But… Phoenix of Ash Roars Back to Win Grand Prix Lyon
So what happened here?
Phoenix of Ash was a medium-popular card in the pre-Worlds Red Decks. Yet it did not crack the starting sixty of a single deck in Hawaii (by our count there was a single copy in a single sideboard).
And to be fair, for a tournament where Azorius Control ended up on top, Phoenix of Ash is only pretty good.
Aether Gust, Devout Decree, Glass Casket… and even Cerulean Drake saw play at the two at Worlds; all those cards are faster than Phoenix of Ash and all of them foil its natural card advantage in some way.
But Phoenix of Ash is hitting not only sideboards but main decks nowadays… How did it get better?
Phoenix of Ash… Flies?
Believe it or not, “flying” is one of the main things that Phoenix of Ash has going for it. At the time of Grand Prix Lyon, one of the most popular decks in Standard was Temur Adventures… And for a deck with 8+ flying creatures itself, Temur Adventures is embarrassingly bad at defending itself in the air.
But flying is the only thing going for the 2/2.
- It’s “firebreathing”-type ability allows Phoenix of Ash to not only mow down certain blockers, it scales very well with Embercleave.
- The card is a great way to set up Spectacle for Light Up the Stage
- It reinforces both the Red Deck’s haste sub-theme and its two-for-one sub-theme.
We might even play more!
But wait! There’s more!
- Why Mike likes Bant the best in Standard
- How Patrick convinced Mike to play Knight of Autumn (you know, like everyone else already does)
- What’s wrong with the structure of Sultai Ramp (spoilers! we’d run more copies of Growth Spiral)
- … And more!
Give it a listen now: