In my opinion, the most impactful ban in Modern’s history was the banning of Faithless Looting. Looting was the best card in the format at the time and was the best enabler for several decks, and when Looting left Modern, it left a void that decks needed to fill. Some decks were able to fill the void that Looting left with new powerful enablers, like the dredge deck was able to do with Ox of Agonas. Other decks, like Hollow One, Goryo’s Vengeance and Izzet Phoenix were never able to fill the void Looting left and never reentered Modern’s spotlight.
Over the last few sets however, the Phoenix deck has been collecting more and more tools. Modern Horizons 2 gave the archetype Faithless Salvaging.
Salvaging is a subtle but powerful enabler for the deck that provides access to a zero mana spell via rebound, a spell-based discard outlet and occasional card advantage.
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms printed the powerful and perplexing threat Demilich.
Demilich is an excellent threat to pair with Arclight Phoenix. Both cards rely on a deck full of cantrips and discard outlets that want to cast multiple instants and sorceries on the same turn to cheat out threats for zero mana.
I did a lot of brewing and playtesting with Phoenix decks featuring Salvaging and Demilich and I really liked both cards, but no matter what I did, it felt like the archetype was one or two good enablers away from being a seriously competitive deck. \
Now, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt has just been released and with it have come two solid enablers for Phoenix.