Phyrexia: All Will Be One is right around the corner. It’s exciting to visit New Phyrexia again, and this visit also brings us two Commander precons. Whether you’re into Rebellion Rising’s Boros Equipment or the Corrupting Influence of an Abzan Toxic deck, these are two great choices for new and experienced players alike.
But what are the best cards to pick up from the precons? Let’s dig in and find out.
New Boros commanders
Neyali, Suns’ Vanguard is the face Commander of the Rebellion Rising precon. I’ve noticed a push to make Boros the color pair of Double Strike over the last few years, and I think it’s secretly one of Boros’ greatest strengths.
A four mana anthem for tokens — in the same way that Sylvia Brightspear is a three mana anthem for cheap Dragons — is exciting, especially as it also comes with card advantage. Getting to trigger for each player is key to making this playable, and I think we’ll see a lot of Neyali decks built.
What will the average Neyali deck look like? Well, a lot of cheap equipment and token makers. It’ll be go-wide equipment in a similar way to Akiri, Fearless Voyager. You could also look at +1/+1 counters to really beef up those tokens. Make sure to only play out Neyali once you already have a board, because they don’t really do much on their own.
Otharri, Suns’ Glory is probably the hottest new Legendary Creature in the Phyrexia: All Will Be One precons, and I don’t just mean they’re literally a bird made of fire. This is the one people are talking about, and for good reason.
Red/white isn’t usually what you’d expect when you think of Proliferate, but it turns out adding a little to this build will spice it up considerably. Extra combats will work well here, too, as will sacrifice outlets.
Getting Otharri back from a board wipe is easy enough, but you’ll want to dodge exile removal by sending this bird to the bin.
Yes, I’ll take some solid white cards, thank you
Clever Concealment is the latest White card to save your board from exile removal, and it’s a doozy. While spells like Unbreakable Formation and Heroic Intervention are eminently playable, they don’t answer a number of problems: bounce wraths, exile wraths and -X/-X effects.
Those spell doom for any White deck that has a board full of creatures, so in recent years, Teferi’s Protection has been the silver bullet of choice. There are other options, of course, with Glorious Protector and Guardian of Faith being two of the better ones — but they only protect your creatures.
Enter Clever Concealment: it phases out any number of target nonland permanents you control. While it doesn’t stop you losing to combat damage or life loss like Teferi’s, it can leave crucial speed bumps in play.
If you’ve ever wanted to protect your stuff while leaving an Archon of Emeria or Thalia, Heretic Cathar in play, this is the card for you. I imagine this’ll be one of the most in-demand cards from Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s precons.
Previously, Pennon Blade was the “go tall” equipment that counted all creatures, but Kemba’s Banner outshines it. Between this and Horn of Valhalla, your go-wide decks will have plenty of alternative targets to your Commander to remove when you go swinging in.
Politics and maneuvering are some of the best parts of playing Commander, and Norn’s Decree is the type of design I love to see.
First off, it disincentivizes attacking you in the first place. And then, if a player has attacked you? Well, it offers card draw to people for going after that very same opponent.
Norn’s Decree sows discord, and I’m here for it. I expect to see this one across the table quite often, even in non-infect decks.
Staff of the Storyteller is Tome of Legends but for Tokens. It’s a really elegant design, particularly because it makes a token when it enters, ensuring you get to draw at least one card for three total mana. While Idol of Oblivion will remain the first choice in any deck that makes tokens, Staff of the Storyteller is another good option alongside Tocasia’s Welcome.
Red-dy, steady… SLAP
There’s nothing I love more than slapping face with beefy creatures, except maybe equipping creatures with tools of destruction to ensure that slap leaves a mark. Goldwardens’ Gambit is a card I never knew I wanted, but one that I’m more than happy to play.
Go-tall Voltron decks like Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale and Akiri, Line-Slinger love a card like this. Post board clear when equipment clatters to the ground, paying a paltry two red to send in a hasty cleanup crew to finish off unsuspecting enemies will feel great.
You’ll hopefully trigger a bunch of powerful attack and damage triggers off of this two mana investment, which is premium value. I love this card!
While Goldwardens’ Gambit sends in the cleanup crew, Hexplate Wallbreaker is likely to be what makes the mess in the first place. Voltron decks love extra combats, but can struggle to fit them into the 99 due the depth required to include equipment synergies.
Wallbreaker solves this by putting an extra combat on an equipment and even giving you a 2/2 rebel when it enters to ensure you get at least one good opportunity to use it before paying the hefty four mana equip cost. This one will work best in decks that can cheat equip costs, and I expect it to see a decent amount of play too.
Roar of Resistance is one sweet enchantment. Picking up the baton that Norn’s Decree passes on, Roar of Resistance introduces a benefit to the controller but also some sweet politics opportunities.
The trigger to pay 1R can be paid when your opponents attack, too, meaning they will do way more damage to other opponents but crucially the same amount of damage to you, as it won’t increase when they attack you.
I like this quite a bit, especially as giving tokens haste is already pretty good.
Don’t you know that you’re Toxic
Phyresis Outbreak is a really interesting, one-sided wrath, and practically an auto-include in any deck playing with Toxic/Infect/poison counters. At its floor, it hoses down all of the X/1 creatures in play across the table.
If an opponent has more counters? Well, more stuff dies. What’s neat, too, is it’s a quick and easy, risk-free way to get a poison counter onto each opponent to begin proliferating.
What makes it so playable is it proliferates on combat damage; at which point, the opponent has at least one poison counter from Toxic 1. This means it requires very little to turn Corrupted on, which makes Grafter quite the Grifter.
Glistening Sphere rounds things up today, and it’s a cheeky little rock — it really is. The conversations around three-mana rocks being playable are quite banal at this point, but if you’re honestly telling me the likes of Cursed Mirror or Midnight Clock aren’t worth playing? Well, we aren’t playing the same game.
The Sphere comes in tapped, but when it does, you get to proliferate. While this is nice for Infect decks, it’s also a tidy pickup for superfriends decks. And, of course, if you do manage to turn on Corrupted, it turns into a three mana Gilded Lotus.
I really like what this is doing to Poison counters; turning them into more than a win condition, and helping Infect decks convert into a win with more momentum.
Bonus: five hottest reprints
- Elspeth Tirel: Hasn’t had a reprint since Scars of Mirrodin and has a surprisingly relevant ultimate ability in today’s metagame
- Flawless Maneuver: The free spells from the Ikoria Commander Precons are very powerful, and I like that one of the “fairest” has a reprint here.
- Grafted Exoskeleton: Excellent in Infect decks and even just Equipment/Voltron builds.
- Call the Coppercoats: One of white’s best, flexible token producers.
- Culling Ritual: Superb way to generate a bunch of mana while expunging mana rocks and utility creatures.
What are your favorite cards from the Phyrexia: All Will Be One precons? What are you brewing around? Let me know on Twitter.
Kristen is Card Kingdom’s Head Writer, and member of the Commander Advisory Group. Formerly a competitive Pokémon TCG grinder, she has been playing Magic since Shadows Over Innistrad, which in her opinion, was a great set to start with. When she’s not taking names with Equipment and Aggro strategies in Commander, she loves to play any form of Limited.