Top 10 Best Commons in Phyrexia: All Will Be One

ChrisCee · February 7, 2023 · 7 min
Top 10 Best Commons in Phyrexia: All Will Be One

Phyrexia: All Will Be One is coming very soon. With pretty much the entire set already revealed to us, we can now make our preliminary assessments as to how its cards are going to play out in different formats.

But when it comes to commons, here is our choice list for the best ones that would see play in many upcoming new decks.

DISCLAIMER: This list will not include cards like Thrill of Possibilityimage, Volt Chargeimage, Terramorphic Expanseimage, and other reprints.


10. Thirsting Roots


Basic mana fixing in the form of a deck thinning cantrip is a staple of Magic sets every now and then. In fact, the most recent one, The Brothers’ War, had Bushwhackimage, keeping the legacy of Lay of the Landimage to this day.

This time, aside from a basic land search, we get a modal option that provides proliferate. The theme for this set, of course, is to exploit the potential advantages of oil counters, inch closer towards Corrupted abilities, and to possibly win via poison counters. As a green spell, it may also occasionally find its way to tick up +1/+1 counters on a few permanents, though never as a combat trick since these types of cards are almost always sorceries.

Sadly, it doesn’t really provide any direct advantage of its own. The first option doesn’t play the land, and of course proliferate requires a minimum board state to become useful. Still, it should find its way into some green splash decks simply due to its modality alone (especially in Limited), even if it doesn’t end up as broken as Attune with Aetherimage.


9. Experimental Augury


Finally, the much-awaited upgrade to Contentious Planimage. Filtering this time a’la Anticipateimage is nice, with the ultimate objective being to proliferate in the form of increasing poison counters for the upcoming set.

Now to be fair, this doesn’t beat Impulseimage and Shimmer of Possibilityimage. But the fact that it is attached to a proliferate effect alone is more than enough to actually increase its usability a step or two comparatively. Combined with alternative ways for other colors to increase field counters in this set, and you can theoretically stabilize your oil counter and poison counter tempo in a single go.


8. Crawling Chorus


A low investment one-drop that can replace itself, tacked with a potentially dangerous keyword ability on both sides. Crawling Chorusimage doesn’t exactly create wonders on its own. Maybe two or three with other Mite tokens squeezing between the opponent’s defending creatures on turn three. But when combined with this set’s numerous sacrifice and creature counting synergies, running them on four becomes an obligatory default.

The irony, however, is that depending on the (other) colors that will combine with a white deck using Crawling Chorus, it may actually depend less and less on combat damage to rack up poison counters. The objective may simply be to guarantee at least three hits, and Corrupted will do its trick to finish the game with additional advantages without even making it to ten poison counters.

Definitely a solid pick for a near-future White aggro toxic weenie.


7. Blightbelly Rat


Speaking of sac abilities... for one more mana, and at black, you also have the option to pretty much guarantee a poison counter on turn three regardless of your opponent’s board state using Blightbelly Ratimage. This card feels rather peculiar as a bear this way since it's a rat with Toxic 1, because there is often better merit in just triggering its second effect.

But, at least it has a bigger body to prevent instant death from random Chainwhirlers, or to last a few more turns before it can inject its poisonous bite. If it does leave the field due to your opponent, you still get a potentially advantageous lingering effect that immediately pays off its turn and mana investment.

Find a way to abuse its death ability multiple times in a single turn, and you might be able to bring back Fleshless Gladiatorimage infinitely as well, which is the less useful (and also at black) common bear of this set.


6. Bladegraft Aspirant


Lords with the correct casting cost are always welcome in any deck that they are originally designed to fit in. It is an indirect tempo and ramp, after all. This is why it is quite strange that Bladegraft Aspirantimage comes in at common, when it should easily have been an uncommon for this type of ability.

Sure, the target spells and its second ability seem quite specific. But the set hosts a wide variety of different For Mirrodin! equipments, which themselves already carry the inherent advantage of having a default attach target. So, with this card, you essentially also reduce the cost of that token, as well as making them easier to transfer to the Aspirant later on. Hexgold Halberdimage for one anyone? How about dropping a Dragonwing Gliderimage right next turn with a quick skyward swing for four?

Of course, other more direct benefits such as speeding up Lizard Bladesimage also count.

