17Lands is a website that compiles data about Limited gameplay from MTG players around the world. Players can submit information about their drafts on MTG Arena to 17Lands. This data gets compiled with the information coming from all of the other drafters, and the website then analyses it and provides some interesting insights about Limited gameplay.
For the purposes of this list, we’re using the information on 17Lands to determine which cards to avoid when drafting Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Specifically, we’re looking at the stat “win rate improvement when drawn”. This stat compares how frequently players win in games where they draw the card versus how much they win in games where the card is in their deck, but they do not draw it.
For example, according to the data on 17Lands, players with the card Bladehold War-Whip in their deck win 62.6% of their games when they draw the card, and 56.2% of their games when the card doesn’t show up (players who use 17Lands tend to be very invested in the game, and have higher than average win rates). This means that the card makes a 6.4 percentage point difference to your win rate, so it’s definitely worth putting into your decks. Other cards actively drop your win rate when you draw them and should be avoided.
We know that Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s Limited format is incredibly aggressive and fast-paced and that it favors Gruul decks. With this in mind, some of the cards on this list are unsurprising, but there are definitely some unexpected appearances here.
Always remember to take this sort of information, extracted from data, with a few grains of salt. The 17Lands team themselves have commented on the win rate improvement when drawn stat to say: “This metric is a simple difference and does not weight by the number of games in each situation, which may overvalue powerful late-game cards”. Nevertheless, there are definitely some interesting insights that can be gleaned from this information and it is worth reviewing.
It’s easy to see whyGeth, Thane of Contracts is a card you would want to avoid. Geth gives all of your other creatures -1/-1 for as long as he is in play. This massive downside is decidedly not balanced out by Geth’s reanimation effect. Limited gameplay is highly dependent upon creature combat, and Geth makes breaking through with your creatures much harder by making them all weaker. What’s worse is that Geth also immediately kills any 1/1 Phyrexian Mite or Goblin tokens you attempt to create, making cards like Basilica Shepherd and Chimney Rabble significantly worse.
Decks containing Geth have a 42.2% win rate which rises to 48.6% when he is not drawn. This means that Geth has a -6.4 percentage point effect on your win rate. Don’t sign any contracts with this thane.
Archfiend of the Dross is perhaps a surprising card to see here but, when considering the nature of ONE as a Limited format, it makes sense. Like Geth, this card has a massive downside. Archfiend of the Dross enters play with four oil counters. During each of your upkeep steps the archfiend loses one of these counters, when it has no counters left you lose the game. This, very dramatic, downside is balanced out by Archfiend being an incredibly well-stated bomb rare, as a 6/6 flyer for only four mana. Archfiend of the Dross also has the beneficial effect of dealing two damage to your opponent each time one of their creatures dies.
Outside of Limited, this card is most notable for its combo with Fateful Handoff andHeartless Act. You give the opponent the Archfiend using the handoff, and then remove all of its oil counters with Heartless Act, causing them to lose the game on their next upkeep.
The reason Archfiend remains a powerful card, despite the fact that it can potentially lose you the game, is that its downside can be mitigated easily. First of all, there are a huge number of Proliferate cards that you can use to keep the Archfiend well-stacked with Oil Counters. Cards like Drown in Ichor, Whispers of the Dross and Gulping Scraptrap all exist in Black alone without you even needing to branch into an additional color. Secondly, Phyrexia: All Will Be One is a very aggressive Limited format. If you can kill your opponent before the archfiend runs out of oil counters, something which is much easier when you have a 6/6 flyer in play that punishes them when their creatures die, then you won’t need to worry about the downside at all.
According to 17Lands, decks containing Archfiend of the Dross have a 50.8% chance of winning which rises to 63.1% when the card is drawn. If you make a deal with this Phyrexian Demon, make sure you won’t regret it.
Tamiyo’s Logbook is stuck in the unfortunate position of being a slow-paced card advantage engine, in an incredibly fast-paced aggressive world. For three mana, Tamiyo’s Logbook does nothing as it enters play, which is a bad start. You can pay a cost of five and a Blue, reduced by one for each other Artifact you control, to tap the Logbook down and draw a card. This card is clearly meant to go into the Blue/White Artifact deck. Unfortunately playing this card just causes you to take a massive tempo hit that you may never recover from. The three mana you spent casting this on turn 3, could instead have gone towards a removal spell, or a threat that would have a much greater impact on the game. Even just casting Distorted Curiosity, a card with the same mana cost, at least gives you two cards straight away, rather than on some future turn if you manage to fill your board with artifacts. Every moment you spent dawdling around, playing artifacts, and trying to bring the cost of this card’s draw effect down, is a moment that your opponent will spend attacking you or bringing out new creatures.
17Lands records that decks featuring this card have a 52.0% win rate, but this falls to 45.7% in games where the card is actually played, a dip of 6.2 percentage points. Stay well away from this logbook.
Migloz, Maze Crusher is a far better three-drop than Tamiyo’s Logbook could ever hope to be. Migloz is a 4/4 legendary Phyrexian Beast that enters play with five oil counters. These oil counters can be removed to grant a variety of beneficial effects, from giving Migloz Vigilance and Menace, to destroying Artifacts or Enchantments. It’s frankly absurd just how much value you get out of Migloz for only three mana. That fact that this card is in, arguably, the format’s best color pair is just the icing on the cake.
