Top 10 Most Expensive MTG Cards in New Phyrexia

Time to compleat your collection before All Will Be One!

With the new Phyrexian-themed set, Phyrexia: All Will Be One, just around the corner, there is a strongly renewed interest in all things Phyrexian. Particularly with the preview of the brand-new Elesh Norn, who seems to be even more ridiculous than her first iteration, Phyrexians haven’t been this talked-about since… well, since cards like the original Elesh Norn appeared in New Phyrexia. How have these cards held up since then? Quite well, it turns out: here are the 10 most expensive cards from New Phyrexia.

10. Triumph of the Hordes

Triumph of the Hordes

New Phyrexia, Uncommon

Triumph of the Hordes - New Phyrexia - magic

It might seem wild that a medium-looking, sorcery-speed Overrun-type effect at uncommon manages to crack this list, but I’m sure anyone who has played enough EDH will know exactly why this is a $12 card. Triumph of the Hordes is almost like Craterhoof Behemoth in its ability to end prolonged games of Commander by effectively bypassing things like life gain and more than doubling the power and toughness of the team you’re swinging with. Think about it like this: Triumph of the Hordes sets everyone’s life total to 10, more than doubles your total power, and gives the squad trample. Often, that’s more than enough. 

9. Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur

Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur

Iconic Masters, Mythic

Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur - Iconic Masters - magic

Jin-Gitaxias is, believe it or not, the second-last Praetor in terms of price (and playability, really, poor old Urabrask), but this wasn’t always the case. After hitting a peak of around $40 in April 2021, this version of Jin-Gitaxias has steadily dropped in price to the present day, where you can pick up a copy at around $13. I don’t know why – it’s certainly not the Iconic Masters reprint, which took place in 2017, so is it being included on The List? Was this minor bump in supply sufficient to meet the small demand that apparently saw this card his $40 18 months ago? I suspect not. In all honesty, I can’t explain the price trend of this card, although it’s good news if you’ve been looking to pick up a copy. 

8. Birthing Pod

Birthing Pod

New Phyrexia, Rare

Birthing Pod - New Phyrexia - magic

An instant classic, Birthing Pod is still a card with a rabidly loyal fanbase who are still dealing with it being banned out of Modern back in 2015. Wait, what? 2015!? I thought it was banned, like, three years ago? Time is an illusion. Anyway. Despite its fall from grace in Modern, Birthing Pod remains one of the most popular strategies in EDH, both competitive and regular, with generals like Meren of Clan Nel Toth, Tasigur, the Golden Fang and the relatively new Myrkul, Lord of Bones all working to squeeze extra value out of this iconic and beloved card. 

7. Unwinding Clock

Unwinding Clock

Commander 2018, Rare

Unwinding Clock - Commander 2018 - magic

I mean, this card’s ability speaks for itself, right? Any card cut from the same cloth as Seedborn Muse is always going to be of supreme interest to EDH players, and even if Unwinding Clock doesn’t hit all permanents like Seedborn Muse, hitting all artifacts (and losing a vulnerability to creature removal) is still more than enough to make Unwinding Clock a hugely popular and impactful card in artifact-based Commander decks. Whether it’s untapping Vehicles and their pilots in Shorikai decks, piles of mana rocks in Urza decks or just Traxos itself in… well, Traxos decks, obviously, Unwinding Clock is always ready to put the work in. 

6. Sword of War and Peace

Sword of War and Peace

Double Masters, Mythic

Sword of War and Peace - Double Masters - magic

In all honesty, Sword of War and Peace isn’t that good. Amongst the eight we have so far, it’s firmly in the bottom half, probably only “beaten” by Sword of Sinew and Steel and Sword of Hearth and Home in terms of how bad it is, and it still finds its way onto this list – such is the power of the Swords. Sword of War and Peace is a good way to punish durdley green-blue decks with Reliquary Tower or Thought Vessel, and it’s a decent way to gain life, but it’s certainly no Sword of Fire and Ice or Sword of Feast and Famine. 

5. Sheoldred, Whispering One

Sheoldred, Whispering One

Jumpstart, Mythic

Sheoldred, Whispering One - Jumpstart - magic

Despite this older version of Sheoldred being well and truly eclipsed by the new one in terms of both price and widespread popularity (being legal in Standard is a bit of an unfair advantage in that regard), old Sheoldred still packs a real punch. While she’s not often played as a commander herself, Sheoldred is a staple in any deck looking to reanimate your own cards or force your opponent to sacrifice theirs, namely Meren of Clan Nel Toth and Tergrid, God of Fright. In decks like these, Sheoldred is a terrifying top-end threat – particularly when your Urborg makes her unblockable. 

4. Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

Iconic Masters, Mythic

Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger - Iconic Masters - magic

According to EDHRec’s list of the saltiest cards in Commander, Vorinclex is fourth. Fourth! Of all the cards ever printed, this lumbering eight-drop manages to be right up there with Stasis, Winter Orb and Static Orb as the most hated in EDH. Quite an achievement, but not such a surprise when you realize that all these cards share the same quality: they prevent players from untapping their lands. Messing with opposing lands is a surefire way to irritate a table full of Commander players (Armageddon, Jokulhaups and Obliterate are all in that same list’s top 10), and Vorinclex doesn’t just halve opposing mana production, it doubles your own. 

3. Karn Liberated

Karn Liberated

Double Masters, Mythic

Karn Liberated - Double Masters - magic

Heading into writing this list, I was confident that Karn Liberated would be at the top, and quite comfortably, too. Instead, it’s third! It doesn’t feel that long ago since Karn was a $90 card – except it was a long time ago, it was over four years ago. Since then, diminished demand and reprints have worked their magic, and you can now pick up a copy for closer to $20. Price notwithstanding, Karn is the backbone of Modern Tron decks and one of the most powerful colourless threats ever printed, so unless they print a better colorless seven-drop in the future, I don’t see Karn becoming irrelevant. 

2. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

Iconic Masters, Mythic

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite - Iconic Masters - magic

The original Elesh Norn has always been a heavy hitter. As a commander for white weenie decks, as a reanimation target against small creature decks, as a combined sweeper/lord effect, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is an absolute powerhouse. While I expect the new Elesh Norn to probably outstrip the old one in the long term (assuming it doesn’t get banned), that’s a reflection of the absurd power of the new Elesh Norn, not a reflection of the weakness of this one. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite will remain a force to be reckoned with for a very long time, as its $30 price tag indicates. 

1. Phyrexian Obliterator

Phyrexian Obliterator

New Phyrexia

Phyrexian Obliterator - New Phyrexia - Magic: The Gathering

You might be surprised, like me, to realize that the most expensive card in New Phyrexia isn’t Karn Liberated, or even Elesh Norn – it’s Phyrexian Obliterator. Around six months ago, in July 2022, there was a huge spike in the price of this card, surging from below $30 to above $40, a price which I consider to be completely unsustainable. Despite how unique and absurdly sweet this card is (especially when opponents don’t fully understand its ability and so try to kill it with red removal spells), the fact that it’s being reprinted in All Will Be One means it won’t hold at $40. Unless this card ends up being one of the most-played cards in Standard, supply will outstrip demand and the price will fall. In any case – in October 2024, when it rotates out of Standard, Phyrexian Obliterator will not be a $40 card, so don’t pick this up hoping it will hold value long-term.