Home Strategy Magic 2014 Firewave deck guide: Join the immolation nation!

There’s something oh-so-satisfying about winning with a gigantic X-damage spell aimed at your opponent’s face, or summoning a gigantic (bear with me) fire wave to incinerate everything in your path. It certainly helps that red decks in the last few iterations of Duels of the Planewalkers have been pretty damn good.

Chandra’s Firewave deck in Magic 2014 doesn’t have the raw power of the game’s older burn legacy (which is strange, given the game’s emphasis on the pyromantic planeswalker), but it’s still a blast to play.

With careful card advantage calculation and a little bit of raw excitement, you’ll find that burninating the countryside is just as rewarding as it’s always been.

Parting the red sea

Unlike previous versions of Chandra’s decks in Duels of the Planeswalkers, Firewave is a little heavier on high-power creatures and a little lighter on to-the-face damage. Sure, there’s still stuff like Lava Axe, but Wizards opted to cut down drastically on cards like Shock, Lightning Bolt, and Searing Spear – versatile burn that could be used to nix creatures or finish off an opponent in the red zone. Instead, most of the fire you’ll have access to is creature-oriented.

As such, your strategy needs to be more creature-focused itself. Instead of relying on burn to decimate your enemy’s life total, you’ll be using it to remove blockers, allowing your deadly (but frail) army to swing in unopposed. Creatures like Firewing Phoenix, Kiln Fiend, and Bloodpyre Elemental are all major offensive threats, but only if they can actually make it past the line of scrimmage to tackle the quarterback knock off enemy hit points.

You certainly have a lot of tools for ensuring that: stuff like Pillar of Flame, Flames of the Firebrand, Flame Slash (noticing a trend in flame-based nomenclature yet?), but timing is everything. Burning a 2/2 sliver on turn two will feel good… until a more dangerous threat shows up a turn later. While the situations are rare, you will have to know when to sacrifice your creatures in combat and when to stall for the cleansing power of pyromancy.

A slow burn with explosive finales

Sometimes, the board state will stall out. You and your adversary will lose the will to attack, or everything will die at once and you’ll both be in topdeck mode. For most decks, this is a fatal time period, but Chandra’s Firewave has a lot of outs. For one, all her phoenix cards offer the possibility of resurrection (and thus, long term card advantage). She also has access to recurring damage via Sulfuric Vortex and Grim Lavamancer.

Finally, cards like Inferno Titan, Hostility, and even Lava Axe have the capability of flipping off the top of the deck for an instant win, which is always a pleasant surprise. If you work hard to push an opponent’s life total into the dangerous realm below eleven points or so, you can usually recover from even the worst setbacks.

That said, the road to victory is paved with very hard decisions. Do you hold extra Mountains in hand in the hopes of pulling a Seismic Assault, or do you play every one you draw in case you get Inferno Titan? Is it better to use Searing Spear and Kiln Fiend on an opponent’s attack to destroy two creatures, or on your own attack to swing for massive damage? Can you afford to wait another combat for an opening, or should you cast Final Fortune and gamble the entire match on your next turn?

Ultimately, these are the strategic struggles of every removal-heavy deck, and while I can’t account for every scenario, I hope the card-by-card analysis below can give you the insight needed to make the right decisions. Firewave is by no means an autopilot victory, but it has the tools needed to win against the large majority of decks… when utilized correctly. Let us know how you built your version of Firewave and, most importantly, have fun playing with fire!

Firewave deck build sample

  • 2x Grim Lavamancer
  • 3x Goblin Arsonist
  • 2x Disintegrate
  • 2x Pillar of Flame
  • 1x Flame Slash
  • 3x Kiln Fiend
  • 1x Reverberate
  • 1x Searing Spear
  • 1x Wild Guess
  • 2x Chandra’s Phoenix
  • 1x Chandra’s Spitfire
  • 2x Sulfuric Vortex
  • 1x Seismic Assault
  • 1x Flamebreak
  • 2x Flames of the Firebrand
  • 1x Browbeat
  • 1x Firewing Phoenix
  • 2x Chandra’s Outrage
  • 1x Magma Phoenix
  • 2x Fire Servant
  • 1x Lava Axe
  • 1x Inferno Titan
  • 1x Hostility
  • 25x Mountain

Firewave deck card-by-card analysis (alphabetical)

Bloodpyre Elemental, 3.0/5.0

This fiery fatty is definitely borderline playable, depending on the rest of your deck composition. When he’s on the battlefield unopposed, having four power means a short clock for your opponent. When there are too many blockers for him to get through, you can simply sacrifice him to open the road for other creatures. The fact that he’s so versatile is great, but the five mana cost ultimately keeps him out of my default Firewave build.

