Deck Highlight: Pioneer Arclight Phoenix


Pioneer Arclight Phoenix by LaCriaturaBB


I’ve got an alert on my phone whenever Arclight Phoenix does well in a tournament, and this past weekend it took down the Pioneer Showcase in the hands of LaCriaturaBB. Let’s take a look at their configuration!


Header - The Game Plan

Dump as many copies of Arclight Phoenix into the graveyard as possible, then bring them back ASAP. Crackling Drake serves as a backup kill and Treasure Cruise makes sure you don’t run out of gas.

This deck may not have Faithless Looting, but it’s got Cruise, and that’s a huge boon. It uses a variety of cards to make sure Phoenixes hit the bin, and bringing them back isn’t very hard at all.


Header - Key Cards

Arclight PhoenixCrackling Drake


These are your heavy hitters, with Phoenix being the most important. The games where you flip two Phoenixes are incredibly easy, and the games where you don’t flip any can be an uphill battle. As such, I recommend having them near the top of your deck, and not the bottom.


Treasure Cruise (Timeshifted)


This is the second best card in the deck, after Arclight Phoenix. Treasure Cruise is probably just the best card, though in this deck it’s more important to see the Bird. This draws you three cards for just one mana, which is an absurd rate.


Chart a CourseStrategic PlanningThrill of Possibility


These all draw you cards while putting Phoenixes into the graveyard, which helps you find more action and get those birds right where you want them. 


Lightning AxeWild Slash


Interaction is necessary, and Axe even lets you dump Phoenix into the bin.


Header - Opening Hands

This deck is one that operates on maximum velocity (the concept, not the card, though it does play a copy of that one). If you don’t have a bunch of ways to see extra cards and get something going, you should mulligan, as you have tons of ways to recoup the card disadvantage.


Strategic PlanningTreasure Cruise (Timeshifted)Lightning AxeIslandSpirebluff CanalSpirebluff CanalSteam Vents


Keep. This hand is leaning pretty hard on the Planning, but has Axe to interact and Cruise as a reward once you find a second cantrip.


Arclight PhoenixQuickenCrackling DrakeArclight PhoenixSteam VentsLightning AxeWild Slash


Mulligan. Even with double Phoenix, this hand doesn’t have a second land or a two-drop card draw card. Quicken helps a little, but I still wouldn’t gamble on this.


Arclight PhoenixThrill of PossibilityWild SlashMountainSpikefield Hazard // Spikefield CaveTreasure Cruise (Timeshifted)Chart a Course


Keep. You don’t have blue mana, but Spikefield Hazard into Mountain lets you cast Thrill, and that’s a good enough start for me.


  • Sequencing matters a lot in this deck. If you think you’re going to cast Chart a Course, for example, try to draw as many cards prior to it to give you the max chance of discarding a Phoenix.
  • It’s much stronger to save up for two Phoenixes than to turbo out just one, so you may want to wait until turn three if it doubles your bird count.
  • This deck can easily play as a control deck if needed, especially against creature decks. Don’t always assume you’re the aggressor.


Header - Rising From the Ashes

I’m a sucker for Arclight Phoenix in every format, so if you’re bringing this into battle, good luck! I hope you bring back three Phoenixes on turn three and reduce your opponents to ash.



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