Constructed Epic: Burn

Epic Box

Foreword

Burn decks try to reduce a player’s health to 0 primarily with direct damage. I hate burn decks. Here’s mine.

First Shot Deck List

Burn Deck

Good (6)

Slow (0)

Fast (4)
3x Ceasefire
1x Inheritance of the Meek

0-Cost (2)
2x Watchful Gargoyle

Sage (18)

Slow (0)

Fast (12)
3x Erase
3x Lying in Wait
3x Memory Spirit
3x Wave of Transformation

0-Cost (6)
3x Forcemage Apprentice
3x Hasty Retreat

Wild (36)

Slow (3)
3x Raging T-Rex

Fast (21)
3x Flame Strike
3x Forked Lightning
3x Hunting Raptors
3x Lightning Storm
3x Pyromancer
3x Rain of Fire
3x Strafing Dragon

0-Cost (12)
3x Cave Troll
3x Fire Shaman
3x Fireball
3x Flash Fire

First Shot Explanation

This deck is fairly simple. Ideally, you want to play a 1-cost burn spell directly against your opponent on your turn. If you have enough high damage burn, you can play burn on your opponent’s turn too. It is possible to beat your opponent in two turns this way.

Since there are not enough burn cards to make a full deck currently, the rest of the deck is designed to disrupt your opponent on their turn. This deck has bounce, non-targeting Banish, airborne ambush chump blockers, and Cease Fire.

Burn decks’ weakness is health gain. Inner Peace can shut this deck down, especially since it has no discard banish. Angel of Light is 10 health and a 5/6 flyer. It also can’t be bounced since it would gain your opponent another 10 health. Righteous champions, Avenging Angel and Gold Dragon, must be removed.

I dislike burn decks because they don’t require much thought to play, they radically change how the game plays, and it is frustrating to lose to them. This is included here so people know to watch out for them. As more ways to deal direct damage are added, this deck archetype could continue to get stronger. For example, the kickstarter promos include Aftershock, Searing Blast, and Owl Familiar.

3/11/16 Playtest Notes

This deck kills quickly with a strong draw. In the games I have played with it so far, it was basically unstoppable. Since I hate burn decks, these are the best ways to beat this deck. This deck hasn’t played against a deck that employed either yet.

The biggest weakness of this deck is that it can run out of steam. Since a lot of the burn only does damage without improving your board position, you can deplete your hand and lose board position quickly. Depleting your hand also makes it less likely that you will be able to trigger the critical Loyalty 2 effects from Raging T-Rex, Hunting Raptors, and Strafing Dragon. All 3 of those cards are basically worthless for this deck without loyalty. Therefore, Psionic Assault and Thought Plucker could do work in disrupting this deck. If they run out of steam prematurely, you have a strong chance of winning.

The second way to force a burn deck to run out of steam is health gain. Angel of Light, Inner Peace, Avenging Angel, Gold Dragon, Priestess of Angeline, and, to a lesser extent, Vital Mission, Drain Essence and Unquenchable Thirst all work for this purpose. For instance, if you have an Inner Peace you can out pace even Flame Strike. In addition, you don’t lose card advantage since this deck can’t stop you from recalling Inner Peace.

As of now, I see no changes that need to be made. If you run this deck, make sure you hold onto your 0-cost cards until needed. If you use them too early, you won’t be able to power your Loyalty 2 effects later. I also generally would not recommend playing this deck in casual games. If you do, people might not want to play against you, since it isn’t particularly fun to play against.

Tyrants Initial Rework Decklist (3/29/16)

Burn 2

Good (3)

Slow (0)

Fast (3)
3x Ceasefire

0-Cost (0)

Sage (24)

Slow (0)

Fast (18)
3x Crystal Golem
3x Erase
3x Lesson Learned
3x Memory Spirit
3x Temporal Shift
3x Wave of Transformation

0-Cost (6)
3x Forcemage Apprentice
3x Hasty Retreat

Wild (33)

Slow (0)

Fast (24)
3x Draka’s Fire
3x Flame Strike
3x Forked Lightning
3x Hunting Raptors
3x Lightning Storm
3x Pyromancer
3x Rain of Fire
3x Strafing Dragon

0-Cost (9)
3x Fire Shaman
3x Fireball
3x Flash Fire

Tyrants Initial Rework Explanation (3/29/16)

Removed: Inheritance of the Meek, Watchful Gargoyle, Lying in Wait, Raging T-Rex, and Cave Troll

Burn 2 Remove

Added: Crystal Golem, Lesson Learned, Temporal Shift, and Draka’s Fire

Burn 2 Add

Draka’s Fire was an obvious add as it was pretty much the only burn in the expansion. (As a remainder, I hate burn decks so this makes me happy.)

