Chandra Ablaze was extremely underwhelming upon her release in Zendikar, and the community at large didn't really give her much credit. That said, I loved this version of the Planeswalker—mostly because of the interaction with Squee, Goblin Nabob, a pet card I've been a fan of forever! This new Chandra gave me a great excuse to jam with it. 

I had a really dope casual multiplayer deck back in those days, with a Painter's Servant/Jaya Ballard, Task Mage package that let Squee turn into Vindicates, in addition to Lightning Blasts. 

When it came to this project, I really wanted to get some of that old band back together! I also thought this might be a great home for a Madness deck, since 2/3 of Chandra's abilities involved discarding. 

Let's get loco: 

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Chandra Ablaze by Andy Hurst

'Chandra Ablaze' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Andy Hurst

Event:

Rank:

Freeform (Casual)

Market Price: $12.88

Cards

Faithless Looting

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236106_200w.jpg

Draw two cards, then discard two cards.
Flashback {2}{R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Violent Eruption

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196775_200w.jpg

Violent Eruption deals 4 damage divided as you choose among any number of targets.
Madness {1}{R}{R} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)

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Alchemist's Greeting

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196728_200w.jpg

Alchemist's Greeting deals 4 damage to target creature.
Madness {1}{R} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)

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Reckless Racer

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/126519_200w.jpg

First strike
Whenever Reckless Racer becomes tapped, you may discard a card. If you do, draw a card.

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Balduvian Horde

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161356_200w.jpg

When Balduvian Horde enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you discard a card at random.

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Sandstone Needle

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6680_200w.jpg

Sandstone Needle enters the battlefield tapped with two depletion counters on it.
{T}, Remove a depletion counter from Sandstone Needle: Add {R}{R}. If there are no depletion counters on Sandstone Needle, sacrifice it.

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Firewing Phoenix

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180807_200w.jpg

Flying
{1}{R}{R}{R}: Return Firewing Phoenix from your graveyard to your hand.

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Gathan Raiders

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233918_200w.jpg

Hellbent — Gathan Raiders gets +2/+2 as long as you have no cards in hand.
Morph—Discard a card. (You may cast this card face down as a 2/2 creature for {3}. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

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Chandra's Fury

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/99907_200w.jpg

Chandra's Fury deals 4 damage to target player or planeswalker and 1 damage to each creature that player or that planeswalker's controller controls.

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Dormant Volcano

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.40

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166783_200w.jpg

Dormant Volcano enters the battlefield tapped.
When Dormant Volcano enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you return an untapped Mountain you control to its owner's hand.
{T}: Add {C}{R}.

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Incorrigible Youths

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/114837_200w.jpg

Haste
Madness {2}{R} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)

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Forgotten Cave

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236153_200w.jpg

Forgotten Cave enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {R}.
Cycling {R} ({R}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Squee, Goblin Nabob

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196770_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, you may return Squee, Goblin Nabob from your graveyard to your hand.

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Chandra Ablaze

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $6.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33276_200w.jpg

+1: Discard a card. If a red card is discarded this way, Chandra Ablaze deals 4 damage to any target.
−2: Each player discards their hand, then draws three cards.
−7: Cast any number of red instant and/or sorcery cards from your graveyard without paying their mana costs.

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Chandra's Revolution

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/126463_200w.jpg

Chandra's Revolution deals 4 damage to target creature. Tap target land. That land doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.

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Fiery Temper

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196740_200w.jpg

Fiery Temper deals 3 damage to any target.
Madness {R} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)

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Avacyn's Judgment

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254243_200w.jpg

Madness {X}{R} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)
Avacyn's Judgment deals 2 damage divided as you choose among any number of targets. If this spell's madness cost was paid, it deals X damage divided as you choose among those permanents and/or players instead.

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Bloodrage Brawler

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216602_200w.jpg

When Bloodrage Brawler enters the battlefield, discard a card.

