How much damage would a 3CMC burn spell have to deal to be considered Modern Burn playable?

Modern forum

Posted on May 10, 2017, 10:23 p.m. by StopShot

This is a question for the Modern players with competitive Burn decks out there. I know most burn decks only run 1 or 2 CMC spells with exception to Rift Bolt which is almost always suspended than hard-cast.

My question is let's say in one set Wizards prints a sorcery in a standard set that costs and "Deals 1 damage to target player." The next set they print another card with the same CMC and card type, but deals 2 damage and this trend continues with each new sorcery dealing 1 more damage than the last. At what point would you consider running a 3 CMC sorcery as described?

As a follow-up question at what point would you consider it niche enough as a 1-of and at what point would you consider it an auto-include of 4? I'm curious what would warrant the use of 3-CMC spells in Burn-decks for the Modern format and what the community thinks on this subject.

hardhitta71194 says... #2

I guess more than 4 because Exquisite Firecraft is a thing. Other than that idk. I don't play Modern but still stick to 1-2 CMC spells that deal 2-3 damage. Like Shock, Lightning Bolt, and Lightning Strike. 3 damage can take care of quite a few threats.

Maybe someone who actually plays Modern can give you a better response though.

Also, I try to avoid any burn spells that aren't instants because I like the flexibility to cast it while attacking/defending to effect combat, among other things.

Great question though, I would like to hear others thoughts on this.

Edit: For me the 4 damage is fine, but it's the sorcery part that I don't care for.

May 10, 2017 10:32 p.m.

rothgar13 says... #3

Probably 6, though 5 would also be a consideration.

May 10, 2017 10:35 p.m.

GabeCubed says... #4

I'd say 5 for an instant, 6+ for a sorcery, but probably with a drawback. Delirium, Spell Mastery, Morbid, something along those lines. You'd mostly just run it as a 1-2 of in almost all circumstances, just from mana cost alone.

It's a neat idea, but not something I'd believe to completely change the ideals of burn, which wants to be mana efficient.

TL;DR Runnable, just with 1-2 copies.

May 10, 2017 10:58 p.m.

GlistenerAgent says... #5

If the spell dealt more than four, it would be very, very good. Four damage is fine, people play Flames of the Blood Hand and Exquisite Firecraft.

On another note: What do you mean when you say "as a one-of"? People ask if cards would fit into a deck "as a one- or two-of" a lot, but I think the line of thinking you're on there is misguided. It's not a matter of fitting into 60 slots, it's a matter of whether or not a card fits a deck's strategy.

May 10, 2017 11:38 p.m.

StopShot says... #6

@GlistenerAgent, I suggested that, because not too many burn decks can rely on getting 3 lands some games, which would make the burn spell in question niche if its power level was equal to the rest of the cards in the deck. I imagined if a card was so good that it needed to be a four of that it may come with the draw back of players needing to add more lands to their decks to play it more consistently if its power was greater than the drawback of adding more lands.

May 11, 2017 12:50 a.m.

aholder7 says... #7

I think at 5 it would find a spot in a good number of lists, but 6 would cement it as an auto-include in every list.

I know some people have pointed out blood hand and firecraft but those aren't really played in more recent lists as far as i've seen mostly because cards like Atarka's Command are better at what they do. theres also cards like Boros Charm that just do 4 damage and are cheaper.

The other thing is that these cards did something else as well as do 4 damage. assuming this card only did damage i'd imagine it would have to more than 4 to make up for being worse than these cards.

May 11, 2017 3 a.m.

shadow63 says... #8

As other people have pointed out there's cards at 3 cmc that do 4 dmg they forgot to mention Flame Javelin and Stoke the Flames both cards I like but not very good for modern burn. So something at sorcery speed and 3 mana would have to at the bare minimum do 5 and I think that might be too strong even at sorcery speed

May 11, 2017 9:55 a.m.

5 damage. I'm with Gabe, always having 3 lands in an aggressively fetching deck isn't a given, so I could see it as a 2 of.

If wizards ever printed a spell that dealt 6 damage for 3, just run a land or two more and slam a playset of that card. That's too good.

May 11, 2017 10:03 a.m.

Snap157 says... #10

I look at it this way. I can get 3 damage for one mana with Lightning Bolt, so in order fo me to consider that in my burn deck then it would have to be equivalent to drawing three bolts, or 9 damage.

May 11, 2017 1:38 p.m.

Snap157 says... #11

However, that's probably never going to happen so realistically 6 damage would be good but I wouldn't include it.

May 11, 2017 1:39 p.m.

Damn Snap157, you aren't playing around! 9 damage to face is what we need. The Izzet guild approves.

May 11, 2017 1:41 p.m.

Snap157 but three Bolts costs you three cards. This would cost one card. That's a significant difference.

I agree with the 5-6 range though. Flames of the Blood Hand is an Instant and comes with an additional effect, so clearly for 4 damage at sorc speed would be worthless by comparison. 5 would be okay, 6 would be strong, and I don't see WotC printing 7.

Here's a question for everybody here, if Devour in Flames said "6 damage to target creature or player." instead of "5 damage to target creature or planeswalker." would it be good enough for competitive burn?

May 11, 2017 2:51 p.m.

car says... #14

3 for 5 with no drawback, 3 for 6 with delirium or some check and ballence, or 7 damage with a major drawback like saccing 2 lands.

May 11, 2017 4:33 p.m.

cplvela0811 says... #15

: 5 damage to target creature or player. Sorcery speed.

: 5 damage to target creature or player, but deals 3 damage to you. Instant speed.

May 11, 2017 6:05 p.m.

A beefed up Char for instead of ? I could see it happening.

May 11, 2017 6:20 p.m.

cplvela0811 says... #17

It would be decent.

May 11, 2017 6:41 p.m.

sylvannos says... #18

We even have 5 damage burn spells for 3 or less. That's Tribal Flames, Browbeat, Shrapnel Blast, and Brimstone Volley. There's even Fated Conflagration, Thunderous Wrath, and Beacon of Destruction that are higher up in the chain.

I think 6 damage for 3 CMC is probably the baseline you'd need for a burn spell to be worth cutting a 2 CMC burn spell for. It has to not be complete shit or have other other modes/benefits.

I doubt WotC would ever print such a card, to be honest. It'd be a nightmare for Standard. Play any 1-drop on turn 1 that can potentially deal damage, any 2-drop on 2, attack, then go "Oops? I guess I won when I drew 3 copies of a ridiculous burn spell and just shoot you 3 times in the face, for a total of 18?"

You just have to connect twice with the 1-drop or once with the 2-drop and your opponent is staring down lethal if they tap out after turn 2. It's worse if the 1-drop and 2-drop are burn spells and not creatures.

May 11, 2017 10:19 p.m.

Yeah sylvannos, that's exactly why I said I don't see WotC ever printing 7 player damage for 3cmc. It would almost certainly warp standard in some way or another, or at the very least, they would be far too afraid of the possibility of it warping standard to ever see print.

Even if it hits you back, say "deals 7 damage to each player." for , I think that'd be something they'd be too scared to print in a standard set.

May 12, 2017 2:09 p.m.

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