04/13/2011 StF: "A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia, Part 2"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor, which goes live Wednesday on magicthegathering.com.
Creepiest and most awesome StF ever.
I'm really liking this series in StF. Both of the parts so far have been extremely detailed, and offer great insight into the inner workings of New Phyrexia.

I'm curious as to some of the art interspersed throughout the article. Like that last one with the Wyvern-looking creature (epic art) doesn't appear to have anything to do with either the Wailing Cairns or the Astral Coffers. I don't see why it's there.
Wow. Now I find it really disappointing that it all came to be just a small set. The whole new block about New Phyrexia instead of Mirrodin war would be sooo awesome imo.

I like how this version of Phyrexia is divided, different tribes scattered around, each leader with his own agenda, yet their ambitions and lifestyle still resemble the good old Yawgmoth's Phyrexia. I think if there was no Father of The Machines in the Old Phyrexia, it would've looked exactly like this. Very believable.
Old Phyrexia had a straightforward philosophy, New version is still to acquire it. It really feels like it's still weak, impure, divided, but potentially great and fearsome power to be aware of.

I wish New Phyrexia grand future, (in)glorious conquests, and finally all clans to be combined together under a new leader - GO KRAYNOX! YOU'RE THE BEST! ROOTING FOR YOU! - and reach the true phyrexian purity until the next Phyrexian-themed block.

Kraynox hwaitinggg! :D
Astral Coffers. These irregular polygons contain the thoughts of Sheoldred. To open them, a different secret word must be whispered to each side, and they must be spoken in the correct order by turning the shape in the proper direction each time. When properly opened, an astral coffer transports the opener to an astral space where no others can hear the thoughts of Sheoldred. Improperly opening an astral coffer can result in being told a lie or in meeting something other than Sheoldred's thoughts in that astral space. Many who improperly open an astral coffer simply never return.



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellraiser" title="en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellraiser">IT'S JUST A PUZZLE BOX!
Seriously, guys.  If New Phyrexia is going to be a clean lift of Hellraiser, at the very least make a "Bruce Campbell" set somewhere in Innistrad.
Poor Karn. He has seven people trying to kill him over a position he didn't even want in the first place. The white Phyrexians won't let him leave, and the black Phyrexians won't let him stay!

So each Steel Thane represents a different black virtue twisted into a bizarre mockery of itself, just as the three sects of the Machine Orthodoxy did for white virtues.

Reading the desciptions, I can see the potential for some natural alliances. Roxith's hatred of skin gives him something in common with the Flesh Singularity, and his preference for metal might endear him to some artifact-loving blue Phyrexians. Thrissik's belief in Social Darwinism might be compatible with the regular Darwinism that the green Phyrexians obsess over, and the Apostles of Karn probably like him better than the other Thanes because he's open to the idea that the Father of Machines should be someone other than himself.

Kraynox is really the wildcard, though. He doesn't so much represent any particular black virtue as he does the last remnants of mono-black Old Phyrexia.

Since today's faction is an enemy of the one we got last week, I'm guessing we'll see Vorinclex next, followed by Jin-Gitaxias, and then finally Urabrask.
Nice article.  Great detail about the black faction.  Can't wait for the next one.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Utterly awesome series. I really don't care about black, so this was the least interesting in the series to me; which means I'm really looking forward to the next three.
Oh, that was utterly amazing. I'm with the people who say they wish this had been Phyrexia Block. The Mirrans are just not this interesting.

And yay, I finally have my answer to "what is it with Roxith and his anti-flesh stuff?" I'm not crazy or misreading. YAY! I knew I wasn't wrong... (well, okay, I was wrong in that I thought it would probably be all of Black Phyrexia that felt that way.)

I'm torn on the everybody wanting to overthrow Karn thing though. On the one hand, it's very Black and I like seeing the very clear "the strong rule over the weak" theme. On the other, though, the one big thing I'm still not a fan of is the weak leadership/Karn's a crazy wuss thing.

It lets the treacherous part of Black shine, yeah, but... I don't know. It feels a bit formulaic to me. I'm more interested in how Black hangs together than in how it splinters. The divisions in Black are obvious, due to its individualism. To me that makes a tense but somewhat stable unity that's roiling deep within more of an interesting idea than an entire faction of "No, I wanna be the leader!" "No, me!" "No, me!"
Woah so awesome. I agree this is way too much for a small set, so I expect a Ravnica-esque block that is all about factions battling it out how New Phyrexia will be in the end.

