The best Phyrexia: All Will Be One cards are a true circus of horrors. Magic: The Gathering’s latest set is genuinely unsettling in a lot of different ways, and that’s especially true if you weren’t expecting to see many of the game's heroes turned into living machines hellbent on getting everyone to join their cause.
Thankfully, the evil tone makes for some incredible artwork and card designs, because that’s the stuff that many players are here for. There are some fascinating cards to choose from here and some potential big wins for older decks, but do those cards make it into the top ten best Phyrexia: All Will Be One cards? Well…
Best Phyrexia: All Will Be One cards MTG
- Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines
- Phyrexian Vindicator
- Ichormoon Gauntlet
- Blue Sun’s Twilight
- Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting
- Gleeful Demolition
- Minor Misstep
- Sword of Forge and Frontier
- The Mycosynth Gardens
- Capricious Hellraiser
It’s becoming increasingly hard not to just fill these lists with mythic rare cards as MTG’s sets feel more top-heavy than ever, but we’ve tried to throw in a few cards of other rarities because there are still some excellent Phyrexia cards even at low rarities. So, let’s get stuck in and try not to be converted into machines as we go.
1. Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines
Double or nothing
Ah Elesh Norn, what a girlboss you are. Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines is a five-mana White 4/7 with vigilance, because you’ve gotta have vigilance to be a White legendary creature now. Along with that, they also double any ‘enter the battlefield’ triggers you have, while stopping your opponents from having any at all.
All of that text on a 4/7 legendary body means you’ll be seeing this damn near everywhere, but especially within Commander, where you can expect to see this version of Elesh Norn in any deck that cares about ETB triggers, or just likes to mess with opponents.
2. Phyrexian Vindicator
Stop hitting yourself!
White’s done very well in this set, and we love to see it. Phyrexian Vindicator is another White mythic rare, but this one costs four mana, has flying and is a 5/5. Naturally, you need the wall of text to truly appreciate the strength of this one.
This card reads: “If damage would be dealt to Phyrexian Vindicator, prevent that damage. When damage is prevented this way, Phyrexian Vindicator deals that much damage to any other target.” Basically, this thing is hard to kill, and it deals damage to other targets instead, including other players.
3. Ichormoon Gauntlet
All planeswalkers are silly now
Ichormoon Gauntlet is a fascinating Phyrexia card because it alters the way your planeswalkers work. This three-mana Blue artifact gives every planeswalker you control two new abilities, they can pay 0 loyalty to proliferate - which can give them an extra counter - and they can pay 12 loyalty to allow you to take an extra turn.
Both of those abilities are great, but you also get to put another counter on a permanent every time you cast a noncreature spell. This thing could be massive in control decks, and it’s sure to be a target for plenty of removal spells the moment it’s played. The trouble is if you try and destroy it and that spell gets countered, they can potentially buff a planeswalker as a result.
4. Blue Sun’s Twilight
What’s yours is mine
Taking control of an opponent’s creature is always a fun thing to do, but it can often be a little too expensive to be worth it. You need a little something extra to help the cause a lot of the time, and flexibility is often a must.
Blue Sun’s Twilight is a sorcery that costs X and two blue mana, and allows you to gain control of a creature with a mana value of X or less. What makes it special, though, is that if X is five or more, you also get to create a copy of that creature. In essence, you can not only steal your opponent’s best creature, but duplicate it at the same time.
5. Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting
Lethal at all times
Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting is a six-mana Black planeswalker with six loyalty. However, you can cast it for five mana and two life to have it come in with four loyalty instead thanks to the compleated ability it has. Its skills are all pretty excellent too.
This planeswalker can spend 0 loyalty to draw a card, lose one life and proliferate - which is where you can choose any counters on any number of permanents or players and add one more of them. Spending 2 loyalty will allow you to turn any creature into a treasure artifact, which is a very fun way of removing a threat or converting a useless creature on your side of the field.
Finally, you can spend 9 loyalty to activate: “If target player has fewer than nine poison counters, they get a number of poison counters equal to the difference.” All you have to do then is add another poison counter somehow - say, by proliferating - and that opponent is dead.
6. Gleeful Demolition
One Red mana can get you a lot in MTG. Some of the best cards in the game only cost one Red mana, like Lightning Bolt or Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer. While Gleeful Demolition isn’t quite at that level, it’s definitely not a card you’ll want to sleep on.
This sorcery spell allows you to destroy an artifact, which is often good enough against some decks, but there’s even an upside if you target your own artifact. If you control the artifact, you get to create three 1/1 red Phyrexian Goblin tokens; given that you might have a spare treasure token lying around, this card could be a powerhouse.
7. Minor Misstep
No to one-or-less
There’s a card called Mental Misstep that came out back in 2011 set New Phyrexia, and it cost one Blue mana or two life to counter a target spell with a mana value of 1. It was a surprisingly powerful card, because a lot of formats love a one-mana spell. Minor Misstep is a sidegrade of sorts that could be even better in some situations.
While you can’t spend life to cast Minor Misstep, it can target any spell with a mana value of one or less. That “or less” bit opens up a lot of different options in a lot of formats, because it effectively stops people from playing things for free, which can be hard to deal with otherwise. Cards like Living End, which cost nothing but are hard to cast normally, can take over a game in an instant, but this one-mana instant can stop that with ease.
8. Sword of Forge and Frontier
Land and card draw
The “Swords of” series in Magic: The Gathering run a gamut of usefulness, but all of them cost three mana, grant protection from two colours, add +2/+2 and provide some kind of benefit if you can hit a player with a creature equipped with them.
Sword of Forge and Frontier allows you to exile the top two cards of your library and play them in that turn, and also allows you to play an additional land on that turn too. In essence, you get to draw two cards and play more land every time you hit an opponent with this, and that’s going to add up to a lot of extra value very quickly. Plus, you get protection from Red and Green, which means you avoid burn spells and some of the nastiest creatures in the game.
9. The Mycosynth Gardens
Whatever you want
A good land is always a worthwhile thing to have in MTG. The Mycosynth Gardens could be great, but it’s definitely interesting if nothing else. The Mycosynth Gardens is a land that taps for colourless mana normally, but you can pay one to tap it for mana of any colour.
Things get really fun with its final ability, which costs X to use. You pay X and tap it to have it become a copy of a nontoken artifact you control with a mana value of X. In essence, that means you can have it turn into a creature or a utility artifact at instant speed. The only big factor here is whether you have artifacts worth copying, but if you build your deck right that shouldn’t be an issue.
10. Capricious Hellraiser
Finally, we have a dragon, because everyone loves dragons. Capricious Hellraiser is a six-mana 4/4 with flying. However, it only costs three mana if you have nine or more cards in your graveyard. That sounds like a lot, but in the right decks, it’s incredibly easy to pull off.
When this dragon enters the battlefield, you exile three cards at random from your graveyard. Then you can choose a noncreature nonland card from among them and copy it, before casting that copy for free. It’s very easy to see how this one card can take over a game, and while there’s an element of luck in what card you get, we reckon it’ll work out in your favour most of the time.