Five Amazing Phrexia: All Will Be One Cards To build Around In Modern

Brews Modern 
Genoslugcs · January 25, 2023 · 12 min
Five Amazing Phrexia: All Will Be One Cards To build Around In Modern

Modern is my favorite format and brewing decks in the format is always a blast. That said, whenever a new set starts to drop cards, I'm always trying to see what cards will fit into existing decks or could even spawn entirely new archetypes. The upcoming set is no different and there are several cards that are quite interesting. So, today we will look at my top five Phyrexia: All Will Be One cards to build around in Modern.

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Some of these cards slot into existing archetypes and some are going to be quite experimental and downright janky. So, sit back, buckle up and get your brewing cap ready.

Archfiend of the Dross - Control/Proliferation

This is a card that I was interested in the moment I saw it. Let's break it down. You're getting a four-mana 6/6 with flying and the added benefit of that it drains an opponent for two life whenever one of their creatures dies. This is a pretty stellar deal. So, what's the catch?

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Well, it enters the battlefield with four oil counters and you have to remove one on each of your upkeeps. Whenever you run out of these counters and when there are none left, you lose the game. Demons often come with some very dangerous downsides for their power-to-mana-cost ratio and this one is no different. But it sorta is, in the right build.

If you can stop yourself from running out of counters, there's no inherent downside on the card. Granted you'll always be playing with fire but I think keeping up on oil counters is more than doable. I'd probably build this a Dimir (Blue/Black) or Esper (Blue, Blach, White) control deck with a focus on proliferation.

The Strategy

The overall game plan would be fairly straightforward. Play controlling cards, removal spells, and cards that add counters onto the Archfiend, and use him as a giant beater. Considering you'd naturally be playing proliferation cards, Planeswalkers would be a perfect fit here as well.

The Cards

So, we've got our general concept down let's look at some cards that we could add. Keeping counters on the Archfiend is going to be imperative to stay in the game. That said, let's start with some good cards for that.

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Contentious Planimage is one of the cheapest proliferation effects in the game and would be a perfect fit here. For two mana, you'll get to add counters to your board and then cantrip, which is a win-win. Moving on there is Tezzeret's Gambitimage, which also keeps the counters flowing while drawing some cards.

Lastly, Fuel for the Causeimage is a card I would run perhaps one, maybe two of in this deck. It does exactly what the deck wants to do but there are far more efficient counterspells you'd want too. Cards like Thrumming Bird are also something I would consider.

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Planeswalkers make perfect sense alongside all of the cards mentioned above. And there are plenty of good options for a deck looking to control the board. This is one of the areas where I would consider splashing White for the deck but there are plenty of options in just U/B as well.

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Sword of Truth and Justiceimage is a very interesting card as far as Archfiend of the Drossimage is concerned. First, it would give it protection from two relevant colors. Then, whenever a suited-up Archfiend dealt damage you'd get to add a +1/+1 counter on and then proliferate. So, not only would this keep him stocked up on oil counters but would also make him an even bigger threat.

You could also go full jank and brew a deck with Role Reversalimage, and something like Suncleanserimage to gift the Archfiend to an opponent and then remove all the counters. As tempting as this sounds, I think the control build would be infinitely more competitive.

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Skrelv's Hive - Soul Sisters/Tokens

This was another card that I noticed immediately and knew I would be building with it. It's similar to Bitterblossomimage. While it's not as good as Blossom, I'm still very excited to have another card that offers the same effect. The tokens don't have flying but they are tokens and they do have Toxic 1. Once an opponent is corrupted, they'll also have lifelink.

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Generating tokens like this every turn adds up quickly if you play four copies of the Hive and Bitterblossomimage. These cards are especially good if you can negate the downside of having to lose life each turn. So, that's exactly what we're going to do with this build.

The Strategy

As mentioned, the game plan here is to generate a ton of tokens with the Hive and Bitterblossomimage while negating the life you'd usually lose. Considering the board will be chock-full of tokens, running some things that synergize with them is a good idea too.

The Cards

I've actually already built and tested this deck so I've got a pretty clear idea of what's been working well.

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If you're familiar with Soul Sisters or B/W Tokens, you'll recognize these lovely ladies. Whenever one of them is out and another creature enters the battlefield you'll gain one life. So, when one of the aforementioned token-producing enchantments triggers and makes a token, you'll immediately gain the life you lost back.

