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Phyrexia: All Will Be One Prerelease Primer

January 30, 2023
Gavin Verhey

Welcome to New Phyrexia.

If you're a veteran, you might have been here before, ages ago. If you're newer to the plane, welcome! No matter who you are, you're in for a wild time.

Phyrexians are Magic's oldest baddies, and they've converted nearly this entire plane to their liking. Full of majestic (and often unsettling) landscapes, it's truly like no other place in the Multiverse.

So where can you check it out? The Phyrexia: All Will Be One Prerelease, of course!

Prereleases are some of my favorite Magic events, perfect for newcomers and seasoned veterans alike. They're the celebration of a new set, and Phyrexia: All Will Be One has its Prerelease from February 3–9.

First up, if you want to learn how to play Magic, I recommend some of these resources:

Additionally, if you're looking for a store to play in, I always recommend our handy store locator tool. Just enter your location, and it'll show any stores near you:

Once you've found a spot, be sure to contact them about preregistering. Prereleases are popular events, and you'll want to make sure you have a seat at the table.

Now, if you prefer to hear about some of this in a video, I have a companion video to this article you can check out over on Good Morning Magic:

But what makes a Prerelease so awesome? Why should you trek out to New Phyrexia? Let's dig in a bit.

Preparing for the Prerelease

There's nothing like handling fresh cards from a new set, and that's exactly what you get to do at a Prerelease. Everyone's on equal footing: nobody has these cards before the Prerelease, and it's your first chance to explore the set and see how they all work together.

The energy in the room of a Prerelease is palpable. Relaxed and fun as people open their cards, exclaim about the cool things they've found, and discover cool combinations for the very first time.

One of the really great things about the Prerelease is that it's a great environment for helping you through your first event. Even if you're brand new, people will be there in the store to support you and help you have a fantastic experience.

And what's going on in this set? It's part of an epic story, one where our heroes planeswalk to New Phyrexia to stop the Phyrexian invasion before it begins. And . . . well, you can go read the story to see what's going on for yourself.

So, do you need to bring a deck from home? Nope! For a Prerelease, you will play a format called Sealed Deck. It's straightforward: open the six Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Boosters from your Prerelease Pack and build a deck with the contents. It really is all about the new set and what's inside. You'll want to look over everything, from the commons to the rares, to build the best deck you can. (You can check out all the cards beforehand in our Phyrexia: All Will Be One Card Image Gallery.)

How exactly does this work out? Let me walk you through it.

All Will Be Sealed

When you sit down on Prerelease day, you're going to get handed a Phyrexia: All Will Be One Prerelease Pack.

While there are many things in here, like a spindown life counter for tracking your life total and a fun little insert with some information and tips, the most important are these six Draft Boosters:

Open them all and check out your new stack of cards. There will also be a foil-stamped rare or mythic rare card inside that you can play—make sure to pull that one out. Then, you're ready to build a deck.

But where do you even start?

Well, first thing's first, you should know what you're trying to do. In Sealed Deck, you only need 40 cards, not 60 or 100. You can get as many additional basic lands as you want from the store.

A good rule of thumb is to play 17 lands. So, all things said and done, you're only looking to play about 23 nonland cards from the cards you open. That's your goal: identify the 23 cards to play.

Okay, sounds a bit easier. How do you go about picking those cards?

Try sorting your cards by color first. Make eight piles: one for each color, one for any multicolor cards, one for colorless cards, and one for lands. As you're going through, you'll have a chance to read the cards and see what interests you.

You'll want to whittle your choices down to two colors. You can sometimes "splash" a third, playing two colors as your base and a couple powerful cards or additional costs of another color, but I'd really focus on the two colors you want here. You can select them in any ways you want—maybe you just like those colors—but three things to keep an eye out for are:

  • Any strong rares in those colors that you're excited to play
  • A lot of removal cards (Cards which destroy or otherwise deal with your opponent's creatures.)
  • Evasion (A lot of Sealed Deck games are won with flying creatures or hard-to-block cards.)

Additionally, another huge element to look out for are good synergies and multicolor cards. Every two-color pairing in Phyrexia: All Will Be One has a theme, and knowing what those are can clue you in to which colors to play.

Once you've chosen your colors, it's important to think about your mana curve. This helps to ensure that you have creatures at every turn of the game to cast. If everything costs six mana, you're going to be way behind on playing creatures, and if everything costs two mana, you're going to get outclassed in the late game.

Here's how to check your mana curve. First, lay your creatures out in mana-value order from left to right. So, all creatures that cost one mana, then all creatures that cost two, and so on. Only lay out noncreatures here if they're cards you are planning to play as soon as you have that much mana—for example, you might play an Equipment on turn two, so that counts as a two-drop, but you're probably not playing a removal spell on turn two.

One thing to keep in mind for Phyrexia: All Will Be One is the For Mirrodin! mechanic. For example, as you see it here:

These are Equipment cards, but they act more like creatures since they come in with one. So, as you're laying out your mana curve, be sure to count them as creatures.

For Limited in general—and this is just a guideline—I'd look to play something like this:

  • 1 mana: 0–2
  • 2 mana: 4–6
  • 3 mana: 3–5
  • 4 mana: 2–4
  • 5 mana 1–3
  • 6+ mana: 0–2

Once you have those figured out, go ahead and add in your noncreature spells. You will probably want to play all your removal spells to deal with your opponents' creatures. Beyond that, it's nice to have ways to pump up your creatures at instant speed and ways to draw cards. But you can season to taste depending on what you think might work well in your deck.

And there you have it! When you're finished, you should have a 40-card deck. You can play more than 40 cards, but I would strongly advise against it: every card you play beyond 40 just worsens the odds of drawing your best cards.

So, that's how you build a sealed deck. But what are the mechanics you can expect? Let me run you through them.

Mechanics of Phyrexia: All Will Be One

New Phyrexia is a dangerous plane, and it has some dangerous mechanics to match, from toxic and proliferate to the mechanic of the good guys—For Mirrodin!—but that depends on your definition of "good."

To learn more about all the mechanics and details on how they work, check out the Phyrexia: All Will Be One mechanics article.

Into the Phyrexian Lair

The Prerelease is just around the corner, from February 3–9. Check in with your local game store, look over the Phyrexia: All Will Be One Card Image Gallery, and prepare yourself for a good time!

Oh, and one more thing—you can preorder booster displays for pickup at the Prerelease as well. So, if you want the compleat package, you can bring Phyrexia: All Will Be One home—just be sure to talk with your local store about grabbing one.

I hope this helped you on your Prerelease journey. And, as always, if you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube—I always appreciate hearing what people have to say.

Enjoy the set and have fun!

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