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[Deck] Burn

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:14 pm
by Jack
Eternal Weekend Legacy Championship Write-up

A few months ago, I saw that Eternal Weekend would be in my city, which was cool. I thought "hey, I don't really play Magic, but I'll go, because this is cool. I'd skipped Grand Prix New Jersey and that cool Brainstorm playmat, so I won't miss this." Then time kinda passed and I didn't think about it till this week, then didn't visit their website until two days ago, and realized that the entry fee wasn't for both Legacy and Vintage, so I'd have to choose, and I picked Legacy because I have a family thing today (not having a Vintage deck wasn't going to stop me).

I saw a few people I knew there, including a kid I went to high school with, but never really talked to much until yesterday. I ran into a cool girl named Victoria dressed as the Lithomancer while waiting in line for Steve Argyle to sign my cards and playmat, and she said that she was 4-0 with an affinity deck that her friend had just thrown together out of his collection of cards the day before. She'd never been to a legacy tournament and was just learning as she went, so I was rooting for her (cuz I love forcing aggro), and she went undefeated until round 8.

On to the tournament.

4 Goblin Guide
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel

21 Mountain

Other Shit
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Chain Lightning
4 Lava Spike
4 Rift Bolt
4 Price of Progress
3 Sulfuric Vortex
4 Fireblast

2 Pyrostatic Pillar
2 Pyroblast
2 Dragon's Claw
2 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Vexing Shusher
2 Smash to Smithereens
3 Searing Blaze

Round 1: Alex with Elves

I keep a 1-lander on the basis that I have 2 1-drops and this becomes a great hand if I find a second land. I don't hit land until the turn before I get killed and don't even get him below 10. Game 2 he takes a few mulligans and I keep a 1-lander, and also don't find a land for 2 turns, but he can't get started so I win, slowly. Game 3 is really tight and it comes down to me, slightly flooded, attacking into his Visionary and Dryad Arbor with a Goblin Guide, having lethal if he doesn't block. He thinks about it for a bit, since he might not attain a critical mass of creatures if he chumps, but ends up making the block. He takes a LONG time to combo off (he's a very meticulous player), casting GSZ for Wirewoods and Natural Order for other combo pieces even when he has 21 mana. I think he doesn't have it, since he's taken this long, so when he drops a Ruric Thar, I Fireblast his face (rather than the Visionary I'd been saving it for to stop lethal from Craterhoof), but then he drops a Craterhoof.


Round 2: Brad with Omni-Tell

I start with 2 Goblin Guides and quickly drop him to 10. I have Lightning Bolt, Rift Bolt, Mountain, Fireblast in hand, with 3 lands in play. I suspend bolt. He fetches and casts S&T, I Lightning Bolt him in response, he takes damage, drops Omniscience. I hold my Mountain, since I want to be able to cast the burn spell I might draw next turn after he annihilates my board. He casts Emrakul, takes the second turn, swings, and I Fireblast him to 2. Next turn, he Forces my Rift Bolt, I draw a Bolt, drop mountain, cast it, and he forces that as well. GG. I comment that I should have hard casted Rift Bolt, then when he played Show and Tell, dropped a mountain to cast Bolt for the kill, but he mentions that he could have just responded with Dig to find counterspells. I win game 2 off of a great hand and he wins game 3 at 7 life.


Round 3: Jonathan with Mindcrank-Bloodchief Ascension Combo.

He leads with Underground Sea into Chrome Mox exiling Countersquall. I basically hit every land drop until turn 7 off of a reasonable 3-lander, and kill him really late. Game 2 I beat him down with Goblin Guide over the course of many turns.


Round 4: Eric with Elves

He sprints to the table after I thought he'd be a no-show. I don't remember game 1, but the life pad for him looks like 20-17-14-13-10-7. I think I died after taking my third turn. Game 2 I get a start with multiple creatures and burn him out. Game 3 he kills me before I can take a second turn while I stare at a hand of Mountain, Mountain, Pyrostatic Pillar and a board of Mountain, Swiftspear.


