MTG Wiki
New Phyrexia

New Phyrexia
NPH logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description The Phyrexian symbol
Design Ken Nagle (lead),
Dave Guskin,
Joe Huber,
Matt Place,
Mark Rosewater
Development Aaron Forsythe (lead),
Dave Guskin,
Zac Hill,
Tom LaPille,
Erik Lauer
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date May 13, 2011
Plane New Phyrexia
Themes and mechanics Colored artifacts,
Phyrexian mana
Keywords/​ability words Imprint,
Living weapon,
Set size 175 cards
(10 basic lands, 60 commons, 60 uncommons, 35 rares, 10 mythic rares)
Expansion code NPH[1]
Development codename Action[2]
Scars of Mirrodin block
Scars of Mirrodin Mirrodin Besieged New Phyrexia
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Duel Decks: Knights vs. Dragons New Phyrexia Commander
This page is about the set. For the plane, see New Phyrexia (plane).

New Phyrexia is the third set in the Scars of Mirrodin block. It is the 55th Magic: The Gathering expansion and was released on May 13, 2011.

Set details

New Phyrexia contains 175 cards (60 Common, 60 Uncommon, 35 Rare, 10 Mythic, 10 Basic Lands), including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. The set concludes the story that began in Scars of Mirrodin, with the Phyrexians defeating the Mirrans and taking control of the plane of Mirrodin. Like the cards in the two sets before it, the cards of New Phyrexia are watermarked with either faction's symbol,[3] but the ratio of Phyrexian to Mirran cards significantly favors Phyrexia. This showcases the progress of the Phyrexian invasion and is a reversal from the ratio as it was seen in Scars of Mirrodin.[4] In a similar fashion, the Phyrexian keyword mechanics of Infect and Proliferate spread into colors that did not get cards with these mechanics before. The expansion symbol was the Phyrexian symbol again, which was also heavily featured in the art.[5] Several familiar creatures show up in a compleated version, and several favorites were redone.[6][7] The set showcases Karn, as a planeswalker and Father of the Machines.[8][9][10]

Just like Mirrodin Besieged before it, New Phyrexia features a cycle of basic lands.[11] Half of them depict a scene inside the Phyrexianized core of Mirrodin, while half of them contain references to artifact lands from Mirrodin.[12]

Originally, Wizards of the Coast announced that the set would be called either Mirrodin Pure or New Phyrexia, as they did not wish to reveal which of the factions would win.[13][14][15] On March 29, 2011, it was announced that the new set would be called New Phyrexia.[16]

The set was spoiled in its entirety on April 19, 2011, before the spoiler season on began. This was the result of the "Godbook", which contains all cards of an upcoming set, being leaked. Godbooks are sent to magazines for review purposes before the release of sets. In this case, the godbook was sent to Lotus Noir, which passed it on to pro player Guillaume Matignon for reviews. Matignon was the World Champion at the time. Matignon in turn shared it with Guillaume Wafo-Tapa and two other players in his group, one of whom leaked it on the internet.[17] Consequently, all four players involved were suspended by the DCI for a year and a half.

Flavor and storyline

“  The Grand Compleation is Achieved  ”

It came not in the form of a noble struggle, a fair contest of warriors clashing will against will, but as a wave of unstoppable slaughter. Mirran partisans resisted bravely, using their wits and magic to fend off the onslaught that originated from inside their world. But their efforts were for naught. Phyrexia is victorious. Mirrodin now goes by a different name: New Phyrexia.[18][19][20]


Main article: Magic Story

Dark Discoveries is a webcomic about Tezzeret, Elspeth, Koth and Venser. It was published in three parts in May 2011.

Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
Corrupted Conscience Jenna Helland 2011-01-19 New Phyrexia Karn, Elesh Norn, Kraynox, Jin-Gitaxias
Dark Discoveries, Part 1 Jenna Helland 2011-05-05 Unknown plane, New Phyrexia Tezzeret, Nicol Bolas
Dark Discoveries, Part 2 Doug Beyer 2011-05-12 New Phyrexia Venser, Karn, Geth, Elspeth, Koth
Dark Discoveries, Part 3 Doug Beyer 2011-05-19 New Phyrexia Tezzeret, Jin-Gitaxias, Karn
On the Mirrodin Site: Ria of the Bladehold Wizards of the Coast 2011-05-20 New Phyrexia Ria Ivor, Minhu, Anton, Hyath, Pilat, Leonie, Livak
On the Mirrodin Site: Unctus of the Synod Wizards of the Coast 2011-05-27 New Phyrexia Unctus, Politus, Covalt, Scylla, Threx, Uulk, Kizak, Grgur, Jin-Gitaxias, Malcator, Karn, Elesh Norn, Urabrask
On the Mirrodin Site: Roxith, Thane of Rot Wizards of the Coast 2011-06-03 New Phyrexia Roxith, Geth, Kraynox, Sheoldred, Thrissik, Azax-Azog, Karn
On the Mirrodin Site: Farris of the Anvil Wizards of the Coast 2011-06-10 New Phyrexia Farris of the Anvil, Sharaia of the Anvil, Malach of the Anvil, Ogrond of the Shield, Trinu of the Helm
On the Mirrodin Site: Kessla of Temple Might Wizards of the Coast 2011-06-17 New Phyrexia Kessla, Benzir, Kio, Camik, Nee, Glissa Sunseeker


