I’ll admit to being a bit wary when I saw the hashtag #PhyrexiansforUvalde trending on Twitter. It wasn’t immediately clear how the currently biggest baddies in the Magic: The Gathering universe were connected to the Texas town that hosted a tragic school shooting in late May.
As it turns out, a group of charitable streamers will be playing the trading card game throughout the weekend and collecting donations to an organisation meant to aid the families affected by the shooting. The group runs under the moniker “Phyrexians For Charity” and will be hosting Commander format matches, along with raffles and other prize giveaways from today (July 15th) through the 17th.
Uvalde, Texas, was the setting for a deadly mass shooting that took place on May 24th at the Robb Elementary School. An 18-year-old gunman entered the school armed with an assault rifle and killed 19 students and two teachers, along with injuring another 17 people. The public outcry and mourning has been accentuated with a near constant drip feed of information about the lack of action from Uvalde police, who apparently waited outside the school and then later in the hallways for an hour before United States Border Patrol officers arrived and killed the gunman.
The money raised will be donated directly to the League of United Latin American Citizens’ fund for the families of the Uvalde shooting victims. LULAC is a grassroots civil rights organisation and 501c3 that operates in the United States to aid Hispanic communities through political activism, awareness and direct material aid.
The Phyrexians for Uvalde group will be streaming through the weekend on two members’ channels, VoteCheckBox and Will of the Compleation. Alongside prize offerings, the weekend event will also host interviews with two experts on gun violence in America. Drs. Sarah E. Daly and Daniel C. Semenza will appear during the stream to chat with the team and audience (but they probably won’t have their own Commander decks to throw down in an extremely over-educated pod).
A full schedule of the three-day stream (which is mostly correct, it seems) can be found on Twitter, and those who can’t attend but want to help have been directed to donate directly to LULAC’s relief fund found on the organisation’s website.
HEY!!— Will, ϕf the Cϕmpleation (They/He) (@ForestSolRingGo) June 27, 2022
Phyrexians For: Charity is streaming July 15/16/17th! This time we're working to help the affected families in Uvalde, TX
Keep reading this thread for more on the who, what, where, when, and why.
(1/4 Master Thread)#PhyrexiansForUvalde #MTGEDH pic.twitter.com/LGCIbJBwSd
The Phyrexians (the fictional ones, that is) have existed for nearly the entirety of Magic: The Gathering’s history. The original Phyrexia was the realm of the evil planeswalker Yawgmoth, both of which were part of the early Dominaria storyline and the main antagonist for those early narrative-heavy sets. The Phyrexians are all characterised as monstrosities that have been “compleated” by a peculiar oil, which normally means their flesh has been replaced by H.R. Giger-esque machine parts and exoskeletons.
Later on, the mechanical scourge found its way to Mirrodin and infected the fully metallic plane until it was transformed into New Phyrexia. Their leaders, the five Praetors aligned with MTG’s five Mana colours, have since been spinning shadowy plots, popping up in recent sets and laying the foundation for some grand scheme for multiplanar domination.
But for now, these real-life Phyrexians seem busy enough with casual Commander games and charity endeavours. Educating folks about gun violence between pulling off infinite combos is certainly a better agenda than subjugating the Mirrans and spreading the Machine Orthodoxy. More information about the charity, its hosts and the event can be found on Will of the Compleation’s Twitter account.