I've been more interested in Burn than I usually am in Modern for a while now. I tested it at the recommendation of Drew Levin for Grand Prix Chicago, and I was pretty impressed. After that, I recommended it to Jasper Johnson-Epstein for Grand Prix Toronto, where he finished 14th and was impressed enough with the deck that he stuck with it. Last weekend he won a PTQ in Indianapolis with his updated list.
Now that Gatecrash is known but not on Magic Online, online Standard is something of a lame duck format, but with it being Modern PTQ season and the fact that Modern won't change much with Gatecrash, I think there's useful games to be played if we look to our newest Eternal format while waiting for the release of the new set.
Here's the list I'm playing:
- 2 Deathrite Shaman
- 4 Goblin Guide
- 2 Grim Lavamancer
- 2 Hellspark Elemental
- 4 Keldon Marauders
- 4 Vexing Devil
Game 1 wasn't much of a game. His draw was clearly pretty bad since he had to lead with two colorless lands. Game 2 felt shockingly close given how much life he gained. I might have been able to win if I'd been greedier with the Flames of the Blood Hand—I'm really not sure I played that right. In game three, I felt like he was one business spell away from taking the game, but I had just enough gas, which is more like how I expect most of my wins to go.
Game 1 my draw was perfect—so good that I didn't get to learn what deck my opponent was playing, so I misevaluated and sideboarded completely wrong. Game 3 I'm really not sure about how I played it. I shouldn't have led with Vexing Devil, and I'm not particularly sure about the order of the creatures after that. Also, there's a good chance the turn when I used the last Lava Spike was wrong. I did manage to win anyway, but I could have lost if he'd had a better hand.
Game 1 I'm sure my draw was just better than his. In game 2, he was one spell short of killing me because he brought in Ensnaring Bridge and drew it instead of a burn spell. I have no idea why he'd want Ensnaring Bridge. Even if it was part of a plan to cut his creatures to try to lock mine out, it's just too slow to do that in a way that's actually going to matter.
Game 1 I did need to topdeck my way out, but only because I didn't think to play around Tectonic Edge by aggressively grabbing the Blood Crypt. It's interesting that his best chance in every game seemed to be attempting to mana screw me, which doesn't seem like a great plan against an almost mono-color deck.
Overall, I'd recommend this deck for serious consideration this PTQ season.
Thanks for watching,
@samuelhblack on Twitter