Huh. Funny that a Phyrexian creature synergizes very well with Rebel token equipments. Well, it’s in red after all, so flavor still counts. Oh, and its menace probably also helps in forcing a 2-for-1, if not just being straight-up unblockable.


5. Duelist of Deep Faith


Since Toxic is an ability only beneficial on your turn, Duelist of Deep Faithimage essentially has first strike anytime she’s strategically relevant. As we already know, defending against first strike gets really dicey when counting toughness, especially when resolving added effects in the middle of combat, which white definitely does love to do.

So more often than not, the opponent will be conflicted about whether to just chump, expend more resources than reasonable, or just take the hit and poison counter with it. Remember, she would most likely be in the company of Mite tokens and Crawling Chorusimage, all attempting crash the gates for a consistent infliction or two. Doesn’t help that she’s another efficient bear in this set, so value exchange simply becomes a direct 1-for-1 if removal is used against her.

Then again, her value is solely in combat anyway, so if you manage to divert her attacks elsewhere, her inherent value can be reduced greatly, taking out a good chunk out of her controller's play tempo.


4. Planar Disruption


A premium Pacifismimage type card with no strings attached. That is all. Next!


3. Anoint with Affliction


Can Corrupted be achieved fairly consistently at the expected rate of about three to four turns? If so, then every single Corrupted card in this set that has an improved alternate effect, can technically be considered with just that effect alone.

Anoint with Afflictionimage for example, will most likely hit any creature during early game regardless, unless something is cheated into play during that time. If used with the aforementioned consistency condition later on, it just exiles any creature, period. With a good Toxic deck built around speedily achieving Corrupted reliably, Go for the Throatimage suddenly becomes the second-rate card.

Still doesn’t beat Cut Downimage in mana investment, but is still very good and would most likely find its place outside Toxic decks even without achieving Corrupted.


2. Blazing Crescendo


At a glance, it does not seem to be that amazing of a card. Two mana for a simple +1/+3 combat trick isn’t exactly exciting outside of prowess shenanigans. But its second effect significantly increases its usage value by being a tactical cantrip. The option to play it doesn’t end the turn it is casted, but instead at the end of your next turn.

This means you can safely deposit the top card away for two turns, and then cast it with a refreshed mana base later. Even better if it is a land, or a card that has bonuses when activated or casted away from the hand, such as See the Truthimage.

So in an ideal situation, you swing with something like a Monastery Swiftspearimage, activate Blazing Crescendoimage in response to an opponent’s defensive action, and then save the exiled card for the next turn. Or, defend with the same creature, and attempt to resolve the exiled card immediately if appropriate.


1. Annihilating Glare


And the best common in this set goes to none other than Annihilating Glareimage. It is a massive upgrade from the likes of Bone Splintersimage and Eaten Aliveimage, due to being able to sacrifice an artifact, and being able to hit planeswalkers. Also quite better than Powerstone Fractureimage, since it only costs one mana. Not as fast as Cut Downimage, unfortunately. But at least not tied to a specific target value range.

For this set, or even Standard in particular, sacrificing artifacts and creatures is a very small price to pay given all the other expendable permanent generators we currently have. Of course, many would point out that its sorcery speed kills a lot of its potential playability. Which is true, but it is very doubtful that it will remain a common if it is an instant. Just imagine the horrible 3-for-1 tricks this card can do with a speedier cast timing.

Besides, in a late-game scenario, you may actually just cast it paying its four-colorless requirement. A "hidden" modal option when games become really grindy.


Honorable Mentions:

image image image image

  • Basilica Shepherd – A 3/3 Flyer that brings two more 1/1 Toxic mites to the battlefield for a more or less worthwhile casting cost.
  • Vraska's Fall – Low effort poison counter plus edict effect. Sheoldred's Edictimage is strictly better if not for the added poison counter.
  • Hexgold Slash – Highly efficient removal with the added bonus of obliterating heavier Toxic hitters.
  • Contagious Vorrac – Non-basic land fixer/filter slapped on a 3/3 body. Even if no lands were added, it's okay, just proliferate.


About ChrisCee:

A witness since the time the benevolent silver planeswalker first left Dominaria, ChrisCee has since went back and forth on a number of plane-shattering incidents to oversee the current state of the Multiverse.

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