Modern Burn

  • #1
    I know there's probably plenty of people working through the logistics of this kind of deck, but I couldn't find a thread in the first couple pages so I figured I'd start to get the ball rolling in as serious a manner as I can manage. I have some familiarity in both writing primers, and Burn (Legacy), and in fact writing Burn primers... So I'd be happy to do so if the interest exists, but my knowledge of modern itself is pretty loose. I can build towards the perceived strengths I can see in the format, but will need help with the metagame/matchups, etc.

    For starters I think the best route to approach Burn from, for Modern, is to follow the example set by Legacy. For a couple reasons. Primarily because it works, but also because there are some inherent strengths in the focuses of legacy burn.

    The focus of Legacy Burn is efficiency, effectiveness, and virtual card advantage (though it has strayed from this focus somewhat, and we will likely need to as well). The idea is simply to run the most efficient, cost effective spells, will reducing our answerable cards to a minimum. Which means expecting our opponents to be including mainboard cards to answer threats not present in our list (creature removal vs a lack of creatures, non-basic hate vs basics, etc).

    There are only really 4(ish) cards separating our pool from the legacy pool: Fireblast, Chain Lightning, Price of Progress, and Sulfuric Vortex. All of which are outstanding cards, and sadly there really is no comparison for a couple of them, but missing them only means we have a slightly diminished clock. And thankfully we're playing in a format with a (supposed) speed of a turn slower than legacy.

    And we've got something else working in our favour. Mana bases. Specifically the reliance in the format on Shocklands and Fetchlands. Meaning we, realistically, don't even need to do as much damage to the opponent as the legacy version would need to.

    I was going to run through a truckload of card choices, but my best bet is to just throw out a list first, and then get to some alternatives/explanations.

    So, my initial test build is going to look something like this:

    Eseph's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    20 Mountain

    4 Goblin Guide
    4 Keldon Marauders
    4 Hellspark Elemental

    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Lava Spike
    4 Shard Volley
    4 Magma Jet
    4 Rift Bolt
    4 Flamebreak
    4 Flames of the Bloodhand



    It's a simplified list, just to keep things straightforward to feel out the meta, and see how it runs, I expect the number of Hellsparks will go down, along with Flames, and depending how much of a control slant we see the Flamebreaks may become Volcanic Fallout.

    Some Explanations:

    To start with the #1 goal for any burn deck should be to maximize your topdeck. Because that's where you'll be spending most of your extended game. It's the consistency of draws that helps burn win out more than anything else. And so anything that will generally be a dead draw off the top is simply not worth including.

    Creatures: The golden rule with burn (in legacy terms) has been that the only viable creatures are the ones that guarantee damage. Mogg Fanatic was once our gold standard, and for a while the only creature to match this criteria was Keldon Marauders. So long as it hits the table you will be doing 2 points of damage to the opponent. So even if it's killed, damage will still get through. The only other exceptions to be made are for Goblin Guide, and sometimes Hellspark Elemental. Guide is simply too strong not to run. It is virtually guaranteed damage, though it can be a dead draw under certain situations, it is just about the only card you'll see in a list because the amount of damage it can carry through when it gets out there early is just without equal. Hellspark falls under the same sort of exceptions, though generally worse, it has the ability to be (effectively) flashed back uncounterable for some extra damage vs those pesky control players.

    I've excluded Grim Lavamancer from the list for the same reasons Legacy Burn would. It's a dead draw off the top, and it does nothing the turn it hits play. Plus in order to run it effectively we would need fetchlands of our own to maximize it's use. Opening us up to additional hate (if only minor).

    The rest:

    There are pretty much only 2 categories of playable burn spells. Lightning Bolts, and alternatives. I'll say it right now, I can't see any Modern Burn list not running the 16 bolts listed above (Lightning Bolt, Lava Spike, Rift Bolt, Shard Volley). They are the mainstay of consistency for the deck, and they can simply be unfair in large numbers.

    The alternatives are cards that can serve purposes outside of dealing direct damage, but, and this is important; While still being able to deal direct damage, or dealing direct damage in addition to their other effects. From the above list we have: Magma Jet, Flamebreak, and Flames of the Bloodhand. Each is capable of additional benefit to the list without impacting our ability to simply draw a spell off the top that will have an immediate effect. Flames is probably the worst of the three, but it gives us a spell with a bit more reach, and can be beneficial against lifegain. But it's narrowness in inability to hit creatures, might make it less desirable than something like Flame Javelin.
    Last edited by Tom: 7/20/2012 2:09:42 AM
    I edit after I post... just a heads up.

