What are the best burn spells in standard?

  • #1
    I don't really play red ever, and I'm looking for decent burn spells in addition to Incinerate and Disintegrate. I could just go onto gatherer and spend hours looking through what's standard legal, but that sucks. Instead I thought I'd ask here. Thanks in advance!
  • #2
    Rift Bolt is still pretty good.

    Lash Out is a decent Incinerate knock-off, with Scry 1 and a chance to be 6 damage for two mana.
  • #3
    Depends on the deck.

    Tarfire sees a lot of play because it's +2 for Tarmogoyf.

    Lash Out sees play in both the many and SB of many red decks, it smooths out draws and it's 3 damage for 2 mana is good for combating other creature decks.

    Thunderblade Charge is reusble damage, and can turn a late game 1/1 into a threat with 5 mana setting on your side of the table.

    Beacon Of Destruction sometimes sees play in those Mana Ramp decks.

    I'd have to saw those are the better of the options out there. Of course there is always Ghostfire, Shock and Fiery Temper, but all of those lack the oomph for serious competitive play.

  • #4
    Rift Bolt, Skred and Molten Disaster are probably the most efficient spells in their own categories.

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  • #5
    I have to agree with koschei, that Molten Disaster is amazing. Especially in the new competitive deck, Mono Red Snow Control, but it can find it's place in many other decks too.
    Standard:
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  • #6
    Y is it that everyone forgets ghostfire! gets straight past pro-red! so cost wise its not amazing but the colorless part makes it great.
  • #7
    Quote from dodo
    Y is it that everyone forgets ghostfire! gets straight past pro-red! so cost wise its not amazing but the colorless part makes it great.


    What's relevant that has pro-red? Hmmm.... Nothing? Paladin en-Vec and Burrenton Forge Tender are the only things I can think of but they aren't played much and by no means justify running ghostfire (unless your meta is full of these cards).
  • #8
    Question: Is Sudden Shock worth talking about?
  • #9
    if ur meta is 90% control it is...

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  • #10
    Quote from evil_weevil_666
    if ur meta is 90% control it is...


    It's not horrible even otherwise, as a lot of decks run Martyr either main or side, and without a clock like Dstorm in the format, decks can afford to run slower burn that usual in compensation. Which is, more or less, still another argument for Ghostfire, as, while not very efficient, it still does deal 3 damage for 1 card, and it can serve nicely as the last spell to cap a game off.

    Also, a good portion of the time, Lash Out is horrible. Don't run it. The only real scenario that it's even playable in is when you treat it as early game removal with slight benefits (Scry 1, mostly), as its almost impossible to use aggressively. If you need burn to stall with, its fine, but a good portion of the time it either can't find a target, with only a 40 or so percent chance of winning the clash in every other situation.

    Tarfire is fine as a Shock, but its a bit inefficient at 1 card for 2 damage without Tarmogoyf, or, if your playing Goblins, Wort, in the same deck. Its a bit underwhelming as far as efficiency goes, but its okay. I'd probably say Ghostfire if your also running the mana to back up a decent Disintegrate, as a slower format, as said above, allows for slower burn. Splashing Blue for Psionic Blast is always an option, if you need it. If you are actually looking for fast damage, Brute Force is okay as a straight damage spell in the early game, as its still 1 card for three damage, even if it does have drawbacks (although, most of the time, the 1 CC makes up for it). If your playing enough burn so that its significant, your usually not worrying too much about card economy in the first place. Although, it would definitely be helpful if you were to give an outline for the rest of the deck; it's hard to gauge what speeds are viable without context.

  • #11
    Quote from ShadowBlaze
    What's relevant that has pro-red? Hmmm.... Nothing? Paladin en-Vec and Burrenton Forge Tender are the only things I can think of but they aren't played much and by no means justify running ghostfire (unless your meta is full of these cards).


    Lol, I would say a player with story circle. you can't prevent a colorless spell. lol.

