New Phyrexia, Uncommon. In the interests of full disclosure, I am not a fan of Infect as a mechanic. I think it is an un-fun way of shortening the game. But with that all said, I am a fan of Viral Drake (I do feel somewhat dirty saying that…).
If you look at its individual parts, our Phyrexia-tainted dragon-wannabe isn’t too impressive. It’s a 1/4 flyer for 3U, which leaves quite a bit to be desired. Add Infect to that and you’d have something interesting that might be used in a limited format as a pretty powerful blocker, but really nowhere else. It isn’t until you factor in that last ability that you finally see Viral Drake’s potential.
This sucker has repeatable proliferate as an activated ability! I mean, 3U isn’t the cheapest cost for an active, but COME ON! Think about how many different kinds of counters there have been throughout the history of Magic. You have your common ones like +1/+1, -1/-1, Loyalty, and Charge. Then you have your less common ones, like Storage counters or Experience counters (shout-out to the 2015 Commander product!). Finally, you have your one of a kind counters like Bribery or Filibuster (Look into running this guy with Azor’s Elocutors, seriously, do it)! Even if you aren’t playing a deck with the full assortment of different types of counters, the more things on the field with any sort of counters on them, the more powerful this guy’s ability becomes.