Set Review – New Phyrexia

Hi there! As you probably all know, Christmas came early this year when Matignon and Wafo-tapa spoiled the entire of new phyrexia a couple weeks early, giving us all a chance to completely reason out how awesome new phyrexia is as a set.

Rankings

5. 360 staple. Get this in somewhere

4.Very cubable, should make most cubes

3.Cubeable. I wouldn’t blame anyone for running it

2.Filler

1.Jank.

Colourless

Karn Liberated – Man, is this guy tight or what? Coming down with 10 loyalty, the ability to defend himself, and with possibly the most powerful ultimate of any planeswalker any printed, Karn is no doubt powerful. My only worry about it is that 7 is a lot to cast, and I don’t know how it’ll do in a 360 environment, but it’s certainly strongly worth testing. 4.5

White

Blade Splicer – 4 power over 2 bodies for 3 is pretty good, and it works nicely with reveillark and blink combos, but, saying that, I don’t think it’s fairly to evaluate it as 4 power, since a 1/1 just isn’t relevant in cube, so it’s basically a 3/3 first strike for 3 in my books, but I might be wrong. 3.5

Cathedral Membrane – A powerful effect, but not one I , nor anyone else I know, is looking for in their cube. Might gain value in slower cubes. 2.

Chancellor of the Annex – By the time this gets played, the ability shouldn’t matter, so unless it’s reanimated, you’re literally paying 4WWW for a 5/6 flier. For 1 more mana, you get akroma, and that doesn’t make it into my cube.2.

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite – Again, it’s costs like a tank, and whilst it can win games, I don’t think anyone is looking for a 7 mana creature which doesn’t win the game for you. Short of a reanimation target, I don’t want this. 2.

Forced Worship – A control only pacifism. Pass. 1.

Inquisitor Exarch – Not too bad, might make the cut at 1W, but at WW, I’d rather have knights or soltari dudes. That being said, in another colour, it might make the cut. 2.5

Marrow Shards – Control only card, and not even a good one. 2.

Master Splicer – 5 power for 4 isn’t as good as 4 power for 3, and when you only get 3 power if your 1/1 dies, I’m not impressed. 1.5

Phyrexian Unlife – Might as well read ‘when this comes into play, gain 10 life, when it leaves, lose 10 life’. Could easily see play in larger cubes. 2.5.

Porcelain Legionaire – Undoubtedly the best red card in the set. No, really, since this card is best turn 2 for 2 life, or turn 1 off a moxen and 2 life, it’s a phenomenal aggro card in any colour. 3 power for 2 mana is a cubeable deal as is, but first strike means that 1 toughness becomes much less relevant. The versatility of it is just gravy. Best card in the set. 5.

Puresteel Paladin – Too often this is a hard to play bear, and even when it’s not, it’s not very good.1

Shattered Angel – Look at this. Then look at BSA. Then look back at this.1.

I’m not very excited by white, but there are certainly a few cards here with great potential.

Blue

Mental Misstep – This isn’t legacy, there aren’t enough 1 cmc spells to make this worth it. 2.

Phyrexian Metamorph – I’m still out on this one. I’m not sure how much better this is than clone, but I know it’s better. I’m just not sure if the increase in awesomeness makes this work at 360. 4.

Psychic Barrier – A hard to play Remove Soul, like the 1 life matters.1.

Spined Thopter- a 2/1 flier for 2 in any colour is fairly exciting, I guess, but I don’t think it’ll be as useful as people think, and it loses a lot of relevance late game, unlike Porcelain Legionaire. I might be wrong though. 3.

Vapor Snag – Better than Unsummon most of the time, sucks if you want to bounce your own creature though. Wouldn’t blame anyone for playing it though.2.

Wing Splicer – We get 4/4 fliers for 4 these days, I don’t need a weaker version.2.

I didn’t even bother with most blue cards here, since there’s a lot of infect with blue in this set. Most of it is awful, and the only cards I think deserve looking at by the majority are Spined Thopter and Phyrexian Metamorph

Black

Despise – Ostracize, but with some bomb targets thrown in. Worth testing in some cubes.3.

Dismember – kills more targets than go for the throat, and can be even cheaper. I can see this replacing Disfigure, Last Gasp, Sudden Death and even Snuff Out in some cubes. Might be 1BB too often though.4.5

Entomber Exarch – It just costs 1 too much. As is, not good enough.2.

Geth’s Verdict – Very exciting for pauper cubes, but we’ve got better alternatively in regular cubes. Wouldn’t run it til well into the 700s. 2.

Life’s Finale – If you only support black control, or you’re at 600 or more cards, I can see running this. As is, it’s not good enough for 6 mana. 2.5.

Phyrexian Obliterator – If you support monoblack as an archtype, then this is probably your second best card of the set. In a near mono black deck, this can pretty much win you the game in a lot of matchups, and will singlehandedly win against any heavily green deck. However, CCCC is a ridiculously rough cast, and I can’t see casting it in a reasonable timeframe in a normal cube short of Dark Ritual or Black Lotus.3.

Praetor’s Grasp – This seems to get better the smaller your cube is, but at the same time, the tighter black gets, and I’m not sure at what size I’d want to run this. It’s a really cool effect as a reasonable cost though, so it’s at least a nice card.2.5.

