The history of Phyrexia: The Multiverse's greatest antagonist

After almost ten years, we have the first sight of a Phyrexian on Magic's Lore. But for what reason is Phyrexia so important? On this article, I'll tell you the story of the Magic's greatest foe.

• By Humberto • 01/13/21

[image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/crop/nph-new-phyrexia/phyrexian-unlife-18-med.jpeg?8070) *COMPLEAT* No, you haven't read wrong. *Compleat* "Compleation" is the Phyrexian state of maturity and perfection. It implies the total replacement of all organic parts of the body, until nothing remains but the artifice. The being, however, retains its memory and personality. This defines the Phyrexian philosophy in many ways: The ideas themselves are collectively called 'Phyresis', a phrase coined by Yawgmoth himself. This system is largely based on the will to survive and the concept of controlled evolution. The key idea of the Phyrexians is comparable to that of social Darwinism; evolution by removing all enemies of favorable species and survival of the fittest, the Phyrexians. and this is applied socially through eugenics. The Phyrexian religion is largely based on adherence to its scriptures and perspective. They believe that mortal flesh is a sin, imperfect and subject to weakness and disease while having absolute worship of the perfection of machines. But only those made by Yawgmoth and his order of priests are considered sacred. Artifacts made by natural mortal hands are considered abominations, unfit for Phyrexia and not born for their cause. Even more despised are the craftsmen themselves, making a sacrilegious imitation of the work that the Father of Machines did. The Great Evolution, the search for evolutionary superiority and improvement, and the Phyresis process, Yawgmoth's words denoting his battle against sickness, death and weakness, are the goals on which the Phyrexians focus. The purpose of Phyrexia is to eliminate all enemies and seek efficiency. This plan, although very effective, is emotionally empty and devoid of any "human" characteristics. The Great Evolution has no art, emotion, morals, personal thought or freedom. But why am I talking so much about Phyrexia ? [cardinfo](Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider) There is a Phyrexian in Kaldheim. Maybe more ? Maybe just him? We don't know and we probably won't know for some time. But we know that Vorinclex, one of the Phyrexia Praetors is in Kaldheim. Why ? How ? What can we expect from this? Did they create another Portal? When did they start to go on to other planes ?! Phyrexia is a place of many questions and few answers, always bringing that feeling that something lurks in every corner, that it will surprise you in unexpected ways. So how exactly is Kaldheim involved in the "Great Evolution"? We do not have the answers to this and many other questions regarding the Phyrexians, but we know a lot about their extensive background in the history of Magic and that is what this article is about. [center](ORIGINS) Little is known about the origin of Phyrexia other than the fact that it was created by a Planeswalker who died approximately a month before Yawgmoth arrived on the plane and that its original size was about two to three times the size of the Thran Empire. Before Yawgmoth's arrival, Phyrexia was not much different from Mirrodin and already had most of his spheres, the first carrying a paradisiacal simulacrum of sunlit forests and plains with "snakes" wrapped around "tree" trunks, while the second sphere was illuminated by a metallic luster and supporting artifact creatures with amalgam characteristics, from which the "serpents" evolved But that all changed when a man would reach Phyrexia and change the whole course of the history of the Multiverse: [center](YAWGMOTH) [cardinfo](Yawgmoth, Thran Physician) Yawgmoth, also known as The Ineffable for his servants and referred to as The Lord of the Wastes throughout Dominarian mythology, was a medical genius of the Thran Empire who was banned for his highly controversial solutions to medical illnesses. Yawgmoth was born during the last century of the Thran Empire, at a time of conflict between the imperialist elite and the republican insurgency. Because of his fascination with the human body and his philosophy that the body was an ingenious machine, Yawgmoth became an eugenist on the Republican side. Unfortunately for him, Republicans lost the power struggle and all its followers were exiled. During his exile, Yawgmoth traveled the world, visiting many different civilizations and demonstrating how cruel he could be. During that time, he committed many atrocities such as the manufacture of plagues, the poisoning of peoples and