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Breaking into Legacy - Burn - Jesse Inman (5/30/2011)

Welcome back to Breaking into Legacy. In case you missed the last article, this series is all about the deck options out there for those looking to start playing Legacy (or start doing better) without going broke. Last time we looked at the graveyard strategy Dredge
Dredge
DredgeSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
103
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Sacrifice a creature or land.Draw a card.
and this time we will heat things up a bit with a look at a successful Burn deck by Red Mage Patrick Sullivan. He was able to make the Top 8 playoffs of Star City’s Legacy Tournament in Los Angeles with the following list:


Creatures
3 Figure of Destiny
Figure of Destiny
Figure of DestinySet: Eventide
Cost:
1
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kithkin
Rarity:
R
Number:
139
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
o(r/w): Figure of Destiny becomes a 2/2 Kithkin Spirit. o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w): If Figure of Destiny is a Spirit, it becomes a 4/4 Kithkin Spirit Warrior. o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w): If Figure of Destiny is a Warrior, it becomes an 8/8 Kithkin Spirit Warrior Avatar with flying and first strike.

4 Goblin Guide
Goblin Guide
Goblin GuideSet: Zendikar
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Scout
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Warren Mahy
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Haste Whenever Goblin Guide attacks, defending player reveals the top card of his or her library. If it's a land card, that player puts it into his or her hand.

4 Grim Lavamancer
Grim Lavamancer
Grim LavamancerSet: Torment
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
R, T, Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Grim Lavamancer deals 2 damage to target creature or player.


Instants
4 Fireblast
Fireblast
FireblastSet: Visions
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Michael Danza
Text:
You may sacrifice two mountains instead of paying Fireblast's casting cost. Fireblast deals 4 damage to target creature or player.

4 Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.

4 Price of Progress
Price of Progress
Price of ProgressSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
95
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Price of Progress deals 2 damage to each player for each nonbasic land he or she controls.


Sorceries
4 Chain Lightning
Chain Lightning
Chain LightningSet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Chain Lightning does 3 damage to one target. Each time Chain Lightning does damage, the target or target's controller may then pay RR to have Chain Lightning do 3 damage to any target of that player's choice.

4 Flame Rift
Flame Rift
Flame RiftSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Flame Rift deals 4 damage to each player.

4 Lava Spike
Lava Spike
Lava SpikeSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
178
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Lava Spike deals 3 damage to target player.

4 Rift Bolt
Rift Bolt
Rift BoltSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
176
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Rift Bolt deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Suspend 1-R (Rather than play this card from your hand, you may pay R and remove it from the game with a time counter on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When you remove the last, play it without paying its mana cost.)


Lands
9 Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

4 Bloodstained Mire
Bloodstained Mire
Bloodstained MireSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
313
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
T, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Bloodstained Mire: Search your library for a swamp or mountain card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.

4 Scalding Tarn
Scalding Tarn
Scalding TarnSet: Zendikar
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
223
Artist:
Philip Straub
Text:
{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Scalding Tarn: Search your library for an Island or Mountain card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

4 Wooded Foothills
Wooded Foothills
Wooded FoothillsSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
330
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
T, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Wooded Foothills: Search your library for a mountain or forest card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.


Sideboard:
4 Pyroblast
Pyroblast
PyroblastSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
Counter target spell if it is blue, or destroy target permanent if it is blue. (If this spell targets a permanent, play it as an instant.)

4 Red Elemental Blast
Red Elemental Blast
Red Elemental BlastSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Counters a blue spell being cast or destroys a blue card in play.

4 Searing Blaze
Searing Blaze
Searing BlazeSet: Worldwake
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
90
Artist:
James Paick
Text:
Searing Blaze deals 1 damage to target player and 1 damage to target creature that player controls. Landfall — If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, Searing Blaze deals 3 damage to that player and 3 damage to that creature instead.

3 Smash to Smithereens
Smash to Smithereens
Smash to SmithereensSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
107
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Destroy target artifact. Smash to Smithereens deals 3 damage to that artifact's controller.