NPH 6 card booster

New Phyrexia 6-card booster

New Phyrexia was sold in 16-card boosters, 6-card boosters, five intro packs, two event decks and a fat pack.[21][22] The 16-card boosters featured artwork from Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, Sheoldred, Whispering One and Suture Priest.[23] The small booster featured artwork from Etched Monstrosity.

Suture Priest and a version of Pristine Talisman (with the Mirrodin Pure expansion symbol) were previewed at the Mirrodin Besieged Game Day.[24] The prerelease was May 7–8, 2011, the launch party on May 13–16, the Magic Online release on May 30 21, 2011. The Game Day was held on June 11–12, 2011. The promotional card given to participants at the Prerelease tournaments was Sheoldred, Whispering One, one of the five powerful Phyrexian praetors.[25] The launch party promotional card was Phyrexian Metamorph, and the Magic Game Day promotional card was a full-art Priest of Urabrask (top-8 participants received a full-art foil Myr Superion). The Buy-a-Box card was Surgical Extraction.

Regular boosters of New Phyrexia come with a bonus sixteenth card that is either a "tips & tricks card", a creature token from New Phyrexia, or a poison counter (which is subtly different from the poison counters in the previous sets).[26] These bonus cards display on their reverse side one of 14 advertisements for organized play programs, other Magic products such as fat packs and intro packs, the Magic books library, Magic Online, UltraPro products, or various Wizards-run, Magic-related websites (such as

NPH Poison counter

New Phyrexia Poison counter

Tips & Tricks

The tips & tricks cards are:


The New Phyrexia tokens in numerical order are:[27]

  1. {G} 3/3 Beast produced by Beast Within and Fresh Meat.
  2. {R} 1/1 Goblin, similar to the token from Scars of Mirrodin, but with "Phyrexianized" art to show the compleation of the plane, produced by Chancellor of the Forge.
  3. {C} 3/3 Golem Artifact, similar to the token from Scars of Mirrodin, but with "Phyrexianized" art, produced by Blade Splicer, Conversion Chamber, Master Splicer, Maul Splicer, Sensor Splicer, Vital Splicer and Wing Splicer.
  4. {C} 1/1 Myr Artifact, similar to the token from Scars of Mirrodin, but with "Phyrexianized" art, produced by Shrine of Loyal Legions.
Phyrexian mana

Phyrexian mana


New Phyrexia introduces five new mana symbols, referred to as "Phyrexian mana".[3] These symbols resemble a mark of Phyrexia on a colored background, one for each color of mana, and indicate a cost that can be paid with either 2 life or one mana of the respective color. This mechanic also heralds the return of colored artifacts, previously seen in Future Sight and the Esper shard from Alara block.[28] Because these symbols were all identical except for color, there were multiple complaints from color blind players, although this was somewhat mitigated by the appearance of the standard symbols in the effect boxes.

The keyword mechanics Infect, Proliferate, Living weapon, Metalcraft and Imprint return.[29][30] Karn gets a Planeswalker card, the first colorless planeswalker card that has, up to that point, the largest amount of loyalty counters added by a planeswalker's first ability with +4, and the most costly ultimate ability at -14 loyalty counters.

The set has a small subtheme of "splicers", 1/1 creatures that put a certain number of 3/3 Golem artifact creature tokens onto the battlefield and grant abilities to them.[3] Another small subtheme was nicknamed the "blood tax", and referred to spells such as Vapor Snag which resembled other utility cards (in this case, Unsummon), but with an additional rider that caused a loss of 1 life.[3]

The rules term "poisoned" introduced in Mirrodin Besieged returns. A player is poisoned if they have any poison counters.


New Phyrexia has five cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Praetors Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur Sheoldred, Whispering One Urabrask the Hidden Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
Five mythic rare legendary creatures, one per color, representing the Phyrexian's rulers and a different philosophy among the Phyrexian army what exactly New Phyrexia should look like. They give a positive effect to the player controlling them, and an inverse effect to their opponents.
Chancellors Chancellor of the Annex Chancellor of the Spires Chancellor of the Dross Chancellor of the Forge Chancellor of the Tangle
Five rare creatures, who can be revealed at the start of the game for a small effect to get an early advantage.[3]
Exarchs Inquisitor Exarch Deceiver Exarch Entomber Exarch Tormentor Exarch Brutalizer Exarch
Five uncommon Cleric creatures that let you choose to either exercise a positive effect on yourself or a permanent you control, or the inverse effect on the opponent or one of their creatures.[3][31]
Shrines Shrine of Loyal Legions Shrine of Piercing Vision Shrine of Limitless Power Shrine of Burning Rage Shrine of Boundless Growth
Each of these uncommon artifacts gains a charge counter at the beginning of its controller's upkeep, and whenever they cast a spell of a specified color, and can be sacrificed for an effect that scales with the number of charge counters.
Souleaters Blinding Souleater Trespassing Souleater Pestilent Souleater Immolating Souleater Insatiable Souleater
Five common artifact creatures with activated abilities that cost a single Phyrexian mana of a specified color.

Reprinted cards


Strictly better

Notable cards

Sheoldred, The Whispering One

Prerelease promo of Sheoldred

  • Phyrexian Obliterator is an updated version of the Suicide Black staple Phyrexian Negator, which could not be reprinted because it is on the Reserved List. Both have similar names and identical combat stats (5/5 trampler). However, the new card reverses Negator's drawback into a massive upside in exchange for a higher and more color-intensive mana cost.
  • The chancellor cycle (such as Chancellor of the Forge) are some of the few cards in the game to have abilities in the opening hand, including some unique effects such as triggering on the first spell cast in the game with Chancellor of the Annex.
  • Sword of War and Peace completes the set of enemy color swords, from Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Light and Shadow, Sword of Body and Mind and Sword of Feast and Famine.
  • Etched Monstrosity continues the Etched creatures that began with Etched Oracle in Fifth Dawn and was continued with Etched Champion in Scars of Mirrodin.
  • Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite was initially considered average for her high casting cost but quickly became a premiere choice for reanimator decks, where she completely disables opposing aggro decks and creates a fast clock with any other board presence.
  • Karn Liberated was the first colorless planeswalker, and a powerful spell that saw significant play in Standard but is notorious for combining with the Tron lands in Modern to be cast on curve on turn 3, presenting an unbeatable start for most opponents.
  • Dismember is one of the most versatile and powerful removal spells ever printed, accessible in any deck regardless of color and providing a strong effect for just a single mana. It was played in nearly every Standard deck while it was legal and has also remained popular in Modern, Legacy, and Vintage ever since being printed.
  • Surgical Extraction combines graveyard hate and a "lobotomy" ability at instant speed and without any mana or color restriction, making it an unexpectedly versatile card against both graveyard and combo decks and a mainstay in Modern, Legacy, and Vintage sideboards.
  • Phyrexian Metamorph is a cheap and effectively colorless clone that was played heavily in Standard decks and continues to remain relevant in older formats thanks to its ability to copy creatures in decks that otherwise do not have access to clone effects.
  • Beast Within is a powerful and flexible answer to any type of permanent in green. Although considered a color pie break, it is nonetheless a staple in the casual Commander format and has seen meaningful play in Modern and Legacy green decks.
  • Noxious Revival is another effectively free and colorless spell that, like Surgical Extraction, can provide instant speed graveyard hate in addition to allowing graveyard recursion and even combos.
  • Dispatch is a cheap removal spell for artifact decks in Modern that can turn it into a Path to Exile or Swords to Plowshares with no downside.
  • Spellskite provides free and powerful protection for creature-based decks, as it can redirect removal as itself and even prevent the opponent from casting beneficial spells on their creatures. Like other Phyrexian mana cards, it is often played in non-blue decks.
  • Puresteel Paladin is an Equipment payoff that made a small splash in Standard but remained dormant until the rise of the Hammer Time deck in Modern, which could use the Paladin's ability to equip Colossus Hammer for free.
  • Two powerful Infect creatures were printed: Blighted Agent, which naturally cannot be blocked, and Glistener Elf, which costs only a single mana.
  • Batterskull is one of the best Equipment ever printed, and is frequently run alongside Stoneforge Mystic to fetch it and put it into play for cheap, creating a hard-to-deal-with creature.
  • Gut Shot is yet another effectively free and colorless spell that can provide both removal and direct burn for colors that otherwise do not have access to it. It has seen play in decks like Delver and Kiln Fiend in Pauper and Murktide and Phoenix in Modern that can make use of it being a free spell to trigger various power abilities.
  • Apostle's Blessing and Mutagenic Growth provide cheap ways to buff and protect creatures that work especially well in Infect decks in multiple formats.
  • Melira, Sylvok Outcast is one of the few cards in the game to directly prevent poison counters from being placed on the player casting it, and notably hoses one of the main mechanics of the set flavorfully.
  • Phyrexian Unlife notoriously combos with effects like Solemnity to create a lock that prevents its controller from ever losing the game.
  • Deceiver Exarch would go on to play a major part in the Modern Splinter Twin deck, resulting in infinite hasty creatures when combined with the eponymous card.
  • Vault Skirge is a strong aggressive artifact creature, especially when combined with cards to increase its power like Cranial Plating in Pauper.

Banned and restricted cards

  • Birthing Pod is the backbone of several combo decks abusing self-recurring creatures and creatures with effects when they enter the battlefield to produce continuous card advantage. Eventually, it was banned in Modern, much like the previous set's Green Sun's Zenith; in addition to powerful versatility, it also was very consistent and tended to result in many turns of shuffling.
  • Gitaxian Probe is a "free" card, costing no mana or cards and giving important information about the opponent's hand. It remained legal in all formats for many years but began getting banned in 2017 when it became more and more clear that it enabled degenerate combo decks by allowing perfect information about the opponent's ability to disrupt while also reducing the effective size of the deck. It was banned in Modern and restricted in Vintage in 2017, banned in Legacy in 2018, and banned in Pauper in 2019.
  • Mental Misstep became a problem much faster than Gitaxian Probe and was banned preemptively when the Modern format was created just a few months after New Phyrexia was released. The free counterspell proved very strong in older formats like Extended and Legacy which had a preponderance of cheap spells, and the fact that it could counter other copies of itself and had no color restriction led to almost every deck playing a full four copies and chains of Mental Missteps deciding games. It was thus banned in Extended and Legacy in 2011, although it would not be restricted in Vintage until 2019.

Preconstructed decks

Intro packs

New Phyrexia has five bicolored intro packs.[32]

Intro pack name Colors Included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Devouring Skies U B Phyrexian Ingester
Feast of Flesh B R Chancellor of the Dross
Artful Destruction W G Blade Splicer
Life for Death W R Moltensteel Dragon
Ravaging Swarm U G Phyrexian Swarmlord

Event decks

New Phyrexia has two monocolored event decks. The number of rares was increased from seven to eight.[33]

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Rot from Within G
War of Attrition W



  1. Product info
  2. Mark Rosewater (December 3, 2012). "The Six-Year Plan". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b c d e f Wizards of the Coast (May 04, 2011). "New Phyrexia Frequently Asked Questions". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (May 2, 2011). "Touch of Evil". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Monty Ashley (May 18, 2011). "The Phyrexian Symbol (Again)". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Monty Ashley (May 03, 2011). "Infecting the Tanadon". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Tom LaPille (April 29, 2011). "Obliterate!". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Doug Beyer (April 25, 2011). "The Golem's Legacy". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Monty Ashley (April 29, 2011). "Wallpaper of the Week: Karn Liberated". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Monty Ashley (May 17, 2011). "Shrines of Karn". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Monty Ashley (April 18, 2011). "New Phyrexia Basic Lands". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Monty Ashley (May 10, 2011). "Land Callbacks". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Monty Ashley (December 9, 2010). "Announcing "Action"". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Kelly Digges (February 21, 2011). "Make Your Choice". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Mark Rosewater (February 21, 2011). "Pick a Side, Any Side". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Monty Ashley (March 29, 2011). "Action Is New Phyrexia". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Wizards of the Coast (April 28, 2011). "New Phyrexia Leaks". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Staff (May 09, 2011). "A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Doug Beyer (May 18, 2011). "The Art of New Phyrexia's Factions". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Monty Ashley (April 12, 2011). "New Phyrexia Art Gallery". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Monty Ashley (May 13, 2011). "Wallpaper of the Week: New Phyrexia Fat Pack". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Monty Ashley (March 15, 2011). "Action Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Monty Ashley (April 21, 2011). "New Phyrexia Boosters". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Monty Ashley (February 15, 2011). "Your First Action Card". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Monty Ashley (April 19, 2011). "New Phyrexia Prerelease and Launch Party Promos". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Monty Ashley (April 20, 2011). "The Changing Face of Poison". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Monty Ashley (April 14, 2011). "New Phyrexia Tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Mark Rosewater (April 25, 2011). "Phyrexian Powers: International Mana Mystery". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Wizards of the Coast (April, 2011). "New Phyrexia Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Aaron Forsythe (May 16, 2011). "Phyrexian Ken's Demands". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Mark Rosewater (April 13, 2015). "Maro's Command". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Monty Ashley (May 2, 2011). "New Phyrexia Intro Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Monty Ashley (April 27, 2011). "New Phyrexia Event Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Gavin Verhey & Jacob Mooney (June 10, 2023). "Magic: The Gathering Trivia Show! Can You Guess the Card From Design Notes?? (Video)". Good Morning Magic. YouTube.

External links