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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Mar 21 2014 11:00am
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I love this game. I love writing about it. Compiling lists about it. Evaluating it. Sometimes, I even play it. I'm an Accidental Player.

 The Tolarian Academy of Arcane Arts and Pictures presents: THE TOPDECK AWARDS!
 The best way to celebrate 20 long years of this silly game, by rewarding all those beloved cards that, at one point or another, starred in our personal tragicomedies and psychodramas.

 Today's category: Outstanding Burn. A Burn Spell is any instant or sorcery that deals direct damage, either to players or other targets, as the main part of the spell. It can affect more than one target at once, like Comet Storm, but not all the defined targets at once, like Pyroclasm or Hurricane (which fall under the Board Sweeper category). The nominations are given by amount of damage and accompanied by a brief profile of the nominees, which are listed alphabetically. Winners will be published with the announcement of the next category. Last month's winners are here.

 And the voting duty, ladies and gentlemen, is all yours.

> GO DIRECTLY TO THE BALLOTS <

> PREVIOUS CATEGORIES <


 Category A: Outstanding 1-Damage Burn (aka "Outstanding Zap" – Zap not eligible)

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Death Spark
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: June 1996
  • Birthplace: Alliances
  • Reason for Nomination: Because you can always count on it to be back.

 

2. 

  • Name: Flame Jab
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: July 2008
  • Birthplace: Eventide
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it turns surplus lands into mini-burn.

 

3. 

  • Name: Geistflame
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: September 2011
  • Birthplace: Innistrad
  • Reason for Nomination: Because, unlike its grandfather Engulfing Flames, it's Modern-legal, so it actually sees some play.

 

4. 

  • Name: Gut Shot
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: May 2011
  • Birthplace: New Phyrexia
  • Reason for Nomination: Because 0 mana is the best cost there is.

 

5. 

  • Name: Hornet Sting
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: July 2010
  • Birthplace: Magic 2011
  • Reason for Nomination: Because green shouldn't be allowed to do these things.

 

6. 

  • Name: Lava Dart
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: May 2002
  • Birthplace: Judgment
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a miniature Fireblast.

 

7. 

  • Name: Psychic Purge
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: June 1994
  • Birthplace: Legends
  • Reason for Nomination: Because, remember when blue was allowed to do these things?

 

8. 

  • Name: Puncture Bolt
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: May 2008
  • Birthplace: Shadowmoor
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's much more than just 1 damage.

 

9. 

  • Name: Searing Blaze
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: February 2010
  • Birthplace: Worldwake
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's any RDW player's best friend.

 

10. 

  • Name: Searing Touch
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 1997
  • Birthplace: Tempest
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a potentially endless source of small burn.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category B: Outstanding 2-Damage Burn (aka "Outstanding Shock" – Shock not eligible)

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Electrolyze
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: February 2006
  • Birthplace: Guildpact
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the best deal for its price.

 

2. 

  • Name: Fire/Ice
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: June 2001
  • Birthplace: Apocalypse
  • Reason for Nomination: Because that blue side is a sweet thing to bring along.

 

3. 

  • Name: Firebolt
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 2001
  • Birthplace: Odyssey
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's an old soldier that fought many, many battles.

 

4. 

  • Name: Magma Jet
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: June 2004
  • Birthplace: Fifth Dawn
  • Reason for Nomination: Because scry is never not relevant.

 

5. 

 

6. 

  • Name: Pharika's Cure
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: September 2013
  • Birthplace: Theros
  • Reason for Nomination: Because, along with Sorin's Thirst, represent black's own take on the Shock concept.

 

7. 

 

8. 

 

9. 

  • Name: Staggershock
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: April 2010
  • Birthplace: Rise of the Eldrazi
  • Reason for Nomination: Because two spells are better than one.

 

10. 

  • Name: Sudden Shock
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 2006
  • Birthplace: Time Spiral
  • Reason for Nomination: Because now you don't laugh anymore, uh, Pestermite?

 Honorable Mentions: Arc Trail, because it can 2-for-1; Burst Lightning, because that kicker was relevant at some point; Electrostatic Bolt, because it's the bane of robots; Galvanic Blast, because it's the hero of robots; Righteous Blow, because it's the white Shock; Searing Blood, because it's adding injury to injury; Tarfire because it's a Goblin.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category C: Outstanding 3-Damage Burn (aka "Outstanding Bolt" – Lightning Bolt not eligible)

 The nominees are: 

1. 

 

2. 

