Taxes Burn (mardu) (Frontier)

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    I recently built a Frontier deck for Eldrazi Taxes (a play on the modern deck of the same name). I didn't feel the deck had all the right pieces at this point to be fully competitive. it did fuel the idea to create this deck, which I feel will be more competitive. Here is a link to the before mentioned deck

    The overall concept of this deck is three fold: play early game hand disruption, then play creatures that tax the opponent with life loss/direct damage, and finish the game with burn. Every card should either slow the opponent down or do direct damage to their face.

    Here is the step by step process of creating the deck:

    (1) Decide on the best creature base to either hate on the opponent or help burn them out:

    a) Harsh Mentor. 4 copies. Many uses, but it mainly punishes fetch lands. You are looking at some serious damage if this sits on the board against any multicolored decks. Mentor also does a good job holding down vehicles and amkes a turn two Jace, Vryn's Prodigy pay a hard tax for that card draw.
    * Soulfire Grand Master. 4 copies sideboard. As good as Mentor is, he is little more than a chump blocker against aggro. SGM has lifelink and has 14 main deck instants that will gain lifelink as well. There is also the nice little bonus of the activated ability in late game stalls.

    b) Firebrand Archer. 4 copies. Free damage for every spell I cast in the midgame. I choose this over Thermo Alchemist because it can attack when needed. Even if its only once in a game, two damage can be the difference.

    c) Thalia, Heretic Cathar. 2 copies. Punish the nonbasic lands even more while also slowing down the creatures. As a side bonus stops Sahelli combo.

    d) Kambal, Consul of Allocation. 2 copies sideboard. Punishes noncreature spells. I did not want to play them in the main, but if I'm playing a deck that plays close to a fifty-fifty split of non-creature cards (or more) then I'm bringing thesein. Just so taxing.

    e) Kitesail Freebooter. 2 copies. Disruption on a stick is usually useful.
    *Tocatli, Honor Guard. 2 copies sideboard. I'm not playing any other ETB's, so if Freebooter comes out then THG goes in against nearly any deck. Just about every deck in the format is playing ETB"S.

    (2) Add in some early game hand disruption. I want to tear apart their hand before getting started. It is also of value to know what I'm up against in game 1.

    (a) Despise. Two copies. Best 1cc disruption the format offers. It will catch a quality threat in basically every match-up.

    (b) Transgress the Mind. Two copies. Best hand disruption in the format.

    (c) Kolaghan's Command. Two copies. It gets a card out of their hand, unfortunately we do not choose what. The great part is we do so at instant speed so when the opponent is topdecking then we get to snag the card on the end of their draw step, before they get to play it (as long as its not instant speed). The fact that the other three choices on KC are all relevant is also a big selling point to playing this main board.

    (3) At this point my alternate win-con has jumped out to me. My deck is fast and disruptive and that plays well with this 4cc bomb:

    *Hazoret, the Fervant. Two copies. We are not likely to be holding a great number of cards in the midgame and if we are they are likely cards we do not want or can burn the face. Either way, we cast the burn and discard the others to Hazoret. I'm only playing two copies as it can be chump blocked and we are not sending in waves of creatures, also the deck is not playing enough 1cc cards so that Hazoret will always attack turn 4 with haste.

    (4) It's time to add burn spells.

    a) Crackling Doom. 3 copies. You get to take their best creature, along with doing two damage. The dream card for this deck.

    b) Lightning Strike. 3 copies. Nice burn spell for the cost at instant speed.

    c) Deflecting Palm. 4 copies. This is a very underutilized spell. Sometimes it sees some sideboard play as an opportunity for a blowout type card, however I think it is so much more than that. Every deck has sources that deal you 3+ damage, so at worse you are going to deal three damage with this. At the same time it prevents that damage from hitting you. The card basically says "do X damage, gain X life back" because that is what happens. You are at minimum getting the Siege Rhino abilities worth, a +6. Now think it out further. Most decks are playing creatures bigger than that: Siege Rhino, Hazoret, Scarab God, even a deck like humans has pumped up Lieutenants. In these situations you are getting 8 or 10 life +/-.

    d) Chandra, Torch of Defiance. 2 copies. A toolbox planeswalker that has built in burn on the up-tick. Thank you.

