MTG: Budget Cards from “Phyrexia: All Will Be One” You’ll Want
They say power comes with a price, but that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive.
Phyrexia: All Will Be One has released many power cards, and most have an appropriate price tag attached. Atraxa and Elesh Norn have gotten gnarly facelifts, the reprinted Praetors have returned with gorgeous new art, and manga artist Junji Ito has added his signature style to chase rares. However, your wallet need not suffer completion to get the power of Phyrexia. Many powerful cards are available for less than $10 and could elevate your decks to the next level. Full disclosure; I am primarily an EDH player, so my picks come from that angle. That said, there’s no reason these power cards can’t find a place in your favorite Modern or Standard deck.
The Eternal Wanderer
The Emperor of Kamigawa and childhood friend of the ninja Kaito, The Eternal Wanderer has a banger of a card in the newest set. Her passive ability allows her to avoid the most common planeswalker removal, and her loyalty abilities are all great. Her primary increase bounces a creature or artifact until the beginning of its owner’s end step, allowing you to remove a pesky blocker, slow down (or speed up) a mana rock, or get an extra ETB effect. She can also add a double striking 2/2 to your side for free, a must-have in a token or Equipment deck.
Her primary draw, however, is her ult, which allows you to single out one creature for each player and then decimate the rest. The best part is that since it’s a sacrifice effect and not destroy, it gets around protection and indestructibility. She’s an incredible value and currently less than $5.
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In the old New Phyrexia block, the “Living Weapon” mechanic was introduced. This allowed powerful Equipment to come to life as 0/0 Germs, giving you both a powerful buff piece and a blocker. Mirrodin has responded at last with the “For Mirrodin!” mechanic, which summons a 2/2 Rebel to wield the weapon in defense of their home. Hexplate Wallbreaker is one of the best examples; in addition to giving the equipped creature +2/+2, it allows you to double up on combat phases. Since it comes into play as a creature, if you have a haste source, you’re getting 8 damage from that creature alone. After the initial punch, you can give the lava ram to your favorite critter to deal the real hurt, and still have a 2/2 blocker to cover the crackback.
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Ria Ivor, Bane of Bladehold
At first glance, Ria doesn’t seem that great. She shuts down a big attack, and the tokens she makes can’t block. However, with the combination of battle cry on her and toxic 1 on the tokens she makes, you can overwhelm your opponent with surprising speed. Phyrexian Mites are the new “it” token, and no one makes them faster than Ria. Combined with an Infested Fleshcutter, you’ll be making at least four tokens every turn, and then you can simply shut down a Mite to get two more every combat. Even without blocking, a horde of toxic 1/1 creatures can turn the tide in the blink of an eye.
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Oh hey! BoLS might make a little money if you decide to buy these items.