Wednesday, February 1, 2023

New MTG Phyrexia Spoilers Reveal Insane Power Crept Mythics!

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Today has brought with it a series of devastatingly powerful new cards that will define the archetypes that they are suited for. Not all of these cards are likely to see competitive play, but you can be sure that some will see experimentation. From an artifact that turns every Planeswalker into a win condition to a new White Phyrexian Obliterator, today’s spoilers are one to mark in the books. Here are some ridiculous things you can do with these Phyrexia: All Will Be One Mythics!

Ichormoon Gauntlet

Ichormoon Gauntlet matches up with one of the cryptic teasers spoiled by MTG designer Mark Rosewater. This three-mana artifact grants Planeswalkers you control two additional abilities: A zero ability that Proliferates and an ultimate that allows for an extra turn. Additionally, every noncreature spell you cast translates into another counter on a target permanent. Ignoring the excited squeal of EDH Superfriends players worldwide, Ichormoon Gauntlet can be devastating when combined with some Planeswalkers. The biggest downside about a card like this is the apparent tempo-negative nature of the card, suggesting that this is better suited for Commander. However, the upsides of this card could be worth the tempo loss.

Powerful Interactions

narset, parter of veils

Besides offering a devastating Ultimate suited to Planeswalkers that gather loyalty quickly, Ichormoon Gauntlet has another interesting interaction in the sense that it allows Planeswalkers that aren’t supposed to gain Loyalty counters an opportunity to do so. This led some Twitter and Reddit comments to Narset, Parter of Veils, arguably the most potent Planeswalker that cannot gain Loyalty on its own. Narset’s ability to act as a Stax piece to any deck that has card advantage has made it a kill-on-sight Planeswalker in Commander. The card also sees some Pioneer play.

Ultimately, outside of Superfriends decks, the most powerful ability on Ichormoon Gauntlet is the secondary one. This is much scarier in Narset control decks, specifically since it makes Narset challenging to take down with combat damage and allows her to refuel your hand constantly. This also makes reaching an Ultimate with Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim much easier since the noncreature spells Teferi draws can grant additional loyalty counters to your Walker. This can also have some hilarious interactions with Jace, Cunning Castaway, whose copies of itself can now Proliferate all of the Jace walkers on the board.

Mindsplice Apparatus and Ichormoon Gauntlet

mindsplice apparatus

Lastly, there are some hidden interactions with Ichormoon Gauntlet since it can add counters to ANY permanent that already has one. This means noncreature spells could add +1/+1 counters, stun counters, oil counters, or any other type of counter, like an Eon counter in the Magosi, the Waterveil infinite, that already exists on a card. However, a potentially devastating combination in a slow Standard format could be Ichormoon Gauntlet and Mindsplice Apparatus. Mindsplace Apparatus reduces noncreature spells by one generic mana equal to the number of Oil counters it has, and Ichormoon Gauntlet can add a new Oil counter to the Apparatus each time a noncreature spell is cast.

Phyrexian Exemplar

phyrexian exemplar

This white Phyrexian Obliterator has players sweating about what it may do to various competitive formats. Phyrexian Exemplar is a new type of threat that some decks could come ill-equipped to answer. We haven’t really had an accessible Stuffy Doll effect that is also a win condition on its own, so some formats may be forced to adapt fast.

While the mana value is a bit restrictive, Phyrexian Exemplar is a nightmare for combat or burn-based strategies. This is impossible to kill via damage and will reflect any damage dealt to it to any other target. While this can still be destroyed in various other ways like destruction, -X/-X effects, and exile, Phyrexian Exemplar will be an absolute nightmare in creature-based mirrors.

I could see this card making an appearance in Mono-White sideboards in Pioneer. It could also be experimented on as a potential answer to the Azorius Soldiers strategy in Standard. There are still easily accessible answers to this card, like Skyclave Apparition and Brutal Cathar or any destruction effect like a Fatal Push with Revolt. These could make this flashy Mythic unplayable, but it’s hard to tell at the moment. All of that said, I can easily imagine a world where Phyrexian Exemplar is a nightmare in Limited. A 5/5 flier that makes combat interactions largely irrelevant is absolutely terrifying in the format.

dawn elemental

It didn’t take long for some Redditors to start comparing this card to an incredibly power crept version of Dawn Elemental. Phyrexian Exemplar laughably outclasses this ancient Rare, demonstrating just how far power creep has come in MTG:

“Upgraded Dawn Elemental is a severe understatement.

It’s a Dawn Elemental pushed to a 12. +2/+2 AND direct damage ability. It’s not power creep, it’s power leap.” – TizonaBlu

A New Infinite Combo Enabler

guilty consience

Like any card with a damage ability like this, Phyrexian Exemplar is privy to being a part of a ton of infinite combos. Two of these can technically exchange damage infinitely, but unless there are no other legal targets, this is not a legal loop unless a win condition is involved. Guilty Conscience is, as pointed out by this Reddit comment, a two-card infinite with Exemplar as long as damage is dealt to it. There are probably more unique interactions like this one out there. As pointed out by one of the tweets above, for example, Phyrexian Exemplar with Pariah’s Shield is pretty entertaining.

Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus

tekuthal, inquiry dominus

Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus is the last of the Phyrexian God cycle to appear in Phyrexia: All Will Be One. The double Proliferate ability is incredibly powerful in the context of the set and fits like a glove alongside Ichormoon Gauntlet. There will definitely be some Commander decks interested in this card.

dark depths

Alongside some sort of doubling effect, the Phyrexian Dominus cycle all have ways to make themselves Indestructible. While many of these effects require a bit of setup, Tekuthal’s ability, even without the Indestructible counter it grants, could be a combo piece. While some manland animation is needed, Tekuthal could be a very viable Turbo Depths option in various formats (mostly Commander). As long as you have enough mana and life, Tekuthal can eliminate all of the counters on any permanent that doesn’t want them. This can turn Thing in the Ice into an immediate threat/board wipe, even at the mid/late game.

Read More: MTG New Phyrexia Uncommon Enables Turn 2 Kill

What Do You Think?

These Mythic Rare cards definitely threaten to pack a punch on a lot of battlefields. They may not warp competitive formats, but these are a significant uptick to the mechanically medium Mythic Rare cards that don’t end up seeing much play in some sets. Most of the Mythic Rare cards in Phyrexia: All Will Be One, between their story relevance or their mechanical implications, suggest some powerful things are coming for MTG.

Read More: MTG Players Push Back Against Chase Prerelease Products

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