Hello, and welcome friend, to yet another draft guide! Today we’re diving deep into the new Phyrexia set (not to be confused with New Phyrexia set), which is quite interesting with many fascinating mechanics and synergies. In this Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Guide, we’ll explore everything you need to learn about this format, in order to begin mastering it. This will, hopefully, result in more wins for you.
If you’ve read one of our previous draft guides, you know what to expect. If not, here’s a quick overview. First we’ll take a look at the mechanics, how they work, and how they affect the format. We continue with the best commons, followed by the archetype overview. Finally, the power rankings wrap everything up.
This article already got two big updates. The first one happened after the prerelease weekend, and the second one just before Phyrexia Quick Draft came to the Arena. At this point, I did a ton of drafts (20+) already, and explored the 17Lands data. While some things might still change when the format develops further, we now have a very good picture of the format.
UPDATE: If you’re looking for the newest draft guide, you can find Wilds of Eldraine Draft Guide here.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
Phyrexia: All Will Be One Mechanics
In this section, we’ll take a look at all the main mechanics that you will encounter in Phyrexia: All Will Be One draft. We won’t just discuss how they work, but we’ll also talk about how they affect this draft environment.
The five major mechanics are:
- Oil counters
- For Mirrodin!
Toxic is a keyword ability that creatures can have. It always comes with a number (toxic value). Whenever a creature with toxic deals combat damage to a player, that player also gets poison counters equal to the toxic value. If a player has 10 or more poison counters, that player loses the game.
Toxic is evenly distributed in White, Black, and Green.
Let’s say you attack your opponent with Branchblight Stalker a 3/1 that has toxic 2, and it goes through. It will deal three damage to the opponent, and give them two poison counters.
You can find more in-depth explanations about toxic rules here.
Before we talk about what the toxic mechanic means for the format, we should quickly mention Mites, since they have toxic themselves. Mites are 1/1 colorless tokens that have toxic 1 and can’t block. They are mostly found in White, and also play well with artifact synergies. In general, a Mite is worth around half a card, but that can change based on your deck.
The Key Mechanic
Toxic is one of the most format-defining mechanics in Phyrexia: All Will Be One draft.
First up, it only works on offense, when you’re dealing combat damage to the opponent. Otherwise, it does stone-cold nothing. This means that if you want to take advantage of toxic, you’ll want to make sure that your creatures connect. That can be achieved by playing an aggressive deck with cheap toxic creatures. Such a deck will take advantage of combat tricks, as your opponents are highly incentivized to block.
One counter-play that you have against aggressive decks is incidental life gain. You survive the early onslaught, stabilize, and then you gain some life, so you don’t die to an all-in attack. With poison counters, you don’t have that option, as there is no way to remove them.
Therefore, this means two key takeaways. If you are playing a toxic deck, you should be a very aggressive deck, with low mana curve and good combat tricks. On the other hand, if you aren’t playing a toxic deck, you should affect the board early. Either with efficient blockers, or – even better – with cheap removal.
Anyway, getting your opponent to 10 poison counters is obviously great, as that’ll win you the game. However, that’s not the only reward that you can get from giving opponent poison counters, as we’ll see with the next mechanic.
Corrupted is an ability word that appears on some cards. A card with corrupted becomes better if your opponent has 3 or more poison counters.
Corrupted is mostly found on White and Black cards.
Bonepicker Skirge is a 2/2 flyer for three mana. It’s corrupted ability gives it deathtouch and lifelink, if an opponent has 3+ poison counters.
You can find more Corrupted rules here.
The biggest effect these cards have on the format is that they snowball. Let’s say you got an early advantage; you played toxic creatures, and managed to get your opponent to 3 poison counters quickly. Now all of your corrupted cards get even better, and you were already in a good position.
As you can see, the presence of corrupted is another reason to do the same things that we talked about when we were discussing toxic. If you want to enable your corrupted cards, you have to play an aggressive toxic deck. (Perhaps with some help of proliferate, but more on that later.) Besides, you want to also prevent your opponent from giving you 3 poison counters – you need to affect the board quickly.
The similarities make sense, as both toxic and corrupted are tied to one another. If you’re not a fan of such all-in aggro mechanics, you’ll probably like this next one more.
Oil counters can be put on permanents via various effects. They don’t do anything on their own, but some cards can use them as a resource. Most of the cards, that interact with oil counters, can both make and use them.
Oil counters are most prevalent in Blue, Red, and Green.
Axiom Engraver comes into play with two oil counters. You can tap it, discard a card, and remove an oil counter from it to draw a card. Once you run out of oil counters on Engraver, you won’t be able to use its ability, unless you put some more oil counters on it, with cards like Free From Flesh.
