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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Burning Earth
Image from Wizards.com

Burning Earth
- M14

Reviewed July 26, 2013

Constructed: 3.00
Casual: 1.90
Limited: 1.13
Multiplayer: 3.00

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

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Burning Earth

Right now, nonbasic lands are pretty universal. Most decks rely on them almost exclusively-- there are barely any basic lands in most Standard decklists, from FNM through the PTQ, and at any acronym of a Magic tournament you could care to mention. Modern, containing both Ravnica and Alara blocks, has even less incentive to go monocolored. So Burning Earth could be absolutely ruinous, especially if the deckbuilder using it is savvy enough to go mono-red or at least not rely on nonbasics for his splash colors.

But here's the thing-- cards like this reach an equilibrium. In the current format, Burning Earth would do a lot of damage. If a player recognizes this and sleeves up a Burning Earth deck, he might get somewhere with it. But once the news of his success spreads, people will start copying him. Soon, Burning Earth will be a presence in the format that will scare people away from heavy multicolor with nonbasic land bases. At that point, Burning Earth will fail, because it won't do enough damage to justify its inclusion. Then it'll drop off the radar again. People might still run them in their sideboards, but really that's the best this card can hope for.

That's the best that Burnign Earth can hope for, really. The alternative is that nobody builds an archetype around this card, or that people do but the mono-red decks that run Burning Earth aren't as powerful as their multicolor victims, and thus the Burning Earth decks lose consistently and so the format does not change because who cares about that janky rogue deck anyway.

Constructed- 3.5
Casual- 2
Limited- 1.5
Multiplayer- 2.5

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Burning Earth
This is an area of red's color pie that has been really, really underused for the last few years. They always say people don't find it fun to lose because they cast their spells; personally, I don't find it fun to lose to a deck that has all the best cards from all five colors in it, but maybe I'm in the minority. Maybe. Compared to its predecessors, Burning Earth is more specific and less immediately impactful, but it might still have enough to have an impact on Standard. I'm not sure if there are really any mono- or two-color decks that can make much use of it, though - the fastest deck recently was Naya Blitz, and it was both too fast and too heavy on non-basic lands to make use of a card like this. Still, I could easily see some sort of meta deck designed to punish the current trends, making use of green or black in addition to red, that this could go in; and the fear of that is probably enough to have an impact in itself.
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 2/5
Limited: 1/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Burning Earth which is a four mana Red enchantment that deals one damage to a player whenever they tap a non-basic land for mana.  The cost is a little too high and the potential impact far too low for this to be a serious threat in most formats.  It could see some sidedeck space or a response to a very heavy multicolor metagame, though other choices exist that can be more reliable against any theme.  Overall as a card that benefits from lessening the options of your deck while relying on design choices of an opponent it is not very impressive and outside of some Multiplayer or Commander settings it is unlikely to see much play.
In Limited there are only three non-basic lands, one of which is Encroaching Lands which is fairly worthless in the format aside from removal for Mutavault , and the last is Shimmering Grotto.  With the odds against one or more of those being both in an opponent's deck, having it in play while Burning Earth is available, and actually needing to tap it for mana the chances of doing much damage with this is very remote.  Even as a psychological weapon it doesn't match up to the potential of a 1/1 creature or nearly any other options for a permanent.  It isn't worth the rare draft due to a low value and should be passed in Booster and kept to the bottom of the sidedeck in Sealed.
Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 2.5
Limited: 1.0
Multiplayer: 3.0


Burning Earth

At a lower casting cost and more dramatic effect Blood Moon out shines Burning Earth in constructed. In standard where shock lands run rampant the extra damage can start to add up, but this hot tamale hits both sides of the table so be careful.

In casual few players run non-basic lands, and nobody enjoys getting pinged while tapping for mana, so don’t be that guy.

When drafting this card with its M14 cohort, make the smart choice and pass it on. M14 only has three non-basic lands and two of them are likely to not be tapped for mana. Mutavault won’t be tapped for mana because it’s too busy attacking as a 2/2 creature/land/blob and Encroaching Wastes is not tapped for mana when you pay four to sacrifice it to destroy a nonbasic land (I suggest Mutavault). For the same mana cost I’d pick Demolish over Burning Earth, primarily to deal with Mutavault because that card is nightmare fuel. Every creature type AND a land? Make up your mind Mutavault.
Multiplayer is the format where this card has the opportunity to be hot. Playing it won’t make you a target or a threat, but it will damage your opponents slowly and indiscriminately. If you’re clever and have a non-basic land on the field you can even intentionally hurt yourself with the card once or twice to show that even you are affected by it and that you didn’t put it in your deck just to annoy that one friend you have with all the shock lands in his multi-player deck. You know the one.

Constructed: 3

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