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Red Isn't So Bad Right Now
By Kirsin Koch
I think just about everyone not playing blue is complaining about the lack of red's good old-fashioned firepower spells like Incinerate and Lightning Bolt. I know I am. Well, on a whim, I went to the Dojo's Magic Card Search, which is a handy search engine. While being far from perfect, it still offers a lot of options and allows me to look for what I want. I decided to make a deck of Type II burn (yes, I'm a hypocrite). Upon looking at all the common burn spells, I saw 3 different groups of burn.

The first were the best burn of the Standard environment. They can hit any target and/or are fairly efficient for what they cost. Shock and Parch are examples of this category.

Second came the drawback burn spells. These are spells that can only hit one type of target or another, or aren't as efficient as other burn spells. Shock Troops and Kris Mage are examples.

The third type of burn is the downright sucky, crappy, overcosted and inefficient burn that is being churned out by R&D. Flame Jet and Lunge anyone?

But I realized something, each one of these categories can win on there own in an all-common environment. Now, only the Standard version could survive in a tournament with any success, but it would be fun to nail your opponent with a Lava Axe for once.

“Drawback Stupid Red Burn Type II”
Colors: Red
Created by: Kirsin Koch
Description/Theme: All the worst burn in Type II; burn with a drawback of a sort
Source: Personal
Tournament Format: Standard

Red (any):
4 Furious Assault
4 Kris Mage
4 Kyren Sniper
4 Laccolith Grunt
4 Laccolith Whelp
4 Reckless Abandon
4 Retromancer
4 Scent of Cinder
4 Shock Troops

Lands:
16 Mountain
4 Sandstone Needle
4 Smoldering Crater


This deck focuses on removing any creature obstacles in your path and beatdown with whatever you have on the table while pinging away at your opponent. The high casting cost of this deck doesn't make it fast, but your opponent will have threats to deal with constantly.


“Standard Red Burn”
Colors: Red
Created by: Kirsin Koch
Description/Theme: The best burn in Type II
Source: Personal
Tournament Format: Standard

Red:
4 Anaba Shaman
4 Arc Lightning
4 Ghitu Slinger
4 Goblin Medics
4 Lightning Blast
4 Parch
4 Pyrotechnics
4 Seal of Fire
4 Shock

Lands:
16 Mountain
4 Sandstone Needle
4 Smoldering Crater


This is what it looks like, a stupid red burn deck. Every spell has the any target versatility. Every creature has some sort of direct damage capability to wear away at your opponent. Again, this deck is not fast, but the Sandstone Needles should help that.


“Sucky Red Burn-Type II”
Colors: Red
Created by: Kirsin Koch
Description/Theme: All the worst burn in Type II; with these cards you do not get to choose a variety of targets or it doesn’t target at all
Source: Personal
Tournament Format: Standard

Red:
4 Flame Jet
4 Flame Rift
4 Heat Ray
4 Lava Axe
4 Lunge
4 Shower of Sparks
4 Sizzle
4 Spitting Earth
4 Thunderclap
4 Tremor

Lands:
16 Mountain
4 Sandstone Needle


Here it is, the cream of the crap deck. I would actually like to see this in a tournament of sorts just baffle my opponent as to why I'm actually using these cards. Seriously, do think that anyone would counter a Lava Axe? I wouldn't out of respect for the poor sod that actually tried to use it. This is the type of deck I'd play against an opponent that's new to the game to give them a chance. Now if only Fireball, excuse me, the "idiot's Fireball," Blaze, was common like it should be so that red-common burn could compete with blue's common counterspell.

While the environment is slower and red has been castrated to it's weakest ever, it still can be made from the worst pile of extras and it does have a small chance. With the current trend, I'm betting the following Starter cards will be seen in Prophecy, Invasion, and 7th edition. So, watch out!

(Coming to a pack with foils near you!)
Cinder Storm 6R
Sorcery
Cinder Storm deals 7 damage to target creature or player.

Scorching Spear R
Sorcery
Scorching Spear deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

Volcanic Hammer 1R
Sorcery
Volcanic Hammer deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
(Wait, this is too powerful for red. This will never be in another set.)

The point of this is not to be negative, but to realize that although Lightning Bolt and Incinerate is not available anymore, red burn is still there. You just can't be a scrub player with it anymore.

dune@siscom.net

Read More Articles by Kirsin Koch!

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