Chandra’s Outrage, 4.0/5.0

I want to hate Chandra’s Outrage, but it ends up being useful far too often for me to truly dislike it. It’s a fairly efficient burn spell that is capable of killing most of the dangerous threats in Duels of the Planeswalkers at instant speed. The two damage it does to the opponent is icing on the cake, but it also triggers Chandra’s Spitfire and Chandra’s Phoenix, which makes it an important bonus. This card is absolutely gross with damage doubling effects.

Chandra’s Phoenix, 5.0/5.0

A 2/2 flyer with haste would be a cool addition to the deck by itself, but the ability to rise from the grave for free whenever you melt your opponent’s face turns this burning bird into a nuisance for your enemies. If necessary, this Phoenix can be used on defense as a semi-perpetual blocker, but in most cases you’ll be pairing it with Sulfuric Vortex and random damage to put your adversary on a very short clock.

Cone of Flame, 2.5/5.0 (3.5 vs weenies)

Cone of Flame was one of the first cards I loved when I began playing Magic in 1997, and it was also one of the first cards I was taught was bad. Getting six damage for five mana (and a possible three-for-one in card advantage) sounds good on paper, but in reality you’ll rarely have three ideal targets. More often, you’ll be forced to burn your opponent for one or even possibly yourself. This card’s sorcery speed restriction doesn’t help, either. That said, it’s competent against decks with lots of 1/1 or 2/2 creatures.

Crimson Mage, 2.5/5.0

Giving your incoming creatures haste is a cool idea in concept, but in practice, Firewave doesn’t have the lands to spare on this kind of extravagance. Pinning this ability on such a frail body doesn’t really help either, and most of the time Crimson Mage is going to end his life as a chump blocker or a casualty to a board wipe effect.

Disintegrate, 4.0/5.0

Hey look! It’s an X-damage spell with cool art! Not only that, it’s targeted removal that can exile pesky zombies and phoenixes! There’s really not much to say: Disintegrate is almost always useful and, thanks to its costing, stays relevant as the game drags on. If you can sneak a Fire Servant or Furnace of Wrath into play, Disintegrate becomes a disgusting powerhouse.

Fire Elemental, 3.0/5.0

Fire Elemental goes back to the early days of Magic, but even then people only played it because the card art featured flaming cleavage. The Duels 2014 version is significantly less sexy, and it doesn’t really stack up against thinks like Geist-Honored Monk or similarly costed Slivers. This elemental’s only saving grace is that its four toughness lets it survive Flamebreak and Magma Phoenix… but in most cases a Lava Axe would be more useful.

Firewing Phoenix, 4.5/5.0

There’s something incredibly valuable about a card that cannot die, and doubly so for one with four power and evasive abilities. This is a creature that no opponent will ever feel good about targeting with removal (unless it’s Path to Exile), which also means it’s great for early-game trades. Once you hit eight lands and/or the game is at a stalemate, this single bird can grant you a huge advantage in the damage race or card attrition.

Flames of the Firebrand, 3.5/5.0

Not the fastest burn or the biggest burn or the most efficient burn, Flames of the Firebrand is an extremely middling, yet versatile sorcery. Against weenie decks or Jace’s illusions, it can generate nasty card advantage at nearly any point in a match. Against beefier targets like most green beatsticks, you’ll find this spell is often too little, too late. Its major redeeming factor is that you’ll never “waste” a point of damage with overkill.

Goblin Arsonist, 4.5/5.0

Much like Doomed Traveler, Goblin Arsonist is a one-drop that your enemies will not want to kill. He can single-handedly hold off two creatures with one toughness, or a single creature with two toughness, making him a nightmare when used on defense. On the attack, Goblin Arsonist can cause equally annoying scenarios where blocking him and not blocking him are both bad decisions. I highly recommend running all three copies of this explosive little pyromaniac.