    Currently Running
    Legacy: Burn; Various Stompy's; Food Chain Goblins; FC Elves
    Standard: Junk Super Friends, Elf-Wave
    Elder Dragon Highlander: Animar, Skithiryx, Bosh, Konda, Wort, Ezuri, Patron of the Moon
  • #2
    i really like the list, except for 2 cards. Flames of the Bloodhand is not worth it and Shard Volley is too risky/situational.

    i think it would be better to go +4 incinerate and +4 searing blaze, or something similar.

    just my 2 cents.
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  • #3
    there is a primer for this already, titled "red deck wins", and includes burn.


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  • #4
    I approve of the incinerate plan. Blaze is tricky without fetchlands.
  • #5
    Quote from tomathan88
    there is a primer for this already, titled "red deck wins", and includes burn.


    OK, but they're not remotely the same decks. While it may be a catchall for now, it's going to be too unreasonable to maintain all the different mono red archetypes under one thread.

    Also, I agree on Flames, there should be something else, but it will need to be felt out. However, Shard Volley is a Lightning Bolt. That's more or less where the discussion ends. It's only situational if you have no mountains, or are casting before other lightning bolts, which shouldn't happen.

    And Searing Blaze is a sideboard option, sadly, it's hard to pull off properly, but also a terrible if not dead draw against certain decks.
    I edit after I post... just a heads up.

    Currently Running
    Legacy: Burn; Various Stompy's; Food Chain Goblins; FC Elves
    Standard: Junk Super Friends, Elf-Wave
    Elder Dragon Highlander: Animar, Skithiryx, Bosh, Konda, Wort, Ezuri, Patron of the Moon
  • #6
    Quote from Eseph
    OK, but they're not remotely the same decks. While it may be a catchall for now, it's going to be too unreasonable to maintain all the different mono red archetypes under one thread.

    Also, I agree on Flames, there should be something else, but it will need to be felt out. However, Shard Volley is a Lightning Bolt. That's more or less where the discussion ends. It's only situational if you have no mountains, or are casting before other lightning bolts, which shouldn't happen.

    And Searing Blaze is a sideboard option, sadly, it's hard to pull off properly, but also a terrible if not dead draw against certain decks.


    agreed, rdw and burn are very different decks.

    searing blaze works better in versions of the deck that run grim lavamancer and fetch lands i suppose.

    edit: i think this is the list i would run personally.

    -spooky-'s DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Land: 20
    12 Mountain
    4 Arid Mesa
    4 Scalding Tarn

    Creatures: 16
    4 Goblin Guide
    4 Hellspark Elemental
    4 Keldon Marauders
    4 Grim Lavamancer

    Spells: 24
    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 lava spike
    4 Rift Bolt
    4 Incinerate
    4 Searing Blaze
    4 flamebreak

    You can find all Squandered Resources: Budget Legacy articles here.

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  • #7
    What about Browbeat? Either way they do it, it is useful to you. Main concern is that it is a sorcery so it can slow you down.
    Truth has a liberal bias.
  • #8
    What about Browbeat? Either way they do it, it is useful to you. Main concern is that it is a sorcery so it can slow you down.


    I was going to do a little blurb about Browbeat, because, well, it looks tempting. But as Admiral Ackbar famously said... It's a trap!

    Sorry, had to. The thing is Browbeat will never get you the outcome you want/need. It can never be the topdeck that kills someone, and without access to Fireblast there's even less reason to consider it.

    Here is a good article going through a long (very long) description of the processes involved in the card, and why it's less than it seems.
    I edit after I post... just a heads up.

    Currently Running
    Legacy: Burn; Various Stompy's; Food Chain Goblins; FC Elves
    Standard: Junk Super Friends, Elf-Wave
    Elder Dragon Highlander: Animar, Skithiryx, Bosh, Konda, Wort, Ezuri, Patron of the Moon
  • #9
    Quote from -spooky-
    agreed, rdw and burn are very different decks.

    searing blaze works better in versions of the deck that run grim lavamancer and fetch lands i suppose.

    edit: i think this is the list i would run personally.

