Competitive Mono-Red Wizards in Modern – MTG!

Most Magic players, especially Modern players, have a favourite deck or style of play. It’s not really surprising, as building a Modern deck from the ground up is a significant money and time investment. As a result, many players build a unique bond to the decks they play and will return to them time and time again. In fact, many of us often try new cards and builds on a regular basis, trying to improve or tweak our favourite archetypes to keep them fresh. Today I intend to do just that and revisit my beloved Burn for a Modern brew that is not only competitive and fun, but also won’t hurt your wallet.

Ghitu Lavarunner

Wizard Burn as I like to call it, is Mono Red aggro deck that swaps out the holy trinity of Burn creatures – (Goblin Guide, Monastery Swiftspear and Eidolon of the Great Revel) – for enablers which turn our Wizard’s Lightning into everyone’s favourite, Lightning Bolt. This gives the deck a total of eighteen ‘bolt’ effects, allowing us to quickly deal a bunch of damage to our opponent. The eighteen ‘bolts’ in question consist of playsets of Lava Spike, Rift Bolt, Wizard’s Lightning and the tried-and-tested Lightning Bolt, as well as two copies of Shard Volley. The other burn spells we include are playsets of Searing Blood and Skullcrack to handle creatures and life gain, respectively.

For our creature package we forsake the afore-mentioned trinity for Ghitu Lavarunner, Soul-Scar Mage, and Viashino Pyromancer. Since we are very likely to have at least two Instants or Sorceries in our graveyard within the first few turns, Ghitu Lavarunner becomes a Goblin Guide with no “downside”. Soul-Scar Mage replaces Monastery Swiftspear as our prowess threat, trading in Haste for the ability to give all our burn spells Wither. Finally, Viashino Pyromancer might seem like the weakest creature of the bunch, but the built in Shock allows this little lizard to be a much better top deck than Eidolon when it comes to closing out the game. To round off the deck we include two copies of Grim Lavamancer and twenty Mountains.

Budget Wizard Burn

Creatures (14)
Ghitu Lavarunner
Soul-Scar Mage
Viashino Pyromancer
Grim Lavamancer

Sorceries (8)
Lava Spike
Rift Bolt

Instants (18)
Shard Volley
Lightning Bolt
Searing Blood
Skullcrack
Wizard’s Lightning
Lands (20)
20 Mountain

Sideboard (15)
Dragon’s Claw
Exquisite Firecraft
Molten Rain
Relic of Progenitus
Smash to Smithereens

For the sideboard we run full playsets of Dragon’s Claw for an edge against other Red decks, and Smash to Smithereens for Artifact decks like Affinity and KCI Combo. Exquisite Firecraft gives us a finisher against Control decks, while Molten Rain gives us an answer to Tron and decks that have greedier mana bases. Last, but by no means least, Relic of Progenitus can be brought in against decks that make use of the graveyard (I’m looking at you, Dredge).

The deck is very streamlined and has plenty of redundancies, allowing it to have an incredibly consistent game one against most opponents. As I stated at the start of the article this deck is also very budget friendly, coming in at under $100 in the real world and about 8 tix on Magic Online. If you were looking to make some upgrades to make the deck even more efficient, I would recommend cutting 10 of the Mountains for some fetch-lands for deck thinning. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, I would also replace the maindeck copies of Searing Blood for Searing Blaze to take advantage of the much easier to trigger landfall.

Non-Budget wizard Burn

Creatures (14)
Ghitu Lavarunner
Soul-Scar Mage
Viashino Pyromancer
Grim Lavamancer

Sorceries (8)
Lava Spike
Rift Bolt

Instants (18)
Shard Volley
Lightning Bolt
Searing Blaze
Skullcrack
Wizard’s Lightning
Lands (20)
Arid Mesa
Bloodstained Mire
Wooded Foothills
10 Mountain

Sideboard (15)
Dragon’s Claw
Exquisite Firecraft
Molten Rain
Relic of Progenitus
Smash to Smithereens

And that about does it for todays deck tech. We would love to know what you think of the deck, and if you’ve come up with your own takes on it. Is this a version of Burn you would like to take for a spin? Would you add another colour? And if so, which one do you think would complement the build the best? I’ve had a lot of fun with testing this particular brew, and I’ll probably be taking it for a spin in the next few weeks on stream. Hope you have enjoyed today’s article. Make sure you like and subscribe to keep up to date with all that we do here at Master of Magics, and until next time, remember – Good Luck and Have Fun!

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