    (5) I still have three slots left in the main deck, however I need to think of my mana base first. Will I be playing fetch lands? Not so automatic. Man lands give me some extra push midgame and Ramunap Ruins can end a game as well. Hard to play those in a mana base with 8 fetch lands and at least another 8 cards to support them.
    *I thought this over for a while and fetches are still the way to go. Consistent mana that can always come out untapped. Another bonus is that they thin out the deck by one card every time, making your draws a fraction more consistent each time. It stills leaves some room to run a couple copies of the other lands I want to run.

    a) Fetches.
    Wooded Foothills. 4 copies.
    Polluted Delta. 4 copies.
    Bloodstained Mire. 2 copies.

    b) Battle lands.
    Smoldering Marsh. 2 copies. Can be fetched by all fetch lands
    Prairie Stream. 1 copy.
    Canopy Vista. 1 copy.

    c) Basics.
    Mountain. 2 copies.
    Swamp. 2 copies.

    * 5 slots left for land. Current color source count is red-14 black-14 white-10. From these I know I want to add two red, two black, and two white to consistently cast my spells on curve, according to the decks structure. Here's how I see this shaping out:

    d) Concealed Courtyard. 2 copies. Enters untapped on turn 1 for black and produces white as a bonus. I'd rather play Caves of Koilos (can't afford the life loss) or Shambling Vent (can't afford it to enter tapped turn 1.)

    e) Inspiring Vantage. 2 copies. I need a red source that will not enter tapped early and does not cost me life. I looked at just adding a mountain for consistency, but why not get one more white source to make me feel better about playing turn two white cards out of the sideboard.

    f) Field of Ruin. 1 copy. The biggest thing to remember is to not crack it if you already have seen the four basics you are playing, or you will have nothing to search up. There are some important lands running around in Ixalan. The main purpose is to destroy the opponents splash land that they fetch up. Often you will not play basics in your splash color (unless you are playing green with Traverse the Ulvenwald or Attune with Aether). Also, just makes it hard to cast spells with difficult mana costs, tri-colored or double symbols of the same color in decks forcing three and four colors.

    (6) Three main deck slots left. Has to be a 1cc spell in my opinion. Options are:
    i) Monastery Swiftspear. Good for a couple damage a game and must be accounted for. Does not really fit the decks build.
    ii) Shock. Direct damage for one mana.
    iii) Hope of Ghirapur. Runs some interference against a few decks.
    iv) Collateral Damage. Requires some tricks, but 3 damage for 1cc is pretty good.

    * Fatal Push. Now that I'm playing fetches it is a lock. I looked at other cards, but it is the best card i could play and would have been the first add if I knew the mana base going in.

    (7)Sideboard has seven slots remaining to hate out troublesome decks and archetypes:

    a) Authority of the Consuls. 2 copies sideboard. Shuts down Saheeli and makes life miserable for aggro. *Originally I wanted to play Rampaging Ferocidon because it serves the same purposes, comes with a 3/3 body, and has great synergy with Deflecting Palm due to the wording of DF. Problem is RF essentially turns off Soulfire Grand Master and the two were being sided in for the same matches.

    b) Sorcerous Spyglass. 2 copies. Turns off a planeswalker, Aetherworks Marvel, a vehicle, The Scarab God, fancy lands, and anything else with an activated ability. Also gives me a peek at my opponents hand so it is not a shot in the dark. A big reason for this card being my go to sideboard card is that Pick the Brain lets you snag Emrakul and other nasty threats, but it does not let you grab Aetherworks Marvel.

    c) Pick the Brain. 1 copy. Still worth a one of in the side as it lets you dismantle entire decks.

    d) Sentinel Totem. 2 copies. It was this or Collected Company hate. I guess I'm more worried about graveyards in Gift decks and blue decks (delve as well). Tocatli is already effective against CoCo, so it has some defense. I choose ST over Tormod's Crypt because i want to get both graveyards.

    ***Final Thoughts***
    *I like this deck and would definitely play it in a tournament setting.
    *The deck hates on the relevant decks in the format and has answers for the major problems out there.
    *The deck can grind things out or step on the gas to burn out the opponent.
    *The deck has an excellent removal suite, without getting of off the theme of the deck. Very nice versatility.
    *If the deck lacks anything it may be card draw. It might be worth cutting some burn for card draw, however you are drawing cards to look for burn so this might be counterproductive.


    Sideboard price: 34.41 € | $ 20.78

    This deck appears to be legal in Frontier!

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