Even though Lord of the Rings stole the spotlight upon its release, March of the Machine the current newest Standard-legal set, is easily one of the most anticipated sets in recent memory. Introducing the first new card type that Magic has seen in quite some time, March of the Machine has left players wanting more, but having to wait for it.
Now that the spoiler season for March of the Machine is finally over, MTG players have more information than ever before. This is an incredibly welcome change from months of speculation and rumors that didn’t really tell players anything. Thankfully, this speculation is now all yesterday’s news, as now we have actual details and facts to enjoy. For better or worse, with so much going on, there’s a whole lot of them too! Subsequently, without any further ado, let’s dive into everything you need to know about March of the Machine!
March of the Machine Release Dates
As you will likely have come to expect, March of the Machine will follow a fairly typical MTG release schedule. This means that ahead of the set’s official paper launch, there will be Prerelease events spanning the week prior. Thanks to a recent change, March of the Machine cards will be legal in all applicable formats following Prerelease events rather than the official tabletop release date. This change came into effect following Phyrexia: All Will Be One Prerelease.
Here are all the dates that you need to know for March of the Machine.
- In-Store Prerelease Events: April 14th – April 20th
- MTG Arena & Magic Online Release Date: April 18th
- March of the Machine Global Tabletop Release Date: April 21st
- In-Store Launch Party Events: April 21st – April 23rd
Following the launch of the March of the Machine set, Wizards of the Coast is doing something a little rather unusual. Namely, a unique supplemental, but Standard legal, set is being released to further the Phyrexian Arc’s story. Named March of the Machine: The Aftermath, this set will follow the Phyrexian Arc’s devastating consequences, as the name suggests. Comprised of 50 cards, this unusual set won’t be Draftable, but it will be incredibly important for the future of the multiverse. In case you’re out of the loop, we’ve written an article including everything you need to know, and there is to know, about March of the Machine: The Aftermath.
March of the Machine Story
After much anticipation, March of the Machine’s story has finally finished. Being comprised of eighteen story episodes, rather than the usual ten, this took a little while longer than usual. Thankfully, however, it was well worth the wait, as, despite the ending, the story was absolutely fantastic, Comprised of devastating reveals, awesome fights, and oodles of lore, we certainly recommend a read if you haven’t already. Sadly, with just how much went on, we can’t really go over every minute story detail in this section. That being said, in case you don’t want to read over 100,000 words of lore, here are the broad strokes of what happened.
Kicking things off in episode 1, the Standard menace of Sheoldred would quickly meet her demise at the hands of Elesh Norn. Following this, in episode three, players were subject to the absolutely devastating death of the Compelated Planeswalker Tamiyo. For better or worse, not all the deaths in March of the Machine would be so saddening, as Lukka proved. Thankfully for Planeswalker fans, March of the Machine wasn’t just them dying over and over again. As, after disappearing at the end of Phyrexia: All Will Be One, Elspeth returned with the power of angelic might. Striking down Elesh Norn, Elspeth would then help Chandra bond Wrenn to the Phyrexian world tree: Realmbreaker. Thanks to the power of this tree, Wrenn was able to phase Zhalfir and Teferi back into reality.
Unfortunately, following these climactic events spread across several episodes, the story would wrap up very quickly. In a parody of that, here’s an even faster version. Atraxa: dead. Nahiri: dead (but not really). Vorinclex: Beheaded. Urabrask: Recycled. Jin-Gitaxias: devoured. Elesh Norn: Eradicated. Ajani: Un-compleated. Nissa: Un-compleated (barely). Melira: cured too hard and died.
March of the Machine Mechanics
Following the debut livestream for March of the Machine, we finally know exactly which MTG mechanics are included in the set. Many of these mechanics come as quite a surprise, as the community consensus was rather wide of the mark. For instance, contrary to popular expectations, Flip Walkers aren’t making their triumphant return after almost five years. While this may be a disappointment to some, thankfully, March of the Machine still has plenty of incredible mechanics to enjoy. So, without any further ado, let’s get into each of the mechanics within March of the Machine.
To start March of the Machine’s early spoiler season off with a bang, Blake Rasmussen revealed the first of many double-faced cards in the set; Jin-Gitaxias. Later followed up by Heliod, the Radiant Dawn it appears double-faced cards will be a major component of the set. So much so, in fact, each March of the Machine Set and Draft Booster will include one guaranteed double-faced card. It took a bit of time for players to realize that the double-faced card that this announcement referred to was the new Battle card type. Speaking of which…
After literal months of build-up and anticipation, at long last, Wizards of the Coast has finally officially revealed Battle cards. As a brand new card type, there’s a lot different about these new cards, however, here’s what you need to know. First things first, when you play a Battle card, you must choose an opponent to be its Protector. As the name suggests, this player is then protecting the Battle card with their blockers, should they wish to do so. Any player, other than the Protector, can attack the Battle card to deal damage to its defense counters. Alternatively, spells that specify Battles, or “any target” can also target Battle cards to deal damage. Once the card’s defense counters are depleted, the Battle card will be exiled allowing its controller/original caster to cast the back face without paying its mana cost.