Cards with oil counters work in various ways, some are pretty much self-contained, others want you to have a lot of permanents with oil counters, some provide oil counters for other cards.
It can be a bit tricky to evaluate these cards. In general, you should evaluate them as if you won’t have any specific synergies with oil. If a card is good on its own, then it’s going to be even better if you have further synergies. We’ll talk more about them in the archetype section.
So, what does the presence of oil counters means for the Phyrexia: All Will Be One draft? Well, it doesn’t have such a clear focus as the previous two mechanics. Some oil cards are aggressive, while the others rewards you if the game goes long. One thing they all have in common is that they play really well with the next mechanic.
Proliferate is a keyword action. If a card instructs you to proliferate, you can choose any number of permanents and players with counters on them. Then you put another kind of each kind of counter already there on the chosen permanents or players.
Now, that’s quite a mouthful. Basically, you choose from anything that has a counter, and you give it another counter. In this set, this will mostly mean that you will give another:
- poison counter to an opponent (if they already have one)
- oil counter on everything you control with oil counters on it
- loyalty counter on a planeswalker (if you’re particularly lucky)
Proliferate can typically be found in Blue, Green, and Black.
Experimental Augury is Anticipate with proliferate. You get to pick the best card out of the top three cards of your library, and you get to proliferate. So, you’ll be putting a counter on everything that already has it, and is beneficial to you.
Proliferate plays well will both poison and oil counters, albeit promoting different play patterns with each mechanic.
Two Use Cases
When you use it in a poison deck, it’s basically a finisher. Let’s say you managed to get your opponent 8 poison counters, and now they have their defenses up. If you can proliferate twice, you’re going to win the game. This means that you really don’t want to get too many poison counters.
On the other hand, you can also pair proliferate with a dedicated oil counters deck. In that case, you won’t mind if a game goes on a bit longer. This way you’ll have multiple permanents with oil counters, and your proliferate cards will provide even more value.
Of course, there will also be decks that use both oil and poison, so proliferate will also perform well there. Before we move to the last mechanic, let’s talk about how to evaluate proliferate cards. In general, you should value a single proliferate effect a less than half a card’s worth of value. However, that can change dramatically, based on the type of deck you’re building.
For Mirrodin! is a keyword that can appear on equipment. When such equipment enters the battlefield, you create a 2/2 Red Rebel creature token, and then you attach the equipment to it.
For Mirrodin! equipment are centered in White and Red.
For the most part, you should evaluate these cards based on what kind of creature you get for the cost. They are a bit better than that, as you get to use equipment later, but not by that much.
So, Goldwarden’s Helm is a three mana 2/3 with a minor upside. If your deck is fine with playing a three mana 2/3, then you’ll happily include this card. If it’s below ware, you’ll really want some other reason to play it.
This mechanic feels weirdly out of place. All the other ones are somewhat intertwined with another mechanic. However, you can mostly ignore the equipment synergies, and just play the good cards among them. As it turns out, there are quite a lot of strong equipment.
That’s it for the mechanics overview. Just from the mechanics alone, you can already learn a lot about the draft format. So before we move on to the best commons, let’s take a look at the big picture of the format.
The Big Picture
In some ways, this format feels similar to the previous one, The Brothers’ War draft. If you want to just do clunky stuff, and mess around with bad mana curves, you’re going to have a bad time. The aggressive decks will simply run you down with their literal toxic starts.
So does this mean that the only way to win is to play an aggressive deck? Well, playing an aggressive deck is certainly a very viable strategy, that’s for sure. However, it’s not the only way to win. The way to do so is by respecting the aggressive decks.
That means that you have to affect the board early. We’ve mentioned that multiple times, but it really is that important. Don’t have too clunky of a mana curve, you’ll want to play at least 6 cards that you can cast on the first two turns. If you aren’t aggressive, you want efficient blockers, and removal spells. Aggressive decks are also interested in removal, but they can complement it with combat tricks.
Once you’re prepared to participate in the early game, you’ll be able to make it to the mid and late game, without too much damage (and poison). That’s when you’ll be able to do some non-aggro stuff.
With that said, let’s take a look at the best commons!
Best Commons for Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft
The commons are the cards you’ll see the most often in the draft. For each color you’l find the three best commons ranked, followed by a few honorable mentions.
1. Planar Disruption
We’ve seen this type of effect in basically every set, and it’s always among the better White commons. This time around, it’s spectacular.
It costs just two mana, it can be put not only on a creature, but on an artifact or planeswalker too. It also locks activated abilities. This card will be great no matter when you draw it, as it can take care of almost everything, both early and late.