The key advantage this kind of deck offers is consistency (well that and costing two hundred dollars total instead of two thousand). Think of it as a combo deck full of redundant pieces that never fizzles. Burn can easily win on the third turn and fourth turn wins are very common. It cannot get color screwed, only needs two lands to operate well (and can win with one, just slowly). There are really only three ways that it can realistically lose.

1) It can be outraced. If it loses the die roll and the other deck wins on turn three there is not much Burn can do (at least game one). Of course, a lot of decks are in a tight spot if they have to go second so this is hardly a problem unique to Burn.

2) It can be hosed after Boarding. Again, many decks of various prices have problems with “hate” cards after boarding. Thankfully, most decks do not have space right now for cards specifically devoted to beating Burn and cards for other matchups are often subpar when fighting the Red Menace.

3) It can get flooded. The most common way Burn seems to lose is if it draws an excessive amount of lands. The deck does not really have an effective way to use those extra resources (aside from perhaps pumping Figure of Destiny
Figure of Destiny
Figure of DestinySet: Eventide
Cost:
1
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kithkin
Rarity:
R
Number:
139
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
o(r/w): Figure of Destiny becomes a 2/2 Kithkin Spirit. o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w): If Figure of Destiny is a Spirit, it becomes a 4/4 Kithkin Spirit Warrior. o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w): If Figure of Destiny is a Warrior, it becomes an 8/8 Kithkin Spirit Warrior Avatar with flying and first strike.
) and the more lands it draws, the less spells it has to send at the opponent’s head. Patrick Sullivan realized this and incorporated 12 “sac” lands in order to thin the deck out (and give Grim Lavamancer
Grim Lavamancer
Grim LavamancerSet: Torment
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
R, T, Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Grim Lavamancer deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
more fodder) and decrease the probability of drawing lands as the game goes along.

Let’s look at some more of the interesting card choices and see how they all come together to from a brutally consistent weapon.

The Creature Base
All of the creatures chosen are only one mana so they can come down quickly before the opponent can effectively Daze
Daze
DazeSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
You may return an island you control to its owner's hand instead of paying Daze's mana cost. Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1.
. They can be countered by Force of Will
Force of Will
Force of WillSet: Alliances
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
You may pay 1 life and remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Force of Will's casting cost. Effects that prevent or redirect damage cannot be used to counter this loss of life. Counter target spell.
, but making them use their emergency button and another card to stop your one drop is pretty good also. It is also important to get your reusable resources (creatures) down before Counterbalance
Counterbalance
CounterbalanceSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
31
Artist:
John Zeleznik
Text:
Whenever an opponent plays a spell, you may reveal the top card of your library. If you do, counter that spell if it has the same converted mana cost as the revealed card.
can get its combo set up. Ideally, burn will play a creature turn one (preferably a Goblin Guide
Goblin Guide
Goblin GuideSet: Zendikar
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Scout
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Warren Mahy
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Haste Whenever Goblin Guide attacks, defending player reveals the top card of his or her library. If it's a land card, that player puts it into his or her hand.
) and one or two on the second turn, and then play burn spells and/or activate Lavamancer the rest of the game. There are only three Figure of Destiny
Figure of Destiny
Figure of DestinySet: Eventide
Cost:
1
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kithkin
Rarity:
R
Number:
139
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
o(r/w): Figure of Destiny becomes a 2/2 Kithkin Spirit. o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w): If Figure of Destiny is a Spirit, it becomes a 4/4 Kithkin Spirit Warrior. o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w): If Figure of Destiny is a Warrior, it becomes an 8/8 Kithkin Spirit Warrior Avatar with flying and first strike.
because there is only so much mana and activating his pump ability ties up a lot of your land.

