I was struggling with a few options for my B post, but I eventually settled on two cards. These cards being in my collection were a product of both my obsession with Burn decks and my obsession with foils combined with the discovery of eBay. I can't even begin to tell you how much I spent in my bidding war frenzy years ago, but trust me, it was a lot! I eventually had to swear off eBay for a good chunk of time.
There will be more featured from this epic saga, but for now we'll start with Ball Lightning, which was originally printed in The Dark Magic set. This was one of my favorite cards for a long time and it still hold nostalgic value. Back in the day, this card was a beast (then again, so was Shivan Dragon). There's no choice but to deal with a 6/1 creature bulldozing your way. If you didn't, you were as good as dead! I'd love to say it's still used in competitive Burn decks, but I think as stronger cards were introduced into the card pool, Ball Lightning shifted to the sidelines. I'd still play with it casually.
Pictured above is the Judge Promo foil. I believe the overall price of Ball Lightning has gradually dropped as a result of multiple printings and being replaced by more favorable competitive-worthy cards. It's highest price, according to Star City Games (SCG), is 10$ for mint/near mint condition. I don't think mine fall under M/NM condition, but I'm fairly certain I paid possibly double that price for them. You win some, you lose some. It seems I only own three, so rounding out my playset with the fourth would be nice. Considering they're cheaper now, it may be a sound investment.
And then there was Browbeat, originally printed in the Judgment Magic set. I'm not sure how often this was played in competitive Magic (aside from my use of it in a Modern deck during the last local Grand Prix I attended!), but it still seems to remain popular among some players. My purchase, along with Ball Lightning above, was fueled mostly by the desire to create an all foil competitive Burn deck. Along with an all foil competitive Mill deck, but we may get into that later...
When it comes to cards belonging to the red portion of the Magic color wheel, card draw is fairly limited. At least without a major drawback like sacrificing creatures and/or discarding cards. Browbeat still has some hindrances, but they are less brutal. Either you deal five damage (what Burn decks do best) or you draw three cards (card advantage is a rarity in red). I always viewed it as a win-win, though the decision is ultimately left to your opponent. I feel Browbeat has a respectable balance, maintaining the status quo, of not being too overpowered as it would be if it were left to the caster to decide which effect took place.
So there we have two pieces of what was once going to be an amazing all foil Burn deck! There's more to come!
Have you ever played with Ball Lightning or Browbeat? If so, what kind of decks did you play them in? Do you like Burn decks? Any cards that you feel are a necessity for a Burn deck? Do you own any foil Judge Promos?