2. Basilica Shepherd
3/3 flyer for five mana is below rate, if only just a little. However, this one comes with two Mite tokens. Sure, they can’t block, but you are getting three bodies in one card, and that rate is quite hard to beat. You’ll happily play this card even in multiples, which is rarely the case for five drops.
3. Duelist of Deep Faith
Flensing Raptor is another can consistently give your opponent poison counters, plus it makes a toxic card more evasive for a turn. In an aggressive toxic deck, this is a perfect three drop.
Duelist of the Deep Faith is hard to block in the early game, and can be a reason for a lot of poison counters. It’s also great to pair with any kind of pump spells.
Crawling Chorus does a lot for one mana. It’s great if you have a sacrifice theme, or if you want to give your opponent a couple of poison counters fast. Besides, it’s also not the worst blocker.
Indoctrination Attendant looks quite good. If you want a Mite, you can even bounce a land, but you’re really looking to return something with an enters-the-battlefield effect, so you can get more value out of it. For Mirrodin! equipment all work fine with it, as you get another 2/2 token.
Many games are about winning with poison counters, but just about racing with regular damage. In any kind of race, Mandible Justiciar can help you greatly.
Charge of the Mites is a removal spell when you have enough creatures. When you don’t have creatures, it can provide two Mites for you.
1. Malcator’s Watcher
Of course, the biggest draw to Watcher is that fact that you get your card back when it dies. Before that, it can be used in a number of ways. Early, it can sneak some damage in or even trade with an opposing attacker. There are 24 creatures with toughness 1 in the set (17.4%), and there are the 1/1 Mite tokens, so that won’t be uncommon. Finally, you can also chump-block a big attacker.
With it, you’re affecting the board early, and you really aren’t giving up much by putting it in your deck. On top of that, it enables a lot of artifact synergies, which is just about the only thing that Blue has going for it. For examples, it pairs nicely with Unctus’s Retrofitter.
2. Mesmerising Dose
Permanent tap effects are the most common form of Blue removal. Their usefulness varies from format to format, but they’re usually at least playable. Mesmerising Dose comes with another effect. It proliferates when it comes into play, which obviously improves the card.
We’ve mentioned that the only good thing for Blue are artifact synergies. Eye of Malcator needs some work, you obviously need to play a lot of artifacts with it. Once you do, you’ve built yourself a passable common, which is about as good as it gets with Blue.
Bring the Ending is a good counterspell to use early. In a Blue deck, the corrupted clause will be hard to met, but it’s good to have that option anyway.
Gitaxian Raptor is a perfectly fine three drop. It blocks well, and it can become a good attacker in a pinch.
All Skullbombs are at least playable, but Surgical Skullbomb seems the best of the bunch. You’ll probably want to play a copy in your Blue decks, and we’re prepared to move in further in our rankings if it outperforms.
1. Anoint with Affliction
Let’s ignore the corrupted part for a moment. For just two mana, at instant speed, you can exile 80 creatures in this format. Since there are 138 creatures in the format, this means that it kills 58.0% of them – and that’s without counting any tokens. That sort of efficiency, is hard to beat, and such a card would easily be the best Black common in many draft formats.
However, if your opponent has 3+ poison counters, you’ll be able to just exile anything. This makes Anoint with Affliction a candidate for the best common in the entire Phyrexia: All Will Be One draft.
This is a very solid three drop. It’s not too exciting, but it’ll get serve its role. If you’re playing a Black deck that cares about poison and toxic, you’ll want these in your deck.
3. Blightbelly Rat
Cheap play, with fine stats, that gives you some value when it dies. What’s not to like? Don’t be afraid to use it as an early blocker, just because you feel you should attack to get value out of the toxic ability.
Pestilent Syphoner on turn two is probably one of the best ways to get your opponent to 3+ poison counter quickly, if that’s something you’re interested in.
Testament Bearer has a very powerful effect when it dies. The biggest downside is its one toughness. However, if you use it on defense, your opponent might not be able to attack with their big creature profitably, which makes Testament Bearer a fine card.
1. Hexgold Slash
Hexgold Slash is a very effective card, and you should pick it highly. It’ll allow you to play two spells in a single turn early on, and this is always a good place to be at.
The toxic bonus might seem like not much, but it actually meaningfully improves the card. Without it, it destroys 55 creatures (39.9%), and the bonus takes care of an additional 17 creatures (bumping the percentage to 52.2%).
As you can see, this is a very good removal spell, as it takes care of over half of all creatures in the format, for a single mana.
2. Volt Charge
Three mana for three damage is always an amazing deal in Limited, this time around it might be just a bit weaker, but it’s still very strong. It deals with a lot of creatures, and it’s easy to get some additional value from the proliferate effect.