Round 5: Eric with Burn

Eh, fuck, it's the burn mirror. There was very little skill employed here. He wins game 1, I win game 2. Game 3, I go turn 1 Lava Spike turn 2 Dragon's Claw to his turn 1 Guide. He had to take time to read Dragon's Claw, so I assume that he doesn't have artifact removal and that I can race him. He lands a good number of creatures and puts on a lot of pressure. I have him at 14 life going into my 3rd turn, draw a Swiftspear (signed by Steve Argyle less than an hour ago!) and play it, then bolt his face, to which he responds with a bolt to the Swiftspear, and I respond with another Bolt and a Fireblast going upstairs, putting my Swiftspear out of Bolt range, then kill him on the swing.


Round 6: Scott with Stifle-Dreadnought

Game 1 is a good, clean kill. He gets to play Dreadnought, but can't stop me. Game 2 I get an alright start and he gets an early Gurmag Angler. I get him down to 11 and have more than lethal with 3 bolts and a Fireblast in hand, but the Angler and my Eidolon have put me to 6 so I can only cast 2 bolts. He has force for one of the bolts, so I lose. Game 3 I keep a hand of 1 Mountain, 3 Goblin Guide, and don't find a second land for a bit. He gets turn 2 Dreadnought. I attack into it with 3 Guides on my third turn, putting him to 9 (he fetched from 14 to 13). He cracks another fetch (8) and drops an Angler. I swing into it with my 2 Guides, he blocks, and I bolt him, then bolt him again. He thinks for a while on the last one, and ultimately lets it resolve. I offer the handshake, he asks if I'm conceding, I tell him he's at zero, and his buddy tells him that he missed the damage from his last fetch.

3-3. My friend tells me that someone offered him all the cards that he needs to finish Grixis Control in exchange for his MUD deck. He's torn, because this tournament reminded him of why he loves MUD. We also talk for a bit with his last opponent, who, as it turns out, was the guy who next-next leveled Shahar Shenhar by bringing in Helm of Obedience to kill Shenhar, completing the combo with the Rest in Piece that Shenhar sided in.

Round 7: Matt with Esper Prison

I've never played in a round 7 before, to be honest. All I remember about this is that he played a Trinisphere and a Chalice game 1 and it didn't do much for him. He wasn't too happy about getting 2-0'd by burn.


Round 8: Jay with Grixis Delver

This guy was a lot of fun to play against. The games were both very, very close races. I win game 1 at 1 life after taking a lot of damage from Delver swings and my Eidolon. It was really tough to keep throwing bolts at the face multiple turns in a row while staring down a 3-2 flyer and a Deathrite. We're at a stalemate where he has 6 life and an Angler and I have 1 life and an Eidolon and 2 cards in hand, and he decides to attack, allowing me to throw my bolts upstairs. Game 2 I face down an early Gurmag Angler, and, despite being able to kill it with a combination of bolts and Searing Blazes multiple times, I try to race it. The inner Delver/Sligh player in me was screaming at me to throw the rift bolt at the Angler on upkeep and kill it with a Searing Blaze, but my decision to play Blaze as just a bolt to the face worked out and I clutch out the game.

I meet up with Eric (the second Elves player) again and find out that we're both 5-3. We play just a few seats away for the rest of the tourney, which is cool. Steve texts me and says that he made the trade and left the tourney.

Round 9: Oscar with Knight of the Reliquary

This was a fun one as well. I didn't really know what he was playing, but it was very land-heavy and seemed centered around KotR. He stops me game with his Knights. Game 2 is a riot. I keep an opener of 2 Eidolon, Smash to Smithereens, 4 Mountain, thinking "It's basically against the rules to keep 4-landers as burn, but this seems like the best one to do it with." I go turn 2 Eidolon, turn 3 Eidolon, turn 4 Eidolon. The game gets locked up, and I joke that I basically have Chalice on 1, 2, and 3. I see an opening where he has 2 untapped knights, an untapped Maze of Ith, 1 tapped Knight and a tapped DRS, so I swing and he mazes an Eidolon and takes 4. I double bolt him, taking 12 damage and winning the game. Game 3 is sad and anticlimactic, since he mulls to 4. My start isn't great either, but I win.

6-3. Eric is too.

Round 10: Ian with BUG Delve

I came here to burn faces and crush dreams, and that's what happened this round. My deck did not fail me, I win in two not-at-all-close games.

7-3, same as Eric

Round 11: Matt with Reanimator

He Reanimates Iona on turn 2 and, for the first time, I concede before taking lethal damage. He stocks his graveyard game 2, but can't reanimate the Iona because his fetch put him to 9 life. He brings back Griselbrand and I bolt him to death.
He has a turn 1 Iona game 3. What the fuck.

He forces my Ensnaring bridge. Not like it was an out anyway.

7-4. Eric laments that, for the fourth tournament in a row, he gets knocked out in the last round by the format's premier combo deck.

Whew. Holy shit. I just did 11 round of Magic. I find Victoria again, and she says that she lost out in the last round to propel her opponent into eighth place, but that she was actually kinda happy she didn't top 8 because she was nervous about going on camera and making a misplay.

I go home happy. And tired.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:20 pm
by Khaospawn
Good stuff!

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:56 pm
by Jack
Thoughts on my deck:

It's better to have fetches. It makes Searing Blaze much stronger. Still, I'm glad I wasn't playing Searing Blood, because there were a good number of times where I needed it to just go upstairs for 3, and Searing Blood wouldn't work in those situations because it wouldn't be able to kill the creature. The only times where I wished I had Blood were in my first match against Elves.

Swiftspear is strong. Like, super strong.

On sideboarding:

Worst sideboard card was Smash to Smithereens. I never cast it. I didn't bring it in against burn, even though its ability to kill a Dragon's Claw was part of my rationale for its inclusion.
Vexing Shusher also never got cast, but I'm keeping that in there because I don't beat Miracles in postboard games without it.
I was on and off about whether or not Ensnaring Bridge should be Ashen Rider for the entire tournament.
Pyrostatic Pillar over-performed. A lot. I might want more of them.
I don't want more than 2 Pyroblast

I don't know if I'm just a pussy, but I basically never boarded out creatures. I even wanted them against Elves, since Elves doesn't block early. The only time I cut more than 1 was against the Knight of the Reliquary deck, where I took out 2 Swiftspears for game 2 and removed another for game 3.

Other thoughts:

There were times where, seeing all these cool decks in action, I wished that I had a more interesting deck to play. Also, all of my match losses were due to just getting combo'd out early, and it made me wish that I had a more interactive deck. But Forces are expensive. And duals are expensive. And this deck got me seven wins, even though I haven't played Legacy for 18 months, and even then I was just playing a proxied Imperial Painter list.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:38 pm
by Mcdonalds
Would not be concerned about dragons claw imo, no one plays it in paper

I'd probably shave some number of swift spears against elves, arbor+quirion or symbiote+elf means it's not getting through, and the deck has enough redundancy that losing an elf isn't making that big of a difference

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:17 pm
by Jack
With elves I think I have a good plan of out sulfuric vortex and 2 price or 1 price and a rift bolt, in searing blaze and pillar. Since I'm bringing in 2 drops, I want to leave in my 1 drops, you know? This might change after I add more pillars, though. I wish I had 4 for the event, but nobody puts worthless Commons in the same display case as their beta power.
Someone on reddit suggested sweepers for the elves match up. In my experience, it's very rare for elves to lose to a 3 mana board wipe, since they often win on the turn they develop their board.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:30 pm
by Mcdonalds
Pyroclasm might be okay given all the young pyromancer/mentor decks, dont think that is really where you want to be though (especially when it kills eidolon), and ensnaring bridge may simply be better

Speaking of bridge, you may consider that route as well, as it stops NO, and will buy you something like 1-2 turns as well

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:21 am
by Mcdonalds
Does this deck actually play black vise?

it does help the Miracles MU, they can't swords/terminus it, but is the possibility of having it in your opening hand worth the trade off of it being useless as a top deck (especially compared to whatever card you could draw)

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:33 pm
by GoblinWarchief
Black Vise is fantastic if you have it turn 1 on the play. In this scenario it deals at least 5 damages (unless you are playing against something that dumps his hand with 0 cost spells).
The problem is, in any other situation it is a very bad card. Even turn 1 if you are on the draw black vise could deal only 2 damages if your opponent is not durdling. As a topdeck it does nothing as you mentioned.
I believe you can put them in sideboard, bring them in only when you are on the play and hope to have them in the opening hand. But this could be too narrow and probably it's just better to play cards that are generally good maindeck, and specific hate cards in sideboard.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:55 am
by magicdownunder
Could you justify vise with the idea that if the game is going the distance that your in a bad position anyways?

