Phyrexia: All Will Be One Constructed Set Review and Decklists: Black
Hello everyone! With the full spoiler for Phyrexia: All Will Be One live, we can finally get into breaking down the cards with constructed applications!
Since I did individual card reviews already, rather than repeat myself, I’ll link the article, but still give the verdict and decklist if that’s what you’re more interested in. For this, I’m going to cover every Mythic, every Rare, and then choice uncommons and commons that have potential. Let’s get into it!
As always, here’s the scale I’ll be using to label the new cards that potentially have constructed applications.
- 0/5 – Unplayable in every sense.
- 1/5 – Extremely niche play or very unlikely to see play.
- 2/5 – Niche to no play, maybe playable in certain conditions.
- 3/5 – Reasonable playable. Not format breaking, but has the power level to see play in some strategy (or strategies).
- 4/5 – Very strong card, but not the best the format has to offer. Has the power level to see a lot of play.
- 5/5 – The very top of the format. This card will create a huge impact going forward on the format.
Table of Contents
- Phyrexia: All Will Be One Constructed Reviews
- Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting
- Phyrexian Obliterator
- Drivnod, Carnage Dominus
- Karumonix, the Rat King
- Black Sun’s Twilight
- Archfiend of the Dross
- Geth, Thane of Contracts
- Phyrexian Arena
- Vraan, Executioner Thane
- Drown in Ichor
- Sheoldred’s Edict
- Bilious Skulldweller
- Annihilating Glare
- Blightbelly Rat
Phyrexia: All Will Be One Constructed Reviews
Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting
Drivnod, Carnage Dominus
So for starters, we have a five mana 8/3 which is big Yargle energy and not great in the face of Lightning Strike, but that’s not the end of the world.
The triggered ability is very interesting as, just like the other Dominus, its a doubler, but this time, it cares about death triggers. Unlike ETB triggers, doubling death triggers seems much harder as they tend to be weaker and we actually need the creature to die to get that ability. The best death triggers I can think of are on the Kamigawa dragons, but not only would you be competing for the same slot, you don’t actively want them to die! You could look to do this as a top end for some Aristocrats style deck, but it’s hard to say if we have enough support for that right now.
On the bright side, the Indestructible ability from Drivnod is by far the easiest to get as you don’t have to give up any real resources and don’t even need mana open! That’s very powerful, especially on a body as large as this one.
Overall, this card is promising, but seems very hard to support right now. Maybe something will come of it though!
Karumonix, the Rat King
Ah yes, the well supported Standard rats archetype. There are Rats in Standard, some are even not bad, but not nearly enough to build a deck around. Clearly this is a Commander card, and that’s ok!
Black Sun’s Twilight
This is very similar to March of Wretched Sorrow, which obviously sees no play, but I think this has more potential! March doesn’t really see play since you have to invest a lot of mana to kill something, and then your only reward is some life. Black Sun's Twilight, on the other hand, can reanimate a creature for you if you pay enough mana! Imagine paying six mana to kill an opposing Sheoldred, the Apocalypse to reanimate your own? Value!
Realistically, I could only see this being a 1 or 2 of in any Black deck, but the ceiling can be high when you have it later in the game.
Archfiend of the Dross
Yet another entry in the long line of big creatures that’ll kill you,
The closest comparison we have to this right now is Sol'Kanar the Tainted which is actually perfect since Sol’Kanar also gives you three full turn cycles and then you may as well lose, and while it doesn’t see play anymore, the card was quite good. However, losing Sol’Kanar and losing the game are quite different, but there are even ways to circumvent that as well!
This card seems solid, but it’s hard to see what deck would want to play this unless it was a deck that was made expressly for this, but if you want to work around it a bit, you may be rewarded!
Geth, Thane of Contracts
Vraan, Executioner Thane
I was just saying with Drivnod, Carnage Dominus that I’m not sure there’s enough support with it to make Aristocrats viable, but between it and Vraan, they’re fighting the good fight!
Vraan’s triggered ability is very powerful, any other creature that dies on your side drains the opponent for two, but is gated by it being other creatures and only triggering once per turn. If you have a steady stream of things to kill, this is still quite strong, but Vraan is definitely reliant on you having plenty to sacrifice. On the bright side, this doesn’t have the nontoken clause as this makes it work well with cards like Oni-Cult Anvil or Ghoulish Procession which would be the perfect way to keep the gas flowing for it.
Again, it’s hard to say if there’s even remotely enough support, but this is a sizable payoff if you can make it work.
Drown in Ichor
Having to spend two mana and then not always killing the thing you want to kill doesn’t feel great, especially at Sorcery speed, but getting to Proliferate too? That’s a bit more interesting! This is still not the strongest card in the world, but it can very easily be worth 1.5 cards in the right deck, so in that capacity, it has its use.
Edicts are pretty much never close to Standard playable, but I think that might change with this one! The issue with Edicts is that it’s very hard to kill the thing you want to kill most, but between nabbing tokens, nontokens, and planeswalkers, that’s likely enough utility to be playable. Is this going to be as ubiquitous as Go for the Throat? Definitely not, but could be a solid 1-2 of in 75s.
Sedge Scorpion isn’t a Standard all star, but one with Toxic 1 for one mana is definitely more interesting! This is still quite narrow as you’d only want this in Toxic decks, but you’d be surprised at the amount of decks in the past sideboarding one mana Deathtouch creatures to help in aggro matchups!
We already have Eaten Alive in Standard, why mention this one when it doesn’t even exile? Well, there was a pretty big divide between Village Rites and Deadly Dispute as well! A big part of what made Deadly Dispute is the additional resource in the Treasure, but being able to sacrifice an artifact is a very big deal, and that’s exactly where Annihilating Glare gets its edge. This still isn’t an amazing card or anything, but being able to sacrifice artifacts is a huge deal which lets it see play in normal Sacrifice shells or Anvil shells.
Similar to Bilious Skulldweller, Blightbelly Rat is quite narrow in applications, but it does have Toxic and Proliferate all in one package. Is this great? No, but it’s not terrible either.
We have a lot of very solid cards in Black so, similar to White, this is definitely a win in my book. Thus far, Black seems to be the strongest color in Phyrexia, but we still have two more colors to break down!
Thank you for reading!
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