Arclight Phoenix has been making big moves in modern recently so much I found myself playing a version of the deck. Here’s the list I’m running:
1 Ramunap Ruin
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Arclight Phoenix
4 Bedlam Reveler
4 Faithless Looting
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Fiery Temper
4 Tormenting Voice
3 Desperate Ritual
1 Gut Shot
2 Risk Factor
2 Damping Sphere
2 Hazoret the Fervent
4 Tormod’s Crypt
3 Eidolon the Great Revel
3 Dragon Claw
The Card Choices
I run this list for a lot of modern events. Let’s go over the card choices for the deck.
Manamorphose is most likely the best card in the deck. It’s a free spell that can draw a card. It what makes this deck possible.
Desperate Ritual is a card that causes some explosive turn two plays. For two mana it makes 3 red. Let’s put into perspective. Turn one Monastery Swiftspear then turn two Desperate Ritual into a Tormenting Voice discarding Phoenix into a Lava Spike or Lightning Bolt to the face. That’s 10 damage just on turn two. Crazy isn’t it?
Faithless Looting is the brainstorm of modern. Decks in modern rely on this card to get their motors running and this deck is no different. Turn one looting allows you to draw two cards pitch away two you don’t need and reshape your hand where you need it.
Ramunap Ruins is a card I see a lot of decks running 4 of and I feel that’s a bit excessive. The damage this land does to you over time adds up. You want to take as little damage as possible from your lands but you still need the one here. It gives the deck reach for those long games and there’s not much interaction with it from many top decks in modern. I think the one here is just right for the speed of this format.
Monastery Swiftspear is an ideal turn one for this deck. A 1/2 with haste and prowess it’s what we want to show any opponent we mean business.
Bedlam Reveler is the granddaddy in this deck. Discarding your hand sounds like a bad thing in other decks but typically you don’t have a hand after turn three with this deck. Gaining the 3 cards help you push over the mid to late game and you normally crush because of the advantage.
Arclight Phoenix the name of the deck. Unbelievably good in modern. It swings out of nowhere, it causes problems for standard players and it causes problems for modern players too. A 3/2 creature with haste and flying is really good for those explosive turn three kills.
The way the deck comes together is very aggressive.
What deals the most damage in the shortest amount of time? Burn spells.
Burn spells put pressure on the opponent and keep them scared of big turns. With the burn spells, you have the potential for 12+ damage on turn 2. It’s crazy how this deck can put your opponent on the back foot. Just remember to be aggressive, B.E. aggressive. Play it similar to a burn deck and victory will come your way.
Is it time to talk about sideboard? My sideboard is always crazy to look at. People look at my sideboard choices and say he’s crazy, but if it works it works.
Dragon’s Claw – A lot of decks in modern have red. we are a deck entirely of red cards. Dragon’s Claw really helps us against decks trying to be aggressive against us and for those opposing Burn lists.
Eidolon of the Great Revel – Decks in modern right now are really fast. Low costing cards are where it’s at (unless your Tron). Eidolon makes your opponent think more cautiously about playing their spells. Get your opponent to a lower life total and windmill slam this bad boy on the table and laugh.
Tormod’s Crypt – I never thought we’d get to a point where Relic of Progenitus is too slow for the format but we got there. The format is flooded with graveyard based decks and this is our answer for them. Pop it at the right time and your opponent playing Dredge just cries.
Abrade – It’s a catch most card. Being mono red you’re very limited on what you can pick for your sideboard but abrade has its uses. It kills most things in the format and hits a lot of artifacts. The versatility of this card is very good. Not many cards can do what this card does.
Hazoret the Fervent – It’s time to talk about our lord and savior Hazoret. Those pesky fair decks won’t know what hit them when you play her. A lot of G/B midrange and hatebear decks can’t really deal with her. A 5/4 indestructible creature with haste really hurts your opponent when most of their removal spells don’t exile or has to be used on your faster threats. She comes in and gives them the back hand you remember from your childhood all in one go. She has a drawback where one or fewer cards have to be in hand but we covered how we lose cards quickly and her ability to discard for two damage really help push her over the top.
Damping Sphere – On the draw I bring it in against Tron to slow them down just in case we don’t get the fastest of hands. On the play I wouldn’t bring it in because of the draw back to the card. It costs our spells one more for each spell cast in the same turn. Damping Sphere has limited uses but it helps against the problematic match ups such as Storm and Kirk Clan Iron Works. These decks have the potential to go off turn 3 Damping Sphere slows them considerably.
I have a couple of honorable mentions that could be in sideboard depending on your local meta.
Shrine of burning rage. If your meta is full of control decks I would definitely have this as a two of. It’s an alternate win condition and it gets around those annoying counter spells.
Molten Rain. Is your meta full of Tron. Damping Sphere may not be enough. On the play you could use this card to blow up a tron land and set that player back a few turns. It deals two damage and disrupting the unification of Tron can hurt them enough to win. Thanks for reading
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