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 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 while weakening 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) Phyrexian tribal Atraxa Infect deck. Poison or -1/-1 counters alone cannot win games - the inclusion of +1/+1 counters, Fading counter Enchantments and Artifacts that remove or detain creatures, lands and resources are vital to overcoming the political and mechanical difficulties unique to Infect/Toxic. For flavor, the deck includes each Praetor that had an active hand in Atraxa's compleation - with one notable exception: for siding with the heretic Sheoldred got what she deserved for her treachery against the Machine Mother. However, the omission or inclusion of each Praetor in the deck isn't due to some strict Vorthos constraints - its to ensure that each card efficiently furthers a boardstate that favors the free application and proliferation of Poison counters: a Soft Lock (See Slang: Lockdown).

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 however, a big but to consider - playing such a unique and arguably strong wincon as Infect will place the pilot 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 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. With this deck in mind, announce to your opponents the themes that are core to its function before the game begins. 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).

On a good draw, the deck can consistently threaten to kill an opponent between turns 5-7 in a 4 player pod. 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.

  • Blighted Agent + Sword of Truth and Justice + Tangle Wire : Predators of The Hunter's Maze - A "soft lock" synergy that limits opponent resources while a single creature advances as a Champion of Phyrexia - gaining +1/+1 counters, increasing Poison counters on an opponent, while maintaining Fading counters on Tangle Wire via combat damage and Sword triggers. Note: Tangle Wire can be one of the tapped Artifacts, Lands, or Creatures that must be tapped during your upkeep.
  • Tainted Strike + Tyrranax Rex /Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider: Ichor Onslaught - The formidable Tyrranax Rex when equipped with Infect turns into an instantaneous death for the targeted opponent. The initial combat damage of 9 points of Infect is accompanied by Toxic 4 adding 4 more Poison counters ensuring Compeation. Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider functions quite similarly when enhanced with Infect, as poison counters are doubled when assigned to an opponent – turning 7 Poison counters into 14.
  • Atraxa, Praetors' Voice + Hatred : Aria of Wrath - With 17 life points pumped into Hatred and targeting Atraxa results in an instantaneous kill via Commander (combat) damage, and 21 life points gained (with a net gain of 4). This combo can only eliminate a single opponent at a time, but can easily turn the tide against a problem opponent. Note: Another viable option for Hatred is any creature with Infect (e.g. Blighted Agent)
  • Ajani, Sleeper Agent + Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider / Vraska, Betrayal's Sting: Predator’s Spark - By presence alone Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider creates a more favorable boardstate for counters, but it cannot be understated how his ability affects Planeswalkers. When casting Ajani, Sleeper Agent he enters with double the amount of loyalty counters ensuring his ultimate ability can be activated on said turn. Additionally, Vorinclex pumps Ajani’s -3 ability by placing up to 6 +1/+1 counters on up to 3 different creatures.
  • Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant + Phyrexian Censor : Progress Expurgator - With the previously mentioned in play, opponents casting options are restricted to a single non-artifact creature (Which will ETB tapped), Planeswalker, Battle, or Enchantment each turn. When an opponent attempts to cast an instant, sorcery, or artifact it will be subject to being countered by Jin. If the spell was non-Phyrexian, Phyrexian Censor will then limit the opponent to just that previously countered spell during that turn.
  • Bloated Contaminator + Parallax Tide + Sword of Truth and Justice : Bloated Erosion – With each successful assignment of combat damage by Bloated Contaminator equipped with Sword of Truth and Justice one land of a chosen opponent can be exiled under Parallax Tide. Each damage assignment step is more than just life loss and poison counters, it’s loss of resources for an opponent resulting in a Soft Lock. An acceptable substitute for Parallax Tide is Parallax Wave, which can see to the removal of any blocker or creature(s) vulnerable to targeting on the battlefield.

A word of advice to my fellow compleated players who wield Infect (but mostly this is a reminder to myself): Always remember to start a game of commander with the turn 0 talk (basically ask if everyone is cool with playing against your deck) to avoid (or at least delay) getting hated out of the game early on. From my own personal experience infect tends to be at a political disadvantage (see Sliver Hate). So never try to take it personally when the board collectively obliterates your board. Try to be more Zangief (while sharing his philosophy at Bad-Anon in Wreck-It Ralph) in your thinking:

"Then I have moment of clarity... if Zangief is good guy, who will crush man's skull like sparrow's eggs between thighs? And I say, Zangief you are bad guy, but this does not mean you are *bad* guy."

This deck is at it's most Vorthos when you find yourself playing archenemy - you aren't merely piloting New Phyrexia, you are New Phyrexia. Just remember the turn 0 talk, and remember to have fun.

P.S., I leave you dear reader with a fun little video: Completely & Unquestionably Accurate History: Dominaria - Chapter 3: The Phyrexian Invasion by WotC.


Updates Add

Hey All,

Currently considering a few tweaks to the deck to account for the not surprisingly dominant treasure meta I've come to encounter on spell table. I think I can incorporate more control elements in the deck, ala Phyrexian Censor (in for Myr Convert, was this a good choice? Let me know in the comments) and more importantly more mass removal. This one i'm still on the fence on as i'm considering two different cards:

  • Engineered Explosives: This card has wonderful flexibility as I can cast it for zero and activate it for 2 leaving a nice clean extraction of all those pesky treasures (and other various tokens). Also if need be, I can tweak it to remove commanders, or whatever permanents I find annoying. The best part is that the counters on this card can be proliferated, so if a new threat shows up it too can be dealt with.

  • Culling Ritual: This has much more limited applications, but when cast around mid-game this card can e really destructive to token based strategies.It hits most mana rocks, and early game creatures with the added benefit of a potentially explosive turn that could propel my boardstate many turns ahead with the right card in hand. Including this seems like more of a gamble - that could potentially just sit in my hand doing nothing one game, and just tearing apart the board another.

What does everyone else think? I think I may be leaning more toward the Engineered Explosives, but maybe i'm missing something with the Culling Ritual? What should I cut to make room? Please let me know your thoughts.

Comments View Archive

Attention! Complete Comment Tutorial! This annoying message will go away once you do!

Hi! Please consider becoming a supporter of TappedOut for $3/mo. Thanks!

Important! Formatting tipsComment Tutorialmarkdown syntax

Please login to comment


98% Competitive

Revision 127 See all

(2 months ago)

-1 Anguished Unmaking main
+1 Vraska's Fall main
Top Ranked
Date added 5 years
Last updated 2 months
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

22 - 0 Mythic Rares

48 - 0 Rares

16 - 0 Uncommons

9 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.00
Tokens Copy Clone, Emblem Ajani, Sleeper Agent, Treasure
Folders Interesting Decks to Study Better Later, infect, Commander, EDH builds, Decks, Really Awesome (and expensive) Decks, Commander, Decks that interest me, ~, Phyrexian Perfection
Ignored suggestions
Shared with