The Praetors of New Phyrexia

The Praetors of New Phyrexia have to be one of my favorite groups of creatures in Magic the Gathering. Their creepy yet sleek designs match New Phyrexia perfectly as a whole. Most of the Praetors come with powerful abilities that can turn the tide of battle, if a player uses them correctly. As shown by their different colors, each Praetor has a vastly different ability than the rest. From being able to buff other creatures, to causing your opponent’s hand to be rendered useless; the Praetors have some of the most powerful abilities in all of Magic. So, without further ado, let’s check out the Praetors of New Phyrexia.


The Praetors

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite: Even though she isn’t the strongest of the Praetors, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is still my favorite of the group. Her ability to increase the power and toughness of your other creatures is a good ability overall; and can be incredibly usefull in token decks, where tiny 1/1 tokens are boosted to stronger 3/3 tokens. However, her last ability is what really causes her to stand out. She’s able to passively debuff creatures that your opponents control. Not that many cards lower the power and toughness of just the opponent’s cards, much less do it passively. Thanks to this ability, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite basically becomes a miniature board wipe, as she destroys all creatures that your opponent controls that have a toughness of two or less. Lastly, she has vigilance, which is just okay. Vigilance is obviously not why people use her, as there are better attackers out there. Her 4/7 body allows her to take hits and deal a bit of damage, so you should attack with her when you get the chance. She’s much better used as a support card though, so be careful when attacking and make sure she doesn’t get destroyed in the process.

Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur: He definitely has the most difficult name to pronounce compared to the rest of the Praetors. Even though I prefer to stay away from blue cards, Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur is just too powerful to ignore. He has a high mana cost; however, his ability to lower the maximum hand size of all opponents by seven is a total game breaker. He has flash, so you can play him as an instant any time you please. Did your opponent just draw a bunch of cards or has a combo piece in their hand? Simply play Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur in order to get rid of those pesky cards. He also provides reliable card advantage, especially if you play Reliquary Tower in order to no longer have a maximum hand size. Just be careful, and don’t mill yourself. Make sure you keep him away from combat as well, his 5/4 body is arguably worse than Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite’s and is complete garbage when compared to the rest of the Praetors when considering he has a converted mana cost of ten. Though he may be terrible in combat and blue may arguably have better cards that provide consistent card advantage, Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur is still a powerful threat thanks to his ability that lowers each opponent’s maximum hand size.

Sheoldred, the Whispering One: Thanks to her swampwalk ability and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Sheoldred, the Whispering One can successfully attack any opponent without the fear of being blocked – allowing her 6/6 body allows her to effectively deal high amounts of damage each turn. However, that’s not the real reason people use Sheoldred, the Whispering Once. Her ability to revive creatures from the graveyard without having to pay any cost at all is incredible. Due to this ability, she not only brings back her fallen allies, but also supports decks that benefit from throwing creatures into the graveyard. Her next ability is just as powerful, she forces other players to sacrifice a creature during their upkeep. It’s an ability that’s extremely overpowered and can even force opponents to sacrifice a creature that you couldn’t normally handle on your own. The only downside to Sheoldred, the Whispering One is that the opponent gets to choose which card to sacrifice. Not only that, but you can’t use her abilities to bring back creatures in your opponent’s graveyard, you can only revive creatures from your own graveyard. Even with these setbacks, Sheoldred, the Whispering One, is still a threatening card.

Urabrask, the Hidden: Due to the fact that he has the lowest mana cost of the group, Urabrask, the Hidden is a bit underwhelming. Just underwhelming, not bad at all; in fact he’s still quite powerful. He grants haste to all creatures you control, which is helpful for aggro decks that want to attack immediately and burn decks that want to use creature abilities to slowly kill their targets; both of which are common in red thanks to goblins. He also causes creatures that your opponent controls to come into the battlefield tapped. This basically makes him a red Thalia, Heretic Cathar. Again, he’s not bad, just a tad bit underwhelming. He’s definitely worth running though, as he can create pressure for your opponents by adding some speed to your deck, while also slowing down your opponent’s strategies.

Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger: This creature is somewhat similar to Winter Orb. Both cause players to regret using mana later on; however, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger has a few more abilities that put it a step ahead. Unlike Winter Orb, he doesn’t cause your own lands to untap, just your opponent’s lands. Secondly, he doubles the amount of mana you can use each turn; so he’s already miles ahead of Winter Orb. Winter Orb does have the advantage of being colorless, which allows any deck to play it; however, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger’s abilities make it a better disruption overall. Playing against him is incredibly annoying, especially since there’s no downside to using him. He’s a great card to use in order to slow down other players and his 7/6 body and trample make him a force to be reckoned with.

In Conclusion

As I said before, the Praetors of New Phyrexia are my favorite group of cards. Their powerful abilities can really turn games completely around, and going up against one of them is no easy feat. Though they aren’t the best commanders for EDH (as they are locked into a single color), having their abilities on standby is always helpful. Especially Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, as her debuffing ability makes a good passive board-wipe.

Anyways, have you ever used a Praetor in a deck before? Have you ever used one as a commander before? If you have, tell us how it went down in the comments bellow. Also, if you have any suggestions, concerns, or requests, be sure to leave them in the comments as well. Be sure to support our patreon in order for us to continue to create other articles.



Sylvan Studies Team

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