#5 – Rekindling Phoenix
– Rivals of Ixalan
December 25, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This card was #5 on my Top 11 list.
We are used to seeing hard-to-kill creatures in green and white, and creatures that won’t stay in the graveyard in black and green, which makes Rekindling Phoenix one of the cards I most welcomed from the Ixalan block. Anything that adds a dimension or an interesting new angle to red, which for a time was associated in some players’ minds with Sligh and casual dragons and nothing else, is likely to make our Top 11 list in any year. The Phoenix has already proven itself as a powerhouse in competitive Magic, as evidenced by the success of Ramunap Red and the fact that black mages were forced to reach for cards that were usually out of their mana price range but that included the word “exile”. On top of that, it also goes well with your own sacrifice effects, if your deck is so inclined. The bird really is the word!
This card was 8th on my top 11 list.
I had another Phoenix above this one, but there’s no denying that Rekindling Phoenix has had longer to do its thing. In particular, its revival condition makes it absurdly hard to get rid of for good; after you kill it, you have until your opponent’s next upkeep to kill it for good. Fail in that, and the bird comes back stronger than ever (in particular, with haste). 4/3 with flying is a good rate of return for red, and while permanent answers do exist, you may not always have them on hand. Phoenixes tend to be resilient threats, hard to permanently get off the board, and Rekindling Phoenix more than fills that role. Arclight Phoenix may be making waves, but the older firebird still has some pop left in its great, big, long wings.
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