Currently, while many MTG players are obviously excited to get their hands on Battle cards, their true effectiveness is unknown. Battles such as Invasion of Shandalar and Invasion of Tarkir certainly seem powerful, however, whether or not they’ll break formats remains to be seen. Also unclear is the future of Battle cards beyond March of the Machine. Since they’re a brand new card type, we hardly expect them to be a one-and-done affair. That being said, however, their current position on the Storm Scale is unknown.
Another note here is to watch out for cards that don’t allow players to cast multiple spells per turn. Phyrexian Censor, in particular, is notorious for catching players off-guard in March of the Machine Limited. In the situation where this happens, you simply will not be able to cast your Battle Spell. It will be exiled and that’s the end of it.
The Delay of Battle Cards
Just like how we, and the rest of the MTG community, were unsure about how Battle cards would be received, the same was true for Wizards of the Coast. Fast forward a few months later and Battle cards are indeed a huge hit! Sadly, because no one was sure about how these would turn out, Battle Cards will not be returning until 2025. That said, they will definitely be returning. Considering that Battles would have been a fantastic flavor win in the Lord of the Rings crossover, this is a bit of a shame. Either way, we at least have something exciting to look forward to a few years down the road.
Thankfully, as fun as they appear to be, March of the Machine isn’t only comprised of bold and bombastic new mechanics. As, alongside Battle cards, the set also includes a number of more traditional new MTG mechanics. Given the subheading just above, this might not come as a huge surprise, but one of these is called Backup.
Thankfully, unlike the unorthodox mechanics of Battle cards, Backup is a fairly straightforward MTG mechanic. When a creature with Backup comes into play, you put a +1/+1 counter on a target creature. Alongside this, that target creature also receives the “following abilities” of the original Backup creature until the end of turn. In the case of Boon-Bringer Valkrie the target creature will temporarily receive Flying, First Strike, and Lifelink. If you don’t want to share the love, you can alternatively target the Backup creature with its own ability. Doing this, however, only grants the +1/+1 counter, without doubling up the abilities.
Alongside Backup being introduced as a brand new mechanic, March of the Machine also includes Incubate. Similarly to Backup, this mechanic is mercifully straightforward, which is a welcome change from Battle cards. Templated as “Incubate N” this brand new mechanic simply creates a double-sided token with N +1/+1 tokens on it. Initially entering the battlefield as an Artifact, these Incubator tokens can be transformed into a Phyrexian Token Artifact Creature for two mana. Once transformed, the token’s power and toughness are dependent on the number of +1/+1 counters, as it’s otherwise a 0/0.
As an example, Merciless Repurposing has Incubate 3. Subsequently, upon being cast, an Incubator token will be created with 3 +1/+1 counters on it. At any point, this token may be transformed into a Phyreixan Artifact Creature that’ll have 3/3 stats. If this sounds simple, it’s because it is! We told you it would be!
Found within March of the Machine’s five Commander decks, Planechase cards are coming back to MTG after 11 years. For the set, Wizards has created 25 new Plane cards, which will be found alongside 20 reprinted Plane cards and 5 Phenomenon cards. Each Commander deck will have 10 unique Planechase cards, five of which are the new Plane cards.
In case you’re not familiar with the mechanic, Plane cards offer symmetrical bonuses and or restrictions to each player. Played from the aptly named Planar deck, players can Planeswalk by rolling the special six-sided planar die. Adorned with a Planeswalker symbol, Chaos symbol, and four blank faces, this die can be rolled any number of times per turn. While the first roll of each turn is free, subsequent rolls during the turn cost 1 more than the last. Upon the die landing on the Planeswalker symbol, players will Planewalk to a new plane. The new plane is determined by the active player revealing the top card of their Planar deck. Should the die land on the Chaos symbol, however, the “Whenever Chaos ensues” effect of the current Plane will trigger.
For Planechase fans, new or old, who want more of this action in their Commander games (this is typically a Commander add-on), the Doctor Who Commander decks are providing even more for players to try.
March of the Machine Leaks & Spoilers
In case you’ve missed them taking over social media throughout the past few days, March of the Machine’s spoiler season has been and gone! Subsequently, players have been inundated with a plethora of new spoilers to dissect, analyze, and brew with. While this is undoubtedly an incredibly exciting time for MTG fans, it’s also rather hard to keep track of everything. Thankfully, we’re here to help. While we can’t go over every single spoiler right here, we have written myriad articles about the most enticing spoilers so far. For ease of access, you can find all of our spoiler articles below!
- New MTG Two-Card Infinite Combo Could Shake Up Multiple Formats!
- Insane MTG March of the Machine Uncommon May be the Best Card in the Set!
- Infamous EDH Deck Gets Bizarre Support in March of the Machine!
- March of the Machine Brings Back a 24-Year-Old Mechanic
- The Most Disappointing MTG Villain Finally Has a Good Card!
- New Two-Card MTG Combo Can Cast Your Opponent’s Deck!?