Thrissik seems the most interesting, from a storyline point of view. Will he recognize Karn, Melira or Koth perhaps?

No part about the mirran resistance though, so I guess not a single mirran-aligned black card? Makes sense as it had the most Phyrexian cards in Scars of Mirrodin and is the original Phyrexian color, but I would've liked 1 (or 2) mirran black cards just as Besieged had 2 Phyrexian red cards.

Finally, that art from Steve Argyle. Wow. Really? Right up there with Earthbind, I'd say =)
Like everyone else said, good article. Apparently, when Phyrexia comes to a world like Mirrodin and gets centuries to percolate, what you get is an entire world populated by almost every freakish nightmare imaginable. Clearly people put a lot of time into this and had a lot of fun with it.

Wow. Now I find it really disappointing that it all came to be just a small set. The whole new block about New Phyrexia instead of Mirrodin war would be sooo awesome imo.


Don't worry, I'm pretty sure they're going to come back. Invade Dominaria again, probably. Maybe some other hapless plane first to get rolling, but seriously, after this, it's not like there would be any suspense to that.
Awesome article.  Really enjoyable and gives so much insight into the mindset of the next set.  As everyone has said, it is a shame that it will be a small set but still we get what we are given.
Judging by the description, I think that makes this now famous photo:



The gigantic body of Kraynox.  I mean the sphere in the middle with the five suns sort of matches the description of Kraynox's Orrery.

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From Mark Rosewater's Tumblr: the0uroboros asked: How in the same set can we have a hexproof, unsacrificable(not a word) creature AND a land that makes it uncounterable. How does this lead to interactive play? I believe I’m able to play my creature and you have to deal with it is much more interactive than you counter my creature.

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Post #777

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MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago."

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MaRo: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

Finally, that art from Steve Argyle. Really? Right up there with Earthbind, I'd say.



I loved that art. Yeah, I agree with you about its implications, but I don't really see that as a bad thing. Way back when, Magic art was quite edgy, weird, and creepy. Now it's gorgeous, but less disconcerting. I'm really liking this set just for the disconcerting art, both that we've already seen and that is still to come... XD

Anyone else seriously miss old-school Anson Maddocks, though? I bet he could do some awesome stuff with this.

Also also... still in love with all the Hellraiser references. XD
Finally, that art from Steve Argyle. Really? Right up there with Earthbind, I'd say.



I loved that art. Yeah, I agree with you about its implications, but I don't really see that as a bad thing. Way back when, Magic art was quite edgy, weird, and creepy. Now it's gorgeous, but less disconcerting. I'm really liking this set just for the disconcerting art, both that we've already seen and that is still to come... XD



Oh yeah, it's doesn't have to be a bad thing =p I love it (which might not have been reflected in my initial statement)
Can go right into my babes deck (sideboard if it's not a useful card), just like Archangel of Strife from Commander. Good year for that deck.

On the subject of art though, I believe it's one of the USP's that magic had to give up over the years. I remember when I started playing, videogame graphics were relatively primitive, so magic really catched the eye. How is that these days though?
Another great article.

I've always had a soft spot for the word "thane" ever since reading Tailchaser's Song oh-so many years ago.

And I have to agree with the comments above, it's a shame that it's only get the small, third set for all these interesting ideas. 
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
Another great article.

I've always had a soft spot for the word "thane" ever since reading Tailchaser's Song oh-so many years ago.

And I have to agree with the comments above, it's a shame that it's only get the small, third set for all these interesting ideas. 


"Thane" (of Cawdor) was also Macbeth's title before he became king.

That's really all I have to contribute. 
Disappointed about this part:
"Vraan or his compleated Moriok spirit-talkers use soul siphons to suck the souls of the victims out of their heads and place them into vessels—victims strapped down for the purpose of being possessed, then tortured for information."

