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The Eternal Wanderer

Phyrexia: All Will Be One Limited Set Review: White

J2SJosh reviews and rates every White Phyrexia: All Will Be One cards for limited!

Hey everyone! I am here to usher you to your destiny of becoming part of the Phyrexian collective. Join us, as we will all be one soon enough. Oh wait, sorry… I’ve been told that I am to hold off on helping you be compleat and review all of the cards for limited purposes in its place. I guess we can do that instead, but you’re really missing out because Phyrexians know how to party.

Seriously though, I love this time of each set. Everything is new and exciting; we get to make all kinds of wild speculations about what the format is going to turn out to be. They may not let me sleep (or go outside, I miss grass) until I finish these reviews, but it’s still a great time. So, without further ado, I present to you Phyrexia: All Will Be One the limited review.

Here’s the usual grading scale:

Against All Odds

Rating: 1.5/5

This can be situationally great if you have solid comes into play effects to abuse. The easiest one to look for is any artifact with For Mirrodin! Since you get an extra creature out of the blink. However, the sorcery speed is a big draw back since you can’t blink in response to a removal spell. At least it still lets you get around enchantment removal like Mesmerizing Dose and Planar Disruption.

If you are lacking anything worth blinking or bringing back for value then leave this in the sideboard where it belongs.

Annex Sentry

Rating: 3.0/5

It’s not quite a Nekrataal or even a Fairgrounds Warden, but those are great limited cards. This is still really good in most of the matchups I’m expecting in this format (I’ll be talking more about those in my archetype and draft guides coming soon right here on To be clear, I have zero shame about shilling). Preferably you just hit a token creature with it and never have to worry about it coming back again.

The reason I am still so high on it is that it is going to be a huge swing in the early game. There are going to be a lot of matches defined by who hits corrupted first and this is excellent at either putting the brakes on them or pushing your own toxic agenda.

Apostle of Invasion

Rating: 2.0/5

This is card that I could see a lot of people overrating because a 4/4 flying double striker certainly looks like a vicious beating. It’s also not hard to assume your opponent will be corrupted by the time you can play this.

The reason I’m down on it is that this format looks like it will be really fast with plenty of cheap ways to deal with this. While dies to Doom Blade is usually a bad excuse, this gets wrecked by plenty of much cheaper cards like Planar Disruption or Sinew Dancer. You’re going way down on mana in that exchange and in this format if I’m playing something this expensive, it’s going to be one of the bombs.

Basilica Shepherd

Rating: 2.0/5

This is 5/5 worth of stats for five mana though it seems a bit at odds with itself with the two toxic creatures and a 3/3 flyer looking to do different things. It’s still fine to diversify your portfolio since it gives you a decent evasive creature while continuing to go wide.

Bladed Ambassador

Rating: 2.5/5

The problem with 3/1s for two is that they end up trading for something bad like a random 1/1 token. Luckily most of the 1/1 tokens in this set are unable to block.

This one can also get around bad tradeoffs because it comes compleat with a one-time indestructible. Trading with two bad things is…just fine. Proliferate gives this the potential to add additional oil counters onto it to keep the beats coming. Now that’s an attractive two drop, if only it had toxic.

Charge of the Mites

Rating: 2.5/5

A modular spell that is a removal or a go wide is a perfectly fine deal for three mana even if the dorks can’t block. As much as I would love the two mites to only cost two mana, it would be a bit too much as another common two-mana removal option.

Compleat Devotion

Rating: 2.5/5

I saw some comparisons to Might of the Old Ways from MID and while that card was indeed mid, this is much better. You don’t have to be completely devoted to Toxic for this to be solid, but you are going to be pushing plenty of early damage and this helps push through while replacing itself.

Crawling Chorus

Rating: 2.5/5

I know you are shocked that I have this so high. There are going to be plenty of games where you are on the draw and just lose because you kept a slow hand while they kicked it off with this. It is such a great early enabler for corrupted effects or a way to get the party started early for poison counters before you finish them off by proliferating like bunnies.

