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Paul Hagan's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
Casual Red Burn

Hey all, and welcome back to the deck garage. I don’t think there is anything we really need to cover before getting started, so why not jump right to the e-mail…


I am Marcus, 18, from Germany, and this is the first time I send a Deck to you. It’s Vintage/Legacy legal, but I’m only playing in a casual group nearly every Friday. The strategy of the Deck is simple: to deal as much damage as possible with low-cost spells, killing the opponent on turn 4. On the budget: Try to keep the changes as cheap as cheap as possible, as I’m not that well off. Thank you.

Total: 60 Cards

Lands: 20
20x Mountain

Creatures: 16
4x Raging Goblin
4x Akki Avalanchers
3x Mogg Fanatic
2x Ronin Houndmaster
2x Blistering Firecat
1x Ball Lightning

Instants: 14
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Shock
3x Fists of the Anvil
2x Electrostatic Bolt
1x Guerilla Tactics

Sorceries: 8
2x Volcanic Hammer
2x Goblin Grenade
2x Disintegrate
1x Book Burning
1x Threaten

Enchantments: 2
2x Seal of Fire

P.S.: A Sideboard would be nice, too.


Marcus’ deck is a great example of how getting rid of 1-ofs and 2-ofs will help a deck out a *lot*. We want to help the consistency here, especially since it is a quick red deck that only does one thing.

The first thing I’d like to do is to fix the creatures. I really, really, really dislike Raging Goblin. I don’t think I have ever liked him, and it bothers me that he exists. It isn’t that it is a horrible card, but Red has plenty of great 1-Drops that could replace him. In this case, why don’t we pull him in favor of Jackal Pup. Marcus might take a bit more damage in the long run, but he’ll also deal more damage.

-4 Raging Goblin
+4 Jackal Pup

I’d also like to up the count on Mogg Fanatic to four – he really is that good.

+1 Mogg Fanatic

I’m diggin’ Akki Avalanchers, but Ronin Houndmaster is just too slow and doesn’t deal enough damage to suit me. Instead, why don’t we cut Ronin Houndmaster to free up a slot to fit in that Mogg Fanatic that we just added, and to add a fourth slot for the Ball Lightning / Blistering Firecat section.

-2 Ronin Houndmaster

On the topic of Ball Lightning vs. Blistering Firecat: I would highly recommend going with just Ball Lightning. However, due to budget constraints, Marcus might not be able to get four Ball Lightning. Blistering Firecat isn’t that much worse, so it is more than acceptable to have in that slot. For the decklist, I’ll put down four Ball Lightning, but Blistering Firecat can serve as an easier-to-find substitute.

-2 Blistering Firecat
+3 Ball Lightning

Moving on to the burn spells, everything was going fine at first – Lightning Bolt followed by Shock – but then I hit Fists of the Anvil. Ew. Yes, I realize that it can be a free four damage, but I have a better spell that is both common and it deals four damage: Fireblast. It does have a slightly high casting cost, but that’s OK, because the alternate casting cost more than makes up for it: all you have to do is sacrifice two mountains. I’m also cutting Guerilla Tactics here, as it is a sideboard card at best.

-3 Fists of the Anvil
-1 Guerilla Tactics
+4 Fireblast

I like Volcanic Hammer hanging out, so why don’t we cut two Electrostatic Bolt in favor of two more copies of Hammer? In this deck, I think it is necessary to be able to hit the opposing player as well as creatures.

-2 Electrostatic Bolt
+2 Volcanic Hammer

Since we cut the Raging Goblin, our Goblin count has gone down significantly, meaning Goblin Grenade just isn’t as good any more. I’m also not a fan of Disintegrate. To replace these two cards, why don’t we throw in the *other* good two mana / three damage spell: Incinerate. The added regeneration-prevention could be a huge boon to the deck, and it has a decent damage-to-mana ratio.

-2 Disintegrate
-2 Goblin Grenade
+4 Incinerate

Finally, out go the lone Book Burning and Threaten. Neither would show up that often anyways, and neither really fit the theme of our deck. In their place, let’s go ahead and round out the count on Seal of Fire.

-1 Book Burning
-1 Threaten
+2 Seal of Fire

As a small change before we go, I’m going to pull four Mountains in favor of Barbarian Ring. Having that small amount of extra damage in colorless form could come in handy during many, many games.

-4 Mountain
+4 Barbarian Ring

Moving on to sideboard, things are really easy to figure out. You don’t want to provide blue with the opportunity to control the game, so why don’t we run Boil?

+4 Boil [SB]

I’m also noting a lack of ways to deal with any problem artifacts in the deck, so it would seem wise to run Shatter.

+4 Shatter [SB]

Every once in a while, Marcus’ opponent will likely have a creature with Protection from Red and the four Barbarian Ring in the deck might not be enough. Let’s include a few copies of Pyrite Spellbomb in the ‘board.

+3 Pyrite Spellbomb [SB]

I had to sit and think for a moment to remember this card. I’m sure that something running a lot of white could be an issue for this deck, so let’s include one of those old, really unfair cards that hates on it – Anarchy.

+4 Anarchy [SB]

I think that about wraps up work on this deck. Here’s how it came out…

LANDS (20):
4 Barbarian Ring
16 Mountain

4 Akki Avalanchers
4 Ball Lightning (or Blistering Firecat)
4 Jackal Pup
4 Mogg Fanatic

4 Disintegrate
4 Fireblast
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Seal of Fire
4 Shock
4 Volcanic Hammer

4 Anarchy
4 Boil
3 Pyrite Spellbomb
4 Shatter

Hope that helps on Friday night, Marcus, and good luck!

I’ll see y’all next week.

-Paul Hagan



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