  • Name: Chain Lightning
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: June 1994
  • Birthplace: Legends
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's been Lightning Bolt #5-8 since 20 years.

 

3. 

  • Name: Hammer of Bogardan
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 1996
  • Birthplace: Mirage
  • Reason for Nomination: Because there was an era when the good ol' Hammer was the scariest thing ever.

 

4. 

  • Name: Incinerate
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: June 1995
  • Birthplace: Ice Age
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's still a mostly balanced burn staple.

 

5. 

  • Name: Lava Spike
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 2004
  • Birthplace: Champions of Kamigawa
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's underwhelming everywhere, except in the archetype where it's outstanding.

 

6. 

  • Name: Leaf Arrow
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: April 2010
  • Birthplace: Rise of the Eldrazi
  • Reason for Nomination: Because even green can burn, if it hates something fiercely enough.

 

7. 

  • Name: Lightning Helix
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 2005
  • Birthplace: Ravnica: City of Guilds
  • Reason for Nomination: Because Lightning Bolt + Healing Salve = profit.

 

8. 

  • Name: Shard Volley
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: February 2008
  • Birthplace: Morningtide
  • Reason for Nomination: Because you'd sacrifice anything to get another Lightning Bolt.

 

9. 

  • Name: Skullcrack
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: February 2013
  • Birthplace: Gatecrash
  • Reason for Nomination: Because some decks really hate lifegaining.

 

10. 

  • Name: Urza's Rage
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2000
  • Birthplace: Invasion
  • Reason for Nomination: Because back in the time, it taught Banefire how it's done.

 Honorable Mentions: Ghostfire, because it trumps those pesky protected; Intimidation Bolt, because it scares away all those puny enemies; Puncture Blast, because wither is actually an amazing burn additive; Sunlance, because you never expect it from white; Thunderbolt, because it's actually sort of versatile; Volt Charge, because you might be willing to pay one mana more to get those counters; Volcanic Hammer, because it was the original Vanilla Bolt before Searing Spear and Lightning Strike.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category D: Outstanding 4-Damage Burn (aka "Outstanding Blast" – Lightning Blast not eligible)

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Bituminous Blast
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: April 2009
  • Birthplace: Alara Reborn
  • Reason for Nomination: Because cascade is always kind of a big deal.

 

2. 

  • Name: Char
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2005
  • Birthplace: Ravnica: City of Guilds
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it took them 12 years to realize Psionic Blast was in the wrong color.

 

3. 

  • Name: Fireblast
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: February 1997
  • Birthplace: Visions
  • Reason for Nomination: Because this has never, ever been paid its actual mana cost.

 

4. 

  • Name: Flame Javelin
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: May 2008
  • Birthplace: Shadowmoor
  • Reason for Nomination: Because the hybrid mana gets you a discount on Lightning Blast.

 

5. 

  • Name: Flame Slash
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: April 2010
  • Birthplace: Rise of the Eldrazi
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's bolting the unboltable since when it's been printed.

 

6. 

  • Name: Mizzium Mortars
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2012
  • Birthplace: Return to Ravnica
  • Reason for Nomination: Because in its plain form, it kills that angel; in its overloaded form, it kills all of them.

 

7. 

  • Name: Prophetic Bolt
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: June 2001
  • Birthplace: Apocalypse
  • Reason for Nomination: Because sometimes you put it in your deck just for the bonus.

 

8. 

  • Name: Psionic Blast
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: August 1993
  • Birthplace: Limited Edition Alpha
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's always good to remember the way we were.

 

9. 

  • Name: Pyrokinesis
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: June 1996
  • Birthplace: Alliances
  • Reason for Nomination: Because, remember how 0 mana is the good amount of mana?

 

10. 

  • Name: Warleader's Helix
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: May 2013
  • Birthplace: Dragon's Maze
  • Reason for Nomination: Because double the Lightning Helix, double the fun.

 Honorable Mentions: Chandra's Outrage, because the outrage adds some collateral damage to the Blast; Flames of the Blood Hand, because it's a heavy weapon of choice in RDW's arsenal; Pyrotechnics, because it's functional and streamlined; Violent Eruption, because it takes great value from madness.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category E: Outstanding 5-Damage Burn

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Beacon of Destruction
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: June 2004
  • Birthplace: Fifth Dawn
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's 5 damage for 5 mana, and it comes back.

 

2. 

  • Name: Combust
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: July 2010
  • Birthplace: Magic 2011
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's one of the best sideboard cards ever printed.