    It depends, how do you define burn??? Is it the type that burn creatures, or the one that hits only creatures, or the one that hits only players, or the one that hits both?

    Anyway, I would say Rift Bolt, psionic blast, incinerate, tarfire(better than shock in most decks), Fiery Temper(better than Incinerate in certain decks), Molten Disaster, sulfurous blast, chandra, disintegrate if you want to hit both.

    If you want to hit only critters. there's lash out, pyroclasm, skred, dead//gone.

    that's all I the best burn in standard I think. Lol.
    Last edited by MTGS_User17083: 11/3/2007 8:27:16 PM
  • #12
    Quote from Lhefriel_Medies »
    Also, a good portion of the time, Lash Out is horrible. Don't run it. The only real scenario that it's even playable in is when you treat it as early game removal with slight benefits (Scry 1, mostly), as its almost impossible to use aggressively. If you need burn to stall with, its fine, but a good portion of the time it either can't find a target, with only a 40 or so percent chance of winning the clash in every other situation.


    You clearly don't understand the usefulness of Lash Out as a sideboard option for red decks. It's not often main-decked because it's not good in all match-ups, however it's 3 instant speed damage for 1R which is good in it's own right. You board it in against the match ups where removing creatures to get in damage with your own is often more important then being able to go to the face with burn. If you they have no targets 9 times out of 10 you should be winning in the first place, so the fact you can't get in with Lash Out to the dome doesn't matter. The Clash part of the card is just sort of there, but it's not useless even if it doesn't hit the player you get to look at your top card and keep it or sock it to the bottom of your library.

  • #13
    Quote from Babbler
    You clearly don't understand the usefulness of Lash Out as a sideboard option for red decks. It's not often main-decked because it's not good in all match-ups, however it's 3 instant speed damage for 1R which is good in it's own right. You board it in against the match ups where removing creatures to get in damage with your own is often more important then being able to go to the face with burn. If you they have no targets 9 times out of 10 you should be winning in the first place, so the fact you can't get in with Lash Out to the dome doesn't matter. The Clash part of the card is just sort of there, but it's not useless even if it doesn't hit the player you get to look at your top card and keep it or sock it to the bottom of your library.


    Sideboard against creature decks? If I can find room, almost definitely. Main deck? Inversely, almost definitely not. Very probably not for fast builds of aggro either, as shooting a creature is usually left to 1 mana spells there, as clearing the way for attacks usually isn't quite as valuable as late game reach, and where, more often than you would think, using the mana to remove a creature for two usually severely hurts the decks tempo; oftentimes, Shock variants fill the role much better. For decks more focused on staying power, then yes, it could be extremely valuable, if you can make room in the board for it. Similarly, I'm fairly sure that the original poster was asking for burn spells to maindeck, not board; at least, that's what I do with cards I consider to be the best of any particular subset in any particular format.

  • #14
    Quote from Lhefriel_Medies
    Sideboard against creature decks? If I can find room, almost definitely. Main deck? Inversely, almost definitely not. Very probably not for fast builds of aggro either, as shooting a creature is usually left to 1 mana spells there, as clearing the way for attacks usually isn't quite as valuable as late game reach, and where, more often than you would think, using the mana to remove a creature for two usually severely hurts the decks tempo; oftentimes, Shock variants fill the role much better. For decks more focused on staying power, then yes, it could be extremely valuable, if you can make room in the board for it. Similarly, I'm fairly sure that the original poster was asking for burn spells to maindeck, not board; at least, that's what I do with cards I consider to be the best of any particular subset in any particular format.


    Yeah, well I'm not sure how you've trouble with SB slots in a format swarming with 3/3 elves, elephants, beasts, and double Cenn draws, and 3/3 normally 2/2 white weenies singing a Glorious Anthem, all of which Shock variants don't kill, and said 3/3's stand like a wall against the 1/1's of most red decks. You find room for cards like that in the board, cause they stop things you can't otherwise handle often. Not all that hard in fact, most of the RG list that top 8'ed at States and are doing well in the GP have Lash Out either in the SB and even some in the main.

