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Time For A New Arclight Phoenix Deck List?! Okay!
1 Lightning Axe
4 Steam Vents
4 Faithless Looting
2 Pillar of Flame
1 Cathartic Reunion
4 Spirebluff Canal
1 Warlord’s Fury
4 Arclight Phoenix
3 Finale of Promise
3 Sprite Dragon
3 Stormwing Entity
4 Riverglide Pathway
3 Strike It Rich
4 Unholy Heat
2 Expressive Iteration
1 Den of the Bugbear
3 Stormcarved Coast
1 Otawara, Soaring City
It Is Almost Time To Hit People With Mystical Birds!
So, those are the card choices, but before you go off and play, let’s talk about what decks to look out for, and what upgrades might happen down the line with the upcoming set.
After playing forty games with this version (65%-win rate), two decks stand out as the hardest to beat: Elf Ball and White Lifegain. Both can outrace you by making their creatures too big too fast. Against Elves, it’ll be a quick game regardless, but White matchups can get lengthy and dicey. Growing a Sprite Dragon and hitting with it a lot is the only way to knock down a huge life total. If they’re jumping into the sixties, you have to be smacking for double-digits to even keep pace.
The strongest counterstrategy for both matchups is to focus on killing their creatures during spell flurries. For Elves, kill lords and mana producers. You’ll die if they get down Craterhoof. For White, Soul Warden (and anything similar) is public enemy number one. Most of their cards are terrible if they can’t gain life constantly, so cut off that option.
Now, because you might read this after Streets of New Capenna releases, let’s talk possible upgrades. Sadly, there’s not a lot that fits into the archetype. I’ve only found two.
The first is Strangle. Depending on the meta you’re playing in, this might be better or worse than a Pillar of Flame and might even steal some—but not all—of Unholy Heat’s slots. A reliably higher amount of damage is relevant.
The second’s Torch Breath. Being an X-spell is a little awkward, but it has possibilities. I’ve not been dealing with a high density of Azorius, Dimir, or other deck configurations that might use Narset, but removing them reliably is never a bad thing. If you go for Bof3, I’d consider this for a sideboard.
For now, that’s the deck and all its powerful choices. Give it a shot. Sling around instants and sorceries and hit for a lot of damage. Seeing someone concede when you have three larger creatures on turn three is a blast.
I hope that Arclight Phoenix is always a deck in some format, somewhere. As long as it is, I’ll be finding new ways to make it win.
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