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Daily Deck Tech: Historic RW Burn

Historic RW Burn

Welcome to the Historic format. Thanks to a recent round of bannings, the format as a whole is more wide open than ever. The removal of both Memory Lapse and Tibalt’s Trickey has made venturing into the ranked ladder a bit more exciting. Players can now play decks that don’t need to worry about a sudden turn four Ugin or a turn two Memory Lapse into a wrath of some sort. The format has been unlocked at least for the moment, until someone finds another deck to dominate the meta.

[Yesterday’s Historic Mono White Humans Deck Tech]

In a new series from TGH, the Daily Deck Tech column takes a look at individual lists across multiple metas. Today is a day to look at an absolute classic archetype that hasn’t gotten much love in recent sets. That’s right, we are talking about Burn. Historic RW Burn to be specific. The deck hasn’t carved out a spot yet in the Historic meta, but with enough tuning it has the potential to be a big player.

What are the Deck’s Power Points?

For newer players, Burn might not be a familiar deck. The point of Burn is to deal damage to the opponent as quickly as possible with cheap creatures and cheap instants and sorceries. Burn decks want to start the game with a one mana creature, preferably with haste, and then cast damaging spells for the rest of the game. If it wasn’t obvious, Burn is an aggro deck. Actually it is the aggro deck that seems to always find a way into a format.

Historic RW Burn


Example Deck List

Burn is at it’s best when they can completely ignore the opponent. If Burn had its way, it would want both players to play their own game without any interaction. As the essential “Red Deck Wins” variant, Burn will just want to play the cards it draws without much deviation from the plan. Yes there will be games where the burn spells need to hit creatures or other threats, but typically the speed of burn can outrun a lot of other decks.

What are Its Good Matchups?

RW Burn really wants to queue up against decks that are hoping to avoid any interaction with the opponent. If the Burn deck can curve out without any issue, then the game should pretty much be a lock. Playing against decks like Sultai Ultimatum and UW control should be relatively good matchups.

Funnily enough, Burn also has some serious game against small creature decks like Elves and Auras. With the various damage spells that are usually aimed towards the player, Burn can easily take one or two turns off to deal with a dangerous creature. Lightning Helix also does a splendid job of keeping the life total high against those other aggro decks.

What are It’s Bad Matchups?

Burn typically would have even matchups across pretty much an entire meta. However in Historic, RW Burn is oddly a bit susceptible to creature removal. Historic Burn doesn’t have the same artillery of damage spells like the Modern version. This version relies heavily on creatures, namely Bomat Courier and Dragon’s Rage Channeler.  Both of these creatures help draw cards and set up later turns when the pilot’s hand is empty. If the opposing player can remove those creatures, then Burn has a tough time coming back into the game.

The other obvious bad matchups are the various versions of life gain decks. RW Burn wants the opponent to be at zero life, while the life gain deck wants to be at thirty health. Sadly the GW decks are very very good at getting to thirty health. Other rogue decks with Lightning Helix or Scavenging Ooze also make life very difficult for RW Burn.

What are the Sideboard Options

Sideboard options for Burn are a bit limited in Historic. Classic white sideboard options like Rest in Peace are certainly helpful against more degenerate graveyard decks. Other options to add in would be Roiling Vortex for combo decks or even Esper Sentinel against spell heavy decks.

The worry as with other aggro decks is adding too many cards from the sideboard and accidentally diluting the initial game plan. RW Burn doesn’t really want a transformational sideboard. Too many main deck cards rely on the pre-set synergy, and taking away too many cards from that synergy may end up hurting the deck more than helping.

Is the Deck Worth Playing?

RW Burn is a tough deck to recommend, as it sits in a pretty bad spot in the format at the moment. There are a bunch of random life gain decks floating around, and the slower decks have incidental life gain that makes it tough to close out matches against them. Worst of all, there just aren’t enough strong burn spells to make the deck appealing.

If there is a daily quest that needs twenty or more red spells to be cast, this is the deck for it. If Bo1 is all that a player has time for, RW Burn is the perfect deck to quickly get in and out of a game. Maybe with a string of really good matchups this deck will be able to climb the ranked ladder.


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1 comment

Daily Deck Tech: Standard UR Dragons October 29, 2021 at 12:53 pm

[…] [Yesterday’s Deck Tech – Historic RW Burn] […]

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