Furthermore, with more than one soul sister in play, you can actually gain life on your upkeep. The fact that Soul's Attendantimage and Soul Wardenimage can come out on turn one followed by either enchantment makes for a nice early game curve. I play playsets of the Warden and Attendant and three copies of the Champion.

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This deck produces a ton of tokens - So, some ways to make them even bigger and better is a must. I test pretty thoroughly and I think Intangible Virture is the way to go here. The +1/+1 boost really helps put a clock on games and the Vigilance makes it so that the Faerie tokens at least can block after having attacked, which is nice in creature-based match-ups.

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Both of these cards are almost auto-includes if you're playing any type of Mid-range token strategy in Modern. Lingering Soulsimage generates so many bodies that it's hard for some decks to deal with them effectively. After all, using a removal spell like Path to Exileimage or Lighning Bolt on a single token feels bad for opponents. However, leaving them unchecked isn't much better. That said, I've been running four copies of souls.

Kaya's Guileimage is mainboard graveyard hate, a token creator, a removal spell, and a way to keep you alive. Given how much graveyard shenanigans there are in Modern, having a way to deal with it in the starting 60 is great. This card generates a ton of value. I've been running two copies main and one extra in my sideboard.

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Interaction is a must and with many of the top decks playing Engineered Explosivesimage in the main, sometimes the game depends on having the right spell at the right time. That said, as odd as it looks, I've found success playing two copies of Vanishing Verseimage and Fractureimage and three Path to Exileimage in my starting 60. And three Thoughseize in the sideboard.

Phyrexian Obliterator - Mono-Black Devotion

I love Mono-Black devotion and am stoked to see the Obliterator reprinted into Standard. However, without some additional support, I don't think it'll see a ton of play in Standard as a devotion card. Modern is a different story though and there are very established archetypes where Phyrexian Obliterator fits right it.

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Your "devotion" to a color is how many of that color's mana symbols are on your permanents. For example, Phyrexian Obliteratorimage has four "devotion to black." So, you play all the best black cards with high devotion and reap the benefits of doing so.

The Strategy

There are a few different ways to benefit from having high devotion to a certain color. That said, I'm going to do a somewhat janky big-mana version of the deck. The game plan is to build devotion and use that devotion (and a few other things)to generate a ton of mana. Once you've got the mana, you've got the power and can win the game with some powerful x spells. That said, we'll still run the classic win condition, Gray Merchant of Asphodelimage too.

The Cards

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You'll of course be playing spells with high devotion to Black. So, let's go over some of the cards I picked. These are by no means the only options for each spot on the curve but I felt these served my gameplan best. Don't count on this happening but with a proper curve out, these can give you as much as 15 devotion come turn five.

Two Drops:

Three Drops:

Four Drops:

Five Drops:

You can of course tweak these and run things like Gifted Aetherbornimage and Phyrexian Arenaimage in place of some of these mention above.

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Here's where things get a little spicy. With our devotion high, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyximage can generate a lot of mana. I see everyone running Nykthos and no one running a way to use the absurd amount of mana. That said, I say lean fully into the big-mana theme and play three copies of Torment of Hailfireimage as an alternative win condition.

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Since we're in Mono-Black and want as much mana as we can get, why not also run the classic Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmothimage and Cabal Coffersimage package? I think it's a perfect fit here and have included it in my latest list. Between Torment, the kicker cost on Gatekeeper of Malakirimage, and quite a few four and five drops, the extra mana is rarely wasted. That said, I'm still winning most of my games via Gray Merchant of Asphodelimage but I really like Torrent too.

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The last few cards I want to touch on are a nice tech card and the interaction. Running some number of spells like Undying Evilimage and/or Malakir Rebirthimage can generate some serious extra value from certain cards. For example, casting either one on Dauthi Voidwalkerimage before sacrificing it is brutal.

Between Torment of Hailfireimage, Liliana of the Veilimage, and Gatekeeper of Malakirimage there is quite a bit of coincidental interaction. That said, there are still a few free slots in the deck that can be devoted to removal and hand disruption. I currently am running a 3/3 split of Push and Thoughseize. Lastly, with mainboard Leyline of the Voidimage and Dauthi Voidwalkerimage there is a lot of graveyard hate.