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Senseless Rage

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/116454_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2.
Madness {1}{R} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196580_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Flame Wave

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12650_200w.jpg

Flame Wave deals 4 damage to target player or planeswalker and each creature that player or that planeswalker's controller controls.

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Arc Mage

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7126_200w.jpg

{2}{R}, {T}, Discard a card: Arc Mage deals 2 damage divided as you choose among one or two targets.

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Warcry Phoenix

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162187_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Whenever you attack with three or more creatures, you may pay {2}{R}. If you do, return Warcry Phoenix from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped and attacking.

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Distemper of the Blood

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/120479_200w.jpg

Target creature gets +2/+2 and gains trample until end of turn.
Madness {R} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)

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Pillage

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190999_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or land. It can't be regenerated.

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Firebolt

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190644_200w.jpg

Firebolt deals 2 damage to any target.
Flashback {4}{R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Chandra's Phoenix

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132305_200w.jpg

Flying
Haste (This creature can attack and {T} as soon as it comes under your control.)
Whenever an opponent is dealt damage by a red instant or sorcery spell you control or by a red planeswalker you control, return Chandra's Phoenix from your graveyard to your hand.

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Oxidda Golem

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/93805_200w.jpg

Affinity for Mountains (This spell costs {1} less to cast for each Mountain you control.)
Haste

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Pyroclasm

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161784_200w.jpg

Pyroclasm deals 2 damage to each creature.

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Reckless Wurm

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233952_200w.jpg

Trample
Madness {2}{R} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)

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Ire Shaman

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161778_200w.jpg

Menace (This creature can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.)
Megamorph {R} (You may cast this card face down as a 2/2 creature for {3}. Turn it face up any time for its megamorph cost and put a +1/+1 counter on it.)
When Ire Shaman is turned face up, exile the top card of your library. Until end of turn, you may play that card.

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Tormenting Voice

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222435_200w.jpg

As an additional cost to cast this spell, discard a card.
Draw two cards.

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Ravenous Bloodseeker

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/114871_200w.jpg

Discard a card: Ravenous Bloodseeker gets +2/-2 until end of turn.

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Stalking Stones

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11588_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{6}: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 Elemental artifact creature that's still a land. (This effect lasts indefinitely.)

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Insatiable Gorgers

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/120503_200w.jpg

Insatiable Gorgers attacks each combat if able.
Madness {3}{R} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)

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Smash

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15321_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact.
Draw a card.

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Staff of the Flame Magus

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/90952_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast a red spell or a Mountain enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.

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Hostility

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166838_200w.jpg

Haste
If a spell you control would deal damage to an opponent, prevent that damage. Create a 3/1 red Elemental Shaman creature token with haste for each 1 damage prevented this way.
When Hostility is put into a graveyard from anywhere, shuffle it into its owner's library.

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The Game Plan

We're looking to use our various discard effects to get synergies and bonuses from our Madness cards, then pile on the damage with a motley-yet-efficient group of threats. The enablers are a bit ragtag, but Red has never been great there. Ravenous Bloodseeker is our allstar here as a poor man's Aquamoeba. Bloodrage Brawler and Tormenting Voice are also fine choices, but keep in mind that because we'll need to cast those spells and have a madness synergy that turn, we might end up losing some of the raw discount on our madness cards. For example, if we had the Bloodseeker in play on Turn 2, we'd be able to get a Reckless Wurm into play on Turn 3. However, with the Bloodrage Brawler plan, we'd need to wait until turn 5 to get both it and the Wurm into play, which is when the Wurm would come online anyway. We'd still save ourselves the downside of the discard, but the raw power isn't as present. Just something to keep in mind. 

Further up the curve, Gathan Raiders' morph cost and Chandra's first two abilities will ensure that we have a consistent outlet. And, if we feel like playing with fire, the Balduvian Hordes might bring the noise. Arc Mage is a forgotten gem from the...uh..."interesting" era of Masques Block, and it is a bit pricey, but if we can activate it consistently and get some synergy out of it, things will get messy for the opponent. Reminder that Arc Mage's ability is not restricted to Sorcery speed. (I feel like it might be if it was printed at Uncommon today.) Faithless Looting is, of course, excellent. 

