Modern Boros Burn Deck Guide

Jeremy Dezani

Jeremy Dezani

Monastery Swiftspear

(Editor’s Note: this article was written before Grand Prix Ghent.)

Introduction

Hello everyone! Today, I am going to write stuff about Modern.

Since I had to practice for Grand Prix Ghent in team Modern, I decide to focus on my teammates decks because I will be the middle player of the team.

Monastery SwiftspearGoblin GuideLightning BoltBoros Charm

I start my testing with Boros Burn and I have to say the deck was very good. So good that I decide to play the Magic Online Mythic Championship Qualifier (MCQ) with it. I did pretty well with a top 8 over 411 players. I didn’t play PTQ/MCQ since 8 years but the new system is what it is. The field during the MCQ was very high and I had to beat players like Yuuki Ichikawa and recent Modern Grand Prix champion Simon Nielsen on my way.

Burn is a deck that exists since Modern was born but 3 major things make the deck a very good one right now.

For all of these reasons, Burn has become a very powerful deck which solved its 2 biggest problems. Now the deck has a great stability from the turn 1 to the moment you need to draw a spell in late game.

Decklist and Result of the MCQ

Decklist

Here is the list I played at the MCQ:

The Result of MCQ

Here is my result at the MCQ:

Round Deck Result
Round 1 Storm 2-0
Round 2 Tron 2-1
Round 3 Titanshift 2-0
Round 4 Burn 2-0
Round 5 Neoform 2-1
Round 6 Whirza 2-1
Round 7 Whirza 0-2
Round 8 Bant Stoneblade 0-2
Round 9 Whirza 2-1
Round 10 Jund 2-0
Round Deck Result
Quarterfinals UW Stoneblade 1-2

New Sideboard and Sideboard Guide with it

The popularity and the power of Whirza deck right now make me think that I should change the sideboard a little bit. Here is the list I would play:

New Sideboard

Here are some sideboard plan and tips about each most important match-ups.

Whirza

Whir of InventionUrza, Lord High ArtificerThopter FoundrySword of the Meek

The match up is tricky, you have to put pressure and interact with them in the same time. 《Eidolon of the Great Revel》 is super good against them, but a one drop and some way to destroy artifact do the job too.

SkullcrackCollective BrutalityPath to ExileUrza, Lord High Artificer

They basically board in 《Collective Brutality》 and that’s all, so I like to keep 《Skullcrack》 even if the card doesn’t stop the combo. I like 《Path to Exile》 for 《Urza, Lord High Artificer》. 《Shattering Spree》 is not instant speed but you can use it to destroy 《Mox Opal》 and other mana artifact. Opponent generally plays them as soon as possible since they will take extra damages if we cast Eidolon.

Against Whirza

Out

Searing Blaze Searing Blaze Searing Blaze Searing Blaze
Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Lightning Helix Lightning Helix

In

Smash to Smithereens Smash to Smithereens Shattering Spree Shattering Spree
Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile Wear+Tear

Burn Mirror

Kor FirewalkerPath to Exile

《Eidolon of the Great Revel》 is by far the worst card in the mirror. 《Kor Firewalker》 is obviously the MVP and you need 《Path to Exile》 to deal with it. Some people run 《Kozilek’s Return》 too but it sounds expensive and is not very versatile. If you think that your opponent is playing 4 《Lightning Helix》 you might want to keep 《Skullcrack》 but otherwise it’s just an expensive 《Lava Spike》. You can keep some Opening hands with no creatures and play the control game but you need burn spell that deals with creatures in this case.

Against Burn Mirror

Out

Eidolon of the Great Revel Eidolon of the Great Revel Eidolon of the Great Revel Eidolon of the Great Revel
Skullcrack Skullcrack Skewer the Critics

In

Deflecting Palm Deflecting Palm Kor Firewalker Kor Firewalker
Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile

Jund

SkullcrackCollective BrutalityPath to ExileTarmogoyf

They have some gain life cards in the maindeck like 《Scavenging Ooze》 and 《Collective Brutality》 so 《Skullcrack》 is good. Ooze is still very small and should not have a lot of thing to eat in early game so any 3 damage spell can deal with it. The real problem is 《Tarmogoyf》 which can be big very fast (don’t forget if you play an instant with no instant in the graveyards, 《Tarmogoyf》 get the bonus from it), so you need 《Path to Exile》.

Deflecting PalmMolten Rain

I don’t like 《Deflecting Palm》 in the match for multiple reasons, they look at your hand and it’s very bad against 《Liliana of the Veil》. Against her, the best plan is to empty your hand and ignore her even if she can ultimate. Don’t forget to keep extra lands in your hand to protect burn spells from her [+1] ability. I like 《Molten Rain》, their mana base is not great and it can be good to prevent a 《Bloodbraid Elf》 or get the second black mana for Liliana or green mana for Ooze ect.

Against Jund

Out

Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics
Searing Blaze

In

Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile
Molten Rain Molten Rain

UW Stoneblade

Kor FirewalkerLeyline of SanctityTimely ReinforcementsBatterskull

This match up is though. They have access to 《Kor Firewalker》,《Leyline of Sanctity》, 《Timely Reinforcements》 and obviously 《Batterskull》. To fight 《Timely Reinforcements》, you need to burn yourself with your Fetch/Shock lands as much as possible. Getting your 《Sacred Foundry》 will also let basic in your deck and that is good against 《Path to Exile》 and 《Field of Ruin》.

