Legacy Burn deck

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A Burn deck is a deck strategy that uses direct damage spells as its primary win-condition. These burn spells tend to involve fire and/or lightning, such as Lightning Bolt and Fireblast. Most are mono-red, but occasionally a white, green, black, or even blue splash can be used.

Burn is a peculiar deck in that it is a purely aggressive deck that does not need creatures on the battlefield to win. When burn decks do use creatures, they tend to have haste, high power relative to cost (often at the disadvantage of sacrificing themselves), or the capacity for direct damage. Furthermore, it is a combo-deck, in the sense that it needs to resolve particular combinations of spells to execute its win condition, but it is not strategically weak against counterspells. In its purest form, the deck utilizes "virtual card advantage" by rendering its opponents' creature removal, mana denial, and other control cards completely or nearly useless. It is also an extremely consistent archetype, chiefly killing at or near turn four.

Burn has access to all of its primary cards in Legacy without the ubiquity of combo, as in Vintage, to keep it down. However, it rarely achieves tier one status. This is likely due to the prominence of excellent creature-style aggressive decks and fast combo decks, which are capable of winning on earlier turns than burn decks. On the other hand, burn decks thrive in metagames heavy in Fish-style decks (including Stoneblade) or Tempo strategies, as small creatures, counterspells, mana denial, and using life as a resource are all much weaker against burn than against other strategies.

While Burn will likely never be the top deck in Legacy, it will just as likely never go away since it is cheap to build, and it has a simple strategy and a dedicated following. Even though Burn as a deck is somewhat lacking in most metagames, its card choices and strategies are invaluable in other decks since burn as a creature removal strategy is an efficient defense for many Legacy decks, while having different drawbacks from white and black removal, and doubling as a secondary win condition in Zoo and Tempo decks.

There are two or three intersecting variations: Sligh-burn, mana-sink burn using Grim Lavamancer and Hellspark Elemental for late game reach, and mana-curve burn, using Magma Jet and 3-cost spells chosen to fight specific threats within the metagame. The following is an example of Sligh-burn from Starcitygames.com Washington D.C. Legacy open, built and piloted by Austin Yost.

Deck  
Lands
17 Mountain
2 Barbarian Ring

Creatures
4 Goblin Guide
3 Figure of Destiny
3 Keldon Marauders
3 Hellspark Elemental

Instants
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Fireblast
4 Price of Progress
Sorceries
4 Chain Lightning
4 Flame Rift
4 Lava Spike
4 Rift Bolt
Sideboard
4 Faerie Macabre
3 Pyrostatic Pillar
3 Smash to Smithereens
4 Pyroblast
1 Red Elemental Blast
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