Burning-Rune Demon – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

Burning-Rune Demon is a mythic rare Demon Berserker creature card from Magic the Gathering’s Kaldheim set. Its enter-the-battlefield ability allows you to find two cards with different names from your library not named Burning-Rune Demon. Your opponent then chooses one of those cards to put in your graveyard and the other card goes into your hand. 

Right away, this Demon is somewhat better than Rune-Scarred Demon, a creature familiar to many Magic players who play Commander or have played Reanimator deck. Rune-Scarred Demon allowed its controller to get any card from their library. In this case, you get two cards, and the card going to the graveyard probably isn’t that much of a downside. 

As a 6/6 flyer for 6 mana, it costs one mana less than Rune-Scarred Demon while essentially netting you an extra card and the same power and toughness. In some ways, it’s similar to the instant spell Gifts Ungiven, which allowed you to choose four cards with different names, with your opponent choosing two going to the graveyard and the remaining two going to your hand. 

But, will this see play outside of Commander as an upgrade over Rune-Scarred Demon? It’s possible, especially in Legacy Reanimator or Vintage decks that played Rune-Scarred Demon. For example, Vintage Oath Breach plays Rune-Scarred Demon, so it could potentially play Burning-Rune Demon, since it can cast cards from the graveyard thanks to Underworld Breach. It’ll be interesting to see if any new brews after Kaldheim is released pop up with Burning-Rune Demon included in them.

Still, Commander is a good enough home for Burning-Rune Demon, as there are plenty of Commanders who will happily include the Demon. The Commander decks that use its cousin Rune-Scarred Demon the most are Kaalia of the Vast, Sedris, the Traitor King, Rakdos, Lord of Riots, and Athreos, God of Passage. 

Kaalia can put Burning-Rune Demon into play tapped and attacking, and doesn’t mind an additional tutor even with the drawback of having to send one of the cards to the yard. Sedris wants creatures in the graveyard to unearth, so this is a plus. Rakdos, Lord of Riots can cast this for cheap. Then, Athreos plays enough graveyard recursion that often a discarded creature will come back into play sooner than later.

It’s hard to say if Burning-Rune Demon will see Standard play, although it’s not impossible, especially with 80-card decks with Yorion, Sky Nomad as a companion standing by to blink the Demon and reuse his ability. At the very least, he’s going to be extremely popular in Commander, even if he’s just a budget replacement for a more expensive sorcery speed tutor like Vampiric Tutor, Demonic Tutor, etc.

How would you play Burning-Rune Demon?

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