Unfortunately for the Multiverse, Phyrexia's obliteration was not complete. A drop of oil found itself in the heart of the golem Karn, himself at the heart of the plane of Mirrodin. This oil multiplied and infected the plane, beginning the slow process of "compleating" it into a new Phyrexia. The people of Mirrodin found themselves at war for the future of their plane. Their efforts were led by three planeswalkers: Koth of the Hammer, Venser, and Elspeth Tirel, each of whom had some previous experience with Phyrexia.
The original, lost Phyrexia was dominated by black mana, a fact reflected in the nature and abilities of its inhabitants. But due to Mirrodin's more balanced nature, the new Phyrexians evolved along each of the five color axes to form distinct factions. Each is led by a Praetor, an uber-Phyrexian general who exemplifies both the character of their color and a different aspect of New Phyrexia. They are:
- Elesh Norn (White), Grand Cenobite of the Machine Orthodoxy and /tg/'s waifu. Norn and her faction represent the religion of Phyrexia.
- Jin-Gitaxias (Blue), Core Augur of the Progress Engine. The faction that follows him is dedicated to perfecting Phyrexia via the path of knowledge.
- Sheoldred (Black), Whispering One, top dog of The Seven Steel Thanes, and also /tg/'s waifu. Her faction is the most similar to old Phyrexia, and operates via open domination and destruction of Phyrexia's enemies (and any Phyrexian who opposes her).
- Urabrask the Hidden (Red), praetor of the Quiet Furnace. Urabrask and his minions oversee the industry of New Phyrexia, including the creation of new weapons and devices. Their connection to red mana (the color of emotion and feeling) led to the most strange and divergent evolution in Phyrexia's history: the beginnings of true empathy and compassion, which led to them refraining from attacking Mirran refugees who initially found their way to Urabrask's domain.
- Vorinclex (Green), Voice of Hunger, praetor of the Vicious Swarm. This faction believes that survival of the fittest is the ultimate law, and that Phyrexians should aspire to be the apex predator of apex predators.
The Mirrans fought bravely with everything they had, and won some battles in spectacular fashion. Elspeth, Koth, and Venser discovered an unusual child named Melira who seemed to be immune to the Phyrexians' infection, and this gave the resistance hope of eventual victory. But in the end, it proved to be insufficient, and the Phyrexians' advantages of time and surprise too overwhelming. The resistance was destroyed, and most Mirrans killed or compleated. Venser died in the process of freeing Karn from Phyrexian corruption, and Koth and Elspeth led the refugees for a time before they were cornered by Sheoldred's forces. Elspeth was able to escape by planeswalking to Theros, but Koth's fate is unclear; all we know is that he promised to fight on regardless. Recent story revelations suggest that the Furnace-based resistance may have been destroyed as well.
If you want to use the phyrexian symbol in text, here it is ϕ. Its a greek symbol called Phi.
Upon its announcement, Magic teased that the fight was still going on as of its development, and that it wasn't certain at the time which side would win. To show this, both "New Phyrexia" and "Mirrodin Pure" were teased as possible expansion names, with Mirrodin presumably becoming purified of the Phyrexian taint should the latter be chosen as the set name. But that didn't happen. Interestingly enough, the name "Mirrodin Pure" is still registered as a trademark, so who knows if a purified Mirrodin might come to pass in the future (Spoiler Alert: Don't count on it for the foreseeable future).
Commander 2015 has revealed a multi-colored Phyrexian, possibly implying New Phyrexia is no longer divided along colored lines (or at the very least, to the same extent it was before). ALL WILL BE ONE!
New Phyrexia was also hinted during the Dominaria storyline to be very much alive, very much active, and is eventually going to be a big deal. In fact, most of Karn's dialogue in the story when he wasn't planning with Liliana and Teferi was him really really wanting to nuke New Phyrexia once and for all before one of them develops a Planeswalker spark.
Update: Toooooooo late! Vorinclex has found his way to Kaldheim, which seems to have something to do with Tezzeret and the Planar Bridge from Kaladesh. While there, he obtained ~~a substance called tyrite, which can be used to convert mortal beings into gods~~ a sample of the World Tree. Jin-Gitaxias would then appear in Kamigawa, investigating the nature of the kami and discovering an artifact called the Reality Chip, which somehow allows Phyrexians to compleat planeswalkers. Urabrask was in New Capenna, looking for help in his ongoing resistance against Elesh Norn, and finding it in the form of Elspeth; you'll notice that he, like the others, needed Tezzeret's help to be there, indicating that our favorite Esperite is still playing both sides. Finally, Sheoldred is in the Dominaria United set, in a
ripoff of homage to the classic Invasion block.
