Holistic Wisdom: Top 7 Burn Cards of All-Time

by Freyalise on 18 January 2017, Wednesday


"Holistic Wisdom" is all about LISTS! This series are a result of Freyalise's exploration of Dominaria! Let's follow recent trends, hot decks, metagame calls, Magic pop culture and pretty much everything! Each week, we'll pick a topic and make a list that's both informative and fun to read!


Holistic Wisdom



Holistic Wisdom: Top 7 Burn Cards of All-Time


Everybody loves burn cards, unless they're being pointed at you by your opponent. Through the years, there are many iterations of burn spells but some are more fiery than others. What are the best burn spells throughout the history of the game?


I've got a sneaky feeling you already know what #1 is!



7. Lightning Helix


Lightning Helix


As far as utility on a burn spell goes, none is as elegant as the design of Lightning Helix. For just two mana, albeit costing two different colors, it represents a six-point life swing to pull you back into the damage race or forging you further ahead. While it is not as brutal as Boros Charm, it is a card that fully encompasses the spirit of what you can do with one red mana and one white mana.




6. Earthquake



Earthquake is a gross card. Period.


The red mage often wants to point burn spells at his opponent to reduce him from 20 to 0 as quickly as possible. If you're pointing your burn spells at creatures, that is a losing proposition. Unless it's something like Searing Blaze or Searing Blood, you really want every single burn spell to go directly to your opponent's life total.


Earthquake is one such card that wipes the board while dealing your opponent damage, and it even scales well in times of mana flood. It will also force draws when you're about to lose and it can catch an opponent who is seemingly out of range. Perhaps now you know why Earthquake hasn't been reprinted in Standard for a while, it's simply too oppressive!

5. Searing Blaze


Searing Blaze

On the topic of Searing Blaze, might we also remind you that it is really six damage for two mana. I also assume that your deck contains lands (I sure hope so) which makes the "drawback" of Landfall much more manageable. Nuking down a creature while still striking your opponent is a prized possession indeed!

4. Price of Progress


Price of Progress

There is no other card in the history of the game that does as much damage as Price of Progress, not for two mana anyway! A careless opponent could find himself being singed for six to eight damage or be forced to Wasteland their own non-basic lands just to stay afloat!


3. Fireblast




Sacrificing two Mountains might look like a steep price to pay but it really doesn't matter when your opponent is at four life. Two Mountains can usually tapped to cast two burn cards such as Lava Spike to deal 6, while the tapped Mountains are sacrificed to Fireblast for that single burst of 10 damage in one fell swoop.


The fact that it costs no mana, is extremely efficient and downright brutal makes it a Legacy staple to this day.




2. Chain Lightning


Chain Lightning


Chain Lightning is about the most efficient card that you can get for a single mana. It might be a sorcery, but it also has the ability to nuke both players and creatures, which is not something that you get very often. The fact that it got reprinted in Eternal Masters just makes it more affordable for new players who are having difficulty finding copies of the Legends version!




1. Lightning Bolt


Lightning Bolt


No single red card is as iconic as Lightning Bolt. One mana for three damage to any target at instant speed is pretty much the epitomy of efficiency. It has dominated all major formats it has ever been legal in, including Standard, Modern and Legacy.




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