Flavors of Blue-Red Fevered Burn

Posted in Event Coverage on August 13, 2016

By Meghan Wolff

Meghan is one half of the Good Luck High Five podcast and an adjunct professor at Tolarian Community College. She loves Limited, likes Modern, and dips her toes into each Standard season. She's decidedly blue and is the #1 hater of Siege Rhino in the Multiverse.

Pedro Carvalho's Blue-Red Fevered Burn deck from Pro Tour Eldritch Moon, which he piloted to a 9-1 finish in the constructed portion of the tournament, piqued the interest of the Magic community.

A slew of players have picked up the deck in the week since the PT, playing it card-for-card or adding their own unexpected twists. Whether you're sick of creatures or wish they were a little more dragon-ish, there's a flavor of Blue-Red Fevered Burn in Portland to suit your taste for damage that goes straight to the face.

Streamer Kenji Egashira is piloting Carvalho's list, which he found interesting enough to coax him down to Portland from his hometown of Seattle.

"There was nothing like the Blue-Red deck," he said. "When it ticks, it goes ka-boom."

This flavor of UR Fevered Burn develops the board with two-drop creatures like Thing in the Ice and Thermo-Alchemist and then feeds their love of instants and sorceries with cards that keep the board fairly clean. What kinds of instants and sorceries?

Kenji Egashira

"Mainly burn burn burn burn burn," Egashira said. "Sometimes you counter something, but mostly it's just burn."

According to Egashira, sequencing and stacking triggers are the biggest challenges of piloting the deck. Multiple spells on the stack can mean multiple triggers to untap Thermo-Alchemist, and missing those precious points of damage can be game-deciding, as can incorrectly stacking the triggers from a Thermo-Alchemist and a Thing in the Ice.

There's a payoff for attending to the deck's multitude of triggers, though Egashira is still deciding what the advantage is.

"I would have said last week that it's relatively unknown and people wouldn't be expecting it, but I've had two mirror matches," Egashira said. "Now, I'm going to say that it's that you can ignore a lot of the decks and just go to the face."

Omar Valencia and Gene Frazier are piloting a UR deck that takes Carvalho's initial plan in a new direction that can be summed up in one word: dragons.

As Valencia said, "we basically built the burn deck, with dragons."

UR Fevered Burn isn't the deck's only source material, however. It also draws on Tomoharu Saito's UR Fliers deck from Grand Prix Minneapolis, playing cheap creatures like Rattlechains and

The U/R Dragons list came about because Valencia and Frazier wanted to apply more pressure with creatures, and also wanted to win against a deck bringing Orbs of Warding in from the sideboard.

The deck's ideal opening plays often involve removing early creatures with efficient burn spells like Incendiary Flow and Draconic Roar, and then following up with a Thunderbreak Regent.

"We think dragons are a little overlooked at this point, and Draconic Roar is still a really good card," Valencia said.

Dan Ward's Grixis deck has a different origin from other flavors of U/R - it began as a Black-Red madness deck Ward developed for the Pro Tour, and has, for the most part, stayed true to its roots. Fevered Visions is the only main deck blue card.

"I came to my senses and was like, Fevered Visions is just so good I have to play it," Ward said. "With the exception of the humans deck, you're going to be able to play more spells than they are in a timely manner, so the extra cards you're giving them don't necessarily matter."

Ward designed the deck to fill what he saw as a hole in the format, namely, an aggressive deck besides Humans.

The deck is highly synergistic, including eight ways to enable madness - four copies of Tormenting Voice and four copies of Collective Brutality - and seven cards with madness - four Fiery Temper and three Alms of the Vein.

The deck's dream opening is a turn-two Thermo-Alchemist followed by a Fevered Visions, but playing a Tormenting Voice or Collective Brutality and discarding a card with madness isn't a shabby way to start either.

Dan Ward

In a match-up against Bant Collected Company, an early Collective Brutality can be a particularly key play, snagging a Dromoka's Command from their hand and ensuring that Fevered Visions will stick around.

Aggressive white-based Humans decks can be difficult for Ward's Grixis Burn, as the one-for-one removal spells line up poorly against swarms of cheap creatures. Mono-White and White-Red Humans can also play the cards provided by Fevered Visions as efficiently as the burn deck, negating the card advantage Fevered Visions offers in other match-ups.

Ward looks forward to where the deck can go after this weekend, as the key cards won't be leaving Standard for many months, creating lots of opportunity for further development and refinement.

"The deck will continue to get better because on rotation every single card in the deck is still legal, except Shivan Reef," Ward said, "and with the exit of Dromoka's Command it allows for the burn strategy to be a real thing moving forward."

The weeks after the Pro Tour see both a surge of new and novel strategies, and a refining of the decks that first made their appearance at the Pro Tour. For those players more keen to sling burn spells than creatures, U/R Fevered Visions decks are proving an exciting jumping-off point.

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