Wildfire is one of my favorite cards in all of Magic. This is a card easy to build around and devastating against opponents across the spectrum of aggro and control decks. If someone doesn’t care about you sweeping their board, they certainly care about you destroying four of their lands and vice versa. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen this kind of effect in Constructed Magic, but as the Modern bannings serve to slow the format down, perhaps it’s time Wildfire rise up to punish the midrange decks.
Wildfire - Modern | Caleb Durward
- Instants (4)
- 4 Lightning Bolt
- Enchantments (4)
- 4 Blood Moon
At its core, this is a ramp deck. Notice it has a very similar structure to various Valakut decks: Guardian Idol and Mind Stone as 2 mana ramp spells plus Solemn Simulacrum, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, and Koth of the Hammer as 4 mana ramp spells all serve to help you consistently hit 6 mana on turn four. That’s where things start to get interesting.
What are the best things Red can do for 6 mana in Modern? Inferno Titan does a great job of stabilizing you against the likes of Affinity and Infect, particularly when backed by Wildfire to clear up any Inkmoth Nexuses can avoid Titan triggers. Wurmcoil Engine does a fantastic job of stabilizing you against decks like Burn and Death’s Shadow. Despite only playing three copies, Wildfire is still one of the better 6-drops. The density of artifact mana and Planeswalkers goes a long way toward breaking the symmetry of the card, since you’ll be up tangible resources while your opponent is getting their board swept away and being set back on lands.
It’s worth noting you also get to steal games with Blood Moon and Relic of Progenitus in this deck. There are still decks like Jund and Abzan that almost can’t beat resolved Blood Moon in Game 1, and it’s not clear how big of a presence Dredge and Tarmogoyf will be in the new Modern, but splash damage against Snapcaster Mage is probably good enough to make Relic worthwhile.
Before making any changes, it’s important to note this is a deck that wants to be able to operate on little mana, and cares very much about the toughness of its threats. Batterskull is an awesome card in Modern, but would be a bad fit here, since it dies to your own Wildfires and you’ll be shorting yourself the mana to bounce and recast the Batterskull.
If you’re looking to play a deck that preys on greedy mana bases and ramps into powerful Planeswalkers on empty boards, this is a great place to be. There’s lots of options for how to build this style of deck, particularly with Signets enabling all kinds of splashes. I’m excited to see if anything comes of this particular innovation on the Big Red archetypes in Modern.