Update Again: After playing a planewide game of Among Us, it turned out Ajani was the compleated imposter during Dominaria United--and on his way out, he destroyed the original Sylex and shoved Jaya off a platform to her death. After a time travel block, Brothers' War, in which Teferi, Kaya, and Saheeli jury rigged their powers to let Teferi learn how to properly use a recreated Sylex using knowledge from the Brothers' War while keeping the timeline from imploding, Teferi managed to convey the information before overextending and getting himself temporally banished to his old hometown of Zhalfir. At the end, we returned to learn that Elesh Norn has been nurturing a compleated seedling of the World Tree in New Phyrexia's innermost shell.
The result of all this was Phyrexia: All Will Be One block, where ten Planeswalkers entered, five got compleated (Nahiri and Jace got "zombie bites" but held their sanity until trying to go out in a blaze of awesome (Nahiri succeeded, Jace...didn't), Vraska got stuck in a Phyrexian Arena before compleation took her will to resist and then infected Jace, and both Lukka and Nissa got compleated because Lukka's first idea on arriving at the Hunter Maze with Nissa was to try bonding with a Phyrexian beast, with Nissa getting compleated offscreen after Lukka succumbed to yet another consequence of his own actions), and the other five (Elspeth, Kaito, The Wanderer, Kaya, and Tyvar) retreated after a last-minute spat about whether it was worth using the Sylex now that the Invasion Tree connected both New Phyrexia and the Sylex's potential blast radius to the wider multiverse. (Tibalt also got compleated, but he wasn't on the invasion team and didn't get a card. He did get compleat-ly bodied by Tyvar, though.) We also learned how New Phyrexia is structured. Turns out it has seven spheres, arranged in a way somewhat akin to the original Phyrexia.
We also learned why Tezzeret was playing both sides this time: he's dying, but that could be fixed with a body made of Darksteel, and guess where the only place to get that is! (Somehow, this actually worked out for Tezzy, give or take a few multiversal incursions--he shrugged off a last-minute betrayal attempt by Jin-Gitaxias and is now hiding out while planning a future villain arc, probably.)
Now Phyrexia has connected the multiverse and is basically compleating every single plane they can find, so now we have Phyrexia: March of the Machine block coming in Spring 2023. The planes are fucked until an inevitable deus ex machina happens, but at least we're getting Double Yargle out of it!
Ultimately, that deus ex machina was Elspeth turning into an Archangel (the first one since Serra cacked it way back when), but the planes were still fucked up royally. When the smoke cleared, the Phyrexians were dead, New Phyrexia/Mirrodin/Argentum had ceased to exist (with Teferi's old home island of Zhalfir becoming a plane in its place), and - amazingly given WOTC will move heaven and earth to keep popular characters alive - only two of the compleated Planeswalkers went back to normal, with all the others either dead or unaccounted for. (Many will be glad to hear Jace is in the latter category.)
New Phyrexia would ultimately leave two enduring legacies in their wake. The first was the Omengates, rips in space and time that allowed travel between planes without the need to planeswalk (though, unlike the Gates that existed before the Mending, it is impossible to be certain beforehand where an Omengate will take you). The second and more ominous was the dimming of the Planeswalker spark - many of those who fought New Phyrexia found themselves bereft of their sparks when the fighting was over, for reasons still unclear, and it is unknown whether this dimming will continue in the future.
|Settings of Magic: The Gathering|
|Pre-revisionist:||First Magic Sets - First Urza Block - Arabian Nights |
Legends - Homelands - Ice Age - Mirage
|Weatherlight Saga:||Portal Starter Sets - Second Urza Block |
Tempest Block - Masques Block - Invasion Block
|Post-Weatherlight:||Otaria Block - Mirrodin - Kamigawa - Ravnica - Time Spiral|
|After the Mending:||Lorwyn - Alara - Zendikar - New Phyrexia |
Innistrad - Return to Ravnica - Theros - Tarkir - Eldraine - Ikoria
|Two-Block Paradigm:||Kaladesh - Amonkhet - Ixalan|
|Post Two-Block Paradigm:||Eldraine - Ikoria - Kaldheim - Strixhaven|
|Never in a standard set:||Fiora (Where the Conspiracy sets take place) - Kylem (Battlebond)|
|Factions and Praetors in New Phyrexia|
The Machine Orthodoxy
The Progress Engine
The Seven Steel Thanes
The Quiet Furnace
The Vicious Swarm