CardName – Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Date Reviewed: March 17, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 3.37
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
One of the big themes of the Scars of Mirrodin block was seeing things that were characteristic of Mirrodin becoming Phyrexian, hence Blightsteel Colossus and the like. Staff of Domination was notably missing from that block, but this is its Phyrexian equivalent, and unlike some of Scars of Mirrodin‘s corrupted cards, it’s probably less powerful overall than the original. Staff of Domination is notable because its effects can be used to generate enough mana to untap it repeatedly and use them way more times a turn than you’re supposed to; Staff of Compleation doesn’t have quite the same style of combos available, at least not right out of the gate. It’s more of a support card, with two life for any color of mana and three life to proliferate probably being the highlights. I don’t know of any decks that are so hard up that they really need to pay four life a turn to draw an extra card, but that might be more for limited than anything else.
It also highlights just how far we’ve come in repeatable and incremental effects. Fifteen years ago, everyone would have been trying to break a card like this. Nowadays, we have planeswalkers, and this way of getting incremental advantage seems a lot less appealing by comparison.
Commander [EDH]: 3
Speaking of things from Mirrodin, we’ve now had two blocks’ worth of New Phyrexia, but there’s no sign of the slith. I wonder if they got sent away when Memnarch was defeated, or if they’re hiding somewhere amidst the chaos . . .
The immediate thing that came to mind when I saw Staff of Compleation is that it resembled Fifth Dawn‘s Staff of Domination; you have five effects at your disposal, and while the effects are mostly incremental, having a pretty big pool and the ability to reuse the effects with mana means that you could turn a lot of mana into a lot of…well, a lot of things. Staff of Compleation is not as prone to abuse, amusingly, and the life payments on top of the five-mana untap are why. While paying one life or even two life to draw a card is not a bad deal, paying four life is starting to get a bit spurious. It’s not unpayable, but it’s definitely not something you can realistically afford to do more than a couple of times in a game. The other modes are mostly solid, though unremarkable outside of particular corner cases (like popping something an opponent stole from you), and I imagine the main value of Staff of Compleation will be as a mana rock with the flexibility to do other Things in a pinch. It’s certainly not a bad card, but I’d go so far as to call it a bit underwhelming overall.
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
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