Tyrranax Rex – Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Date Reviewed: March 3, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.37
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Dragons used to be my favorite creature type in Magic. This was years ago, before Magic had any significant representation of dinosaurs. There were always one or two here and there, but they were sparse, and it wasn’t even a supported creature type between 2007 and 2017 (cf. Imperiosaur). When Ixalan was released, I knew that no matter what Magic did, there would always be at least one thing right with it. I still like dragons; I like them very much. But your first love is always special, whether it’s a person or mind-blowing megafauna, and I’ve been walking with dinosaurs since I was five years old.
And as such, it makes me smile to see that Phyrexia also considers dinosaurs to be among their ultimate weapons. This is pretty close to the nuclear option as far as creatures go: hard to stop, hard to get off the table, hard to block, hard to stop from poisoning people to death shockingly fast, and winning by damage even faster. I will say that seven mana, as opposed to six or five, makes it a game-breaker for ramp decks more than midrange like other famous giant implacable death lizards, but you’ll almost never be disappointed with the results when you cast it.
Commander [EDH]: 4.5 (as always, be cautious of using poison against your friends in EDH!)
Tyrranax Rex may lack subtlety, but who needs it? Big, resilient to removal, and destructive as soon as it resolves, Tyrranax Rex will do some damage if it gets out. Toxic and trample make an interesting pairing, since one point getting through is enough to ensure that they take the full dose of poison, and Toxic 4 means that he just needs to connect thrice. If the combat damage alone doesn’t do the job, of course, as this is still an 8/8. I think ward may be what pushes him over the top, though, because it makes removing it a lot trickier than it might be for most creatures.
Seven mana is a real cost, and the heavy green investment does mean Tyrranax Rex is a creature you’ll usually need to plan for in your deck building. As far as seven-mana threats go, though, this one is certainly among the best, as its high power and ticking time bomb in toxic makes it so that an unprepared opponent will soon be a dead one.
Constructed: 4 (expensive, but worth the price of admission…in Standard, at least)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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