The Changing Plane
Over the course of the set a lot of things have changed in Mirrodin. The Phyrexians, hidden within the core of the plane, have invaded and transformed it into New Phyrexia. The plane of Mirrodin has been corrupted and many of its inhabitants can be seen in these forms in the new sets. New Phyrexia in particular is pretty cool with the number of cards that go back to classic Mirrodin and Phyrexian cards. Here are a few of the cards that have their roots in previous Magic sets.
The Elves were the first to fall to the invasion and green has become one of the main colors of the Phyrexians. Many of the elves that have been compleated are reminiscent of the elves as seen in the previous set of Mirrodin. These elves were particularly good against artifacts and they retain that trait in their new forms. For some of these creatures the addition of Infect is the only major change.
Classic Phyrexian Designs
The Phyrexians that took over Mirrodin are not the same that served under Yawgmoth, but there are some designs still within their memory. The Phyrexian Hulk
Phyrexian Hulk is the most obvious example in this set, being a reprint. Mortis Dogs and Hollow Dogs are different cards but it is easy to see the inspiration. Cards like these show that there is some identity to Phyrexia even though it corrupts every other creature with its oil.
There are some Phyrexian creatures that have returned to the new plane with some changes. The Priest of Urabrask
Priest of Urabrask is a red Priest of Gix
Priest of Gix. The priest in red will certainly be a welcome addition as a “free” creature that can keep a red deck burning. However the coolest creature that has been improved is sure to be the Phyrexian Obliterator. This new Phyrexian Negator has definitely reached perfection. No longer do you have to weigh risks when playing the Phyrexian Negator, for only 1 extra black mana you can have your opponents sacrificing permanents instead!
Corrupted Mirran Artifacts
The Phyrexian have lent their touch of perfection both to their own designs as well as classic Mirran artifacts. Golems have received a huge boost in power thanks to the splicers that are in white, green, and blue. These creatures come into play with some 3/3 golems and also power up all golems you control. These Phyrexians can further improve even one of their grandest artifacts: Blightsteel Colossus
Blightsteel Colossus. For specific cards that have been compleated in New Phyrexia, you can look toward the Etched Monstrosity. This guy has been beefed up from the uncommon Etched Oracle from Mirrodin into a card at the mythic rare level. What was once a little 4/4 at max that would probably die to draw 3 cards is now a 5/5 that can become a 10/10 if you use it to draw those 3 cards. The Phyrexians have added some awesome new twists to these antiquated Mirran artifacts.
Iconic Lands now Tainted
Remember the artifact lands from Mirrodin? Well now they’re back, but maybe not as you would have hoped. Now they’re back as basic lands corrupted by the Phyrexians. We have received new basic lands from each set in this block, showing us just how much the terrain has changed and the return to these unique lands show that even the great centers of power for the Mirrans have been lost to the Phyrexians. This corruption leads all the way to the very core of the plane. Mirrodin’s Core
Mirrodin’s Core was once a land that allowed you to charge up colored mana but the new Phyrexia’s Core instead eats artifacts for a bit of life. While it is a bit of an odd twist in its mechanics, the name Phyrexia’s Core
Phyrexia’s Core establishes that the plane has been forever changed.
These are some of the cards I found that go back into Magic’s past and bring back what we associated with the planes of both Mirrodin and Phyrexia. There are reimagined forms of these classic cards as well as some cool combinations of what both planes do best resulting from the invasion of Mirrodin. Try to look through your old collection of Mirran or Phyrexian cards and see if you can spot any links between then and now.