Here is why you should play Spire of Industry over Glimmervoid in your Modern Affinity Deck
Affinity received a card at the beginning of the year. This new card is Spire of Industry. The question a lot of players are now asking is, what numbers should people be playing and why? Today, I’d like to walk you through the process and the reason why you should now play Spire of Industry over Glimmervoid.
“At the beginning of the end step, if you control no artifact, sacrifice Glimmervoid.”
This is the trade-off for what the card allows you to do which is:
“Tap: Add one mana of any colour to your mana pool.”
Assuming you’re able to cast more than one artifact a turn, you will not have any problems, this is improved with cards like Mox Opal and Spingleaf Drum which can’t be killed. Both of these cards Affinity players will tell you they are very happy to play on turn one. However, come game two and three, is where the power of this card can slightly deteriorate.
You will commonly only lose a Glimmervoid if the following happens:
It’s game two, you’re on the draw and you only have one creature or artifact in hand to play on turn one. Ideally to make this hand a keeper, is that you might have two Glimmervoid or the artifact you want to play is a Springleaf Drum. If your opponent doesn’t destroy the Drum with a hate card things might work out, however, if they have hate you lose on the spot.
A lot of my problems with Glimmervoid is that you can lose the card due to the variance that is out of your own control. A card that all Modern players know very well is Hurkyl’s Recall which unless you have a man land might mean you lose your Glimmervoid. While this is very uncommon for an experienced player to not play around the card, sometimes due to the nature of the deck, you might be required to ask the question of, “Do they have it?”.
Now with this in mind let’s have a look at Spire of Industry. The card reads:
“Tap: Add colourless to your mana pool.”
First, yes this is the downside. Not being able to get coloured mana immediately when you want it can be frustrating, however, it rarely if ever, causes a problem. However, there was one card that I have noticed benefits from this line of text. Warping Wail, needing colourless mana is a relevant card that has seen some small play in Affinity sideboards. While it’s currently not seeing much play, it’s still something most Affinity players will remember and will keep looking at as metagames change (Spatial Contortion is not good in Affinity, you’re going to have to trust me on that).
Now onto the second part of the card:
“Tap: Pay 1 Life: Add one mana of any colour to your mana pool. Activate this ability only if you control an artifact.”
Let’s break this down a bit as there are two reasons why most Affinity players are hesitant in trying out Spire.
Life, this is a resource we can use to win a game of Magic. We all learn that we can use our life as a resource to enable powerful strategies to win a game. Affinity is a deck that rarely worries about its life total. It is rare that 1-4 life lost in a game of Magic will affect the outcome, and for this reason, the deck has played cards like Dismembers for years.
The life lost will rarely effect if we will win or lose a game, this loss is also mitigated due to the deck playing several other ways of producing coloured mana and meaning that at most you will have to pay 1-2 life. Sadly, it might mean that Vault Skirge might still bite, but he means well!
The other part of this card is very much like a requirement of Glimmervoid.
“Activate this ability only if you control an artifact.”
This is the reason I play Spire of Industry over Glimmervoid, you’re not penalised for taking a slower hand on a mulligan, you can play aggressively and you won’t ever get Stone Rain‘ed due to not having artifacts in play. The only corner case scenario I’ve been able to come up with is that your board is the following; Blinkmoth Nexus, Blinkmoth Nexus. The hand is Master of Ethanium, Glimmervoid and Blinkmoth / Inkmoth Nexus, and your opponent is at 4 life with no cards and no board presence, but can play any card from their deck.
This is the only reason why you should keep playing Glimmervoid. Yes, the life lost has made a 50/50 match up vs Burn somewhat worse, however, Glimmervoid was never amazing as the burn deck played what always feels like infinite burn spells and hate cards against you, thus meaning sometimes you get just get Stone Rain‘ed.
The idea of Spire is that we are looking to make the deck more consistent and at the same time lose the variance that is out of our control, Spire enables both. Being able to play more hands without being concerned with what our opponent is doing is the power of Affinity and Spire adds to this.
That is why I think you should play Spire of Industry over Glimmervoid. Do you agree or disagree with my points? What would you rather play in your deck?
Thanks for reading,