The Great Machine of Evolution

The Machine Orthodoxy's truth is as follows:

"The last of the Not-Whole shall be discovered, though our eyeholes wince at their hideousness. Their bodies shall be absorbed and their imperfection shall be purged. The Machine Orthodoxy shall engorge the Not-Whole and their deficient isolation shall be obliterated in the Unity. Only then shall the last wounds in the Circle be healed. Only then shall this world compleat itself."

—Izathel, High Chancellor

Your opponents are the true manifestation of the Not-Whole: they are the weak and misguided who desperately cling to their heretical imperfection of embracing flesh. If you wish to spread the glory of Phyrexia, and help purge the weakness out of your opponents then this is the deck and more importantly - Commander for you. Atraxa is a force to be reckoned with - possessing enough keywords to overshadow most creatures, but her true strength lies in her last keyword: Proliferate. This ability plays into the central themes of the deck which incorporates counters to bolster the power of your own forces or weaken those of your opponents. The inclusion of a "Soft Lock" sub-theme utilizes enchantments and artifacts with Fading counters alongside New Phyrexia's Praetors to help control the battlefield and speed of play while your main wincon - Infect - brings your opponents closer to the sublime truth of Compleation.

This deck is an example of an "ideal" (as in monetary cost is not an issue, only the most efficient cards allowed - within context) Vorthos-ish Atraxa Infect deck. Within this very strict archetype Infect counters alone cannot win games, therefore the inclusion of +1/+1 counters, along with "stax-like" cards that target lands and tap down resources with fading counters are necessary. The goal is to limit opponent resources and force them to play their decks in a different manner - not stop them from playing magic. As expected, the deck includes each Praetor that had an active hand in Atraxa's creation. The Praetors aren't just here for looks, they help limit opponent resources to create a Soft Lock (See Slang: Lockdown) on the board. By slowing opponents this gives the deck time to give Infect (technically Poison) counters on players, and more importantly time to proliferate said counters, granting blessed perfection. Which translates to my opponents losing the game - for you flesh embracing non-phyrexians reading this. But is a loss to Phyrexia really losing?

Just so it's clear - you only need 10 poison counters on an opponent for them to reach compleation - (See rule 104.3d). Infect damage cannot be healed or transferred - Phyrexia's touch is nearly impossible to remove. There is a big but to consider - playing such a unique wincon as infect unfortunately will place you the player of this deck at a political disadvantage for most games. Infect/Poison counters are typically viewed (from my own personal experience) as a high priority for opponents to address. Sometimes it goes even further and the whole table pitches in to completely dismantle your boardstate and keep you from playing magic. To try and counteract this, it is always important to set the expectation at the table. With this deck in mind, announce to your opponents the themes that are core to it's function: Soft Lock style creatures, enchantments and artifacts that can severely limit players' resources, and Infect. For opponents who wish to not experience the wonders that Phyrexia could bring them - give them a chance to express their opinion (and disgusting embrace of flesh) before the game starts.

On a good draw, the deck can consistently threaten to win between turns 4-6. But tends to settle between turns 6 and 8. According to the following the chart listed in The Command Zone podcast's How to Determine your deck's Power Level that would place this deck at a relatively high level of power. Not quite cEDH, but definitely at the stronger end of the spectrum.

There are no infinite combos in this deck. Instead, it functions with alot of interactions that build off of each other using Proliferate as the primary enabler.

A word of advice to potential players of this deck, and to all my fellow Infect players: Your attitude at the table matters - it's likely that you will be perceived as a thirsty Spike who is more concerned with wanting to win than actually playing Magic. Your opponents will likely focus on you early game, and target your boardstate heavily. Don't let that deter you, instead understand that you are playing Archenemy without all of the silly cards to help you (see Sliver Hate). Own the fact that you are Phyrexia incarnate, here to bring your opponents to compleation - have fun with that idea and embrace it. I try and manifest this idea by turning my game into something of a performance where I gleefully remind players that they are "One step closer to Phyrexia, and one step closer to becoming Perfect." with every proliferation of poison counters.

The most important aspect of playing infect is the social interaction you have with your opponents. If your attitude is negative - if you feel upset and frustrated because you got ganged up on then that feeling will dominate your experience for the game - which isn't fun. Don't fall into that trap, embrace all that attention and focus your opponents are giving you, because you are Phyrexia - you are the Villain that makes everyone else collectively crap their pants at the mere mentioning of your name. It's only natural that they come after you, and that's okay. Make sure you're having fun, because if not...what's the point in playing?

P.S., I leave you dear reader with a fun little video: Completely & Unquestionably Accurate History: Dominaria - Chapter 3: The Phyrexian Invasion by WotC. I think this is a great little thing to end my deck description on.


Updates Add

So, I don't know if any of you have been paying attention to Jumpstart, but Wizards absolutely hit the mark with perfect reprints, which definitely took my notice. The Rhystic Study reprint alone was definitely a great move. But then Wizards had to do something that took me completely by surprise..and made Jumpstart something I absolutely must pick up.

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What could have me so excited? You might ask...well feast your eyes upon this Phyrexian themed absolute BEAUTY:

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60% Casual

40% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 3 days
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

13 - 0 Mythic Rares

50 - 0 Rares

19 - 0 Uncommons

15 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.00
Tokens 3/3 Elephant
Folders Mine, Interesting Decks to Study Better Later, infect, Commander, Planning to build, EDH builds, Decks, Really Awesome (and expensive) Decks, Commander, Decks that interest me, See all 57
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Revision 104 See all

3 days ago)

+1 Contentious Plan main
-1 Inexorable Tide main
-1 Skyshroud Claim main
-1 Spoils of Victory main
+1 Steady Progress main
+1 Three Visits main