Historic on a Budget: Mono Red Burn

Hello my fellow planeswalkers! The Midnight Hunt has begun with our return to Innistrad! While I am still testing decks for the new Standard, I figured it was the prefect time to cover something that I have been asked often, which is: “What decks can I play on a budget?” There are a ton of cool decks that can be made with minimal Wildcard investment. We actually have a bunch of them here:

For this article however, I will cover in more detail a budget version of my Historic Burn deck that is extremely close to the build that I played to Mythic on my stream over on Twitch (shameless plug). The deck doesn’t lose a lot of power since there are a ton of powerful burn spells in the common and uncommon slots. Even more powerful spells like Light up the Stage are still only uncommons.

The Deck

Budget Mono Red Burn
by Terence
Historic
Burn
best of 3
0 mythic
13 rare
31 uncommon
16 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (7)
Instants (16)
4
Shock
$3.96
4
Play with Fire
$1.16
4
Magma Jet
$1.00
Sorceries (20)
4
Pillar of Flame
$1.00
4
Roil Eruption
$1.00
Lands (17)
13
Mountain
$3.25
4
Ramunap Ruins
$3.16
60 Cards
$25.16
Sideboard
4
Abrade
$1.00
15 Cards
$31.43

You know what’s cool about this deck? NO RARES OR MYTHICS!!! This deck is tried and true and basically the stock burn deck you would play competitively. While you can obviously upgrade the deck with a few rares and possibly a few mythics, this deck is still insanely powerful.

The goal of this deck is obviously to lower your opponent’s life to 0 using direct damage spells. While this is not as effective as it is in eternal formats like Modern, we do pick up some nice tech from the Pauper burn decks in the form of Thermo-Alchemist.

If you have never used this fellow, he can basically take over a game and end it in a turn or two if left unanswered. Basically, what Alchemist does is turn our Shocks into Lightning Bolts, Lightning Strikes into one-sided Flame Rifts, and triggers Spectacle for free. Just remember to use its effect before casting your spells or while its effect is on the stack.

Thermo-Alchemist is so powerful that I would play another set if I could. So, I added in the next best thing, Electrostatic Field. While you may be tempted to play Firebrand Archer since it can attack, which could make control matchups better – we are already favored in those matchups.

It is the creature matchups we care about which is why Electrostatic Field is better, since it is harder to remove and a better blocker thanks to its high toughness which allows us to race. But since Field is only good when we have spells to feed it, I think three is plenty and limits dead topdecks when we are trying to hit the last burn spell.

Static Discharge is a pickup from the new Jumpstart. But can become the most powerful burn spell in the deck if you cast multiple in a game. It is easily a 4-of and gives this deck some crazy reach in some situations and can even be used to remove huge threats we normally couldn’t touch.

To help us smooth over draws we have Magma Jet and a new card, Play with Fire. If you have never hit your opponent with a Magma Jet and then scried two lands to the bottom of your deck, then you have not lived… And if not, this deck will make you live my friends, because it is a great feeling.

Why No Wizards?

I did not include the Wizard package because I dislike it and don’t think it is as powerful if you don’t have Soul-Scar Mage since a 2-to-1 ratio of wizards and Wizard’s Lightning is fairly inconsistent and I wanted to keep this deck with no rares or mythics so no Soul-Scar. But the wizard package is in my nonbudget build because I am more confident in the 3-to-1 ratio.

Sideboard Guide

Since this is a budget deck, I figure a lot of players that would copy and paste this deck are new or limited on what they have. As a result, I kept the sideboard as diverse as possible. It can be adapted to whatever you want but this is my baseline.

Versus Aggro Decks

InOut
+4 Abrade-4 Skewer the Critics
+4 Volcanic Fallout-4 Magma Jet

This is decks like goblins, elves, and whatnot. Magma Jet gets cut because 2 damage for 2 mana is not efficient despite the scrys. Skewer can also be dreadfully slow and Abrade is more consistent despite not being able to go to the face.

Versus Control Decks

InOut
+3 Tibalt, Rakish Instigator-3 Electrostatic Field

They have removal and might even keep in their sweepers. A creature like Field that requires other cards just doesn’t cut it. Tibalt pressures and stops life gain which can beat us.

Versus Graveyard-Based Decks

InOut
+4 Relic of Progenitus-4 Magma Jet

Again, Magma Jet just doesn’t do it. Relic is my grave-hate of choice since it shuts down slower hands by exiling a card a turn, but also replaces itself with a new card when popped. I have often used it late in the game to draw the final burn spell needed to win.

Tips

Thermo-Alchemist’s ability triggers spectacle. Use this to your advantage to cast Skewer the Critics and Light Up the Stage early.

Try to use your mana effectively. Don’t cast two Shock effects if you have a Lightning Strike. It is much better to cast the Strike, then if we top deck a land or another two mana burn spell depending on the makeup of your hand, you can double spell the following turn for more damage and maximum efficiency.

Static Discharge does not get the counter if it is milled or discarded, only if it is cast.

Always remove the opponent’s turn one mana dork if possible.

Cards to Consider Adding

Soul-Scar Mage is insanely powerful and much better when it is combined with the Wizard package or Viashino Pyromancer, Ghitu Lavarunner and Wizard’s Lightning.

Bonecrusher Giant is a fine cared being a burn spell when needed, than a large threat that deals damage if they try to remove it directly. The “damage can’t be prevented” is relevant against fog effects and the Nine Lives combo deck.

This is just a fantastic sideboard card. Play it if you can. It is so good against control and some combo decks that look to cast free spells.

Upgraded Build

For reference, this is my non-budget burn list if you want to work towards it!

Mono Red Burn
by Terence
Historic
Burn
best of 3
0 mythic
24 rare
24 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (16)
4
Soul-Scar Mage
$13.96
Instants (12)
4
Play with Fire
$1.16
Sorceries (12)
Lands (20)
14
Mountain
$3.50
4
Ramunap Ruins
$3.16
60 Cards
$69.88
Sideboard
2
Abrade
$0.50
2
Lava Coil
$0.50
2
Roiling Vortex
$2.98
15 Cards
$42.89

If you want a rundown of this deck, be sure to let me know in the comments, and check out the full deck guide written by DoggertQBones not too long ago.

Conclusion

It’s no secret that I love burn and red aggressive decks. I might be biased, but I think this is one of the best budget options in historic and worth your time to play and master. Burn has a ton of positive matchups and only really struggles against the degenerate combo decks.

I love this deck and think you will to. Be sure to check out my video of the deck. While you are at it you can also follow me on Twitch to be notified whenever I go live playing all kinds of cool decks, from the top of the standard and historic meta all the way down to the meme-ist of meme decks. You can also follow me on social media for updates.

Finally, if you like the idea of a budget deck series with a video, be sure to let me know in the comments. I enjoyed making the video and writing the article and have a few more ideas if this gets some interest! Well, until next time planeswalkers, Hero out!!!

The MTG Hero

My name is The MTG Hero. I have played Magic for over 15 years. I am a consistent high Mythic ranked player. Follow me on Twitch and subscribe on YouTube!