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Counter Phoenix

Funny how Blue finds its way into every deck. Maybe because it's that lovable, maybe because it's just that good. But think for a second on how many control decks are U/x. Nether Go. U/w Control. Counter Oath. And of course - Counter Phoenix.

Shard Phoenix 4R
Creature - Phoenix
RRR: Return Shard Phoenix to your hand if it is your Upkeep and Shard Phoenix is in your graveyard
Sacrifice Shard Phoenix: Deal two damage to each creature without Flying

This is obviously a strong creature. This is Squee's big brother. I won't go into the many applications and tricks because they should be fairly obvious. If you're new, ask a more experienced player. Trust me, they'll tell you everything you ever wanted to know. And then some.

Here's the deck


I know that this deck isn't Constructed/Standard, but I would appreciate it if you would take a look at it anyways. I am always open to suggestions, and the more the better. I believe it is Extended-Legal, with my only doubt being about the Strip Mines and Serendibs. Feel free to take them out if you wish. I know that I am going to be very long-winded with this, so if you are going to use it for a column, you can feel free to cut out my comments and such. I have included an explanation for each card in the deck.


4x Shard Phoenix - Kill, creature removal, card advantage...a little of everything.
4x Ophidian - Slimy little snake, fills my hand up good. Also, survives the Shards.
2x Serendib Efreet - Fast damage, a rarity for a blue deck. One of the fews cards not Extended Legal.
2x Bottle Gnomes - Good blocker, nice life gain for a comeback. Plus they are cool looking.
2x Frenetic Efreet - Was originally 4, testing versus Serendibs. He may be crazy, but he also gets out of lots of near-death situations.


4x Counterspell - The name says it all. The original...and still the best.
4x Forbid - Card advantage, buyback is RRRRRR with two Phoenix's in hand. Backup for Counterspell.
2x Force of Will - "Rit, Necro!" "" Should be banned, it's so good!


4x Lightning Bolt - Still the best burn spell ever.
1x Earthquake - Backup for El Seņor Phoenix. In case he doesn't show up...
1x Hammer of Bogardan - Stop...Hammer Time. It keeps going and going and
going...and helps out with Forbids in a pinch.


4x Impulse - Still the best card in Magic. It is fun to draw cards. Especially cheap cards.
3x Nevinyrral's Disk - When your Phoenixes rise and your Efreets phase, it's all about the Disk. Kills flyers dead. Plus, it's freaky looking.


2x Strip Mine - The best in land destruction. The other card that isn't Extended.
3x Thawing Glaciers - It gets me land, it hides from land destruction, and it gets me more land! Helps get the RRR to ressurect those dastartly Phoenixes Because everyone loves resurrecting Phoenixes.
1x Volcanic Island - All I gots, but wouldn't run more because they aren't Glacier-friendly. Still, it's a mountain. It's an island. Es muy bueno.
8x Mountain - Mr. Phoenix's home. Got some cool Unglued ones too, awesome art.
12x Island - As always, the most annoying basic land in the business.

I hope you choose to use this deck for an article, and thanks for reading it anyways.



My version is going to be Extended, otherwise the Banned and Restricted Police will kick down my door and say things like, "Hey, you can't use that card! Legends rotated out of Extended TWO YEARS AGO!" and then proceed to beat me with rolled up printoffs of spoilers.

4 Shard Phoenix
3 Mogg Fanatic
4 Counterspell
2 Forbid
4 Mana Leak
4 Force of Will
4 Incinerate
1 Intuition
1 Capsize
1 Recall
2 Impulse
3 Brainstorm
2 Nevinyrral's Disk
3 Powder Keg

3 Thawing Glaciers
4 Volcanic Island
6 Mountain
12 Island

The somewhat random Intuition and Capsize are there to increase the number of "tricks" your deck can do. Intuition fetches three Phoenixes, and if necessary a counter - beware, however, since it comes at the cost of two of your other cards. Recall helps soften this blow, especially when discarding Phoenix. I'm running Keg over Disk simply to beat creature rushes. The Disk does mesh nicely with Capsize when you activate the Disk, then Capsize it in response. It's an old trick, I know, but it's a good one. Capsize also gives you another way to deal with a threat already on the board.

Most of the time, Mogg Fanatic fits into fast creature decks like Sligh or Three Duece, but think of him as a removal spell. Block your Jackal Pup, assign damage, sac to hit your Goblin Cadets for a point. He also helps out against control decks by being an early threat that no one wants to waste a Counterspell on.

This is a very tough deck to play, and in an environment with creatures bigger than 2/2, it may get frustrating to play. But, unkillable creatures win games. Counters win games. This deck will win, and you will get the satisfaction of piloting a difficult deck through troubled waters. Interested?

Until Mark Rosewater attempts to put Nevinyrral's Disk into a DVD player, Make Mine Magic

Kevin Williams