In recent history, Phoenix cards have made a substantial impact on constructed Magic formats. From Rekindling Phoenix being the bane of Standard to Flamewake Phoenix providing a powerful threat to the Modern Hollow One deck, we see the power that recursive and hasty flyers provide to a deck. None of these cards have made as interesting of a splash as a recent addition from Guilds of Ravnica, Arclight Phoenix.
The idea behind playing the card is pretty simple:
Step 1: Use looting/discard/milling effects to get Arclight Phoenix into the graveyard
Step 2: Cast multiple instant or sorceries in a turn that are cheap and/or replace themselves in some way
Step 3: Profit
Arclight Phoenix is a card that benefits from efficient cantrips. This means that the more cards that are available to a deck builder, the easier it is to dig Arclight out of your graveyard. Continuing on this train of thought, you can figure out that going back into older constructed formats such as Modern and Legacy, there are some nutty ways to get a whole bunch of phoenixes onto the battlefield very early.
Another clear path for deck builders is to use other cards that benefit from casting a large amount of instants or sorceries. Prowess creatures such as Monastery Swiftspear, Bedlam Reveler, and Monastery Mentor are clearly cards that would pair well with a Phoenix. Other cards such as Thing in the Ice, Crackling Drake, Kiln Fiend, and Young Pyromancer have strong upsides in decks where you can dump out 2 to 5 instants and sorceries in a single turn. Even Delver of Secrets works well in a Phoenix deck. The specifics on how you build your Phoenix deck is less dependent on the Phoenix itself, but more dependent on the “auxiliary” cards listed above.
Here are some of the most popular Arclight Phoenix builds:
MODERN IZZET PHOENIX
LEGACY GRIXIS PHOENIX
MODERN MONO RED PHOENIX
STANDARD IZZET PHOENIX
As stated before, some of the most important cards in these decks are the cheap cantrips. Some of the most powerful among these are Manamorphose, Serum Visions, Ponder, Preordain, and Opt. There are also loads of powerful looting effect in these decks such as Faithless Looting, Tormenting Voice, and Radical Idea. Arguably the most powerful cards in these decks are the "free spells". Spells like Manamorphose (again), Gut Shot, and Dark Ritual.
With how new Arclight Phoenix still is, there are sure to be new decks constantly being brewed with it at the center. It has already proven to be an powerful force in every format that offers varied deckbuilding options. What are some of the most original Arclight builds that you have seen floating around? Let us know!