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Sean From New York's Deck Garage
Red Burn
April 26, 2007

 
Hi there everyone!  This is Sean from NY, a frequent submitter to the deck garage, and now a deck mechanic myself!  You can just call me Sean though.  The kind of decks I'm particularly good at are casual decks, quirky combo decks, and theme decks.  I only ask a few things when sending a deck to me:
1) If you could sort the decklist into creatures, spells, and lands, that would be much appreciated
2) By each card make some reference of how many copies are in the deck
3) Let me know what kind of budget you're working with and the range of cards you have access to
4) Let me know what the goal or theme of the deck is
5) Let me know what problems or concerns you are having with the deck
 
Ok, that's it then folks, I hope I can be as helpful as Bmoor or any other deck mechanics who grace Pojo.com!
 
And here's the deck that I have ready:
 
Well, where to I start? This deck started with loads of big bad creatures but was not fast enough. So I took out some of the creatures and replaced them with speed as well as chopping out the Isochrons. It would be cool to see what you think. The only other build I could come up with is taking out the Hammers because I really don’t like them and adding pyrite spellbombs and shrapnel blasts for the other kind of hammers and wheel of fates. I was also thinking Blood Knights or Steel Walls for some reason. Anyway, here is the list.
 
Creatures:
4x Keldon Marauders
4x Spark Elementals
2x Ball Lightning
Spells:
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Incinerate
4x Shock
4x Volcanic Hammer (or 4x Pyrite Spell Bomb)
4x Seething Song
2x Hammer of Bogardan (or 2x Shrapnel Blast)
2x Wheel of Fate (or 2x Shrapnel Blast)
Artifacts:
4x Howling Mine
Lands:
22x Mountains (or 14x Mountains, 4x Darksteel Citadel, and 4x Great Furnace)
Here it is and I can't to see what you can do with it.
 
