Phyrexia: All Will Be One has arrived, and with it comes the first precons set on the infamous plane of New Phyrexia. Whether you welcome compleation with open arms or despise Phyrexia’s very being, I’m sure you are as intrigued about making an upgrade to the villainous Corrupting Influence deck as I am. Let’s get stuck into it!
CORRUPTING INFLUENCE: NEW CARDS
This precon brings us 10 exclusive new and interesting cards — each of which are glistening with Phyrexian flavor.
Ixhel, Scion of Atraxa is the face Commander of this deck. Created by Atraxa to spread the glory of Phyrexia, she comes with Flying, Vigilance and Toxic, a new keyword that dishes out a set number of Poison counters when the creature deals any amount of combat damage (Infect-lite, if you will).
Ixhel also sports the new Corrupted mechanic, providing a benefit for each of your opponents with three or more Poison counters. In Ixhel’s case, this means stealing cards from the top of your opponent’s library.
The idea here is to spread the Poison around and reap the rewards, rather than taking one player out at a time (which is often the common gripe surrounding the 10 Poison counter conversation).
The alternative Commander to Ixhel is her own creation, Vishgraz, the Doomhive. An equally strong and interesting legend to build your game plan around, Vishgraz looks to go wide with plenty of Toxic creatures to overwhelm your opponents and get damage through. When upgrading the precon, either of these commanders are great choices, so it really comes down to your personal taste and style.
White is continuing the recent trend of getting good Commander cards with Norn’s Choirmaster and Norn’s Decree. Norn’s Choirmaster is singing to the tune of combat, proliferating those Poison counters whenever your commander enters the battlefield or attacks.
Given Ixhel has Vigilance, Flying and five toughness, Choirmaster’s trigger looks like a pretty safe bet. Norn’s Decree, on the other hand, is playing to the political pillow fort by deterring your opponents from attacking you and incentivizing them to attack each other (hopefully clearing the way for some Toxic swings of your own).
The two new cards in black are very strong, but very situational. They’re basically useless if you’re not playing a poison counters deck, but fortunately we are in this case.
As long as your deck is doing its thing, Geth’s Summons is grabbing a creature out of every player’s graveyard for a measly four mana, and Phyresis Outbreak can be a one sided board wipe if you’ve dealt out enough Poison counters among your enemies.
In true green fashion, we’re getting some big boys. Glissa’s Retriever is a pretty solid 6/6 with Haste that will no doubt draw some removal from your opponents and then dig a couple of cards out of the graveyard as a parting gift.
Contaminant Grafter provides some pretty solid advantage with Proliferate, card draw AND an extra land, in the ideal situation. Wurmquake has the potential to throw the balance of power if you can get a gang of 6/6 Wurms down, and it’ll be even more devastating to flashback for a few 10/10s, to boot!
Glistening Sphere is a very disappointing mana rock outside of this type of deck, however the precon is often going to see the additional three mana produced from a three mana rock that also Proliferates those poison counters. So, a fairly decent rock for a specific space.
CORRUPTING INFLUENCE: DECK REVIEW
The Corrupting Influence deck cares solely about counters and combat. Almost every creature in the deck has either Toxic, Infect or some form of Proliferate effect, and the deck aims to stick those counters early, then watch them multiply against your opponents’ best efforts to stop you. Ixhel provides that “lucky dip” vibe as an end step payoff while Vishgraz looks to swarm the enemy with mighty minions.
With so much focus on spreading out Poison counters, it’s quite surprising the deck only has eight cards (including the Commander) sporting the Corrupted mechanic. And given the deck is trying to relax Infect’s reputation, it’s not providing too many payoffs for keeping your prey alive! However, the payoffs we do have are solid and provide great advantage on your way to that glorious count of 10.
Tertiary to these evil plans, the precon has a slight Control undertone to it. Cards like Windborn Muse, Norn’s Annex and Ghostly Prison are an interesting inclusion to help protect your face while you freely fling Phyrexian forces.
More interestingly, for a deck powered by creatures, there are the five board wipes included in the list! Granted, most of them provide you some sort of value as the dust settles but there’s definitely some room for improvements if you’re looking to upgrade.
UPGRADING CORRUPTING INFLUENCE
Rarely can you upgrade a deck with nothing but cards from the set it’s a part of, but Phyrexia: All Will Be One provides plenty of support for pumping your precon. We can comfortably increase our use of the new Corrupted mechanic with Apostle of Invasion, Goliath Hatchery and Skrelv’s Hive (arguably white’s answer to Bitterblossom).
More importantly, keeping Ixhel as the Commander, it seems that leaning more into the Proliferate game plan is going to be the way to go. Again, with plenty of excellent new cards to play with, you can certainly upgrade the precon on a reasonable budget and even indulge in the themes of Phyrexia: All Will Be One.
And we’re not even finished with the suitable cards from this set! Venerated Rotpriest is an excellent one drop in this deck, and White Sun’s Twilight can make for a much better board wipe over cards like Fumigate and Phyrexian Rebirth.
I’ve aimed for a $100 budget for my upgrades because I love the creativity that limits create. This caused me to go for a combination of upgrades that best fit my style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t swap out anything for the cards your heart lusts for, instead.
Now, more importantly, how can we beef this beast up? There are some cards that provide pure value in the Corrupting Influence deck but bring a weighty price tag with them. So, if you’re looking to splash out or maybe grab one or two all-stars, then have I got some goodies for you!
Vorinclex is an absolute HOUSE in any deck looking to utilize counters and will end games swiftly with the amount of Proliferate we’re looking to include.
Aether Vial can be proliferated with ease and then sneak out an extra creature before your upkeep to catch your opponent off guard.
Planewide Celebration is a little pricey, but we’re playing green, right? Proliferating four times is very strong and with Vorinclex on the board. You will see Ixhel’s two Poison counters become 10 in the blink of an eye.
The Phyrexians are no strangers to being ganged up on, so a card like Patriarch’s Bidding will have you barely batting an eye as your opponents destroy your beautiful creations. Defiler of Vigor is a perfect fit in so many ways for this deck, and Sword of Truth and Justice (though not quite on brand for the glory of Phyrexia) is a no-brainer in any proliferate deck.
The hard part of any deck upgrade is deciding what to remove. Notable cards that can come out of the precon are: Windborn Muse, Fumigate, Scavenging Ooze, Grateful Apparition, Caress of Phyrexia and Vraska’s Fall.
Check out the upgraded decklist in detail here: