Our first look at MTG’s newest set, Phyrexia: All Will Be One has just passed! We received a few early spoilers, but the most noteworthy things from Phyrexia: All Will be One, besides the new Planeswalkers, are the number of treatments we receive in one set. Elesh Norn, the main character of the set, was spoiled today, and the number of different variants she has is baffling. Overprinting in relation to variants is a concern that many share in the MTG community, so this could be taken differently by a lot of different people.
Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines
Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, or MOM as many MTG players refer to her, is a five mana Legendary Creature that closes out the Super Cycle of Preators introduced over the last five sets starting in Kaldheim. Unlike the competitive menace Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, Elesh Norn’s abilities look more suited to Commander. Panharmonicon is already one of the most popular cards out there, and having another iteration of that effect on a body is something white Commander decks won’t be able to ignore. As an added bonus, Elesh Norn also works as a Torpor Orb for your opponents. This effect may be underrated a bit by first impressions and could have a surprising impact in Standard play.
Elesh Norn Everywhere
Throughout the Phyrexia: All Will Be One first look, six different variants for Elesh Norn were revealed. While three already had some MTG players concerned about overprinting issues, six is at another level entirely. Strangely, all of the above variants are available in Draft, Collector Booster, and Set products in Phyrexia: All Will be One, so it won’t be easy to figure out which of these is more collectible than the others. Traditionally, however, the Phyrexian Language variant has had a premium attached.
Notably, the Borderless Manga version has art from horror Mangaka icon Junji Ito. Ito recently had a Special Guest Secret Lair where he brought a beautiful take on Thoughtseize to the MTG community.
This last Elesh Norn variant is part of the Oil Slick Raised Foils available only in the exclusive Compleat Edition Bundle coming out after the initial release of Phyrexia: All Will be One. This is the most exclusive copy of Elesh Norn available in the new set, and it looks like this card could feature a textured effect like what was seen in Double Masters 2022. I would expect this, of the myriad of new Elesh Norn cards, to be the most expensive.
Six unique variants of the same MTG card in the same set are likely the most art variants we have seen in all of MTG history. Even though these were only released a few hours before writing, players already took to Reddit and had some things to say:
“Yeah…I mentioned this elsewhere, but this has got to be the set with the most unique variants in MtG history (not counting cheats, like the slightly different Teferi versions in a previous core set).
The cards look nice, and all, but it’s a nightmare from a collector’s viewpoint.” – BlurryPeople
“Its looks like, if you like this [Oil Slicked Raised] treatment, the bundle is the place to get it. The variant numbers in the cbs will likely only get you a few per box. I think it will devalue the mythics in the set, but it gives you a reason to buy the bundle” – Robin_Games
According to many in the MTG community, having all of these Elesh Norn available will likely make the game piece a lot more accessible to players by driving down secondary market prices. We recently saw some cards with questionable demand sport huge prices directly as a result of the card only has a foil and a non-foil variant compared to the three-four variants that other cards sported in the Rare and Mythic slots.
A Super Cycle Celebrated
On top of the six variants of Elesh Norn currently confirmed for MTG’s newest set, a new reprinting of the Praetor Super Cycle will be reprinted as a part of Phyrexia: All Will be One. These are based on the concept art drawn by Wizards of the Coast that they use as examples for artists when they paint their own contributions. If an artist asks, “what does a Phyrexian look like?,” they may get pictures like this one to help inform their creative process. Regardless of whether this was necessary or not, it is a cool addition to a set focused on celebrating the glory of Phyrexia.
Some Incredible Reprints Await!
There weren’t a lot of reprints spoiled at MTG’s first look for Phyrexia: All Will Be One, but this is probably the biggest deal among them. Phyrexian Obliterator has a gigantic presence on the secondary market, demanding a $40 price tag regardless of its reprintings. There shouldn’t be quite as many variants of this as there are Elesh Norn, but you can be sure that the number of variants printed in the All Will Be One set should help curb the price of this desirable game piece once and for all.