Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Apr 04 2023 11:43am

It has been a little while since I have taken a look at the Kiln Fiend archetype which I am sure is a shame to some people because I know Kiln Fiend has a very loyal player base. There are a good number of creatures that are basically Kiln Fiend clones in just the color red now I think a look at the archetype is a bit long overdue.

The list we will be looking at today was part of the 5-0 dump from 3/15/2023 and was piloted by the player Trouble95. Alright it is time to chain red spells together and turn that elemental sideways. Let’s rock!

Kiln Fiend – The namesake of the deck. If you could play 5, you most likely would.

Monastary Swiftspear – Swiftspear is quite the popular card in the Pauper format and that is for good reason. Every spell you play becomes a free extra point of damage if Swiftspear is able to get in. Although it Prowess isn’t as big a boost as something like Kiln Fiends ability, it does a good job.

Festival Crasher – Instead of getting a +3 boost to power when casting a spell, you get an extra point in toughness. You would rather have the former, but Crasher can still win the game just as easy as Kiln Fiend can if unanswered.

Dwarven Forge-Chanter – Chanter is also a somewhat popular card for red decks in the Pauper format (at least I have seen it be somewhat popular) and it is for the same reasons as Swiftspear. Unlike Swiftspear however, it will cost your opponents 2 life to use a removal spell on Chanter and that is a good piece of damage. The issue is that it costs 2 mana and does not have haste, which is why I like 2 copies.

Temur Battle Rage – This is your big win condition part of the Kiln Fiend combo. I am happy to see 4 copies in this deck.

Ancestral Anger – This card is fantastic. It sucks that it is a sorcery, but being able to give your Kiln Fiend Trample and draw a card deeper to possibly cast more spells is huge. The extra power boost from playing multiple Angers is also a help.

Crash Through – The sad version of Ancestral Anger. Still a good thing to have. Anger and Crash Through allow you to win over a few turns and grind your opponent down, rather than have to win in one big turn and play as a glass cannon.

Lava Dart – For 1 mana, you can deal your opponents 2 damage and boost your creatures twice. Lava Dart is the perfect spell for a deck like this.

Mutagenic Growth – A (basically) free pump spell. Sign me up.

Apostle's Blessing – This can be a counter spell or a win condition. I like having 3 and not 4 because you don’t want to draw 2 of these and have to use them in a reactive way or have them be stranded in your hand. Playing 3 means you should draw 1 and be able to set up a big attack with it to hopefully win the game in the same turn. You don’t want the game going long with a deck like this.

Manamorphose – This is more or less the Pauper version of Mishra's Bauble and it is great for this deck.

Reckless Impulse – Card draw for red is exactly what this deck wants. I agree in not playing 4 because you will be limited on mana and you want to be attacking/winning the game, not trying to out draw your opponent.

The Manabase is extremely simple with 17 Mountains and 1 copy of The Autonomous Furnace. I think I understand why Furnace is in here, but I feel as though Forgotten Cave would be better or just playing another Mountain so you have no come into play tapped lands at all would be better. This is just my opinion.

The Sideboard

Apostle's Blessing – I am not a huge fan of having access to a 4th one of these as I believe it is unnecessary. If you play in a heavy removal environment and your game plan is to make the game go a few turns longer than you otherwise would, I can see merit.

Brute Force – This one is interesting. I am not sure this will help all that much, but it does give the possibility of being a turn faster when you are in a solitaire/goldfish matchup. What I mean by this is both players are playing combo decks so it is a race to the finish line.

Crash Through – This is pretty good against other creature decks that will clog up the board. I personally do not think these extra copies are necessary however. Personally I would replace them with Flaring Pain.

End the Festivities – This is a fantastic spell in the format. It is good against the Fae decks, Kuldotha, Elves and many more. I would argue a third copy could be a good idea.

Pyroblast – A great way at helping you push through the turn you go off.

Reckless Impulse – If you feel after sideboard that the current match you are in will need to be taken a little slower, having a 4th copy could help a lot.

Relic of Progenitus – Graveyard hate is always a good thing to have access to.

Smash to Dust – Spells that are flexible like this one are good to have in a format where you can’t exactly predict what you are going to face. In a local tournament, you could change this card for other spells.

Smash to Smithereens – You are not a burn deck, but being able to slow down your opponent for a turn and deal them 3 damage is a nice thing to have.

Verdict and Conclusion

Kiln Fiend is a very loyalist very archetype and for good reason. It is a ton of fun and can be challenging to play correctly. I will say from personal experience however, that losing to a single removal spell can leave you in very sour mindset. In today’s meta though and with this type of build, you can play a bit slower and not be so all in or glass cannon like. Other than the sideboard, I think the list we looked at today is definitely where I would start. The sideboard of course is meta dependent.

I don’t have much to critique with the list and what I have said in the past about Kiln Fiend archetypes still stand. This brings us to the question. Should you play this deck? I think this deck is fine for local and leagues. For challenges however, the real question is, should you play this deck over Mono Red Kuldotha right now?

My answer to that specific question is no in my opinion. I believe Kuldotha decks have a slightly better plan and are much faster. This archetype can also draw cards that are very dependent on others. You could draw all creatures and no spells or draw the other way around and lose because of it. I believe Kuldotha has a better mix.

Is it possible something could happen to Kuldotha in the future to make this archetype more reliable? Yes that is a possibility, but as of writing this article, in the here and now, I would stick to Kuldotha Red.

However, with all this being said, as always, do remember my words are not gospel. I will always encourage you to try a deck that I bring you despite my personal feelings. Remember that results will vary and always remember to practice!

Would you like to compete in a free Pauper tournament with some great prizes? Head on over to on Tuesday nights at 8pm EDT and play in our weekly Pauper Classic Tuesday's event! Join the chat #PCT to chat with us and feel free to find most of the competitors on Discord!

Thank you so much for reading. Best of luck to you in your next tournament and I’ll catch you all next time!