Wear+TearSearing Blaze

《Leyline of Sanctity》 is a big problem but it is very rare to see at the moment, that being said, I like to have at least 1 card in my deck which can deal with it and 《Wear/Tear》 might do the job in addition to the answering 《Batterskull》. You have to kill 《Stoneforge Mystic》 to prevent a cheap 《Batterskull》, this has effect that you are losing a burn spell in the process and it’s very good for them. This is why you really want to keep 4 《Searing Blaze》. They also play 《Snapcaster Mage》 and sometimes 《Giver of Runes》 so it’s totally fine.

Don’t run into counterspell if you can play in instant speed instead or keep all burn spell for the same turn when they tapout for a 《Batterskull》 or something.

Against UW Stoneblade

Out

Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics
Lightning Helix Lightning Helix

In

Molten Rain Molten Rain Smash to Smithereens Smash to Smithereens
Wear+Tear Shattering Spree

Tron

Against Tron

Out

Searing Blaze Searing Blaze Searing Blaze Searing Blaze
Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics
Lightning Helix Lightning Helix

In

Smash to Smithereens Smash to Smithereens Shattering Spree Shattering Spree
Deflecting Palm Deflecting Palm Alpine Moon
Molten Rain Molten Rain

Titanshift

Molten RainAlpine Moon

The match up is very good I think and you don’t need much changes. 《Searing Blaze》 can still be OK on a 《Sakura-Tribe Elder》 to prevent a block (it still deals damages to the player) but 《Molten Rain》 and 《Alpine Moon》 are of course better overall.

Against Titanshift

Out

Searing Blaze Searing Blaze Searing Blaze

In

Molten Rain Molten Rain Alpine Moon

Mardu Shadow

Giver of RunesSearing BlazeTidehollow Sculler

In this match you have to kill every single creature they would play. They have 《Giver of Runes》 and 《Tidehollow Sculler》 so 《Searing Blaze》 is great.

Death's ShadowLightning Bolt

Then it becomes tricky, because your opponent wants to decrease their life total to increase 《Death’s Shadow》 and your burn spells sometimes help it. How to know who is going to win when you burn your opponent?

《Death’s Shadow》 is a big problem and you should be smart when you sequence your spells, keep an eye on the life total and try to find the good timing to cast some burn spells at the end of opponent turn and finish them at your turn before they can attack you for lethal. 《Deflecting Palm》 is fine but the fact they look at your hand is not great for the card.

Against Mardu Shadow

Out

Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics

In

Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile Deflecting Palm

Grixis Shadow

Deflecting PalmGurmag Angler

Grixis is not playing any good target for 《Searing Blaze》. They play Delve creatures which are way too big for your burn spell instead. I prefer to play the 2 《Deflecting Palm》 instead in case they want to race.

Against Grixis Shadow

Out

Searing Blaze Searing Blaze Searing Blaze Searing Blaze
Skewer the Critics

In

Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile
Deflecting Palm Deflecting Palm

Eldrazi Tron

Shattering SpreeChalice of the VoidSmash to Smithereens

They have one of the best cards against you; 《Chalice of the Void》. In the list you have many 2 and 3 mana burn spells so 《Chalice of the Void》 (X=1) is not over if it resolve. In the sideboard games you have multiple ways to deal with Chalice including 《Shattering Spree》 because the copies are not counter.

Path to ExileThought-Knot SeerReality SmasherDeflecting Palm

They might play aggressively since they run a lot of creatures so 《Eidolon of the Great Revel》 is not great. 《Path to Exile》 and 《Deflecting Palm》 might make the differences against 《Thought-Knot Seer》 and 《Reality Smasher》.

Against Eldrazi Tron

Out

Eidolon of the Great Revel Eidolon of the Great Revel Eidolon of the Great Revel Eidolon of the Great Revel
Searing Blaze Searing Blaze Searing Blaze Searing Blaze
Skullcrack Skullcrack

In

Smash to Smithereens Smash to Smithereens Shattering Spree Shattering Spree
Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile Wear+Tear
Deflecting Palm Deflecting Palm

Amulet Titan

Simic Growth ChamberAlpine MoonSlayers' Stronghold

Same as Whirza you put pressure and interact with them in the same time by destroying 《Amulet of Vigor》, burn the small key creatures out and destroy lands. 《Alpine Moon》 might be good on a bounce land but you can just name 《Slayers’ Stronghold》 to prevent Haste 《Primeval Titan》.

Against Amulet Titan

Out

Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics
Skullcrack Skullcrack Lightning Helix Lightning Helix
Searing Blaze Searing Blaze

In

Smash to Smithereens Smash to Smithereens Shattering Spree Shattering Spree
Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile Alpine Moon
Molten Rain Molten Rain

5 Color Humans

Eidolon of the Great RevelAEther Vial

The deck is not really populare right now but you never know. Eidolon just doesn’t do much since they can put their creatures onto the battlefield via 《Aether Vial》 and it will overall become bad for you. Having 1 《Smash to Smithereens》 for 4 《Aether Vial》 is fine I guess.

Against 5 Color Humans

Out

Eidolon of the Great Revel Eidolon of the Great Revel Eidolon of the Great Revel Eidolon of the Great Revel

In

Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile Smash to Smithereens

Conclusion

I don’t know what I’ll play in GP Ghent yet but I am sure about something Burn has never been so good than now and it’s a very good choice for your tournament.

Thank you for reading,

Jeremy (Twitter / Twitch)

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Jeremy Dezani

Jeremy Dezani He was the 2013-14 Player of the Year with his crowning achievement taking place at Pro Tour Theros where he won in spectacular fashion with Blue Devotion back in 2013. He has a stunning over 10 Grand Prix Top 8s to his name including 3 wins and Runner-up 4 times. He will also be the first Non-Japanese player to join the ranks of the Hareruya Pros. Read more articles by Jeremy Dezani