Skrelv’s Hive – Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Date Reviewed: February 8, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Skrelv’s Hive bears a remarking, and maybe troubling, similarity to Bitterblossom. I don’t think this is quite on par with the obnoxious Faerie generator, but it’s still dangerous, so let’s get to it.
The idea is simple: for one life, you get a friend each turn, though said friend can’t block and lacks evasion. But it does have the new poison counter keyword, toxic, which functions a bit like the Future Sight poisonous keyword did. Toxic means that things get scary if they can’t block. Unlike the old and infamous infect keyword, toxic does regular combat damage as well, though there’s less of a penalty for blocking the Mites that this produces. But they may want to block them early, because you start getting lifelink once your opponent has enough poison running around, which is a good way to offset the life loss of this card.
I don’t think this will be anywhere as obnoxious as Bitterblossom, though that was honestly because of Faeries being oppressive on top of everything else. Skrelv’s Hive is very dangerous, though. A warm body for sacrificial purposes each turn, or a fast-ticking clock your opponents will have to deal with…all choices are good ones, and I think this is going to see a lot of play in the years to come.
Multiplayer: 4 (an important thing to note is that the corrupted trigger is on an opponent, not necessarily the one you’re attacking)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25 (as always, poison kills at ten in Commander)
As James points out, there are a lot of similarities between Skrelv’s Hive and a very famous card from Magic’s middle years. The color is eyebrow-raising for formats like Commander, where you can now run both in the right decks; it arguably makes just as much sense, of course, because white likes small creatures, tokens, and ways to get lots of them over time. Since they can’t block, it encourages attack much more than Bitterblossom does, and poison makes them slightly disproportionate threats compared to their printed stats. Just in general, this is one of the more powerful repeatable token generators we’ve had in a long time, and one of its few downsides is that the Phyrexian theme might not fit every deck. That’s not much of a disadvantage, just so we’re clear.
Commander [EDH]: 4
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We would be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read over 5,000 more MTG Cards of the Day! We have been reviewing cards daily since 2001!