I've played my friend and he used his new mono white deck. After some turns, he plays Phyrexian Unlife. This is the first time I've seen it. It says even if his life is 0 he never loses. I'm using black deck at that time and I don't have any sorcery or instants to kill that enchantment. So I just conceded the game. Now I'm still skeptical about that card.

My question is how can you kill your opponent if he has that on the battlefield? I know that there's some other ways to defeat your opponents, but my black deck was built to be aggro/discard deck. So how can a player defeat an opponent without anything to destroy an enchantment?

  • 1
    This isn't enough for its own answer, but Phyrexian Unlife does nothing against infect, mill, Phage the Untouchable, Door to Nothingness, Vraska the Unseen's ultimate, or any card that has "you win the game" as an effect.
    – murgatroid99
    Jan 9, 2014 at 1:25
  • 1
    Phyrexian Unlife doesn't say "you can't lose if you have 0 or less life." It says "Having 0 or less life doesn't kill you (like it usually does)"
    – 3Doubloons
    Jan 10, 2014 at 4:26

3 Answers 3


The full card text is:

You don't lose the game for having 0 or less life.

As long as you have 0 or less life, all damage is dealt to you as though its source had infect. (Damage is dealt to you in the form of poison counters.)

If you have ten poison counters, you lose the game. You just need to get your opponent to zero, then deal ten more damage to him. He'll take it in the form of poison counters, and lose. It will buy him time - maybe he was almost dead and suddenly you need to get him to 0 then deal ten more damage - but he's not invincible.

  • 2
    relevant as the asker is playing black - cards that cause loss of life do not cause poison counters.
    – Patters
    Mar 31, 2014 at 8:37

The second half of that card is important. It says that when you are under 0 life you treat all damage as though its source had infect. That means you get a poison counter for each damage, and if you reach 10 poison counters, you lose. So basically it gives you an additional 10 life to deal with (assuming no other infect sources), but it doesn't keep you alive indefinitely.

  • 11
    "basically it gives you an additional 10 life to deal with" -- Well, usually a bit more than 10. If the Unlife player is at 1 life and you hit him for 11, he'll be at -10 life and any further damage will add poison counters.
    – Brian S
    Jan 8, 2014 at 17:37

Your opponent might have been thinking of the Phyrexian Unlife + Melira, Sylvok Outcast combo. If your opponent had Melira on the battlefield, then yes, you have a problem because he won't die at or below zero and he won't get poison counters. But even that combo is not insurmountable. You can still win.

Destroying or exiling Phyrexian Unlife or, preferably, Melira when his life is at or below 0, does the job, as does milling him out or obtaining another win condition such as four Biovisionaries. By the way, I've noticed that people who have this combo out tend to allow their life get to or below zero more easily, so if you do have a way to get rid of Melira then wait until your opponent has allowed himself to get at or below zero before you get take Melira out.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .