Play this Toxic MTG Phyrexia: All Will Be One card before it’s banned

Wipe out opponents with Poison counters.

Wizards of the Coast continues to push the power levels of Magic: The Gathering cards through Phyrexia: All Will Be One with a one-drop druid in Green that is already on the Banned & Restricted hot seat.

Scheduled to release digitally on Feb. 7 through MTG Arena and Magic Online, the Phyrexia: All Will Be One set contains a Green one-drop called Venerated Rotpriest. It’s a powerful Rare creature that dominated the Early Access event and is essentially a Poison counter machine. During the ONE Early Access event, Venerated Rotpriest was paired with Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief in a Simic Infect deck that can quickly end games through Poison counters. 

How Vernerated Rotpriest works

The Venterated Rotpriest build has a similar structure to the Enchantment deck players often play to rank up the MTG Arena best-of-one ladder. It snowballs out of control quickly but can get shut down through board wipes or forced sacrifices. At the heart of the Infect MTG deck is the Phyrexian druid itself, which has an ability that gives an opponent one Poison counter whenever a creature you control becomes the target of a spell.

Opponents who target Venerated Rotpriest to get it off the board will automatically get a Poison counter. A total of 10 Poison counters will end the game, no matter how much life a player still has. 

Venerated Rotpriest

To combat and fuel the Toxic Poison counter synergy, the Venerated Rotpriest build contains a large number of self-targeting cards that protect the druid from getting removed while stacking Poison counters on your opponent.

Players will want to cast Venerated Rotpriest with at least one mana left untapped to protect the druid, while also leaving at least one mana open throughout the match. 

One copy of Venerated Rotpriest on the battlefield, for example, that is targeted by a removal spell and then protected by a card like Tamiyo’s Safekeeping or Shore Up will result in two Poison counters for an opponent, without any combat damage taking place. The Phyrexian druid also has Toxic one, placing another Poison counter on an opponent should it attack and apply combat damage. 

The Venerated Rotpriest and Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief combo

Proliferate, a returning Magic mechanic in ONE, is typically how players want to increase counters. But Proliferate is slow and clunky when compared to the Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief and Venerated Rotpriest combo.

Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief Venerated Rotpriest

Ivy is a faerie Rogue from the Dominaria United set that is a two-drop in Blue and Green with Flying and 2/1 stats. And she has an ability that synergizes perfectly with Venerated Rotpriest in that whenever a player casts a spell that targets only a single creature, you may copy that spell onto Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief.

Targeting Vernerated Rotpriest, for example, with a protection and/or pump spell like Tyvar’s Stand will allow the Phyrexian druid’s controller to also target Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief to also get with the same spell at no additional cost. Doing this protects and/or pumps up the stats on both creatures while also hitting your opponent with two Poison counters. 

Best Venerated Rotpriest MTG decks 

Several versions of the Venerated Rotpriest and Ivy, Gleeful Spelltheif Simic decks were tested during the MTG Arena Early Access event for Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Variations of the new deck, like Saffron Olive’s build, toss in a few new ONE cards for additional board presence. Other versions, like MTG Malone’s version, go all-in on targeting the Phyrexian druid and fairy.

And the Simic Infect version from CovertGoBlue combines self-targeting with additional removal and card draw.

Each of these versions has several cards in common. Four copies of March of Burgeoning Life are included to find Venerated Rotpriest from your library at the cost of only two mana, putting it onto the battlefield tapped. And for one additional mana, players can also seek out Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief if needed too. 

March of Burgeoning Life March of the Swirling Mist Tyvar’s Stand Shore Up Tamiyo’s Safekeeping Distorted Curiosity Combat Research

March of the Swirling Mist is also played in all three variations, using Phasing Out as a form of protection while spreading Poison counter toxicity onto your opponent. Tamiyo’s Safekeeping, Shore Up, and Tyvar’s Stand all provide Hexproof at the cost of only one mana while having additional value through pumping stats or Indestructible.

Players can choose to copy Venerated Rotpriest from the ONE set through cards like Croaking Counterpart or Vesuvan Duplimancy. And card draw, which is necessary for a fast-paced build to succeed and not run out of gas, players can use MTG cards like Combat Research, Distorted Curiosity, and Stormchaser Drake.

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