05/09/2011 Feature: "A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Feature Article, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Those size comparisons beg the question:  Which of the praetors would win in a fight?  I'll do a brief breakdown of what I personally think would happen, which I might expand later:

Elesh Norn:  The first to go down. Looks to be only about 11 feet tall, way too spindly.  Her bony body is crushed by any of the other praetors.

Jin-Gitaxias:  Close fight between Jin and Sheoldred.  Can't decide if Sheoldred's large size and huge mouth destroy Jin, who is too much of a lab geek to win, or if Jin's spiny, metallic appendages and anatomic knowledge disect Sheoldred's awkward, unbalanced body.  Either way, whoever wins get punched out by....

...Urabrask, who, although the smallest praetor, is super fast and pretty scrappy, but no match for the sheer size and brutality of....

Vorinclex, who is the winner of the praetor battle royale!!!! SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST


EDIT: Oh wow, I didn't even realize that it was praetor week! How fitting to kick it off with a praetor-tastic cage match.  Now I'll definitely have to expand this later.  Perhaps even go into the casual section and start a thread about making a deck centered around each praetor and their corresponding Phyrexian faction....



Does this mean that there will be no Sortable Spoiler for New Phyrexia? That used to be the first feature article after prerelease. It would be a pity if there wasn't one, because it is the only place where you can see everything including the flavor texts in text format....
Those size comparisons beg the question:  Which of the praetors would win in a fight?  I'll do a brief breakdown of what I personally think would happen, which I might expand later:

Elesh Norn:  The first to go down. Looks to be only about 11 feet tall, way too spindly.  Her bony body is crushed by any of the other praetors.

Jin-Gitaxias:  Close fight between Jin and Sheoldred.  Can't decide if Sheoldred's large size and huge mouth destroy Jin, who is too much of a lab geek to win, or if Jin's spiny, metallic appendages and anatomic knowledge disect Sheoldred's awkward, unbalanced body.  Either way, whoever wins get punched out by....

...Urabrask, who, although the smallest praetor, is super fast and pretty scrappy, but no match for the sheer size and brutality of....

Vorinclex, who is the winner of the praetor battle royale!!!! SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST


EDIT: Oh wow, I didn't even realize that it was praetor week! How fitting to kick it off with a praetor-tastic cage match.  Now I'll definitely have to expand this later.  Perhaps even go into the casual section and start a thread about making a deck centered around each praetor and their corresponding Phyrexian faction....


Well, sure, in an actual cage match, the smart money is always on the green and red creatures. On the other hand, white, blue and black have strengths other than one-on-one fair fights. If we're talking about the pure flavor, characters, storyline, etc., Elesh Norn wouldn't go anywhere without minions to protect her and she would strengthen them in turn, Jin-Gitaxias would hide out invisibly if the fight wasn't going his way and overwhelm them with a mind-boggling array of pure magic, and Sheoldred would try to poison any enemy or stab them in the back before they notice her.

In games with hypothetical Vorthos decks built around each Praetor, I think Sheoldred would be the best. Her mana cost is on the low side for Praetors and her p/t is on the high side, and every single turn she'll either give you a creature or take one from your opponent, and even in a block-only monoblack deck it's very easy to make her unblockable (Evil Presence) and/or give her infect.

If we're talking about which card is the best in competitive Constructed decks, my money's on Urabrask. He's the cheapest, and on turn five (or earlier with any mana acceleration) you play a 4/4 with haste, and from then on you're always two steps ahead of your opponent in terms of creatures. I won't be surprised to see a white weenie deck using Elesh Norn as a finisher/white Overrun, and there's probably a fun-but-not-actually-good deck using Jin-Gitaxias (with Sword of Feast and Famine, you can play him on turn five) and either Liliana Vess or Praetor's Counsel, but Urabrask is the one that fits most easily into an existing deck archetype.
Those size comparisons beg the question:  Which of the praetors would win in a fight?  I'll do a brief breakdown of what I personally think would happen, which I might expand later:

Elesh Norn:  The first to go down. Looks to be only about 11 feet tall, way too spindly.  Her bony body is crushed by any of the other praetors.

Jin-Gitaxias:  Close fight between Jin and Sheoldred.  Can't decide if Sheoldred's large size and huge mouth destroy Jin, who is too much of a lab geek to win, or if Jin's spiny, metallic appendages and anatomic knowledge disect Sheoldred's awkward, unbalanced body.  Either way, whoever wins get punched out by....

...Urabrask, who, although the smallest praetor, is super fast and pretty scrappy, but no match for the sheer size and brutality of....

Vorinclex, who is the winner of the praetor battle royale!!!! SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST


EDIT: Oh wow, I didn't even realize that it was praetor week! How fitting to kick it off with a praetor-tastic cage match.  Now I'll definitely have to expand this later.  Perhaps even go into the casual section and start a thread about making a deck centered around each praetor and their corresponding Phyrexian faction....


Well, sure, in an actual cage match, the smart money is always on the green and red creatures. On the other hand, white, blue and black have strengths other than one-on-one fair fights. If we're talking about the pure flavor, characters, storyline, etc., Elesh Norn wouldn't go anywhere without minions to protect her and she would strengthen them in turn, Jin-Gitaxias would hide out invisibly if the fight wasn't going his way and overwhelm them with a mind-boggling array of pure magic, and Sheoldred would try to poison any enemy or stab them in the back before they notice her.

In games with hypothetical Vorthos decks built around each Praetor, I think Sheoldred would be the best. Her mana cost is on the low side for Praetors and her p/t is on the high side, and every single turn she'll either give you a creature or take one from your opponent, and even in a block-only monoblack deck it's very easy to make her unblockable (Evil Presence) and/or give her infect.

If we're talking about which card is the best in competitive Constructed decks, my money's on Urabrask. He's the cheapest, and on turn five (or earlier with any mana acceleration) you play a 4/4 with haste, and from then on you're always two steps ahead of your opponent in terms of creatures. I won't be surprised to see a white weenie deck using Elesh Norn as a finisher/white Overrun, and there's probably a fun-but-not-actually-good deck using Jin-Gitaxias (with Sword of Feast and Famine, you can play him on turn five) and either Liliana Vess or Praetor's Counsel, but Urabrask is the one that fits most easily into an existing deck archetype.

haha no worries, my analysis was more tongue in cheek than anything.  I agree with your assessments on Sheoldred as the best in a Vorthos type deck and Urabraask as the best in competitive.  I definitely was thinking in a cage match type of mindset.  I do think that Vorinclex is the best for EDH though.  (Jin Gitaxias is amazing in EDH, but in an unfun sort of way, so that kind of discounts him.)  All would be good as generals though, but in an EDH situation where games go on for a long time, and huge creatures are around with a lot of graveyard recursion, I think that mana accel is probably the best effect of the 5 praetors.
Those size comparisons beg the question:  Which of the praetors would win in a fight?  I'll do a brief breakdown of what I personally think would happen, which I might expand later:

Elesh Norn:  The first to go down. Looks to be only about 11 feet tall, way too spindly.  Her bony body is crushed by any of the other praetors.

Jin-Gitaxias:  Close fight between Jin and Sheoldred.  Can't decide if Sheoldred's large size and huge mouth destroy Jin, who is too much of a lab geek to win, or if Jin's spiny, metallic appendages and anatomic knowledge disect Sheoldred's awkward, unbalanced body.  Either way, whoever wins get punched out by....

...Urabrask, who, although the smallest praetor, is super fast and pretty scrappy, but no match for the sheer size and brutality of....

Vorinclex, who is the winner of the praetor battle royale!!!! SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST


EDIT: Oh wow, I didn't even realize that it was praetor week! How fitting to kick it off with a praetor-tastic cage match.  Now I'll definitely have to expand this later.  Perhaps even go into the casual section and start a thread about making a deck centered around each praetor and their corresponding Phyrexian faction....






Well, if we were to go by the actual cards in a straight up head-to-head beat down, Elesh Norn would win.

Since Elesh's ability would be in effect during the fight, even Vorniclex as the biggest opposing Praetor gets reduced to a 5/4. He can't overcome her 7 toughness and beating him is easily manageable with her 4 Power.

If we are going by abilities, then Sheoldred kills everyone neigh instantly.

Edit: As overboss of the Furnace Layer, Urabrask came packing a Sword of Body and Mind and a Sword of Light and Shadow he had made.
True enough, though I was specifically looking at combat, thus I assumed the opposing praetors were able to make it to the combat step. Since Sheoldred's ability isn't related to combat I disregarded it, or considered that the other praetors had a chump to sac for it.

I knew I should have included a caveat about her.


None of the swords have a Phyrexian watermark, thus they were made by the Mirrans, not Urabrask (He's probably my favorite Praetor). Even if he were wielding them he couldn't kill Elesh, the swords would pump him to an 8/8, Elesh would drop him to a 6/6, and her 7 toughness would keep her safe. She just couldn't kill him either (both due to pro-white and only having 4 power).



None of the swords have a Phyrexian watermark, thus they were made by the Mirrans, not Urabrask (He's probably my favorite Praetor). Even if he were wielding them he couldn't kill Elesh, the swords would pump him to an 8/8, Elesh would drop him to a 6/6, and her 7 toughness would keep her safe. She just couldn't kill him either (both due to pro-white and only having 4 power).



True, and in this fight, any Preator with a Sword in their possesion (probably looted) would bring it to the fight. It's just that Urabrask controls a significant portion of the industry in New Phyrexia, he's the economic powerhouse of the plane.  He can likely either make some for himself, or find something to trade the Mirrans for (probably intel on the other Praetors in this case) or loot it off their corpses since they're in his backyard.