Duelist of Deep Faith

Rating: 2.0/5

Another great early way to get some poison counters rolling with a difficult to block two drop. If this had Toxic 2, I would love this card. As it is I don’t have deep faith that this will be a premium common, but it will be a welcome addition to any aggressive white deck.

Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines

Rating: 4.0/5

Everyone’s favorite mommy has returned to allow us to bask in her benevolence. The actual value of this is going to heavily fluctuate based off of how many comes into play triggers you have, but you’ll know to look out for them once this is in your pile. Its even thematically great that it doubles up Ossification.

Since it’s a mythic, it will probably get people with the trigger equivalent of “secret reach” when they play something out and realize they get nothing. Either that or they end up not playing their cards hoping for the opportunity that Elesh Norn goes away. It’s even packing a large vigilant body that is ready to rumble. What’s not to love?

The Eternal Wanderer

Rating: 5.0/5

Seriously…Why isn’t this a mythic rare? A planeswalker that can ultimate when it comes down? Really… Really? Keeping your best creature while they keep their worst is really good when you are behind. Box 1 checked.

At parity, the static ability makes this impossible to swarm while building a pile of double strikers that provide inevitability. Box 2 checked.

When you’re ahead you can use the plus ability to either clear the way or accumulate some extra value with your own creatures while getting to play both sides of combat. Of course, continuing to pump out samurais should get you there as well. Box 3 checked.

This is insane in almost every situation. Yeah, I already love and hate this card depending on which side of the table it is on. The only negative thing I can say about it is that by the time you cast it, you might already be so deep in the poison that a couple proliferates will finish you off.

Flensing Raptor

Rating: 2.5/5

Clever girl! This thing will help flense your opponent with a swiftness by tossing another toxic creature in the air on the mite flight (new ride coming soon to Universal Studios). After that it’s still a toxic Wind Drake which is just fine.

Goldwarden’s Helm

Rating: 1.5/5

Are you in the market for a three mana 2/3? No, but what if I throw in an equipment that gives a whopping +0+1 that equips for two mana? Still no, huh? To be fair, you’re probably making a wise decision. The main reason to want this is if you need a curve filler to help protect against the early mite infestation.

Hexgold Hoverwings

Rating: 2.0/5

Snapping Drakes aren’t really cutting it in limited these days, but this one does come with something extra. While the random flying equipment have been performing above expectations lately, this one costs three mana to equip so it will be harder to toss around. The +1+0 to all your equipped creatures is often going to just be for this one because let’s be real, how many equipment are you really playing.

Incisor Glider

Rating: 2.5/5

I don’t mind gliding over to swat my opponent with this as it can be a huge payoff if your strategy is to swarm the opponent with mites. While it doesn’t really contribute to the poison pile itself, it does help push your other toxic creatures through.

If you can’t poison your opponent or go wide, then you want this about as much as trip to the dentist.

Indoctrination Attendant

Rating: 2.0/5

This might look clunky compared to a modern day four drop, but if you slap the beer goggles on it looks a bit better as 4/5 worth of stats. It doesn’t say nonland permanent so you don’t even necessarily have to cost yourself board presence to keep pushing damage/poison.

It does get much better if one of your creatures is stuck under enchantment removal though.

Infested Fleshcutter

Rating: 1.5/5

This is just too expensive for an equipment that doesn’t come equipped to a creature. You already have five mana invested into a bone splitter that needs to get the attack off to be more than that. It’s all aggressive too since the creatures it produces can’t block.

Maybe this could have a place if you are a go wide aggressive deck, but even then, you can probably come up with better curve toppers.

Jawbone Duelist

Rating: 2.5/5

Equip this duelist up and let them go to town all over your opponent’s jaw. Even on its own, adding toxic to the usual two mana 1/1 with double strike is a nice little upgrade. This is a great way to get corrupted going early and wrecks dreams with Compleat Devotion.  

Kemba, Kha Enduring

Rating: 3.0/5

I don’t know how many cats are still chilling on New Phyrexia, but this kitty knows how to handle some heavy equipment. While there are no one drop equipment to curve into with this or even that many equipment you want to be playing anyway, this is solid as a bear that can poop out other cats.

If you do have some equipment, this makes attacking complicated for your opponent since they have to account for you making a cat at instant speed with an equipment already on it.

Leonin Lightbringer

Rating: 1.5/5

Without any equipment this is well below average and the common equipment really doesn’t move the needle much. That means this really needs some of the higher rarity equipment to make the cut. If you’re there, great you can pick this up late. If not, feel free to move on.  

Mandible Justiciar

Rating: 2.0/5

While lifelink is still obviously good, it is worth a bit less than normal in this set because it doesn’t matter if you’re still at twenty life when you have ten poison counters. It also doesn’t contribute towards the toxic game plan when that looks to be the best plan going. Still a solid aggressive card though.

Mirran Bardiche

Rating: 1.5/5

You start out with a 4/3 for five. Boooooooourns. Then you get a mediocre equipment that costs four mana to equip. Not looking to do that either. Sure, there will be late game top deck wars when this is relevant, but most of the time it’s like when you go to one of those really fancy restaurants that are trying to charge you $400 for deconstructed chicken nuggets.

Mondrak, Glory Dominus

Rating: 4.0/5

All glory to Mondrak! As long as you are on the token theme, this can get insane by both being easier to give indestructible to it and pumping out piles of dudes. No matter what it’s a serious threat, that they have to deal with quickly.

Norn’s Wellspring

Rating: 1.5/5

To quote fellow draft lab member Dafore “Hmmm if this card was printed back in 2003, I would put it in a deck maybe.” This just feels like it’s too slow for modern limited unless you are going really wide and need a way to keep the fire burning. I’d also be interested in boarding it in if I was in a long grindy mirror, but a bit too slow to want to toss it into the average white deck.

Proliferate can also help, but you are going to need to be four oil counters and four mana into being a slow Divination.

Orthodoxy Enforcer

Rating: 1.5/5

Back in the day (yeah, yeah…Josh is a dinosaur…har har) a 4/4 for four was a good amount of stats for the cost. Now cards are so strong that it is left in the dust especially when you need two other artifacts to even get there. Imagine planning to trade and your opponent kills your second artifact. Welcome to blow out city, population: you. Not even vigilance can really make up for that.


Rating: 3.5/5

Unless someone snuck a Stone Rain into their pool, this is basically a two mana Banishing Light Can’t really go wrong with cheap, efficient removal.  I don’t think I need to say more, everyone is hyped for this card.

Phyrexian Vindicator

Rating: 4.0/5

Cool…Cool…. Nothing to see here. Just a casual 5/5 flyer that wrecks you if you try to block it or attack into it. I’m going to be honest with you though, this isn’t nearly as egregious as it sounds.  

While it only costs four, unless you are mono white, it’s unlikely to be hitting the board before turn six or seven. There are also plenty of ways to cleanly answer it, even at common, such as Planar Disruption, Vanish into Eternity, and Mesmerizing Dose.

There are going to be times where your opponent plays this on four and you’re red with no way to deal with it. Enjoy your bad beat story, but it’s no where near the class of bombs like Kiora Bests the Sea God.

Planar Disruption

Rating: 3.0/5

Recently the general rule the limited community has been following is to be down on Pacifism effects in newer formats until proven otherwise. I disagree with that and feel that they should be individually evaluated on what is happening on the format.

This is a two-mana Arrest that can even hit Planeswalkers in a potentially very aggressive format. It manages a ton of the ridiculous bombs floating around on the cheap. It’s either going to stop a key thing or let you continue to build tempo by double spelling this with another threat. I don’t think you can ask for much more out of a two-mana common.