The payoffs are nice ones. First of all, Squee is an excellent choice whenever we lack a Madness card and need something to pitch. Insatiable Gorger, Reckless Wurms, and Incorrigible Youths are the Madness bodies, and anytime we can get a discount on them, it's worth our while to do so. Fiery Temper and Violent Eruption go from acceptable removal spells to MVPs with the Madness discount, and that's even more so with Avacyn's Judgment! Distemper of the Blood and Senseless Rage are not excellent cards, but if we're using them for Madness and to fulfill the discarding costs of some of our cards, they become very strong. Lastly, for the worst case scenario we have a few Phoenixes to pitch that can come back from the yard in a pinch. 

The removal here is solid, so long as creatures are our enemy. The Tempers, Eruption, and Judgment mentioned above are very solid. Pyroclasm and Chandra's Fury punish the opponents severely for going wide. Firebolt can be chucked to a discard outlet in a pinch and still punch in or serve double duty. And oh yeah, there's Flame Wave, which delivers a massive, massive beating. How good is the Wave, you ask? (Clearly if you're asking you haven't resolved one before, but that's okay! It's a super old card at this point.) 

Well, when WotC re-released Tempest Block on MODO in the Tempest Remastered set, Flame Wave actually got up-shifted from Uncommon to Rare, which I don't think I can remember happening before! But once you play with it a few times in these games, I think you'll quickly see how deserving it is of one of those Rare slots, and we're lucky that the rules of this project let us get away with some on it. Pillage and Smash serve as fine removal for Artifacts. 

The Rares

I love Squee so much. First, he's a Weatherlight character and they'll always have my loyalty. It's also an incredibly interesting creature who has more value away from the Battlefield, which is something we don't often see, especially not from dinky Red Creatures. I call this flavorful fellow a fine use of a Rare slot!

This seems a bit more like the Squee of the Modern Age. It's got a somewhat similar recursion effect, but that effect is tied into something Red wants to do (direct damage) and the Phoenix wants to attack much more than Squee did. If my rules knowledge is correct, Chandra's Phoenix here has an excellent synergy with Chandra's Plus Ability, so feel free to take advantage. 

In combination with an active Chandra, Hostility is incredible, and without anything else to go with it, Hostility is still really good. In a pinch, we can even pitch it to a discard outlet, although we would vastly prefer to cast it. This and Flame Wave are our bombiest bombs, and if you manage to follow up a Hostility with a Flame Wave...GG. 

Only in a pinch do we play this, because honestly, we're really not interested in doing so. We badly, badly want to Madness this. I don't have much else to add here, except to say that I never got to draft or play this in Shadows Over Innistrad Limited, and it seems like it could be extremely exciting, so I wanted to make sure it got some time in the sun. 

Unsung Hero

Talk about a downshift for the ages! Back in the day, Balduvian Horde was a Chase Rare from Alliances. (Force of Will was also in this set...at Uncommon! What a time to be alive.) The Horde was extremely aggressively costed for creatures back in that era, and posted stats not terribly dissimilar from the iconic Juzam Djinn. You didn't even have to take any damage! 

Unfortunately, the discard at random ended up being a massive cost for something that still died to a Swords to Plowshares or Terror, and the iconic 187 creatures that ended up being printed not long after like Man-o'-War and Nekrataal ensured that the Horde had a long, brutal fall from grace. I think rock bottom might have been when it was printed in Masters 25 as a mere common that nobody cared about. (Well, nobody except me!) Now the Horde can revisit some of the glory days, and thanks to Alliances not coloring the rarity in the set symbol, I even have the OGs in there. History is more fun to relive when you're bashing your opponent for 5.