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Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Style for Each – Infect or Poison

September 30, 2012 by  
Filed under FAQ, In-Depth FAQ

Sub Themes

“Does this makeup make my face looks bad?”

Welcome back. Hope you had been having fun reading on all the Sub Themes so far. Last article we left you all with the Sub Theme, Mill, which attacks a player’s library instead of their life points. Using the Sub Theme, Mill, in EDH is more like a disruption on opponents as you mill away one of that only card in their deck. If it is used as one of the win con, it would usually be included as a combo which kills one or two opponents off in one shot, milling everyone decks. As with all combo decks, assembling the combo is always the hardest part and disruption would also prevent you from executing the combo. This article Sub Theme called Poison, or with the release of Scars of Mirrodin, Infect, is very much like another Sub Theme, Voltron which we had introduced few articles back.



Real man only takes one hit to kill.

Much like Voltron, this Sub Theme works to send one creature in for win. Wherein Sub Theme, Voltron, your General is build up to a monstrosity with all sorts of evasion to get pass your opponent’s defense and 21 or more power, Poison, on the other hand, works to give one Creature evasion, usually made unblockable, with enough power to give that 10 Poison Counters needed to kill off an opponent. Poison counter win used to be harder even in normal variant as Creatures which deliver poison counters are very little in number and give very little poison counter each time. That was changed with the release of Scars of Mirrodin block. With the introduction of Infect, this Sub Theme is revived. Now all colors have ways to give out poison counters, allowing it to be included in any decks to be use as an alternate win if one so desired. Below are some of the more effective ones which you could consider as your army of poison dealers:-

  • Blighted Agent – Blue little critter that comes ready with Unblockable to deliver the poison counter
  • Blightsteel Colossus – Automatic add in for the Sub Theme, Poison. Number one killer of the Sub Theme
  • Flesh-Eater Imp –Infect Creature with Flying. Added ability to sacrifice creatures for more power (+1/+1)  allows you to kill your opponent when it connects with him or her
  • Putrefax / Phyrexian Hydra – High power Creatures which you only need to pump a bit more power to kill your opponent
  • Shriek Raptor / Tine Shrike – Infect Creatures with evasion by Flying to deliver poison counters
  • Spinebiter – Powerful ability to deal its combat damage ignoring any blockers throw at it
  • Viridian Corrupter – Double as an Artifact destroyer with Infect
  • Virulent Sliver – Heavy Sliver Tribal theme. Serves as the link to allow Slivers deck to have Poison as a Sub Theme


As mentioned earlier, Sub Theme Poison is very much like Voltron. Only one guy needs to get through in order for you to win, but for Sub Theme Poison, you only need to deal 10 Infect damage or give an opponent 10 poison counters. That is apparently much faster as that is only half of that 21 Commander damage needed to win for Voltron. To achieve that, you could consider the below cards for that quick win:-

Infect-ive kill…. Just when you thought he did not had any Creature with Infect



“They are the poison, I am the antidote.”

Like Voltron, the dependant of one creature to get through with the 10 Poison counters also makes it easier to deal with for your opponents, though this is not as hard a hit as it is for this Sub Theme, Poison as it is for Voltron. Also the dependant on Creatures for win con also makes it clearly easier to stop you from winning. Once your Infect Creatures cannot connect with your opponent, you cannot win the game. On a short term, this could be solved by overrunning your opponents with more Infect Creatures than he or she can handle. But once your army is wiped out, the game might come down to a standstill, or worse, you be at the mercy of your opponents. A slower but effective way to deal with this problem is to strike your opponent with at least 1 poison counter and using Proliferate, the new mechanic which was introduced along with Infect, as your way to victory. The synergy of both mechanics is not by chance as both are representative abilities of the Phyrexian Fraction of the new Scars of Mirrodin block. Both abilities are used in normal variant for the poison counter win. Furthermore to that, Proliferate is also a very useful ability, which besides increasing poison counters, could also be used for increasing number of counters on anything you want too (Age counters on permanents with Cumulative Upkeep; Quest counters on Quest Enchantments; Fading counters on Fading permanents; Time counters on Vanishing permanents; +1/+1 counters; -1/-1 counters; or charge counters). The below cards which you could incorporate into your deck to counteract against the Sub Theme, Poison, weakness:-

  • Contagion Clasp / Contagion Engine – The two most basic permanent ways to Proliferate. Also serve as Creature removals with their Enter The Battlefield effects
  • Decimator Web – Three win con in one card. By life loss, library dead, and lastly poison counter to allow you to begin a Proliferate victory
  • Fallen Ferromancer – A pinger (Creatures who could deals damage directly to a target without attacking) which comes with infect, so you just plant 1 poison counter on your opponent and then Proliferate him or her out of the game
  • Hand of the Praetors – Let you Kill your opponents just by casting Creatures with Infect
  • Ichor Rats – Gives everyone 1 poison counter as it enters the battlefield, including you, but most importantly everyone else get that 1 poison counter to begin the Proliferate process
  • Thrummingbird – Easy to cast low cc Creature which comes with Flying and Proliferate when on contact with your opponent. This would help when you are in a standstill with your opponents whereby your Infect Creatures can’t get through the defenses
  • Viral Drake – A kill by its own. This Blue Drake could fly in and drop one poison counter and you could use its other ability, Proliferate, to increase that one poison counter to kill your opponents

The infection only needs a small drop to begin.


Generals of Choice:

Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon: – Infect General. Color Identity comes with disruption and minor control. One shot kill possible with Ghoul’s Feast or Soulshriek, though dependant of having a big graveyard; or a large amount of mana with Hatred (3BB to cast Hatred, 3BB to cast Skithiryx, B to activate its Haste….a total whopping converted mana of 11 if you want to kill in one turn).


Glissa, the Traitor: – Although she does not come with Infect, Glissa’s Color Identity has the highest number of Infect Creatures. Color is good for Control and Disruption.


Like the other Sub Theme, Voltron, Poison also works to bring one guy through but for10 poison counters instead of dealing 21 General damage, with that an effective half less the time needed to kill an opponent. Surprise kills are achieved either by pumping a Creature with Infect to the lethal 10 points of Infect damage; or giving Infect to a Creature for it to deal the lethal Infect damage. As with Sub Theme, Voltron, killing the Creature which is dealing the killing poison blow to your opponents will save his skin and ruined your winning chance. As you would usually be powering up that Creature with tons of power ups, it would be demoralizing and loss of card advantage to have it took care of. Having an alternate way to increase the number of poison counters, like Proliferate, should be considered just in case the game should get to a standstill. And with that we come to close for this article, do be back next time for more Sub Themes.


This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.



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  1. […] to your Play Style. Where we had left you in our last article, we introduce you to the Sub Themes, Poison. Much like another Sub Theme, Voltron, Poison works the same way in that it also win by sending in […]

  2. […] when they return. The second ability is brutal regardless of a horde tactic, a Voltron style, or Poison style, as either one just pushes all the damage through. The ultimate is one of those win more […]