New Phyrexia's Buy-a-Box card

Posted in Arcana on April 11, 2011

By Monty Ashley

You might have heard of the "buy-a-box" card that we mention each time there's a new set. It's a free alternate-art premium card that's given to the first twenty people to buy a Booster Box at participating locations. For New Phyrexia, that card is Surgical Extraction:

Surgical Extraction

If you're reading this, then you've presumably managed to tear your eyes away from the card. And you might have some questions about it, like "What's with that new mana symbol?" So we now turn this Arcana over to the New Phyrexia FAQ!

***New Mechanic: Phyrexian Mana Symbols***

Under Phyrexian rule, the very nature of magic is changing. In some cases, blood works just as well as mana. Phyrexian mana allows players to cast spells and activate abilities with fewer mana and to ignore colored mana requirements.

Visually, each Phyrexian mana symbol looks like the Phyrexian insignia (a circle with a slash through it) on one of five colored backgrounds, each corresponding to one of the five colors of mana. Each Phyrexian mana symbol represents a cost that can be paid in two ways: by spending one mana of the color that matches the colored background or by paying 2 life. For example, {G/P} can be paid with either {G} or 2 life. It's a green mana symbol.

Phyrexian Mana Symbols

* Phyrexian mana symbols appear only in costs, such as the mana cost in the upper right corner of a card or the cost to activate an activated ability.

* A card with Phyrexian mana symbols in its mana cost is each color that appears in that mana cost, regardless of how that cost may have been paid. For example, the Surgical Extraction above is black, even if a player paid 2 life to cast it.

* To calculate the converted mana cost of a card with Phyrexian mana symbols in its cost, count each Phyrexian mana symbol as 1.

* As you cast a spell or activate an activated ability with one or more Phyrexian mana symbols in its cost, you choose how to pay for each Phyrexian mana symbol at the same time you would choose modes or choose a value for X.

* If you're at 1 life or less, you can't pay 2 life.

* Phyrexian mana is not a new color. Players can't add Phyrexian mana to their mana pools.

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