3. Chimney Rabble
A 3/3 haste for four is below rate, but the added 1/1 token significantly improves the card. That’s especially true in a set with so much equipment, which can make the token more relevant.
Barbed Batterfist is a surprisingly good two drop. It’s getting passed quite late in the drafts, so it’s easy to end up with multiples. If you do – that’s great! Just play all of them, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good it is.
Axiom Engraver is another good two mana play. It has synergies with various oil counter stuff, blocks well, and helps you find the cards you need.
Furnace Strider can be a scary five drop. It attacks out of nowhere, as early as turn 5, and it threatens another hasty attacker in the following turns.
You might want to include a copy of Hazardous Blast in your Red deck. It can deal with Mites and random X/1s. Ocasinally, it’ll just win you the game on the spot.
1. Contagious Vorrac
A 3/3 for three mana needs something extra that you’re happy to include it in your deck. Contagious Vorrac certainly delivers. If you want to get a land, it’ll usually get you one. (In a 17 land deck, the chances are a bit over 90%.) On the other hand, if you don’t want a land, you can instead choose to proliferate.
Vorrac would be insanely good if it would just draw you a card. You don’t get quite good of an effect, but it’s still powerful. In the mid-game it’ll be important to hit your land drops, and in the late game, you’ll surely be able to get some value from proliferate. All in all, this is a perfectly fine three drop, and you won’t mind playing it in multiples.
2. Ruthless Predation
Ruthless Predation is a new card with an old effect. It’s a cheap fight spell, that provides a meaningful boost. This effect is strong both early and late, and such cards are always good. It’ll be especially good if you’re able to deal with your opponent’s only blocker and then attack with that extra point of power.
This card might look mediocre, but it packs a big punch. A 5/4 attacker is hard to block, and even if your opponent puts two creatures in front of it, you can blow them out with a timely combat trick.
Oil-Gorger Troll can be a perfect payoff on your five drop slot, if you’ve included enough oil counter cards in your deck. Drawing a card, and gaining 3 life is a big deal when it comes tacked on a 3/4.
Rustvine Cultivator isn’t your typical one mana dork. It takes a little time to get going, but it does support your oil counters synergies. As for example, the Troll that we’ve just talked about.
Predation Stewart is a serviceable two drop on its own, and it gets better if you have – what a surprise – oil counter synergies.
Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Archetypes
There are 10 main archetypes in this format, one for each color pair. Other things might be available, as there are some mana fixers. They might even allow you to play a three color deck. However, for now, we’ll focus on the 2-color archetypes.
We’ll start with the three main poison / toxic archetypes. As we said, while they all care about that mechanic, they all work in slightly different ways. Black and White have the most cards with the corrupted mechanic.
This suggests that this archetype will really want to get 3 poison counters on the opponent. Once you do so, some of your cards will get better. At that point, you can try to win via poison or by regular damage.
Getting to 3 Poison
How can you get the opponent to three poison counters quickly? Well, the most consistent way is probably with cheap creatures with toxic, like Crawling Chorus, Bilious Skulldweller and Pestilent Syphoner.
You can use cheap removal to make sure that they’ll go through, or pair them with some combat tricks. Compleat Devotion would be an excellent one, as you also get your card back. As far as removal goes, you’ll have plenty of options, as both colors have access to some amazing removal spells. Besides the common ones, that we’ve mentioned when discussing the best commons, you’ll also have incredible removal at higher rarities – Ossification and Drown in Ichor are just two examples.
Of course, once you get that first poison counter on the opponent, your proliferate cards will also help you get to that third one. (And potentially, tenth.) Don’t go out of your way to pick up cards just because they have proliferate, but you should certainly consider proliferate a non-negligible bonus with this deck. (Although it might not be as powerful of an effect as in some other archetypes.)
The Corrupted Rewards
You did the work, got your opponent to three poison counters, now what are your rewards?
Well, the biggest one is certainly Vivisection Evangelist. A 4/4 vigilance for five mana is slightly below the curve, but once you staple a removal spell onto it, it becomes an insane powerhouse. There are also a lot of ways to reuse it. You can get it back from your graveyard with Vat Emergence, return it to your hand with Indoctrination Attendant or blink it with Against All Odds.
Other rewards might be less powerful, but still quite useful. We’ve already talked about the amazing removal spell in Anoint with Affliction, and the useful tapper Sinew Dancer. But there’s plenty of other stuff too. Two excellent cards are Incisor Glider, which can pump your whole team on attacks, and Chittering Skitterling, which can turn your less useful creatures into new cards.
As you can see, you should build this deck as an aggressively slanted deck, with cheap toxic creatures, removal spells, combat tricks, and corrupted payoffs.