Decks featuring Migloz have a 54.0% win rate, which rises to 66.8% when the card is drawn. The Hunter’s Maze evidently isn’t the only thing Migloz can crush.
Although a very powerful card in the right context, Soulless Jailer is not terribly useful in Phyrexia: All Will Be One Limited. Soulless Jailer is a two mana 0/4 artifact creature that prevents spells from being cast from the graveyard, or creatures entering play from that zone. This card would have had more luck if it had been printed in The Brothers’ War, where the Unearth mechanic made graveyard recursion a prominent theme. As it stands, there simply aren’t enough cards that care about the Graveyard in Phyrexia: All Will Be One to warrant putting this card in your main deck. A 0/4 stat line is also not what players are looking for in the hyper-aggressive world of New Phyrexia.
Decks featuring Soulless Jailor have a 48.5% to win and this drops to 41.1% in games where the Jailor is actually drawn. Again, the jailor is an amazing card in the right place, but that place is certainly not a ONE Draft or Sealed game.
Nissa, Ascended Animist can be played for between five and seven mana, due to the Compleated mechanic. To see why Nissa is so powerful you don’t even need to look beyond her first +1 loyalty ability. Nissa can generate a Phyrexian Horror token every turn with power and toughness equal to her loyalty. In creature-centric limited gameplay this can get out of hand quickly. Every turn, Nissa can pump out a new Phyrexian Horror, and, as long as Nissa is kept safe from attacks, every turn these Horrors just get stronger and stronger. Her additional ability to destroy Artifacts and Enchantments is a nice bonus on top of this and her -7 ultimate, which can be used immediately if you pay her full cost, is a powerful Overrun variant that can close out games.
52.1% of decks containing Nissa win their games, with this figure ascending to 66.7% in games where she is drawn. Despite getting Compleated, Nissa remains an amazing animist
Mindsplice Apparatus is another card that simply does not work in this format. Izzet in Phyrexia: All Will Be One has a Spellslinger/Oil Counters theme, and while Mindsplice Apparatus slots right into this theme, it is simply too slow to keep up with the frantic pace employed by other strategies. Mindsplice Apparatus does nothing until the upkeep step of your next turn after the one when you play it. The card then gains an oil counter and makes all of your instants and sorceries one mana cheaper for each oil counter on it. Mindsplice Apparatus continues to gain Oil Counters during each of your upkeep steps, and whenever you Proliferate.
There are no Instants or Sorceries in Phyrexia: All Will Be One with a mana value higher than five, so there’s not really all that much you can do with the discount provided by Mindsplice Apparatus. Just like Tamiyo’s Logbook, the cost you are paying upfront for the card is simply too steep to justify the payoff you are getting further down the road.
This card actually has the lowest game-in-hand win rate of any card in the entire set, an exceedingly poor 35.0%. The Win Rate of decks that feature the card but never draw it is 42.9%, 7.9 percentage points higher. Keep away from this apparatus.
Curiously our second-best card is actually not a card from Phyrexia: All Will Be One at all. Sheoldred, the Apocalypse. Sheoldred, and the other Phyrexian Praetors, actually have a slim chance of showing up in any ONE packs you crack. This card is very rare, only 1482 of them have been opened by the users of 17Lands compared to the number one card on our list which has been opened 5025 times. If you manage to get your hands on a Sheoldred though, you should definitely take it. The card is notoriously powerful, showing up in Black decks in a wide variety of constructed formats.
Sheoldred, the Apocalypse improves the win rates of decks that take it and manage to draw it by 15 percentage points. Decks that just feature Sheoldred win 50.5% of the time, whilst decks which end up drawing Sheoldred win 65.5% of their games.
The worst card in the set is actually a common card that has been featured in a wide variety of sets over the years, Duress. There are some sets where Duress can work, although recently the card has been a miss more often than it has been a hit. As has been emphasized extensively at this stage, Phyrexia: All Will Be One is a hyper-aggressive format. The inability of Duress to get rid of Creatures is a major drawback in this context, as Duress won’t be able to disarm the creatures which form the backbone of the aggressive game plan successful decks in this format rely on.
Decks featuring Duress win 50.6% of their games when the card doesn’t show up, but this decreases to 42.5%, a drop of 8.1%, when the card actually shows up. Do yourself a favor and disavow Duress in your drafts.
The best card in the set, according to 17Lands data, is very surpising. The four color threat, Atraxa, Grand Unifier comes out on top. In part, its performance is due to how this data is gathered. Atraxa improves the win rates of the decks it is in by 18.6 percentage points when it is drawn. These decks go from a mediocre 43.3%, to an impressive 62.0%. It’s probable, however, that this dramatic increase is due to the fact that any four color decks in the format are built around bringing out Atraxa as their win condition. There are no other reasons in the format to play four colors, with the possible exception of wanting a variety of land types to play Monument to Perfection although that is a gimmicky strategy at best. Any four-color decks probably ended up that way so that they could bring Atraxa out. Naturally, this means that in games where these decks draw the card they are built around they will win, and in games where they don’t, they won’t.
Atraxa does provide a lot of power, hitting the board with an impressive 7/7 stat line along with a valuable card draw effect and no fewer than four keyword abilities. All the same, this card being in the number one spot demonstrates the importance of interpreting statistics carefully. You probably don’t want to just jam an Atraxa into your deck pack one pick one. It is the card that improves the win rates of decks built around it the most, but think about the sacrifices you need to make in building these decks.
Read more: Ranking Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s Removal From Worst To Best