Lava Axe, 3.5/5.0

Like Bloodpyre Elemental, Lava Axe is a tough call for Firewave. In many scenarios, five damage to the face or to a pesky angel/dragon/sliver is exactly what the doctor ordered. In other cases, five damage is complete overkill; nothing feels worse than having to tap out late game to burn off a 1/2 flyer! The five mana cost and sorcery speed are also somewhat prohibitive, though certainly less of a factor late in the game. Personally, I prefer to run a single copy, and have found that prevents the card from coming up when I don’t need it.

Magma Phoenix, 4.0/5.0

Like the fire birds that came before it, Magma Phoenix is a flyer that won’t take “dead” for an answer. Unlike its unkillable kin, Magma Phoenix takes out its anger on everyone and everything in its path to the grave. Usually, that’s a good thing: Firewave doesn’t have many sweepers, so reusable mass-cleansing is a powerful deterrent. Unfortunately, it can also backfire, hurting you and your creatures when you’re behind on board position. In most instances, the card is worth the risk, but don’t play out your weenies if you don’t need to while Magma Phoenix is in the sky.

Pilgrim’s Eye, 1.5/5.0

Pilgrim’s Eye would be a really good card in a multicolor deck, a landfall deck, or some kind of janky skies deck. Firewave isn’t any of those things.

Pillar of Flame, 5.0/5.0

It’s cheap burn. It’s moderate efficient burn. Even better: it keeps ghouls and ghosts out of the graveyard (you still have to fight them in boxer shorts). Flame Slash is more powerful against threats, but Pillar can also be used as (somewhat weak) direct damage when necessary. This is a must-have spell.

Regathan Firecat, 3.0/5.0

A lot of players are going to diss the 4/1 Firecat as being too fragile to consider inclusion, but in the absence of pingers and other cheap removal, I like to think of this flaming feline as a fairly efficient beater. You can always use burn to clear a path, and having four power means this card can be a huge problem if it hangs back to block. It’s not for every Firewave deck build, though, so weigh your options carefully.

Searing Spear, 5.0/5.0

For whatever reason, Firewave didn’t get a lot of instant-speed removal, so Searing Spear stands out as the most flexible of the deck’s destructive options. Use it and love it!

Skarrgan Firebird, 1.5/5.0

Sometimes you’ll get a 6/6 flyer for six mana. Other times, you’ll get a 3/3 flyer for six mana. But most often, you’ll just have this card sitting in your hand because you either don’t have six mana or you refuse to cast the Firebird until you can trigger its ETB effect. Resurrection is always nice, but this card’s stupid restriction basically makes the “bonus” an annoying distraction to play around. Do not put this card in your deck… you have been warned!

Staff of the Flame Magus, 1.5/5.0

This card is bad, bad, bad. For the same price you could summon a creature that could win you the game with damage or “gain” you life by blocking attackers.

Torch Fiend, 2.5/5.0

Other than Sliver Hive, none of the Magic 2014 Duels of the Planeswalkers decks really rely heavily on artifacts. And even popular Sliver Hive builds aren’t super-heavy on machinery. If future DLC includes more dangerous artifacts you might want to reconsider Torch Fiend, but otherwise Crimson Mage is marginally better (both are still mediocre at best in this deck).

Firewave unlocks card-by-card analysis

Inferno, 1.5/5.0

In most games of Magic 2014, you’re not going to reliably have seven lands. And when you do, you’re not going to reliably draw Inferno. And even if both of those things happen, there’s no guarantee that this mutually destructive bomb is going to help you more than it’s gonna hurt (and it will hurt a lot). Too much risk, too much cost.

Kiln Fiend, 5.0/5.0

Hey fire mages: want to win the game on turn four? Kiln Fiend can help! This incredibly overpowered two-drop creature grows whenever you cast your signature fire moves, providing massive damage out of nowhere. Burn a blocker out then swing for four, or singe your foe’s face (perhaps at 3 from Searing Spear), adding insult to injurt with seven total damage. If you get more than one in play or you acquire the lands needed to pump it multiple times in one turn, your opponent will be forced to deal with Kiln Fiend or die very, very quickly.

