Magic: Phyrexia – Everything will become one is a success from every point of view, and agrees competitive players and collectors.
The new Magic set, Phyrexia: Everything Will Become One, has been available in specialty stores since mid-February. After spending weeks scouring the deep lore of the latest expansion of the Wizards of The Coast cardgame, to test the cards and decks and to explore all the possibilities offered by the new mechanics, we can finally tell you about it in detail. Before delving into the depths of the Phyrexian world, however, we must warn you: the Phyrexian charm has always been bewitching, and in Everything Will Become One he is back stronger than ever. Resisting the lure of machines could be useless!
A package to bring them all
As with any product in the Trading Card Game sector, it is good to start the analysis with a complete technical sheet of the setits cards and its bundles.
This is even more true in the case of Magic-related products, which in recent years have accustomed us to different expansion packs, decks, limited editions and special collections. Phyrexia: All Will Become One is divided into four types of booster packs: Jumpstart Booster Packs, Set Booster Packs, Draft Booster Packs, and Collector Boosters. Obviously, all of these will also be available in Packs, each containing a few dozen packs. The Jumpstart booster packs contain 20 cards each, all related to one of the five themes of the trading card game: each theme, then, is available in two variants. In each booster pack, you’re sure to find two foil land cards and two Rares, one Rare or Mythic, and one Rare for Jumpstart. It goes without saying that, due to an affordable price, and the relative homogeneity of the cards by theme, Jumpstart Packs are perfect for those who want to start playing immediately.
The same also applies to Draft Envelopes, which however have a lower number of foil cards compared to Jumpstart packs: while in each pack you will find a rare card and a Phyrexian or Panorama land, the number of traditional foil cards will be reduced overall to one every three packs on average.
It goes without saying that these envelopes, as well as the pre-release packswere designed for immediately jump into the fray and test the new cards and the new mechanics of the TCG. A separate discussion for the expansion packs, which each contain 12 cards of which from one to four Rares or Mythic Rares, together with an Icore or foil-style card and a Phyrexian or Panorama land, perfect for a balanced start and for who already has a good basic deck to play with. Finally, the Collector’s Boosters are the packs with the highest cost, but also those in which it is easier to find rare cards: each one includes 15 cards, of which 1 is foil Step-and-Complete and at least two with full art, plus two more with Ichor art and a Phyrexian land or Panorama. The perfect pack for collectorstherefore, or a valid choice for those who want to complete their collection without resorting to the secondary market.
Two Commander decks and two bundles complete the offer. The first is the bundle of the Phyrexian Expansion: All Will Become Onewhich contains eight Set Booster Packs, one fixed alternate-art promo card (Karumonix, the Rat King), 40 Basic Lands, a Spindown life counter, and a card storage box.
The second, however, is the Magic set Complete Edition bundlewhich includes an envelope completed, with twelve oily foil cards, including two Mythic Rares and 10 Basic Lands (two of each type), an exclusive foil card in the Phyrexian language (the Phyrexian Arena), 40 traditional foil lands and 12 booster packs from the Phyrexian Expansion Phyrexian: All Will Become One. Unfortunately, at the time of writing the Complete Edition is not yet available in Italybut still remains orderable (and playable) in English.
The first big point in favor of Phyrexia: Tutto Divertrà Uno, as well as the reason that prompted us to analyze its technical data sheet and the various types of envelopes on the market in the first place, is the fact that the set is a a real joy for collectors.
In total, the set features 271 cards, including 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 60 rares, 20 mythic rares, and 10 basic lands. Of these, several represent Alternate and Premium variants of other cards already present in the set: for example, only Elesh Norn, the cover card of the expansion, is available in various different versions. Among these we find the Rare Icore, also available without borders. The idea of this exclusive rarity was to “capture the essence of the Phyrexians with the most Phyrexian cards in the set“, according to Wizards of The Coast: a success from every point of view, since the Icore Rares are cards with an iconic design and that even manage to instill fear in the adversary when they enter the field.
A similar rarity is the Step-and-Compleat, which combines the “oily” treatment with an exclusive lamination, which allows you to see the superimposed expansion symbol on paper. Other stickers, on the other hand, have received a borderless Manga treatment: the graphic style of the latter is taken up with both hands from a Japanese comic, and the star of this sub-series it certainly is Elesh Norn, designed by Junji Itoone of the masters of Japanese horror manga.
The partnership between Ito and Wizards of The Coast has led to what is hands down one of the most visually appealing cards in the set, which we are sure will become a real collector’s item in the future. But that’s not all, because some cards are translated into the Phyrexian language. And yes, these are also fully playable during competitive events. These are certainly not the most impressively artworked cards in the set, but the “translated” machine-language version of many Planeswalkers could attract the attention of collectors more hardened.
