Top 10 Burn Cards

Features

squire1 - 15 December 2010




Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Support cards
  3. Honorable Mentions
  4. Top Ten

Introduction
Ok so i have been away for a bit working with the writing team, who are now up and running. Sorry for the lag between articles. Last time we looked at the types of burn spells that are out there and a few examples of them. Now let me say this up front, this is a list of the top 10 burn spells in my humble opinion. Feel free to dissagree. This list was hard to make, there are so many cards that deal direct damage it was hard to really push though and find my favs.

Support cards
I can not in good conscience talk about the top 10 burn cards without taking the time to thank utility cards, specifically the doublers.

        
Along with these main doublers we have: Echo Mage , Isochron Scepter , Panoptic Mirror , Izzet Guildmage , Mirari , Mischievous Quanar , Pyromancer Ascension , Reiterate , and probably some i forgot. We have to thank these cards for doubling the effectiveness of even the worst burn cards.


Honorable Mentions
I had to mention the following cards. They may not be true burn, they may not be the best burn; but, what they lack in burn, they make up for in utility.
    
Ok not many people will agree with me on Suffocating Blast , but I love blue and counter magic so I had to give it some love.
Browbeat is not strictly burn but it still deserves a mention. Playing Browbeat usually goes something like this for me:
ME: I play browbeat.
You: I take the 5.
ME: Sweet!

OR

ME: I play browbeat.
You: You draw 3.
ME: Sweet!

Either way this goes it is great.
Ok now onto the real list.

Top Ten Burn Cards
10. Pyrokinesis
Admittedly I am a sucker for this cycle of spells. I loved Alliances. Bounty of the Hunt , Pyrokinesis , Contagion , Force of Will , and Scars of the Veteran are all great cards. Pyrokinesis really shines in two way. It is practically a free cast for exiling a card from hand, not too bad for 4 damage. And you can divide the damage any way you like among creatures. you can kill 4 1/1s with exiling one card from hand. People will disagree the most with this one but I love it.
9. Fling
Fling has to be one of the best common burn spells ever. What do you do if you are inches away from winning and you can't get through the army of chump blockers? Fling ! Sure you could use Soul's Fire (another fav of mine with infect especially); but now that the temperary ownership of creatures shifted from blue with Ray of Command to red with cards like Act of Treason , Fling takes on another use. I can burn you or kill one of your creatures after I steal one of your creatures, attack you, and sac it. Just a mean card.
8. Fireblast
Fireblast is one of those killing blow cards for me. You can have them in your hand all game and when you need them just sac two mountains and tear the other player to pieces. This card is surprise burn shananigans at its best. I mean with four land out you can Lightning Bolt four times, then Fireblast twice for 20 damage. Game over on turn for without doing much else on your other turns.
7. Volcanic Fallout
Ok out of some really good sweepers I choose this as my first one. Really?! Yes, really. This was hard. I love Inferno , Pyroclasm , Wildfire , Bloodfire Colossus , Jaya Ballard, etc., but I love this more. It is instant speed, uncounterable, totally cost effective, easy to play, and gets rid of the only thing that burn decks should have issue with, swarm aggro and control. On top of doing that it does a nice dose of face burn for 2 to everyone as well.
6. Searing Blaze
I was not that excited about this card till I started using it and found it amazing. I mean if I play a landon a given turn or activate a sac land and then play this I get a Lightning Bolt to a creature and another lighting bolt to that creature's controller. Very nice. All that for only 2. I will play this card all day long. It is one card slot for a two card effect. This card alone is an arguement for playing sac lands in a mono red deck.
5. Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
Do I even have to justify this card in RDW or any monored deck. It is a slow mana land with a kick@$$ ability. I mean this is late game easy win or an early game stomping with cards like Khalni Heart Expedition , Harrow , Primeval Titan and Cultivate for support. This card can get straight out mean really quick when a deck works directly for it, but can just be solid utility in any red deck. I mean 3 damage for a land drop, really?
4. Pyrohemia
Ah Pestilence ...I love this card so much, just keep pumping black into it over and over to sweep and do damage. Oh, its not Pestilence ? They did what now? They made it red? Sweet! So Pyrohemia , Tamanoa , Manabarbs . I love this card as a combo piece or as a sweeper with face burn. It is like a better, reusable Earthquake .
3. Koth of the Hammer
Our only planeswalker of the countdown is a rookie this year. Koth of the Hammer came out of the gate redefining RDW. He makes lands into beasties, he ramps for all those X spells and he turns all you Mountain s into TIMs (tiny irritating man). Basically he turns all of your Mountain s into Prodigal Pyromancer s. This guy is a powerhouse and i am sure he is not fading anytime soon. He is the only planeswalker on the countdown because Chandra Nalaar and Chandra Ablaze just aren't that good really, but Koth is.
2. Comet Storm
Comet Storm took the idea of a basic great card, Fireball , and turned it on its head power-level-wise. Comet Storm allows players to devestate their opponent's creatures and smack them in the face for quite a bit. This really is the ultimate X spell in a burn arsenal. Pretty much all there is to say there.
1. Lightning Bolt
Sometimes there is nothing to improve upon. I played this card in Limeted Edition Alpha; I play this card today in almost any format. 3 damage for 1CMC is tough to beat. It outspeeds almost anything in the game. Incinerate tried, Lightning Helix was a nice twist, Chain Lightning came close and is better in some situations and decks; but, none of them are the pure good simplicity that Lightning Bolt is. This card wins games, plain as that. It is so good that they got rid of it. So good in fact that they brought it back. It almost singlehandedly revived red from mediocrity. Now if only they would do that for blue and bring Counterspell back.