Green-White: Toxic Go-Wide Aggro
Green-White is another archetype with toxic. This one is even more aggressive, and has a go-wide subtheme. Go-wide strategies deploy lots of small creatures, then use effects that power up all of them at once.
Given that this is first and foremost an aggressive deck, you should follow the typical guidelines for building one. You’ll want to have a low curve with cheap attackers. Cards that cost two mana are great in this shell. The most expensive cards have to be excellent in order to deserve an inclusion. Pump spells are often at their best in decks like this.
One of the biggest draws to toxic is obviously the fact that if you manage to get the opponent 10 poison counters, they lose, and you win. However, as we’ve seen with the previous archetype, there are other ways to get value from poison counters.
This archetype will also benefit from the White cards with corrupted. Furthermore, it’ll reward you for simply having creatures with toxic.
The key uncommon, Slaughter Singer is amazing here, and will provide a buff for all of your toxic creatures when they attack. Flensing Raptor will take one of your toxic creatures into an air, and enable a safe attack. Porcelain Zealot and Compleat Devotion are both playable cards, but get much better when they can target toxic creatures.
As, you can see, there are a lot of rewards for having toxic creatures in play. That’s why you want to get a lot of cheap creatures with toxic. Branchblight Stalker, Crawling Chorus, Jawbone Duelist are just some examples of cards that work great in this shell.
The go-wide themes are usually supported by tokens. In White, you have cards that make Mite tokens (1/1 creatures with toxic 1, that can’t block). Not counting rares, there are three cards that can immediately make multiple bodies – Charge of the Mites, Indoctrination Attendant, and Basilica Shepherd. All of them are nice inclusions in this deck.
However, there’s another way of getting lots of creatures in play. The way to do so is by simply playing lots of cheap creatures, so you can play a bunch of them early, and possibly even two of them per turn.
The biggest payoff for going wide is that you’ll simply be able to overwhelm your opponents with them. Furthermore, you’ll also be able to use Plated Onslaught to their full potential.
One final thing about this deck is that even tough it can be full of toxic creatures it doesn’t mean that it’ll win only by poison, often enough, it’ll also win with regular damage too.
Black-Green: Poison Victory
The final dedicated poison deck is Black and Green. These two color have the largest creatures with toxic. They have good stats and high toxic values. According to Wizards, this deck is supposed to be poison victory. The idea being that with such creatures, your main win condition can be victory by poison.
You can definitely win via poison with this deck, but you’ll often win with regular damage too. This deck has access to some corrupted cards, and proliferate too, so once again you want to get that toxic damage in quickly. Paladin of Predation is a big threat, but it costs 7 mana, and doesn’t do that much when you’re behind. So instead of focusing on big toxic numbers, it’s better to once again build an aggressive deck. However, you’ll probably be a bit less aggressive than the two White toxic decks that we’ve talked about.
Necrogen Rotpriest is the perfect example of this deck. You want to have toxic creatures, and attack with them, but you don’t mind blocking against some of the even faster decks. This is one of those deck, that you don’t really have to build hard around specific synergies, but just pick up cards with good rates, and you should be fine.
However, this deck rarely comes together all that well. This archetype will perform best if you have rares in Green and Black.
Phyrexia always had a connection with artifacts, so it makes sense that at least one of the archetypes is tied to artifacts also. The most artifact synergies can be found in Blue, followed by White, which means that Blue-White is the artifacts-matter deck.
Before we start going any deeper into this archetype, it has to be said that the theme feels quite soft. There are enough, and the payoffs exist, but none of them make you go – okay, I’m going all-in on artifacts. Instead, when you’ll play this color combination, you’ll simply include good Blue and White cards in your deck, if you’ll have some incidental artifact synergies, so be it.
Let’s say you’re deciding between two cards during the All Will Be One draft, and you’re in White-Blue. One of them is an artifact and the other isn’t. If they’re close in power level, you should probably go with the artifact, as it’ll work with your synergies. However, if the artifact card is worse, you shouldn’t pick it just because it’s an artifact. There simply aren’t enough good incentives for you to do so.
The problem with the payoffs is that they include cards like Tamiyo’s Logbook, which don’t affect the board, and are only good when the game goes long. Veil of Assimilation might be better. But just imagine that it’s your two mana play on the draw. Your opponent can go toxic one drop into toxic two drop, and you won’t be in a great shape, since the card does nothing on the defense.
Then there’s Plated Onslaught. The card’s perfectly fine, but the affinity really doesn’t do much. At the point where you’d be casting this card, the discount doesn’t really matter that much.