even imprisoning and vivisecting a leader. Yawgmoth never justified his actions, claiming to be interested only in the action of pests and other diseases. His desire for power or sadistic interest in pain could also be part of his motivations. After five years in exile, Yawgmoth was called back to the Thran capital, Halcyon. Glacian caught an unknown disease that was only exacerbated by the healing magic of Thran, so Glacian's wife, Rebbec, used her influence as chief architect to bring Yawgmoth back, hoping his eugenics experience could find a cure. Yawgmoth then discovered that Glacian's disease, which he called Pthisis, was caused by extensive exposure to Powerstones radiation. Most of the Untouchables - Thran's exiled who lived in the Caves of the Damned, under the Mana Rig (a complex created by the Thran on the continent of Shiv), a producer of power stones - also contracted the disease. Upon learning of the disease, the man who stabbed Glacian with a powerstone, Gix, began to gather his people to rebel and take revenge on the Thran. Yawgmoth convinced Halcyon's elders to give him more funding and apprentices to study the disease. The healer Xod gave him the idea of using metals to create a serum against Pthisis. When Gix and his supporters arrived in Halcyon, planning to start a rebellion, Yawgmoth managed to suppress it by offering free serum to the Untouchables. For his actions, Yawgmoth was then appointed a member of Halcyon's board and was authorized to make laws to regulate public health. Yawgmoth started sending infected people to the Caves of the Cursed and made healthy Untouchables return to the city. During that time, Rebbec and Yawgmoth began to fall in love. It turned out that Yawgmoth was diluting the serum he gave the Untouchables, claiming a lack of resources. This caused Gix to rebel and start sending sich Untouchables, to Halcyon. Yawgmoth used the rebellion to obtain more funding and full control over the Halcyte Guard. Eventually, the planeswalker Dyfed visited Glacian to learn about his own spark. Yawgmoth managed to convince Dyfed to help him. Dyfed agreed to find a plane where Yawgmoth could build his own paradise. When Gix led another major riot in the city, Yawgmoth made an artifact based on Glacian's designs, to control all of the city's powerstone technology. With this and the Halcyte Guard, he managed to stop the invasion and force Gix into complete obedience. After the city was rebuilt, Halcyon held a large festival to honor Yawgmoth, but a strange group of delegates appeared shortly before it started, made up of representatives of the nations that Yawgmoth carried out experiments during his exile and declared war on all who supported Yawgmoth. Faced with the threat of large-scale war with the united nations, Thran's council voted whether Yawgmoth should remain in Halcyon, but the votes ended in a tie. It all came down to the last two members of the board; Yawgmoth and Rebbec voting together to ensure Yawgmoth's safety in the city. Then he immediately overthrew the council and arrested its elders and delegates. After Yawgmoth took control of the Thran Empire by force, Rebbec and Glacian summoned Dyfed, hoping to convince her to rescue the Empire's elders, whom Yawgmoth had imprisoned. Dyfed agreed to help Glacian and took the elders, along with several goblin servants, to Mercadia's plane, where they would become the ancestors of the Mercadians and the Kyren. Some time later, while Yawgmoth accumulated more power, but also led the empire to war with the people of the nations he had harmed in the past, Dyfed opened a permanent portal from Dominaria to Phyrexia, the metal plane that Yawgmoth wanted to transform into his paradise . Thanks to Dyfed, Yawgmoth was able to enter the core of Phyrexia, merging with the plan and becoming his god. Yawgmoth managed to do very well while warring with the alliance of nations against him. Using the Halcyte Guard, mutant soldiers in Phyrexia and Stonechargers (a weapon of mass destruction built by the Thrans), he defeated any army that rose against him. When Dyfed turned on him, stunned by the horror that Phyrexia had become, Yawgmoth stabbed her in the back of the neck with a powerstone dagger, incapacitating the planeswalker, hoping to dissect her and find out what allowed her to travel between the planes. Rebbec removed the powerstone, giving Dyfed a merciful death. But all was not well since he had used the Null Sphere to filter out the lethal gases left by the Stonecharges before they reached Halcyon. When the craftsmen who controlled it sacrificed their own lives to sabotage the Sphere, Halcyon was destroyed and all its inhabitants fled to Phyrexia or were killed. Yawgmoth had planned to stay in Phyrexia for a while and emerge again when the cloud of gases dissipated, but Rebbec used the powerstones that Yawgmoth planted in her husband to close the portal between Phyrexia and Dominaria, locking Yawgmoth and his followers, the remnants and descendants of the Thran humans inflicted by phthisis, whom he saved through the process he referred to as "Phyresis" (essentially replacing poor mortality by artifice) in Phyrexia. Yawgmoth gave Phyrexian organisms a purpose: to thrive, to grow beyond the confines of Phyrexia and to enter the rest of the Multiverse. Over hundreds of years, Phyrexia developed priests and acolytes who exalted and worshiped Yawgmoth, as well as abominations to kill for him: Witch engines, priests of birth, hollow dogs, blood protectors, demons. Over time, a vast social order has emerged on the plane: the food chain with church-like rites and rituals. Phyrexian organisms were judged on their ability to survive their own world. The successful ones were "evolved" with a mixture of necrotic tissue and metal. Eventually, Phyrexia created great Spore Engines and Dreadnoughts - huge, almost alive artifact machines designed for war. [center](THE BROTHERS' WAR) For years, Yawgmoth altered the Thran who had reached Phyrexia while fleeing the Stonechargers' fallout, making them the first true Phyrexians. Using Planar Portals, Phyrexians traveled to many planes they conquered, while using their inhabitants as raw material. The Phyrexians' main objective after being imprisoned in the planE was to invade and destroy their former home in Dominaria. Many years have been spent preparing for this invasion, with various plans, weapons and soldiers being created over time. Also aware that their artificial domestic plan would collapse after some time, the survival of the Phyrexians depended on the successful entry into Dominaria and the defeat of their other lifeforms. However, this transfer was made impossible for five millennia due to the closing of the portal between Dominaria and Phyrexia. During this time, the Phyrexians waited, planned and increased their strength for the time when their path to their former home would be free. The day finally came when the archaeologist brothers Urza and Mishra disrupted the powerstone that sealed the portal while exploring the Caves of the Damned, now known as Caves of Koilos. Yawgmoth sent Gix, now a fully completed Phyrexian and member of his Inner Circle, through the portal. [cardside](1 Mishra, Artificer Prodigy || 1 Urza, Lord High Artificer) Gix planned to manipulate the Brothers, who started a war. Having his minions, the Brotherhood of Gix, infiltrating both sides and eventually replacing Mishra with a Phyrexian. Gix hoped to expand the war until it destroyed the entire civilization of the continent, allowing for a simple infiltration of the Phyrexian Forces built by Yawgmoth in the last centuries. During the end of the war, Urza activated the Golgothian Sylex, an artifact so powerful that it completely devastated the world of Dominaria. Gix fled back to Phyrexia, telling Yawgmoth what had happened. Gix's plans to infiltrate society through the Sleeper Agents were approved by the god of machines, but the first attempts failed, as all the Agents were similar. The sudden appearance of many exactly the same people caused panic among the people of Dominaria, who began to kill anyone they encountered. Gix planned to try again, but then the Shards of the Twelve Worlds was completed. The Shard was a side effect of the Sylex Explosion that blocked twelve worlds from the other planes of the multiverse, trapping many planeswalkers inside, but also keeping Phyrexians outside. Furious, Yawgmoth sent Gix into the 7th Sphere of Phyrexia, where he would be tortured for eternity. Five years later, Urza returns to Dominaria after traveling through the multiverse and developing his powers as a planeswalker. Investigating Koilos, Urza had the vision of the ancient Thran fighting Phyrexians and discovers that the powerstone he and Mishra took was the cornerstone that prevented the Phyrexians from returning. Urza swears revenge on Phyrexia. [center](URZA AND PHYREXIA) [cardinfo](Xantcha, Sleeper Agent) In Phyrexia, Xantcha is created as an inferior creature in the Fourth of the Nine Spheres to be a sleeper agent sent to Dominaria. Her heart is separated from her and complete obedience is pierced in her mind, but Xantcha has an unusual individualism that attracts the attention of her overseer, Gix. Urza, who died in the explosion but was reborn as a planeswalker, attacked Phyrexia. Moments before activating the Sylex, Urza discovered that his brother had been turned into a machine and succumbed to madness, blaming those responsible for turning his brother into a machine for all the errors of the Brothers' War. Urza's eyes were replaced by Mightstone and Weakstone, the two halves of the powerstone that contained Glacian's spirit. Having found Xantcha, who was destined to be a Sleeper Agent, but was transformed into an expendable servant now that the Agents could not be sent, Urza discovered that Phyrexia was responsible and created a monstrous dragon machine to attack the plane. He managed to open a gigantic hole up to the 4th sphere, but Yawgmoth himself invaded his mind and further eroded his sanity. Urza fled and for years he traveled from plane to plane, the Phyrexians always chasing him because Yawgmoth could not let anyone who planned to destroy Phyrexia go unpunished. Urza was eventually healed by Serra at the cost of her own life. Five years later, Urza was physically healed and the Phyrexian forces finally reached Serra's Realm, corrupting it while Urza and Xantcha were forced to escape. Meanwhile, Freyalise, desperate to get rid of the Shard, launched the World Spell, opening Dominaria to Yawgmoth once again. Yawgmoth then freed Gix from his torment, as he knew more about how to fight Urza and infiltrate Dominaria than anyone else. Urza became so obsessed with his brother's past and corruption that he became oblivious to the present while Phyrexian agents infiltrated many organizations in Dominaria and instigated wars to weaken the local population. Desperate to redirect Urza to the current threat, Xantcha meets a man who physically resembles Mishra, a slave named Ratepe, to pretend to be Urza's brother. The presence of "Mishra" removes Urza from his stupor and he makes plans to expose the sleeping agents. In the process of exposing the agents, Xantcha discovers that Gix himself is in Dominaria. Urza and Gix fight a battle in the Cave of Koilos, where Xantcha and Ratepe are killed by an explosion and the whereabouts of Gix become unknown. Urza then began to build global responses to the Phyrexian threat. [center](RATH AND THE LORD OF THE WASTES) After his last setback, Yawgmoth initiated another plan: instead of infiltrating Dominaria, he would prepare for a complete invasion and began to assemble an army and created Rath, an artificial plane where he planned to fill with troops and then merge it with Dominaria, putting all his strength there in a single moment. Even as he put his new plan into action, Yawgmoth continued to send troops after Urza, recognizing him as the biggest threat to his plans. One of the most successful was K'rrik, a Sleeper Agent who tracked Urza's academy in Tolaria, where magicians were trained and artifacts were built to fight Phyrexia. K'rrik succeeded in destroying the place, but Urza sent the silver golem Karn back in time to prevent this. Karn succeeded, but the time machine overheated and destroyed the Academy anyway. When Urza returned ten years later, he found that the island's time flows had been distorted. In some places, ten thousand years happened in a single second, in others, it was the other way around. Trapped in a bubble of quick time, K'rrik had years to prepare for an attack on Urza, but the planeswalker finally managed to defeat him with the help of Multani. While Rath's evincars began to overlap small parts of the plane with Dominaria in preparation for the approaching invasion, the artificial plane was filled with beings from Dominaria and other planes on which the Phyrexians were experimenting. Among them were the Kor. When the Croag, who oversaw the progress of the plan, discovered humans with Phyrexian traits in Benalia, the truth about the Kor was revealed: Urza had started the Bloodline project, a grand plan to manipulate the reproduction patterns of Dominarians groups to create perfect warriors to fight Phyrexia. The project resulted in ordinary humans with an affinity to track and fight Phyrexians, and in the Metathran, genetically modified warriors without a will, frighteningly similar to the Phyrexians they were assigned to fight. Upon discovering Urza's plan, Yawgmoth increased his attacks on Dominaria, tracking the results of the bloodline and killing them. Croag devastated the nation of Keld, where the renegade bloodline researcher Gatha had created humans like Kreig, who were able to seriously injure a member of the Inner Circle. Despite Yawgmoth's efforts, some child of the lineage escaped the attacks, such as Gerrard, the true heir to the Legacy of Urza, a collection of artifacts made for the sole purpose of destroying Yawgmoth. The attacks became so frequent that they began to play a role in local myths. Stories about the Lord of the Wastes, a machine lord who waged an eternal war in Dominaria, began to spread from Benalia to Jamuraa. [center](THE INVASION) The Phyrexians were finally prepared for the invasion of Dominaria. Portal Cruises, flying machines with attached Phyrexian portal technology, made their way to Dominaria from the skies of Rath and opened an entrance to Phyrexian war fleets. The ships entered Dominaria over the sky of Benalia, the first target of the invasion led by the Phyrexian general Tsabo Tavoc. Later, Tsabo led battles in Koilos and Yavimaya, losing them to the forces of the Coalition, a group of unified forces from across Dominaria to resist the Phyrexian invasion, after days of bloody conflict. [cardinfo](Tsabo Tavoc) Tolaria was overpowered by Phyrexians and destroyed by the wizard Barrin with his most powerful spell. New Argive was besieged and crushed, and the Burning Islands were taken. The Phyrexians' plans in the oceans, however, were thwarted by Etlan Shiis's merfolks. With the destruction of the portals, the first wave of invasion ended. Tsabo Tavoc was defeated and seriously injured by Gerrard and Karn, returning to Phyrexia. As Rath took place to the surface of Dominaria, battles broke out across the plane while Coalition forces intercepted more invaders. Tsabo Tavoc was punished for her failures by being devoured by Crovax while Urza takes the Weatherlight and his Metathran army to Urborg. Phyrexia had its own share of devastation when Urza gathered a planeswalkers he called Nine Titans, composed of him, Bo Levar, Daria, Freyalise, Guff, Kristina, Taysir, Tevesh Szat and Lord Windgrace and armed them with huge armor known as Titan-Suit, planning a counterattack on the Nine Spheres of Phyrexia. Once inside the plane, the planeswalkers wreaked havoc, hoping to destroy it an reach Yawgmoth's Chamber. They were interrupted by the betrayal of Tevesh Szat, who killed her companion, Daria. Urza had a rubrik device implanted in each of the suits that could be accessed by him, killing the occupant. After Tevesh Szat's expected betrayal, Urza activated the rubrik and killed Szat, sealing him in a soul bomb, a powerful weapon that used the power of the soul to cause mass destruction. The artifact would have been used to destroy Phyrexia, but while Urza is on the plane, he becomes obsessed with its beauty. Yawgmoth uses these feelings to manipulate Urza to join him and destroy the master soul bomb that should detonate all the others. When Taysir confronts him, Urza activates the rubrik in his suit, killing him. Yawgmoth then shows Urza his brother, Mishra, saying that he has been tortured in Phyrexia since the Brothers' War. Urza still wants to join Phyrexia and then leaves his brother under his torture and proceeds to the Ninth Sphere, where he stands before Yawgmoth and bows to him. At the Stronghold, Gerrard also promises loyalty to Yawgmoth. Yawgmoth manipulated Urza and Gerrard, the two greatest guardians of Dominaria, to fight to the death at the [card](Phyrexian Arena), promising Gerrard that he would bring his beloved Hanna back from the dead if he killed Urza, and promising Urza to give him unlimited knowledge he kills Gerrard. Fighting a man without his Planeswalker powers, Gerrard wins the duel by beheading Urza. Yawgmoth rewards him by multiplying his strength, stamina, knowledge, but Gerrard continues to demand for Hanna to return. Yawgmoth sent one of his avatars, which looks like Hanna, to Gerrard, but Gerrard realizes the scam and attacks the avatar. Yawgmoth, in an instinctive reaction, throws Gerrard out of Phyrexia to save himself. Although Urza was beheaded, he still retained his consciousness [cardinfo](Urza, Academy Headmaster) The remaining four members of the Nine Titans detonate the last Soul Bomb, destroying Phyrexia. But Guff reveals that Yawgmoth left the plane and intends to make Dominaria his new home: Yawgmoth finally returns to Dominaria, after 9000 years, in the form of a deadly cloud, killing the living and raising the dead to fight for Phyrexia, taking many of the main characters to extreme measures like Eladamri, Lin Sivvi and his army commit suicide in order not to become part of the Phyrexian army while Bo Levar sacrifices his own life to prevent the cloud from reaching Eliterates. The entire army of Minotaurs and Metathrans of Urborg are killed by the cloud. When The Weatherlight's plan to use the white mana stored on the Null Moon failed to stop Yawgmoth, Urza tells the crew the final secret of the Legacy Weapon. To fire the weapon, it would be necessary to combine the various pieces that they gathered on their journey, along with the two stones inside Urza's head, Karn's body and Gerrard's life. Urza and Gerrard die on its activation, but the weapon somehow successfully destroys Yawgmoth. Karn, now infused with Urza's spark and the power released by the Legacy Weapon, takes his former master's staff and soon leaves Dominaria. Yawgmoth is gone, Dominaria, which is now completely devastated by the Invasion, is free from the Phyrexian threat. [center](THE NEW PHYREXIA) After leaving Dominaria, Karn created his own plane, Argentum and sent Dominaria to a drone that would eventually become The Mirari. After the Onslaught events, Karn took Mirari back to Argentum, turning him into Memnarch and planning one day to turn him into a Planeswalker. However, without knowing it, Karn was leaving traces of Phyrexian oil across the planes he passed, including Argentum. The Phyrexian oil started to spread in the plane and his first infected was its guardian: Memnarch, who was driven insane and became the master of the plane, renaming him as Mirrodin. Despite the eventual fall of the Memnarch, without the knowledge of the Mirran and Karn, Phyrexia was rebuilding itself using the metallic and artificial structure of the plane as its host. The inhabitants of Mirrodin, who were largely naturally infused with metal, became the perfect hosts for spreading Phyrexian corruption. As Phyrexia's nascent civilization expanded in secret, it struggled to develop a unified purpose, and the danger to Mirrodin's plan continued to grow and become New Phyrexia. After the events that led to the Mending in Dominaria, Karn returned to Mirrodin and began to be worshiped by the Phyrexians as the new Father of the Machines. At the same time, unlike their previous incarnation that was largely focused on artifacts and black mana, Phyrexians started to access all colors of mana, but this expansion also brought the creation of factions within the Phyrexian spheres based on their color identity: [cardinfo](Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite) *The Machine Orthodoxy * - The white-aligned Phyrexians, under the guidance of Elesh Norn, are a very literalist religious organization called "The Machine Orthodoxy". They worship a form of scripture called the Argent Etchings, but divide themselves into smaller sects. Three of the most prominent sects include The Flesh Singularity, The Porcelain Legion, and the Disciples of Karn. They seek to unify the Multiverse as Phyrexia in either a perfect hierarchy or level playing field. The Flesh Singularity tries to achieve total unity by literally flaying the creatures that inhabit the lands and sewing them together. The Porcelain Legion repurpose and adapt creatures by implanting white metal plates into their bodies while the Disciples of Karn previously held Karn himself hostage, in hope of pushing him ever deeper into insanity to glean leadership out of his madness. [cardinfo](Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur) *The Progress Engine* - The blue-aligned Phyrexians are led by Jin-Gitaxias from the ruined halls of Lumengrid. They hold themselves to a higher degree of perfection than the other factions, and pursue what they refer to as "The Great Synthesis." They conduct experiments in various laboratories scattered across the Quicksilver Sea, described as "slaughterhouse like," creating new life forms and technology. They are the most organized group so far, with at least ten observable ranks. One of their great experiments is The Meldweb in which the original Pools of Insight are filled with the brains of hundreds of sentient beings all networked together. [cardinfo](Sheoldred, Whispering One) *The Seven Steel Thanes* - The black-aligned Phyrexians are out for total and utter corruption, slaughter, and enslavement. They are led for the moment by Sheoldred. She is at the top of a food chain of thanes, who are all fighting a war of succession to be named the "Father of the Machines." One of the other Thanes is Geth, whose undead severed head was offered a deal to give him a necrotechnical body in exchange for his help in the Phyrexian attempt to gain a foothold on Mirrodin's surface. As his reward, he was returned his lordship over Ish Sah, the Vault of Whispers. [cardinfo](Urabrask the Hidden) *The Quiet Furnace* - The red-aligned Phyrexians built the Furnace Layer of Mirrodin, based on a similar layer of Old Phyrexia. Their primary function was to tend the forges present there, building weaponry and recycling failed Phyrexians and Mirrans alike. During the war days, they emerged to the surface in the mountains of Mirrodin and expanded onto the surface. While the majority of these Phyrexians still dwell on the depths of the world, several now populate the Oxidda Chain, beasts designed in the fashion of Mirran animals. Red Phyrexians differ from all others in the way that they have strong emotions and individuality, and as such, developed empathy for the Mirrans. While still brutal creatures, their empathy proved strong enough to allow them to let Mirran survivors dwell on their layer, treating them as if they didn't exist. To hide this secret, as well as to avoid having to deal with other factions, Urabrask demanded that all access to the Furnace Layer be denied to the other factions, isolating himself and his servitors; the surface Phyrexians in the mountains serve as guardians to the entrances to the Furnace Layer. For the most part, the other factions ignore the Quiet Furnace, with the exception of the Progress Engine. [cardinfo](Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger) *The Vicious Swarm* - The green-aligned Phyrexians were among the first to strike, dominating the Tangle quickly. Like all Phyrexians, the members of the Vicious Swarm believe that flesh is weak, but unlike the other phyrexians they believe that New Phyrexia should progress in a more natural way, based on the roles of predation, allowing the strong to emerge triumphant over the weak. They believe that artificial engineering should be restricted to make predators more efficient, and that sentience and sapience are curses, inadequate when compared to the raw power of instinct. Lacking any sort of organization whatsoever, they are merely a massive variety of creatures that kill each other for the purpose of selecting the strongest. [center](THE QUEST FOR KARN) After the events of Time Spiral, Karn retired to the Mirrodin's core, being worshiped as the new Father of the Machines. When Phyrexia assimilated Mirrodin, Karn was stuck in his own mind, fighting between himself and the role that the Phyrexians were trying to impose on him. The dark oil seeped from his heart, changing Karn's silver body while he was trapped on his throne. While the Phyrexian Praetor and his minions competed for him, each trying to use him to promote his own causes, Karn sent a mechanical guide to lead Venser and his group to the completely corrupted core of the plane formerly called Mirrodin, where they found the Golem. [cardinfo](Venser, the Sojourner) Melira told Venser and his group that the oil only turns a being into a full Phyrexian if his heart is completely corrupted, but by the time Venser reached Karn in the center of Mirrodin, it was too late. Melira cleaned the golem's body from Phyrexian contamination, but she failed to clean the golem's heart. Knowing that his own life would soon be lost due to the growing symptoms of Serum poisoning, Venser made the final sacrifice. With his last mana left, he gave his life and spark to Karn. Moments later, Karn was released from the Phyrexians and mourned the loss of his friend briefly, but turned to the battle against the Phyrexians, abandoning the plane he created in search of other plans he may have left behind in the Phyrexian Oil. [cardinfo](Karn Liberated) [center](PRESENT DAYS) The Mirrodin Resistance tried to use the leadership vacuum left by Karn to lead Phyrexia into civil war, but it became a failed attempt as Elesh Norn took control under Urabrask and Sheoldred's factions and the Preaters came together to crown his or her new leader. Karn returned to Dominaria six years after the Mending in search of the Cylix, a creation of Urza to face the Phyrexians and which he intends to use to destroy New Phyrexia, but he chose to help Gatewatch in his battle against Nicol Bolas. After the defeat of Nicol Bolas, Karn joined Gatewatch at the memorial for Gideon in Theros, but left shortly afterwards towards New Phyrexia. In Theros, Ashiok became obsessed with the nightmares Elspeth Tirel had with the Phyrexians who tortured and were distracted by the torment they inflicted on her and the other prisoners in childhood, abandoning Theros in search of them to learn more about their nature. [cardinfo](Elspeth's Nightmare) [center](THE FUTURE) With the appearance of Vorinclex in Kaldheim, there are many questions to what has happened in New Phyrexia since Karn left. Had Karn already taken Cylix to New Phyrexia and the Phyrexians dispersed throughout the Multiverse? Or were the Phyrexians spreading to other planes as they did in the past? Phyrexia leaves many questions and we can only hope that Kaldheim and the next sets will bring us the answer as long as we seem to be getting closer and closer to revisiting New Phyrexia or seeing the Phyrexian threat spread through the Multiverse again. [center](CONCLUSION) And here we close the History of Phyrexia. I hope this article was as informative and interesting to read for you as it was for me to research the story of one of the greatest nemeses that exist in the lore of Magic: The Gathering ! Until the next article!

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