Staple Remover – Phyrexian Arena – EDHREC

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(Phyrexian Arena | Art by Svetlin Velinov)

Gix couldn’t assist however grin triumphantly as he watched over the battles within the Phyrexian Arena. His topics have been prepared – ruthless, compleated assassins destined to combat for the Lord of the Wastes. Efuan Pincar didn’t stand an opportunity.

But his ruminations have been interrupted by a most irritating occasion – the lightest prick in his uncovered flesh. He seemed right down to see a tiny, mechanical mosquito, sucking at his oil-infused blood. And with that chew, that 1 level of misplaced life, Gix was enlightened. An picture appeared in his thoughts, as clear as day; he needed to go to the Caves of Koilos.

Such bugs infested the Arena, performing extra as cameras than animals, giving these inside small morsels of data for a worth.

Phyrexian Arena is an exceedingly easy card: every repairs, it’ll draw you one card at the price of one life – an excellent deal, given the highly effective potential of Necropotence, Yawgmoth’s Bargain, and Griselbrand, all of which have both been banned or have additionally achieved staple standing. In most video games of EDH, should you play Phyrexian Arena early on, it will possibly draw you upwards of seven playing cards all through the sport, a sizeable benefit.

For this cause, Phyrexian Arena has earned the favor of many EDH gamers. It has discovered a house in 16% of decks, making it the 4th hottest black card within the format (behind a bunch of tutors).

But for a lot of gamers, myself included, this potential benefit simply has too many “ifs” hooked up to be value it. Others would possibly discover Phyrexian Arena to be a bit too gradual, or contemplate it to be too costly, or possibly they’re irked that the Phyrexian Arena, an precise named location within the story, is an enchantment as a substitute of a land. If you end up dissatisfied with Phyrexian Arena for any of those causes, then that is the article for you!


Ascent to Valor’s Reach

As we give our second card draw enchantment the Staple Remover remedy, there are some things to recollect: we’re on the lookout for underrated card benefit playing cards that may be superior to Phyrexian Arena in sure decks, metas, and conditions. Thus, the aforementioned Necropotence, a Commander staple, isn’t eligible, and neither is a theoretically strictly-worse Arena. As at all times, when you have any ideas, I counsel you drop them within the feedback!

The most blatant one-to-one comparability with Phyrexian Arena is Underworld Connections. Both are playing cards that can (often) draw you 1 card a flip at the price of 1 life, with the identical mana price. But Underworld Connections has some spicy tech that isn’t mirrored in its EDHREC page: it synergizes fantastically with any card that untaps lands, equivalent to Earthcraft or Garruk Wildspeaker, excellent for any Golgari deck seeking to abuse highly effective results on lands equivalent to Cabal Coffers.

Another contender is Dread Presence, a card initially overestimated throughout its launch that has since been forgotten by many. Despite this, Dread Presence nonetheless pulls its weight; clearly it may be particularly abused in Landfall decks, equivalent to Yarok, the Desecrated, however even in different decks it will possibly flip in any other case useless late-game attracts into card benefit and lifegain.

Finally, we’ve considered one of my favorites, Necrologia. This card is most corresponding to absolutely the cEDH powerhouse that’s Ad Nauseam, one other staple within the format. Although Necrologia suffers from critical timing restrictions, it advantages by not requiring cautious deckbuilding like Ad Nauseam. Both playing cards will get you what you want means quicker than Phyrexian Arena by providing you with an enormous burst of card draw.


Upping the Ante

(Azra Oddsmaker | Art by Josh Hass)

The #1 card that I exploit instead of Phyrexian Arena at any time when attainable is Azra Oddsmaker, a surprisingly potent unusual from Battlebond.

This card has loads going for it. While triggering upon dealing fight injury is an actual restriction, the Oddsmaker makes up for it by as a substitute permitting you to discard a card and draw two. This nets you an identical numebr of playing cards per flip as Phyrexian Arena, however the rummaging additionally permits for extra card choice. In sure decks, the fight injury restriction is even a boon, as a number of fight injury steps (both by way of double strike or Relentless Assault) will grant you much more benefit.

The decks best-suited to make the most of all the skills on Azra Oddsmaker are usually reanimator decks, which profit from filling the graveyard and from card choice, and so they can simply set off it. In truth, sure Tymna, the Weaver + Tana, the Bloodsower cEDH Reanimator builds will run Azra Oddsmaker for this objective!

Below we’ve a Reanimator construct helmed by Sedris, the Traitor King that makes good use of a few of these playing cards.


Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer


Hopefully this text has satisfied you of the utility of those playing cards over Phyrexian Arena. What playing cards do you like utilizing while you want card benefit in your black decks? Let me know within the feedback!

Jaelyn is a pupil educator, musician, and civil rights advocate primarily based in western Washington State. She first began significantly taking part in Magic: the Gathering on the Rivals of Ixalan prerelease, and has been slinging spells ever since. You can discover her on most websites at @rosequartz_26, though she’s most lively on Twitter.



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