Philosophy of Fire: Treasure Cruise vs. Become Immense

This weekend I was at two separate PPTQs. As you can probably guess, Treasure Cruise was a very popular card (and the bane of my monoblack deck, although I did win plenty of games against them). However, I don’t think its so clear cut that you should be playing it.

There’s an approach to deck building and playing known as Philosophy of Fire. What it basically means is that if you are able to convert each card into two points of damage, you will win the game. Of course, this works best with red.

Lightning BoltLava SpikeRift Bolt

Goblin GuideEidolon of the Great RevelMonastery Swiftspear

Of course, in order to do this, you need mana and to make most of each card, you need to have as few lands as possible. That’s why you need to keep the costs very low. However, you still need enough lands in the deck to draw two. With enough fetchlands, you can thin your deck pretty quickly in order to keep drawing the cards you need to do damage. Also, the fetchlands grow your graveyard, so that you can delve. Usually for Treasure Cruise in order to draw more burn.

Now, since these decks are already often splashing for Destructive Revelry in the sideboard (mostly for Jeskai Ascendancy), its not a big step to think about the other card named in the title: Become Immense.

Sure, we’ve been taught that drawing cards is good and important, but on the other hand, if you are simply drawing cards in order to find more card to do damage with, its actually more efficient to use Become Immense. How much damage can you really do with those three cards? Probably six (two burn spells and a land). How much damage will you do with Become Immense. Six.

Then there’s the mana cost. If you can pull of a one mana Cruise, you can do the same with Become Immense. However, the cards you draw with Cruise aren’t going to cast themselves. They will cost mana as well. Therefore, Become Immense is better.

Of course, it isn’t quite this clearcut, as you require a creature for Become Immense and that creature needs to stay alive and not get blocked. So, actually, the choice of cards is actually very metadependent.

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