Conflux – Banefire

A quick review on Conflux rare, Banefire.


The comparison to Demonfire are pretty obvious, so that’s what I’ll talk about first.

You guys probably know that I was a gigantic Demonfire fan. I played it in G/R Snow, This Girl, and other decks, usually as the killer. One of the most memorable games I had at the 2006 New York State Championships was over Christian Culcano; I swung with my Firemane Angel knowing that he could not resist — really had no recourse from — playing his gigantic Snow seven mid-combat (thanks to Teferi). I had Culcano’s mana tapped and I played ye olde Compulsive Research into a Hellbent Demonfire. We agreed whoever won that deciding third game was going to win the next two (and I upheld).

Thing is… I didn’t have nearly the mana I would have needed to go uncounterable with Banefire.

So the question is… What is easier, Hellbent or X = 5?

Actually… That’s not a question at all. It doesn’t matter. We don’t have the option for Hellbent and we are therefore stuck with this one… Which is fine! This is a very good card and I am going to enjoy — in the words of Jonathan Becker — “being able to win matches again.”

For some of the decks that were the most notorious Demonfire decks, such as B/R, X = 5 would not have necessarily been easy to hit (while Hellbent was pretty easy). On balance, the controlling decks that also liked Demonfire, viz. U/R/W control, will much prefer the X = 5 version. Like playing one of these might be good in Reflecting Pool Control even.

Where do I see this fitting in?

Frankly all different kinds of decks. G/R Ramp decks will be able to go big with this, Reflecting Pool control can play it as an alternate finisher, maybe even combo decks. For example can an Extended deck just produce 21 mana and kill you with this? Is that easier or harder than Storm combo? Blaze was a defining combo kill card a few years back; Banefire is just so obviously better… Do I really need to finish this sentence?

In a sense I am happy I didn’t get this as an official Top Decks preview card. To me it’s just obviously good and workable in lots of places and I don’t know what to say so much as look forward to actually playing with Banefire.

Snap Judgment Rating: Clear and present Staple.

Thanks for reading!


All Conflux

facebook comments:


#1 bccarlso on 01.22.09 at 10:09 pm

It’s a bummer that Demonfire got pretty expensive, and I ended up getting a playset, and then something like this comes along. But I guess that’s the story of Magic. 😛 This does look pretty sweet though, I will admit.

#2 admin on 01.23.09 at 7:58 am

But we don’t have Demonfire in Standard!

Set rotations always necessitate these things. But printing cards is how WotC stays in business, and their staying business keeps us able to play 🙂

#3 KZipple on 01.23.09 at 10:58 am

I think Banefire is the most exciting card in the set so far, and I don’t think that it’s very close. I foresee myself winning *a lot* of matches with Banefire to the face, probably following Volcanic Fallout. What do you think of the art? I think it’s a little bit prickly. Wish they would have gotten Boros & Szikszai or Aleksi Briclot for it if I’m going to be casting it for the next two years.

#4 Gifts Ungiven on 01.23.09 at 1:10 pm

I’m not looking forward to playing Banefire, but I’m looking forward to it clearing some U/x decks out of Standard.

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