Right, so it’s just one week away from the Modern GP in Richmond. I can’t lie I’ve been all over the place with deck choices. Like really all over the place. I’ve play UWR control And Geist, Gifts, Splinter Twin, UR Faeries, UR Storm, UWR Gifts, Merfolk, and probably a couple others I can’t even pinpoint over the last 4 months. Never really doing better than 3-0-1 on Tuesday. I really like Modern. It’s a thinking man’s format. But I think maybe I’ve been over thinking it a bit. So, I sleeved up RB burn. Here’s the deck.

RB Burn

Lands (20)
Blood Crypt
Arid Mesa
Scalding Tarn
Steam Vents
Blackcleave Cliffs

Creatures (13)
Dark Confidant
Hellspark Elemental
Goblin Guide
Grim Lavamancer

Spells (27)
Bump in the Night
Lightning Bolt
Shard Volley
Rift Bolt
Lava Spike
Searing Blaze

SB (15)
Anger of the Gods
Volcanic Fallout
Flames of the Bloodhand
Rakdos Charm
Smash to Smithereens

This deck has a plan for sure. Pop off 20 Damage before you lose to whatever your opponent is doing. Stupid? Maybe. Efficient killing machine? Definitely!

I’ve played this over the course of two Modern tournaments. Collectively going 7-1. That means I finally got my 4-0 badge in Modern. I’ve played against Melira Pod thrice, Blue Tron, Splinter Twin Tempo, Rug Tempo, Cruel Control, and UR Storm.

Let’s talk about the mainstream match-ups I’ve played in general and see what we can learn from boarding as well as my extensive testing with Zachary Barash playing UWR Geist. I’ll fill you in on what went right, and how to win after you run out of gas.

First things first, though. If you’re thinking about playing Burn in the GP I’d head over to Star City Games Select and read Patrick Sullivan’s Article on Burn vs Counters. It’ll change your life. I promise.

UWR Tempo

So let’s start with UWR Geist. It’s a Tempo Deck at heart, and likely you are a worse dog here than in a match Vs UWR Control. They have a few sweet clocks like Geist and Restoration Angel that you have trouble dealing with and end the game rather quickly for you. Early game your plan is to pop off Sorcery speed burn under their counter magic and save instant speed burn for when they tap out for Geist or Angel or Clique. They run Snapcaster and Lightning Helix, so be aware that you’ll likely have to do 23-27 worth of damage in spells if you are just playing you cards right and only manage to have 1-2 spells countered. Use the information that Goblin Guide will give you to you advantage. Hellspark Elemental is a boss in this match up on the play. As he comes back uncounterable thanks to unearth. Path to Exile is a bummer but the extra mana can help make Bump in the Night live later on. Once they are threading you life total it’s time to start stockpiling cheap burn spells and firing off the more expensive ones into counter magic. What you are waiting for is a 2 turn window for 4-6 spells. That’s a lot of spells. Like I said this is a bad match for you, but you can gain ground vs counters if you time your spells right. If they play remand you’re even better off.

Post board Flames of the Blood Hand, Countersquall, and Volcanic Fallout come in and Searing Blaze, Grim Lavamancer, 1 Rift Bolt come out. Those creature removal spells pretty much mean that you’ll sneak in a Guide or a Hellspark but don’t expect Grim Lavamancer to do much work, if they bring in Artifacts or you saw them in game one, Bob can go for more hate in that area… I’d pick Rakdos Charm as it can work as a counter vs Snapcaster Mage in a pinch.

Birthing Pod

This is a straight race but you have a lot of interactions with pod, at the expense of a quicker win. If you have Skullcrack you should hold it, even if you are a little funneled for mana. Kitchen Finks are you’re worst enemy and they can come from the hand or the Pod or a Chord at instant speed. Count his mana and creatures if it adds upto 6 then you don’t tap those 2 mana, until he puts that finks on the board. Skullcrack is your MVP. Searing Blaze is also your best friend here. Killing a Bird/Seer/Hierarch and still hitting them while putting them back a turn is so clutch. Remember Pod is a Sorcery effect if they have not guys they can’t Pod. Use your guys to main phase damage, and save that instant speed stuff for emergencies.

After board it’s all about the Life gain/Artifact hate. Expect Spellskites to come in, Rakdos Charm is a Beast in this match. It’s either a giant burn spell, a pod/skite killer or a combo stopper in their graveyard. It’s the best utility spell in your deck, be happy to see these in your hand. Smash to Smithereens is solid too, but I wouldn’t go nuts. Remember they can’t redirect Bump in the Night, Skullcrack, Lava Spike and Rakdos Charm (as a burn spell). And if they tap out 2 life for 3 damage is not the end of the world.

Most of what I said above is good for Kiki pod as well. It’s important to stop their Glen Elendra Mage from being a pain in the ass. As Rakdos Charm can beat a player that accidentally makes a million guys with Kiki-Jiki instead of the right amount to kill you. Even then it can be enough damage to kill him.

Blue Tron

There’s not a ton to say about this match-up if you can stop Wurmcoil Engine from coming out on turn 3 you’re in really good shape. They run counters for early interaction but it’s likely that they want to use their mana to find Urza Lands. Game one you are likely highly favored.

After board do it, go ahead you know you want to, just bring in all the artifact hate. Searing Blaze is a dog here, Shard Volley can go, and one Bump in the Night. If Wurmcoil does come down, kill it when it attacks so they don’t gain life from it. There’s not a ton to say, you’ll want to watch for counter magic and some versions splash white for Sphinx’s Revelation, so make sure you’re ready with Skullcrack.

UR Storm

This is a difficult one. They can certainly beat you before you get then low enough. Preboard you can’t really interact with them. It’s a real coin flip in game one. Just make sure to kill their Electromancer if they put one down.

You definitely should bring in 4 Rakdos Charms for 4 Searing Blaze, and 3 Countersquall in the place of 2 Grim Lavamancers and 1 Skullcrack. The Rakdos Charms won’t stop their Ascension from coming online unless you cast them before they cast their Sorceries, but they are boss against Past in Flames. If they go to the Empty the Warrens plan Rakdos Charm should end it right there.

Running out of Gas

This happens but it’s not the end of the world, remember that you have Bump in the Night in graveyard just waiting to hit 6 mana and each land you hold back your opponent has to guess is a burn spell. Play smart and they might play too cautiously and allow you to draw into more gas. It’s important to bide your time against control decks. Remember your spells cost much less than theirs, one counter for 4 mana that draws them a card against 4 1 mana 3 damage burn spells still means 9 damage. That’s a lot. If you’re careful you can sequence a chain of burn that they can’t deal with.

That’s it for me. Hopefully I’ll see you in the top 8 at Richmond. I’ve go one bye and I’m hoping to ride that to day 2. Tune in next week when I’ll be going over what to expect in the meta since the PT.

Zac Clark, DurdleMagus

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.