If you were playing in Mirrodin block, then you
knew just how good Anger of the Gods was going
to be when you saw it in Theros block. The
triple-red here hurts, but not so badly that you
can't swing it. And 3 damage to everything is
pretty sweet, especially in a format that was
very aggro-biased. You might think that the
inability to hit fliers is a drawback, but if
you've got fliers, then it's an advantage. Just
remember-- you don't have to play a weenie rush
deck just because you're mono-red. Red can do
control too, and this is how it does it-- by
controlling the board, killing everything you
don't like, and winning on the back of a Dragon.
The "wave of fire that washes over a bunch of
people like a wave of water and takes their skin
with it" is a staple of fiction (which is funny,
because almost everyone has seen fire and thus
seen it not behaving like that). I never thought
I'd see somebody illustrate it effectively,
though, until Flamebreak was released. It's a
rather interesting sort of card: on the one
hand, it seems like it wants to go in a more
control-oriented deck, because it's extremely
and brutally effective at killing small
creatures and making them stay dead. On the
other hand, you don't always want to be damaging
yourself in those sorts of decks, much less
being mono-red. But for that strangest of
beasts, the slow but aggressive mono-red deck,
this is the card that pretty much
single-handedly makes them viable. It damages
the opponent, it removes blockers with extreme
prejudice, and archetype staples ranging from
Shivan Dragon to Arc-Slogger aren't killed by
Today's card of the day is Flamebreak which is
a three mana Red sorcery that deals three damage
to each player and each creature without Flying
plus creatures dealt damage with it can't be
regenerated that turn.
This is a very solid board sweeper that can be
designed around to have your loss minimized and
in particular is support for Chandra's Phoenix
and to a lesser degree Chandra's Spitfire.
This is clearly intended for a mono-Red deck
with burn or evasion as the primary mechanics
and is for the most part an upgrade to Pyroclasm
in those builds.
For a Limited format with this it can be
difficult to manage the triple Red casting cost
and any kind of Flying theme, though artifacts
creatures can help improve those odds.
Even by itself it is a useful both as burn and
removal and is well worth the first pick in
Booster and consideration for Sealed, if at
least half the deck can be made Red.
In Multiplayer this is an excellent card that
really powers up Chandra's Spitfire and clears
the way for a potential kill very early in the
From Hammer of Bogardan, to Cursed Scroll, to
today's card, we're hitting up some classic burn
deck tech. With eh triple read in its cost, it's
clearly only for a mono-red constructed deck.
Three mana to deal 3 damage to everything on the
ground and all players is a pretty good deal. If
something can survive it, you should have a
lightning bolt or something else to help you
finish it off.
The fact that creatures can't be regenerated
from this may not seem like a big deal, until
you face off that guy with the Troll Ascetic or
the guy that has Asceticism on the board. Then,
you'll realize just how useful neutralizing that
annoying regeneration can be!
The art is a classic depiction of why we call
such cards and decks "burn". It looks like it
hits so hard and so fast that the poor victims
never knew what hit them.
Limited: 2 (triple red is hard!)
Sometimes Magic really knocks it out of the
park with their card art. You can almost feel
the impact of the scorching wave of flames
hitting that poor what's-left-of-a-person.
Flamebreak is a pretty good card. Its job is
to clear the board of multiple small to midrange
threats, paving the way for your big guys to
finish the job. 3 mana for 3 damage to
everything (without flying) is a reasonable
cost, although you're almost certainly playing
mono-red with that colour intensive mana cost.
Red control decks do exist, and the 'doesn't hit
things with flying' bit can actually come in
handy if you've got some dragons out.
You might look at this and be reminded of more
recent cards, namely Anger of the Gods from
Theros, or even Slagstorm. Which one is best?
Well they all do more or less the same thing
with some minor variations. Anger of the Gods
and Slagstorm can get rid of an army of bird
tokens, that could be handy. Flamebreak and
Slagstorm can be used as some extra damage to
finish off the opponent directly, not just hit
creatures. Flamebreak also burns through
regeneration and Anger of the Gods exiles
preventing lots of graveyard shenanigans. All
very useful in different situations. You could
even look at Volcanic Fallout, as it's got the
whole instant and uncounterable thing going for
it at the cost of one less damage.
The king of these types of effects used to be Pyroclasm,
of course. You would see it in all sorts of red
decks back when it was in standard.
I think Flamebreak is a fine card, though. 9
times out of 10 I'd probably like the exile
ability from Anger of the Gods slightly better,
but Flamebreak still holds its own if you were
to run that instead. Either way, 3 damage tends
to kill quite a lot of things run by aggro
decks, which is basically part of what makes red
control viable in the first place.
You know what they say, though. When you play
with fire in red, some things are going to get