Magic: the Gathering is releasing so much product nowadays that its not uncommon for reviews on each thing to vary heavily. In one corner, we have some absolutely home-run sets in the forms of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and March of the Machine. In the other, we have some sets with heavy potential, but missed the mark in some major way. Sets like these are Innistrad: Double Feature, Commander Masters with the price debacles, and the infamous 30th Anniversary set.
One of the more recent sets that fall into this category is March of the Machine: The Aftermath. As Magic’s first ever mini-set, the chances of a new idea going awry is higher than most. Many of the things that this set was missing just wasn’t enough to justify it as a worthwhile purchase to many players. The lack of a Limited presence and its necessity to round off the Phyrexian Arc put into question made this set a tough pill to swallow.
Unfortunately, like it or not, this set has some seriously good cards, and they’re starting to pick up in playability thanks to various other movements happening in Magic’s space. Here are the cards currently spiking in price in March of the Machine: The Aftermath!
Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival
Pia Nalaar ended up being a much better MTG card than many players expected. After winning a Pioneer Showcase Challenge out of nowhere on Magic Online, Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival would end up creating an entirely new archetype for Pioneer and Explorer.
The archetype is a Boros Midrange list that uses aggressive tools like Monestary Swiftspear and Soul-Scar Mage to kick-start heavy pressure. This is combined with Impulse Draw tools like Wrenn’s Resolve and Reckless Impulse to provide card advantage, allowing the deck to keep up over longer periods of time.Showdown of the Skalds is another card that primarily saw an initial price spike thanks to this deck’s rise to fame. That card has lost a bit of value now, but the ability to both pump your creatures and Impulse Draw four times makes it exactly what the doctor ordered.
All of this Impulse Drawing synergizes extremely well with Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival. Each time you cast a spell or play a land from exile, Pia Nalaar creates a 1/1 Thopter Token. She also gives all Thopters Haste, which can get out of control very quickly. There are a surprising amount of decks in the Pioneer format that don’t run a ton of removal, so Pia can be left to go uncontested more often than expected.
Thanks to the rise of this archetype, Pia has seen price increases across the board. The most blatant one is her Halo Foil version, which was tripled in price from $5 to $15 over the course of July. The normal version of the card has spiked from 20 cents to $2, the Showcase version from 80 cents to $3, the Etched Foil version from 40 cents to $1.20 and, finally, the extended art version in both variants sports the same prices as the Etched Foil one. That is a lot of variants of the same card.
Read More: Top 10 MTG Most Expensive Mythic Rares
Calix, Guided by Fate
Calix, Guided by Fate is some seriously powerful enchantment support. For three mana, you get a creature that scales your board and offers copies of your existing enchantments upon dealing combat damage. The second ability, in particular, has some particularly silly scaling potential with Commander favorites Doubling Season and Anointed Procession. Calix can first create two copies of the card thanks to its ability to double tokens. If it triggers again, it will create eight, which will then lead to 256 copies of any enchantment you desire!
The card is also in Selesnya, which is generally the colors that enchantress decks want. Honestly, there’s very little reason not to play this card in a Commander setting.
That’s exactly why Calix is seeing a price spike. The new Enduring Enchantments deck screams for Calix’s inclusion, and many fans are picking him up in droves for the deck. A review of the deck is in the works but, from what we’ve seen so far, this one seems to be the deck that needs the most help of the four.
The card also sees some Standard play in Selesnya Enchantments, but Commander really is the format pushing Calix’s price.
As a result, the most expensive (Halo Foil) version of Calix has risen from $21 to $42, but a bulk of this price spike happened suddenly in the middle of May. That said, we the other bulk of this price spike did occur recently.
Over the course of July, however, the next most expensive version of the card (the normal one), has jumped from $8 to $20. That said, there are still versions of this card selling for around $12 as well. Prices seem to be in either of the two camps rather consistently, painting a blurry picture about where this card’s price truly stands. The market value of the card is currently around $15. There are no patterns between foil and nonfoil versions of this card.
The showcase version of the card currently has its prices all over the place. You can find foil ones for around $17-19, while nonfoil copies tend to go for around $12. There aren’t a lot of extended art Calix selling right now, but all the ones that sold the day that this article were written were going for $16. Sales from the previous day hovered around the $10 mark. Finally, the Foil Etched version of the card, which again appears to be the least popular version of it, appears to be selling for between $8 and $12, with some outliers selling for $14.
Has this Affected the Set’s Bottom Line?
Even though Calix and Pia are the cards spiking currently, Nissa, Resurgent Animist remains the most expensive card in March of the Machine: The Aftermath. Boxes have, understably, seen a massive drop in price recently and are currently going for around $58. Do these price spikes mean that Aftermath is a better purchase as a sealed product? Probably not.
As has been covered in the past, Mythic Rare cards are incredibly difficult to open in this product, and a majority of the chase cards in this set are either Halo Foil cards or Mythic Rare ones. You cannot find Halo Foil cards in the base set (Collector Boosters only) and, while most of the Halo Foil cards have appeared to have spiked in price, many of them are not too expensive if you truly want them.
You’re better off just buying Singles for this MTG product. Most of the cards have a rather affordable variant considering these spikes, so if you truly want these cards for a bargain, opportunities are there.