played affinity try it. It's a lot of fun and is very budget-friendly; Even with a playset of Urza's Sagaimage, it still comes in at under $200 - Without the Sagas, you're looking at around $80.


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