Cardsmith Blog

CCC: My Wet Hot Phyrexian Summer - Part 1: Birth of Phyrexia

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.

Phyrexia, that big infectious mofo that slinks through the multiverse. In October of 2010 this oily jerk of a plane set its sights on Mirrodin, my favorite plane. I followed the conflict heavily and I lost my goddamn mind when Mirrodin lost. So here I am, 8ish years later and a whole lot smarter, ready to prove that Mirrodin should have won the war. Ladies and gentlemen, planeswalkers and eldrazi, legendary creatures of all subtypes I present to you literally the most asinine essay I will ever write.

Phase 1 (Birth of Phyrexia)

To understand the war between Phyrexia and Mirrodin let's turn back the clock to a time before Phyrexia even existed. See the story of Phyrexia starts on Dominaria, during the reign of the Thran empire. We start our story about midway through the life of Yawgmoth, a eugenist on the republican side of the Thran civil war. Yawgmoth was obsessed with the human body, believing it to be a sort of imperfect machine. When the was came to a close the republicans had lost and all participants were exiled. During his exile Yawgmoth would enact multiple atrocities including a vivisection of the Viashino Bey and turning the creeping mold of Argoth into a horrible flesh eating disease that would end up killing of most of the population.

After five years of exile Yawgmoth was called out of exile to the Thran capital of Halcyon. The chief artificer, a man named Glacian, had contracted a form of radiation poisoning after being stabbed with a powerstone by a rebel named Gix. Word of Yawgmoth's deeds hadn't reached here yet so they had reason to trust him. Glacian's infection would turn out to be the first recorded case of phthisis, this will come into play later. Gix's rebellion was composed mostly of exiled Thran who had contracted phthisis due to exposure to powerstone mining rigs. Yawgmoth managed to develop a serum that cured the rebels, thus quelling the rebellion. Yawgmoth went on to use his newfound notoriety to enter politics within the city. Soon he became a trusted member of the city's government and was soon elected head of public health. During this time Glacian's disease got worse and worse, all of Yawgmoth's attempts to heal him were completely ineffective. Soon it would be discovered that Yawgmoth was diluting the serum he was giving to the rebels, he claimed (falsely) that is was due to a lack of resources. This blatant lie roused Gix once again and a second rebellion started to form. Soon before the actual rebellion started a planeswalker named Dyfed arrived in Halcyon to seek the wisdom of Glacian due to him having an unignited planeswalker spark. Yawgmoth overheard their conversation and manages to convince Dyfed to help him. Dyfed agrees to help Yawgmoth find a plane on which he can construct a paradise. Not long after Gix's second rebellion breaks out. Utilizing a powerful artifact based on Glacian's designs Yawgmoth gains control of all Thran artifacts and uses them to defeat Gix once again. A couple weeks later Halcyon holds a festival in Yawgmoth's honor, all is well until a strange group of delegates appear.

These delegates are a group of the 25 nations that Yawgmoth experimented on during his exile, they call themselves the Thran Alliance. These delegates tell all of Halcyon about Yawgmoth's deeds. A vote is held to decide if Yawgmoth can stay, the vote is 50/50 with the deciding votes being Rebbec(Glacian's wife who's fallen for Yawgmoth) and Yawgmoth himself. The vote ends in Yawgmoth's favor. Directly after the vote Yawgmoth overthrows the council and has all who voted against him as well as the delegates imprisoned. Dyfed than uses a powerstone to permanently make a portal between Dominaria and a new plane, the plane on which Yawgmoth will make his paradise. Since Yawgmoth wants the plane to study and cure Phthisis he names it after the disease hence Phyrexia. At this point Phyrexia was basically Mirrodin, a plane of artifice and life entwined. Yawgmoth binds himself to this plane, essentially becoming a god while within the plane. Soon he starts to bring Phthisis patients over and begins to implant them with empty powerstones and other metallic implants, thus draining away their sickness and creating Phyrexian oil as a byproduct (Phyrexian oil causes advanced mutations and Phthisis on contact. This process will become known as Phyresis) Soon these new inhabitants begin to evolve becoming leaner, faster, and stronger. These mutants became the first true Phyrexians.

With this powerful new entities at his side Yawgmoth became almost invincible, fighting the Thran Alliance with ease. Seeing the horrors she had helped make Dyfed turned on Yawgmoth and an epic battle ensued. Yawgmoth defeated Dyfed by shoving a power stone knife into her head, disabling her spark. He hoped to dissect her and learn the secrets of planeswalking, however Rebbec removed the dagger in an act of mercy and in doing so killed Dyfed. However not all went well for Yawgmoth. His excessive use of powerstones resulted in a death cloud hanging over Halcyon, held back by a group of artificers powering a Null Sphere. These artificers betrayed Yawgmoth and ended their live thus dropping a layer of pure death onto the city. All its inhabitants either fled to Phyrexia or were eaten away. Rebbec used the very powerstone that had stabbed her husband and started it all taken to betray Yawgmoth, closing the portal between Phyrexia and Dominaria seemingly forever.

To be continued in Part 2: Invasion of Dominaria

East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Nov 22, 2018 by East2West
Comments

Giving Thanks

This is always a special time of year around MTGCardsmith, so we thought it would be awesome to bring back an amazing event and turn it into our Theme of the Month! It's the Month of Giving Thanks! We're inviting everyone to post a card that was made by another Cardsmith, one that inspired you, one taught you something new or one that you think deserves a feature. We'll review all nominations and pick a handful that best represent the spirit of our awesome community.

Check out the inspiration for our theme...
http://forums.mtgcardsmith.com/discussion/2291/month-of-giving-thanks/p1
And as our way of Giving Thanks, at the end of the month, one Cardsmith who nominated an amazing card will be chosen to select a Featured card of their choice, from their own cards!
Limit FOUR submissions per Cardsmith.


Featured Cardsmiths

MercifulNeptune

Not much is known about MercifulNeptune except this Cardsmith started making cards in November of 2014 and has quietly amassed 0ver 700 cards. When I first started, I always loved to check the cards made by the top card makers and I would try and learn the craft from them, and for me, one of those Cardsmiths was MercifulNeptune. Check out their collection, where you'll find new and old cards alike!!!



Undead

If you weren't aware, the undead aren't just zombies and skeletons, but actual Cardsmiths too! Undead the Cardsmith hasn't been around as long as our other Featured Cardsmith, but has joined the community with great card designs, fun challenges and cool contest entries! If you don't believe us, just check out all the cards Undead has made... but be warned... just like the name implies, you'll find a lot of dark dealings in there!



Each month we're excited to highlight just a couple of Cardsmiths that have helped make MTGCardsmith the best interactive online Card Creator. We hope you'll take some time to check out their creations!



Oct 31, 2018 by Corwinnn, & Tomigon
Comments

CCC: Guilds of Ravnica Set Review - Green

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.

I will be going over most cards in this set excluding most commons and uncommons. Each card will be given a ranking between 1 and 10 based on how playable I believe it to be in Standard, Modern, Commander, and Draft respectively.

  1. - Unplayable
  2. - Bad card tribal
  3. - Uninteresting
  4. - Could see play but doubtful
  5. - Playable
  6. - Seems deece
  7. - If you have the room run it
  8. - Make the room to run it
  9. - Spicy
  10. - Why aren't you playing this?

Green


Beast Whisperer
Standard - 8
Modern - 5
Commander - 10
Draft - 6

Elfball? Elfball. Standard just got a new powerhouse. Beast Whisperer goes down smooth into any green creature deck. This is a threat that enables classic Elfball strategies as well as Mono-Green Mana Dork Ramp. Play accelerating creatures (Llanowar Elves) to draw cards and ramp into Giganotosaurus In Modern this could be a great engine but it's super vulnerable to removal and doesn't immediately effect the board so I'm interested to see what happens in that format. In Commander this is just a bomb, like seriously any green player will want this. There's' next to no green commander deck that doesn't want Beast Whisperer. In Draft it's still good but nowhere near as powerful as in other formats. Still it's definitely first pickable.

Bounty of Might
Standard - 4
Modern - 2
Commander - 3
Draft - 5

Bad, slow and bad in all formats. In Draft it's playable but honestly that's the only format where it is. It's possible for this to see play in Standard but honestly I highly doubt it. Not a fan.

Hatchery Spider
Standard - 4
Modern - 3
Commander - 7
Draft - 5

Hatchery Spider reminds me of a suped up Nessian Game Warden. This is definitely a good card and it's playable in both Standard in Draft as a build around. However it's ability is on cast and not ETB so I don't think this is that great or even game breaking. It's high CMC that can only hit green permanents makes it so Modern players will likely never use this. Commander players will want this however since the wide range of playable cards in Commander give this plenty of great targets.

Nullhide Ferox
Standard - 9
Modern - 6
Commander - 5
Draft - 7

People have kind of talked about Nullhide Ferox to death so I'll give a quick overview. Getting this for free in Standard and Modern is not unlikely given the amount of turn 1 discard plays. In Draft Nullhide Ferox is just good, great stats and creature decks are an easy kind of deck to draft. Commander is the only place this is lackluster since it's great stats don't super matter in Commander and the fact that any player can activate its ability means this won't be long for the world.

