– New Phyrexia
March 31, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
The one thing you can’t accuse Phyrexians of doing is holding back. The Obliterator does exactly what its name implies, exactly what’s advertised; it’s a little less “unsolvable” than some things, since you can target it and thus exile or destroy it, but once it starts attacking, it presents an enormous conundrum for creature-based decks. You can’t effectively block it, you can’t kill it with direct damage without just about conceding the game, and green’s usual solution of fighting it with a larger creature is even worse. Its only downside is four black mana, and at most that means you can’t play it alongside Field of Ruin (although not always).
I shudder to think what might happen the next time we see the Phyrexians. Remember that even way back when their top-of-the-line creatures were the Negator and the Scuta, they came very close to defeating Urza. What’s in store for us in this decade?
Back in Urza’s Destiny, we had Phyrexian Negator, an undercosted beater with a steep downside. New Phyrexia brought us the next step in the evolution of the horrifying, undercosted beater in Phyrexian Obliterator, and it’s definitely a daunting presence. Possessing a brutal punisher effect if you try to block it, trample to make sure blocking still does damage, and a respectable statline, Mister Biggles brings the pain all on his own.
Quadruple black in his casting cost is the card’s main downside, and it is one. If you thought triple black was hard to splash for, this takes the cake. It’s a force to be reckoned with if you can put it out, since it makes damage-based removal very sad indeed, but having to invest in one color makes it one hell of an investment, and it isn’t unfair enough to justify cheating it out most times. All the same, though, it combines both cuteness and lethality into one impressive package, and there will be games where you just run the opponent over when this resolves.
Constructed: 3 (hard to fit into Modern or other formats, so it’s relegated to rogue-tier status; at least it’s a pretty good rogue card?)
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