BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

MTG: Who Can Stop the Phyrexians Now?

3 Minute Read
Feb 19 2023

Elesh Norn’s Grand Orthodoxy is in ascendancy; is there anyone in the Multiverse that can stop her?

Phyrexia: All Will Be One is officially out in stores, and the Multiverse is in peril. The strike team led by Jace to catch the Phyrexians off guard has failed spectacularly, and Elesh Norn’s false World Tree has given her access to the other Realms. Elspeth, perhaps the greatest hope for Norn’s defeat, has absorbed the Sylex and scattered her essence somewhere beyond the Blind Eternities. Norn has an army of loyal sycophants and some of the most powerful Planeswalkers in the Multiverse on her side. So that begs the question; who CAN stop the Mother of Machines?

Time Magic

During the events of Dominaria United and The Brother’s War, the planeswalker Teferi cast himself back in time to the titular event of the latter set, hoping to change the outcome and prevent the introduction of oil to Mirrodin. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this technique; Teferi used his chronomancy during the events of Time Spiral to undo the damage, along with convincing several of his fellow planeswalkers to costume their sparks.

It’s possible that his meddling in the past will have the desired effect; no Karn means no Mirrodin and by extension, no New Phyrexia. However, that would also doom a plane of sentient life to oblivion, and I doubt even Teferi is willing to make that sacrifice.


While nothing has been confirmed, the mystical substance Halo from New Capenna has been shown to resist the effects of Phyresis. It’s possible that Halo is the key to un-completing the Planeswalkers Norn already has. Considering Elspeth’s relationship with Ajani, and her access to Halo thanks to her time in Capenna, it’s not unlikely that she’ll try to get her friend back. If Halo CAN heal the ‘walkers, Elesh Norn and her allies will lose one of their biggest assets and will be easy picking for the renewed attack force.


One of Elesh Norn’s greatest powers is her ability to subsume the will of her subordinates. Without the pesky burden of “free will”, they are more able to further the Great Orthodoxy and her multiverse-spanning plans. Ixhel, her granddaughter, showed the first signs of independent thought when she formed Vishgraz from the leftover bits of Geth.


While this doesn’t seem like a big deal since she’s still aligned with her mother Atraxa, the fact that Nornian life CAN develop free will could be a bug in the great machine. Ixhel could rise up against her mother, especially if her uncle Urabrask gives her a bit of red mana, and that could be Norn’s final downfall.

The Eldrazi

The answer that a lot of people think will (and honestly probably want to) happen is that the Eldrazi are released on New Phyrexia. Elspeth has banished herself beyond the Blind Eternities, which is the same place the Eldrazi came from. It stands to reason that she could bring back a few to deal with the threat of Phyrexia. Emrakul was a lot to handle for the Planeswalkers; Elesh will have her hands full.

Author: Clint Lienau
  • MTG Deck of the Week: 'Esper Midrange' - Draw to Death