What sets Phyrexia apart from most other villains is that they are purely a physical threat, unlike, say, Tevesh Szat (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), Braids (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), the Orzhov (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), Ulamog (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), or the Eastern Paladin (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....). The original Phyrexia had nothing to do with souls, as evidenced here: gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.... and I think that changing this in New Phyrexia is a mistake.
Amazing. I couldn't wait for the second part, and you delivered it with grace. I can't wait for New Phyrexia to come out and can't wait to see them in "action" (see what I did there?) in a later set. Keep the good times coming.
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator. [Love, Tolerate, Exterminate] I loooove Phyrexian Obliterator. I lurk moar than I post, and I do it from my phone; so if you see a terribly short post or one with little to no caps, that is why. Current decks; BUG Birthing Pod Korlash, Heir to Blackblade (EDH)
I expected blue to come this week. But still, this was amazing.
if they printed these articles ina  book, like they did with Zendikar's PW's guide, I'd buy this for sure.
OMG click HERE! OMG! How to autocard and use decklist format
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For autocarding, write [c][/c] with the name of the card inside it. [c]Island[/c] = Island For linking a card to Gatherer without writting the name of said card for readers, use the autocard brackets together with and equal sign and right the name of the real card. Then put the message you want inside the tags, like you would do with autocarding. Like this: [c=Curse of the Cabal]Captain Never-resolves[/c] = Captain Never-resolves For using the decklist format, follow this: [deck] 4* Terramorphic Expanse 4* Evolving Wilds ... [/deck] It equals:
Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
Disappointed about this part:
"Vraan or his compleated Moriok spirit-talkers use soul siphons to suck the souls of the victims out of their heads and place them into vessels—victims strapped down for the purpose of being possessed, then tortured for information."

What sets Phyrexia apart from most other villains is that they are purely a physical threat, unlike, say, Tevesh Szat (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), Braids (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), the Orzhov (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), Ulamog (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), or the Eastern Paladin (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....). The original Phyrexia had nothing to do with souls, as evidenced here: gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.... and I think that changing this in New Phyrexia is a mistake.


Me too. It feels weird that Phyrexians care about intangible things such as souls. Although it gets mixed up when there are vampire Phyrexians and Demon Phyrexians.

But asides that, this is awesome. I can't believe there are so many factions fleshed out even within just one color. 
Goblin Artisans - A Magic Design Blog by GDS2 Contestants and Collaborators
The black section of the styleguide was my favorite, and now you all know why.  I don't know about all the choices they made in designing the Thanes and their objectives (I would probably have made Geth more generic since he already had an established identity from Mirrodin and Scars, and given the binding-contracts shtick to one of the others to make them more distinctive; I also find Vraan's characterization rather un-vampiric but then I'm a VTM player so I'm biased).  But regardless of that, they've made the black faction revolve entirely around individuality - they may be evil individuals, but Damnation, they've got style.  I love this so very much.

I'm a huge fan of that Nim art by the way.  I love the card it's attached to, but my preferences are complex enough that this shouldn't really tell you anything about what it actually does.  Still, it gave me a warm fuzzy for one of the many reasons something might.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Disappointed about this part:
"Vraan or his compleated Moriok spirit-talkers use soul siphons to suck the souls of the victims out of their heads and place them into vessels—victims strapped down for the purpose of being possessed, then tortured for information."

What sets Phyrexia apart from most other villains is that they are purely a physical threat, unlike, say, Tevesh Szat (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), Braids (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), the Orzhov (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), Ulamog (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....), or the Eastern Paladin (gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....). The original Phyrexia had nothing to do with souls, as evidenced here: gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.... and I think that changing this in New Phyrexia is a mistake.

Vraan and company are former Mirrans.
I hope they do a Phyrexian Civil War block, because there is no way we have room for seven Thanes.
I suspect that this styleguide was written at least partially when they thought they were doing an entire block of NP.  It's tragic to realize they probably won't come back to this world and make cards for those Thanes, but I suspect that if they do another Phyrexia block they'll probably set it on some other world to emphasize that Phyrexia is a threat to the entire Multiverse.  It's a shame, though.  I definitely agree with the Ravnica-esque point; the block might have been epic, but I don't have any complaints about what we got in its place.


No part about the mirran resistance though, so I guess not a single mirran-aligned black card? Makes sense as it had the most Phyrexian cards in Scars of Mirrodin and is the original Phyrexian color, but I would've liked 1 (or 2) mirran black cards just as Besieged had 2 Phyrexian red cards.



Besieged had 2 Mirran black cards (both pertaining to vampires, so if there are any non-phyrexians left in Black that's probably who they would be; the guide flat-out says the Moriok are all turned now).

My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Black espouses the "virtues" of old Phyrexian, plenty of backstabbing action. However this particular system seems flawed for a race in pursuit of perfection especially when all five factions are more or less in conflict with each other. Having internal conflicts is a recipe for disaster.
Black espouses the "virtues" of old Phyrexian, plenty of backstabbing action. However this particular system seems flawed for a race in pursuit of perfection especially when all five factions are more or less in conflict with each other. Having internal conflicts is a recipe for disaster.



I think that's the whole point.