Toxic is an update to Infect in Phyrexia: All Will Be One, and works like a mixture of Infect and Poisonous. Toxic will always be written as “Toxic X,” and whenever a creature with it deals any amount of combat damage to a player, that player gets X poison counters. Pretty straightforward, but there are some notes to go over:
- A creature with Toxic still deals combat damage as usual based on its power, dealing damage to other creatures and planeswalkers normally. This means that if a toxic creature hits a player, they both take normal damage and get poison counters.
- This mechanic, unlike Poisonous, is not a trigger. The attacked player will get the poison counters at the same time they take normal combat damage, with no window for any kind of response.
- Toxic value and power are not connected. If a creature with 8 power and Toxic 4 hit a player, the player takes 8 damage and gets 4 poison counters. If that same creature has trample and only ends up dealing 1 damage to a player, that player still will get 4 poison counters.
- Multiple instances of the mechanic do stack.
Toxic has an odd role to fill – it’s the follow up to Infect, one of the most divisive and controversial mechanics of all time. It’s attempting to tone down the power level of poison as an alternate win condition while still being a viable path to build around. Poison, unlike other alt-win conditions like mill, is quite niche, only coming around every so often. Toxic itself is currently tied to the Phyrexians, but if it plays well enough it could see use again the next time poison makes its way into the game.
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