Finally, after a drip feed of story and spoilers, Wizards has officially shown off Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Showcasing the upcoming set in a new video, Wizards has revealed a huge amount of Phyrexia: All Will Be One spoilers and mechanics to get fans truly hyped. Unfortunately, however many of these tantalizing details are ones that we’ve already seen before. Thanks to a mix-up with Dominaria Remastered Booster Boxes, Phyrexia: All Will Be One has already been extensively leaked. This has effectively ruined Wizards of the Coast’s grand reveal, although players haven’t been too fussed about the unusual spoilers.
Nevertheless, ignoring the deluge of leaks, Wizards has finally revealed what players can expect from Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Kicking off the set’s spoiler season players can expect to see all manner of reveals throughout the coming week. For now, however, Wizards has left players with a few powerful cards and mechanics to digest and analyze. Thankfully, while we might have seen it all before, these details do make Phyrexia: All Will Be One incredibly exciting.
Thanks to the countless leaks that we’ve seen for Phyrexia: All Will Be One, Toxic hardly feels like a new mechanic anymore. Instead, after first seeing it in mid-October 2022, much of the hype around Toxic has already been and gone. Despite that small detail, however, Toxic is still worth getting excited about, as it’s an incredibly powerful mechanic that threatens to shake up multiple formats. If you’ve somehow managed to miss all the leaks until this moment, here’s everything you need to know about Toxic.
Templated as Toxic N, where N is any number from one to six, Toxic is MTG’s latest Poison Counter-focused mechanic. Similar to the incredibly powerful Infect mechanic from Scars of Mirrodin, Toxic applies Poison Counters to your opponent upon dealing combat damage. That, however, is where the similarities between the two mechanics Phyrexian mechanics end. Unlike Infect, Toxic does not deal damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters. In fact, when damaging creatures, Toxic doesn’t do anything at all as the mechanic only triggers upon dealing damage to a player. Once again, unlike Infect, Toxic’s ability to apply Poison Counters does not scale with a creature’s power. Instead, a creature with Toxic will always apply the N number of counters found on its ability.
As the premier mechanic in Phyrexia: All Will Be One, Toxic is expected to shake up formats like Standard in a big way. Providing an accelerated win condition for aggressive go-wide white decks, Toxic may cut through the current midrange soup of Standard. Cards such as Venerated Rotpriest also promise to inspire somewhat wacky combo decks that could prove utterly devastating.
Alongside the Poison Counter-producing Toxic mechanic, Phyrexia: All Will Be One has another major mechanic that utilizes these threatening counters. Known as Corrupted, this brand-new mechanic certainly doesn’t feel as new as it should, as it was similarly leaked back in October of 2022. Nevertheless, the importance of the Corrupted mechanic shouldn’t be downplayed, as it can seriously power up creatures. Vaguely similar to the Threshold ability from Odyssey, Corrupted gives Creatures, Artifacts, Enchantments, and Land additional abilities once the requirements are met. Corrupted abilities can be activated “only if an opponent has three or more Poison Counters.”
Unlike Toxic which is likely to be the basis of many constructed decks, Corrupted is merely an added bonus that makes playing with Poison Counters more interesting. Skrelv’s Hive for instance, features the Corrupted mechanic, but that’s not the sole reason you’d play the card. Instead, Skrelv’s Hive is instead just a compelling option for go-wide white token decks that overwhelm opponents with Poison Counters. Some cards, such as the leaked Sinew Dancer do gain whole abilities via Corrupted, rather than just buffs. Despite this, however, it’s still unwise to solely aim for the Corrupted threshold, as ideally, Poison Counter decks want to kill their opponents, not just inconvenience them.
Continuing the theme of unusual counters, Phyrexia: All Will Be One has another major counter mechanic. Known as Oil Counters, these counters are a new flavorful resource for Phyrexian cards to utilize. As a general, almost all-purpose, counter, Oil Counters have a variety of uses within Phyrexia: All Will Be One. So much so, in fact, that each card we’ve seen so far uses Oil Counters in its own unique way. Urabrask’s Forge for instance, uses Oil Counters to determine the power of the Phyrexian Horror token it makes. Archfiend of the Dross on the other hand, uses Oil Counters as a countdown for its game-ending ability.
Unfortunately, for simplicities sake, just like the many uses for Oil Counters, there’s no one way to gain Oil Counters. Some cards, such as Evolved Spinoderm enter the battlefield with Oil Counters already on it. Vindictive Flamestoker on the other hand, gains an Oil Counter whenever you cast a noncreature spell. Alternatively, Urabrask’s Forge simply gains an Oil Counter each turn at the beginning of combat. There are also cards that tap to gain an Oil Counter such as Tablet of Compleation. Thankfully, while there are myriad ways to gain and lose Oil Counters, Phyrexia: All Will Be One does have a returning mechanic to help keep Oil Counters around.
First seen in Scars of Mirrodin, Proliferate is one of the main returning mechanics in Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Sitting at a 6 on the Storm Scale, Proliferate was last heavily used in the Planeswalker-filled War of the Spark. Thanks to the prevalence of Planeswalkers, and counters, in Phyrexia: All Will Be One, the mechanic should be exceptionally useful once again. Cards such as Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting even rely on the Proliferate ability to gain Loyalty counters.
If you’re unfamiliar with the ability, Proliferate allows a player to “choose any number of permanents and/or players, then give each another counter of each kind already there.” This means that Proliferate can increase the number of Poison Counters on an opponent, or Oil Counters on a card. As we mentioned previously, Proliferate can also increase the number of Loyalty Counters on a Planeswalker. Interestingly, Proliferate also allows you to target your opponent’s permanents. Thanks to the set’s mechanics, however, that rules quirk is unlikely to be useful in Phyrexia: All Will Be One. This is due to Phyrexia: All Will be One not including any +1/+1 or -1/-1 counters at all.
As if Phyrexia: All Will Be One wasn’t enough of a blast from the past, the set includes even more mechanics that harken back to the original Scars of Mirrodin Block. The brand new mechanic “For Mirrodin!”, for instance, evokes the Living Weapon mechanic from Mirrodin Besieged. Similarly to Living Weapon, For Mirrodin! causes equipment with the ability to entire the battlefield attached to a creature token. This time around, however, it’s not the Phyrexians having fun, as For Mirrodin! Attaches the equipment to a 2/2 red Rebel creature token. As can be seen on Blade of Shared Souls, For Mirrodin! allows the equipment to come into play right away, activating their powerful abilities where relevant. While Blade of Shared Souls is blue, according to Wizards, this mechanic can mostly be found in red and white.