Historic Deck Tech: Wizard Burn

Do you like playing Burn in Modern or Legacy? Do you want to find a way to play your favourite archetype on Magic Arena, but don’t want to get beaten up by Omnath in Standard? Well, thanks to Zendikar Rising you can finally let all your pyromaniac fantasies run wild with todays deck. That right, today it is time burn the world and boil the ocean with Wizard Burn for Historic.

Wizard Burn is a Mono Red aggro deck that much like its other eternal brethren, aims to reduce your opponent’s life total to zero with the aid of cheap but effective creatures and direct damage spells. Now, in most format where Burn is played the first go to spell of choice is of course Lightning Bolt. Three Damage at instant speed is as good as it gets for direct damage, and most Burn decks run as many of these effects as possible to maximise potential damage output.

However, in Historic there is a problem. Lightning Bolt isn’t available. Cut from the digital release of Jump Start by the powers that be, we are left without one of the best Red spells ever printed. However, we do have access to another card. One that might not be Lightning Bolt but is as good as we are likely to get. That card is of course, Wizard’s Lightning.

With a Wizard on the board, this three mana Instant from Dominaria is one of the closest spells we will get to Lightning Bolt in Historic. Thankfully, there are a ton of great Wizards to help make this card effective in the format. Ghitu Lavarunner is a great replacement for the Modern mainstay Goblin Guide, quickly becoming a 2/2 with haste thanks to all our Instants and Sorceries we will be running. Soul-Scar Mage might no have haste, but in all other regards is a great stand in for Monastery Swiftspear, and Jump Start brought us Grim Lavamancer for some addition support.

But when it came to looking for a replacement for Eidolon of the Great Revel, we found choices a little lacking. Previously, Viashino Pyromancer filled this role, but it always felt subpar compared to the Modern powerhouse. However, now we have a new contender for our two-drop slot, with Zendikar Risings own Magmatic Channeler.

Magmatic Channeler might not seem like a top pick at first, but this Zendikar Rare has a lot of value for a deck like ours. Firstly, a 1/3 base body is great for countering other aggro deck as an early game blocker. Secondly, once we have four or more Instants and Sorceries in the graveyard, they buff up to a 4/4 which can easily close out games. And finally, the ability to dig for gas is not to be underestimated since finding that one burn spell can be the difference between victory and defeat.

The rest of the deck (aside from a playset of Light Up the Stage for more card advantage) is all about dealing damage from afar. Shock and Pillar of Flame might only be two damage a piece but are cheap ways of triggering Prowess and Spectacle. Magma Jet allows us to shape the top of our deck while also dealing damage, while Lightning Strike adds to the three-damage pain train. Skewer the Critics joins Wizard’s Lightning as another ‘situational’ Lightning Bolt, and two copies of Slaying Fire gives us some top tier damage output at range.

For mana we get to keep it simple with fifteen Mountains and a playset of Ramunap Ruins to add some more potential damage sources in our lands. When it comes to a Sideboard, we are running Tormod’s Crypt graveyard hate (make sure to take out your Magmatic Channeler when you add them), Blazing Volley to handle token decks and Abrade for Artifacts. Fry and Redcap Melee adds even more removal should we need it and Claim the Firstborn to steal away cards like Uro.

Creatures (13)
Ghitu Lavarunner
Soul-Scar Mage
Grim Lavamancer
Magmatic Channeler

Spells (28)
Pillar of Flame
Lightning Strike
Magma Jet
Light Up the Stage
Wizard’s Lightning
Skewer the Critics
Slaying Fire
Lands (19)
15 Mountain
Ramunap Ruins

Sideboard (15)
Tormod’s Crypt
Redcap Melee
Blazing Volley
Claim the Firstborn

And that is Wizard Burn for Historic. What do you think about today’s deck? Is this what you want to play, or have you a different brew you want to try out? Please let me know in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.

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