Azorius Glitters Affinity Pauper Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Azorius Glitters Affinity is one of the newest decks in Pauper since the downshift of the signature card, All That Glitters. While in the past, the most popular version of Affinity was the Grixis one, the enchantment gave a new breath to the deck to push it in another direction. Today, I will cover both its stock version and my preferred build, each deck card, and what has worked for me with the deck.
Table of Contents

Azorius Glitters Affinity Decklist

How to Play it

Azorius Glitters Affinity is one of the decks I like the most, as it is an aggro deck with explosive starts like Selesnya Boggles, with a more resilient plan against removals and board wipes.

In the first stages of the game, you will want to set up with your small creatures to get as many artifacts on the field, to later, you guessed it right, slam an All That Glitters onto an elusive creature and win the game.

While that is the core plan, in a nutshell, there is still more to say about the strategy, so we will cover each card individually.

Still, let me tell you that while I will cover the “stock” Azorius Glitters Affinity list on this deck tech, I will show you the version I would play If I were to join an event, as it has some significant differences.

The Creatures

Thraben Inspector and Novice Inspector are the first two creatures of the deck. While a ½ body might not be impressive (although it does a reasonably good job at putting bodies to block Kuldotha Rebirth tokens), they succeed in both adding a body to the field and also an artifact that can be used to overcome grindy matchups in the long game.

Next up, we do not have many exciting creatures as in the case of Ornithopter and Gingerbrute. What they lack in stats, they got in relevant keywords, as the first, while it can be cast for free, it has flying and can be annoying for decks like faeries, where most of their fliers have a base power of one. 

Gingerbrute, on the other hand, has haste, as it's very relevant at pressuring opponents who may have already thought they have stabilized. The main thing about it, however, is the fact that just for one extra mana, it can’t be blocked except for other creatures with haste, and when you pair each of these aspects with All That Glitters, all of a sudden, you will have a creature that can steal games from one turn to another.

The rest of the creatures on the deck are filler ones with a particular role.

Myr Enforcer is a big body that dodges popular board wipes like Fiery Cannonade or Drown in Sorrow, but more often than not, it starts hitting for big chunks of damage in the early threat, something slower decks don’t appreciate.

Last but not least, we got Moon-Circuit Hacker, a card that can generate some extra value in the early game by returning unblocked Gingerbrutes, or any other evasive creature that may have gotten through, and of course, returning the likes of Thraben Inspector is also lovely.

From here, the rest of the cards aim to exploit each niche these creatures have, including drawing cards, adding extra mana, and even protecting your spells, as we will see now.

Other Key Cards

The key about aggro decks to keep pressuring your opponents consistently is card advantage, and, in this deck’s case, it's translated directly to card draw.

With an even distribution of human and non-human creatures, this deck is very well suited to use Of One Mind, a card that lets you draw cards for a mere mana. The same story is true for Thoughtcast, another “cheap” card draw spell that benefits from the number of artifacts you control to be cast with a discount.

Springleaf Drum is a nice card to have as it serves the role of a “land” that adds up to the artifact count, and it excels when paired with cheap creatures, especially Ornithopter, and can help you cast multiple spells through the same turn.

Lastly, Metallic Rebuke serves to control the tempo and, more importantly, protect your creatures from removal. The key here is that Improvise will let you cast it for essentially one mana by tapping your artifacts, and with a lot of clue tokens at your disposal, that is something very easy to achieve.

The Mana Base

I gotta be straightforward with this: I am not a fan of playing colorless lands like Darksteel Citadel in an aggro deck with very few land counts as a whole. The plus is that it helps you cast your affinity spells, and the drawback is bypassed, thanks to Springleaf Drum. I would add either islands or plains to be more consistent.

Outside of that, your mana base is what you expect from any other affinity deck with a set of indestructible lands and all Mirrodin ones, plus two islands, adding up to 17 lands in total.

How to Mulligan with Azorius Glitters Affinity

Some hands are no-brainers, like one with no lands or where you have one land and no cheap spells to play, so I will try to avoid those while covering Mulligan rules. 

With that in mind, here are some hand examples and my thoughts on them.

Let’s start by covering the basics. This is, by far, one of the best hands you can get. You can start with your Inspector on the play and, on turn two, get a clean hit with your ninja to draw an extra card and get a clue token. Of course, the two Of One Mind may seem useless at first. However, the chances for you to draw your other non-human creatures are high, and an Ornithopter only makes this hand even better, as on turn two, you get to cast back-to-back both card draw spells with the help of Springleaf Drum.

This, on the other hand, is a bad hand despite having the cute combo of Gingerbrute and Moon-Circuit Hacker. The problem is that your action starts until turn 3 at best. One more land, and this hand becomes keepable.

This hand has one problem. It has ZERO creatures, and your draw spells don't trigger properly. If they were Thoughtcast, I would consider this hand a bit more, but it would not be significantly better.

