The 10 Most Impactful Phyrexia: All will be one MTG Cards in Standard
27/01/2023 · 10 min read
Phyrexia: All Will Be One will arrive soon, and I am excited to bring you my picks for the set's most impactful cards on Standard .
Good old Phyrexian obliterator, In this standard the comparison that pops up in my head is with Sheoldred both are big bodies competing for the same slot in monoblack or black splash X decks.
The main difference is that Phyrexian Obliterator is more of an aggressive force that leverages its ability, treating it as "this creature can't be blocked". I would expect this card to see play in more aggressive shells than Sheoldred, or in combination with green fight effects like bushwack. Its weakness is dying to cheap removal, edict effects, and counterspells.
A similar card to Phyrexian Obliterator, both in name and in power, Flying should be looked at as a more defensive capability. Vindicator has potential to slot in white midrange decks like Monowhite Midrange or Invoke Justice, but maybe its best use is as a sideboard card against red decks. The reason this card, along with Obliterator, didn't make the list is because of their weakness to cheap interaction.
DROWN IN ICHOR
This is a good enough removal on its own that it may justify its win-more upside of flipping Sagas like Fable a turn earlier, or maybe even Planeswalkers in an already clogged board. Its weakness is being sorcery speed, along with the inability to kill important 5-toughness Standard staples like Sanctuary Warden and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.
KAITO, DANCING SHADOW
One of the best planeswalkers of the set, having a high potential to seal the game when ahead, one of the ways I envision it seeing play is targeting an enemy blocker with its +1, which should let your cheap creature connect, and the ability protects Kaito until your next turn, unlocking access to the 2nd or 3rd ability, replacing the attacker you just returned with a 2/2. Kaito's weakness is that it's not great when playing from behind and needs creatures like Corpse Appraiser that can benefit from the constant bouncing and replaying.
My Top 10 Phyrexia: All Will Be One list!
#10 THRUN, BREAKER OF SILENCE
Thrun is a card that can solve the "dies to Doomblade" problem that creatures of this cost face; usually, cards like these are strong against control decks that try to interact with counters or targeted removal. Unfortunately, right now in Standard, there are plenty of edict effects, and this set is adding one more to the list: Sheoldred's Edict.
For that reason, I can see Thrun being good in a midrange Wedding Announcement deck or as a sideboard option in an already established metagame.
#9 ARMORED SCRAPGORGER
This card might be what green-based midrange decks were missing at two CMC; Llanowar Elvespeaker is already in Standard, and together they could support a Superfriends deck that benefits a lot from having a planeswalker on turn three.
This card also has two minor upsides that can randomly end up being really good in some scenarios, such as exiling from the graveyard to make graveyard strategies worse. Namely, Corpse Appraiser, Haughty Djinn, and Invoke Justice are all affected by this. Armored Scrapgorger can also turn into a 3/3 after providing mana, turning this into a real threat by the late game, which is what you would rather have over a dork.
The one weakness this has is that it's a bad topdeck later on in the game.
#8 SKRELV, DEFECTOR MITE
Skrelv Defector Mite is really close to Modern staple Giver of Runes, we finally have that effect in Standard.
This card is big news for heroic type decks using Illuminator Virtuoso.
Skrelv can be used as a proactive way to set up protection without having to invest mana and slots into keeping up instant-speed protection. However, there is one already-established deck that could benefit from Skrelv: Esper Legends. Not only is Skrelv a legend, but it fits the missing one-drop piece that the deck lacked. More importantly, this can protect your Sheoldred or another important creature against removal.
#7 SKRELV’S HIVE
Skrelv’s Hive is the white Bitterblossom, this is a really powerful effect to have in standard as it deals really well with spot removal and edict effects.
The idea is to play this early in the game and interact with the opponent, and if you manage to stall long enough, this card will win by itself. I have really high hopes for this card, as it could be built into a midrange deck with lots of answers, like Esper Midrange, or a deck that goes wide, like Monowhite Midrange, or be used as a sideboard option when you're not facing an aggressive strategy. Skrelv's Hive has one great weakness, though: it is so weak against aggro that you might be better off not casting it after your opponent plays a Mountain on turn one; something that even Bitterblossom was better at, because Fairies could block, but Phyrexian Mites can't.
#6 MELIRA, THE LIVING CURE
Watchwolf combined with Saffi Eriksdotter sounds very enticing to me.
Solid 2-drops have always defined what Standard decks could be built, and this one is what would allow a green-white based deck to exist. It might not fit the decks we already have, but it can serve as a base for a new deck, along with Razorverge Thicket. The legendary keyword is limiting, but can also be beneficial in a Legends deck, using Channel Lands or Plaza and protecting more expensive Legends than Melira itself. Overall, very good stats and a useful ability.
