Monday, 8 December 2014


“Some men just want to watch the world burn”. Variants of burn have been around for a long time – a LONG time. What’s not to love? The deck hits hard, fast and consistently. Burn is a very aggressive deck with 1 goal: get your opponent’s life total to zero ASAP. While technically the deck does have interactions via creature removal, that’s usually not the path you want to take. Only remove creatures when necessary – the rest of the time? Go for the opponent directly.

The list I’ve provided is by no means fine-tuned. I put it together to show the main cards in the deck, as well as a few less played options to show how customizable it can be. “Burn” spells have always been popular and as such, are considered to be the defining aspect of Red. The versatility of either removing a creature or damaging your opponent is just so good that a lot of decks have made them the focus of their strategy.

I’ve decided to talk about a few cards that seem to have significant drawbacks, but are actually quite strong. Ball Lightning has been around since the early days of Magic, and remains a decent card to this day. Yes, you have to sacrifice it at the end of turn. But before that? Your opponent can either block it and lose some creature(s) (and still possibly take some damage), or just take the hit and lose almost a third of their life total. For RRR! Jackal Pup and Cursed Scroll are cards from the Tempest set, and really made an impact when they came out. As an aggressive 1-drop red creature, Jackal Pup was something the deck/colour had wanted for a long time; it gave red decks a turn 1 creature that could attack for 2. Sure, if it got hit you would take some damage, but when you’re playing a deck that deals damage faster than most decks, that’s ok. Cursed Scroll also saw a lot of play despite its drawback seeming to make it inconsistent. Burn often only has 1-2 cards in its hand anyway however, so the card was very consistent once you’d cast all of your spells. Scroll also gives the deck some virtual card advantage – something the deck often lacks. I included Browbeat for the same reason, as it either deals 5 damage (awesome) or puts cards in your hand (also awesome).  

As you can see, there are a lot of options for building a Burn deck. I don’t recommend cutting Bolts, but there are tons of cards from the game’s first sets to choose from. Whether you prefer a more creature-heavy deck, want to focus on spells, or even splash another colour, the choice is yours. Happy brewing!



10 Mountain
8 Fetchlands
2 Barbarian Ring

Total: 20


4 Grim Lavamancer
4 Jackal Pup
4 Ball Lightning

Total: 12


4 Lightning Bolt
4 Chain Lightning
4 Fireblast
1 Cursed Scroll
1 Shock
4 Flame Rift
4 Price of Progress
2 Browbeat

Total: 28


1 Pyroclasm
2 Red Elemental Blast
2 Pyroblast
2 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Pyrostatic Pillar
4 Tormod’s Crypt

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