The Sorceries
The magic number is three here. All your spells (and hopefully creatures) do three or more damage, so you only have to resolve seven of them (and often six due to opponent’s sac lands and/or Thoughtseize
Thoughtseize
ThoughtseizeSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
145
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life.
s) to deal twenty damage. You want to play your sorceries after your creatures and before your instants since one of them has suspend and the early turns are again when your opponent is most likely to be tapped out. Flame Rift
Flame Rift
Flame RiftSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Flame Rift deals 4 damage to each player.
is perhaps the most controversial spell in the deck since it deals damage to you as well and cannot target a creature, but it makes races a lot shorter and can also allow you to draw games you were going to lose. Remember, if both you and your opponent take lethal damage at the same time, it does not matter what the final life totals are (-1 or -3) the game is still a draw.

The Instants
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.
and Fireblast
Fireblast
FireblastSet: Visions
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Michael Danza
Text:
You may sacrifice two mountains instead of paying Fireblast's casting cost. Fireblast deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
hopefully need no introduction. Bolt has been a premier spell since its initial printing and is the model on which all burn spells are based. Fireblast
Fireblast
FireblastSet: Visions
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Michael Danza
Text:
You may sacrifice two mountains instead of paying Fireblast's casting cost. Fireblast deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
is the key enabler for those turn three wins mentioned earlier. Being able to deal damage without tapping mana gives this deck a lot of its speed. Remember to always put mana in your pool with the lands you are about to sac, even if you are not planning to cast any additional spells. There is no downside to having mana and there will often be a Daze
Daze
DazeSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
You may return an island you control to its owner's hand instead of paying Daze's mana cost. Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1.
or Spell Pierce
Spell Pierce
Spell PierceSet: Zendikar
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
67
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Text:
Counter target noncreature spell unless its controller pays {2}.
to deal with. Lastly, Price of Progress
Price of Progress
Price of ProgressSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
95
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Price of Progress deals 2 damage to each player for each nonbasic land he or she controls.
is the “swingiest” card in the deck. Some games it will not be able to deal any damage at all and others it can do ten or more all by itself. Fortunately, there are plenty of cards to swap in for Price if it is not optimal for the matchup. Speaking of the sideboard…

Sideboarding
The sideboard tools available are fairly straightforward. The Blasts come in against heavy blue decks such as Merfolk or High Tide
High Tide
High TideSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
35
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Text:
Until end of turn, all islands produce an additional U when tapped for mana.
. Remember, they can counter spells AND destroy permanents. If you are unsure whether to counter something or destroy it once in play, just counter it. If you wait a turn, they may draw more ways to stop your Blast and obviously some permanents (like Counterbalance
Counterbalance
CounterbalanceSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
31
Artist:
John Zeleznik
Text:
Whenever an opponent plays a spell, you may reveal the top card of your library. If you do, counter that spell if it has the same converted mana cost as the revealed card.
) are harder to deal with once they resolve than while they are on the stack. One minor criticism I have is that a 4th Smash to Smithereens
Smash to Smithereens
Smash to SmithereensSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
107
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Destroy target artifact. Smash to Smithereens deals 3 damage to that artifact's controller.
would be more helpful than the 8th Blast. Affinity can be tough and the additional artifact destruction would help a lot. Additionally, the most commonly played card that Burn has trouble with is Umezawa’s Jitte (an equipment artifact). The Searing Blaze
Searing Blaze
Searing BlazeSet: Worldwake
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
90
Artist:
James Paick
Text:
Searing Blaze deals 1 damage to target player and 1 damage to target creature that player controls. Landfall — If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, Searing Blaze deals 3 damage to that player and 3 damage to that creature instead.
s are obviously great against creature decks and are the most common swap when Price of Progress
Price of Progress
Price of ProgressSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
95
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Price of Progress deals 2 damage to each player for each nonbasic land he or she controls.
is not the best.

Summary
Well that in a nutshell is Burn. It wins quickly without having to draw specific cards and does not have the weaknesses like nonbasic lands or common sideboard hate that many decks do. As long as the previous big event was not filled with Burn winners, it is a solid choice that many decks have trouble dealing with. Give it a try and good luck!


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