Fire Servant, 4.5/5.0

Forget the 4/3 body; this molten madman doubles your spell damage. That means Pillar of Flame can burn down angels with ease and Chandra’s Outrage can pretty much murder anything in the game. Flames of the Firebrand becomes an absolute catastrophe, while Disintegrate, Lava Axe, and Browbeat become death sentences. If you manage to get two of these on the table (quadrupling damage) and you somehow fail to win the match, you should quit playing Magic the Gathering forever.

Flamebreak, 4.5/5.0

The only sweeper outside of Magma Phoenix, you pretty much have to take Flamebreak. It’s a powerful card for sure, but it also happens to kill almost all of the creatures in your deck. As such, you’ll want to ensure you get more out of the trade than your opponents do by holding back extra critters or swinging suicidally before taking the purging plunge. This card becomes a much cheaper alternative to Inferno when you have Fire Servant in play.

Grim Lavamancer, 5.0/5.0

Whereas most pinger-style creatures do so little damage they’re irrelevant or come into play so late they die to other removal without doing anything, Grim Lavamancer sneaks into play turn one and is quickly ready to dish out Shock-level pain, albeit intermittently. Despite the drawback of needing extra cards in your graveyard to activate his ability, this shouldn’t normally be a problem for Firewave, which is full of single-use sorceries and instants. If you can keep fueling this guy’s fire (and avoid exiling your valuable phoenixes), he will easily pay for himself in damage and card advantage.

Fireshrieker, 3.0/5.0

Giving a creature Double Strike is an incredibly potent boon, allowing it to cut through enemy armies (or life totals) with ease. Unfortunately, Firewave just doesn’t have that many creatures, and a lot of them have only two power… not particularly scary. Yes, dropping Fireshrieker on an Firewing Phoenix is wonderful, but it’s also relatively unlikely. As such, I wouldn’t recommend this equipment unless you’ve built a (somewhat odd) deck with a focus on beats over burn.

Furnace of Rath, 3.5/5.0

As we’ve seen with Fire Servant, the ability to double damage can turn middling spells into god-killing bombs. That said, Furnace of Rath doubles all damage. This includes creature damage, but it also includes damage done to you, so playing this enchantment at the right time requires a lot of experience with Magic strategy. When played incorrectly, you could lose the game before you get to untap again. While I don’t have Furnace of Rath in my sample build, that’s by no means final; just don’t lay it down unless you have a plan to win in the next turn or two.

Inferno Titan, 5.0/5.0

Unlike other Titans, Inferno Titan has the capability to pretty much win the game by himself if left unopposed for one turn. The free damage he dishes out upon entry or on attack can wipe the floor with any would-be blockers, clearing a path for his massive, firebreathing frame. If you get lucky with land drops, he can swing for 13 damage on his first attack, plus three from his ability, plus three more when you first played him. If you’re keeping tally, that’s nineteen fucking damage from one card. gg

Wild Guess, 4.5/5.0

New players probably can’t see the value of a spell that requires you to discard stuff from your hand, but they should consider just how often the stuff in your hand isn’t the stuff you actually need. Being able to toss a spare Mountain (no, you shouldn’t play every Mountain you draw) for two more cards is great. Even better: discard a phoenix card to pay for Wild Guess. You’ll (eventually) get it back, netting you long-term card advantage!

Seismic Assault, 5.0/5.0

You know how, late-game, you tend to pray that every topdeck isn’t a land? With Seismic Assault in play, every Mountain you draw is a Shock, except it costs zero mana to play. That’s an incredible advantage when matches drag on, but it also means you can pull combat tricks out of nowhere, even when tapped out. The fact that the ability is free also means that if your opponent tries to destroy Seismic Assault, you can empty the five Mountains you’ve been saving into her face and/or creatures. Want another T3 tip? With Seismic Assault in play, your enemies will be hesitant to play any two toughness creatures, so don’t be afraid to hold onto other cards and bluff just how much instant damage you’re really storing up.

Sulfuric Vortex, 4.0/5.0 (5.0 in 3+ player FFA)

While life gain isn’t really a thing in Magic 2014 as it was in Duels 2013 (where Sulfuric Vortex directly led to my finals victory in the Weapons of Mass Gaming tournament), this enchantment is still a good play, most of the time. It forces your opponent to rush his strategy, and gives you a way to break through creature stalls or topdeck wars. While it can certainly backfire and hurt you, keep in mind that your foes take damage before you do, and if it is destroyed, in most cases it will die on an opponent’s turn, sparing you from damage once again.

