Arclight Phoenix has been lightning up Standard, Modern, and I've even seen people such as LSV trying it in Legacy. It's a very powerful card and this is a deck capeable of a abusing it.
The deck has a solid pedigree with a Pro Tour Top 8 by Yuuya Wantanabe, another 2 in the top 32, GP Top 8 in the hands of Owen Turtenwald with another 3 in the top 32, 7 copies placing in the last MOCS, and 2nd at a SCG Classic.
While Arclight Phoenix is the namesake and a very powerful engine in the deck, most of the games are won by Enigma Drake and Crackling Drake. With a ton of cheap cantrips, those two hit very hard indeed and one is often a 3 turn clock on it's own. 4 toughness is critical and paired with flying, makes them quite a problem for many decks. The ability to protect such a threat with Dive Down means the deck can steal wins against anyone.
As of yet, there is no consensus on the best build although most stick to UR with Goblin Electromancer. Still, others eschew the 2/2 in favor of more 1 Mana cantrips.
My personal preference is a version splashing W for Deafening Clarion and Ixalan's Binding. Deafening Clarion is backbreaking against Mono R, WR Aggro, and many versions of GB. Our Drake's 4 toughness make it especially backbreaking clearing the opponent's side and granting Lifelink to win nearly any race.
Ixalan's Binding is the perfect answer to Niv-Mizzet, Parun which has become Jeskai Control's wincon of choice and a mirror breaker. It's also great against Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and any other problematic permanents.
These lists are a good representation of the top preforming versions. They vary from 27-31 Instants and Sorceries and 18-21 lands.
I've been getting a lot of Arena Competitive 5-0s with the deck lately. Several Pros said they felt Electromancer was the weakest card in the deck and without it, the decks built around it can be too clunky. Running maindeck Deafening Clarion makes it even more of a liability. So, I've cut it and went with more Drakes and 1 mana cantrips instead of some of the 2 mana ones. Niv-Mizzet is just insane with them and untapping with it is often GG vs many decks so I moved one to the main.
- Is The Mirari Conjecture worth it? If it is, is it safe to assume that Blink of an Eye is part of that package deal?
- People have been playing Entrancing Melody in the sideboard for a while now but I honestly don't see it. Even with discounts it is a really expensive control magic effect. I get that people thought it was a solution to Adanto Vanguard but Murmuring Mystic deals with that issue much more elegantly. Does it have applications in any other matchup? While we are discussing white decks do you feel that Murmuring Mystic and Fiery Cannonade are mutually excluding plans for those matchups? Running a sweeper against along with a token chump plan seems counter intuitive.
- Would you play a Dive Down over a third Negate or a Disdainful Stroke? It is a card I'm personally enamored with and I can't imagine playing this deck without access to at least one copy of the card in the 75, possibly even two. Negate seems like the stronger counter on the basis that it helps you in counter-wars but mostly because the two creatures you want to spend a counter on can't be countered so Disdainful Stroke hitting creatures doesn't come up as much.
Private Mod Note
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
In my dream, the world had suffered a terrible disaster. A black haze shut out the sun, and the darkness was alive with the moans and screams of wounded people. Suddenly, a small light glowed. A candle flickered into life, symbol of hope for millions. A single tiny candle, shining in the ugly dark. I laughed and blew it out.
Many thanks to HotP Studios. Special thanks to DNC for this great sig.
Some people like the Mirari Conjecture, I'd rather have Niv-Mizzet.
I haven't used Entrancing Melody myself, but I've had a Crackling Drake stolen. I've also blown out an opponent with Dive Down when they tried. With my white splash version, I don't feel that it's needed.
The Mystic is good, but it's still worth playing sweepers. The Mystic actually makes cannonade better because it forces them to play into it.
I personally maindeck 3 Dive Down. The Drake's are such huge threats that protecting one can easily win a game.
Disdainful Stroke is better than Negate vs Golgari, Grixis and is still good against Jeskai.
I have a more burn-focused build
Are Risk Factor and Ral wrong here? RF can be inconsistent. Ral is a bomb, is he too slow or high CMC? What's wrong with Steam-Kin though?
I don't like Crash Through and Warlord's Fury mainly cantripping. At least Opt filters
I also prefer counters that can hit anything - here, Sinister Sabotage or Devious Cover-Up, maybe Syncopate. If I run Cover-Up, a lot sounds good since recurring previous copies is part of the fun
Devious Cover-Up totally failed in playtesting, antisynergy with Drakes. It seems great in a lot of control decks but not this one. Experimental Frenzy was a pain the butt, Blink of an Eye or perhaps other bounce SB seems useful for problem permanents I can't just burn (or big creatures I'd have to 2 for 1 burn), could bounce a planeswalker and pressure opponent rather than attack the walker
I was often colorscrewed blue, -1 Mountain +1 Island seems useful with the increased emphasis on that color in this build