|Symbol description||The Phyrexian symbol|
Ken Nagle (lead),|
Aaron Forsythe (lead),|
|Art direction||Jeremy Jarvis|
|Release date||May 13, 2011|
|Themes and mechanics||
(10 basic lands, 60 commons, 60 uncommons, 35 rares, 10 mythic rares)
|Development codename||Action |
|Scars of Mirrodin block|
|Magic: The Gathering Chronology|
New Phyrexia contains 175 cards (60 Common, 60 Uncommon, 35 Rare, 10 Mythic, 10 Basic Lands), including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. The set concludes the story that began in Scars of Mirrodin, with the Phyrexians defeating the Mirrans and taking control of the plane of Mirrodin. Like the cards in the two sets before it, the cards of New Phyrexia are watermarked with either faction's symbol, but the ratio of Phyrexian to Mirran cards significantly favors Phyrexia. This showcases the progress of the Phyrexian invasion and is a reversal from the ratio as it was seen in Scars of Mirrodin. In a similar fashion, the Phyrexian keyword mechanics of Infect and Proliferate spread into colors that did not get cards with these mechanics before. The expansion symbol was the Phyrexian symbol again, which also heavily featured in the art. Several familiar creatures show up in a compleated version, and several favorites were redone. The set showcases Karn, as a planeswalker and Father of the Machines.
Just like Mirrodin Besieged before it, New Phyrexia features a cycle of basic lands. Half of them depict a scene inside the Phyrexianized core of Mirrodin, while half of them contain references to artifact lands from Mirrodin.
Originally, Wizards of the Coast announced that the set would be called either Mirrodin Pure or New Phyrexia, as they did not wish to reveal which of the factions would win. On March 29, 2011, it was announced that the new set would in fact be called New Phyrexia.
The set was spoiled in its entirety on April 19, 2011, before the spoiler season on magicthegathering.com began. This was the result of the "Godbook", which contains all cards of an upcoming set, being leaked. Godbooks are sent to magazines for review purposes before the release of sets. In this case, the godbook was sent to Lotus Noir, which passed it on to pro player Guillaume Matignon for reviews. Matignon was the World Champion at the time. Matignon in turn shared it with Guillaume Wafo-Tapa and two other players in his group, one of whom leaked it on the internet. Consequently, all four players involved were suspended by the DCI for a year and a half.
Flavor and storyline
|“||The Grand Compleation is Achieved||”|
It came not in the form of a noble struggle, a fair contest of warriors clashing will against will, but as a wave of unstoppable slaughter. Mirran partisans resisted bravely, using their wits and magic to fend off the onslaught that originated from inside their own world. But their efforts were for naught. Phyrexia is victorious. Mirrodin now goes by a different name: New Phyrexia.
New Phyrexia was sold in 16-card boosters, 6-card boosters, five intro packs, two event decks and a fat pack. The 16-card boosters featured artwork from Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, Sheoldred, Whispering One and Suture Priest. The small booster featured artwork from Etched Monstrosity.
Suture Priest and a version of Pristine Talisman (with the Mirrodin Pure expansion symbol) were previewed at the Mirrodin Besieged Game Day. The prerelease was May 7–8, 2011, the launch party on May 13–16, the Magic Online release on May 30 21, 2011. The Game Day was held on June 11–12, 2011. The promotional card given to participants at the Prerelease tournaments was Sheoldred, Whispering One, one of the five powerful Phyrexian praetors. The launch party promotional card was Phyrexian Metamorph, and the Magic Game Day promotional card was a full-art Priest of Urabrask (top-8 participants received a full-art foil Myr Superion). The Buy-a-Box card was Surgical Extraction.
Regular boosters of New Phyrexia come with a bonus sixteenth card that is either a "tips & tricks card", a creature token from New Phyrexia, or a poison counter (which is subtle different from the poison counters in the previous sets). These bonus cards display on their reverse side one of 14 advertisements for organized play programs, other Magic products such as fat packs and intro packs, the Magic books library, Magic Online, UltraPro products, or various Wizards-run, Magic-related websites (such as community.wizards.com).
Tips & Tricks
The tips & tricks cards are:
- 3/3 Beast produced by Beast Within and Fresh Meat.
- 1/1 Goblin, similar to the token from Scars of Mirrodin, but with "Phyrexianized" art to show the compleation of the plane, produced by Chancellor of the Forge.
- 3/3 Golem Artifact, similar to the token from Scars of Mirrodin, but with "Phyrexianized" art, produced by Blade Splicer, Conversion Chamber, Master Splicer, Maul Splicer, Sensor Splicer, Vital Splicer and Wing Splicer.
- 1/1 Myr Artifact, similar to the token from Scars of Mirrodin, but with "Phyrexianized" art, produced by Shrine of Loyal Legions.
New Phyrexia introduces five new mana symbols, referred to as "Phyrexian mana". These symbols resemble a mark of Phyrexia on a colored background, one for each color of mana, and indicate a cost that can be paid with either 2 life or one mana of the respective color. This mechanic also heralds the return of colored artifacts, previously seen in Future Sight and the Esper shard from Alara block. Because these symbols were all identical except for color, there were multiple complaints from color blind players, although this was somewhat mitigated by the appearance of the standard symbols in the effect boxes.
The keyword mechanics Infect, Proliferate, Living weapon, Metalcraft and Imprint return. Karn gets a Planeswalker card, the first colorless planeswalker card that has, up to that point, the largest amount of loyalty counters added by a planeswalker's first ability with +4, and the most costly ultimate ability at -14 loyalty counters.
