Epic: Constructed – Origins 2016 (Burn)

Epic Box


In the first part of this 2-part article on the constructed decks at Origins 2016, I focus on providing an overview of the Burn based decks. There were a lot of them.


Closing out games with burn cards (damage that can target a player directly like Flame Strike) was very common both days of constructed. Some decks brought more burn cards than others, but Flame Strike and Lesson Learned were in 6 of the 9 top 8/top 4 decks. Of the decks that tried to finish out the game with burn, there were 2 general types: Control Burn and Aggressive Burn.

Control Burn

Chris Weidinger’s version

Chris Weidinger Control Burn


Top 8, 2nd Place, 1st Place

Control Burn was the most common type of deck at Origins. On Friday, at least 5 people ran similar decks with a top 8 finish (Hayden Brass) and a 2nd place finish (Chris Weidinger). On Sunday, this deck won the tournament (Hampus Eriksson).

I played against this deck twice in rounds on Friday and once in the finals on Sunday. I also watched it in the finals on Friday.


Stall and Kill with Burn


Tempo Win

Play Style

This deck either wins by extending the game to win with burn (against decks without health gain) and/or by getting ahead and staying ahead.

Defensive/Reactive (Favored)

If your opponent has neither health gain nor enough burn to outright win the game, you will eventually win just by preventing your opponent from winning. Due to this, you are able to largely sit back and force your opponent to make the first move.

Tempo (Back Up)

If your opponent has health gain or enough burn to kill you outright, you need to get aggressive. Beat them before they can stabilize or beat you.

Aggressive Burn

The next 4 decks are all variations on an aggressive Burn deck. Each deck has interesting differences, but they all have similar play styles.



2 Top 8 and 4 Top 4

I either played against or saw all of these decks. More detail below.


Play Threats, Attack/Distract, Finish with Burn

Play Style

Each of these decks win by playing threats early as offense and distraction. Most of the threats are aggressive with either blitz and/or tribute/loyalty 2 burn. Since the opponent is forced to deal with these threats, the opponent might not be able to field their own threats and/or draw cards.

Once these decks have enough burn to finish off an opponent (due to weakening them with their threats or drawing enough burn), the board is ignored, and the direct damage starts.

Aggro Burn


Auggie Aggro Burn


3 Top 4

Auggie placed top 4 with this on Friday and Saturday. Ben Wienburg also played this on Saturday for a top 4 finish.

On Sunday, I played against Ben in rounds and Auggie in the semi-finals.


Same as above, but with the most aggressive and burn based threats.

Play Style

Get damage through any way possible. Win by killing before you die.

Breakthrough Burn

Kyle Coons

Kyle Coons Breakthrough Burn


Top 8

Kyle placed top 8 on Friday with this deck.

I played against him and possibly this deck on Sunday in rounds. I watched part of a game on Friday.


Soften with breakthrough damage, disrupt, and finish with burn.

Play Style

Get one big hit through (probably with breakthrough) and then finish with burn. While attempting this, disrupt with Sage.

Dinosaur Burn

Dinosaurs!” – Nathaniel Mansfield

Nathaniel Mansfield Dinosaur Burn


Top 4

Nathaniel Mansfield took top 4 with this deck on Friday.

I watched this deck in the semi-finals.


Play dinosaurs. Win.

Play Style

Establish big, damage-removal-resistant champions. Once one hits, finish with burn. Against control, focus on gathering champions before beginning the onslaught.

Health Gain Burn

Corey Henderson

Corey Henderson Health Gain Burn


Top 8

Corey Henderson took top 4 with this deck on Friday.

I watched this deck in the quarter finals.


Gain enough health so you kill with burn before dying.

Play Style

Aggressively burn your opponent down while gaining health simultaneously.


Burn was incredibly popular at Origins 2016. It also did quite well. However, it seems to have a very poor match up against control, Derek Arnold’s Lesson Learned Deck for instance.

In part 2 of this article, I will provide an overview of Derek Arnold’s 4-Color Control deck, Gabe Costa-Gioni’s Time Walker deck, and my Combative Humans deck. I will also discuss individual play examples specifically from matches between 2 top 8 decks.

If you feel I misrepresented your deck above, feel free to correct me in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Epic: Constructed – Origins 2016 (Burn)”

  1. Nice write-up Tom… I mean to spend a ton of time testing for GenCon… but Magic and life interfered 😀

    Part of me just thinks I’ll run a tempo-burn still deck since those did seem so successful across the 2 constructed events.

    1. Thank you, part 2 should be up tomorrow describing the other 3 top 8 options. While I think tempo-burn could definitely do well, I’m expecting we’ll see more control decks at Gen Con. Tempo-Burn vs Control seems like it favors control significantly, but control is very slow and seems to have a poor match up with consistent champion-based aggression. Combo decks are out there as well, but there weren’t many at Origins.

      At this point, it is hard to predict which decks will do particularly well at Gen Con.

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