    Fact of the matter Lash Out is great right now, test it and see, don't talk about theories, when I can present you with facts proven through lots of hours of testing.

    I guess the "Best Sideboard Options" were not a particular subset of any particular format that you think about often either.
    Last edited by dday3six: 11/3/2007 9:29:40 PM

  • #15

    Standart :
    :symw::symu::symb::symr::symg: Five Color Control :symw::symu::symb::symr::symg:
    :symu::symb: Shadowmage Prowler :symu::symb:
    :symg::symb: Elves :symg::symb:
    Extended :
    :symw::symu:Control Freak:symw::symu:
    :symu::symg:Isao's Cloak:symu::symg:
  • #16
    Quote from Babbler
    Yeah, well I'm not sure how you've trouble with SB slots in a format swarming with 3/3 elves, elephants, beasts, and double Cenn draws, all of which Shock variants don't kill, and said 3/3's stand like a wall against the 1/1's of most red decks. You find room for cards like that in the board, not all that hard in fact, most of the RG list that top 8'ed at States and are doing well in the GP have Lash Out either in the SB and even some in the main.

    Fact of the matter Lash Out is great right now, test it and see, don't talk about theories, when I can present you with facts proven through lots of hours of testing.

    I guess the "Best Sideboard Options" were not a particular subset of any particular format that you think about often either.


    Usually, all of the cards you named can be raced, rather than actually preparing for them; notice how I specified the difference between faster builds of aggro and ones aiming for a more lasting late game power, such as the more recent builds of Greater Goyf. Most of which, coincidentally, have Martyr of Ashes maindecked as a viable 1-drop, which happens to answer most of those situations much better than Lash Out can, if an answer is actually needed. The main problem you've stated would be the Vanquisher, of which can Incinerate can probably be spared to; Elves is one of most aggressive red deck's worst matchups anyways, so there's not a whole lot to gain from argument there. Shock variants usually answer double Cenn draws anyways; leaving mana open is tech, especially when they've been fleshing out their board on turns 2 and 3. And breaking the Cenn drops up is more than easily answered via small burn.

    Coincidentally, I can present long hours of testing on contrast to yours; I've tested with Rg aggro just as much as you have, if not more. Although I guess I'm particularly infamous on this particular site for relying on theories, I test in addition to that. Not to mention that most of my theories are based off of that same testing, and a good portion of them turn out to be true. Personally, I couldn't find Blood Knights in time for my Rg list in time for States, and I ran Lash Outs instead for lack of anything better. I hated them; I quite literally sided them out every single game for the Sudden Shocks in my board, as they never actually did what I wanted them to. The impact they had on the game was almost always minimal, and I always wished that they were an actual burn spell, no matter how slow. The fact is, Lash Out is more like a poor Magma Jet than anything else; it ability to randomly, rarely, deal 3 damage is fairly unconsiderable. I top 8'd States too, even with a gimped list, coincidentally. Just because it was run doesn't mean that those particular decisions were right.

    And, I've found it to be poor maindeck and fair in the sideboard. I've considered it, but, personally, I've found there to be much, much better uses for the slots otherwise devoted to it. Maybe your testing went differently, but I didn't think that it was ever entirely worthwhile to have them in either place.

  • #17
    Quote from Lhefriel_Medies
    Also, a good portion of the time, Lash Out is horrible. Don't run it. The only real scenario that it's even playable in is when you treat it as early game removal with slight benefits (Scry 1, mostly), as its almost impossible to use aggressively. If you need burn to stall with, its fine, but a good portion of the time it either can't find a target, with only a 40 or so percent chance of winning the clash in every other situation.


    Lash Out is a mvp in the Rg deck sideboard. It kills so much for 2 mana, and it has the added effect of potentially dealing 3 damage. It's very good. Not only should you "find room" but you should prob run 4 of them.
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  • #18
    Quote from SRdude
    Lash Out is a mvp in the Rg deck sideboard. It kills so much for 2 mana, and it has the added effect of potentially dealing 3 damage. It's very good. Not only should you "find room" but you should prob run 4 of them.


    I've found and tested differently...

  • #19
    Quote from Lhefriel_Medies
    I've found and tested differently...


    You've found and tested incorrectly. Or at least you disagree with me, asher, greg, and the rest of the ny/nj players who've made the deck what it is. Lash Out is so good vs elves. Elves is prob in Rg's favor pre-boar, but than you just smash them afterwards (especially because threaten isn't as hot vs them). There are a ton of targets for lash out, ranging from morphs to beat tokens, elves to kithkin, merfolk, to goblins. Pretty much any aggressive deck that utilizes men worth killing with toughness equal to or les than 3 is a prime candidate to be lashed out at. The effectiveness of an incinerate that hits creature and sometimes player is pretty clear.

    Edit: Where did you T8 states, and with what? Maybe this could help me take a peek from your pov about why lash out isn't terrific.
    Last edited by SRdude: 11/3/2007 10:17:58 PM
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  • #20
    Quote from Lhefriel_Medies »
    Usually, all of the cards you named can be raced, rather than actually preparing for them; notice how I specified the difference between faster builds of aggro and ones aiming for a more lasting late game power, such as the more recent builds of Greater Goyf. Most of which, coincidentally, have Martyr of Ashes maindecked as a viable 1-drop, which happens to answer most of those situations much better than Lash Out can, if an answer is actually needed. The main problem you've stated would be the Vanquisher, of which can Incinerate can probably be spared to; Elves is one of most aggressive red deck's worst matchups anyways, so there's not a whole lot to gain from argument there. Shock variants usually answer double Cenn draws anyways; leaving mana open is tech, especially when they've been fleshing out their board on turns 2 and 3. And breaking the Cenn drops up is more than easily answered via small burn.


    Racing is a bad idea, you want to be able to be reactive to the board state, that's almost always been true. You can't always draw Martyr, and even if you do, you're likely to only get one of, and you damn them they're going to keep playing creatures. Also you can't always not tap out on your turn and keep out. Those I call opening, and most all decks are always looking for them. Sadin Red plays the role of a control deck against most aggro match ups, and think about it for a moment, Control plays Damnation similar to Martyr for the red deck, it's a sweeper effect, but Control also has spot removal like Maw, Pact etc, like I said after a sweeper effect they are not going to stop playing creatures, and that's what Lash Out is, spot removal.

    Quote from Lhefriel_Medies »
    Coincidentally, I can present long hours of testing on contrast to yours; I've tested with Rg aggro just as much as you have, if not more.


    I test more in a week then most people work a job, so somehow I doubt that.


    Quote from Lhefriel_Medies »
    Although I guess I'm particularly infamous on this particular site for relying on theories, I test in addition to that. Not to mention that most of my theories are based off of that same testing, and a good portion of them turn out to be true.


    Well that's because you are often found saying things on the site that completely differ from the testing results of many people as well as the testing results stated in numerous articles written by pro magic players.

    Quote from Lhefriel_Medies »
    Personally, I couldn't find Blood Knights in time for my Rg list in time for States, and I ran Lash Outs instead for lack of anything better. I hated them; I quite literally sided them out every single game for the Sudden Shocks in my board, as they never actually did what I wanted them to. The impact they had on the game was almost always minimal, and I always wished that they were an actual burn spell, no matter how slow. The fact is, Lash Out is more like a poor Magma Jet than anything else; it ability to randomly, rarely, deal 3 damage is fairly unconsiderable. I top 8'd States too, even with a gimped list, coincidentally. Just because it was run doesn't mean that those particular decisions were right.

