Phyrexian Arena


Format Legality
Modern Legal
Legacy Legal
Vintage Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Conspiracy: Take the Crown Rare
Commander 2015 Rare
Duel Decks: Phyrexia vs. The Coalition Rare
Planechase Rare
Ninth Edition Rare
Eighth Edition Rare
Apocalypse Rare

Combos Browse all

Phyrexian Arena


At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.

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10.57 TIX $4.59 Foil


Phyrexian Arena Discussion

Austin_Smith_of_Cards on Thraximundar

1 hour ago

Looks like tons of fun with plenty of interesting cards I've never seen before. Hex was a card I've always considered for EDH, so I have tons of respect for that inclusion.

That said, I'm not quite sure how the deck works. Does it durdle until you draw a big stompy creature and then make a splash on the board? Are you winning with commander damage through Thraximundar? I'm going to assume it's a goodstuff deck, and give a few suggestions.

Grave Titan is a hell of a beatstick and immediately makes his presence known when he hits the board. 10 power with no downside is incredible value, and he'll continue to churn out more zombie duders every time you swing in.

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker is a titan of a card that blows up permanents, steals creatures, and god help your opponent who you point his ultimate at. Lots of fun within Grixis colors.

Tutor effects are crazy good with a 100-card singleton deck, so I recommend Sidisi, Undead Vizier as your tutor of choice. Because exploiting a creature has synergy with your commmander. Along those same lines, I suggest Diabolic Tutor.

As a budget way to ramp and fix your mana, I would run the three Signets in your colors; Dimir Signet, Rakdos Signet, and Izzet Signet. They're definitely EDH staple cards.

Phyrexian Arena is a card advantage engine with a downside so minimal it's not worth noticing (yay 40 starting life!).

Army of the Damned is a huge splashy effect that immediately draws out a boardwipe or opponents risk losing to your gigantic zombie horde. Also, it has flashback, so it takes two boardwipes to that's value.

Even if you don't choose to include Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, symmetrical effects are so good in Commander I would run Dark Intimations anyway. Another decently powerful effect in your colors.

Happy brewing!

Karzalar on Olivia Voldaren, Queen of the Damned

15 hours ago

Removal Suggestions :

Black Sun's Zenith for a mass removal that can make creatures only 1/1 instead of huge threats, if needed. Also destroys Indestructible.

Silence the Believers because exile > destroy!

Chaos Warp because you never know when an enchantment (something your deck will have a LOT of trouble to get rid of), or something you just can't normally destroy, may come up. But you have to gamble for it.

Scour from Existence is costly, but you can even remove a land.

Unstable Obelisk doubles as ramp, and can remove something.

Grip of Desolation is, again, creature / land exile.

Draw Suggestions :

Phyrexian Arena is just too good to pass up.

Others :

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx because who doesn't love a load of mana when your commander needs that whole lot of it?

Patriarch's Bidding recurs any vampire you've lost.

GrandRoyal on Abzan Life in the Kitchen

1 day ago

Good point! Uhm hmm.... Man hard choice, I guess putting in Dark Confidant would work? or like Phyrexian Arena (Not sure if modern legal...)?

Stephencliffe on Nahiri Mardu

1 day ago

Cool idea moving out of Jeskai. I see a few changes that might be beneficial to the deck.

Firstly, you have no means of drawing additional cards. Normally Dark Confidant would be the perfect card, but your curve is way too high for him. Maybe try Phyrexian Arena to help you out with that. Other options include Ob Nixilis Reignited, Read the Bones and Painful Truths. These all come at the cost of paying life, so you'll want some way of gaining some of that back. But card draw is a must, so definitely find a way to generate some.

Secondly, you have tons and tons of removal. There are decks that aren't oriented around creatures; against those decks many of your cards will be dead in your hand. Even against creature decks, too much removal means that you're reacting to whatever your opponent is doing. This is never a great strategy.

You can try taking out a chunk of your removal spells to add in some creatures to pressure your opponent. This can also serve as an alternate win condition, should anything happen to Nahiri. Sin Collector, Desecration Demon and Restoration Angel are all very affordable creatures that have impactful effects on the game. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is also good, even in modern.

Now for the sideboard. You should definitely run Stony Silence and Rest in Peace. Basically every white deck has some amount of these two cards in the sideboard. They're amazing, run them. Past that, Spellskite is never a bad idea, nor is Fulminator Mage.

What you should really do is playtest this against as many decks as you can, and find out what your worst matchups are. Then you can make a sideboard plan from there.

Hope I was helpful. Cool deck, hope it all works well for you!

WargRave on Zurgo's toolbox of death

1 day ago

I'm not an expert on mana base construction, but isn't 32 lands and 15 mana rocks an extreme ratio? I know the general rule is "2 rocks = 1 land" so your total is still 39.5 "lands", but still, 47 cardslots are dedicated to mana production, meaning you will draw less gas. I think so many rocks also forces you to resort to some that are worse than simply lands. Having a rock instead of a land only ramps you if you are already hitting all your land drops, and 32 lands probably won't do that for very long. Once you empty your hand of land, drawing a rock actually slows down your mana compared to a land, and rocks are easier to destroy; Cyclonic Rift and Vandalblast hitting 1/3 of your mana sources really hurts, for example. The trio of diamond rocks are most cuttable; Coldsteel Heart is better. Gratuitous Violence and Phage the Untouchable are hardest to cast, so if your mana isn't consistent enough I think they must be the first suspects.

There are 13 board wipes, is it possible for that number to go down? I notice there are very few sources of direct card draw, so maybe the least good wipes can make room for that. Outpost Siege should always be on Khans, so Phyrexian Arena would serve better.

Open the Armory is a voltron staple, but this list has only 7 targets for it. Battle Mastery is a good one, and Loxodon Warhammer can replicate the function of Homicidal Seclusion. Tenza, Godo's Maul is super efficient. You can also add a negative aura so Open the Armory can function as removal. Replacing Banishing Light with Arrest for instance.

How has Lapse of Certainty been? Holding up 3 mana for a worse Cancel seems unexciting even if you are exploiting your opponents' color pie expectations, though I do like Not of This World and Rebuff the Wicked since it's much easier to hold up 0/1 mana, and Not of This World even counters abilities!

Nephalia Academy is a curious choice to me, I suppose discard is common in your meta?

bushido_man96 on Yidris, Dragonportal

1 day ago

I've only played with Ydris a little bit, in the Wizards precon. I'd say if you want to play with some card draw, playing with , , and , there are lots of good card draw options that aren't single spells. Rhystic Study, Necropotence, and Phyrexian Arena are all better draw engines in my opinion. I love Soothsaying, and Sylvan Library or Mirri's Guile are great similar options in . I think those would be great for the deck. But, with that said, if you are running the other spells you have instead and trying to cascade into them, then I could be blowing smoke here.

Another tip is to remember the 7x9 rule. I just picked up on this the other day, and I like it. Basically, it says that 7-ofs in Commander is the equivalent of 4-ofs you'd play in 60 card decks. So, if you want card draw spells, go with 7. If you want top-decking spells, go with 7. You've got 9 "slots" to work with, so figure what you want the deck to do, and then fill in those slots with the cards that do what you want. You probably know all this, so I apologize if this is not new to you, and it looks like you've stayed close to that format.

I'm rambling now, but I hope I've helped some.

FierceTierce on Zoobliterators

2 days ago

Thank you for the suggestions Chasmolinker. Many of those are great cards that I had trouble cutting. I leaned towards using targeted removal instead of Gatekeeper of Malakir because I can be sure to remove their best threat and I don't want to overload on removal. I'll probably find a couple slots for him now that you've suggested it though.

I've tested Liliana of the Dark Realms and she's just bad. Getting a Swamp every turn is strictly worse than Phyrexian Arena, and paying 4 mana and -3, killing herself and another creature, is very inefficient. If she started with one more loyalty, I'd probably have 1 or 2 of her.

Vexing Devil just isn't what I want to do. It doesn't add , it's easy to remove. Most of the time I'd prefer a Gatekeeper or Messenger.

The reason Fatal Push is so good is it's only one mana. It, Bolt, and Inquisition make sure I have something to play on turn one. Terminate may make it to the sideboard, but only if I feel I need more removal, and I don't think I'll usually need it.

casmiel on Budget Orzhov Control Deck

2 days ago

Ultimate Price is always worse than Go for the Throat (both can't hit artifacts)

I'd play Condemn, Path to Exile, Fatal Push and even Anguished Unmaking over Utter End.

Despise is not really a strong discard spell, I'd rather have Duress, as that usually hits the most dangerous cards. Of course Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize are better than both. If you want to stay budget, which I assume, why not go for Tidehollow Sculler or Sin Collector? Both are really strong cards, even in competitive Modern.

i'd bring your landcount to 23. Try to get the full playset of Isolated Chapel. Concealed Courtyard and Caves of Koilos are affordable as well. Evolving Wilds is not great and would just be an emergency solution. Either way, you need more dual lands to have reliable mana.

Vampire Nighthawk has some strong competition in Gifted Aetherborn now. But you need more dual lands, otherwise it is too difficult to cast reliably on turn 2 or even 3.

I've seen some decks that run Tainted Remedy as the cornerstone to play cards that grant the opponent life. You don't have enough lifegain cards to make that a viable direction though, it's also much more vulnerable and combo-like.

I see what you are trying to do with Niblis of the Urn, but it is a pretty weak card overall. You should find another alternative for tap-effects, that one is a bit weak. Or just go with more removal, no tapping needed then. Luckily, Black and White have the best removal.

The appeal of Black & White decks comes from Lingering Souls in most cases, which is a pretty insane card. It will drive any Control player mad, as it is a nightmare to destroy with removal. I would highly recommend slamming it in any B/W deck, you almost can't go wrong there. It works well with Cartel Aristocrat, but that would go in a completly different direction I suppose.

Edge of the Divinity is a good, but problematic card. It makes your opponent's removal twice as good, but it offers a cheap and strong boost. I'd say only ever run Auras in Modern if you put it on a Hexproof creature. Even if you'd ignore that for now, this card wants to be played in a highly aggressive deck. Your deck is a bit too slow for that to work out, so I personally wouldn't run it.

Underworld Connections is much worse than Phyrexian Arena. Asylum Visitor can be an alternative if you really need the drawing power. It is cheap and can usually trade with something else.

Ambition's Cost is pretty much unplayable in Modern. Night's Whisper, Sign in Blood and the cards mentioned above are much better when it comes to drawing cards.

I wouldn't focus your deck towards Alms Beast too much. Just use it as a finisher and your top-end card. You should decide which direction your deck should go. Either you go down on creatures, and instead increase removal and hand disruption, maybe add some Mana Tithe and play Orzhov Control with the Beast as your finisher. Or load up on creatures, cut your draw and removal and go aggressive, with creatures low in cost and high in power to go wider. Either way, both varieties would be stronger than what you have now, which is sort of a mix of both and that never really worked out as far as I know.

Good luck with the deck!

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