Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers,
Mathew from GenericBadMagic here for you with the third of four decks taken to GP Birmingham by my playgroup. This particular deck is an exciting, new, creature-centric take on Burn which made it to a 3-6 record in the main event. It was designed completely by Matthew Tidcombe, who plays out of Abbey Video Games in Arbroath, Scotland. Let’s take a look at the list!
4x Seeker of the Way
4x Soulfire Grand Master
4x Boros Reckoner
4x Thunderbreak Regent
4x Monastery Swiftspear
4x Vexing Devil
Monastary Swiftspear is a staple one-drop in Burn and naturally makes an appearance here with eighteen mainboard spells of the non-creature variety to trigger Prowess. Following a similar theme Seeker of the Way also appears with Prowess and the additional benefit of gaining Lifelink until the end of the turn if you cast a non-creature spell, helping you to stay ahead on life total or make a trade during combat more favourable. To finish off the Khans of Tarkir complement of creatures we have Soulfire Grand Master a two-drop who already has Lifelink and a static ability that gives all of your Instant and Sorcery spells Lifelink too! This means Lightning Bolt puts six points between you and your opponents while Lightning Helix becomes a nine point swing.
Vexing Devils acts as a psuedo-burn spell, offering the opponent the opportunity to take four damage immediately, forcing you to sacrifice it, or having to trade with it later in combat or by using a removal spell, possibly taking more damage in the long-term. Boros Reckoner is excellent against any creature heavy deck or strategy involving targeted spells which deal damage as it can hit back for the same amount, but at target creature or player. Thunderbreak Regent has a similar effect, dealing Lightning Bolt damage to any player who dares to target her with a spell or ability whilst also being a 4/4 Flying threat for four mana… Pretty sweet deal I would say.
2x Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Chandra can really help this deck live on into the late game, with her ability to create mana by adding one loyalty counter she can assist with casting your burn spells, she can also add one counter to offer card advantage by exiling the top card of your library but allowing you to cast it, but if you can’t or don’t want to cast it she will act as a repeatable shock to each opponent. Her ability to remove three counters and deal four damage to target creature can serve as solid spot removal for most mid-sized threats and if you manage to get her to seven loyalty you can remove all counters from her and deal five damage to target creature or player whenever you cast any spell for the remainder of the game! If you play red and you need to have some level of control on the game then Chandra, Torch of Defiance is for you.
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Boros Charm
4x Lightning Helix
4x Deflecting Palm
Now we have four burn staples to tie the deck together. Lightning Bolt does what it’s been doing best since the dawn of Magic, dealing three damage either to a creature or to the dome. What this deck does though is make Bolt even better, allowing you to gain three life via Soulfire Grand Master turns Bolt into a cheaper Lightning Helix and even turns Helix into something much better! Boros Charm can really help push through some extra damage, make your permanents Indestructible or even give a creature Double-Strike until the end of the turn all while triggering prowess on your Swiftspears or Seekers. Last up is Deflecting Palm, useful in not just preventing lethal damage, but reversing it and since Palm is doing the damage, you still gain life from Soulfire Grand Master’s ability.
4x Sacred Foundry
4x Inspiring Vantage
One thing about this deck which did concern me was the mana base, eighteen land feels like too little and to be honest I feel like the extra three or even four would have allowed this list to go a lot further in the main event. Too many times we would hear that the deck was mana screwed but this was always put down to bad luck. I’m not so convinced and if this were my own list the likely drop-out would be Thunderbreak Regent (due to no dragon synergy) for a playset of Arid Mesa, thinning the deck out slightly better and resulting in stronger opening draws. If a deck was ever made to not care about fetching then this is it, so much life can be gained in a single turn that four damage for four fetches is a complete non-issue.
2x Sweltering Suns
4x Smash to Smithereens
2x Tormund’s Crypt
3x Ghostly Prison
In sideboard, to combat go-wide strategies, we have Sweltering Suns, which if timed right, can gain us a tonne of life courtesy of Soulfire Grand Master. Disenchant helps us to survive the Leyline of Sanctity match-ups, while Smash to Smithereens comes in as another answer to Ensnaring Bridge, removing it whilst also dealing three damage to face. Ghostly prison also helps to insulate us against Abzan Little Kids or other mid-range decks and Tormod’s Crypt removes target players Graveyard, shutting down Living End or Delve decks.
This is all I have for this deck but I would recommend that you make the adjustment to the mana base and then try it out, I feel that, from my limited Modern experience, this is fairly well suited as a deck out of left-field that can take many of the established archetypes by surprise! So let me know what you think and what you would change, is there anything in the list that I’ve missed?
Catch me on Twitter @GenericBadMtg with your feedback!
Next up tomorrow it’s a deliciously evil deck that you either love or hate… no it’s not Marmite spread on the inside of card sleeves, it’s 8-Rack!
Until then, have a good one.