|Behind the Scenes|
|Universe||Magic: The Gathering Universe|
Phyrexians are incredibly varied in their appearance. The first stage of a Phyrexian lifecycle is the newt. Newts are descended from the Thran, but have been bred to be genderless, among other things. Newts are grown in vats, from which they emerge in a fully adult state. Once a newt emerges, it is usually put through the process of Completion, wherein most of its normal body parts are removed and given mechanical replacements. Organic weapons like stingers and venom sacs are often implanted as well. Many Phyrexian soldiers are Completed so thoroughly that they no longer resemble humans in the slightest. Generally speaking, the most heavily modified Phyrexians are also the most highly regarded, because destructive capability is valued above almost all else.
Phyrexians' most important values are efficiency and the search for perfection. One of the first lessons taught to newts is "waste not, want not".
Phyrexians can be divided into the following categories (take note, however, that these categories might overlap. Most Phyrexians are partly mechanical and partly undead at the same time, and all of them are certainly horrific.)
- Sleeper Agents: Sleeper agents are designed to spy on other planes, and gather information before other phyrexians come to invade. Usually they are newts that have not been completed. They can resemble males or females but not children. They are not always aware that they are phyrexians.
- Minions: Minions of Phyrexia serve a variety of roles including spies, assassins, shock troops, and priests.
- Undead: Reanimated corpses. These creatures are particularly noxious; some even have the capability to instantly kill living creatures that come into contact with them.
- Carriers: Bio-mechanical constructs bred for the sole purpose of spreading Phyrexian engineered plagues. All of them are suicide bombers, self-destructing to release clouds of highly infectious plague spores.
- Mechanical Constructs: Although most Phyrexians are partly mechanical, these particular constructs are completely mechanical. These are war machines meant to completely crush any enemy forces that survive the various biohazardous attacks that the Phyrexians employ.
- Horrors: Monstrous creations (perhaps combinations of the above three categories) that are horrific beyond description. These are the most difficult Phyrexians to control (as opposed to the blindly obedient mechanical constructs) and can cause serious damage to both allied and enemy alike.
- Knights: This category is one that is based more on role than physical construction and is composed of certain Phyrexians who are more than simple killing machines. These Phyrexians still possess human-like intellect and will, though these are subservient to Yawgmoth. There are at least three separate "Orders" of Knights in Yawgmoth's service: The Eastern Paladins, devoted to the extermination of natural life; the Western Paladins, devoted to the annihilation of non-Phyrexian forms of society; and the Order of Yawgmoth, which is the Phyrexian "royal guard."