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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

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Phyrexian Arena 
8th Edition Rare

Reviewed August 1, 2003

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Phyrexian Arena

Constructed: 4.5
Limited: 4
Current Price:


I have said it before and I will say it again...card advantage wins games. Card drawing with Phyrexian Arena does not come without a price, but there are ways in black to compensate for the life loss with life gain.  So, with a well-planned deck, this is an excellent card and one that should be considered for Black decks that need some draw.

In limited, you can't compensate as well, but it still is worth the space in your deck.

Constructed: 4.25
Limited: 3.75

Judge Bill

Phyrexian Arena
A nice reprint from Apocalypse to end the week. A steady source of cards, at the cost of one life per turn. If you're playing a black deck, you'll usually find room for this.
In limited, I'd probably play this. Drawing twice as many cards as your opponent is very good.
Constructed: 4
Limited: 4.25


Phyrexian Arena is, in my mind, well worth the price. A card is almost always worth 1 life - just make sure you have a way to remove the Arena if you are close to death.

Constructed - Nowhere close to Necro but a solid card that plays quick - 3.75

Limited - Card drawing is as good here as elsewhere - 3.65

Tyler Grund

Phyrexian Arena

Hello, this is my first CotD review.  Sheesh, not an easy one by any means.

At first glance it could be interpreted as a replacement for Necropotence,
but its actually not even close. It is a card drawing mechanic, and not the
drawing engine Necro offers.  This means it is a one-time shot that doesn't
have the ability to repeat. It may cost the same at 1BB, but there are not
the same abusive powers inherent in the card. To be totally honest, it is
really a one-sided Howling Mine that you pay for with life.

But the card doesn't come without its usefulness. Decks utilizing Jamadaya's
Tomb and fast aggressive creatures could use this card as a Tome replacement
freeing up mana the tomb sucked away, allowing the card advantage to
overwhelm the opponent. Taking 1 damage a turn when your opponent is taking
far more with your attacks is a great tradeoff...  just be sure there is a
way to remove it if your opponent gets the upper hand. Another fun way to
counter-balance the life is to use it in conjunction with Contemplation.
Contemplation is a white enchantment from Stronghold that gives you one life
for every spell you cast. If anything it would be real fun to play casually.

In limited, it becomes a tough choice.  I personally wouldn't choose it in
the case of a creature lock with your opponent, finding yourself in a
standoff and the Arena sitting there. They'll just wait for you to "ping"
yourself to death.  But, on the other hand, card advantage can be the key to
winning a face off where your decks are basically the same mixture of cards
full of creatures.


Constructed:  3.8
Limited: 3



On turn 4 and continued, you get to draw an extra card at the price of a
point of life. Nice deal, just gives you twice an many options on how to
destroy your opponent. I would think this card would work best in a fast
zombie deck maybe, possibly a suicide black type of deck too. Not sure how
well it would work in slower decks though.

Phyrexian Arena
Casual Rating: 3

Copyright 2001


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