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First Impressions of New Phyrexia April 24, 2011

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews , trackback

The New Phyrexia spoiler is finished, so I will start previewing it now. In this installment I will review the themes found in New Phrexia: Phyrexian Mana, Golems, Infect, and Metalcraft.

Phyrexian Mana

Phyrexian mana is a form of hybrid mana that lets you choose to pay 2 life or a mana:


I love phyrexian mana. The choice to get a spell free of cost or at a reduced cost sounds like fun. However, it seems very flavor oriented. It makes sense to have phyrexian mana in New Phyrexia, but will it make sense in any other set? Maybe not, which means we might not see phyrexian mana again for 10 years despite the fact that this kind of alternate casting cost could easily be in every set.


The Golem theme could be fun if you draft triple New Phyrexia, but it will be pretty worthless in any other draft. It’s also not worth playing in standard. I don’t see the point.

maul splicer


Infect is a strong theme in New Phyrexia, which will work well in a draft. Nonetheless, there are two other issues worth mentioning.

First, I’m not convinced that it has anything really worth playing in Standard. Scars of Mirrodin block as a whole seems underpowered for standard and the only deck worth playing that has lots of cards from Scars of Mirrodin is Tezzeret. The planeswalker is so over-powering that all other possible Scars of Mirrodin flavored decks will pale in comparison.

Two, there’s too many infect cards of the wrong color, like red and blue. Why are they trying to tempt players to draft the wrong colors to play infect? I don’t get it. They are pretty much just making worthless infect cards that can’t be played because they are in the wrong color. This is exactly what happens for the most part when people take white infect cards to draft in Besieged-Scars-Scars draft. They can’t get enough white infect cards worth playing, so it’s a waste of time.


Scars of Mirrodin block has two main themes–Infect and artifact. That’s it. Golems, Myr, sacrifice, and proliferate are not themes worth playing. This is a sad truth about the block because it means we have limited options–especially in constructed formats. New Phyrexia really gives up on anything being worth playing other than infect. There are about three metalcraft cards in the set, and maybe one of them is a common. As far as standard is concerned everything in the set is junk unless it’s worth putting in a Tezzeret or infect deck. Metalcraft tends not to make the cut in Tezzeret.


I like this set mainly because of the phyrexia mana. It’s innovative and looks fun. Infect will work and infect is now pretty good in white. However, all other themes are worthless. The golem theme is little more than a distraction from all other themes that Wizards pretended to give us, but never really delivered. Something seems like it went wrong in the design process. Rosewater admitted that the non-infect themes were supposed to be worth drafting, but the playtesters somehow neutered them all to oblivion.


1. Nick - May 2, 2011

the phyrexian mana has created turn zero casting cards the greatest of which is mental misstep. this card can go in any deck and counter all of the best spells in standard. Goblin guide, Inquisition, to name a few. plus surgical extraction can combo with inquisition to turn one exile all four of your opponents, lets say, squadron hawks from the game.

2. James - May 5, 2011

I like Mental Misstep, but I’m still not sure how good it is. I don’t think 1 mana cards are all the best and certainly am not yet planning on using it in my mono red deck.

3. Ed - May 7, 2011

Mental Misstep, is not great in standard. It is going to be a great card in legacy however.