Evolving Modern burn: v.0

by wickeddarkman on 27 August 2020

Main Deck (60 cards)

Sideboard (15 cards)

Creatures (2)

Sorceries (3)

Artifacts (1)

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Deck Description

I'm going to evolve modern burn.

Recently I mentioned to user: alfred how "the paperstrip method" is capable of evolving a deck from scratch into something competitive within a month, and that using the method on an already existing deck would bring even wilder results.

I'm going to put that to the test...

Currently TC decks has 1205 burn decks listed, with 18 of them being played this month. It stands for 7% of the meta these last two weeks.

So how am I going to take burn to the next level and brew up an even better recipe than the one already in existence?

I'm a big fan of analysing the game, and think that's the fastest route to bringing a new type of burn up to speed. Using tc decks I took a fast look yesterday at all the burn that got second place. Why second? Because it allows me to see exactly what it was that defeated burn. The answer from the short research was pretty simple. Lifegain... lifegain occasionally brings down burn, robbing it from the firstplace that we really really covet. It isn't just any kind of lifegain that brings burn down, it's usually the same culprits, and the leader of the pack is scavenging ooze. That card alone seems to be a major hindrance for burn to overcome. I will spend some more time on identifying the problemcards that defeats burn, and if you are an avid burn player who wants burn to go way above 7% of the meta, then I'll listen to stories about what you think is holding burn back.

I'm not just a fan of analysis, I'm also a great fan of hatred. I take hatred to unheard levels and is frequently seen playing hatred in maindeck that most others would put in the sideboard. My key is to fixate on general key hatecards that hurts many decktypes in weird and creative ways. Learning that scavenging ooze is behind most of burns defeats send my brain on a two second trip that said "pithing needle"
Pithing needle was everywhere back in the past, and is a key to lock down so many interesting cards. Going through decklists on tc deck will doubtless reveal many cards to lock down with it. That's just one card, and I know that I can press my memory for more. For example, when our opponent plays scavenging ooze, sudden shock will be a surprise to them. As they play the ooze, ask if they want to add effects to the stack while they are still having priority. More specifically ask if they want to add any pump effects to the stack. If they do ask how many if they don't it's too easy. Once they've started how many pumps they stack simply cast sudden shock. It kills the ooze before any pump resolves, and split second ensures that they cannot add more pump before sudden shock resolves. This is all very basic to a pro, but it will be a slap in the face so hard that some opponent's may be tempted to rip apart their scavenging ooze.

Before I spend a month on improving burn beyond belief, I need to know if there is enough fanbase of burn in here to provide me with backup, because frankly I've got other projects that I'm running through evolution, like mill, so I gotta backtrack the phases here and simply demand that I get some assistance. It's gonna work like this, you just provide me with the cards that are problematic against burn, I'll then work out a couple of solutions to those problemcards, and if I feel I've gained enough data, then I'll run burn through some generations of evolution to see what evolves.
The results are often shocking and weird, as evolution don't have the same biases that we do. It might do something radically different from how we would solve a problem. That's why I spend my time on it. But my main poster child is mill, so if you want this to happen to burn, then you'd better step up now before I change my gnatty attention ;)


Main: 1 spellskite. (Dismember, pithing needle, destructive revelry)
Side: 4 burrenton forge-tender (dismember, pithing needle)
1 lurrus of the dream den (dismember, pithing needle, relic of progenitus, surgical extraction)

Main: 2 lurrus of the dream den (dismember, pithing needle, relic of progenitus, surgical extraction)
2 scavenging ooze. (Dismember, relic of progenitus, surgical extraction)
Side: 2 collective brutality (surgical extraction)
1 dragon's claw (destructive Revelry)

Main: 1 Spell queller (dismember)
3 kayla's guile (surgical extraction)
4 lightning helix (surgical extraction)
Side: 1 deafening clarion,
1 kayla's guile (surgical extraction)
1 kambal, consul of allocation (dismember)
1 meddling mage (dismember)
2 mystical dispute (surgical extraction)

Main: 3 klothys, god of destiny (dismember)
2 scavenging ooze (dismember, relic of progenitus, surgical extraction)

Main: 1 life goes on
4 Griselbrand (pithing needle, dead // gone)
4 Nourishing shoals (surgical extraction)

How to Play


Since burn is defeated only by decks with lifegain in them, it's a mystery to me why the current burn decks mainly list 2 skullcrack.
My own list from 2018 does so too, but having 4 skullcrack would seem to fix the decks odds against the lifegaining decks.

Here is the current list of cards that fight a variety of lifegain.

Attarka's command:
(All cards for one turn)

Dead // gone:
(lurrus, griselbrand, scavenging ooze)

Destructive revelry:
(Dragon's claw)

(Lurrus of the dream den, burrenton forge-tender, scavenging ooze, spell queller, kambal, consul of allocation, griselbrand (dismember + any burn) klothys god of destiny)

Pithing needle:
(lurrus/mishra's bauble, scavenging ooze, griselbrand (carddraw)

Relic of progenitus:

Surgical extraction:

Deck Tags

  • Burn

Deck at a Glance

Social Stats


This deck has been viewed 154 times.

Mana Curve

Mana Symbol Occurrence


Deck Format


NOTE: Set by owner when deck was made.

Card Legality

  • Not Legal in Standard
  • Legal in Modern
  • Legal in Vintage
  • Legal in Legacy

Deck discussion for Evolving Modern burn: v.0

I can help with burn, although I can’t say I’m great at it, also no lightning bolt you fool

Posted 27 August 2020 at 12:22


I was just outlining some cards to start with. I will use my 2018 deck to show what burn have done in 2 years, and then wing it from there.

You could easily help at the creativity part by suggesting radical burncards.

Posted 27 August 2020 at 12:44


The only cards I can recommend before I know the deck are swiftspear and bolt

Posted 27 August 2020 at 12:54


I mean cards that aren't in ordinary burn at the moment.
Like gutshot, pithing needle and sudden shock. But I get the point, you want a build to focus around.
I'm on it...

Posted 27 August 2020 at 16:24


Thank you

Posted 27 August 2020 at 17:31


My list is at my home, so currently I try to list it from memory

Posted 27 August 2020 at 18:20


This is what I remember from memory.
I can't remember 5 cards, but will list them when I get home in 5-10 hours.

Posted 27 August 2020 at 18:46


Seems like 7 cards can handle most of the lifegain that is out there.
Skullcrack and attarka's command are a pretty obvious way to go, while the rest of the 7 takes practice to use.

All the decks that defeats burn have most of their lifegain in main, which means that to win this battle, burn would have to do much the same.

I'd go with 4 skullcrack, 4 attarka's command and 4 relic of progenitus as the new core of burn, and then adjust all the other cards around it.

First though, I'd experiment on just how many riftbolt and skewer the critics it would take to break through chalice of the void and then make the first cuts there.

Boros charm and lightning helix would also be a place to start cutting.

Posted 31 August 2020 at 09:42