    Green00troll's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Land: 20
    12 Mountain
    4 Arid Mesa
    4 Scalding Tarn

    Creatures: 16
    4 Goblin Guide
    4 Hellspark Elemental
    4 Keldon Marauders
    4 Grim Lavamancer

    Spells: 24
    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 lava spike
    4 Rift Bolt
    4 Incinerate
    4 Searing Blaze
    4 flamebreak



    This is close to what I run, and I would call this more of a RDW deck. One critical distinction I feel is RDW's has Grim Lavamancerand Burn doesn't (and usually only 12 creatures). Burn is balls-to-the-wall damage every turn, but is really topdeck dependant. RDW is slower, has more repeatable sources of damage (like creatures) and has a few more control cards like Searing Blaze, Arc Trail and Flame Javelin.
    Last edited by Green00troll: 8/21/2011 9:55:03 PM
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  • #10
    less hellspark elemental, more Pun Fire

    4 Goblin Guide
    4 Keldon Marauders
    4 Grim Lavamancer
    4 Tarmogoyf

    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Punishing Fire
    4 Searing Blaze
    4 Lava Spike
    4 Rift Bolt
    4 Shard Volley

    4 Grove of the Burnwillows
    4 Scalding Tarn
    4 Arid Mesa
    1 Stomping Ground
    7 Mountain
    Last edited by Oatus: 8/13/2011 12:40:54 AM
  • #11
    I think Figure of Destiny is a 100% auto include. Just not sure on the nuber of them. Leaning towards 3. I think 4 is too much. 2 might be ok. I'd replace Keldon Marauders with it.
  • #12
    Quote from lancelot123
    I think Figure of Destiny is a 100% auto include. Just not sure on the nuber of them. Leaning towards 3. I think 4 is too much. 2 might be ok. I'd replace Keldon Marauders with it.


    No?

    I can only assume that means TL;DR? Given that it flies in the face of everything I was talking about. Figure might belong in RDW, but this is not RDW, and a mana sink that is an atrocious top deck will never replace the most consistent creature in the deck.
    I edit after I post... just a heads up.

    Currently Running
    Legacy: Burn; Various Stompy's; Food Chain Goblins; FC Elves
    Standard: Junk Super Friends, Elf-Wave
    Elder Dragon Highlander: Animar, Skithiryx, Bosh, Konda, Wort, Ezuri, Patron of the Moon
  • #13
    A common question that keeps popping up in my mind is:

    "what is the downside of adding 4x Goyf + 1x Dual Land to this deck"

    Edit: Not just with the Burn RDWish decks, but in general for every deck with the exception of Tempered Steel et al
  • #14
    A card that might consider some testing is Shrine of Burning Rage, it just gives you so much power and shortens the clock drastically for any sort of control deck. Seems fairly clunky but it can give a very powerful effect.
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  • #15
    Modern Sligh-BurnMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Creatures (15)
    4 Goblin Guide
    3 Grim Lavamancer
    4 Hellspark Elemental
    4 Keldon Marauders

    Burn (25)
    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Lava Spike
    4 Rift Bolt
    4 Burst Lightning
    4 Incinerate
    3 Searing Blaze
    2 Browbeat

    Land (20)
    4 Scalding Tarn
    4 Arid Mesa
    12 Mountain



    Arc Trails in the SB should probably be something else. I know, Browbeat will never win the game, but honestly I like it more for the draw in a deck that has none and so many cheap ways to hit you. I am perfectly fine getting either effect of the card at any time during a game.
  • #16
    I've got an initial question before approaching this archetype: why, with Goblin Guide, Grim Lavamancer, Rift Bolt, Keldon Marauder, noone is actually playing Stormblood Berserker?
  • #17
    Quote from DraeK
    I've got an initial question before approaching this archetype: why, with Goblin Guide, Grim Lavamancer, Rift Bolt, Keldon Marauder, noone is actually playing Stormblood Berserker?


    It probably deserves testing, but the thing is, it's too dependent on having burn in hand, and is an absolutely terrible topdeck. Hellspark Elemental is a lot better.
  • #18
    Quote from shadowfuryix
    It probably deserves testing, but the thing is, it's too dependent on having burn in hand, and is an absolutely terrible topdeck. Hellspark Elemental is a lot better.


    And we both agree on this. But a creature line up like this could be that bad?
    DraeK's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Goblin Guide
    4 Grim Lavamancer
    4 Stormblood Berserker
    4 Hellspark Elemental
    4 Keldon Marauder



    I could definitely see this deck going towards the old 20/20/20 split..
  • #19
    Because that is a Red Deck wins kind of line up. Not a Burn line up. The important thing to keep in mind is that even Grim Lavamancer does not belong in this archetype. He's too slow, too prone to removal, and too awful a draw off the top. As I had said in the initial post, of all the creatures available to us, Goblin Guide, and Keldon Marauders are probably the ONLY ones worth running. Hellspark Elemental squeaks in on mitigating factors, but the important distinction is that unlike alternative creatures, he will deal damage the turn it hits play.

    Read it as this: If the creature can't immediately double as a burn spell when drawn off the top of your library, it's not even worth considering.

    Creatures that don't fit the criteria just give the opponent something to do with their otherwise worthless removal, and lessens the deck's virtual card advantage. This is the same reason I didn't immediately include Shrine of Burning Rage, though it's definitely worth testing. Because it gives Zoo (and other decks) something to take away from you, and it doesn't work as a very good draw off the top (it's completely dead).
    I edit after I post... just a heads up.

    Currently Running
    Legacy: Burn; Various Stompy's; Food Chain Goblins; FC Elves
    Standard: Junk Super Friends, Elf-Wave
    Elder Dragon Highlander: Animar, Skithiryx, Bosh, Konda, Wort, Ezuri, Patron of the Moon
  • #20
    One creature I sorta like is Mudbrawler Cohort. If you go Turn 1 Goblin Guide, you can go turn 2 Cohort and swing for 4. Turn three you go Hellspark Elemental. Turn 4 you win.
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  • #21
    One thing we need to remember is that the card has to have an IMMEDIATE effect upon entering the board. Burn puts itself into topdeck position remarkably fast and as such it needs to be consistent. Additionally, it needs to have that effect by itself. Cards like Mudbrawler Cohort or Shrine of Burning Rage do jack-diddly-squat when you're staring down lethal damage on the board or the combo that's going to kill you. Cards that require another card to be useful (ala reverberate or Stormblood berserker) look promising at first, but end up being drastically subpar when we get into situations where we need immediate gas.

    Additionally, we need to consider the guaranteed and potential damage that each card possesses. Realistically a permanent card we play will likely survive 1-2 turns so anything past that is unremarkable. That's why shard volley is good in this deck, That one land sacrifice doesn't matter if you're killing the opponent that turn - you can generally afford to sacrifice up to three lands to kill your opponent. The gold standard for burn is 1 mana for 3 damage, silver is 2 mana for 3 damage, bronze is 2 mana for 2 damage with a really good effect.

    For example;
    Lightning bolt - 3 potential, 3 guaranteed
    Keldon Marauders - 5 potential, 2 guaranteed.

    Goblin Guide gets the nod because it can realistically produce 4-6 damage against control decks. Two Goblin Guides in the opening hand will usually produce 6-10 damage against slower decks.
    Last edited by G L J: 8/13/2011 7:22:42 AM

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  • #22
    How does Burn stop the early Sundering Titan that #-Post can put out?
    Truth has a liberal bias.
  • #23
    How does Burn stop the early Sundering Titan that #-Post can put out?


    You burn out your opponent. Destroying one land is almost irrelevant to burn, especially if it is turn 3-4 (the normal turn for a Titan). That is burn's normal kill turn.

    I believe burn is almost required to consider Blood Moon in this format with decks like 12-Post running Glimmerposts.
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  • #24
    How does Burn stop the early Sundering Titan that #-Post can put out?


    Direct damage?
    WoTC, thank you for finally announcing the Modern format, an eternal format where everyone can participate.
  • #25
    Quote from Ember_Twilight
    One creature I sorta like is Mudbrawler Cohort. If you go Turn 1 Goblin Guide, you can go turn 2 Cohort and swing for 4. Turn three you go Hellspark Elemental. Turn 4 you win.


    Cohort seems like a vastly inferior Guide. It's also dependent on having a red creature, thus making it a bad topdeck. Again outclassed by Hellspark.

    It's already been said, but I'll say it again: Barring Goblin Guide, our cards need to rip at least 3 damage off the top to be worthwhile. 4-damage-for-3-mana cards are also not worth it. My list would probably look like:

    shadowfuryix's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Goblin Guide
    4 Keldon Marauders
    4 Hellspark Elemental

    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Rift Bolt
    4 Lava Spike
    4 Shard Volley
    4 Incinerate
    4 Magma Jet
    4 Manamorphose

    20 Mountain



    I realize perfectly well that Manamorphose is suboptimal and not used in Legacy, but here we do not really have any viable alternatives that use mana effectively, so a cantrip will do in a pinch.


    EDIT: We may want to consider splashing white for Lightning Helix, and also 2-damage-for-1-mana cards such as Burst Lightning or Firebolt.
    Last edited by shadowfuryix: 8/13/2011 9:13:46 AM
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