A final climax or a new beginning?
We already told you about the lore of the latest Magic set in our preview of Phyrexia: Everything Will Become One, but the narrative twists of the storylines connected to the set require us to delve into it in more detail.
New Phyrexia is divided into five partseach controlled by one of the Praetors of the bio-machines: they are Urabrask, Vorinclex, Jin-Gitaxias, Sheoldred and Elesh Nord herself, Mother of the Machines. Not all Praetors are loyal to Elesh Norn: Sheoldred and Urabrask, for example, are the most reluctant, while Vorinclex and Jin-Gitaxias “align” with the will of the Phyrexian queen. Each Praetor represents a theme of the set, and it is precisely with this particular “geopolitics” that the Planeswalkers who came to New Phyrexia from Dominaria, bringing with him the weapons necessary to destroy the “perfect” machines, discovered in the past of the Multiverse during the Magic expansion The Brothers’ War, released in December. Other than Phyrexians and Planeswalkers, on the artificial plane of Elesh Norn there is also the Mirran Resistancecomposed of the inhabitants of ancient Mirrodin, the world that the machines have colonized and from which their attacks in the Multiverse start.
The seeds of the revolt of the Phyrexian Praetors and Mirran against Elesh Norn, however, they are not farmed by Planeswalkers, which in turn fall victim to the “perfection” of machines. In fact, during the events of the set, many beloved names, such as Planeswalkers Tamiyo, Nahiri and even Nissa Revane and Jace Beleren get “completed” by the Mother of Machines, who thus manages to gain the upper hand.
The meager resistance Mirran and the Planeswalkers, led by Kaya Cassir, Kaito Shizuki and Tyvar Kell, among the few to to refuse Elesh Norn’s offer to join Phyrexia, is defeated: the retreat succeeds, but the Guardians fail to destroy the Frangireami, the “bridgehead” of thePhyrexian invasion of the Multiverse. Here ends the narration of Phyrexia Tutto Divenire Uno: a crushing defeat of the “good guys” concludes the third act of the narration of the four-set cycle that began with Dominaria Unita. It will all culminate with The Rise of the Machines, the fourth and final set in this story arc, arriving in April.
Putting lore and collecting aside, only one thing remains to be understood: Everything will become one convinces in gameplay how much in terms of art and narrative? The answer is a resolute yes.
The cards introduced with the new set oscillate, as it should be, between mediocre and very powerful, with some power peak quite problematic, which could be solved with the next one banlist: the writer, for example, has found himself unable to respond to a Phyrexian Annihilator during a prerelease game, which effectively resolved the moment your opponent placed that card on the field in turn four. In truth, however, there are other themes that have received the greatest support: i white, red and blue colors came out strengthened from Phyrexian: All Will Become One, to the detriment of black and green decks. That comes down to the introduction of really solid cards like Elesh Norn, whose effect is essentially one very powerful victory condition for the decks that revolve around her, but also Phyrexian Avenger, Twilight of the Blue Sun, Venial Misstep, Joyful Demolition and Capricious Troublemaker.
This does not mean that the other themes have not received some affection as well: although the color green has not been endowed with particularly powerful cards, for example, it works great in bi-color decks green-red, green-blue or even green-white; similarly, the color black received the Legendary Planeswalker Vraska, Sting of Betrayalwhich can be used as a centerpiece for good mono and bi-color decks.
Net of the individual cards, however, what is most striking about Phyrexia: Tutto Divenire Uno is the expertise put into the construction of the new mechanics, which results in a enjoyable gameplay in every situation, even when you’re taking profusion effects, damage, and combos from the enemy. The only “weak” mechanic, which sadly smacks of déjà-vu is, ironically, the “For Mirrodin!” related to resistance. “Toxic”, “Proliferate” and “Corrupted” are deep keywordsinteresting and intriguing both in the deckbuilding phase and in the game, thanks also to a consistent and consistent support with the innovations introduced by the set.
Magic The Gathering: Phyrexia: All Will Become OneMulti Analyzed VersionPhyrexia: All Will Become One is an incredibly solid and consistent set. The cards are artistically ambitious and playfully rewarding; the mechanics are deep and lend themselves to a variety of interpretations and situations which, provided you do not claim to climb the classics of world tournaments, guarantee the Wizards of The Coast Trading Card Game an enviable freshness, which is not currently available in the main competitors on the market. The expansion has a strong characterization, which all in all marks a break from Dominaria Unita and, to a lesser extent, the War of the Brothers, but which should balance a greater wealth of suggestions arriving in the near future, with The Advance of the Machines . In any case, the new Magic set is confirmed as one of the most successful steps forward in the history of the TCG, both for collectors and for players, newbies and not.