– Urza’s Legacy
April 2, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Phyrexian Plaguelord checks a lot of important boxes for interactions and combos. Between his two abilities, he can remove almost anything given enough tokens and/or time to spare. His general sacrifice ability also has no mana cost associated with it, which means that he can convert creatures into almost any other resource when supported by the right cards that care about creatures dying. His mana cost does keep him in check somewhat, as the competitive formats where he could be played have become much faster over the years. But, if you’re in a format where you have time to get yourself set up, he can take over a game quite easily – and even threaten Theros’ gods and similar creatures.
Phyrexian Plaguelord is one of those creatures that has the misfortune of being a bit too pricey for the effect it has, particularly the zero-mana sacrifice outlet effect. Being able to turn an army of tokens into -1/-1 drops for a turn is quite legit, and while its tap ability is rarely used, it’s still a potential threat if you need to get that extra bit of removal out there. Toughness dropping removal has gotten better over the years with the addition of indestructibility to the game, and being able to give a lot of it in one go is nice.
Again, though, five mana is a bit much. While I feel like the Plaguelord would be really powerful in Standard for both being an efficient sacrifice engine and a recurring source of shrinkage, it’s a bit too sluggish to leave a mark in Modern or other formats. Still a powerful set of effects on a decent body, but save it for casual play.
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