Plated Onslaught

Rating: 2.5/5

Affinity for artifacts makes this a lot better than some of the other iterations of +2+1 for the team especially with mites being artifacts. It can cause a ton of damage out of nowhere for barely any mana.

The only drawback is that it seems to be attacking on a different axis than trying to force through ten poison counters. Not really a big deal if it kills them though.

Porcelain Zealot

Rating: 2.5/5

I really like how this helps you continue the push with your toxic army across the finish line. That random 1/1 is a lot harder to block as a 3/3 and that poison clock is going to be ticking fast. I just want it to have toxic itself to really shine.

Resistance Reunited

Rating: 1.5/5

There are going to be times where you can use this to blow someone out by winning a combat with this while your other equipped creature gets indestructible. It just looks like the toxic cards are much better than the equipment cards so I will normally be taking Compleat Devotion over this.

Sinew Dancer

Rating: 2.0/5

This is one of the cards that goes from complete dog water to absurdly pushed common the moment you hit corrupted. It makes it basically impossible for your opponent to set up good blocks on the rest of your toxic army when you have a one mana tapper going.

Skrelv, Defector Mite

Rating: 3.5/5

The Mite lord can come down early to get some quick counters on your opponent before turning into a pseudo Mother of Runes that can’t protect itself. Adding toxic, hexproof, and unblockable by a color to a random creature is going to be a huge problem.

Skrelv’s Hive

Rating: 4.0/5

The mites start coming and they don’t stop coming. If any of you remember the joy of playing against Bitterblossom in limited then you know what is about to go down here. Obviously, the lack of flying and not being able to block matters a lot, but this will let you swarm your opponent for that all important poison kill.

Swooping Lookout

Rating: 2.0/5

I’m not looking out for this one as anything other than a cheap creature to hold off my opponent’s mite infestation. It doesn’t add poison counters or get a corrupted benefit, it’s just sort of there. It really needs equipment to be anything so bump it up if you get some of the good ones.

Vanish into Eternity

Rating: 2.0/5

While this does provide some catch all removal, six mana is a helluva lot to pay to remove a creature. If you absolutely, positively need to get something out of there, this can do the job. There are a lot of aggressive cards in the set so the value of this is going to vary based off of the matchup, but I think I’m always happy with one.

Veil of Assimilation

Rating: 1.0/5

Even if you have a ton of ways to trigger this, it’s only +1+1 until end of turn so this is headed straight to the jank zone.

White Sun’s Twilight

Rating: 4.0/5

You get to wipe the board, make x 1/1s, and gain a chunk of life at the same time. Good grief, that’s like when Lucy pulls the football out from Charlie Brown, but if she also kicked him in the balls while he’s down.

I would have this even higher, but I suspect there may be plenty of times where you are dead before you have a chance to use it.

Zealot’s Conviction

Rating: 2.0/5

For some reason when I hear Zealot's Conviction, I just picture Karen at the mall insisting that they NEED to speak to the manager right away. Well, I can assure you she’s going to have problems when she gets blown out by this.

I love one mana tricks especially in a format that you want to be pushing through cheap creatures. Just a +1+1 will usually win an early combat, but once the corrupted is active this turns into an insane trick as the first strike sticks around making the creature a real pain to block after you already got them with it.

Wrap Up

White looks like an amazingly aggressive color that is going to put a ton of very quick poison pressure on the opponent before they get a chance to set up a proper defense. It has multiple cheap tricks and removal to keep forcing creatures through while the toxic mechanic provides a much shorter clock than normal. That’s not even getting into the bombs and let me tell you, this color likes to blast.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my Phyrexia: All Will Be One Limited Review of Blue. Until then, stay classy Magic people!

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

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Josh is a member of the elite limited team The Draft Lab as well as the host of The Draft Lab Podcast. He was qualifying for Pro Tours, Nationals, and Worlds literally before some of you were born. After a Magic hiatus to play poker and go to medical school, he has been dominating Arena with over an 80% win percentage in Bo3 as well as making #1 rank in Mythic.

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