The set has a small subtheme of "splicers", 1/1 creatures that put a certain number of 3/3 Golem artifact creature tokens onto the battlefield and grant abilities to them. Another small subtheme was nicknamed the "blood tax", and referred to spells such as Vapor Snag which resembled other utility cards (in this case, Unsummon), but with an additional rider that caused a loss of 1 life.
New Phyrexia has five cycles:
|Praetors||Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite||Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur||Sheoldred, Whispering One||Urabrask the Hidden||Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger|
|Five mythic rare legendary creatures, one per color, representing the Phyrexian's rulers and a different philosophy among the Phyrexian army what exactly New Phyrexia should look like. They give a positive effect to the player controlling them, and an inverse effect to their opponents.|
|Chancellors||Chancellor of the Annex||Chancellor of the Spires||Chancellor of the Dross||Chancellor of the Forge||Chancellor of the Tangle|
|Five rare creatures, who can be revealed at the start of the game for a small effect to get an early advantage.|
|Exarchs||Inquisitor Exarch||Deceiver Exarch||Entomber Exarch||Tormentor Exarch||Brutalizer Exarch|
|Five uncommon Cleric creatures that let you choose to either exercise a positive effect on yourself or a permanent you control, or the inverse effect on the opponent or one of their creatures.|
|Shrines||Shrine of Loyal Legions||Shrine of Piercing Vision||Shrine of Limitless Power||Shrine of Burning Rage||Shrine of Boundless Growth|
|Each of these uncommon artifacts gains a charge counter at the beginning of its controllers upkeep, and whenever they cast a spell of a specified color, and can be sacrificed for an effect that scales with the number of charge counters.|
|Souleaters||Blinding Souleater||Trespassing Souleater||Pestilent Souleater||Immolating Souleater||Insatiable Souleater|
|Five common artifact creatures with activated abilities that cost a single Phyrexian mana of a specified color.|
- Enslave, first printed in Planar Chaos
- Evil Presence, first printed in Alpha, last seen in 5th Edition
- Phyrexian Hulk, first printed as uncommon in Tempest, last seen in 9th Edition. Now a common.
- Priest of Urabrask, red colorshifted version of Priest of Gix (Urza's Saga)
- Leeching Bite, green colorshifted version of Steal Strength (Prophecy)
- Despise, upgrade from Ostracize (Urza's Legacy)
- Marrow Shards, upgrade from Rain of Blades (Scourge)
- Phyrexian Obliterator: An updated version of the Suicide Black staple Phyrexian Negator, which could not be reprinted because it is on the Reserved List. Both have similar names and identical combat stats (5/5 trampler). However, the new card reverses Negator's drawback for a higher and more color-intensive mana cost.
- Sword of War and Peace: this completes the set of enemy color swords, from Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Light and Shadow, Sword of Body and Mind and Sword of Feast and Famine.
- Etched Monstrosity: continues the Etched creatures that began with Etched Oracle in Fifth Dawn and was continued with Etched Champion in Scars of Mirrodin.
- Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite: While initially considered average for her high casting cost, she's often played in reanimator decks with the advent of Unburial Rites, which can flashback for white, and remains as a premier target for reanimator decks in eternal formats. She's often used to shut down creature decks, rendering many creature armies completely useless with her sheer presence and being an excellent blocker and attacker against them.
- Karn Liberated: The first colorless planeswalker. It is also a powerful spell used mainly in Tron decks in Modern.
- As with many previous powerful mechanics, the ability to exchange one of the most affordable resource - life - for the most impacting in mana, phyrexian mana proved to become a mainstay mechanic in all non-rotating formats.
- Mental Misstep: This card immediately impacted Legacy and Vintage - formats highly fueled by one-mana cards - upon its release, and was banned from Modern when the format was codified by Wizards of the Coast. It was later also banned in Legacy and Extended. However, it could have been worse as the card was a phyrexian mana Force Spike before being changed by development.
- Gitaxian Probe: This card was allowed to prosper for many years in all formats available, as the ability to freely cycle was offset by the two-life payment and the uncertainty in mulligan decisions. Eventually it was removed from both Modern and Vintage due to its ability to provide perfect information in decks with explosive turns (Storm and Infect most prominently).
- Dismember: Another card which saw immediate wide application across multiple formats due to versatility, cheapness, and lack of color requirements.
- Birthing Pod: The backbone of several combo decks abusing self-recurring creatures and creatures with effects when they enter the battlefield to produce continuous card advantage. Eventually it was banned in Modern, much like the previous set's Green Sun's Zenith; in addition to powerful versatility, it also was very consistent and tended to result in many turns of shuffling.
- Surgical Extraction: For the low cost of 2 life, this card gives any deck the ability to access the 'lobotomy' ability, cherry-picking cards with a single name and exiling them, provided the card is already in a graveyard. This card has started seeing serious play in sideboards throughout multiple formats like Modern; Legacy and Vintage.
New Phyrexia has five bicolored intro packs.
|Intro pack name||Colors included||Foil rare|
|Artful Destruction||W||G||Blade Splicer|
|Devouring Skies||U||B||Phyrexian Ingester|
|Feast of Flesh||B||R||Chancellor of the Dross|
|Life for Death||W||R||Moltensteel Dragon|
|Ravaging Swarm||U||G||Phyrexian Swarmlord|
New Phyrexia has two monocolored event decks. The number of rares was increased from seven to eight.
|Rot from Within||G|
|War of Attrition||W|
- Product info
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- Monty Ashley (May 13, 2011). "Wallpaper of the Week: New Phyrexia Fat Pack". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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- Monty Ashley (April 20, 2011). "The Changing Face of Poison". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Monty Ashley (April 14, 2011). "New Phyrexia Tokens". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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- New Phyrexia product information page — Wizards of the Coast
- Monty Ashley (April 28, 2011). "New Phyrexia Videos". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.