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April 6, 2011


Whispers of the Muse: Robert F’s Phyrexia

by Dredd77

It’s that time again! Whispers of the Muse is our occasional feature where a Lament reader looks for advice and suggestions from the community in building off of a precon deck. Today’s deck couldn’t come at a better time, with ‘Action’ being announced as New Phyrexia and a massive leak of cards giving everyone something to salivate over.

Robert F has found himself in possession of two copies of Duel Decks: Phyrexia vs the Coalition, and has this to say:

Deck: Phyrexia (Duel deck)

Restrictions: Anything goes, I am a casual player.


Extra Stuff: The set was on sale at my local hobby store, so I have two each of the Phyrexia and Coalition decks to work with. I play mostly multi-player, as well.
I just want the deck to feel more refined, focused, and aggressive, although I do like the sacrifice effects and abusing Living Death.

I have a bunch of cards from alara block/m10/zendikar block/m11, but most importantly, a playset of Abyssal Persecutors that I think would feel right at home in this deck.

Who has some thoughts for Robert on how to best craft his deck?

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Stric9
    Apr 6 2011

    Definitely keep both the Negators. You also need 4x Dark Ritual. This sets you up for a turn 1 Negator which is pretty much game. Unless, of course, they have a lightning bolt in their hand. Speaking of Lightning Greaves, those are certainly handy. It keeps your opponent constantly thinking. And the Phyrexian rager is clutch for pulling more cards into your hand as well as Phyrexian Arena. I’ll look through my own meddled Phyrexian deck, but I’d probably steer clear of having too many of the really big beaters that the deck has on the tail end of the mana curve.

  2. Icehawk
    Apr 6 2011

    I love the look of Negators but hate playing it. Too much burn around me..

    If you want to keep it a Phyrexia deck, skip the Persecutors. Go through the Phyrexia deck and double up all the better cards in it. Put in 4 Ragers. Get up to 4 Priests. 2 Plaguelords. So forth. My deck is partially based off the flavor text. Going from my low level phyrexs up to Plaguelord I kept those that spoke of the infection. Then I threw in 2 Carnifax Demon, I think that’s the name, as the top guy. Every contagion needs a host. 😉

    Essentially, my deck has 4 priests then a bunch of Phyrexians. They all have the sac ability. I do have 4 Guards in it. I did buy and stick in a couple extra of the low CMC Phyrexians to balance the curve some.

    Then naturally 4 Dark Rituals. 2 Arena. A bunch of removal. 4 Doom blade would be a good. Mutilate from the GvL duel deck would really rock and feed Living Dead.

    Really. It depends. How far do you want to stray from the original design? I didn’t really for my deck. I wanted to keep the old school Phyrexia and a black “Power at a price” feel. Persecutors are fine and dandy, but they are more demon than Phyrexia.

    Could always look at older Phyrexians. I just like sticking with the modern frame for my decks. Though by upping Ritual and the Priest, the deck really speeds up quite a bit.

  3. Apr 7 2011

    The problem I had when I reviewed the deck was that it seemed like it was a collection of smaller substrategies that didn’t really synergise well, and it was my thought then (as now) that this was deliberately done to choke the pace of the deck and balance it against the other.

    My suggestion would be to reread our analysis of the Phyrxian deck and pick one you prefer. SInce you’ve got a double-pool to work from, you can then bring out that theme on top of a solid base of cards that you’d keep no matter -what- theme you wanted.

    Let’s say you begin with the basics. These are auto-includes:

    4 Dark Ritual
    2 Hideous End
    2 Phyrexian Arena
    4 Tendrils of Corruption
    4 Priest of Gix
    2 Phyrexian Negator (metagame call- if you face a lot of burn he can be a liability, but otherwise he’s insane)
    2 Bone Shredder

    Very basic stuff- removal and rocket fuel. Now from there, where do you want to go?

    Do you want to go with a heavy sacrifice theme? Consider these:

    Carrion Feeder
    Phyrexian Broodlings
    Phyrexian Ghoul
    Phyrexian Vault
    2 Living Death

    Maybe a more artifact-based strat would be more to your liking?
    Voltaic Key
    Phyrexian Colossus
    Worn Powerstone
    Puppet Strings
    Phyrexian Processor
    Lightning Greaves

    In the first option, you focus on creatures that gleefully trundle off to the graveyard after outliving their usefulness on the battlefield. When the time is right, use one of the sac outlets to kill every creature you’ve got, then drop the Living Death bomb on your opponent and get everything back while Wrathing them. The tension here is between killing off their creatures that are nuisances but not -too- nuisome, because you don’t want to give them back when the LD hits.

    In the second strat, you’re going for massive artifact beats. Land the Colossus and use the Strings or Key to circumvent paying 8 life to untap it. Or bring out a Phyrexian Processor and start churning out an army of absurdly large creatures Motto: if you’re not paying at least 10 life to the Processor, you’re not trying hard enough! 😀

    So build on a solid base, and decide which direction you’d like to take the deck. As Stric9 and Icehawk mention, there are a lot of other options you can add from outside the game that are easy to come by (Phyrexian Rager is a common, for instance) and will really add to it!

  4. Stric9
    Apr 7 2011

    If you’re looking for a couple newer cards to throw in, Skinrender fits in with the removal aspect as does Black Sun’s Zenith. But I think those are rares. I love the sacrifice aspect of the deck. Very self-destructively Phyrexian. It’s all up to your taste.

  5. Robert F.
    Apr 7 2011

    Negator is definitely being kept. I don’t face enough burn for him to be a liability, and if I’m sacrificing things anyway, it’s not as big of a deal. Especially if I throw in Grave Pact. Although I may have to build the artifact theme and see how that works, too.

  6. Icehawk
    Apr 8 2011

    The Sac theme works well with Quest for the Gravelord.

    I like Phyrexian Processor in my sac deck. With Tendrils, you’re likely be gaining some life. Heck, 4 life is enough to make it efficient. Even 1 life can serve a purpose by fueling Plaguelord.

  7. Jered
    Apr 8 2011

    Perhaps Phyrexian Canceller when it gets released? I don’t think BBBB for a 5/5 is bad. Maybe Corrupt?

    • Icehawk
      Apr 10 2011

      It’s not the 5/5 that you should focus on. It’s the effect. There’s a reason it’s up for 25 bucks preorder. The 5/5 for 4 is nice, but tacking on the effect makes it unholy.

      1 more mana vs negator but you get the keys to a Aston Martin.

      • Kevin
        Apr 12 2011

        The only reason its $25 is the hype every set has before its released. It has happened every set since Zendikar. I’m looking for the Canceller to drop to $10 after release. Look at past examples like Molten tail Masticore and Thrun, the Last Troll.

        • Icehawk
          Apr 12 2011

          Still too rich for my casual playing blood.

          Paying say more than $2.5 for a card is quite hard for me to justify. Though Canceller might make it to the event decks for NPH. Not sure if there will be event decks, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them.


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