I hope you all have been enjoying my mini-series on budget Modern decks. This will be the last one unless I find another exciting deck that I think I think can hold its own in the powerful Modern metagame.
The list I bring you today 5’0ed a Modern League on March 26th. It was simply listed as R and it cost under 45 tickets! Naturally I was intrigued and wanted to bring the list to you guys.
The biggest thing you notice with this deck is that it is mono red. There are not fetches and no shocks. It takes no damage from its lands which can right away give it an advantage in the burn mirror.
Next we have the creatures:
We are all used to seeing both Goblin Guide and Monastery Swiftspear in a burn deck. Even Grim Lavamancer makes an appearance from time to time. Spark Elemental is not so common but it is essentially another Lightning Bolt which means it easily earns its spot.
The spells are just pretty much every burn spell that hits for 3. First you have the 4 various versions of 1 mana deal 3:
Next you have the 2 mana spells:
Skullcrack is needed and very effective against the decks that have lifegain. It also has the benefit of stopping damage from being prevented as well. So when your opponent blocks with something like Kor Firewalker you can cast Skullcrack causing their pro red creature to take damage and hit the graveyard.
Searing Blaze obviously shines against the creature decks and thankfully most decks in Modern have at least a few targets for your spell.
Magma Jet is the worst of your burn spells but it more for sculpting your hand than anything else. It still can kill your opponent and opposing creatures but the scry 2 is why it is in the deck.
The final spell in the deck and it serves as the over costed Boros Charm with upside. The funny thing about burn is the more popular it gets the more people hate on it. This is another way you can fight against all the life gain and damage prevention. Plus it is pretty unexpected and dealing 4 with one spell can quickly help you close out the game.
The main deck is nothing fancy just you trying to cast enough spells to bring your opponent from 20 to 0 hopefully by turn 4.
Being Mono Red sadly means that you don’t have a ton of option in the sideboard but what you do have is enough to get by.
2 Searing Blood: Another great tool for creature decks to both remove a threat and dome your opponent.
3 Smash to Smithereens: Hate artifacts? This is your card. Destroying said artifact and blasting your opponent is a great way to ensure victory.
4 Exquisite Firecraft: I actually was not sure why these were in the board at first but after playing with them I really started to enjoy them. Spellcraft is pretty much automatic in this deck and having burn that cannot be countered can help you close off the game without any obstacles in your way.
2 Flames of the Blood Hand: Just more if you need it against certain decks.
4 Leyline of Punishment: This is the ultimate hate against life gain and honestly it may be a bit excessive. I quickly replaced these with some graveyard hate and even cards like Dragon's Claw
Why play this deck? That is a simple answer. This may be one of the best budget options out there. Also it is a great place to start if you want to play Naya Burn.
First you could start by just adding white. What does that give you access to?
These two burn spells are huge upgrades and give you different options. White also adds some better sideboard options.
Path to Exile: Sometimes 3 damage is not enough to kill off a creature. Path is what you want to remove those creatures. You rarely care about giving them a land because you are trying to win before it really matters.
Wear/Tear: This gives you access to enchantment removal which you will need as the hate for burn increases. You have no other way to answer Leyline of Sanctity or even a dreaded Circle of Protection: Red
Rest in Peace: One of the biggest gains is better graveyard hate. The colorless options like Relic of Progenitus and Grafdigger's Cage are fine enough. But Rest in Peace is just better. Being an enchantment makes it harder to deal with once on the table and it completely wipes their graveyard upon resolution. The others just cannot compare with it.
Kor Firewalker: Although not as popular this plan still sees some play. Bringing in this Kor over something like Dragon's Claw is a huge upgrade and is fine card to sideboard.
The mana base for white isn’t even that expensive right now thanks to MM17. I was able to pick up Arid Mesas for under 6 tickets each. Inspiring Vantage is another cheap alternative and then all you need is a 2 Sacred Foundry. For a small price you have upgraded your budget burn to a better version.
What if you want to upgrade more?
Then you add green as well. You build the traditional Naya Burn deck that is in a great position in the current Metagame.
Green gives you access to Atarka's Command in the main and Destructive Revelry in the side. Both are huge additions to the deck. You also add the extra fetches, 8 more in total and a Stomping Ground or 2. Lastly the most expensive card in the deck is Eidolon of the Great Revel. Sadly this card is over 100 tickets for a play set but it is needed for the deck function on all cylinders.
My suggestion is to make the changes slowly. Mono red can still be enough to get you wins and each time you add to it the deck just gets better. If this the style of deck you want to play Burn gives you a budget choice with a ton of upside once you start investing into it.
There you have it another semi competitive budget list that you can jump into Modern with and not feel like there is no hope.
Next week, I will be talking about taking cards from each of the decks I mentioned and working your way to other decks in the format. Once you start acquiring certain staples of Modern you will be able to play around and build other decks while improving your collection and your chances of winning.