Toxic is a new MTG keyword ability word introduced with Phyrexia: All Will Be One. In this article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about it, including:
- How does toxic work?
- How can you win a game with toxic?
- What interactions do cards with toxic enable?
- Who are the most toxic Magic players?
We’re just kidding with the last one, but we’ll answer all the other questions and some more. Let’s get to it?
How Does Toxic Work?
Toxic can appear on creatures, and always comes with a number. Players that are dealt damage by a creature with toxic get poison counters equal to the number. If a player has 10 or more poison counters, they lose the game.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Here’s Venerated Rotpriest, a one mana 1/2 with toxic 1.
Let’s say you attack with it, and your opponent doesn’t block it. Your opponent will lose one life and also get one poison counter due to toxic 1.
A creature with toxic 2, would give the opponent 2 poison counters, a creature with toxic 3 would give three, and so on.
As you can see, the mechanic is quite easy to understand, as fair as the basics go. When a creature with toxic deals combat damage to an opponent, they lose life and get poison counters (equal to the toxic number).
However, there are still some specific scenarios, which might not be so clear. That’s why this next section is here for.
MTG Toxic – FAQ
Here are some commonly asked questions that players have about the toxic mechanic. As always, if your question isn’t answered, leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you as fast as we can.
Yes, they deal both regular combat damage, and the player gets poison counters equal to the toxic number.
The same thing as would happen if the creature didn’t have toxic. This ability doesn’t affect the way the creature deals damage to anything. It only adds the poison counters when the creature deals combat damage to a player.
No, toxic doesn’t have anything to do with -1/-1 counters, as it is not infect.
Let’s say your creature somehow has both toxic 1 and toxic 2. If such creature deals combat damage to an opponent, the opponent will also get 3 (1+2) poison counters.
Quite favorably. If a creature deals any amount of combat damage to a player, they’ll also get poison counters equal to the toxic value of the creature. So if you’d give trample to Paladin of Predation (a 6/7 creature with toxic 6), and it deals a single point of combat damage to the opponent, the opponent would also get 6 poison counters.
We also like to touch on the flavor of the mechanics. This time around, it’s pretty self-explanatory. If a creature is toxic, it’ll poison you if it manages to touch you. Not much else to add here, although it is a bit of a flavor fail that it doesn’t have any effect on creatures.
MTG Toxic – Interactions
In this section, we’ll talk about some interesting interactions with the toxic ability.
Technically, this is more of an interaction with poison counters. If you’re a more experienced player, you’ve likely heard of it before.
Whenever you proliferate, you can choose any number of players and/or permanents with counters on them, then you put another of each kind of counter already there on these players or permanents.
The idea is that you get at least one poison counter to your opponent. You can do so by damaging them with a toxic creature, for example. Then, whenever you proliferate, you can also add another poison counter to the opponent. With some luck, you’ll be able to get your opponent to 10 counters, so they’ll lose the game.
Toxic in Draft
If you’ll be playing Phyrexia: All Will Be One drafts, you’ll surely encounter some creatures with toxic. So, the question is how good is this mechanic in draft?
Well, it’s hard to say for sure, because it really depends on the format as a whole. However, the mechanic looks quite weak for the formats like draft and sealed. The reason is that you’re already doing damage to your opponent, which means they can’t block – so you are already winning that game. Even if you might get there a bit faster, the presence of toxic doesn’t really change much.
This means that you should likely evaluate the cards with toxic based on how good they are without that ability. It’s mostly just a cherry on the top, as it’s a typical win-more mechanic. It doesn’t do absolutely nothing when you’re defending.
That’s all about the toxic keyword. Hopefully, you now know how it works, and you’ll be able to use it to your advantage.
If you want to open some cards with the toxic ability, you can get yourself a Phyrexia Set booster box.
If you’re looking for more information about Phyrexia, you can find Phyrexia: All Will Be One spoilers here. Furthermore, if you’re a Commander fan, check the Phyrexia Commander decks. One of them also cares about the poison counters, and features the toxic mechanic.
Until next time, have fun and don’t let too many toxic creatures damage you!