Browbeat, 4.0/5.0

I would’ve loved to see more Browbeats in Firewave, but we have to settle for one. Any card that can deliver either five damage or three cards at just three mana is insane… the drawback of giving your enemy the choice makes this card fair. The less information your opponent has about the impending board state, the better, tipping the odds in favor of his making a poor choice. An important note: many players will not realize that Browbeat can deliver 10, 20, or 40 damage if you have Fire Servants/Furnace of Rath in play. Won’t they feel dumb when they “choose” to take 20 instead of giving you an Ancestral Recall?
Flame Slash, 5.0/5.0

For one mana, you get to nix pretty much 80% of the creatures in Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers. The sorcery speed of Flame Slash and its inability to act as direct player damage are completely fair trade-offs for this otherwise abusive damage:cost ratio.

Chandra’s Spitfire, 4.0/5.0

While this card is often likened to Kiln Fiend, the unfortunate fact that opponents must actually be hit by damage to get the Spitfire bonus kind of sucks. With Kiln Fiend, you can choose to aim for the head to maximize damage, but you can also zap blockers for card equity and long-term board control. That said, Chandra’s Spitfire will end up doing work regardless, and can also be triggered by things like Seismic Assault, so it’s not all downsides.

Final Fortune, 2.5/5.0

Final Fortune was a divisive card when it was first printed, and it remains a question mark to this day. Two mana for an extra turn is extremely powerful, especially if you have lots of creatures in play and/or a Furnace of Rath on the battlefield. It can also catch enemies unaware, since they probably weren’t counting on you getting two attack phases when they tapped out all their creatures for a swing. Unfortunately, Final Fortune tends to be a dead card most turns, as it is by definition useless until the turn before you win the game. If you are totally screwed, you might as well cast it, just keep in mind Final Fortunes could’ve been a more useful card if you had kept it out of your deck.

Reverberate, 4.5/5.0

Is there a feeling better than doubling Lava Axe or Browbeat for just two mana? Yes: doubling your opponent’s Lava Axe for two mana (and having yours resolve first!). Reverberate is absolutely brutal in any instant/sorcery based deck, and the ability to copy a powerful enemy spell is downright evil. It can even be used to counter a counterspell. Eat that, Jace!

Stalking Vengeance, 3.0/5.0

The effect is powerful. The creature is powerful. But it costs seven mana. Even then, if this thing eats a Murder, you don’t really get any kind of reward. I feel like Stalking Vengeance would have been much better suited for a deck full of Ball Lightning-style creatures that are themed around self-sacrifice. It kind of combos with Hostility (see below), but that’s relying on drawing and playing two one-of bombs. If you can get this into play, congratulations… just don’t count on it.

Hostility, 4.0/5.0

At one less mana than Stalking Vengeance, Hostility is a much better late-game bomb. It’s a 6/6 (that’s +1/+1 over Vengeance) that indirectly triples all your direct burn, turning each point of damage into a 3/1 creature! Hell, it more than triples the damage, since those elementals get to stick around if they don’t immediately die to a weenie blocker. If you untap with Hostility in play, you have pretty much won the game, assuming your foe doesn’t have some kind of creature lockdown in place. But then again, you probably shouldn’t have played Hostility in that kind of scenario.


35 replies to this post
      • I realize neither of these are great creatures but this is Sealed. If I had a Grave Titan or two to help out as a late game finisher I wouldn’t be asking peoples opinions on these two. The thing is I need a threat or two to put in between my Nighthawk/Hypnotic Spector and my Nightmare/Rune Scarred Demon. I have some Scorpions, a Gravedigger, a Bat, a Black Knight and a Rat as well but I need a couple more things that pack a punch. I have tested it by adding Red but it makes Distress, Sign in blood and murder much harder to cast and Nightmare way worse.

      • Minotaur Abomination is a 6 CMC for a 4/6 right? I’d probably go with the Rotting Legion out of the 2 if you are using Nightmare then unless you need it down instantly as a blocker.

  1. Awesome build WiNG very similar to what I came up with only difference I can see so far is that I’ve gone for the burn the path down approach using the Firecats to swing in for 4 or 8 with the Furnance down.

