MTG Keywords Explained: Phyrexian Mana

Card Kingdom Strategy

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty marks the return of fan-favorite mechanics like ninjutsu, as well as a powerful mechanic from the faraway plane of New Phyrexia!

What is Phyrexian Mana?

Phryexian mana denotes a mana cost that can be paid in one of two ways: You can either pay one mana of the appropriate color, or you can pay two life. Take Dismember, for example. Its cost could be paid in three ways: one generic and two black mana; one generic mana, one black mana, and two life; or one generic mana and four life.

Tamiyo, Compleated Sage in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty has a new symbol in her casting cost, which combines Phyrexian mana with hybrid mana. That odd-looking cost can be paid with either a green mana, a blue mana, or two life. If you choose to pay life, Tamiyo enters with two fewer loyalty counters than what she would normally.

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Phyrexian mana allows players to use life in exchange for being able to play cards faster, hold up mana for different spells, or even put cards in their deck that they normally wouldn’t be able to cast. While paying life is a real cost, the benefits of being able to cast spells early – or cast multiple spells per turn – often outweigh that cost.

Many cards with Phyrexian mana in their casting costs were or are format staples. Even if the card itself isn’t the most powerful effect, the flexibility of when to cast them is a considerable boost. Some cards – like Mental Misstep, Birthing Pod, and Gitaxian Probe – were powerful enough to warrant bans in older formats.

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