Magic The Gathering Phyrexia All Will Be One set review
MTG's newest set is an infectiously good time
Phyrexia: All Will Be One, the first standard-legal Magic: The Gathering set of the year is finally here, and with it a ton of fast and infectious cards that should see a ton of play in every format. But with the Standard rotation looming later this year, pulling the fan-favorite Kamigawa Neon Dynasty out of legality, the sets this year have to make up for it.
Luckily, Phyrexia: All Will Be One hasn’t disappointed so far. The set is set for a street date of February 10, 2023, but with the pre-release already over (on February 3, 2023), many of the cards are already out there. I’m taking an early look at the set and how it plays, and I’ll be updating this review over the course of the next few months to see how these Magic cards make their way into all the constructed formats – and to see how it plays in a limited environment.
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Where to buy MTG: Phyrexia All Will Be One
How I’m testing MTG: Phyrexia All Will Be One
Throughout the coming weeks and months, I’ll be playing with the set just like anyone else would. I’ll be playing in drafts every Friday, will be working the cards into decks in Standard, Pioneer, Commander and Modern, and I’ll be keeping an eye on the Magic The Gathering competitive metagame to see how these cards effect the most popular trading card game on the planet.
For this initial review, I did what I do whenever a new MTG set comes out. I bought a Set Booster box with my own money, grabbed one of the commander pre-constructed decks and then went to the prerelease two-headed giant event with my partner. I’ll be avoiding giving the set a score until I’ve had a chance to draft the set a couple times.
Why trust my MTG: Phyrexia All Will Be One review?
I’m just your every day Magic The Gathering player. The whole reason I’m writing this review is because I love the game dearly and was just looking for an excuse to rant or rave (it could go either way) about the new set once it came out. I’m really not interested in hyping a set that’s a bust, and I’m not from one of the big card-selling sites trying to get you to buy all the most expensive singles. This is coming from the heart.
MTG: All Will Be One price
MTG prices are variable by nature
Set Booster boxes are sitting around $124
Collector Booster boxes are $229
Draft Booster boxes are $106
For the price of all of the sealed products, I’m going to use Card Kingdom’s market price to gauge. Wizards of the Coast notoriously doesn’t release the MSRP for its products, so the price of all of the products is extremely flexible.
However, right now prices seem pretty much under control, especially considering how powerful many of the cards are. You can grab a Set Booster box for around $124, which is honestly less than I paid when I pre-ordered it a week ago (goes to show you that preordering is a risky bet). If you want to bling out your decks, you can grab a Collector Booster box for about $229, but keep in mind that you get much less cards there.
Finally, Draft Booster boxes cost about $106, which is the perfect price for splitting between 5 or 6 friends and hosting your own little Booster Draft event. Then, there’s the pre-constructed Commander Decks, which you can expect to pay around $49 for.
MTG’s toxic set
One thing you’ll notice when you open your first packs in MTG Arena, which is honestly among the best PC games, is that a lot of the cards in green, black and white have the Toxic keyword ability. What this does is give poison counters whenever the creature with Toxic hits your opponent. Any player with 10 poison counters immediately loses the game.
That’s right, poison counters are back, though with a lot more of a toxic effect on the game than the Infect keyword that debuted back in Mirrodin Besieged. During the prerelease I built a deck almost entirely around Toxic and it was honestly a blast. I probably would have won the event too, if I didn’t get mana flooded in my first game – but that’s neither here or there.
The other big thing is Oil, which is focused more in Red and Blue. These Oil counters do different things depending on the card, but if you’re in those colors, you should be looking to spread Oil counters to as many of your cards as possible to maximise the effect they have on the game. I haven’t had much of a chance to play with these counters yet, though cards like the Filigree Sylex have me pretty excited to try it out. Plus, I’ve already seen a version of Red Deck Wins in Modern that looks promising, and it probably won’t cost much to build, either.
Combine these effects with the huge amount of cards with low converted mana costs and I can already see this set having a huge effect in many of Magic The Gathering’s most popular formats – especially Pioneer, where I’m already brewing a Toxic Selesnya deck.
Only time will tell how these effects are going to shape MTG as a whole, but my first impressions tell me that we’re going to be seeing a lot of cards from Phyrexia: All Will Be One across all of the formats.
MTG: All Will Be One – The prerelease
As with every MTG set that comes out, I went to the prerelease, playing two-headed giant. For those not aware, this is a format where you team up with a friend against another pair of players. You share life totals and are generally trying to win the game together.
It’s not a format I get to play often, but luckily my local game store, Gamestoria, has a two-headed giant event during every prerelease.
The event was absolutely packed, and I saw so many different Phyrexia: All Will Be One sealed archetypes being played. I threw together a Golgari (black and green) deck, splashing blue and white in order to play the copy of Atraxa, Grand Unifier that I opened during the event.
That probably wasn’t ideal, but in the games where I was able to get her out on turn seven, the card was an absolute bomb (in a good way) giving me card advantage and a body that was incredibly hard for my opponents to deal with.
My partner and I ended up with a record of 1-1-1 (one win, one loss, one draw), mostly because the two-headed giant games were best-of-one, rather than the best-of-three you’d usually expect in events like this. I’m already counting down the days until the first Friday Night Magic, or FNM, so I can play Limited again, this time a Booster Draft. Phyrexia: All Will Be One is already proving to be one of my favorite MTG sets and will likely be one of the best of the year.
Should you buy MTG: Phyrexia All Will Be One?
✅ You like fast MTG sets
✅ You yearn for the return of Poison counters
✅ You want to be everyone’s enemy in Commander
❌ You only play older formats like Legacy and Vintage
❌ You hate poison counters (I don’t blame you)
❌ You only like buying cards for specific decks