    I gave the final fortune a go whilst playing around with cards before finalizing my build. It was quite fun getting the extra turn however long it sticks in your hand but not practical =S I would also LOVE to do the impossible and win by turn “3” with it and the Kiln Fiend but I got a better chance to find a needle in a haystack, never going to happen =( So far it actually won/finished the game for me 3 times and ALMOST cost me the game once as Jace had 1 land for Unsummon untapped but I decided not to play the card. Funny to use as a rage quit! card to deny your opponent the satisfaction of winning themselves lol but yeah better left out.

  2. People hate on the kitty cat but it does give the deck some defensive stability however fragile it may be. I bring it down turn three if I need some help on defense, while when its paired with a crimson Mage it essentially turns into a lightning elemental. With that in mind it’s really the only case that crimson Mage does something useful other than chump block a fatty. Truthfully I’m still torn on both of them. On another note seismic assault is a card I’m torn on. I’ve always found its never a bad thing to have too much mana with Chandra’s deck, for busting out saucy combos to dropping Titan or the big red chicken, or getting back your Phoenix’s from the yard. However it does do a ridiculous amount of work when you top deck land late game. I might have to flip a coin on this one.

    • I see where you’re coming from but Seismic is just so brutal in terms of efficiency. For the most part you rarely need more than five lands in play, with extras in hand. Also keep in mind this gives you an outlet for Grim Lavamancer, filling your graveyard.

      • very true forgot about the lavamancer, wonder if you could set up a deck based around seismic assault, sulfuric vortex, and grim lavamancer, with a billion land… mulligan down till you get seismic assault and then wreak havoc. you could throw in browbeat and wild guess to draw more lands. probably improbable but could be worth a shot

      • yeah just went through a couple games with it. didnt draw it but once, but when i did its rather potent. it eventually fell to enchantment removal, but i raced avacyn down to 4 life beforehand. if only there were 4 seismic assaults. did learn two things though, first being that seismic assault will be included in my deck, the other being that when you mulligan down after your free one, it flashes mulligan on your avatar near your life total. could be useful?

      • Think Cone of Flame is a much better substitution for Lava Axe if you’re considering taking it out now. Sure you need 3 targets but it still does more than Lava Axe…

      • Also you may be forgetting the decks and styles this year. More aggro less control, hence why Chandra is probably missing most of her burns. You probably will find 3 enemy targets this time around.

  3. Great guide Wing! I was hoping you’d do Firewave, very interested on your analysis.

    However, Lava Axe is *player only* and sorcery speed junk,
    I would say 1.5/5.0 but there is so little burn this year, one copy might be playable if your deck has all the doubling cards AND played final fortune.


  4. OK some feedback just did a 20 game test series with my friend (both of us very experienced MTG players), with him playing Avacyn.

    Sad to report, Firewave is well, trash.

    I was able to take 2 games out of 20 from him.
    Even with perfect draws you can’t beat Avacyn.

    I don’t expect it to go even vs the OP white weenie horde, but 10:1? This deck is tier 3 trash. It needs two more flamebreaks to be close to viable.

    • Did you guys switch decks after ten? If not how do we know that your friend is just better with Avacyn than you are with Flamewave? Haha no offense I only mean to make it as scientific as possible.

    • What he said, this actually proves very little. Plus Cone of Flame is Great against those weenies, try running that.

  5. An excellent point, we’ll try a turn-around.

    Tried running Cone, it’s pretty good if you ever get to 5 mana – and you’re so short of burn as it is – plus it *devastates* the illusion deck.
    But it’s nowhere near enough. My friend had situations where he got manascrewed 2 land for 5 turns and still managed a win.

    PS: I found a counter to Avacyn. Properly constructed, Deadwalkers wins more than it loses. I believe it’s the only deck to currently do so. I sideboarded the human tribal hate in coz Avacyn is so dominant.

    • avacyn is great and all, but it isnt the holy grail of decks, alot of people are still trying things out with the less powerful ones, i havent heard a thing of ajani’s deck, other than Toroka review, and the dimir deck is still in the shadows (bad pun intended)… give it time, people are still trying things out and most players are attracted to the stronger decks at the start of a new game. ie the white weenies, jace’s deck, and mono black. just like goblins were dominant at the start of 2013. i figure by the time the DLC is out, people will have found a way to beat it rather often, enough to make it just another white weenie deck.

