All Will Be One (-Half of a Two-Card Combo)
When I was tapped to write the red review for Phyrexia: All Will Be One, there was a part of me that wanted to rate every card with a single word. It'd be thematic, after all. With all the other writers spinning tales of compleation and oil and sinewy, toothy grandeur, I'm covering red. And in the spirit of Urabrask, it felt appropriate to disregard tradition and uniformity in favor of rating cards with vague grunts about Great Furnaces and some spiky thing named Juex. You gotta tend the molten slag or be the molten slag, after all.
But it turns out that devoting an entire review article to an only mildly funny joke would be less than ideal. Instead, let's check out all the relevant red cards from ONE the normal, boring way instead, just like Elesh Norn would want.
I didn't take any digital marketing classes in college, so we're going to go ahead and talk about this one right at the top, instead of putting it last to make you scroll to the bottom of this article.
This is as close to a "title track" that a Magic set gets, and the eponymously namedcertainly carries the banner for Phyrexia: All Will Be One. It's currently not the most expensive card to preorder in the set (that honor unsurprisingly goes to ), but when All Will Be One starts hitting those Commander tables as the hot new combo-enabler in town, plenty of players will be looking to scoop one up (or scoop at the sight of it).
With All Will Be One, infinity is the name of the game, and it doesn't matter if going infinite is even your intention, as including this card in a deck will be a bigger red flag to other players than someone playing a"because they like Merfork." And if you're reading this because you want those sweet, sweet two-card combos, I'll give you a headstart: play a deck with, say, as the commander, with cards like , , or in the 99. If you have a love for , you can also include a or (that last one isn't strictly infinite, but it's really, really good nonetheless).
There're also the scenario where you might be a player that loves putting scary cards in decks for the goofs and don't actually intend to play them for combo potential. It's okay, we all do it. I've been known to useto fetch s, it's fine. If that's the case, then your Chandra tribal deck was just gifted a fantastic (though not exactly lore-friendly) enchantment, or you have a new win condition to go along with . Or, just have a ton of fun in a Gruul deck with . The world's your oyster.
Will All Will Be One become the Commander world's favorite five-mana red enchantment? That's such a weirdly specific question, but it's possible, I suppose. Its competition includes hits like, , , , , and (that last one might just be me). That's a collection of very good and/or very annoying cards, and at first blush, All Will Be One fits right in.
New Magic sets and mythic red Dragons, it's a tale as old as time. It doesn't matter howor or a set might get, it's a fool's gambit to bet against the presence of a mythic Dragon.
As such, it's tough for a new Dragon out there in the wide world. Commander decks centered around the flying lizards have more options than slots in the 99, so a freshly printed Dragon needs to be better than the worst card already in the deck., despite the creature type of "Dragon" and the Dragon in the art and the general Dragon-ness of it all, is not a Dragon. It's a , but worse in every way outside of stats. Dragon decks likely won't be able to make use of it in any meaningful way (unless you really, really want to cast a second time). Spellslinger players take one look at the word "random" and are overwhelmed with sadness. Graveyard decks will try to puzzle out a way to get the one spell they want to cast for free into the 'yard to minimize the random element, but will quickly give up in favor of just reanimating for the millionth time.
I've heard rumors of other formats of Magic: the Gathering outside of Commander, and it's conceivable thatwill be of more use in 60-card decks, but for us in Commanderland, Capricious Hellraiser will be ignored in favor of that other mythic red Dragon, .
Speaking of that other mythic red Dragon, Chiss-Goria is here and mostly intact, coming to us from Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander. Unlike the otherwith various pieces floating around out there, Chiss-Goria's only lost a and a (to date).
Mirrodin historians are understandably keen to see the owner of those fragments in card form, still taking the fight to the Phyrexians and whomever else gets in its way. Like its tooth and scale, the full version also has Affinity for artifacts, which is important to note for anyone who saw that nine-mana-value casting cost and scoffed at their screen. Chiss-Goria deserves no scoffs, only praise and admiration.
As a commander, Chiss-Goria (Chissy-G? Chistoper?) wants a board flooded with artifacts of all stripes, which in reality means a bunch of Treasure tokens. If you've got six Treasures, you can cast Chistoper simply by sacrifing three of them for the red requirement. And remember, Affinity can be used to cover that pesky commander tax, too.
Will it be interesting enough for players to seek out a 99 for it to lead? Time will tell, but unlike many mono-red, artifact-specific commanders, Chiss-Goria gives you options. Its haste and potentially cheap cost lends itself to combat/Voltron builds, its ability can be used to cheat out massive artifacts on the cheap, and it can alsoway better than you'd expect from a furnace Dragon.
Just remember that its attack trigger only ever gets one hit, so even if you flip five artifacts off the top of your library, four of them are gone for good. But when you're casting a massively expensive artifact for free, I'm sure you won't mind. It's likely many players will be using that discount for something like a, , or (or if you're a villain), but I will award you bonus points for staring your opponents in the eye as you cast a zero-mana . You'll get a bonus bonus point for saying "Teeka's Dragon counts as a Dragon" when you do it.
There are few words in Magic more threatening than "double" (unless it's the even more mystical), and as a result, people are ga-ga for Solphim. It's true that Solphim doesn't really bring anything to the table that we haven't seen before, as the ability is just a variation on cards like , , , , or the aforementioned five-mana red enchantment, (sort of).
But as keen-eyed readers have already deduced, none of those cards are legendary/commander-eligible, like Solphim.
As a result, any cards that enjoy Solphim's doubling effect will also enjoy having that effect in the command zone (with the added bonus of occasional indestructability to boot). Some classics come to mind, liketo kill the table with a single tap, or little goobers like getting that much more threatening. It's important to remember that Solphim only doubles noncombat damage, so don't just toss it into any deck as a replacement for .
Will Solphim make a noticeable impact on Commander tables following the new set's release? Probably not. The sad truth is that while "double" is powerful when it comes to damage effects, it's not quite as potent without the wordstapled to the back of it. Realistically, it'll be more commonly seen in the 99 of decks that can make use of the "noncombat damage" caveat and need the doubling effect because the person playing that deck is impatient.
Here's the first instance of the new keyword(s) For Mirrodin! in red. It's a fun take on the Living Weaponthat we saw the last time we were hanging out in Karn's old golem-cave, except inverted to make Rebels instead of Germs. Which, if you're an autocratic government, are probably two terms for the same thing.
, specifically, is the latest in a long lineage of effects that make non-Dragons into or Dragon-adjacent creatures. There are the obvious examples, like the recent , or the classic , or... ? Sure.
Anyway, there are a number of words on this one that will pique the interest of certain players. There's the whole "Rebel" thing that'll entice fans of that type who also play red, a subset that, according to EDHREC, exists. The stats on the Equipment itself aren't world-beating, but there are worse options than +2/+2, flying, and haste. Like . There are plenty of Equipment-centric commanders (including one ) that might appreciate a Dragonwing Glider, but at the end of the day, it's unlikely you'll see this much in the wild.
Here we have Affinity for equipment, which is another way of saying "if you own one of the 28 decks EDHREC shows for a Partnerlessdeck, you've found your new favorite card." And that's especially true when imagining the lore implications of a bunch of Mirrodin Rebels showing up to make a stand, only for a dirty little Goblin to hand them each a rock with a pat on the back. You know what Phyrexians can't compleat? Rocks.
Like any card that automatically equips Equipment to creatures without cost,will be of interest to those who just can't get enough of or . I myself am partial to , but who am I to judge?
For when you want to makeeven more annoying, or build your own (but, like, only the least good part of Godo).
Listen, I'm unapologetic in my love for the. I'll jam that rock-loving guy anywhere he'll fit, and some places he won't. Apropos of nothing, I also love .
The new Koth picks up where the last one left off, retaining the four-mana cost and affinity (like, appreciation for, not Affinity affinity) fors, but mechanically he's got a lot more in common with Liliana of the Dark Realms: a plus ability that grabs a basic and puts it in the hand, a minus ability that kills a creature based on the number of basics you've got in play, and an ultimate ability that gives you an emblem that cares about amassing even more basics. Should we put on our tinfoil Vorthos hats and assume this means Liliana will somehow mind-meld with Koth and save the day in the next set?
And since new Koth's so similar to L of the DR (except rare, notably, not mythic rare), we can look to that one to see how we should play Koth; in other words, if you're going Big Red, get a Big Koth. I'll be securing a copy for mydeck since the first ability basically says "search your library for an uncounterable ."
Plenty of decks will take interest too, especially those already making use of/ and don't want to get hosed by . That might be a corner case, though, in the sense that it happened to me once in 2009 and I'm still grumpy about it.
Have you ever cast aand thought, "That was neat, but what if I punished my opponents even more for having the audacity of controlling artifacts?"
Well, now you can, if you've got the coin to spend. If you can afford to make that X equal to five mana or more, now everyone's best toys are yours, and take note: it says "destroy up to X target artifacts," so if you want to pay seven mana to turn ainto a , no one's going to stop you. It also doesn't restrict you from targeting opponents' artifacts only, so you can always get some extra turns with , should you desire.
There's plenty of upside, but it comes at a price. Until you sink seven mana into it, there's no real reason to play it over, and there's an argument to be made that neither are better in a vacuum than .
However, if you're playing something like, , or other big-mana commanders, the downside becomes a win condition if you're lucky.
Eventually, there will be so many playable Equipment-themed cards that you'll make a deck about it and forget to include actual Equipment.is certainly worth a look in the 99 of Equipment decks that include red, but on its own it's probably not impressive without some serious finagling.
In the lists of Voltron-slanted Equipment decks, however, is where it'll shine. If you load up your Voltron commander -- say,or -- with a bunch of swords, boots, hats, and other accoutrements, Rhuk will be there to grab everything up should a grisly fate befall your commander.
Giving creature tokens haste is cool and all, but not very interesting. A lot of things can do that, fromto and every emotional state in-between. Where Roar of Resistance gets interesting is that second part, which reads like , but a subscription-based games-as-service version. Leaving up two mana at all times in the hope that you can use it to bribe your opponents into attacking each other might end up doing more harm than good to your board (and emotional state, hence the anger), but it still sounds pretty fun, and if you've ever played Gahiji, you know how amusing it can be to see an extra two-power buff drive a spike between otherwise solid friendships.
Slobad's always been a weird little guy, even before he was turned into a fleshbot. He was too strange to make it with the Krark Clan and ended up a's indentured servant before helping out of the mouth of a . There's some yadda-yadda that goes in here, involving , going to Elf jail, a little light torture thanks to , becoming part of a hive mind, becoming a planeswalker in a roundabout way, rejecting a job offer from Karn, and being killed by random Goblins.
All that was before his body was reanimated, with compleation filling any missing parts with bits and bobs of Bosh. Hence the reason why he's "Iron Goblin" just like Bosh was "Iron Golem," and why he sacrifices artifacts to an ability where casting cost matters.
With all that lore out of the way, how's the card itself? It's pretty straightforward, functioning as a redto generate mana from artifacts in order to cast even more artifacts. Might I suggest a ?
And remember, Slobad will still generate mana from copies of artifacts since copies retain the mana value of the original, so decks likeand can continue their trash-in, trash-out fun with another new toy. It's likely that Slobad, like his , isn't quite unique or quite powerful enough to lead his own deck with the glut of red legends that care about artifacts, but he'll be a welcome addition to the 99 of a slate of existing decks.
This'll be the first of two mentions of cards I want to try in, but there will be others out there eyeing as a new pet card for their pet deck. And to me, that's what Commander's all about.
It's slow, might not meaningfully impact the game in any way, and could generate unwanted attention disproportionate to how good it is (or isn't). All that said, I love it. Whether you've been tinkering with, combat-doublers, like , commanders who love high power, like , or just want to start , you might be seeking to make room for Urabrask's Forge.
It's a one-mana Wizard that says "whenever you cast," so some of you have already preordered a copy without reading the rest of the card.
But that's what we're here for, to tell you that the rest of the card says "oil me up."
In practice, Vindictive Flamestoker will feel very similar to a. There are slight differences, of course, but the end result is largely the same. And that's okay, since the people who enjoy playing Bedlam Reveler have probably never uttered the words "just one of these is good enough for me."
While oil counters are all the rage right now, in the context of Commander it's not likely that you'll care much that the counters on Vindictive Flamestoker are oily. But if you're counting spells for, having a way to refill your hand for a measly red mana can make all the difference between going off and going under.
I mentioned on social media that the flavor text for is just me when I worked at a screw and bolt production facility for three weeks in my early 20s, and is strangely the second card from this set that reminded me I'm not equipped for tedious labor. That's why I'm sitting here, typing 4,000 words about red Magic cards.
I suppose I should talk about the card itself as well and not just the memories of monotony it instills in me. Vulshok Factory is the latest in a recent push to make "interesting" red, three-cost mana rocks, which is a weirdly specific trend but a trend nonetheless. Maybe it started with, I don't know. But just in the last handful of years we've seen , , , and now this.
In the late game, if you don't need a random mana rock anymore, cash it in for a Golem of variable size. That's just sound investment strategy.
Uncommons & Commons
Cacophony Scamp will make a very satisfying pop when it dies, which means it's automatically worth considering in certain decks. In other words, we've come a long way from.
I can see a world where decks that make use of repeated reanimation treat Cacophony Scamp like a kill spell, especially if the incidental Proliferate matters, and if you're in mono-red, that Proliferate is a hot commodity, as its one of exactly two red cards that contain that keyword (the other one is).
I'm a big fan of this little guy. Sure, it looks kind of like it should have been, but from a mechanical standpoint, it fits snugly in my favorite decks.
Since its power keeps growing the more moist it gets, it's perfect as an early play in(this is mention number two, by the way), and since it says "artifact" in the text box without that pesky "nontoken" clause attached to it, it works wonders with Treasure. Just amass a chestful of Treasure tokens (which you and I both know you're going to do anyway).
Attack with it,it with , use it to quickly feed , or just enjoy the fact that no matter how tentacled and menacing Phyrexians get, Goblins seem not to be too bothered, compleation or not.
In much the same way thatis a callback to (but not , which is a different thing), Gleeful Demolition is a callback to , except this time you've got the option to an artifact you don't control. If you opt to make Goblins, they'll come out all steel-plated and weird-looking, but this is 2023 and we live in the future now.
There you have it. We don't have to worry too much about Toxic and poison counters and molar monsters here in red, just lots and lots of oil (both in terms of pro-oil, and anti-oil). It's been multiple decades now, and I'm convinced that 1999's Virus starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Sutherland is actually just a stealth adaptation of Phyrexia. Anyway...
Are you cooking up any lists with the red legends of ONE?Any instant pick-ups for the 99 of existing decks? I'm positively oiled up in anticipation of your answers.