In this article, I’ll be taking a close look at the toxic mechanic and its applications in Standard. While toxic does enable poison damage, it’s very different from infect damage. For such a long time in formats such as Modern, poison-based decks have been known as Infect. However, there is much more to poison than just infect, as we’re about to find out with the release of Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Toxic isn’t as straightforward as infect, and is different in multiple respects, so it may take a little getting used to. The major difference is that toxic damage does not replace regular damage – it’s in addition to normal damage.
Toxic decks often attack from multiple angles, and won’t be overly reliant on winning with poison damage. However, putting poison counters on the opponent can provide some key benefits to your toxic cards, which we will get into. Toxic creatures focus on putting a specific number of poison counters on the opponent, but do not generate -1/-1 counters when dealing damage to other creatures like in the case of infect. Let’s take a look at some of the best toxic threats before combining them into a cohesive deck.