      • Try Garruk out vs Avacyn. Garruk’s always hated on but the decks have actually been really powerful if you make them right and with the amount of 2 drop 3/2 3/3’s rancors overrun/enlarges etc it can be a pretty mean solid deck.

      • I’m working on a build for Garruk… ugh, but it is so much work to make it not terrible!
        Yeah, anyhow. I think I’ve assembled something halfway decent, so a guide should arrive soon-ish. Not too easy, might I add. Most of Garruk’s deck is in that weird gray zone where the card pretty much sucks but might be worth including.

        Wing said he’s working on a guide for Slivers, who might just prove to be Avacyn’s adversary, last but not least due to the huge amount of “You’re a dick” cards it has. THREE Paths? Seriously?

        Other than that, I can’t immediately think of any hard counters to Avacyn. I’ve been seeing some success with the Eldrazi if you’re extremely lucky, turboramping yourself up to 5-7 mana plus an Eye, dropping All Is Dust to completely take the wind out of their sails and afterwards overpowering them with Eldrazi as they struggle to recover. It takes very specific cards, though, whereas Avacyn can just mulligan down to one and roll their face on the keyboard to win.

        I dislike extreme Aggro decks in general and this one in particular as Wizards never seems able to do them right. Is that noticable?

      • Just a question because I haven’t used the card yet nor been able to play it if I tried. Wurmskin Forger… Badly worded? “distribute 3 +1/+1 counters among one, two, or three target creatures.”
        Does this mean to distribute 3 +1/+1 counters to 1-3 creatures giving them all +3/+3 or to distribute 3 +1/+1 counters among 1-3 creatures because for 7 land that sounds TERRIBLE.

      • wurmskin forger COULD be useful in ancient wilds, or a similar deck that ramps a little and bounces creatures for card advantage and life gain. the fact that it is seven mana makes it impractical but i think it is that way due to the fact that it has a 2/2 body attached to it. a 3/3 body would be a bit more useful, but a 4/4 would make it particularily unfair (most 4/4 are 5mana and most cards that give +3+3 counters pemanantly cost over 2mana) if it had flash, or gave creatures something along with a +1+1 ie deathtouch, lifelink, reach itd be very playable but also OP, making it one of the cards Toraka mentioned as being in the “grey area”

      • As soon as you look it up on Gatherer, you’ll realise Wurmskin Forger is actually far out of the grey area, to the bottom end of the terrible scale.

        When it ETB, you get 3 +1/+1 counters to DISTRIBUTE as you like amongst your creatures. Meaning that you get a 2/2 on the board plus +3/+3 spread amongst your army. Three get one each, one gets two and another gets one, or one gets all three. More or less, it does the same as a 5/5 that can lend some of its stomp to allies who are already not sick any more. Is 7 mana for a 5/5 a fair deal in Green? Short answer, nooooo. Long answer, compare to Craterhoof Behemoth, which will do more for you in pretty much any situation (assuming you have the land). Or Regal Force. Or pretty much anything, even enormous Baloth which STILL will probably do more for you.

      • Good point, I got so caught up in talking about the ways it could be better I forgot that it is in fact a 2/creature you wouldnt be able to play until turn seven at the earliest. The card could be so much better but then again couldn’t they all

      • Avacyn IS the holy grail of this game so far. First question when you test a build is “can this beat Avacyn? No? Ok can it EVER beat Avacyn? No? Trash.”

        I strongly doubt Garruk holds the answer. AG has so much removal your expensive cards don’t stand a chance, and your early threats are just as good as his early threats, except AG’s lategame is miles stronger. You get stompies that die to exile, while he gets 5/5 angels you can’t block or remove.

        I believe you’re right about the slivers though. Much maligned, the decklist of that HAS to have potential. There’s SO MUCH nasty horrible removal I’m certain it’s playable. I’m certain it’s better than Firewave or Dmir anway.

        I have personally found Deadwalkers can beat AG with the right build. Unfortunately to make it go better than 50/50 you need to include some bad cards for other matches (ie shrivel and the human tribal hate). I’m happy switching to a hate-deck whenever I’m up against an opponent who is using AG though – that’s how I dealt with goblins last year.