 

3. 

  • Name: Fated Conflagration
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2014
  • Birthplace: Born of the Gods
  • Reason for Nomination: Because even if it can't burn players, it can still burn planeswalkers; and scry makes everything better.

 

4. 

  • Name: Goblin Grenade
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: November 1994
  • Birthplace: Fallen Empires
  • Reason for Nomination: Because Goblin decks never miss the chance to do 5 damage for 1 mana.

 

5. 

  • Name: Lightning Axe
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 2006
  • Birthplace: Time Spiral
  • Reason for Nomination: Because if your battle plan involves discarding cards, you can do worse than killing stuff for 1 mana in the process.

 

6. 

  • Name: Shrapnel Blast
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 2003
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's Goblin Grenade for robots.

 

7. 

  • Name: Thunderous Wrath
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: May 2012
  • Birthplace: Avacyn Restored
  • Reason for Nomination: Because you gotta believe in miracles.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category F: Outstanding X-Damage Burn (aka "Outstanding Fireball" – Fireball not eligible)

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Aurelia's Fury
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2013
  • Birthplace: Gatecrash
  • Reason for Nomination: Because they tried to get this effect right many times, but only Aurelia did it so well.

 

2. 

  • Name: Banefire
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2009
  • Birthplace: Conflux
  • Reason for Nomination: Because this spells "fatality!" like nothing else.

 

3. 

  • Name: Clan Defiance
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2013 
  • Birthplace: Gatecrash
  • Reason for Nomination: Because when you manage to hit three targets while paying for one, you really feel defiant.

 

4. 

  • Name: Comet Storm
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2010
  • Birthplace: Worldwake
  • Reason for Nomination: Because this is the most cost-effective fireball ever printed; you just have to do the math.

 

5. 

  • Name: Consume Spirit
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 2003
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because this actually improved a classic like Drain Life.

 

6. 

  • Name: Corrupt
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 1998
  • Birthplace: Urza's Saga
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it makes the most ouf of your swamps.

 

7. 

  • Name: Devil's Play
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: September 2011
  • Birthplace: Innistrad
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a Blaze with a smaller Blaze attached.

 

8. 

  • Name: Rakdos's Return
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2012
  • Birthplace: Return to Ravnica
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the very scary, X-rated Blightning.

 

9. 

  • Name: Red Sun's Zenith
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2011
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the card that put Disintegrate out of business (give or take a regeneration).

 

10. 

  • Name: Tribal Flames
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 2000
  • Birthplace: Invasion
  • Reason for Nomination:  Because it challenges you to try and do 5 damage for 2. And you might.

 Honorable Mentions: Death Grasp, because it's less iconic than Drain Life, but actually strictly better; Disintegrate, because it's obsolete now, but we'll always remember the first time we cast it; Fanning the Flames, because that buyback effect might be hard to pull off, but it's still a buyback effect; Flame Burst and Kindle, because their X might never get much high, but at least their cost is agile; Ghitu Fire, Heat Ray and Volcanic Geyser, because they tried to be relevant for 5 minutes; Swallowing Plague and Tendrils of Corruption for providing cheaper, limited version of Consume Spirit and Corrupt.

 NOTE: Bonfire of the Damned is technically a sweeper.


Time to cast your vote!

 You can first review specific profiles here: 1-Damage, 2-Damage, 3-Damage, 4-Damage, 5-Damage, X-Damage


And the winners are...!

 Outstanding Mono-White Titan: Sun Titan!

 Runner-up: Yosei, the Morning Star

 

 Outstanding Mono-Blue Titan: Consecrated Sphinx!

 Runner-ups: AetherlingKeiga, the Tide Star

 

 Outstanding Mono-Black Titan: Grave Titan!

 Runner-ups: Kokusho, the Evening StarMassacre Wurm

 

 Outstanding Mono-Red Titan: Inferno Titan!

 Runner-up: Shivan Dragon

 

 Outstanding Mono-Green Titan: Primeval Titan!

 Runner-up: Vigor

 

 Outstanding Colorless Titan: Wurmcoil Engine!

 Runner-up: Steel Hellkite

 

 Outstanding Multicolored Titan: Armada Wurm and Broodmate Dragon!

 Runner-up: Oona, Queen of the Fae

  

 Most Voted Creatures: Sun Titan, Primeval Titan and Wurmcoil Engine!

 Runner-up: Inferno Titan 

  

CONGRATULATIONS!

Check the complete statistics