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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day
Daily Since November 2001!

Punishing Fire
Image from Wizards.com

Punishing Fire

Reviewed December 11, 2009

Constructed: 3.25
Casual: 3.33
Limited: 3.50
Multiplayer: 2.67

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Punishing Fire

It's tearing up Extended thanks to its partner in crime, Grove of the Burnwillows. In Standard it's good if you find that your opponent gains a lot of life, or if 4 each of Lightning Bolt and Burst Lightning just aren't enough.
Constructed- 3.75

Casual- 3.5
Limited- 4
Multiplayer- 3.6

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Punishing Fire

Against a dedicated life-gaining deck, Punishing Fire may not be much help. It's not stellar against all-time powerhouses like Congregate and Martyr of Sands. But there are plenty of popular cards it helps against, including Vampire Nighthawk and Soul Warden. I'd definitely keep an eye on this card - it has a lot of potential.

Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Punishing Fire which is a two damage for two mana burn card that wouldn't see the light of day often if not for the second effect. The most popular combo for it in extended formats is with Grove of the Burnwillows which nets a one mana to one damage gain each turn. Not a huge benefit, but what is effectively tap a land for a Prodigal Sorcerer effect is certainly playable.

In Constructed and Casual this card has some play thanks to the combo, but otherwise has limited applications. It could potentially gain a slot in the sidedecks of burn against life gain, but the damage compared to potential life gained is minimal.

With Limited almost any removal is good and two mana for two damage is not bad at all. The potential to be cast again is pretty small in the format, but the damage by itself is enough to warrant playing. In Sealed this should be in every Red deck without question and it should be a relatively high pick in Booster depending on the pack. The mediocre damage to mana ratio keeps this from getting a higher rating, but cheap burn should never be overlooked even when it isn't as impressive as the more common Burst Lightning.

For Multiplayer the combo does not work efficiently as each opponent gains one life making the combined life total of your opponents remain the same with three players and actually go up for each player beyond that. Without the combo as even an option this card is too weak compared to other choices and will rarely take advantage of the graveyard effect.

Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 2.5
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 1.5

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