Mike Turian is a Magic The Gathering legend. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008, Mike is one of the top Limited players in the history of the Pro Tour. The retired champion now works for Wizards of the Coast full-time as their product architect and responsible for Magic’s epic new range; Phyrexia All Will Be One. We caught up with him to find out more.
STARBURST: How would you describe Phyrexia All Will Be One for those new to magic?
Mike Turian: Phyrexia: All Will Be One features the villains of the Magic universe, the Phyrexians, and their ultimate rise to power. The set captures the Phyrexians in all of their glory, led by the Praetor Elesh Norn, as she sets about to conquer the multiverse.
What was the thinking behind this epic storyline, rather than simply introducing a new part of the multiverse?
One of the great parts about the Phyrexians is that even when pushed back, they find a way to rise up again. As the premier villain for Magic for years, we knew that we wanted to come back to them and have them infiltrate once again. The praetors, including Elesh Norn, are such iconic characters that we knew that we had to feature them again. We loved the idea of having the Phyrexian’s compleat a number of Planeswalkers, especially the ones whose characteristics made them most vulnerable to compleation.
What cards where the most fun to create?
The cycle of five Dominus creatures, who are legendary creatures, each celebrating a different Praetor are god-like beings that all bring both a doubling effect and have the potential to become indestructible. Finding a unique effect to double in each colour and a unique way to make each indestructible, makes them cards that both are unique but also part of a cool cycle!
What cards are you expecting to become fan favourites?
With ten Planeswalkers in the set, I’m expecting some of those to catch on with our fans. In addition to the compelling storyline and character designs, adding in the Phyrexian mana choice for the compleated Planeswalkers really gives players more control than ever before. Getting your Planeswalker down for less mana, at the cost of life and loyalty, is likely a good deal.
Previous sets had quite a few surprises for fans of the Planeswalkers; is anyone going to survive this release?
Yes, there are survivors of Phryexia for sure. While it is true that the number of survivors is dwindling as Phyrexia continues to gain power, for the fans of Mirrans, all is not lost!
What combos should we be looking out for in this new set?
The mechanics of the set really allow for built-in combos. Of course Corrupted wants you to get an opponent to three poison counters to turn on extra abilities. This works perfect with all of the Toxic creatures granting poison and also with Proliferate to amplify the number of poison counters your opponents already have. Additionally, with ten Planeswalkers in the set, Proliferate is a great way to boost their loyalty to get to the Planeswalkers ultimate ability!
What sources of inspiration do you draw on for Phyrexian creatures, especially now as we’ve seen quite a few of these creatures in the past?
One of the fun Booster Fun features we have in the set are the Concept Praetors. Each of the five Praetors shown in the concepts that we started with for Phryexia. We really took inspiration from our past sets and looked to innovate on that look of the Phyrexians. You can see this also in reprints like Phyrexian Obliterator and how we have updated his look and feel since his debut with New Phyrexia.
Find PHYREXIA: ALL WILL BE ONE at your friendly local games store, or by clicking this link here.