- Only One Card In March of the Machine Will Use Poison Counters
- March of the Machine Debuts Powerful New Board Wipe
- Absurd MTG Battle Cards Break These Bizarre Budget Options!
- March of the Machine Rare Breaks Unplayable Draft Chaff!
- New March of the Machine Rares Create Two-Card Death Combo!
- 30 Officially Spoiled MTG March of the Machine Cards!
- MTG March of the Machine Precon Commanders Revealed!
- The Newest MTG Card Type Has Finally Been Revealed!
- Surprisingly Untainted New 3-Mana MTG Planeswalker Spoiled!
- MTG March of the Machine Key Planeswalker Card Spoiled!
- Top 11 Most Expensive March of the Machine EDH Reprints!
- Top 11 Most Expensive Cards in March of the Machine
- The 9 Most Expensive Cards on The List for MTG March of the Machine!
March of the Machine Booster Fun & Card Treatments
Complimenting all of March of the Machine’s spoilers, the set also features a huge number of different card treatments. Alongside the usual borderless art cards, March of the Machine’s showcase booster fun cards are absolutely wild. Playing into the set’s multiversal themes, each card’s showcase frame highlights the plane it originated from. Heliod, the Radiant Dawn, for instance, is reprised in Theros: Beyond Death’s unique astrology-inspired showcase card frame. Meanwhile, Yargle and Multani uses a completely different stained glass booster fun frame from Dominaria United. As if that wasn’t enough variety, Wizards have even created brand new Booster Fun card frames for planes that have never had them before.
Many of these new card frames can be seen throughout March of the Machine’s Bonus Sheet. Known as Multiverse Legends, this Bonus Sheet reprints classic legendary creatures from across the multiverse in a variety of styles. Given many of these cards are commander favorites, there’s certainly a good deal of value to be had. That being said, much to many players’ chagrin, not every card is immensely expensive. Nevertheless, it’s hard to complain about gorgeous reprints of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice.
For those wondering about the foil treatment above, it is dubbed a Halo Foil, and can only be found in March of the Machine Collector Booster product. Players can open a Halo Foil of any of the cards on the March of the Machine Bonus Sheet, and will typically find a couple of them per Collector Booster Box. Because they can show up on any Multiverse Legends card, they can pop up on both Uncommon and Rare slot cards.
As if it wasn’t more than enough for Wizards to be reprinting these prized Commander cards, Multiverse Legends also includes serialized cards. With 500 numbered copies of each card up for grabs, these Commander favorites are sure to be incredibly expensive. The range on what these go for is rather wide, but players can expect the cheaper end of these cards (generally the uncommons) to be worth at least $100. On the more expensive side of things, Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer with a notable number (like one) sold for over 6000 dollars.
Alongside the serialized Multiverse Legends cards, March of the Machine includes even more prized collectible cards. Namely 500 serialized copies of each Praetor card from the main set. Featuring new art as well as the double rainbow foil technique, these cards should similarly be extremely valuable.
The Serial Effect is Fading
As pointed out in a recent article analyzing some of the more premium printings available in Magic, serialized card prices seem to be boosted by hype rather significantly. This means that the real price tag attached to serialized cards is much lower than what it appears at release. This is due to values being inflated by player excitement.
There are, of course, a few exceptions to this, and the big ones for March of the Machine are the Praetors. Because the serialized variants have unique artwork, Praetor variants are still very sought-after. Otherwise, cards like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice which see heavy play in various formats also have decent price tags. The cards that have fallen off are instead serialized uncommons that see little to no play.
March of the Machine Products
Being a Premier MTG set, there are a variety of different products and ways to collect March of the Machine once it launches. These include Draft Boosters, Set Boosters, Collector Boosters, Jumpstart Boosters, Commander Decks, and the Bundle. Due to Wizards fiercely guarding details, a few products are still missing box art. Specifically, the Commander Decks and Collector Boosters are currently using placeholder art. This is because they feature characters or story moments that have not yet been made public.
Here’s a look at each of the products and a quick rundown of what they include.
- 15 Magic cards per booster
- 1–2 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every pack
- 1 Traditional Foil card in 33% of packs
- 12 Magic: The Gathering cards per booster
- 1–5 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every pack
- Traditional Foil Card and Art Card in every pack
- 15 Magic cards + 1 foil token in each booster
- 1–3 Extended-Art cards and a legion of other special treatments in every pack
- 5 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every pack
- 10–12 Traditional Foil cards in every pack
- 2 Traditional Foil Land cards in every pack
- 2 Rare cards in every pack
- Each pack has 1 of 5 possible themes, and each theme comes in 2 variants
- 100-card ready-to-play Commander Deck
- 2-card Collector Booster Sample Pack
- 10 specialty cards and 1 Foil-Etched Display Commander
- Deck includes 2 Traditional Foils + 98 non-foil cards
- 10 double-sided tokens, Life Tracker, special die, and deck box
- March 8th of the Machine Set Boosters
- 1 traditional foil alt-art promo card
- 40 basic land cards (20 foil + 20 non-foil)
- Spindown life counter + card storage box
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