|(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)|
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Phoenix is a mythical firebird which can be reborn out of its own ashes. The cards bearing this creature type in Magic: The Gathering have the same ability. In early cases, after a phoenix has been sent to the graveyard from the battlefield, the phoenix can be sent to the owner's hand or back to the battlefield, either for free or by paying mana. Recent designs also use unusual triggered abilities to return it, and many also now have haste. Screeching Phoenix is the only phoenix that does not, for reasons listed below.
Firestorm Phoenix from Legends was the first phoenix ever printed. Because of their association with fire, Phoenixes are red aligned creatures. Phoenixes are typically printed at rare, though some have had their rarity shifted to uncommon in reprint sets. Warcry Phoenix was the first phoenix printed at uncommon on the first printing.
Phoenixes in Dominaria are found on Shiv (Shivan Phoenix), Jamuura (Bogardan Phoenix) and Keld (Firewing Phoenix). The Keldons believe the phoenix to be an omen of war, and when they nest in a volcano, it means a hundred years of war.
Phoenixes live on the continent of Ixalan on the plane of the same name. They resemble owls instead of the eagles common on other planes. The people of the Sun Empire call them sunbirds and believe them to be messengers of Tilonalli, embodying the destructive aspect of the sun but also the rebirth that follows. Legends hold that somewhere within the mountains sleeps Xuatl — a scaled bird formed from the sun's fire. Xuatl molts its skin and feathers during the summer months, often setting the trees and slopes ablaze.
Phoenixes are fire-elemental birds similar to the mythological Fenghuang, co-existing with actual red-aligned bird spirits (probably an allusion to the distinction between the Fenghuang and Vermillion Bird). They were born from the Ancestor Dragon Yinglong and although they are more graceful and elegant than the phoenixes of other planes they have seen just as prone to senseless violence. The Fenghuang are known as birds of fire and the sun, like Western Phoenixes, but the association with rebirth is not present and so the Screeching Phoenix does not recur itself.
An arclight phoenix is variously said to be a byproduct of a lightning strike on an aviary, a mishap in an effort to create a translocation device, or a successful attempt to create an elemental creature in the form of a majestic bird.
Whatever its origin, an arclight phoenix looks like a bird of prey formed entirely of electrical energy. Lightning fans out behind it as it bolts from place to place through the sky, making up in speed what it lacks in grace and majesty. It seems happiest during natural thunderstorms, as it darts among the clouds, gliding alongside thunderbolts.
Tarkiran Phoenixes are among the creatures that live in the mountains near the lands of the Jeskai and Temur. Adept at using morph magic to disguise themselves in swirls of draconic magic, they ambush their prey when they do not expect it. Their wings are fiery and they leave trails of flame behind them. When they die, they are reborn stronger and without previous injuries.
In the old timeline, the mantis rider Kuhnde managed to defeat a phoenix and hoped to train it as a mount. In the new timeline, no phoenixes have been observed.
Theran Phoenixes make their nests within the craters of volcanoes and are therefore associated with Purphoros. A phoenix lays just one egg during its centuries-long life, at the end of which it plunges itself into the volcano near which it lives. On that day, the egg hatches and a new phoenix is born.
- James Wyatt (January 9, 2018). "Plane Shift: Ixalan". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- D&D Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
- Michael Yichao (October 8, 2014). "Way of the Mantis". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- The Magic Creative Team (September 04, 2013). "Planeswalker's Guide to Theros, Part 3". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.