    And, I've found it to be poor maindeck and fair in the sideboard. I've considered it, but, personally, I've found there to be much, much better uses for the slots otherwise devoted to it. Maybe your testing went differently, but I didn't think that it was ever entirely worthwhile to have them in either place.


    That would be different from most of the magic community's expierence with Lash Out.

  • #21
    Quote from SRdude
    You've found and tested incorrectly. Or at least you disagree with me, asher, greg, and the rest of the ny/nj players who've made the deck what it is. Lash Out is so good vs elves. Elves is prob in Rg's favor pre-boar, but than you just smash them afterwards (especially because threaten isn't as hot vs them). There are a ton of targets for lash out, ranging from morphs to beat tokens, elves to kithkin, merfolk, to goblins. Pretty much any aggressive deck that utilizes men worth killing with toughness equal to or les than 3 is a prime candidate to be lashed out at. The effectiveness of an incinerate that hits creature and sometimes player is pretty clear.

    Edit: Where did you T8 states, and with what? Maybe this could help me take a peek from your pov about why lash out isn't terrific.


    The thing is... I do. My build is probably different than yours, as I cut the Gargodons, and then the War-Marshals, to make the Mannequin matchup a bit easier as well as to be able to play around the massive amounts of removal in the format in general. Which also let me lower my land count and increase my threat density, etc... Essentially trading consistency for raw power. And, most of the time, I've found that when I've had two mana unoccupied, I'd rather either play multiple spells at once, or just start throwing burn at the opponent's face. Most of my physical damage takes place between turns 1 and 3, as it should, which means that by the time control starts playing creatures, I would rather just be playing burn spells to win the game, and I would rather the Lash Out to be an actual burn spell, or that I could achieve the same result for less mana through a Tarfire, or something similar. That is to say, if I didn't have something better to do with my 2 mana; around the time I would Lash Out, I could also play the 'Goyf, which is, I'm sure that you would agree, a much preferable alternative in any matchup that Lash Out is actually relevant in. The fact that it only was useful when a creature was on the board kind of put it off for me, especially since most everything I wanted to kill ended up below or above it. I will admit that I haven't tested the Elves matchup extensively, so I can't say for sure how strong the card is there, but for every single other matchup I would have always rather have had a Shock (Dead//Gone, Tarfire, whatever) to be able to play another spell after the removal to take advantage of it, or a straight up burn spell. The only games where I ever would have rather had a Lash Out were more or less just Elves and Changeling Zoo, and neither of those is excessively popular at the moment; nobody even plays either in my particular area. Shock variants are much better in almost every other matchup, as you do the same thing for half the mana cost. Maybe if Wren's Run Vanquisher becomes an extremely serious threat, I'll try adding a few lands and boarding them, but there are very few other situations; a Llanowar Reborn (in Elves) even ensures that Lash Out doesn't work, and while that may not be too prominent, Elves just has roadblocks no matter what you do. Like I said, I cut Gargodon, so I really have no true advantage in keeping the board completely clear; and even if I didn't, Elves has so many solutions to it anyways. Inner-Flame Acolyte is always willing to trade if absolutely necessary, and Elves is a horrible matchup for my variant anyways, so I'm more or less ignoring it for the time being unless it accelerates to major popularity.

    And I did face control twice and TurboFog (I know, I know) once, so I guess that my results with them at states may have been a bit biased. But still, I would have much, much rather had a Shock variant almost every time I actually had a target for it. And I got the same result over and over every time I tested the deck online. Like I said before, I did build differently than you, so that may have something to do with it, but... I really don't think that it can really qualify as one of the "best burn spells in standard", as its not really burn; its more like a Last Gasp that Scrys than anything, as I've won the clash I believe a grand total of twice.

