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Magic 2015 spoilers: Avatar of the Phyrexians from GatheringMagic

 *internal screaming* - A lot of lore nerds
gatheringmagic.com

Magic 2015 is an exciting new direction for core sets for multiple reasons - there are not only some pretty crazy subthemes and references to outside planes as never seen before, every new revelation has taught us to expect the unexpected. Well, as far as the mythic "Planesoul" Avatar cycle went, everyone expected a typical horizontal cycle in five colors - but GatheringMagic has previewed an artifact sixth from a plane that one would think of as soulless.

Soul of New Phyrexia 6

Artifact Creature - Avatar (Mythic)

Trample

5: Permanents you control gain indestructible until end of turn.

5, Exile Soul of New Phyrexia from your graveyard: Permanents you control gain indestructible until end of turn.

6/6

This was previewed in a Commander feature, and indeed it is a hell of a tool for EDH decks of all stripes. The obvious mechanical comparison is to Avacyn, Angel of Hope, and while this doesn't have Avacyn's combat prowess nor her one-and-done peace of mind investment in mass indestructible, the artificial Avatar (figure that one out, theologians) gets up and running a turn earlier and for absolutely zero color committment. Say what you want about Phyrexia - it's all-embracing for sure. And the graveyard exile ability is especially relevant here - you don't even have to have it on the battlefield to save your whole side of the board from being wiped, and that's value.

From a flavor standpoint this, scarily, means that the Phyrexians of ex-Mirrodin are researching blightsteel, and indeed all of the darksteel on the plane might well belong to them. The art seems to incorporate elements from all of the Praetors, fittingly enough, but for obvious reasons the Elesh Norn parts are the most prominent.

What do you think of this pernicious Avatar? Let me know in the comments.