So much utility on an aggressive body; another green 2-drop that can support a green-based deck not only as a sideboard option but even as its primary 2-drop. These cards are often overlooked, but they end up being useful tools to fight emerging strategies. Maybe there is some hidden proliferate strategy to be uncovered. The strength of this card isn't just 'Naturalize on a stick', but because most creatures end up being answered, it can always threaten sacrificing itself to blow up something or pump your cards, ending up in a 2-for-1 trade with a removal. Overall, a useful option to have.
#4 BLUE SUN'S TWILIGHT
This card would have been lower on the list, but it hits this Standard with the best timing. Initially, I thought this was just another effect that gets printed occasionally and ends up seeing fringe play, but this time it might be what we were all looking for, so hear me out as I present my argument as to why this is a good answer to Fable of the Mirror Breaker.
Why is it a Good Answer to Fable?
Answering fable efficiently was never about finding a card that deals with the entire saga card like Unleash the Inferno in fact that was a bad play into Fable.
But rather a question of tempo, you can't let the Goblin token attack because this token is very powerful initially, but it loses power as the game progresses, so you end up using a removal. I can tell you from my hundreds of games against Fable that I almost always ended up using one.
Blue Sun's Twilight acts as a 2-mana removal when targeting the token, but completely flips the question of tempo on your opponent, who now has to answer the goblin token and will only get their flipped saga in two turns. This is the primary reason to play Blue Sun's Twilight, but there are many more other reasons, like its synergy with Djinn and the upside of copying the stolen target when you reach that threshold of mana. I would look into UR decks to include this, but it could fit into almost any blue midrange deck.
I think this card is one of the best cards of the set right now, but it would just be average in any other Standard era.
#3 NISSA, ASCENDED ANIMIST
Nissa might seem like your average Planeswalker, but she has two qualities that push her above her competition: mana flexibility and diverse abilities.
Green decks usually cast expensive cards, and the problem is that sometimes you don't get to use your mana efficiently. Nissa is the kind of greedy card that green ramp decks need to cast, but she will always use your mana in the most efficient way, which covers that weakness.
She has three abilities that give you many options in a dynamic game, and her ultimate is not out of reach, which usually spells lethal. The obvious synergy that comes to my mind is with Topiary Stomper: racing to seven lands unlocks Nissa's ultimate and Stomper's attack. Two Stompers and Nissa is 22 damage at turn five; just cast Stomper on turns three and four, and Nissa on turn five. The high ceiling of Nissa, along with her dynamic nature, puts her very high on my list.
#2 SHEOLDRED'S EDICT
Just a really good edict that can deal with many problems that come up, it is usually more effective when paired with other removal or board-wipe effects, or Wrath of God effects. The ability to kill a planeswalker is also an appealing option for a control deck that can't apply pressure to planeswalkers. This will immediately slot into black-based decks like Grixis Midrange, and that alone is enough to claim the #2 spot on this list.
#1 THE FASTLANDS
Fastlands are my number one pick for this list, and it's not close. They unlock Standard's two-color aggro decks, which had impossible mana-fixing, and maybe even some midrange decks.
This set has many powerful green cards, but most importantly, two fastlands: Razorverge Thicket and Copperline Gorge, which have traditionally been used to put green/x aggro decks on the map.No card on this list can bring as much innovation to Standard as the Fastlands, and even decks that already exist benefit greatly from them, such as Soldiers from Seachrome Coast and Rakdos from Blackcleave Cliffs.
Manabases were most efficient by using excessive amounts of lands; all the midrange decks I submitted this season had either 26, 27, or 29 lands, but fastlands will probably change the tide and lower the average curve of the entire metagame, as playing 1-drops, 2-drops, and 3-drops becomes much more efficient.
These were my top picks from Phyrexia: 'All Will Be One' for Standard.
Green is looking much better than before, and I'm curious to see if this is a strong enough push to get some results in the metagame. One thing is for sure: the fastlands will have a huge impact and create new decks.
I am pre-ordering my playsets soon, so hopefully I haven't missed anything and my picks were correct. But if you think I did miss something, feel free to comment or call me out on Twitter.
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Mogged is one of the MTGO grinders behind many of the top winning decks across formats. He has the most Challenge top8s and wins in 2021, and is currently leading in Challenge wins in 2022. His articles show a deep understanding of the MTG theory and are great for those looking to improve their gameplay, better understanding the game, and learning how the metagame evolves over time.
Published: 2023-01-27 00:00:00