    Edit: Wow; pros like Lash Out. Yay... I guess it's time to abandon all of my free will and opinions, because, holy crap, pros like Lash Out. Because, it's not as good as or worse than a Shock in almost every matchup that you've cited besides Elves, which, like I've said above, is a horrible matchup for my variant, and, for the time being, I'm ignoring. Similarly, this is almost exactly a carbon copy of every single removal vs. business card argument; I really don't think that this is really going to end up going anywhere fast. Similarly, for the first example... in most aggro matchups, Shock does almost whatever you want Lash Out to do, only better; it basically comes down to the universal Scry 1 against the halved mana cost. I know which one I choose.
    Last edited by Lhefriel_Medies: 11/3/2007 10:49:11 PM

  • #22
    Quote from Lhefriel_Medies
    Edit: Wow; pros like Lash Out. Yay... I guess it's time to abandon all of my free will and opinions, because, holy crap, pros like Lash Out. Because, it's not as good as or worse than a Shock in almost every matchup that you've cited besides Elves, which, like I've said above, is a horrible matchup for my variant, and, for the time being, I'm ignoring. Similarly, this is almost exactly a carbon copy of every single removal vs. business card argument; I really don't think that this is really going to end up going anywhere fast. Similarly, for the first example... in most aggro matchups, Shock does almost whatever you want Lash Out to do, only better; it basically comes down to the universal Scry 1 against the halved mana cost. I know which one I choose.


    Shock kills 1/1's and 2/2's, but not 3/3 elephant or beast tokens, 2/2's with Anthem back up, Vanishers, double +1/+1 lord situations when you were tapped out or didn't have a burn spell in hand, 3/4 Ironfoots who blocked a 1/1, so on and so forth. Lash out simply has more flex then Shock because it kills more things, things which will likely kill you before you ever get the other player to 2 life and can finish them off with a Shock.

  • #23
    Quote from Lhefriel_Medies
    I cut the Gargodons, and then the War-Marshals


    It's somewhat difficult to take your post too seriously after this. Those cards are part of the reason that you play the deck in the first place.
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  • #24


    + Lash Out, in my opinion. Tarfire too, if your deck uses Tarmogoyf. Otherwise, DON'T.
  • #25
    Quote from BweeBwee
    It's somewhat difficult to take your post too seriously after this. Those cards are part of the reason that you play the deck in the first place.


    Um... no? The reason I personally play the deck is because of the ability to create a fairly consistent early game pressure while still being able to run the reach I need to maintain a late game against other decks. I played Gargodon to give me a better matchup against Teachings, to give the deck the lategame push it needed, as well as to foil Tendrils and Helix. Most of those cards are gone now, and the current deck to beat is entirely based on a recurring removal engine. Not to mention, Oblivion Rings and Planeswalkers gives even aggro decks a reason to MD reasonable removal, which greatly lowers its significance. It's definitely good, no doubt about it, but I just prefer to have other cards over it to support speed.

    Quote from Babbler
    Shock kills 1/1's and 2/2's, but not 3/3 elephant or beast tokens, 2/2's with Anthem back up, Vanishers, double +1/+1 lord situations when you were tapped out or didn't have a burn spell in hand, 3/4 Ironfoots who blocked a 1/1, so on and so forth. Lash out simply has more flex then Shock because it kills more things, things which will likely kill you before you ever get the other player to 2 life and can finish them off with a Shock.


    It also costs twice as much, and has a pretty linear use; Shock can at least finish the game for me if I need it, but Lash Out always needs to hit a creature. For what I need it for, Shock is perfectly fine; removal to gain tempo against decks based around creatures. The main problem with removal like Lash Out is that you pay as much for the spell as they do for the creature you remove, which, while often good for card quality, is bad tempo economy when your deck's purpose is to win as fast as possible. I'll need to reconsider Lash Out if everyone else has had such different perspective, but it doesn't seem extremely promising, in my honest opinion.
    Last edited by Lhefriel_Medies: 11/3/2007 11:23:55 PM

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