Nevertheless, there are some exciting payoffs. Cephalod Sentry is a 1/5 on its own, and can quickly grow bigger, as it’s not that hard to have some artifacts in play. Once it grows, it’s a real threat, that can end the game in just a few attacks. Eye of Malcator will help you set up your next draws, and can become a big beater.
Unctus’s Retrofitter is almost an entire strategy in itself. Some good cards to use it one are Prophetic Prism, Ribskiff, any of the Skullbombs or even Phyrexian Mite tokens. Don’t forget that these tokens are artifacts, so they will fit with this kind of synergies nicely.
Red-White: For Mirrodin! Aggro
This color pair is always a dedicated aggro deck, and the same is true in Phyrexia: All Will Be One draft environment. This time it utilizes the For Mirrodin! equipment, and they fit really nicely into this shell.
As usual, you’ll want low mana curve, with cheap creatures. If a creature is small and has relevant combat abilities, it might be better than it looks, since you can equip it with one of your equipments that you’ll be running in your deck. For example, a cheap flyer will become a very relevant threat if you equip it.
The deck had additional equipment payoffs, and most of them are nice, but you don’t really have to build hard around them. You just include them in your deck, in which you’ll naturally have some equipment, and they’ll do fine. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Bladegraft Aspirant – fine stats, and a nice bonus for equipment
- Oxidda Finisher – the biggest payoff for equipment in both literal and figurative sense
- Bladehold War-Whip – equipment and a payoff
Outside rares, that’s pretty much all the relevant stuff. These payoffs should further confirm what we were just talking about. This is simply an aggressive deck, with some very minor equipment synergies.
Blue-Red: Oil Counters & Noncreature Spells
This archetype also has a very familiar theme. It rewards you for casting noncreature spells. Similarly to other themes, this one also comes with a somewhat different flavor. You’ll often see the text “Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, put an oil counter on this permanent.” This makes sense, as Blue and Red control the most cards with oil counters.
As with many other archetypes, the gold uncommon, Serum-Core Chimera is the best non-rare payoff for the strategy. It has nice stats, as a four mana 2/4 flyer, and the ability is amazing. If you get three oil counters on it, you can exchange them for a card. Then, you can turn one of your nonland cards into zero mana Lightning Bolts… Well, you can’t target the opponent, but you get the gist.
Other cool non-rare payoffs include: Ichor Synthesizer, Trawler Drake, Sawblade Scamp and more. As far as the rares go, Mercurial Spelldancer can be very powerful, and if the game goes long Ovika, Enigma Goliath can creature a ton of tokens.
It Counts as Two
Casting noncreature spells isn’t the only way to get more oil counters – you can also use proliferate cards. Cards that fit both criteria (noncreature spells that proliferate), will be great enablers for this type of deck. With them, you get two oil counters, which really changes how your payoffs play out.
You cast Experimental Augury, your cards that get oil on noncreature spells will trigger, they get the counter, and then you can proliferate it. This will work even if that creature didn’t have any oil counters on it before.
Finally, it has to be said, that this deck rarely performs all that well in practice.
Blue-Black: Proliferate Control
Blue-Black has its usual theme again – control. The twist this time around is that it also uses the proliferate mechanic. What will you proliferate? Well, Blue has oil counters, and Black has poison counters, so you’ll be able to make more of them.
However, for the most part, you’ll just play as any regular control deck would. Play for the game to go long, disable the opponent’s early threats, and make sure that you’ll win in the late game (with some bombs, or with lots of card advantage). One option that you have is to sneak some poison damage in early, then proliferate and make occasional toxic attacks in order to get the opponent to 10 poison counters.
This might be more common that you might think, as there are a lot of effects that this deck is interested in, that randomly has proliferate tackled onto it. Some examples are:
However, in order to land in this deck, you probably really need a good rare or mythic to pull you into these colors. Obviously, something like Kaito, Dancing Shadow would be a great reason to be there, but stuff like Blue Sun’s Twilight, Jace, the Perfected Mind, etc. would also work. In general, you don’t want to land up in this deck without powerful rares.
Blue-Green: Proliferate & Poison
Blue-Green archetype always tries to do some sweet stuff. It’s not always a winning strategy, but it’s certainly a fun one. This time, it has lots of cards that can proliferate, and the focus is on getting more and more poison counters on your opponent. You’ll still want to get those early poison counters in, then proceed with both small attacks and with proliferate effects.
The problem with these decks is often the lack of removal, as usually neither Blue nor Green have amazing removal spells. This time around, you’ll have some options. Blue has a couple of useful bounce spells (Serum Snare and Surgical Skullbomb), and Green has fight spells (Ruthless Predation and Infectious Bite). However, none of them are great when you’re behind, and this could prove to be a significant issue for this archetype.
