10th December | Arran Sahota
If you were watching over the weekend of 1st – 2nd December you will have seen something both amazing and scary, with the use of Archlight Phoenix! In either a Blue / Red or Mono Red deck. Both decks found themselves in the final and their main focus was the one and only Archlight Phoenix.
The Izzet Phoenix which was piloted by Ross Merriam’s deck has multiple cantrips that lets the deck play out longer games against control decks and more grinding decks, and then also has the ability to quickly have a heavy board-state, maybe have a flipped Thing in the Ice and swinging for huge damage. Also, there is a really big hitter in Crackling Drake which will most likely have lethal while it is on the board, being a big threat. This deck has a lot of legs to it as it seems that graveyard hate wouldn’t just destroy it with it having other bigger win cons from the Archlight Phoenix. This deck is very strong and is a very typical U/R combo deck style and it has proved itself to take down a large tournament. Though credit also goes out to Ross Merriam who has worked very hard to make this deck work. Congratulations to him for winning SCG at Baltimore!
Mono-Red Phoenix which was piloted by Jeffrey Carr seemed to take more of burn approach to the style of the deck. The exploding start to the deck could end up doing 9 – 12 on turn 2 which could quickly seal the game but the deck doesn’t have that much draw and if its only threat is removed there can be a lot of issues going forward. Though it did take down U/W control after they played a Rest in Peace and then paying 8 mana for a Bedlam Reveler afterwards. An early Bedlam Reveler can really speed up the clock and refill your hand when you’re low on resources. Also playing the new mechanics; jump-start having main deck Risk Factors x4 and then Maximize Velocity x 1 which is very cool to see.
Both decks are very similar and really strong and are proving to do more damage then people think they would, the fast 3/2 flying, haste creature seems to be putting in too much early pressure. Two really key cards in both decks which seems to the pillar of the deck one being Faithless Looting which is one of best cards to filter and dump into your graveyard and then Manamorphose which in turn just comes to a free spell and helps you get to that all-important third spell of the turn.
Overall both these decks look amazing but also the fact they are really strong and seem really fun to play, low mana cost spells, loads of options and also just having a strong deck. Move over dredge.