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:50 pm
by Jack
No, not really. The thing about vice is that it's ONLY a turn one play. The only other cards worth playing with that strict of a stipulation are leyline of the void and leyline of sanctity, which actually win you the game 95% of the time.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:13 pm
by GoblinWarchief
I lost in the finals of a 20/25 people event with burn. Since i didn't have time to tune a list, i just decided to use patrick sullivan's last take on legacy burn : ... ersey.html
The only change i made was +1 smash to smithereens -1 searing blood in sideboard. I was a bit skeptical about 4x maindeck searing blaze, as well as other minor things (4x flame rift in side seems a bit of a waste), but he is better than me so i didn't want to change too much.

Round 1 against Miracles : 0-2. i lose the first game because i have double searing blaze in hand with no targets, and lose the second game because he assembles top+counterbalance very quickly. Sideboard : -4 searing Blaze -2 lava spike +2 sulfuric vortex +4 flame rift. Blaze is an obvious cut, lava spike gets axed because 1 cost spells become irrelevant when he has the lock, even more if they are sorceries because you can't respond to him looking at 3 cards or putting top on his library.

Round 2 against B/G Pox : easy win 2-0. he has a lot of discard that can be problematic, and smallpox destroying lands can sometimes get you, but overall this deck doesn't have a way to close the game quickly (the only win condition i saw was bloodghast) and you are going to eventually kill him in topdeck mode. Sideboard: -4 searing blaze +4 flame rift

Round 3 against jeskai delver : 2-0. I win the first game managing to kill him the turn after he hardcasts batterskull (i killed two stoneforges before). Then the second game is the best of the day: i side out all my creatures(plus something else) because he plays swords to plowshares + bolt and side in 15 cards. At some point i cast ensnaring bridge, he can't counter it and is a bit worried. Then i cast a second bridge and he is very worried. then i cast my third bridge and i know he will never have 3 ways to kill artifacts in his deck so his only out is burning me out. In the end i have like 10 lands in play and have fun hardcasting fireblasts during his upkeep. He suicides himself with a bolt because he has no outs :)

Round 4 against Grixis with delver/deathrite/anglers: 2-1. These were very close games, because two times he has a fast start with delver and early angler, that beat me once but the other time i can fireblast him for lethal the turn before he kills me and he has no force of will. Side: +4 searing blood, -4 eidolon on the draw, -1 fireblast -3 lava spike on the play (i like shaving 1 fireblast when i don't have clear cards to cut because drawing two is often bad).

Round 5 i am the only one at 9 points that gets paired down so i can't draw in. the positive aspect is that if i win i will be on the play in all top8 matches. Against esper deathblade 2-1. Game 1 i mull to six keep a one lander and never draw a second land.... Game 2 i have a turn three win , game 3 at some point my hand is double searing blaze and double searing blood, i know he has batterskull in hand but no creatures in play. If he casts batterskull i can double searing blood the token, but this plan fails against one counterspell. i feel like i'm going to lose but fortunately he starts deploying other things (stoneforge, meddling mage naming price of progress, deathrite shaman) because he has no force of will and, since i am not playing anything, he feels like i have smash to smithereens in hand. Of course i kill all his small dorks and finally kill him. Sideboard: +2-3 searing blood + 3 smash to smithereens + 2 sulfuric vortex -some combination of creatures/fireblast/lava spikes depending on play or draw.

Quarterfinals against Jund 2-0. He is the only person i didn't see play so i don't know what i am facing. He starts with a badlands and i'm happy because it is probably jund. I get him to 3 relatively easy but then brick on a lot of drawsteps because he has liliana and i have searing blazes.Liliana eats my hand and he is almost able to turn the corner with deathrite shaman lifegain but i finally topdeck a burn spell to kill him. game 2 is even easier, the only relevant interaction is him abrupt decaying his own shaman to "counter" my searing blood. he never cast a goyf or hymn to tourach which are the only cards that can save him against burn. sideboard +4 flame rifts + some searing blood -Eidolons and guides

Semifinals against Grixis with delver deathrite angler AND pyromancer. 2-1. Very close games again, i guess the matchup against grixis is just like this because they can have a fast clock + soft counters (like RUG). Game 1 i flood out but fortunately he has no answers for my sulfuric vortex that wins the game. Game 2 i decide not to kill his turn 1 shaman with abolt because i have double searing blaze, and this costs me the game because he kept a one lander that manages to barely kill me in the end. Game 3 i mull to six, i have one lavamancer and when i scry i see grim lavamancer on top. i think about it for a long time and in the end i decide to keep in on top, reason being, if he kills my first lavamancer i am in bad shape because i mulled and he totally blanked one of my cards, while if he doesn't kill him having a second one is not great but not terrible either. In the last turns he is at 2 life with an army of pyromancer tokens and i still have both my lavamancers but only one card in the graveyard. i decide to attack with one lavamancer: if he blocks it i kill him with the other one because now i have two cards in the yard, but it is a risky play if he has a bolt or stifle (he played stifle). He just doesn't block and goes to one, fortunately a very clear sign that he doesn't have anything, then the following turn i draw mountain again, i am forced to make the same attack and win. Some people thought i shouldn't have done that play in the first place, because i was not in danger of dying immediately and could just wait to draw a burn spell, but i was afraid of him doing something like cast jitte equip it kill both your lavamancers and then win if you don't topdeck a burn spell immediately. In the end even if he has an answer i can just still topdeck a burn spell in a couple turns, and ultimately i was happy to have made that attack because after winning i looked at the top of my library and there were 3 lands in a row. sideboard same as round 4

Finals against miracles, the guy of the first round.
First game i feel favored even when he assembles countertop because i have price of progress rift bolt fireblast sulfuric vortex and he is at a low life total, making it unlikely that he can counter all my cards that have different costs and win. Well, in a couple turns i threaten to kill him three times but he just have 3 force of wills + 3 blue cards to pitch. Can't beat that shit.
Second game i resolve a vortex and feel pretty good again, but then draw only lands and he outraces me with two snapcaster mages XD

Well, it was a good event, i had fun and the meta was fantastic for burn, with a lot of greedy manabases delver decks and only one combo player with show and tell/hive mind, one death and taxes that can be difficult and 2-3 miracles.
I only lost against miracles and, while i think it was also due to variance, i will probably use some tech next time (don't play 4 blazes maindeck, add 1-2 barbarian rings to the manabase, maybe cut the flame rifts in sideboard for 4 exquisite firecrafts). I think firecraft really makes you favored in the matchup because they can't really do anything about it except discarding it with vendilion clique, and it's not easy at all for them to keep their life total higher than 4, or even 8 because you could reasonably draw 2 firecrafts if the game goes long.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:06 am
by Mcdonalds
Exquisite Firecraft doesn't seem good enough honestly, more sulfuric vortex, then possibly some number of Red Elemental Blast/Pyroblast or Vexing Shusher, seems much better.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:18 am
by Jack
Red blast has been really bad for a while. And yeah, vortex and firecraft are really the same in the matchups where they're good, but shusher is usually better in those same matchups.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:24 am
by Jack
Right now, I'd stick to the same list at the top of the page with fetches added, 20 lands, and 1 Grim lavamancer
Sideboard might be 4 pyrostatic pillar 2 faerie macabre 3 searing blaze 2 ensnaring bridge 2 vexing shusher 2 smash to smithereens. Or no smash for 1 extra faerie and searing blaze

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:05 pm
by GoblinWarchief
Red blasts have never been really good in burn because you don't want reactive spells. What are you gonna do, always keep one red mana open because they may cast counterbalance?
Vortex and Firecraft are both good against miracles, vexing shusher is worse than both in my opinion because it just dies to swords to plowshares and terminus.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:16 pm
by Jack
Wait miracles keeps terminus against burn? Would not have expected that.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:34 pm
by GoblinWarchief
Well, they usually keep some copies because burn plays creatures and incidentally terminus costs 6, so i t can counter fireblast with counterbalance.

[Deck] Burn

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:26 pm
by Jack
Thoughts on Sensei's Top? Main or side (I'm finding myself with sideboard space now that I'm not playing red blast)
Great against miracles and other decks where games might go long (decks with counters and removal)
Usually good for more than 3 damage
Awesome with fetches, and overall fixes some draws
Find key matchup cards more reliably
Very slow
Costs mana, and also the last thing you want to spend mana on
Decreases deck's ability to win quickly