Phyrexia: All Will Be One Updated Decks for Standard

Phyrexia: All Will Be One Updated Decks for Standard

Chris CornejoStandard

Phyrexia: All Will Be One looms just around the corner, and with it will come a brand-new Standard environment, full of new and updated decks. This set looks to shake things up mightily, with lots of powerful cards and a Toxic new mechanic joining the fray. 

We’re going to check out what Standard might look like after Compleation in two ways: we’ll take some established decks and see what pieces can slot right in, and we’ll brew up a couple all-new decks of our own.  

Tried, True, and Improved 

Looking at the last few MTGO Challenges (the results of which you can find at, The Brothers’ War Standard seems to favor slower, grindier Control and Midrange archetypes. In the last Challenge alone, Mono-White Control took four of the Top 8 spots, so that seems as good a place as any to start. 

Each Mono-White deck in the top 8 of this last Challenge has a few variations from each other, but Canepis16’s deck is a good representation of the core shell at play. We’ve got a suite of creatures that all have an immediate effect on the game in one way or another (even if they get removed right away), a solid removal package and a bunch of artifacts and enchantments that provide incremental advantage over time. Add in a  powerful Planeswalker or two, and you’ve got a stew going. 

So, what does Phyrexia: All Will Be One have to add into the pot? There are a few options — the flashiest being Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, which works wonders with all your enters-the-battlefield creatures. 

Mondrak, Glory Dominus is an option if you lean in a more Wedding Announcement/token-heavy strategy, in which case I would also throw in Norn’s Wellspring to add even more card advantage and White Sun’s Twilight as a big finisher. And of course, Phyrexian Vindicator was tailor-made for this deck, as any other deck will have a hard time casting the ferocious, hard-to-deal-with threat in a timely manner. 

The Eternal Wanderer is another top-end option, being a very powerful planeswalker that can reuse all your creatures’ enter-the-battlefield effects, add more tokens and pretty effectively close out the game.

Here’s what a more token-focused deck with all those additions might look like: 

Next up, we have red/white/black Midrange/Control, as shown with trukanshii’s deck here: 

The tradeoff we have here versus the Mono-White deck is a higher concentration of purely powerful cards in exchange for a bit of consistency. Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Bloodtithe Harvester, Archangel of Wrath and Phyrexian Missionary all allow for some backbreaking plays, and your suite of interaction open up a bit with Gix’s Command, Rite of Oblivion and a bevy of low-cost options to choose from, depending on your metagame. 

There’s a few options for what we can add here from ONE. Elesh slots right in here, as her doubling enters-the-battlefield effects is once again more than welcome. From here, we can go in a very nice direction with All Will Be One as our semi-build around. 

The deck already has plenty of counters going on various permanents, so we don’t have to add many more counter enablers — but we can throw in Solphim, Mayhem Dominus to speed up the clock. Throw in a Black Sun’s Twilight to beef up the removal suite and help with some creature recursion, and Phyrexia has successfully made this deck a little scarier than it already was. 

And here’s what we have after tweaking some numbers and adding those cards: 

The New Perfection 

But of course, there’s more to a new set coming into Standard than just updating existing decks and shells. Sometimes whole new archetypes can be forged, and with Toxic and Proliferate coming with ONE, there’s certainly room for a new deck or two to emerge.  

Now, I’m not building these necessarily optimally for the metagame. I’m building these purely just trying to kill folks with the new mechanics as quickly and efficiently as I can. I’m not even going to bother with sideboards for now. Think of these, at most, as jumping off points from which to optimize. 

First, let’s get Toxic. 

We’re going super aggressive here, trying to land a cheap Toxic threat or two and ride it to a quick victory by protecting and buffing it. We have four creatures to play with, and they all serve specific purposes. 

Venerated Rotpriest is arguably the most important, as it can get the poison train rolling without even needing to attack. It doesn’t matter who is targeting a creature of ours with a spell, whether we’re buffing it or an opponent is trying to remove it. If the Rotpriest is out, our opponent gets a poison counter. In multiples, this little one-drop can end games fast. 

But he’s not alone, of course. Jawbone Duelist is in here, as Double Strike wears buffs incredibly well — and its power against players is effectively doubled since you only need ten poison counters to win. Toxic isn’t like infect, so the buffs don’t affect how many poison counters an opponent gets, but the double strike still means that each hit gives a counter. 

Slaughter Singer helps push our creatures through and Bloated Contaminator is an absolute beating for three mana.  

Our spell suite is all buffs and creature protection, with the exception of Thirsting Roots. It either gets some lands out of our deck, or in a pinch can give those last couple of poison counters if our attack stalls out. 

Of our buffs, All serve their uses — either clearing the way with Infectious Bite, dodging removal with Maze’s Mantle/Tyvar’s Stand or helping us get more resources and eat a blocker with Compleat Devotion. The dream, of course, is Landing a Noxious Assault with three or four creatures on board, making almost any choice our opponent makes from there end in poison counters.

But brute force isn’t the only way to poison a cat. We can go the sneaky, non-combat route as well. 

Yup, no creatures in there! There are only two spells in the deck that don’t either give our opponent a Poison counter or Proliferate. 

First, Distorted Curiosity. Ideally, we’re casting it for a single blue mana, but it serves the overall goal quite well at three mana as well: draw more gas and keep casting spells. Mindsplice Apparatus lets us cast everything for less, getting through our deck and opponent very quickly. 

We first want to quickly find one of three spells: Infectious Inquiry, Prologue to Phyresis and Vraska’s Fall, all of which give our opponent a Poison counter. From there, the rest of our spells that we haven’t already mentioned Proliferate in addition to their other effects — either removing or bouncing a creature (Drown in Ichor, Serum Snare), countering a spell (Reject Imperfection) or getting you through your deck (Experimental Augury). Or, in the case of Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting, almost anything you need given the situation. 

This makes the game plan incredibly simple: once we’ve given a single Poison counter to our opponent, all we want to do is cast as many spells as we can each turn.

There are no big haymakers (save maybe Vraska), and we aren’t trying to do anything all that flashy. What we do have is inevitability, so we are just asking if our opponent can stop us before we cast enough spells to kill them.


I highly doubt either of the two decks I threw together will end up breaking into the Standard meta once Phyrexia: All WIll Be One hits the format. But I wouldn’t be shocked if the basic ideas form the core of at least a few decks. 

ONE certainly boasts enough powerful and interesting cards/mechanics that I doubt Standard resembles what it looks like now in three weeks. Things are looking to get shaken up, and you can join in the fun of that seismic shift and preorder whatever you need now from!