This hand is one blue source away from being playable, but this is why I really dislike the thought of adding Darksteel Citadel as part of the deck, as any colored source would make this hand keepable.

This hand is keepable on both the play and the draw as you can draw more artifacts to put Myr Enforcer, hopefully by turn three. You also got a Thoughtcast that could be easy to cast, depending on how you play your cards. A creature also significantly improves it.

On the draw, it also has its merits, as you can look at more cards and get a cheap creature to play and use the Springleaf Drum.

This is a good hand to keep on the play. While you don’t have a blue-colored source, you can plan to play a turn one Inspector and Ornithopter and attack for five in the air thanks to All that Glitters on turn two. This does not play into removal very well, but it's worth enough to put your opponents into a turn four or even a three-turn clock.

How to Sideboard with  Azorius Glitters Affinity

The sideboard, as always, is expected to be used depending on how your meta looks and how you feel about playing certain cards. Here is MY thought process and what has worked for me.

Dust to Dust

Little details can determine the mirror match, and disabling your opponent from lands is ideal. Still, you can also shut down some hasty starts from your opponents if they put the broken enchantment onto an evasive creature, and given that those are primarily artifacts, it is very likely that you can get rid of at least a creature and a land with Dust to Dust.

Obsidian Acolyte

This card is mostly here for the Golgari Garden’s match but can also be brought in against Dimir Terror, where it shuts down Cast Down and Snuff Out.

Destroy Evil

This is a good card against the mirror, enchantment decks, and even against Dimir Terror. It's like a Jack of all trades.

Relic of Progenitus

With the rise of graveyard decks in popularity, you will need to play some sort of graveyard hate card. This is an OK option, and while It may be good against Moggwarts or one land spy, it’s not something I would consider bringing against the likes of Dimir Terror. 

Blue Elemental Blast / Hydroblast

By now, it's clear which deck these cards belong to: Burn. However, a few copies can be swapped in and out against other red-based decks like Boros Synthesizer, Grixis Affinity (removing Makeshift Munitions is crucial), and Jeskai Ephemerate, among others.

If you want a more in-depth sideboard guide, look at my free sideboard guides on Ko-Fi.

How to Play vs. Azorius Glitters Affinity

While Azorius Affinity has very explosive starts, as you saw on the mulligan portion of the article, it has very shaky keeps, leading more often than not to mulligans.

You can think of it as a two-edged sword, and you can put that in your favor if you bring in your artifact hate at the right time.

Depending on the version, board wipes like Fiery Cannonade are also an option, as the only creature it does not hit is Myr Enforcer.

Still, some versions run up to four copies of Metallic Rebuke, so you should ideally bait it before committing to the thing you want to resolve, if that makes sense.

It is also a good idea to keep in mind that your opponent may be holding a Gingerbrute in hand, waiting to draw an All That Glitters, or the other way around, just so you don’t get caught off guard, and while there is some inevitability on this, it's worth considering.

Also, this deck is fragile to unexpected spot removals, such as Snuff Out, or even non-removal spells like Snap, for obvious reasons.

Other Cards You Should Try

Some cards could help in specific matchups more than others, and while the options of the “stock” version are robust, here are some other cards worth trying out.

Hard Evidence

First up is Hard Evidence, the blue version of both inspectors already on the deck. While it may not have the extra power, it's good at stopping cards like Frogmite or Goblin Tomb Rider from getting through.

Standard Bearer

This card is designated to shine on the mirror and against decks like Caw-Gates from ruining your day. The main problem with the mirror match is that it cannot get you back on the game if you don’t resolve it in time. Still, if you resolve it early, they probably won’t have a way to remove it, as the stock list runs zero removals.

Seeker of the Way

Creatures with lifelink like Vault Skirge or Seeker of the Way are very good, especially in overcoming the mirror match, but more importantly, with the signature card of the deck attached to any of this, it can quickly get you back into the game against other aggressive decks.

Tormod's Crypt

While Relic of Progenitus is the primary option for this deck, Tormod's Crypt is easier to cast and activate, something that is useful against the one underdog rising in popularity: Jund Dredge.

My Azorius Glitters Affinity

While in principle, it's the same list, there are some card choices I swapped, including the ones noted above and on my first try I was happy to get a 4-1 in a league, something worth checking out!


I know it’s been a lot, but I tried to emphasize what has worked for me, as this may not be a deck I run a lot, but certainly one I can always expect to get good results with If I play it in any tournament environment.

Thanks for reading up until now, and I really hope this deck coverage was helpful for you.

If you liked this content and want to see more, check out my other related blog posts, and follow me on YouTube and social media.

Take care, and I will see you in my next article.

Where to Play Pauper?

I have compiled a list of places to play Pauper, mostly IRL. The address may vary, but it's a helpful place to start and check if some of them are near you. They may not play Pauper every day, so it's always a good idea to ask before traveling.

*I do receive a lot of requests, so please be patient if it doesn’t get added right away, and don’t hesitate to resend it If I haven’t added them yet.


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