Phyrexian Unlife


Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Casual Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
New Phyrexia (NPH) Rare

Combos Browse all

Phyrexian Unlife


You don't lose the game for having 0 or less life.

As long as your life total is 0 or less, all damage is dealt to you as though its source had infect. (Damage is dealt in the form of poison counters.)

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Phyrexian Unlife Discussion

GeeksterPlays on Thrasios and Ishai

3 days ago

You mentioned combos, here's a few I've used over the course of my Derevei deck;

Leveler and Laboratory Maniac off of a Tooth and Nail entwined then draw cards somehow.

Use Alchemist's Refuge to cast an Approach of the Second Sun in person-to-the-right's end step, then in your upkeep Mystical Tutor it back to the top of library, draw cast win game.

Cast Approach of the Second Sun then use Venser, Shaper Savant or Remand or Unsubstantiate to return the spell to your hand. Cast it again for the win.

Omniscience and Enter the Infinite then win however you choose to.

Solemnity and Kitchen Finks and any sac outlet for infinite life (Phyrexian Altar is a good one for infinite mana as well).

T1 Plains-producing Land & Sol Ring. T2 Solemnity then play Dark Depths for T2 20/20 Flying Indestructible Marit Liege.

Solemnity & Glacial Chasm makes you untouchable for no cost until one of them is removed (no upkeep cost as it'll always be at upkeep count of 0 due to no counters).

Solemnity & Phyrexian Unlife makes you immortal until one of them is removed (no infect counters can be given to you).

Hive Mind and any of the Pact spells (e.g. Summoner's Pact) that your opponents can't make the mana colour to pay for in their own upkeep (I love this one myself!)

I'm sure there's more, but those were just off the top of my head!

mmcgeach on Control Zur

5 days ago

@VelvetVendetta The two combos I run, while they look slow, are actually terrific. I just added a section on "win conditions" to address this.

Basically, the two win conditions I have really overperformed. I thought they'd be weak, and I spent time looking for other wincons, but I now think you don't need them. Having less dead cards (like redundant or tertiary wincons) also makes the whole deck better, by increasing the amount of interaction and business the deck packs. I mean, what are we at here, 3 total dead cards? That's insane.

But, I think the fastest wincons I've seen are Demonic Consultation + Laboratory Maniac, at 2 cards and 4 total mana is pretty good, and it's pretty hard to disrupt. That also has overlap and synergy with Doomsday. I also like Ad Nauseam + Phyrexian Unlife / Angel's Grace, although there again you probably want to use Lab Man for the actual win (although people have suggested Sickening Dreams and even Repay in Kind, but that seems horrible.) I don't think you want to go with infinite mana combos like Dramatic Reversal and Isochron Scepter or Lion's Eye Diamond and Auriok Salvagers. I'm not sure. The other interesting wincon in Zur is the artifact-storm one with Hurkyl's Recall, Helm of Awakening, and Aetherflux Reservoir. But, that's pretty hard to assemble.

Not sure what's best.

LearnedHand on Phyrexian Unlife in Death's Shadow

6 days ago

Azdranax, at the point that Phyrexian Unlife's counters become relevant, in a regular shadow deck I would have already lost so I am not following. It may encourage Affinity to use the Inkmoth Plan sooner but it doesnt make it easier. I would also be more aware that Inkmoth would be a bigger threat and focus in my removal. I still see unlife buying extra time in that match up.

LeaPlath I can definitely get on board with this logic. It doesn't directly help win. But it does allow a Death's Shadow to reach its full potential. And even tier 1 and 2 decks run some form of solid defense (counterspells, removal, land disruption). I can see that it shouldn't be the highlight/focus of the deck but I still don't see why a 1 or 2 of wouldn't be helpful to a high risk deck.

LearnedHand on Phyrexian Unlife in Death's Shadow

6 days ago

I am considering brewing Black White Death's Shadow with Phyrexian Unlife. I feel like unlife takes a little of the risk out of low life totals. My question is, why is Phyrexian Unlife not featured in more death shadow decks? Its obviously not vital to the deck but it seems to have enough synergy to be worth a few spots in the deck. Am I missing something?

chadsansing on Second Tron

1 week ago

Cool idea - I like the suggestions from Pieguy396, too.

A few concrete ideas: drop the Spyglass and Verdicts from the sideboard and play 2 Pithing Needle and a Nephalia Academy instead to protect against walkers and hand disruption. Replace the Relic with Grafdigger's Cage which is more versatile against Dredge, Storm, and Counters Company. Consider a few Split Second cards like Trickbind and Wipe Away in place of EE. No one ever expects them and they wreck Ballista decks, walker ultimates, man-lands, fetches, etc. Maybe run a Boseiju, Who Shelters All mainboard. Split Sleight of Hand 2-and-2 with Peer Through Depths. Since you need to stay alive, you may also want to replace or split Ballista with Hangarback Walker to get blockers. Maybe run 1 Academy Ruins in place of the 4th Fountain and 1 Mindslaver in place of a Sphinx's Rev to have an alt win con or a chance to buy more time.

Now for something more abstract. Since you are trying to combo off, I think Tron is the wrong shell here. I would adapt an Ad Nauseum shell. It's a deck that's made to dig and then use a ton of mana around turn 3 or 4 to win. You would have to do the same thing to cast your first Sunrise, and then dig for the second in an unfair way. Ad Naus buys you protection with Angel's Grace, as well, and Phyrexian Unlife, which you can make even better with Solemnity. You can protect your second casting of Sunrise with Pact of Negation, as well. I just think the Ad Naus mana base is much more effective here than the Tron one.

So, if we were to adapt an Ad Naus mainboard, it might look like this:

  • 4x Approach of the Second Sun,
  • 4x Simian Spirit Guide,
  • 4x Angel's Grace,
  • 3x Phyrexian Unlife,
  • 3x Solemnity,
  • 3x Serum Visions,
  • 2x Sleight of Hand,
  • 2x Peer Through Depths,
  • 3x Pact of Negation (or Swan Song on a budget),
  • 4x Spoils of the Vault (this is your all-star),
  • 4x Lotus Bloom,
  • 4x Pentad Prism,
  • 3x City of Brass (or Mana Confluence),
  • 3x Darkslick Shores,
  • 1x Dreadship Reef,
  • 2x Gemstone Mine (or 3 Mines and no Reefs),
  • 1x Island,
  • 1x Plains,
  • 1x Swamp,
  • 2x Seachrome Coast,
  • 3x Temple of Deceit,
  • 3x Temple of Enlightenment,

Something like that should be faster than Tron. You could also drop the Solemnity and run ad nausuem itself to put all of the Sunrises in your hand on turn 3 or 4 and then cast, cast, as able.

I hope that makes some sense. I love the Tron idea, and I encourage testing it, but I suspect a free-mana combo shell would be faster.

Happy brewing!

BrandonJamesCAC on Modern Build-Around Cards

1 week ago

Some weird cards I think of to build around: no decks to reference just cards that have potential maybe somewhere

Glissa, the Traitor

Glittering Wish

Solemnity + Phyrexian Unlife

Thalia's Lancers + Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

Ephara, God of the Polis

MrSilk on Modern Competitive Solemnity - Non Budget

1 week ago

Hmm. You're likely right about Rebuff the Wicked. I feel that I might need some form of protection when I cast my combo pieces like 2x Dispel. Faith's Shield and Apostle's Blessing are great cards, but I feel like I'm more likely to get my spells countered than destroyed once they become permanent.

So far with the work we've put into the badboy, I've had no issue getting atleast the first combo piece out on turn three with either a Phyrexian Unlife or second combo piece out turn 4. On turn 4 when my combo looks a little more complete and my opponent is more inclined to counter it, I'd like to be able to counter their spell with my own counter magic.. I think a 1 drop mana card like Dispel would work in the 2x slot instead of rebuff like you said. I'm also considering adding 2x spreading seas (like you said) instead of Glen Elendra Archmage because I'm in need of a good turn 2 cantrip/opponent debuff/pillowfort card. I'll do some testing.

I've already started purchasing the cards that really aren't doing anywhere.. I'm excited to bring this out to FNM.. The deck was very successful before, I'm hoping to generate a lot of salt with it now!

escesare on Modern Competitive Solemnity - Non Budget

1 week ago

Spreading Seas is probably the better 2-drop cantrip over Wall of Omens, especially if you do use board wipes. Like you said, Phyrexian Unlife is good defense, and you even have Kitchen Finks. Aggro is much less scary than Tron and other lands.

Rebuff the Wicked seems much worse than comparable options. It's strictly worse than Faith's Shield and Apostle's Blessing (which stop removal spells or abilities or make TiTi unblockable), and Dispel (since most removal are instant speed anyways, and Dispel does a lot more than just counter removal). I would just play more threats/cantrips. And in any removal-heavy matchups, Kira, Great Glass-Spinner and Spellskite are much better. Nobody plays mainboard enchantment removal, and nobody plays MB protection, even when their creatures aren't immune to infinite destroy spells with Solemnity down; those cards are just too dead in too many matchups.

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