Hey gang! I’m Ryan, a writer here at HotC covering all sorts of fun news stuff, you might have seen me around, and I had the opportunity to bring a new column to the site! Rally The Ranking is going to be a new series looking at all the new cards coming out in each set and trying to nail down the best of the best. 

This time around I’m taking a look at some of the new cards printed in Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander, to narrow down some of the most exciting cards from the set. Not every Commander deck is going to want to play them, since the two commander decks, Corrupting Influence and Rebellion Rising, have very specific themes. Even so, there are plenty of neat cards you might have overlooked in the set!

Skyhunter Strike Force

Melee is a particularly powerful ability in Commander, one which rewards you for splitting your attacks among all your opponents to give your creatures a boost in power. There are only twelve creatures printed with the ability, and even then, only one other creature which gives other creatures you control Melee. 

Skyhunter Strike Force does require you to control your commander to get the bonus abilities, but does not require it or your commander to attack. This ability is particularly strong in a token-themed deck, with lots of little creatures out who can benefit from the extra +3/+3 in combat.

Hexplate Wallbreaker

A balanced piece of equipment, which is good seeing as additional combat steps are fairly easy to pull off. Hexplate Wallbreaker is intentionally balanced to only give you one extra combat step, but even then, it is a powerful piece of equipment.

Hexplate Wallbreaker might be a little pricey, but in a dedicated equipment deck you won’t have any problems getting this out. Keep in mind you trigger the extra combat step when your equipped creature attacks, it doesn’t have to deal damage or even survive combat to take the extra combat step.

Mirage Mockery

Bringing the entwine mechanic back for a single card is an interesting choice, but Commander product provinces a unique space for the design team to bring back older mechanics. For three mana, you get to create a copy of an artifact creature you control or a nonartifact creature you control. Paying six mana gets you copies of both. 

There are plenty of ways to make copies of creatures and artifacts in Commander, and the modular nature of the card gives you lots of potential to make whatever copies you want. Mirage Mockery seems particularly good in a Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer deck or a Adrix and Nev, Twincasters, where you can get tons of use out of those tokens. 

Lux Artillery

The second iteration of New Phryrexia’s Lux weapons, Lux Artillery only cares about getting as many counters as you can and then dealing out an immense amount of damage once you get there. It does require a bit of building around to get to work as Lux Artillery will only give sunburst to your artifact creature spells.

Even in a two-colored deck you’ll still get a good boost to your creatures, adding two +1/+1 counters to each artifact creature you cast. Sunburst is a cast trigger, so making copies or putting a creature into play through other means won’t give them any bonus counters. 

Phyresis Outbreak

While Phyresis Outbreak is a little narrow in scope, you’ll have to play it in a poison deck to maximize the amount of damage you can dish out with it. It can become a weirdly modular mass removal spell dependent on each of your opponent’s personal poison counters, while also bringing them closer to defeat. 

Generally speaking, if your opponents have three or four poison counters on them when it resolves, you can be sure to take out a majority of their board, if not all of their creatures. 

Roar of Resistance 

In a creature token deck, you can’t go wrong with Roar of Resistance. Giving all your tokens haste is a great upgrade to your board, letting you smash into your opponents with tokens you generate this turn. You could easily jam this card into a Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer or Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second to make the best use of your tokens as soon as you make them. 

The second ability is a bit more interesting. Whenever any creature attacks, you can pay two mana to give them +2/+0 if those creatures are attacking an opponent or an opponent’s planeswalker. Since you can use it to pump your opponent’s creatures, you can play politics with your opponents, promising to pump their creatures in exchange for not attacking you, or completely messing up your opponent’s blocking plan by giving your opponents creatures a buff before damage.

Norn’s Decree

This weird little enchantment is halfway between a stax piece and a poison piece, and does both pretty well. When you’re hit by a creature an opponent controls, you give them a poison counter. Then, when any player attacks, if defending player has a poison counter, the attacking player draws a card.

As your opponents start to attack you and accumulate poison counters, Norn’s Decree incentivizes your opponents into attacking each other so they can draw cards. The card draw is an attack trigger so they don’t even need to connect to get the benefit, something you’ll likely want to remind your opponents a couple of times as they move to declare combat.

Contaminant Grafter

If you’re on the poison gameplan, then you’ll definitely want to be running Contaminant Grafter in the 99. While trample and toxic are a great combination to have on a creature, the real power comes from Contaminant Grafter’s abilities. 

Dealing combat damage with one or more of your creatures lets you proliferate, ticking up those poison counters and any other counters you have. Keep in mind this triggers only once, even if you hit with more than one creature at a time. However, if you have double or first strike, that will be two instances of damage, giving you two proliferation triggers. 

With the Corrupted ability triggering, you can fuel your poison strategy with some ramp and an extra draw per turn. 

Ixhel, Scion of Atraxa

There’s a lot going on with Ixhel, Scion of Atraxa, but that’s great for your poison deck. Many of the best poison-based cards can be found in the Abzan colors, so having Ixhel at the head of your deck is a natural choice. 

Even if you’re not running a hard poison strategy, Ixhel’s Corrupted ability provides tons of versatility with its Gonti-like effect. For each opponent with three or more poison counters, you get to exile the top card of their library and you can play it for as long as it’s exiled. Those cards are permanently yours, letting you play them even if you don’t control Ixhel. 

Clever Concealment

A sometimes free spell which protects whatever you want from being destroyed is pretty darn good, and it might be one of the best cards from the Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander. The sometimes free part comes from its convoke cost, letting you tap four creatures (two of which have to be white) to pay for the casting cost. 

With the convoke cost, you can bait out a mass removal spell with a heavily-committed board to cast Clever Concealment with your creatures. You can also use Clever Concealment as a back up protection spell incase your Teferi’s Protection or Heroic Intervention gets countered.

Ryan Hay (he/him) has been writing about Magic: The Gathering and video games for years, and loves absolutely terrible games. Send him your bad game takes over on Twitter where he won’t stop talking about Lord of the Rings.

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