Pelt Collector
Standard - 5
Modern - 6
Commander - 6
Draft - 5

Pelt Collector combo is a thing in Modern now. It just is and honestly it's pretty good. In Commander this card can get so massive over the course of the game that I think this slides nice into a lot of decks. In Draft it's pretty, you first pick this and you will definitely not regret it. In Standard I'm curious to see what happens, I'm not sure if this will just go under the radar or pop off in a big way. I like Pelt Collector and I hope you do too.

Vivid Revival
Standard - 4
Modern - 1
Commander - 6
Draft - 4

I mean it's not terrible. Vivid Revival does some crazy good stuff, getting you three cards for the price of one. The thing is I'm just not sure what deck wants this outside of green supported multicolor decks in Commander. Vivid Revival might be the key to some interesting combos in Standard but I'm very uncertain about its place in any other format. Good luck Vivid Revival, you're gonna need it.

That wraps up our Guilds of Ravnica Set Review! If you have feedback or comments - or would like to see more of this in the future - please leave a note in the comments below!
Go back to the beginning of the Review

East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Oct 24, 2018 by East2West
Comments

CCC: Guilds of Ravnica Set Review - Red

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.

I will be going over most cards in this set excluding most commons and uncommons. Each card will be given a ranking between 1 and 10 based on how playable I believe it to be in Standard, Modern, Commander, and Draft respectively.

  1. - Unplayable
  2. - Bad card tribal
  3. - Uninteresting
  4. - Could see play but doubtful
  5. - Playable
  6. - Seems deece
  7. - If you have the room run it
  8. - Make the room to run it
  9. - Spicy
  10. - Why aren't you playing this?

Red


Arclight Phoenix
Standard - 6
Modern - 5
Commander - 5
Draft - 6

Arclight Phoenix is a solid card for any spellslinging deck in almost any format. In Standard and Draft any Izzet deck would be happy to have this creature since it can almost always be free casted. In Commander it's cool but nothing impressive so although it's playable personally I wouldn't. For the Modern meta I think this card could see play, it's gotten out turn 1 or 2 easy enough, I'm just unsure if it's a truly viable strategy.

Erratic Cyclops
Standard - 6
Modern - 5
Commander - 8
Draft - 5

Erratic Cyclops lives up to the name. A super solid creature for spell decks Erratic Cyclops essentially has power equal to your available mana. It can be buffed as a combat trick to for amazing effect. In Standard and Draft it's a 0/8 body which is a great blocker (Watch out for white's toughness based removal though). In Modern I can see this being a win con for some powerful storm type decks. And in Commander, the world of insanely high mana cost and of great ramp this guy is gonna take names.

Experimental Frenzy
Standard - 6
Modern - 4
Commander - 6
Draft - 5

In all formats Experimental Frenzy has some disturbing text, you can't play cards from your hand and you can only play the top card of your library. It's a cheaper, weirder Future Sight that can totally lock you out of a game. The reason this is playable though lies in alternate ways to cast spells. In Standard (and Draft) right now Surveil and Jump-Start respectively work well with this. Surveil lets you fill your grave with Jump-Start cards as well as letting you control your top. You can cast Jump-Start cards from the grave making it a good way around the drawback. In Modern there aren't as many ways I could find to effectively use this enchantment but maybe someone else will. In Commander this card is amazing since Shared Fate is a thing. This can make a super jank, super fun game of Commander with some crazy politics. Also Zedruu is a thing.

Goblin Cratermaker
Standard - 5
Modern - 5
Commander - 5
Draft - 6

I wanted to highlight Goblin Cratermaker just really quickly. It's a solid Goblin with amazing abilities and I think this is going to be an auto include in most Goblin decks. Also it's ability hits Eldrazi so this little guy can actually kill 5 of the 6 Eldrazi Titans. There's not much to say about this guy but I know I'll be keeping an eye on him.

Legion Warboss
Standard - 7
Modern - 6
Commander - 6
Draft - 9

First pickable, combat trickable, probably enjoys pickles, Legion Warboss is an amazing card. Sort of the weaker cousin of Goblin Rabblemaster he still manages to be amazing. In Standard and Draft he's an easy slot into most red aggro decks. He's also an auto-include into any Goblin deck in Standard. In Commander and Modern he's good and I think he'll see play but there are also better choices (like the aforementioned Goblin Rabblemaster.) so he may be overlooked.

Risk Factor
Standard - 10
Modern - 6
Commander - 3
Draft - 8

Browbeat is one of my all time favorite cards, Risk Factor brings my dream of 8 Beat Burn to life! In Standard this is a better Divination in the right shell and I wholeheartedly expect to see this card in most red decks. In Modern and Draft this is just a powerful card, obviously better in Draft but Modern is a place where I think Risk Factor will find a steady home. Commander is Risk Factors big weakness. High life totals means this is almost always going to be a pseudo Char. I'm super excited for this card and I'm certainly gonna get a playset.

Runaway Steam-Kin
Standard - 6
Modern - 6
Commander - 5
Draft - 5

Repeatable Pyretic Ritual on a stick? Seems deece. In Standard I think this will sort of just slide into any Mono-Red deck and it even opens the door for some sort of combo. In Modern this could possible give birth to a new Mono-Red Storm deck but I don't know it that will even be playable so for now it's score remains a speculative six. In Commander and Draft Runaway Steam-Kin is just decent, it can enable certain things but there may very well be better options to slot into your deck. All in all Runaway Steam-Kin is an interesting card that I think will breed new decks as well as slot into old decks.

Bring on the final entry next: Green
Go back to the beginning of the series: White

East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Oct 24, 2018 by East2West
Comments

CCC: Guilds of Ravnica Set Review - Black

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.

I will be going over most cards in this set excluding most commons and uncommons. Each card will be given a ranking between 1 and 10 based on how playable I believe it to be in Standard, Modern, Commander, and Draft respectively.

  1. - Unplayable
  2. - Bad card tribal
  3. - Uninteresting
  4. - Could see play but doubtful
  5. - Playable
  6. - Seems deece
  7. - If you have the room run it
  8. - Make the room to run it
  9. - Spicy
  10. - Why aren't you playing this?

Black


Blood Operative
Standard - 5
Modern - 2
Commander - 4
Draft - 5

I don't understand this card, honestly I don't. Repeatable lifelink creature that can remove a card from a grave on cast but deals you three when returned to hand. I mean I feel like I'm missing something with this here but I honestly don't see this as playable in most formats. In Draft it's okay, it's playable since lifelink even though it's a low bar it certainly meets it.

Doom Whisperer
Standard - 6
Modern - 4
Commander - 10
Draft - 7

Doom Whisperer is just a good card all around. A flying threat with decent stats that tramples and provides reasonably costed topdeck control. In Standard and Draft this is just an amazing choice for top end. In Modern it's a little slow but I honestly can see this being playable in certain control shells. Commander is Doom Whisperer's new territory. Essentially every black deck will want to run this, 40 starting life means Doom Whisperer filters your deck insanely efficiently while filling the graveyard. Hooooo boy this is gonna cost a lot in the near future.

Gruesome Menagerie
Standard - 5
Modern - 4
Commander - 7
Draft - 5

I think Gruesome Menagerie can put up numbers I just don't know if it will. In all formats there are plenty of solid targets this can hit, the issue seems to be it's restrictions. With other spells like Unburial Rites they can hit massive creatures allowing you to sort of circumvent their mana costs. With Gruesome Menagerie you're pretty restricted but reanimating multiple creatures sort of makes up for this drawback. I'm interested to see what this card can do and I'll definitely be keeping my eye on it.

Mausoleum Secrets
Standard - 5
Modern - 6
Commander - 9
Draft - 4

Weird Demonic Tutor that can only hit black cards. Not sure what deck really wants this in Standard or Draft but it's playable in really any black based creature deck. In Modern I can see this as a piece in Dredge allowing you to tutor up cards with startling efficiency. As for Commander this should basically just be an auto include into any graveyard deck featuring black, honestly.

Midnight Reaper
Standard - 4
Modern - 2
Commander - 7
Draft - 6

Card draw engine in black, nothing that new or innovative but it can be good. In Modern there are just better options while in Standard I'm just not sure what deck wants to run this. In Commander this is a good choice for black creature based decks given high life total and the massive amount of board wipes present in the format. In Draft this is a valuable ability on a solid body, while certainly not first pickable if I'm in black and this comes around I'd take it.

Ritual of Soot
Standard - 7
Modern - 7
Commander - 6
Draft - 5

Okay Ritual of Soot is kind of really good. In Standard and Modern this hits almost everything. This card can shut down so many top tier decks it's almost a second Damnation. Orzhov Board wipes is an archetype I think can happen and this is a step in that direction. In Commander it's another board wipe so why not, fill your deck with higher cost creatures or low cost guys that have an upside on death and boom, value. In draft this can either kick ass or suck hard. The Draft format for Guilds of Ravnica has some aggro possibilities but from my experience it's a grindier format so late game Ritual of Soot can set you back more than your opponent. Be careful with it in draft.

Coming up next: Red
Go back to the beginning of the series: White

East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Oct 24, 2018 by East2West
Comments
Want to join the largest online custom MTG community?
Sign up!