Kemba, Kha Enduring - Cat Equipment

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Kemba Kha is a great card and the path it wants to take a deck is clear - Cats and equipment.  And that's exactly how I plan to build it.  What's great about Kemba is that it allows you to equip your creatures without paying an equip cost. So, you'll want to suite your cats up with the gnarliest stuff you can find. Furthermore, if you're ever short on cats, for five mana, you can create a 2/2.

The strategy

As mentioned, Kemba, Kha Enduringimage allows you to automatically attach an equipment to a cat when it enters. So, we'll start by playing powerful, low mana value equipment that have equip costs we'd rather not pay. Then, we'll focus on getting a lot of cats to enter the battlefield. When all these things come together - simply smash face. I'm excited about this one so let's jump right in.

The Cards

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There are a few different categories that cards fall into here. You'll want to play the most powerful cats that Modern has to offer but also focus on having lots of cats enter the battlefield. So, things like Brimaz, King of Oreskosimage and Pride Sovereignimage are great options. There are quite a few great cat cards, so there are a lot of options here.

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So, we have our cat army assembled now what should be cheated onto them? Well, I'm glad you asked. There is a plethora of equipment that you could use. However, I think that the four listed above are perhaps the most powerful in the format at the moment. Each one has something that gives it an edge but they all pump your creature's stats and abilities to super-cat levels.

Furthermore, given that at the very least, Brimaz (who is an auto-include unless you're on a tight budget) is legendary Blackblade Reforgedimage can do a ton of work, and can even be equipped for a reasonable price without reduction. That said, I think it's a nice fit here.

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If you're not on a budget and you're playing equipment there are some very good tech cards available for you. Stoneforge Mysticimage not only tutors for what you need but cheats it into play as well. If you can't afford this Open the Armoryimage can be a nice replacement.

Most of the uber-powerful equipment in the deck cost a single mana too - This makes them great tutor targets for Urza's Sagaimage. If you do run these in your mana base, you can run fewer copies of each artifact and have more room for creatures and interaction. The last cards I wanted to touch on briefly are, Puresteel Paladinimage and Giver of Runesimage which offer card advantage and protection to a deck like this.

 The Mycosynth Gardens - 8 Rack

8-Rack is an awesome deck that you can build a solid rack deck in a ton of different ways. The overall strategy of the deck is to force opponents to discard all their cards and have them die to The Rackimage or Shreiking Affliction. That said, one problem the deck consistently has or had is when it fails to find either of the cards mentioned above. Urza's Sagaimage helped in this regard and now we know yet another piece coming from ONE.

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With The Mycosynth Gardensimage and The Rackimage in play, you can pay a single mana into its x ability and get a copy of The Rack. Exactly how good this remains to be seen but it is certainly interesting. So, who better to test it out than me... And you.

The Strategy

There isn't much to the strategy other than what I already mentioned. The game plan here is to force the opponents to discard cards and then use The Mycosynth Gardens to create extra copies of the deck's name-sake artifact, The Rackimage to accelerate victory.

The Cards

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When you start off building a Rack deck, the first thing you'll want to figures out which hand destruction spells you'll want to play. Nowadays, most decks play somewhere around 24 discard spells. However, some have some additional value besides the discard as well.

Some of the top-played cards in this category are Thoughtseizeimage, Inquisition of Kozilekimage, Smallpoximage, and Wrench Mindimage. However, there are a plethora of other options as well. As long as you can decimate an opposing hand, you're good.

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Once the opponents have ditched the majority of their cards, they'll start to take damage from the win conditions above. This is how the deck will close out the majority of its games. That said, The Rackimage starts to deal damage the quickest, so it's the most valuable. Furthermore, you can search it out of the deck with Urza's Sagaimage, which helps the consistency of these decks quite a bit.

Here's where The Mycosynth Gardensimage comes into play. Once you're set up, you can pay a single mana into it and turn it into another copy of the Rack. This will hypothetically double the damage that opponents are taking each turn. That said, I think this will speed the deck up with very little downside to running the card. Overall, I think this will become a part of the archetype.

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You'll certainly be playing The Rackimage without fail but there are a couple of other interesting alternate win cards that you can play as well. For example, dipping your toes into Rakdos (Black/Red) will give you access to things like Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hungerimage, Lightning Skelementalimage, and Kolaghan's Commandimage.

Conclusion

So, there you have it my friends - My top picks for Phyrexia: All Will Be One cards to build around in Modern. I hope you've enjoyed my recommendations and if you do decide to brew decks around these cards, comment below and let me know what you come up with.

 

 

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