Daily Digest: The Phoenix

Gurmag Angler has been a breakout card in older formats like Modern and Legacy, but it doesn’ get a lot of play in Standard. Today’s deck from #PTOrigins may be helping to change that, mixing mill synergies and Delve fatties to overpower a wide variety of opponents.

When Fate Reforged came out, I spotlighted a similar deck that was trying to mill itself in order to play Delve fatties like Gurmag Angler and Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Luke Mulcahy finished 11-5 at Pro Tour Magic Origins with a similar deck, although this one benefits from the addition of Languish! Your creatures are either sacrificial, come back from the dead or have five toughness, so Languish basically doesn’t affect your board at all!

Commune with the Gods, Gather the Pack, and Satyr Wayfinder are your Delve enablers. Eight Delve cards might seem like a lot, but between the twelve self-mill effects and eight fetchlands you should have no issues casting them on the cheap. Reaper of the Wilds is the next X/5, and while it hasn’t seen a ton of Standard play this past year, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a powerful card. We’d play Siege Rhino, but Flamewake Phoenix is a more appealing option for this deck. When you’re milling yourself, you’d like to get a little extra value out of the deal. Plus, control can probably one-for-one your big threats rather easily, making the Phoenix a card you definitely want.

One sideboard card I’d like to see against control is Evolutionary Leap. That will allow you to rarely run out of threats and is especially potent with Bloodsoaked Champion or Flamewake Phoenix. Hangarback Walker is another option for punishing control decks that goes hand-in-hand with Evolutionary Leap.

Seismic Rupture was a great call with all the red decks in the field, but it’s awkwardly positioned against the Abbot of Keral Keep Mono-Red decks. Against those, you definitely want to load up on Feed the Clans, not Seismic Ruptures. Luke was apparently expecting a field full of Goblins.