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My first look at Phyrexia!

It’s time to look ahead towards the new expansion. We are about a month away from the arrival of Phyrexia: All Will Be One, and today we’ll look at spoilers to see where some announced cards might find a place.

SKRELV, DEFECTOR MITE

We start with a card that will probably find a place in a very strong Modern deck—Hammer Time!

It’s an artifact creature that with one mana provides a 1/1 with toxic, which is the new ability from the expansion that gives a poison counter to your opponent when a creature with this ability does combat damage to a player. Combined with 2 life or a white mana, toxic and Hexproof give a color to one of your creatures and makes it unblockable from creatures of that color, as well as giving it toxic 1. 

It’s similar to Giver of Runes in terms of usefulness in the deck, but it has the advantage of being an artifact (so it helps for Metalcraft and makes Construct tokens from Urza’s Saga bigger). 

This is a good addition for the deck, and it opens the deck to slightly different strategies, perhaps making it more versatile.

KAITO, DANCING SHADOW

I really like this version of Kaito. It’s a Standard card that will be a big addition to Grixis but also be a good card for Esper.

The planeswalker costs 4 mana and has a static ability that whenever one or more creatures you control do damage, you can get one back in hand. If you do, you can activate Kaito twice instead of once. The abilities are perfect in a midrange meta.

Its +1 doesn’t make a creature attack or block, the 0 makes you draw a card and the -2 makes a 2/2 token that makes a drain 2 when it leaves the field.

I’m convinced t’s better in a deck like Grixis because it can better exploit the abilities of the creatures that come into play (Harvester, Appraiser) after getting them back into your hand with Kaito.


This synergy seems strong to me, and it may be a good boost for a deck that consolidates more and more its primacy in Standard.

BLACK SUN’S TWILIGHT

Versatile cards are always my favorite. This may seem like a simple removal, but if done by x=5 or more, it can also revive a tapped creature from the graveyard. This card will surely find a place in Standard and will often decide games in mirrors. 

Imagine killing the opponent’s Sheoldred at the end of the opponent’s turn and putting your own back into play, or the value that can be done by putting a Corpse Appraiser back into play after having removed an opponent’s creature. It’s useful as an early-turn removal and in late game. I would always want it at least 2x in a midrange deck.

SKRELV‘S HIVE 

This card may remind the most nostalgic of Bitterblossom, though it’s hard to compare the two cards. Bitterblossom tokens were flying and could block, which makes them better. 

In a meta dominated by midrange and with cards like Wedding Announcement, this white spell is a big addition to a deck like Esper that needs that extra something to play on par against Grixis. This spell, which allows you to pay a life point each upkeep to create a 1/1 token with toxic 1. May be the right card to raise this deck to the top, and it’s an important addition for a deck like Mono White Midrange.

MONDRAK, GLORY DOMINUS

Hive could lead to new synergies in the Standard format and beyond, and Monodrak partners with it perfectly. This Phyrexian horror puts twice as many tokens into play, which is what Anointed Procession used to do (a card that over time has been played) but with the difference that you put on the board a 4/4 that by sacrificing two other artifacts (remember that the tokens that puts the spell are also artifacts) gains an indestructible counter. It’s a nice card more for Mono White Midrange maybe than for Esper but still it will find a place.

VINDICATIVE FLAMESTOKER 

This card looks like the one-drop that Izzet Phoenix decks have been waiting for a long time.

A 1/2 mana that takes an oil counter when a noncreature spell is cast. With 7 mana then sacrificing it makes us discard our hand and draw four cards,

this ability costs one mana less for each oil counter on this creature.

It seems to be a strong card for this type of deck that plays many spells like Opt, Consider, and other cheap spells that take full advantage of its ability and not only discard cards like phoenixes, fill the graveyard to make it easier to use Treasure Cruise or Temporal Trespass, but also to draw four cards when you run out of resources. It is somewhat reminiscent of what Bedlam used to do, but this card probably does it better in this deck.


The spoilers continue as we are getting closer to the release of the expansion. We just have to wait for that moment to come!

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