Black Burn by epicwarfare on MtGO

Creatures (16)
4 Dark Confidant
4 Geralf’s Messenger
4 Phyrexian Obliterator
4 Vampire Cutthroat

Non-Creature Spells (22)
4 Alms of the Vein
4 Bump in the Night
4 Collective Brutality
2 Sign in Blood
4 Fatal Push
4 Lightning Bolt

Lands (22)
1 Blood Crypt
4 Bloodstained Mire
1 Leechridden Swamp
4 Marsh Flats
1 Smoldering Marsh
11 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
2 Blood Moon
4 Disfigure
1 Hero’s Downfall
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Relic of Progenitus


For the entire existence of Modern (and pretty much every other format), Burn has been a red deck. However, enough black burn spells have been printed over time to make Black Burn a semi-viable strategy. We’ll be featuring a Black Burn deck today, and it features some heavy-black creatures that have never reached their full potential in Modern.

The theme of the creatures in this deck are either card advantage and/or hard to block. Dark Confidant is perhaps the best source of turn-after-turn card advantage in Modern, and Burn decks generally struggle with drawing enough burn spells, so its inclusion is a welcome one. Phyrexian Obliterator is fairly close to an unblockable 5/5 creature, and its very hard to remove with the regular removal spells that see play in Modern.

Geralf’s Messenger is both a burn spell and a card advantage source, as it demands 2 answers to fully deal with it, and Modern’s removal spells are also not equipped to deal with the triple black spell. Vampire Cutthroat is definitely the most odd inclusion, as it’s generally not seen play in any format it’s legal in. However, it’s essentially unblockable in Modern, as the played creatures are much larger in size. Because of this, a turn 1 Vampire Cutthroat gets much more value in through damage than any one burn spell.

Alms of the Vein, Bump in the Night, Collective Brutality, and Lightning Bolt make up the burn spells in this deck. Alms of the Vein and Collective Brutality combo excellently together. All 3 of Collective Brutality‘s modes are excellent in this deck, and it’s one of the big draws to this type of deck to begin with. Bump in the Night represents 6 damage from 1 card if the game goes long enough, while Lightning Bolt is (funny enough) the worst burn spell in this deck, but it’s a necessary evil as it can also be aimed at creatures.

The mainboard is filled out by 2 copies of Sign in Blood and 4 copies of Fatal Push. Sign in Blood is a good mainboard hedge against the format’s slower, grindy-focused decks, while Fatal Push is a necessary evil to contain the format’s low to the ground decks like Affinity and various Collected Company strategies.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Swamp

+1 Leechridden Swamp


-1 Hero’s Downfall

+1 Blood Moon

This is day 161 of’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 160 here, where we featured a unique Legacy deck that combines Reanimator with Dark Depths.

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