Modern Times - Phyrexia: All Will Be One

08 Feb
by Corey Williams

With preview season for Phyrexia: All Will Be One  (hereafter “ONE”) wrapped up and its release right around the corner, there’s no better time than now to discuss high-potential Modern playable cards from the set. In today’s edition of Modern Times, the focus will be on three such cards.

Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler

Possibly the only highly playable planeswalker in the set, Tyvar is not only cost-effective with an MV of three, it has a very, very attractive continuous ability that gives all your creatures pseudo-haste, which is to say, they tap to do everything but attack the turn they come into play. This is an incredibly powerful effect that allows slower combos to pick up some much-needed pace, the obvious being Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies. Turn one Birds of Paradise, turn two Tyvar, use his -2 ability to mill, possibly hitting Devoted Druid or Vizier of Remedies and return it to play. Play the other combo piece turn three and you now have infinite mana at your disposal.

This is one of many ways to capitalize on Tyvar. Using the abilities of Dauthi Voidwalker or Noble Hierarch the turn they come into play is invaluable. Another incredibly under-discussed feature is that Tyvar’s -2 ability allows you to target any 2 MV or less creature in your graveyard for reanimation, not just the three cards you mill, allowing for you to capitalize on solid enter-the-battlefield triggers ranging from Stoneforge Mystic to Snapcaster Mage and everything in between. Ultimately, Tyvar has a lot of potential in a lot of places in Modern, ranging from Jund-style decks to Death’s Shadow to Yawgmoth-style decks and even just generic tribal Elves.

Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler

The disparity between Tyvar’s average and market price is noticeable given its uncertainty and the low-supply of ONE cards in the marketplace. Make no mistake, Tyvar will see some form of Modern play, it’s just a matter of which deck(s). As of the writing of this article, Tyvar seems to be sitting comfortably at around $4, making the acquisition of a playset relatively inexpensive. While it is reasonable to believe that it might stay at that price point, the upside potential is substantial, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it climb up in the future!

Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler
Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Phyrexia: All Will Be One: Extras

 

Minor Misstep

Minor Misstep, in a lot of ways, feels like a meta-commentary on Mental Misstep. Like WOTC is telling us that “Mental Misstep was only a minor misstep.” Mental Misstep has been banned in Modern for some time and will likely (and deservedly) stay that way. However, Minor Misstep, while strictly worse than Mental, is still an incredibly powerful card.

With Modern growing to be such a low-MV format, especially with decks like Izzet Murktide and Hammer Time dominating the format, which both have a heavy dose of one- and zero-mana cards, Minor Misstep provides a much needed main-boardable edge against the fast-tempo decks prevalent across major format tournaments. Is Minor Misstep as accessible and universal as Mental Misstep? No. Is it still exceedingly powerful enough to make blue worth splashing for? Possibly. At the very least, decks already playing blue in their color pies will definitely be interested in having a playset of Minor Misstep handy. It’s tough to say where the true price point of this card will end up.

Minor Misstep

Minor seems to be trending around $2.5 to $3 with foils around $6. This is one of those cards where I would feel comfortable speculating that it will continue to accrue value as it almost certainly finds its place in the format. $6 for foils is also a steal right now. This is a card that could very realistically hit $4 to $5 each in non-foil, so pick up a playset while it's cheap!

Minor Misstep
Phyrexia: All Will Be One

 

All Will Be One

Arjen wrote a very informative Weekly Winners article a couple weeks back documenting some strong price movements in Quest for Pure Flame, an old original Zendikar card that has never really found a home in any particular format, except maybe Commander here and there. Today it’s around $3 and still looks to be spiking considerably. The reason for this is the eponymous All Will be One enchantment. For brevity: Quest for Pure Flame + All Will be One + [Any Damage Source] = Infinite Damage. Infinite loops like this always raise eyebrows and haven’t really had a place in Modern since Splinter Twin, although the format came very close with Krark-Clan Ironworks decks (KCI combo decks needed a little bit more in setup than Twin combo decks).

All Will Be One

All this being said, All Will be One’s average price sits around $13 and seems to be trending downward ever so slightly. This pattern in a way reflects the uncertainty around its potential. On the one hand, it seems very attractive to remodel four-color enchantment decks with All Will be One and Quest for Pure Flame. It also seems possible to take the Izzet Murktide shell (or a Storm shell given that it has access to red mana ramp spells like Pyretic Ritual ), strip away the fat, and build around All Will be One and Quest. Interestingly, despite ample discussion about this combo, there aren’t many Modern decklists out there displaying the shell around the combo, so it’s tough to say how easily one can find the most efficient way to get this combo online, and even so, it’s difficult to compare how it might fare to existing top decks in the meta.

Having said that, I wouldn’t be uncomfortable with recommending that players interested in this card pick up half a playset and then wait-and-see. Worse comes to worst, All Will be One is still a terrific and fun red card that has potential in Standard and Commander, so cutting your losses is pretty easy. If it does see play in Modern, well, then you’re ahead of the curve and getting a complete set!

All Will Be One
Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Phyrexia: All Will Be One

 

Some Final Thoughts

Speculating upon the release of a set is risky. Remember that the time of release is the point where both the supply of any given card in a set is at its lowest while anticipated demand is also at its highest. More often than not, the majority of cards will likely deflate in value as more product is opened and speculative decks either sink or swim in the new metas for Standard and Modern.

While I think the above cards are worth picking up sooner, rather than later, there’s still an inherent risk they might not find a home. On the flipside, cards not mentioned in this article from ONE might find a surprising home and jump in value later, so use your best judgment and, of course, prioritize cards you need for your decks first, so that you can lock them in early and get playing!

Corey Williams
Corey Williams

Corey Williams is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. He considers himself a macroeconometrician with his research body reflecting work in applied macroeconomics and econometrics. Corey is an L1 Judge who started playing Magic around Eighth Edition. He enjoys Modern, Commander, cEDH, and cube drafting. Outside of Magic, he loves running, teaching, and the occasional cult movie.


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