  6. Born of Flame was easily my favorite – and most successful – deck in DotP 2013, so i was eager to start surfing the Firewave from day one…

    unfortunately, it seems the quick, burn-your-opponents-face-off 1v1 build is long gone. but i’ve found this deck burns brightest in multiplayer matches in a way BoF never could.

    time warp was amazing in 2hg last year, and now Firewave is the only partner that can make that happen. sure, you had better have a winning plan in hand, but w/ things like furnace of wrath, kiln fiends, and tons of evasive flyers (yes, i even use 3x Pilgrim’s Eye), i have had 2hg wins on turn “5” quite often. it also helps if your partner is playing something crazy-aggressive like illusions, zombies, or humans!

    Born of Flame was an in your face, “RRRAAAAGH!” burn deck, which i simply loved. but Firewave has a, “Why is he sitting back, strumming his fingers together with that evil grin on his face?” feel to it that can also be quite satisfying! ;~)

  7. Guardians of light is more powerful than most people thing, its like Aura Servant 2.5, no dual land screw and more consistency. This deck is very strong in mid-late game. With less removal in decks, armoured ascension mostly get the job done sneaking in 2 attacks. With 3 creature pro aura, its highly possible.

  8. I’m a bit frustrated with this deck, and you’ll know where I’m coming from if you’ve ever seen how this deck was in DotP 2012.

    After tooling around with the deck, I noticed a couple of things:

    Dropping land to about 23 or so with a couple of Pilgrim’s Eye in place of the missing land. I like them ’cause they help pull land out of the deck, so I’m more likely to draw stuff that’s going to help me. Even dialing the lands back to 24 will allow you to add another card that can help you.

    Fireshrieker + Kiln Fiends/Chandra’s Spitfire is a pretty sweet combo. Yes, you can always stick it onto one of the bigger guys, but if you’re doing a good job controlling the field, Fireshrieker on a 2/2 can win the game for you.

  9. A follow up from my last post with the deck build for my version of Firewave after three promo unlocks:

    2x Grim Lavamancer
    2x Goblin Arsonist
    2x Disintegrate
    2x Pilar of Flame
    1x Flame Slash
    1x Stormblood Beserker
    1x Slith Firewalker
    3x Kiln Fiend
    1x Reverberate
    1x Seething Spear
    1x Wild Guess
    2x Pilgrims Eye
    2x Chandra’s Phoenix
    1x Chandra’s Spitfire
    2x Fireshrieker
    1x Sulfuric Vortex
    1x Siesmic Assault
    1x Flamebreak
    2x Flames of the Firebrand
    1x Browbeat
    1x Firewing Phoenix
    1x Furnace of Wrath
    2x Chandra’s Outrage
    1x Magma Phoenix
    2x Fire Savant
    1x Inferno Titan
    1x Hostility
    22x Mountains

    While probably not the version that’s the best, this is one that I like, and it also takes quite a bit of skill to play it right, because you need to know when to be defensive, and when to be offensive. Spells are intended more as fire support for the creatures, rather than being used as primary artillery for the ground troops (like the way prior DotP red decks have played).

    Fireshrieker is included because it makes most of the creatures into a pretty painful threat. Even a 2/2 doublestriker is nothing to take lightly.

  10. I like how with this deck if you have a nice enough friend you can effectively “boost” locked cards that you haven’t won yet by letting you swing in while they self burn or aim for that final fortune to end the game rather quickly giving you your free cards. Yay =D.

    That’ll teach ya for forcing AI takeover when somebody quits to unlock cards.

  11. I used this guide, but I revisited my deck and this is what I think:

    1. Kiln Fiends (or firecats) are waste of slot, and also they force you to cast spells, or they will stay as useless 1/2 creatures. Firewave does not have so many burns like D&B, so they must be casted wisely.

    2. Goblin Arsonists are a bit better than KF, but still waste of slot. There is nothing worse than draft goblin in 4-5 turn, when he become very useless. He is not some white wheenie. Without them, there is more chances to draft some bird or burn spell.

    3. Slith Firewalker is barely useful, but good against stompies. It can be pain in the ass, so opponent will propably try to kill it faster. Better lost firewalker, than fire servant.

    4. Berserker is good against newbies, who don’t read opponents cards. They will try to block berserker with one creature, and don’t know what is going on when try to push continue button ;)

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