U/R Thermo-Alchemist Burn by Jason Bennett at SCG Atlanta – 9th
A staple of pre-Kaladesh Standard, U/R Burn featuring Thermo-Alchemist and Fevered Visions looks to be on the uptick again after an impressive performance in the hands of Jason Bennett at SCG Atlanta that saw him barely miss out on top 8. Let’s see what’s changed about the deck with the inclusion of Amonkhet, and what looks the same.
Funny enough, there’s only one mainboard card that is from Amonkhet, Glorybringer. The powerful 5 mana dragon is an incredibly valuable addition to this deck. Generally speaking, Burn decks can suffer when they are forced to contain an opponent’s damage output or when they have a serious lack of repeatable damage. Glorybringer solves both of these problems. It’s usually correct to exert with Glorybringer in this deck whenever you’re given the opportunity to, as not using burn spells in your hand on creatures gives you a big leg-up.
To support the attacks from Glorybringer, this deck has Bedlam Reveler and Stormchaser Mage. While Mage is mostly used as a solid beater, Bedlam Reveler plays an important role when you don’t have access to Fevered Visions. It’s easy for this deck to run out of cards, and don’t be afraid to recklessly use cards if you have a Reveler to back it up. Then, of course, is the namesake card of the deck, Thermo-Alchemist. This card demands a removal spell as soon as it’s played, as over the long run it can be the difference between winning an losing. As always, the sign of a good card is that it’s good early, good late, and good in multiples, and Thermo-Alchemist is all of those things.
The suite of burn spells in this deck has changed little over time, but the inclusion of Bedlam Reveler has made, Fiery Temper, Lightning Axe, and Collective Defiance higher impact than they previously were. Shock and Incendiary Flow are the go-to burn spells that this format has to offer, so their inclusion shouldn’t be much of a surprise. However, I think that Tormenting Voice is no longer needed in this deck. With Fevered Visions and Bedlam Reveler, the extra card drawing and filtering of Tormenting Voice isn’t as needed.
You may notice that the sideboard of this deck has 13 cards. I can’t tell if Bennett actually intentionally registered 13 cards, or if SCG didn’t publish the other two cards, or what. I do like the sideboard quite a bit, however. Magma Spray is a very well-positioned removal spell in this aggressively-leaning format, and similarly Weaver of Lightning has the ability to win a game through killing creatures on its own. The extra copies of Glorybringer are included for midrange decks, but I think they may have earned more copies in the mainboard. Dispel, on the other hand, I don’t think is necessary in this deck. It’s included mostly for control decks, but those matchups are already fantastic for this deck. Without reasonable life gain, the Burn deck can sit and position its burn spells against counter spells, which will eventually favor the Burn deck.
Here are the changes I would make going forward:
+1 Magma Spray
+2 Enigma Drake
This is day 122 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 121 here, where we featured a mono-colored aggro deck that made it all the way to top 8 at Atlanta.
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