At Grand Prix Kansas City, several decks at the fringe of Tier 1 status had great weekends. Notably among them was Izzet Phoenix, by Andrew Ziggas who piloted the deck to a top eight finish. Phoenix decks have taken over Modern and performed well during both Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance seasons. The deck has seen limited play since the arrival of War of the Spark because of the large number of new decks developed for this season. Here is a look at Andrew’s deck.

Izzet Phoenix Deck, by Andrew Ziggas, Top 8 in Grand Prix Kansas city 2019

Creature (14)
Arclight Phoenix
Augur of Bolas
Goblin Electromancer
God-Eternal Kefnet

Instant (14)
Lightning Strike
Opt
Radical Idea
Shock

Sorcery (10)
Chart a Course
Finale of Promise
Lava Coil

Land (22)
Island
Mountain
Steam Vents
Sulfur Falls
Sideboard (15)
Beacon Bolt
Fiery Cannonade
Legion Warboss
Narset, Parter of Veils
Negate
Ral, Izzet Viceroy
Search for Azcanta
Shivan Fire
Spell Pierce

A major change for the deck comes in its creature package. Andrew removed Crackling Drake, Enigma Drake, and Pteramander.

He replaced them with Augur of Bolas, Goblin Electromancer, and God-Eternal Kefnet. Each of these additions plays a role in getting Arclight Phoenix out of the graveyard and on to the field to attack. Augur of Bolas allows you to look at the top three cards of your library and select an instant or sorcery from the three while sending the other two to the bottom of your library. This allows you to filter through your deck quicker and find a spell that advances your plan. In addition, you will rarely miss with this ability because the deck has twenty-four instants and sorceries.

Goblin Electromancer’s ability reduces the mana cost of an instant and sorcery by one colorless mana. This makes it possible to cast the majority of the decks instants or sorceries for only one mana making it much easier to string together three instants or sorceries to get Arclight Phoenix from the graveyard.

Potentially the finisher in the deck is God-Eternal Kefnet. Kefnet’s ability plays right into the game plan. Each turn you may reveal the first card you draw and if it is an instant or a sorcery you copy that card and may cast the copy for two less colorless mana. This makes it much easier to cast three instants or sorceries in a turn to get your Arclight out of the graveyard.

The instants in the deck have not changed from previous versions of the deck. The key instant is Radical Idea because when you jump-start it you discard Arclight Phoenix. Sorcery Chart a Course plays the same role as Radical Idea because it requires you to discard a card unless you attack first. The deck’s new sorcery is Finale of Promise. Playing this card with an instant and sorcery in your graveyard gives you the three spells you need to return Arclight to the board.

With many more ways to dig for the cards you need to execute your game plan, the deck plays more consistently and quicker than previous versions. I expect to see more players getting back on the Phoenix plan. I would not be surprised to see the Modern version of the deck adopt Finale of Promise. The card gives you a powerful way to get Arclight Phoenix out of the graveyard and onto the board.