A Guide to Drafting Phyrexia All Will Be One: Top 5 Archetypes
25/02/2023 · 7 min read
Recently released, Phyrexia: All will be One has proven to be one of the most controversial sets in recent memory when it comes to limited formats (Draft and Sealed). Some players have been enjoying the format quite a bit, as it is quite interactive with plenty of removal and few bombs that truly steal games. On the other hand, the Toxic mechanic makes some games end very quickly and also punishes players who fall behind in the game, either from missing land drops or not having relevant plays in the early turns.
The few bombs we have in the set are very hard to answer, especially with the presence of so many planeswalkers. All in all, a controversial format that can be really fun when you get the right cards ;).
Today, I'll be talking a bit about my experience with it, the main archetypes I play, and the best cards in each one.
The top 5 Archetypes
For fans of aggressive strategies, great news: Aggro archetypes are very good in this format. Available in all colors, we have low-cost creatures, combat tricks, and mechanics that help them thrive.
It's important to point out that, in addition to the main +aggro archetypes, we have others like UB Proliferate, GW Toxic, and UG Oil, but generally, these are inferior to the aggro ones. You can build them if you open a rare card from the correct color (e.g. Bloated Contaminator and Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus, which can form a good UG Proliferate if built correctly).
Regardless, the focus of this article is to try and identify the best ready-made archetypes, which don't rely on rare/mythic bombs to form a synergistic deck.
1. BW TOXIC
This is to be one of, if not the most sought-after strategies at draft tables. Both colors favor the toxic theme greatly, as they have access to high-quality creatures and removal, while offering the most efficient creatures with toxic.
As I said, it is one of the most sought-after archetypes at draft tables, so pay attention to whether or not it is worth going for it: as more people try to draft it, it will be harder to find the right cards, potentially worsening your build considerably.
For this type of strategy, I'd highlight Crawling Chorus, Duelist of Deep Faith, Flensing Raptor, Anoint with Affliction and Whisper of the Dross.
2. RG OIL
Red-Green (RG) strategies can also be great. This archetype tends to be highly aggressive and with lots of board interaction. Cards with proliferate become very effective, as they increase the number of counters and extend the duration of all the oil-related abilities. In this archetype, I'd like to highlight Sawblade Scamp, Lattice-Blade Mantis, Free from Flesh, Furnace Strider, and Oil-Gorger Troll.
3. RW EQUIPS
There are many Equipment cards with the ability 'For Mirrodin'. They come with a 2/2 creature "built-in", and are really good for putting pressure on our opponents, as we can reuse them after the original rebel dies.
Some of these abilities heavily favor combat, making blocking difficult and aiding in the game plan. Notable mentions include Mandible Justiciar, Barbed Batterfist, Hazardous Blast, Mirran Bardiche, and Leonin Lightbringer.
4. BG TOXIC
Adopting a more midrange approach than an aggro one, BG swaps white for green to gain access to better late game creatures and takes advantage of the uncommon cards such as Bilious Skulldweller, Ichorspit Basilisk, Branchblight Stalker, Contagious Vorrac and Plague Nurse. This type of strategy can also benefit from Oil counters and proliferate, allowing it to adopt two different game plans and be a bit more versatile depending on the deck it's facing.
5. UR OIL
Oil counters mechanic is also present in Blue and Red, with a game plan focused on control, featuring creatures with relevant abilities and stats to have a better mid/late game, such as Glistener Seer and Ichor Synthesizer.
You can also have an Artifact-focused game plan, such as Eye of Malcator and Meldweb Strider. As we're using oil counters, proliferate is also key here, with Mesmerizing Dose and Experimental Augury being notable highlights. Serum-Core Chimera is also a great pick if you're playing this archetype.
Identifying the best archetype for your draft is key, and this set has some great cards that may not fit into your strategy but are nonetheless important for building a successful deck. I'll mention a few of them here.
Dune Mover has been one of the most impressive cards for me. Having it in your deck makes it almost impossible to miss your land drops, which is incredibly important in this format. Additionally, having Toxic makes it even more important in certain archetypes.
Red decks typically should not leave the first copy of this card out of the deck. Even though it is a very aggressive format, some matches tend to become stalled until a player finds a card with a relevant ability to break the board, such as flying, deathtouch, or haste. This card is a quick way to temporarily remove all the blockers in the way and go for the victory.
Furthermore, the fact that it is an X/1 creature format, mostly consisting of insect tokens, makes it essentially a sweeper, taking out very important creatures.
I'm impressed by this card. It enters the battlefield with an immediate impact and continues to be effective even upon death, making it a highly dangerous creature, especially in a format where Toxic is so important. It's a creature that can provide a true 3-for-1, proliferating twice and still serving as removal or trading with something relevant.
Tips and tricks
BLOCKING IS IMPORTANT
Having fewer poison counters means your opponent won't have access to corrupt. It's important to have low drops that can block creatures early on, especially if you're on the draw.
USE COMBAT TRICKS
In a format where blocking is so important, combat tricks become just as essential, as if your opponent plays in a way that they are more likely to block, the chance of being at a disadvantage, with a double block for example, also increases.
YOU DON'T NEED 17 LANDS
Unlike The Brother's War, which was a slower formControversy and the limited format of ONE have been at least entertaining in my experience. Sure, you may lose to absurd bombs, but having a synergistic deck and a defined game plan can lead to much success within the format. Until next time!at and needed more lands to be able to play our bigger drops, ONE is a more aggressive format with a lower curve, so depending on your strategy, you can play 16 lands, but remember to include cards that justify it, such as draw spells, Dune Mover or Prophetic Prism.
The deeper you dig into your deck, the higher the chances are of finding the necessary lands, but without necessarily flooding the mid/late game. I repeat, this depends on your strategy; if your deck isn't too aggressive, then I recommend playing with at least 17 lands.
LIFEGAIN MAY NOT BE AS RELEVANT.
Gaining life, and particularly creatures with lifelink, have traditionally been strong in aggro formats due to the advantage of "minimizing" the damage taken by gaining life with the ability. However, as poison counters and toxins are present in the format, life gain is not as useful, as it does not help against them.
Although it is controversial, I have found ONE Limited to be at least entertaining in my experience.
You can certainly lose to absurdly powerful cards, but having a synergistic deck with a defined game plan can do a lot to give you success in the format.
Until next time!
If you liked this article maybe you will also find interesting on of the following ones Temur Creativity Primer & Sideboard Guide [Modern], Going Mythic with Mono Green in Explorer, Brother's War Sealed Guide and best tips & tricks by color, Reading and Bluffing Opponents on MTGO, Pauper Grixis Affinity Tips, Tricks & Sideboard guide By Mogged, Winning the Standard Challenge with Mardu Angels: In-depth & sideboard Guide
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Hi, my name is Lucas de Almeida Hervás. I'm 31 years old, married, and I live in Indaiatuba/SP, Brazil. I've been playing Magic the Gathering since 2009, but I've been making a living off of it since 2019 through leagues and tournaments on Magic Online. For those who don't know me, I'm 2.17 meters tall, hence the nickname "the tallest Magic player in Brazil."
Published: 2023-02-25 00:00:00