Well everyone, I hope that you enjoyed my choices for best burn spells. As always, I look forward to your comments.
This article is a follow-up to Burn Spells

Deco_y says... #1

Cool list. I'm not experienced enough to know a lot of the old ones, but nice to see Searing Blaze on this list.

P.S. lol, if they bring back Counterspell , i'll quit magic. As if U/W control isn't as dominant as is, taking restrictions off of their counter spells is borderline BS.

December 15, 2010 12:43 a.m.

A good read. I too don't have enough card knowledge to argue. I do love the support cards as evidenced by the challenge decks Doubler and Doubled I made a while back.

December 15, 2010 1:25 a.m.

yeaGO! says... #3

formatting is looking pretty hot too.

December 15, 2010 2:40 a.m.

KrazyCaley says... #4

COUNTERSPELL IS THE NIGHTMARE THAT CRUSHES YOUR DREAMS

December 15, 2010 3:52 a.m.

JaceFace says... #5

Caley I'm with you. I dream nightly for a reprint of the bane of all Magic existence.

December 15, 2010 4:50 a.m.

jacelightning says... #6

As much as I want to play with Counterspell again. I think the closest we will get is probably cards like Stoic Rebuttal that have some sort of extra cost.

I really liked to see Comet Storm on this list as it is a better fireball.

December 15, 2010 7:01 a.m.

KrazyCaley says... #7

Someday, they WILL reprint Counterspell . And when that day comes, I will FIND a thunderstorm, go to it, raise my arms to the sky, and laugh maniacally.

December 15, 2010 8:56 a.m.

xxDSJJxx says... #8

looking at this list makes me wanna revamp my burn spell deck :D

December 15, 2010 10:44 a.m.

ottosmagic13 says... #9

Nice list...Don't agree with everything but to each their own.

Searing blaze is the one the sticks with me...I for one would place Lightning Helix higher than searing blaze (or in it's place on your list). Although now that I write this I could see merit in the arguement that Helix is utility.

Also, I like soul's fire better than fling, because of the neat interactions with the creature being the source (such as infect, can't be prevented creatures, and ceatures such as looters/Akki the lavarunner's that care about damage)

December 15, 2010 12:35 p.m.

squire1 says... #10

@ottosmagic13 - agreed to each their own.

now i do have to disagree with the Searing Blaze vs. Lightning Helix thing. Lightning Helix is a good card situationally. You have to be playing white or be able to produce white and it is Healing Salve plus Lightning Bolt I am not even sure those cards should be in the same deck together. Burn is all about ignoring the damage dealt to you and just dealing more to your opponent. At least in my opinion, but that comes down to playing style.

Now the card:Soul's Fire vs Fling I agree with you. I had a hard time deciding, but when it comes down to it Fling is cheaper and easier to pull shannanigans with in many cases. I personally run an infect deck that runs card:Soul's Fire and Pandemonium because I love soul's fire; but, the I steal your bomb, attack with it, kill it, and do damage to you is much more common and easier to do in many cases. But agrees this was a super tough one.

December 15, 2010 1:08 p.m.

Vorxis says... #11

Nice list, but I would have thought Rift Bolt would have made it... It's a suspended Lightning Bolt in all but name... Plus, it forces opposition to either play a creature knowing it might be toast, or taking three to the face. Tough choices on turn one and two, especially for weenie aggro players, that red usually have trouble with.

December 15, 2010 2:10 p.m.

Zanven says... #12

Rift Bolt , Chain Lightning and Lava Spike are all absent but I can understand seeing as how they're just additional Lightning Bolt s.

However, the lack of Magma Jet , Grim Lavamancer and Price of Progress ! I don't like Searing Blaze because it's situational (if they have no creatures, you're stuck holding it, and if you don't pull into the land, it's weaksauce). As for Koth, he's good but I don't consider him burn since he's not direct damage to the dome on his own.

Elsewise, solid list, although Pyrohemia is pretty funny.

December 15, 2010 6:03 p.m.

Kalani says... #13

@#7 from KrazyCaley: LOL!