Most of the proliferate effects in this set are a one-time effect. You cast your spell, and it proliferates once. In this archetype, you have a couple of repeatable effects in Thrummingbird and Tainted Observer. Both of these cards are going to be high picks for this shell.
Besides, you can also use the Blue incidental proliferate cards, which we talked about when we were discussing Blue-Black archetype.
This archetype will likely be the best home for Bring the Ending, Tamiyo’s Immobilizer and Distorted Curiosity. Some cards “meant” for Blue-Red, like Trawler Drake will also work nicely in this shell. Finally, if the game manages to go long, Watchful Blisterzoa might put an opponent in a hard spot, unless they have a specific removal.
Sadly, the Green-Blue deck is by far the weakest archetype in Phyrexia: All Will Be One draft. So although it does some fun stuff, you’d better avoid it if you want to win.
Black-Red: Oil Counters & Sacrifice
Black-Red archetype also features a typical theme with a twist. You get the usual sacrifice stuff, and the new thing are the oil counters.
For a good sacrifice deck, you’ll typically need three things:
- Fodder (creatures that you don’t mind sacrificing)
- Outlets (cards that let you sacrifice creatures)
- Payoffs (cards that reward you for sacrificing creatures)
Often enough, the later two are mixed in a single card. Cards that let you sacrifice creatures typically reward you for going through the hoops.
To Sacrifice or Not?
However, once you take a look at all the cards in Red and Black, you can quickly figure out that the theme is going the same way as the artifacts in White and Blue. While you have support for the mechanic, there simply isn’t enough good payoffs for you to be rewarded for building around it.
Some of your better payoffs are:
- Charforger – a good card
- Vat of Rebirth – quite clunky and slow
- Necrosquito – a fine card
- Chittering Skitterling – needs corrupted clause to work
As you can see, most of these don’t necessarily want you to sacrifice. You can just have creatures dying. So, by playing a normal game of Limited, you’re getting their clauses anyway. There’s no need for you to build heavily around it. When playing Red-Black, you’ll simply play an aggressive deck, with an additional grindy plan if the game goes long. Of course, it helps if you manage to get good rares in these two colors.
Red-Green: Midrange Oil Counters
The final two-color archetype is Red-Green. The deck uses oil counters, but for the most part plays like a regular midrange deck.
These two colors have good and efficient creatures on all parts of the mana curve. You pair them with strong removal spells and perhaps a couple of good combat tricks, and you should do fine.
Early in the Phyrexia: All Will Be One draft, it looks like the best things to be doing are aggressive toxic decks with small creatures. In many draft formats, it’s possible to find a deck that preys on the Tier 1 strategy, and this Red-Green deck might be just be it.
Hexgold Slash is the perfect removal against the toxic decks, and your creatures will often have slightly bigger stats. The combination of these two things might be good enough for you to take advantage.
Before we wrap up, let’s talk about what the best cards in this archetype are going to be. You already know about the best commons, as we’ve already talked about them. As far as the uncommons go, some powerful options are:
- Cinderslash Ravager – a big creature, gets rid of small stuff
- Armored Scrapgorger – can be responsible for explosive starts
- Evolving Adaptive – low investment for a potentially very big creature
- Incubation Sac – can make lots of creatures if a game goes long
- Cankerbloom – efficient two drop with upside
- Tyvar’s Stand – flexible protection / pump spell
As you can see, quite a lot of these work with oil counters. This means that simply by playing good cards, you’ll include cards with oil counters in your deck.
If you get a lot of them, you can also include cards like Churning Reservoir and Magmatic Sprinter, which will play nicely in this shell. Of course, you should first prioritize good cheap removal and cards that can affect the board early, before pick up this kind of effects.
And with that, we have wrapped up our archetypes overview.
All Will Be One Draft Guide: Power Rankings
There are a couple of things that you have to remember with these power rankings.
First, the vast majority of the time, Wizards does a pretty good job of balancing the colors and archetypes. Even the “worst” ones can be playable in the right circumstances.
Second, the draft is self-correcting. If everyone tries to draft what’s considered the best color, or archetype, there’s room for capitalizing on that. Let’s say the Blue is the weakest color. If the other 7 players avoid drafting it, then you can go for it, and get all the good Blue cards that were opened at the table (even if there are fewer of them).
Currently, we’d recommend you to use our rankings as a tiebreaker. If you have a close pick, then you can pick a card that goes in an archetype / color that we ranked higher. Of course, the rankings have already – and probably will again – change when the format progresses even further. But after two updates, these are our rankings:
White and Red are both very strong. They have many good commons, and there’s also a lot to like across all the higher rarities.
Green, and Black follow. They are both fine colors, with Green being the better of the two, albeit a step below Red and White.
