Atraxa, Grand Unifier – Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Date Reviewed: February 20, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.37
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Right now, you’re either wondering what a battle card does, or noting that Magic’s designers really, really like their four-ish color unifying physical embodiments (after Omnath broke Zendikar Rising Standard). After that, you’ll probably be wondering if it’s really possible to draw nine cards from her trigger. And I think it will definitely happen somewhere, somehow, but probably not regularly enough to make that the only thing your deck does – if the one thing you were hoping not to do is attack with a massive keyword mashup for the win, you’ll be disappointed. But more broadly, that’s probably a point in Atraxa’s favor: she’s a dominating Baneslayer-type in decks that can get her into play, and even drawing one or two cards makes her cross partly over into Mulldrifter territory too. That would be more unbalancing if she didn’t involve four different colors, but be on your toes nonetheless.
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
The first thing that will get notice is Atraxa 2.0’s reminder text, referencing a new and exciting ninth main deck card type in the form of battle. That said, there are no battles in Phyrexia: All Will Be One, so this is more in the same vein as Tarmogoyf was back in Future Sight, with the reference to a forthcoming card type (in planeswalker and tribal, though the latter had one preview card in the set).
As for Atraxa, seven mana gets you a mess of keywords and potentially up to eight (soon to be nine) cards off the top of your library. Atraxa’s body beats nearly anything in combat (not everything, but the vast majority of things), swinging for crazy amounts of life in the process, and it also can work well as both an offensive threat and as a defensive threat. No protection is a bit of a bummer…but Atraxa can potentially draw you the means to protect it, or just a lot of cards in general. As long as you get three or four cards with this ability, you’ll likely find it easy enough to make back your initial investment. I think this is more likely to be a casual card, as four colors of mana is definitely a hard thing to assemble for most Constructed decks, but there’s enough that Atraxa can do once it comes in to make it pay back those seven mana. And if you have blink spells or reanimation, that makes things even more fun.
Constructed: 3 (seven mana is a lot, but I think a control deck might have use for Atraxa as a top-end threat)
Limited: 3.75 (costing four different colors of mana is the main issue here)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25 (excellent on resolution, but you’ll need to get there first)
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