Modern Deck Tech: Dragon’s Burn

Ok, let’s get this out of the way right at the offset. You all knew this was going to happen. Everyone knows that Modern Burn is my pet deck, and one that I come back to time and time again. As a result, whenever a new set comes out, I have to ask myself “Are there any new toys for Burn?”. It’s inevitable at this point, so lets all just accept that this is another edition of “James plays a Red deck again” and we will all get through this together. Deal? Good. Ok, let’s begin.

So, with the release of Modern Horizons 2 on MTGO (and know hopefully the real world) lots of existing decks got a bunch of new and exciting new toys to play with, and Burn was no exception. For those of the non-Boros persuasion, we got a Modern reprinting of what was for the longest time a Legacy stable in Burn with Flame Rift. We also got some great sideboard card in the form of Flame Blitz and Obsidian Charmaw. But the card that got mine and a lot of other people’s attention was a little one drop of understated power. No, sadly we are not talking about Ragavan today, but rather one of my new favourite creatures with Dragon’s Rage Channeler.

Dragon’s Rage Channeler is a 1/1 human shaman with two awesome abilities. First up, whenever you cast a non-creature spell you get to Surveil 1. This might not look like a lot at first, but after some testing I can tell you that it is a godsend for a Burn deck. With most of our spells been non-creature, we can basically filter the top of our deck and almost always guarantee that we will be cooking with gas. Being able to ditch a land from the top of your deck and stop yourself from flooding out is such a great feeling, and I have won so many games I would have previously lost thanks to this ability.

Additionally, it can even make the dreaded one land keep a little less risky, as we can always filter for a land should we need it (also making Searing Blaze more reliable). So, that already makes this card interesting. But it is its second ability that makes this such a strong include in an aggressive deck.

You see, thanks to Delirium (having four or more card types in our graveyard) this meagre 1/1 becomes a monster aerial threat as a 3/3 flyer that attacks each turn if able. This can make it into one of the more reliable repeat damage dealers in the deck, allowing it to easily eat away unhindered at your opponent’s life total turn after turn. And for those of you that think you that we would have to bend over backwards to achieve Delirium, let me just say that in testing I have easily had this little blighter online constantly as early as turn 3 (sometimes even turn 2*).

It remains me a lot of Delver of Secrets (one drop that can become a 3-power flyer with a bit of work) which has long been a stable of value decks in format like Legacy. And considering it is only slight harder to get online it is not hard to see way it would be such a powerful addition to our deck.

So, it’s a good addition to our deck, bringing us some much need card filtering and aerial offence. The questions is, what do we cut to make room for it? After all, Burn is one of the tightest deck builds in Modern, with little to no fat in the main deck. Well, after some more testing and a bit of soul searching, I think its time to say goodbye to our dear friend Goblin Guide.

Now I know that this will be a bit of an unpopular statement for some of my fellow Burn players, but I think that out of all the cards we can remove in the deck, I believe that Goblin Guide is the easiest cut we can make. I know it has been a staple of the deck for a long time now, but in my testing Dragon’s Rage Channeler simple outperforms it in terms of shear damage output. Guide often becomes a dead card once the board get gummed up, while Channeler can go over the top and get in far more damage. Additionally, the card selection has proven to be more valuable in my games compared to the information Guide can provide.

If you really don’t want to say goodbye to Guide you could always cut down on cards like Skewer the Critics. But the more non-creature cards you cut from the deck, the less effective Dragon’s Rage Channeler becomes. Believe me, I’m sad to see him go. But I think we have to and welcome Channeler into the family with open arms. Hey, Guide will always have a home in my 8 Whack deck at least.

Now I’ve talked about this architype a lot, so I’m not going to go point by point on what the rest of the deck includes. Instead, lets get right to it and ok at the deck list together.

Creatures (13)
Dragon’s Rage Channeler
Monastery Swiftspear
Grim Lavamancer
Eidolon of the Great Revel

Instants & Sorceries (28)
Lightning Bolt
Lava Spike
Boros Charm
Lightning Helix
Searing Blaze
Rift Bolt
Skewer the Critics
Lands (19)
Inspiring Vantage
Arid Mesa
Bloodstained Mire
Sunbaked Canyon
Sacred Foundry

Sideboard (15)
Deflecting Palm
Path to Exile
Relic of Progenitus
Smash to Smithereens
Roiling Vortex

Overall, this is the version of the deck I have had the most success with. I may still make some changes to the build as time goes on, but I think it is fair to say that Dragon’s Rage Channeler has taken its place in the Burn Triumvirate alongside Monastery Swiftspear and Eidolon of the Great Revel. Long my it remain.

And there we have a deck that I like to call Dragon’s Burn. That another Modern Horizons deck out of the way, and I still have more idea’s I want to bring you. It really is the best time to get on board the Modern banded wagon if you haven’t done so already. But I would love to know what you think about today’s deck. Is this the kind of Burn build you would like 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.

We also have a Patreon so if you want to support future content for the site, consider becoming one of our Patrons. Just a $1 a month would do so much to help us create more of the content you enjoy. If you have any ideas for Modern Horizon 2 brews you want to see, you can contact me directly @TenguPlaysGames over on Twitter or in the comments. But until next time remember no matter the game you play or where you play it, Good Luck and Have Fun.

** Turn one Dragon’s Rage Channeler. Turn two fetch a Mountain, cast a Burn spell and Surveil a Eidolon of the Great Revel into the bin. Enchantment, Creature, Land and either an Instant or Sorcery.

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