Slithermusings – New! New Phyrexia!

Now that New Phyrexia has been revealed, we’ve got some tasty treats for you – our first preview cards!  You, the faithful reader, might be wondering how we have such clout, but it’s surprisingly easy to get them nowadays – just enter a talent search for a major website, start your own blog, talk about multiplayer issues, and wash the vehicles of every R&D member for a month (Wizards of the Clean they are not), and voila!  In come the cards.  That might seem like a lot of work to the casual casual reader (as opposed to the intrepid casual reader), but that’s the sort of thing we do to get the scoop.  We’re journalists.  That’s what journalists do.

The following views are combined from the various muses and vessels of the site and are not in any way affiliated with Wizards of the Coast.  But you didn’t come to read disclaimers or listen to the Proclaimers.  You came for cards!  So here they are.

Phyrexian Demise

As Phyrexia is new, it occasionally is subject to demises.  Just like Corrupted Conscience, Phyrexian Juggernaut, and Blightsteel Colossus are staples infected (wouldn’t that hurt as you remove them from your papers?), so we have a Phyrexian update on a False Demise update:

Phyrexian Demise
5U Aura with enchant creature without infect
When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard, return that creature to the battlefield under your control.  It has infect.
When Phyrexian Demise is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return Phyrexian Demise to its owner’s hand.  Your life total has infect.  (You pay life payments in poison counters.)

We’ve seen giving a creature infect.  But your life total?  That sounds incredible in casual.  If nobody else is playing poison, you can keep your life total while making limited life payments for virtually free.  You’ve heard of using life as a resource, but this is a new spin with a funky ruling.  We’ll certainly try this out in a number of decks.  Could it be a strange blue combination with Bond of Agony?  Who knows?  Dust off your Leeches…you want a plan B if the table is on to your plan A.

Phyrexian Tome

It’s been too long since Magic’s printed a tome.  Angelheart Vial served the weird, one-sided card draw artifact slot competently, but would you rather have a vial…or a tome?  Like many corrupteds, the Tome costs the same as its Tempest forebear:

Phyrexian Tome
4 Artifact
T: Each player draws a card, then receives a poison counter if they had no cards in hand as this ability was activated.

Now that might sound a bit “rulesier” than you’re used to from WotC of late.  But you have to take a risk to get creative – no pain, no gain, say they.  And that’s certainly true of this card, as you draw a card at a potential price.  The flavor nod is brilliant, even as its connection to Mirrodin is tenuous.  But maybe that just shows how the Phyrexians will use everyone and everything, even if you think they have better tools for the job.

Do you use this as a Temple Bell?  As a global Decimator Web in a discard deck?  Get jiggy with it, folks!  Cards like this don’t come along every set.  We multiplayers have been given the gift of weird.  Let’s embrace it as we would embrace a woman.

Some more information about the set:

  • There will be an “Alphabet Menagerie” cycle that’s expected to make a major impact on Constructed play – Phyrexian ______ for each letter of the English alphabet, along with that creature type.  Phyrexian Zubera looks to revitalize Legacy, while Phyrexian Faerie could infect Extended.  As for Phyrexian Quylthulg, well…that’s the mythic that has insiders abuzz about power creep like no other card.  Aaron Forsythe is a well-known lover of Moria, as is Seedborn Muse (author, not card), and his secret push for Quylthulgs is as long and strident as MaRo’s public push for poison (which is better than public pus for poison).  So it was entirely natural to put both loves in one set, especially when the creative team informed them that “we can Phyrexianize anything just by putting the word Phyrexian in front of it.”
  • There will be the first “creaturetypeshifted” card from Future Sight.  Noseblower Boss will allow a living weapon to assemble two Germs instead of just one.  From supposedly inscrutable Future Future League notes (they didn’t expect us to read Sanskrit held up to a mirror, but we’re journalists, and that’s what journalists do), Germ-Blow is expected to replace Caw-Go as the Stoneforge Mystic deck of choice.  Get your Skinwings sleeved now, and don’t be surprised for when Germy Thompson breaks the format again with them.
  • This will be the first large block since Lorwyn-Shadowmoor in which Naturalize isn’t reprinted, due to a class-action lawsuit from the League of Subjugated Disenchants.  This group might also stop future printings of Revoke Existence due, according to the lawsuit, to “plagiarizing and ominous similarities” to the iconic Alpha removal spell.  “All these new cards taking away our jobs…it’s not fair, man!” said one member of LSD.
  • For you storybuffs out there: when Karn left Mirrodin, it was to go to Zendikar, where he kept a day job as a reliable landmark in Tazeem.  While there, he met a Kraken with unusual powers, convincing it to accompany him to Mirrodin and tricking it into “gaining strength” from a strange oil.  Thus, the leader of the in-world corruption is no longer Karn, who’s moved into management, but Phyrexial, who rules the poisonous seas with his mystique.

Well, that’s all we’re allowed to say for now, but hopefully it’s whetted your casual appetites.  Don’t let the rumors fool you; this set is for real and it’s daringly inventive.  Look out kitchen table; here comes New Phyrexia!


About Brandon Isleib

Author of Playing for a Winner: How Baseball Teams' Success Raises Players' Reputations; sometimes-writer at GatheringMagic and Muse Vessel; card name/flavor text team for Magic 2015; Wizards of the Coast's first Digital Event Coordinator; directly responsible for the verb "create" on Magic cards; legislation editor for Seattle; voracious music consumer; Christian.
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5 Responses to Slithermusings – New! New Phyrexia!

  1. Kuchi says:

    Brilliant! The beginning had me scratching my head: “Your life total gains infect? WTF?! Those guys at R&D have had some really weird ideas lately…” Then I continued reading – and was soon laughing my head off!
    More from where that came from, please! ;-D

  2. Seedborn Muse says:

    If there’s a demand for more stuff like this, I’m sure we’ll be glad to churn it out.

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