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Glistening oil
Glistening oil.jpg
Origin Phyrexia
Status Unknown

Glistening oil, also known as Phyrexian oil or Ichor, is a viral substance engineered by the Phyrexians to spread corruption wherever it travels. It is both a contagion and a means of colonization, used to compleat creatures into Phyrexians and power Phyrexian machines as well.[1]


The glistening oil is composed of two main elements - oil and powerstone nanites. It is normally black but can also be of other colors like green.[2]

On Phyrexia[]

The Fifth Sphere of Phyrexia, called the Boiling Sea, was an ocean of glistening oil used by Vat Priests of the Fourth Sphere to breed newts.

On Dominaria[]

In post-apocalyptic Dominaria, black-aligned knights and wizards were tainted by the lands where Yawgmoth and his minions had been defeated. You could see evidence of this corruption in the black ichor that ran out of their eyes.[3] In the Mending Era a sample of live, glistening oil recovered from Koilos is rumored to be preserved in the labs of the Academy of Tolaria West.[4]

The Infection of Karn[]

Without knowing it, Karn carried a trace of the Phyrexian oil within him, inside the Phyrexian heartstone granted to him long ago by Urza. Karn left traces of the oil in his travels from plane to plane, including the artificial world that he himself created: Mirrodin.

The Infection of Mirrodin[]

The glistening oil planted a virus on Mirrodin that slowly spread.[5][6] The first to be infected was Mirrodin's keeper, Memnarch. Unbeknownst to most Mirrans, Phyrexia was rebuilding itself, using their world as its host substrate. The metal structures and metal-infused inhabitants of Mirrodin were a perfect breeding ground for the spread of Phyrexian corruption. As the nascent civilization of Phyrexia expanded in secret, it struggled to evolve a unified purpose, and the danger for the plane of Mirrodin grew until it evolved into New Phyrexia.

The glistening oil was the catalyst for the evolution of Mycosynth and is found in large quantities in the corrupted Quicksilver Sea.

In-game references[]

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