 
            Ah, a red burn deck, this takes me back.  Red is the king of damage spells and there have been many different kinds of burn decks over the years.  So, you say you started out with lots of creatures, but the deck wasn’t fast enough?  That makes perfect sense, burn decks will often have very few, but powerful, quick beaters.  The important thing to remember is the bulk of the burn spells in your deck will be trained at your opponent’s creatures, not his/her head.  The goal is to insure that each creature you get out can connect with you’re opponents life points at least once, eventually allowing you to get them in striking range for a large burn spell.
            Let’s take a look at your creatures first.  Keldon Marauders are 3/3 for 1R, have a relevant comes into play/leaves play ability, but with vanishing 2 ensuring their entry into the afterlife, and the likelihood that it’ll be chump blocked I think those Blood Knights you mentioned will be better suited main deck.  As for the Marauders, they can chill out in the sidedeck; you never know when you might find a use for them in a game. 
Spark Elemental is an example of one of the idea creatures these kinds of decks like, sure it’s only going to be around 1 turn, but it’s a creature version of Lightning Bolt, and having what are essentially 8 of those in your deck is a very good thing. 
Ah, and then we come to Ball Lighting.  This little ball of static electricity sets a standard for fast creatures that is only rivaled by one other creature that I can think of.  If you can get 2 more Ball Lighting you should, but I understand that they are scarce and expensive so 2 can work.  That other creature I was talking about would be Blistering Firecat.  This nasty little morph creature deals one more point of damage than Ball Lightning and is quite the intimidating kitty.  If you’re looking for a creature that is almost guaranteed to make a big impact on your opponent, then this cat is the Cadillac of suicidal beaters.  If you can get your hands on some of these I’d strongly recommend it, though they are from an older set and can be expensive, you won’t find anything nearly as powerful.
Now you said you had been thinking of using Steel Wall.  Being a 0/4 for 1 with no abilities it’s a purely defensive creature but works well with Shrapnel Blast.  I definitely don’t think this card is useful enough to justify putting it main deck, but it could be very relevant in certain situations, particularly if you’re playing against another aggressive deck and need to fall back onto defense.
With your creatures out of the way we can move onto the spells of the deck, and there are quite a number of them.  You said you didn’t like the hammers, and while they are a bit costly to “regrow,” they are recurring removal so I don’t believe taking them out will be necessary.  Lightning Bolt and Incinerate are excellent removal so they can stay. Shock makes me raise an eyebrow, not because there’s anything wrong with it, but because it will be the card that you will board out of your deck in future games.  It’s a weaker version of Lightning Bolt, but good removal so it can stay.
Now we move on what to take out.  Volcanic Hammer is a slower version of Incinerate and it’s Magnivore food.  You have Pyrite Spellbomb written next to it and I completely agree with that idea.  The spellbomb can blow up a nuisance on the board, “shock” your opponent, or more importantly, draw you a card.  Seething Song is good acceleration, but you don’t really have anything that you need to accelerate into, so it can come out.  As for Wheel of Fate, you can also take it out for the other 2 Shrapnel Blast.  Some readers might be wondering why I’m taking out Wheel of Fate.  Wheel of Fate is the time-shifted counterpart of Wheel of Fortune, one of traditional red burns favorite cards.  However, the new Wheel is nowhere as good as the original, since this one is much slower and your opponent can see it coming.
Something that caught my attention immediately after I reviewed the deck list that was that the deck lacked any kind of X-spell.  Decks that seek to burn out the opponent will need at least 1 copy of an X-spell, and in this case, 4 will be needed.  The most typical spell you’ll find will be Blaze.  It can be pointed at a creature or at you’re opponent as a finishing blow.  A more versatile X-spell is Fireball, and having a number of cards from Mirrodin, I’m certain you’re familiar with it.  Fireball can be a bit mana-intensive, but it can target multiple creatures and be aimed at your opponent.  The ultimate X-spell (in some opinions), that you could obtain would be Demonfire.  This card made a big splash in Ravnica Block and is still used in Standard.  The big appeal is that once you can cast it and have no cards in hand, its Hellbent ability activates and it becomes uncounterable and the damage can’t be prevented or redirected, ensuring that it really is the final blow.
That just leaves Howling Mine.  I like the Mine because it draws cards, but I don’t like it because it draws your opponent cards as well.  Fortunately for you, it will most likely draw you an answer to whatever your opponent draws and it can be sacrificed to Shrapnel Blast.  Four seems a bit excessive, so let’s move 1 copy to the sideboard.
Lastly let’s look at your lands.  I originally was going to remove the Darksteel Citadels and Great Furnaces, but then I realized that Shrapnel Blast would be making an appearance in your deck and those artifact lands can make excellent fuel for the fire.  You might want to play with the deck a few times and consider removing the Darksteel Citadels in favor of adding 4 more Mountains.  It is important to remember that the Darksteel Citadels only produce colorless mana and that can significantly hinder your board development.
            The sideboard I constructed for you is pretty straight forward, but one card needs to be explained.  Pyroclasm is one of the best sources of cheap mass removal red has access to.  The reason it’s in your sideboard is that it will kill your Blood Knights and only becomes particularly relevant when dealing with decks that utilize a lot of creatures, like weenie and token decks.
 
Red Burn v2
 
10 Creatures:
4x Spark Elementals
4x Blood Knight
2x Ball Lightning
 
21 Spells:
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Incinerate
4x Shock
2x Hammer of Bogardan
3x Shrapnel Blast
4x Blaze
 
7 Artifacts:
4x Pyrite Spellbomb
3x Howling Mine
 
22 Land:
14x Mountains
4x Great Furnace
4x Darksteel Citadel
 
15 Sideboard:
4x Keldon Marauders
4x Steel Wall
4x Pyroclasm
1x Shrapnel Blast
1x Howling Mine
1x Mountain
 
 
            On one last note it might be beneficial for you to consider replacing Shock with Sudden Shock from Time Spiral.  It costs one more to play, but it’s uncounterable.  I only mention it now as an afterthought; Shock is a pretty useful removal spell all on its own.  Well, that’s all I’ve got for you my anonymous Pyro Mage, may all your victories carry the aroma of burnt hair!


 

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