Lesson Learned lets me reuse all of the powerful event burn and disruption in my deck.

Temporal Shift is just solid removal that doesn’t deplete my hand size.

Crystal Golem is a bit of a replacement for Watchful Gargoyle. A block and draw 2 cards. Could potentially be used to attack as well.

The biggest change in this rework is the moving away from 20 0-cost cards. This deck can potentially run out of steam, and having 0-cost cards that don’t do direct damage or draw is less helpful then having reliably strong 1-cost cards. If I had more card draw, having 20 0-cost cards would be less of an issue.

6/11/16 Playtest Notes

So… I don’t actually hate playing this deck. In fact, I played quite a few games with it against a control deck, and the games were actually pretty interesting. Some of the games were fairly quick with a multiple Flame Strike draw, but one of the games I played was actually one of the longest games of constructed Epic I have ever played, most turns. (There was a lot of health gain.)

The interesting part is the balance between offense and defense. I built this deck fairly defensively with burn and disruptive events focusing on card draw. In general, I stuck with the game plan of playing burn against my opponent’s health on my turn and disrupting my opponent on their turn. One thing that surprised me though was the amount of times I passed my turn before spending my gold. Instead of just going face constantly with everything every turn, I had to think multiple turns ahead.

The most important part of playing this deck is understanding how to deal with your opponent’s threats. Burn should be saved for your opponent’s face whenever possible. Using a Flame Strike to break a champion is an absolute last resort. Instead, Erase, Temporal Shift (mini-Erase), and most importantly Hasty Retreat are your best ways to deal with big threats. Hand size for your opponent is largely irrelevant, as long as the board doesn’t get too out of control.

Ceasefire can also be excellent because it can set up for big Wave of Transformation turns. Being able to transform everything, then break all the wolves with Flash Fire and do 2 damage to your opponent’s health is a big deal.

Finally for defense, Rain of Fire, Forked Lightning, and Draka’s Fire can be insanely devastating against some decks. For these cards, if you can make efficient use of them both offensively and defensively, you’ll probably be in good shape.

Another factor to think about is your burn efficiency. This deck runs Wild loyalty and ally triggers and a decent chunk of Sage. Due to this, it is possible to have a mixed hand with a Fire Shaman, Strafing Dragon, Rain of Fire, and 2 Sage cards. Until you draw a 4th Wild, you can’t get both the Fire Shaman ally and Strafing Dragon loyalty effects in the same turn. Deciding when to hold back and when to press the attack in these situations is very important and interesting.

Lesson Learned is an absolutely incredible card as well. A second (third, fourth, fifth, etc.) Flame Strike is amazing, but so is a second (third, fourth, etc.) Erase. The same goes for Memory Spirit. Both of these cards provide a lot of extra flexibility that makes the deck better and more fun to play. (I do not currently feel like the Lesson Learned Ancient Chant combo is needed for this version.)

Overall, the deck archetype is a lot more interesting than I was expecting. This is another one of my four potential Origins decks.

 

 

Other Similar Decks Online

The Epic Insights blog posted a burn deck which can be found here.

3 thoughts on “Constructed Epic: Burn”

  1. I noticed you referenced Epic Insights’ version of this deck at the end of your article, have you tried the Lessons Learned + Ancestral interaction? Do you not need it with this build or just feel that there isn’t anything you could remove?

    1. I haven’t tested with this deck too much, since I have other decks I would much rather play. From the games I did play, I was generally running out of Steam by the time I won, but if my opponent has no health gain, they usually lose by the time I would be out of steam, or are far enough behind that it doesn’t matter.

      Lesson Learned + Ancestral Chant is some thing I have included in a few decks that were low on draw. This isn’t a deck that I want it in because I want to use burn on my turn, when I’m safest. On my opponent’s turn, I want to disrupt and draw cards, hence the Ceasefires, Erases, Temporal Shifts, etc.

      I have been playing against a lot of breakthrough and airborne in Brachiosaurus decks recently, so Crystal Golem could be replaced since it isn’t as useful in that match up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *