How Magic the Gathering Saved My Life

Man Mirrodin sucks right now. Who’d want to be on the crummy, metal, plane anyway? Doesn’t it have like, three suns too? I don’t like the sunlight too much. It seems like everyone thinks that the Phyrexians are going to win. I have to admit, Phyrexian oil was a really great idea. I mean, I wouldn’t have thought of that, well I might not have thought of it. I suppose extinction sure makes you get inventive. So everyone’s yammering about the Phyrexians saying “those poor Mirran’s, they don’t have a chance”, etc, etc, etc. I don’t know. Personally, though I really don’t care, I think that the Mirran’s shouldn’t be counted out, not yet at any rate. Remember, extinction will sure make one inventive, and desperate.

For those of you who haven’t been following the Phyrexians have been quietly working on Mirrodin for some time now. Until recently people have not had a clear understanding of the depth and sheer magnitude of the Phyrexian infection. Apparently Mirrodin is rotten to the core and the Phyrexians are popping up in some pretty unexpected places. Namely in white mana. I can understand seeing Phyrexian manifestation in blue mana. No one thinks twice about it showing itself in the black, but white? Now that’s scary, for the Mirran’s I mean. To me most wielders of white mana can be somewhat self-righteous, but they can pretty much always be relied upon to take a stand against forces like the Phyrexians, so when I heard that the white mana is showing corruption, that got my attention. Yeah, I know, I really don’t sound much like someone who doesn’t care too much. I suppose I do care…a little.

Take it from me, the Phyrexians are really, really bad guys. The fact that they’re on Mirrodin has gotten some of us Planeswalkers a little bit concerned. Those metal monstrosities are really nasty. In fact I was talking with Lilliana the other day and even she thinks that the Phyrexians are the bad side of a dung pile and that’s no joke. Lilliana’s all about the destruction and re-animation, and I can see how that can be fun, but what the Phyrexians do is just, wrong. There’s no re-animating that. Also they’re so serious. Everything has to be made to be just like them and that is not only arrogant, but boring. Come on, there no room to be clever when you’re just like everyone else.

So, for all of you Mirrans out there, take the fight to them. And don’t count out the blue mana. I know that there have been a lot of Phyrexian influence in the blue, but there are a lot of allies there. I too am a bit disappointed at how easily the infection has spread into the blue, but you can’t blame them too much, blue mana wielders are naturally a curious lot. There are a lot of artifact creatures who haven’t succumbed to the Phyrexian infection yet who will work well with the blue guys. Treasure Mage will help you get the big artifacts out fast. You can’t complain when you bring out a six mana beasty. Is anyone else thinking Razorfield Rhino? How about Darksteel Juggernaut? Oh the imagination just runs with it doesn’t it?

You also have the most allies in white and, as much as I hate to say it, in red mana wielders. In fact red is the least infected on Mirrodin. Red always was stubborn, but in this case it’s a plus. They’ll take out those Phyrexians before they have a chance to strike and what better to way to deal with a Phyrexian then to kill them first? Sure it’s boring, there isn’t much that is as fun as mind control, but playing with Phyrexians can easily get you burned. Better to keep them at a safe distance, and death is a pretty safe distance. Take some time to get to know the white too. There are some pretty impressive white figures making a stand in this war, the Hero of Bladehold and the Mirran Crusader are a couple. And who wouldn’t want to rearm themselves with a Frantic Salvage spell? I really like that one. Mix that up with some artifact friends and you have a real force for the Phyrexians to contend with. Don’t forget some of the Auroik warriors, first strike, double strike and flying, those are all great ways to get the job done.

Even though the other colors have become very infected, we can’t dismiss them. Green has some really powerful allies hidden in the mix. There’s Melira’s Keepers. They can’t be poisoned. In a world where everyone’s running from infection the Keepers will remain pure to the end. Thrun, the Last Troll is another great. Make sure you get Thrun to help you out. Now Sangromancer is a black mana, flying, bad mamma that should find her way into your arsenal. Casting a few Go for the Throat spells will help to clear the infection a little bit.

The one ability that is getting me excited is Battle Cry. You will see a lot of that in the white and red mana. Giving yourself every advantage possible is key to dealing with the Phyrexians. They already have a lot of advantages to begin with and as we’ve seen Darksteel can still succumb to infection too, so we have to be creative. So mix up the Battle Cry with your first strike and double strike guys and you can do some Phyrexian butt kicking. Assault Strobe is a great help in this area. So get the most out of Metalcraft, combine that with Battle Cry, and you will put this whole question of an early Phyrexian victory to a close.

Before I go I have to make mention of Tezzeret. The last time I saw him he was having problems with his memory. Does anyone else think his showing up is a little bit suspicious? Well I for one an not surprised. He just can’t resist when there are so many wonderful machines running about. I have a feeling that he’s here on some else's bidding so don’t expect too much help from him. Personally I trust him about as far as I can kick him. So be on your guard.

So I never did get around to telling you how Magic the Gathering saved my life. Well it didn’t, but I got you to read my article!

Happy dueling!

Keith Maguire

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