I'll admit, I'm not much of a Burn player. Not only am I anywhere near as good as Seth Manfield, I don't enjoy flinging Lava Spikes the same way he does. I'm more likely to groan when I see a turn one Goblin Guide than I am to be the one turning it sideways.
But when I saw Claim // Fame, I have to admit I was hooked. This is somewhere between an aggressive creature deck and a Burn deck, but it's all fun.
The difference between this build of Burn and other versions lies primarily in the surprise factor. Sure, you're turning Monastery Swiftspear sideways just like the other decks, but in typical Burn games your creatures fall out of favor over the first few turns, and you're looking for direct damage to finish off opponents before they turn the corner and execute their gameplan. Everyone knows how to dance this dance, and players know exactly what they need to do to knock off Burn.
But Claim // Fame changes that calculus entirely.
Typically when decks remove Burn's creatures, they know what to worry about when they start to turn their own creatures sideways – a possible topdecked Goblin Guide or Monastery Swiftspear, but nothing more intimidating, and usually never more than two damage at a time. But with access to Claim // Fame, suddenly our three-mana investment represents a lot more damage. Return a Vexing Devil? That's worth at least four points. If they choose to let it stay in play, then the back half of Claim // Fame means all of a sudden we're attacked with a hasty 6/3, a build-your-own Ball Lightning that doesn't get sacrificed at the end of the turn. Keldon Marauders is a bit of a Burn throwback, but it's perfect here. It almost always represents a minimum of two damage thanks to the pinging ability, but under the right circumstances can do up to five. But with Claim // Fame, Marauders in the graveyard now represents six damage on the turn you make it famous, with the possibility of up to four damage following that.
As you can see, this changes the math entirely for opponents. A life total of 8-10 is no longer the cushion you might expect it to be. When the Burn player doesn't need runner-runner Burn spells off the top but instead just needs to use three mana for Claim // Fame to accomplish the same damage, you have to begin playing differently. This allows the Burn player additional turns to draw the plethora of existing staples to provide the final points of a damage to the face.
It's this threat that sets apart Claim // Fame Bun. When the Burn deck has more than one angle of attack you have to worry about, an already challenging matchup becomes downright scary, and that's exactly where this deck burns brightest. So while burning faces off may not be my cup of tea, I highly suggest giving this deck a go if it happens to be yours.
Thanks for reading,