I’m sure a lot of you have seen these Arclight Phoenix decks popping up in Modern. It is seeing play in a variety of decks right now as people try to test and see where the card fits in the format and if it fits at all.
This is a brew that a friend of a friend has been working on and I’ve been testing it a bit as well. This is only my second league with the deck. It’s a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy the video.
Match One Vs. Dredge
We started off with what is, in my opinion, a perfect hand. Turn one, we were able to Faithless Looting two Arclight Phoenixes in the graveyard with the ability to bring both of them back on turn two.
Leave it to Creeping Chill to ruin our chances of a turn three kill, amirite? But doubling up on turn two Arclights was enough to get us there.
I brought in Anger of the Gods as well as Ravenous Trap for game two.
I had to mulligan to six in game two and didn’t have any discard outlets. However, I did have a Ravenous Trap, which is the most important card in my sideboard for this match, so I decided to keep it.
Things started to get bad for us early on. I was being greedy and holding the trap for way too long. Drawing the second trap kind of sucked and drawing the third the turn after was pretty brutal. I needed lands and I needed discard outlets to get my dudes into play.
I topped the game off when I tried to Flame Jab their imp. I’ve been playing a lot of standard lately and I’ve gotten used to the Jump Start mechanic, which lets you discard any card. For Retrace, it has to be a land.
Game three, we definitely kept a sub-par seven. But with two Ravenous Traps and a threat in hand, I decided to keep. My opponent immediately started to dredge really hard and not wanting to make the same mistake as the previous game, I decided to get aggressive. Drawing the third trap the next turn made me think an aggressive strategy with the traps was going to keep me alive long enough to win.
Their turn four hardcasted Leyline of the Void kind of sucked for us.
Drawing the Bedlam Reveler was awesome. It was probably the best possible draw. Unfortunately, we were light on mana and instants and sorceries in the yard. I was able to buy us some time with my last trap, leaving him with only ten cards in his library.
The big body of the Reveler, along with its ability to draw me cards, turned out to be too much for my opponent, and he or she conceded.
Match Two Vs. Eldrazi Stuff?
This was rough. Game one, I should have kept that seven. However, I don’t think it would have really mattered.
This was clearly some sort of Eldrazi homebrew and the opponent simply had our number from the jump. When you first start playing a deck, you question every decision you make. It’s how you learn. But playing against a homebrew just makes things even more difficult.
My goal was to get instants and sorceries in the yard as fast as possible to get the reveler out so I could at least put up a fight. Killing our Swiftspear was really bad, but I managed to get an Arclight Phoenix into play and for a second, thought I had a chance. The Thought-Knot Seer coming in and taking our Reveler was more or less the final nail in our coffin.
Good beats, opponent. Hope I don’t have to play that deck again anytime soon.
Match Three Vs. Valakut Titan
This match didn’t start off well. We had to mulligan to five but luckily we were able to scry a Faithless Looting, helping us to get some better cards in hand.
The card filtering was excellent and we were just a turn or two too slow, which was unfortunate. It didn’t help that I punted. I thought I had yet to play a land for the turn. If I had hit the titan with the burn spell, I may have had a chance here.
Our sideboard isn’t really set up to deal with this deck, so my plan was to just get out of the gates hard and fast.
Thanks to card filtering, we managed to turn nothing into something on just turn two, which was pretty sweet. A flurry of burn spells enabled us to get the win, despite our opponent playing an Obstinate Baloth and gaining four life.
In game three, I was super confident in our burn deck plan, despite having too many lands in our opener. The Molten Rain was the deciding factor. In a deck designed to kill you with a land, it’s a good idea to keep land hate, even if the rest of the hand is less than stellar.
Our opponent wasn’t super lucky as far as their draws. They were just playing draw-go as we beat them down with Swiftspears. You have to beat this deck before it hits six lands. Once they have a Titan in play, they can go fetch their payoff cards, which kill you easily.
A few small misplays throughout the match, but we got lucky and are playing a deck that’s powerful and can quickly make a comeback and tear some shit up. Being able to get a win despite misplays is a good feeling.
Match Four VS. UW Miracles
UW miracles is one of the decks that I have a really hard time playing against. I decided to keep a questionable seven just to see if we could turn it into something.
We did a whole bunch of nothing in our second turn, hoping to see a payoff card and we just didn’t get there.
Our opponent wisely started going after our card drawing to keep us from finding an answer. Seeing a turn four Jace is not a good feeling and I knew it more or less spelled the end for this game.
By the time we got to turn four, we had zero cards in hand. Thanks to a misplay on my part, we flashbacked a Faithless Looting with no cards in hand, forcing ourselves to discard one of the few outs we had. Was it a mistake? Sure. But given the state of the game at that point, I doubt it would have really mattered.
My opener in game two really pissed me off. It was a Tormenting Voice or a Faithless Looting away from being perfect. However, it was threat-light so I ended up pitching it.
I kept a terrible six and shouldn’t have scryed the Phoenix to the top. This was a total bonehead move on my part. We started to make a comeback but a timely Cryptic Command followed up with a Terminus was enough to put us back to square one.
The cards we wanted finally found their way to our hand, and we fought the good fight for as long as we were able. But the opponent had everything they needed to answer our threats.
Match Five VS. UR Arclight
We kept a fantastic hand against what turned out to be the blue-red version of this deck. This was probably the most fun I had playing during the entire league. Durdle deck VS. other durdle deck.
My opponent made a huge mistake here late in the first game. He knew I had two Flame Jabs in my graveyard but still shocked in a land to bring his own Phoenixes into play. I drew two lands off the Tormenting Voice and game one was a done deal.
Going to sideboarding, I trimmed a bit. Just a card here and a card there so I could bring in Anger of the Gods and Ravenous Trap.
Game two started with a bang. Despite the opponent having a Thing in the Ice and some answers for my early threats, I was able to play a lot of spells and get my Phoenix’s out for some nice damage before they were returned. We had a couple of bolt effects, the opponent didn’t have an answer, and we got there for the 3-2.
I’ve only run two leagues with this deck, finishing 3-2 in both leagues, which is pretty good. That’s a 60% win percentage.
I think the deck needs some tweaking. I’m going to take out a Flame Jab. The sideboard needs some work, but I’m not really sure what to play.
I’m also considering adding a white or black splash for removal, such as Path to Exile or a Doom Blade effect. I’m going to play around with it and you can see any adjustments I made when you catch me live on Twitch.
More From The Digital Worm: