With the launch of the next set Phyrexia: All Will Be One approaching, we started to look for which formats each card is capable of play and in which deck.
Today we're going to do an overview for Standard, talking about the cards that seem to have a greater possibility of appearing in the Metagame.
Let's start with the central figure of New Phyrexia, Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines.
The new Elesh has an excellent body, has vigilance and her static ability allows her to exploit the ETBs of the creatures in her deck, which can be a key piece for an unexplored archetype or simply a booster for decks that have plenty of creatures with this effect.
Skrelv, Defector Mite is a very versatile creature, it allows an aggro start by placing poison counters and later works to protect your best creature, being able to use life instead of mana.
It is also capable of granting evasion to a creature along with toxic 1, being able to complement the lethal damage or even place the missing poison counter to close the game.
It's an excellent card and easy to fit into decks that runs white.
Skrelv's Hive is another card with a lot of potential, it keeps your board position by granting creatures turn by turn with toxic and after activating corrupted, creatures with toxic gain lifelink.
It has as another positive point the possibility of replacing the board following a sweeper, but it has its drawback the fact that the Mites generated cannot block.
It has great interaction with cards like In the Trenches, Jetmir, Nexus of Revels and King Darien XLVIII, being able to see play in decks like Naya Tokens or Selesnya Tokens.
Yet another creature for token-focused decks, Mondrak, Glory Dominus lets you double your tokens by inflating the board much faster. Another benefit of your ability is generating treasures to ramp. Mondrak is also extremely resilient.
It has possibilities to play in decks of token creatures or in Midranges that can take advantage of the created tokens.
With the dominance of Midranges in the format, excessive removals have been a constant, but in recent months, some faster decks are putting pressure on midranges.
With this growth, Phyrexian Vindicator could find a space for itself within the format, as these decks are very limited in removals. But not everything looks promising for it, since if the amount of aggro reduces, the increase on removals will definitely hinder it.
On the other hand, we have its specific amount of mana, which can be very difficult to achieve in decks like Esper Midrange or Legends, but not so difficult for Mono-White, acting as a finisher in Aggro decks or stabilizer in more Midrange decks. Although it suffers from the same concurrency problem as Mondrak, Glory Dominus, Vindicator, by making combat always advantageous for its controller, may have a greater relevance when it comes to finding its slot in Mono-White.
Ossification can replace other removals in Selesnya Enchantments, its smaller curve allows the deck to continue playing various enchantments and generating value in effects. In the other decks with white, the other options are more efficient.
An option to Make Disappear that can become better if you manage to insert some poison counters into the opponent.
Mercurial Spelldancer optimizes your hand, allowing you to duplicate spells when dealing combat damage to the opponent, a good card for Tempo decks that seek to play tons of spells and delay the opponent.
It can fit into Izzet Iconoclast, and being an inferior sideboard option to Suspicious Stowaway for Mono-Blue Tempo.
With a large amount of artifact creatures from previous sets, Unctus, Grand Metatect is an option to generate a power boost on the board.
Another option is working alongside Third Path Iconoclast populating the board with artifact soldiers, increasing their powers and pressuring the opponent.
Encroaching Mycosynth is an interesting option for a mechanic with artifacts. When combined with Jhoira, Ageless Innovator, it can speed up your game by placing permanents in play for free.
It can also benefit your board if you have Unctus, Grand Metatect as lord, ensuring all your creatures receive the buff.
It can find space within some Izzet more geared towards using artifacts.
Following the principle of the Phyrexian Vindicator, the Phyrexian Obliterator is another creature whose impact in combat is ultra-relevant. Its ability makes it difficult to trade, being better for the opponent to lose life points than having to sacrifice resources.
While it's still possible to kill it with damage, the amount of resources lost in the process isn't worth it.
If dominance on the battlefield is similar, so are the problems. With Midranges dominating the format, a large amount of removals is present, making Phyrexian Obliterator unable to generate any value.
The slot dispute with Sheoldred, the Apocalypse on turn four is another difficulty point of placing the Obliterator. Sheoldred locks the abilities of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Raffine, Scheming Seer, forcing the opponent to take a lot of damage to try to find a removal if they don't have one.
What can be tested is to reduce the amount of Invoke Despair to fit Obliterator and have more board presence.
Its most likely place is in Mono Black Aggro as a top curve creature, being able to put the opponent in a very disadvantageous position if it doesn't have an answer.
Another reprint that arrives for Standard is Phyrexian Arena, the ability to generate card advantage in exchange for life is very interesting, especially in a field where Midranges dominate. The biggest problem would be the pain lands that could consume a lot of life, making the Arena a dangerous strategy, but the arrival of fast lands manages to reduce this problem.
I believe it should find its place in decks like Grixis Midrange, Esper Midrange and Monoblack Aggro, guaranteeing resources when the hand is over.
Archfiend of the Dross is the type of creature that creates a doubt in the opponent. It can either make its controller lose the game or guarantee a smooth victory if it stays onn the board, so what's the best way to handle that?
With that risk it's important to have a way to grow counters or to sacrifice the Archfiend before losing the last counter.
The archetype where I believe it can have the biggest impact is Sacrifice.
Black Sun’s Twilight is a versatile removal because its cost is variable, and it can deal with indestructible creatures. In long games, it allows you to manage to reanimate one creature while removing another.
With the arrival of creatures that receive indestructible counters, this becomes an important piece to keep at least on the sideboard.
Geth, Thane of Contracts is the focused card for Reanimate, being an excellent way to speed up the coming of decisive creatures from the graveyard to the battlefield.
It will likely be a relevant piece for Jund Reanimate, bringing threats as early as turn four.
Vindictive Flamestoker is a card to play in the Burn strategy, it enters the first turns helping in the pressure gaining counters while the burns are unloaded. Then you can activate the card's ability to replenish its hand.
Koth, Fire of Resistance in the current Metagame competes in Mono-Red with Jaya, Fiery Negotiator, and because it's less versatile it shouldn't be able to fit in the deck.
However, it can end up composing the Big Red Powerstone, being able to guarantee land drops, helping to control the board to cast the heaviest artifacts.
Here we have another card that smells like burn. Solphim, Mayhem Dominus halves the path required for those who like to throw their spells straight at the opponent.
The moment of the curve in the game is precisely at a point where you want to amplify the burns, considering that the resources must already be scarce, so the greater the possible damage, the better.
Another point is that in addition to doubling the damage, the creature itself has a huge combat potential, with the possibility of becoming indestructible.
Another card worthy of attention is Urabrask's Forge. This one has a very interesting snowball effect, gaining power on its own every game turn, taking effect the same turn it enters the field.
In addition, the creature is sacrificed at the end of the turn, triggering Oni-Cult Anvil's ability every turn, generating resource without having to spend anything.
It's an addition with a slightly heavier curve to sacrifice, but extremely synergistic, that needs to be resolved or wins the game by itself.
A fixer, ramp, graveyard hate, blocker, and late game aggressor, Armored Scrapgorger is one of the most versatile cards in the set, and it comes at a time when Standard doesn't have plenty of ramp pieces, but has a lot of graveyard resources.
With that, having a creature that allows you to have both functions in one card is to maximize the efficiency of the deck. The card can play in Stompy decks or even in Jund, accelerating the process.
Thrun, Breaker of Silence is the type of creature that shocks when looking at its design, having the first feeling that we have no way to deal with it at the board. But the reality is not quite like that, it is still vulnerable to sweepers like Burn Down the House and cards that target the player like Invoke Despair.
Understanding this point doesn't mean the creature is weak, just that there are ways to deal with it. The Throll Shaman is absurdly strong, cannot be targeted by non-green abilities, is indestructible during your turn and has trample.
This skill set makes it the most complicated card for Midranges in the format.
It has a great chance of being part of a Mono-Green Stompy that is currently lacking in the format, and besides, it is a suitable option in Jund for matchups against other Midranges or even against Tempo decks.
Tyrranax Rex comes to fight with Titan of Industry for the position of creature to be reanimated, and it's not easy to define which one is better.
Titan may come out on top for versatility, but for a more Aggro game plan, the Phyrexian Dinosaur gets the upper hand.
With the possibility of entering the fourth turn, it would not be able to be resolved before placing the necessary poison counters to close the game because of ward 4.
It could turn out to be an interesting sideboard if you need to change your game plan.
With the rain of removals in the format, Venerated Rotpriest ends up becoming a decoy for them, protecting more decisive creatures or putting poison counters on the opponent.
If you accelerate the counters at the beginning of the game, you can disable the opponent's specific removals, forcing them to trade in combat.
Venerated Rotpriest can fit Mono-Green Stompy that can come back into existence or toxic-based decks (which should look for space with the release of the set).
Another option to reanimate, Atraxa, Grand Unifier is a creature that will have a huge impact. Its ability to enter the battlefield allows up to seven cards to be put into your hand.
In addition to having a significant body, with lifelink and flying, it practically prevents any Aggro from following through with their game plan.
Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler has the characteristic of accelerating creatures with abilities activated with tap, and if we use low-cost mana dorks we can make a storm of creatures overpopulating the field.
Katilda, Dawnhart Prime is an example of a creature with good synergy with Tyvar, and in addition to the possibility of generating mana, it can also be replaced on the board by the planeswalker if it is in the graveyard.
In the link below, we talk in more detail about the card and the suggested archetypes:
Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler on Standard and Pioneer.
With several ways to generate tokens with toxic, Slaughter Singer becomes an important piece with them, first for its low cost, second for functioning as a “lord” of creatures with Toxic when they attack.
It shouldn't have a hard time finding a place in the deck, managing to get more damage through while putting poison counters on the opponent.
Migloz, Maze Crusher gathers an aggressive creature with a low curve, with the versatility of its abilities.
The presence of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Wedding Announcement on most Midranges makes it an excellent option to deal with such enchantments and continue to pressure the opponent's life points.
Kaito, Dancing Shadow has an interesting synergy with creatures with ETB, returning them to the hand, allowing us to take value again from their abilities.
In the Standard Metagame, the planeswalker has in the Grixis Midrange the creatures it needs to generate ongoing value.
In the link below, we have a deeper analysis of the card, with suggestions of decks and archetypes where you can play:
Soulless Jailer is a great sideboard card for taking on reanimate decks, disturbed creatures, or flashback cards.
Its weakness is that because it is a creature, it runs the risk of being removed.
I believe it could be an alternative to Unlicensed Hearse in terms of cost.
With Phyrexia: All Will Be One come the fast lands of allied colors that should accelerate the format, managing to stabilize the colors in the first turns and being able to speed up the Metagame.
For Phyrexian decks, The Seedcore is a good option, allowing mana correction and having an extra Corrupted effect.
Can see play in toxic-based decks.
Which is the best card for Standard from Phyrexia All Will be One?
Phyrexia: All Will Be One arrives with pieces capable of rocking the Metagame, having as its high point the options for Reanimate, both in the way of reanimating and options for being reanimated.
Green acquired powerful creatures at the top of the curve, which might bring back a Mono-Green Stompy or even a Gruul Aggro that hasn't appeared since the rotation.
Sacrifice gained more efficient options, allowing the archetype to always have something new. Monored Burn could be an archetype that manages to scale the Metagame, gaining gas and increased damage for the archetype.
In addition to these highlights, I believe that decks focused on toxic, ETB, artifacts and tokens should be tested after the release of the set, which could surprise the tier 1 of the format.
I hope you enjoyed the article, if you have any questions, feel free to use the comments!
Thanks for reading and see you in the next article.
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