Sheoldred, Whispering One – This card is almost so so good. If you could give it some ability to dodge removal, it’d be amazing, providing one sided Abyss effect. It even has evasion, and passes the vindicate verdict. Trouble is, at 7 mana, it has to win you the game where it is, and I can’t see it doing that. Some people are testing it though, so I could be completely wrong. It’s definitely the best praetor though.2.5.

Vault Skirge – It takes 2 turns to be as good as Suntail Hawk. If you don’t play it as Awful hawk, it’s a more difficult to play Mourning Thrull. Pass.1.

Black had some cool cards, they all just costed a tiny bit too much. A good removal spell, and some pretty cool cards in there though, so I like black in this set.

Red

Furnace Scamp – Again, this card could’ve been so good. It could’ve been great as a 1 mana mudbutton torchrunner, or if you could’ve sacced it any time, or at sorcery speed, or at any time for 2 damage, it could’ve easily found a place in my cube. As is though, it’s too conditional, and a 1/1 for 1 isn’t good enough.1.5.

Gut Shot – Usually, free burn is awesome, but 1 damage isn’t relevant enough.1.5.

Moltensteel Dragon – 4 for a 4/4 flier is par these days in blue, and  I don’t see why I should be paying 4 life for my creature to be easier to kill in red. I could easily be wrong though, but I doubt it.2.

Priest of Urabask – Colourshifted version of Priest of Gix. I don’t know if red can use the mana any better than black can, but it looks cool. 2.

Slash Panther – A 4/2 for 4 haste is pretty cool, but I don’t think it edges out other competition at 4cc. Might be good for pauper cubes though.2

Urabask the hidden – I’m split on this one. On one hand, the haste element isn’t hugely relevant, since haste is best in aggro, and this comes down at the end of your aggro game, where haste isn’t as useful. On the other hand, it’s a 4/4 haste for 5, which is reasonble, which in turn reduces your opponents blockers by slowly them down in topdeck mode by a turn. It also provides another creature other than SGC for red aggro to curve into. I’ll split it at 3, and let others test it out.

Volt Charge  – Might be useful in pauper cubes, but 3 for 3 isn’t efficient enough here unless I can divide is (a la arc lightning, arc trail and forked bolt).2.

Whipflare – A pyroclasm clone is great for cubes that want it. 3.5

Green

Beast Within – Probably the contentious card of the set. Obviously, a cost 3 mono coloured vindicate is insane, but the downside, a 3/3 elephant, is surprisingly hard to deal with. Usman Jamil reported that whilst it was great to BE something whilst you’ve got a 4/4 on the table, those situations are surprisingly few and far between. I was hoping it’d work like you were downgrading threats, like Jace, Ankh of Mishra, BSA into a 3/3, but it turns out a 3/3 is pretty hard to kill, and can easily create card disadvantage for you if you have to use a card to kill the token. Finally, it can be useful to upgrade your own cards, like turning excess land into an instant speed blocker. 3.

Brutaliser Exarch – like Mold Shambler, but exchanges the versatility of coming down as an elephant for 4 for the ability to tutor for fatties. Easily worth testing, 4.

Corrosive Gale – Useful as a hurricane clone, I haven’t decided yet whether it’s better or worse because it doesn’t hit players.2.5.

Fresh Meat – Might replace caller of the claw in some cubes. 3.

Leeching Bite  – More removal in green. This can allow your 3/3 to trade with a 5/5, which is pretty cool in my book.2.5.

Mutagenic Growth – free pump is cool, and could easily see play in some lists.2.

Noxious Revival – A slightly better reclaim, but it can also be used to screw your opponents topdeck late game.2.5.

Thundering Tanadon – This has been rated pretty highly by some people, but I gotta say, it’s awful. I don’t want to pay 4 life for something which is only slightly above the curve in some colours, and not very special in green.1.

Green isn’t great, and is mostly full of confusing comparisions for me.

Artifacts

Batterskull – This is possibly the coolest, most unflavourful card in the set. A 4/4 which can make your weenies huge is awesome in my cool, and when it starts dodging removal, that just makes me grin.5.

Caged Sun – I don’t think the extra 1 is worth the difference between this and gauntlet of power. If you want a card like this, run gauntlet of power.1.

Hex Parasite – It looks like it could be really badass, but as is, I’m not sure how good it is. I think it depends how many cards without counters you want to remove there are in your cube. If you can regularly rely on your opponent to have a ‘walker, then I guess it’s a great card, but I couldn’t reason that this card could ever be consistent.2.5.

Lashwrithe – If you support mono black, it gets really good, and if you get heavy black decks, I guess it’s good. If you don’t, skip it.3.

Myr Superion – All I have is terrible dreams where this comes out turn 2 off a joraga treespeaker. 2.

Spellskite – It’s like a Kira, Great Glass Spinner, but worse, since it has no evasion, and only eats 1 spell for the team, rather than 2. can however save you from X spells.2.

Sword of War and Peace – Just equip it to Mirran Crusader and win. The last of the cycle, with some pretty cool abilities, and some crazy protections. 5.

Overall, artifacts were okay for an artifact block ,getting 2 autoincludes, and some fairly okay filler cards.

Overall, New Phyrexia looks like it hasn’t good 100 million great cards for cube, but those it has got are instant staples. I can see running Sword of War and Peace, Karn, Porcelain Legionaire et al until I give up magic, so I’m pretty happy with this as a set.

Thanks for reading,

Sexy.

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