At the end, there’s another drop to Blue. It lacks some of the depth that other colors have. It can still work as long as you go into artifacts, but we don’t like it that much.
Best Archetypes in All Will Be One Draft
- Red-Green Midrange Oil Counters
- Red-White: For Mirrodin! Aggro
- Green-White: Toxic Aggro
- Black-White: Corrupted
- Black-Red: Oil Counters & Sacrifice
- Blue-White: Artifacts
- Black-Green: Poison Victory
- Blue-Black: Proliferate Control
- Blue-Red: Oil Counters & Noncreature Spells
- Blue-Green: Proliferate & Poison
At the top you’ll find a bunch of archetypes with Red and White. The first two can play as good midrange decks. The next two care about toxic. These four decks are likely in a tier of their own.
They’re followed by four medium decks, that can often come together nicely.
Finally, there are three Blue decks, that aren’t that great. If you won’t be doing many drafts of Phyrexia you’d best avoid them.
Additional Tips for Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft
Before we wrap up, here are some additional tips that might prove useful in your drafts.
“Waste” Your Removal
Usually, players want to save their removal for the right threat. You don’t want to waste Drown in Ichor on a two drop, as you might not be able to kill their much better four drop with it. However, in this set, sitting on your removal spell might prove to be problematic.
If your opponent played a two drop with toxic, and you don’t have a blocker for it, you should just fire up a removal spell on it. Even tough, you might be able to play an efficient blocker a turn later. They could deploy another threat on their next turn, and when you finally deploy the blocker, if they have a removal spell, you’re in a great deal of trouble.
Tempo is very important in this draft format, so you should just fire your removal spell on an unopposed attacker early. This doesn’t mean that you’re actually wasting your removal – you’re just making sure that your opponent doesn’t get a massive advantage early on. As we talked before, this is a snowbally format, so don’t allow your opponent to get the ball rolling.
Beware of the Planeswalkers
A normal set usually has around 3-4 planeswalkers at mythic rarity. In the Phyrexia: All Will Be One draft, you’ll be able to encounter ten of them, and most of them are quite bomby. Five of them are rare, and five are mythic. This means that they’ll appear more commonly than usual.
The better ones are:
- Jace, the Perfected Mind
- Kaito, Dancing Shadow
- Lukka, Bound to Ruin
- Nissa, Ascended Animist
- The Eternal Wander
- Vraska Betrayal’s Sting
How’s That in the Pack?
There’s also a small chance that you open one of the Praetors that aren’t technically from this in your packs. This is true both in paper and on Arena. Besides the Elesh Norn, which is already available in this set, you can also get:
- Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
- Sheoldred, the Apocalypse
- Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant
- Urabrask, Heretic Praetor
All of these are quite amazing, with the Blue one being the weakest, due to its high mana cost.
Do you want to know how we feel about each and every card in the set? We’ve already talked about the best commons, and some uncommons in the archetype breakdown but that’s not all. You can also check our Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Tier List, where you’ll find grades for each card.
This can help you make even better decisions during the draft.
Some rares in this format can be quite hard to wrap your head around. Let’s take a look at a couple of them and see how you can use them.
All Will Be One
The namesake of the set, All Will Be One looks like the classic do-nothing Red enchantment. However, it does provide a nice duckbuilding challenge, because if you build your deck just right, it can do a lot of work.
You’ll want to use it in a deck with oil counters and proliferate. Red-Blue looks like a great home for it. Once you untap with it, you want to start proliferating counters, and either destroy your opponent, or remove most of their threats.
The intuitive thing here is that you can use proliferate in a way that wouldn’t be beneficial to you under regular circumstances. You can proliferate oil counters on opponents’ cards, and the poison on you. This will also trigger this enchantment, and you’ll be able to deal even more damage. It doesn’t matter if the opposing Armored Scrapgorger gets an additional oil counter, if it’s going to die anyway.
The Filigree Sylex
This card might look like a fun build-around, but it does deserve an inclusion, if you have some oil counters synergies. It can deal with a lot of stuff, even if your opponent managed to get ahead.
If that’s not something that’s working for you, then you can keep it around, and eventually cash-in the second ability, which might win you the game on the spot, or take out a big creature.
Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Guide – Conclusion
Anyway, that’s it for today. Hopefully, you’ll be able to put what you learned from this Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Guide to good use. If you’re planning on drafting this set at home, you might want to buy a Draft booster box on Amazon.
For fans of Commander, we have a couple of articles that might interest you. There’s one about the two Phyrexia Commander decks, and another talking about the best Commander cards in Phyrexia: All Will Be One.
Until next time, have fun, and may you win many games in your All Will Be One drafts.