Yeah this is totally inspiring me to rebuild my burn card collection and cook up a burn-centric deck or two. I like your list, the only thing i would add is in the support seciton, you forgot Quest for Pure Flame , which i have been finding ridiculously awesome for burn shenanigans recently. Fire Servant is not bad either, but too expensive for a mention here.

@yeaGO!, the formatting is nice, good work guys. Only awkward thing is rolling over the card name pops up the card, but the card is already there. No biggie but maybe leave the rollover link off cause it's not bringing anything extra to the table here.

December 16, 2010 3:31 a.m.

peppyhare says... #14

nice article. if only it wasn't for that mention of ... (shudders) counterspell at the end. That thing just makes me want cry in a quiet corner.

December 16, 2010 1:32 p.m.

Alzhander says... #15

What about Talon of Pain ? Sure it needs other cards to charge it up, but if you're playing mono-Red, that shouldn't be a problem.

December 17, 2010 11:31 a.m.

Vicanic says... #16

Not like they arent trying to reprint Counterspell . Just look at Stoic Rebuttal , and Deprive seems to be a gem that everyone missed

December 20, 2010 1:34 a.m.

CharonSquared says... #17

Yeah, Deprive seems undervalued to me. And I agree that Rift Bolt should be on the list.

December 20, 2010 5:26 p.m.

LeakyBucket says... #18

I'm fine with Rift Bolt not being on the list. It's a slow Lightning Bolt with no benefit to paying 3 versus suspending it. Plus when you suspend it you have to play it during your Upkeep, way too restrictive for my taste.

One card I'm finding to be a lot of fun is Cerebral Eruption , I actually think it's one of my favorite sweepers. Especially in an aggro deck as you don't have to worry about nuking your team. Sure there is a bit of luck built in but against other aggro decks like Elves it is super effective.

December 21, 2010 12:10 a.m.

In my opinion the list looks good except for comet storm. If you're playing a burn deck I think fireball is the obvious pick over comet storm. The one extra mana for comet storm puts it an entire turn behind fireball. And in a burn deck (where you're probably dead if the game goes past turn six) that is unacceptable. Of course, comet storm would be better in say a R/G ramp deck, but if I'm evaluating red spells at face value (where efficient, fast burn reigns king) comet storm does not fit the bill. It's too expensive.

April 27, 2011 1:49 a.m.

squire1 says... #20

but Comet Storm is an instant. Totally worth 1R extra

April 27, 2011 7:51 a.m.

slowtyper77 says... #21

card:Devil's Play is also a great X burn spell. Also Magma Jet is actually very helpful, although it is not as cost to damage efficient as most spells. Also Grim Lavamancer should be on here! It is a turn one drop with a recurring Shock .

November 19, 2011 1:58 p.m.

slowtyper77 says... #22

Flame RiftMTG Card: Flame Rift is two mana for 4 damage. Probably one of the strongest burn cards, cost wise, besides lightning bolt. Also, you have to consider Punishing FireMTG Card: Punishing Fire Just because of Grove of the BurnwillowsMTG Card: Grove of the Burnwillows. And, don't forget creatures like Flametongue KavuMTG Card: Flametongue Kavu and Keldon MaraudersMTG Card: Keldon Marauders. Also, I really like Hellspark ElementalMTG Card: Hellspark Elemental and Quest for Pure FlameMTG Card: Quest for Pure Flame

April 11, 2012 11:18 p.m.

slowtyper77 says... #23

Flame RiftMTG Card: Flame Rift is two mana for 4 damage. Probably one of the strongest burn cards, cost wise, besides lightning bolt. Also, you have to consider Punishing FireMTG Card: Punishing Fire Just because of Grove of the BurnwillowsMTG Card: Grove of the Burnwillows. And, don't forget creatures like Flametongue KavuMTG Card: Flametongue Kavu and Keldon MaraudersMTG Card: Keldon Marauders. Also, I really like Hellspark ElementalMTG Card: Hellspark Elemental and Quest for Pure FlameMTG Card: Quest for Pure Flame

April 11, 2012 11:18 p.m.

slowtyper77 says... #24

Flame RiftMTG Card: Flame Rift is two mana for 4 damage. Probably one of the strongest burn cards, cost wise, besides lightning bolt. Also, you have to consider Punishing FireMTG Card: Punishing Fire Just because of Grove of the BurnwillowsMTG Card: Grove of the Burnwillows. And, don't forget creatures like Flametongue KavuMTG Card: Flametongue Kavu and Keldon MaraudersMTG Card: Keldon Marauders. Also, I really like Hellspark ElementalMTG Card: Hellspark Elemental and Quest for Pure FlameMTG Card: Quest for Pure Flame

April 11, 2012 11:18 p.m.

epicbrish says... #25

If this was updated, Mizzium Mortars and Bonfire of the Damned would totally be on here. They both totally decimate weenie decks and anything to do with goblins.

October 28, 2013 11:31 p.m.

Please login to comment