The Flame of Keld has made a surprising impact on Standard. Players realized that the best way to beat some of the most powerful tools in Standard was to go under them, and what better way to go under people than with a bunch of 1-drops that capitalize on the Dominaria Saga?
But can The Flame of Keld be a viable strategy in Modern?
There are powerful and cheap threats available to anyone who wants them in Modern. The 1-drops in Standard are decent enough, but they’re nowhere near the power level of Monastery Swiftspear. You already have a playset of Soul-Scar Mage, and adding haste is incredibly threatening.
It’s surprising to me to see Ghitu Lavarunners over Goblin Guides in this list, but it just makes this particular strategy awesome for anyone concerned about their budget. Burn decks are already cheaper, but getting rid of fetchlands and Goblin Guides brings the cost down considerably. By playing these cheap Wizards, the Modern version still gets to utilize Wizard’s Lightning to its full effect alongside actual Lightning Bolt.
The Flame of Keld wants you low on cards, since the first chapter requires you to discard your hand. When most of your spells cost a single mana, this is already pretty easy, but if you’re able to further utilize your graveyard, the Saga becomes even stronger. Thanks to flashback spells and aftermath, you can turn The Flame of Keld’s drawback off.
So Wizard’s Lightning is Lightning Bolt. And Lightning Bolt is most definitely Lightning Bolt. But in this particular deck, Fiery Temper is also Lightning Bolt! Between Bomat Courier, Faithless Looting, and the playset of The Flame of Keld, it’s easy to find ways to discard your “expensive” burn spell and make it into even more copies of Lightning Bolt.
The Flame of Keld is absurdly powerful and comes with a serious drawback. Discarding your hand is a real cost, but there are plenty of ways to mitigate that or turn it into an advantage. Drawing two cards and then dealing tons of extra damage with those cards the following turn takes this a card beyond Standard and into the Modern world.