Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
20, Feb, 23

March of the Machine Reprints Threaten to Ruin Formats!

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After plenty of hype and anticipation, MTG players have finally been given a first look at March of the Machine. Due to be released in mid-April, the start of the set’s spoiler season is still several weeks away. Before then, however, Wizards of the Coast has given players a tantalizing first look at the set that lies ahead. As we covered last night, during the First Look Livestream, which closed MagicCon: Philadelphia, Wizards revealed a lot of information. 

We got our first look at March of the Machine cards, Booster Fun treatments, and a quintet of Commander decks. Players were even shown one of the fifty cards from March of the Machine: the Aftermath, which launches in mid-May! Alongside all the tantalizing March of the Machine spoilers to get excited about, Wizards also revealed a brand-new bonus sheet. Filled with powerful iconic characters, this bonus sheet has a lot of players excited, however, it might be a little too good…

Multiverse Legends Bonus Sheet

Multiverse Legends
Multiverse Legends | March of the Machine

Similar to the bonus sheets in Strixhaven: School of Mages, and The Brothers’ War, Multiverse Legends is the latest and greatest bonus sheet that arrives in March of the Machine. Once again, this new Multiversal bonus sheet celebrates the themes of the main set. Subsequently, as Wizards explains, since “March of the Machine truly is a battle for the Multiverse […] opening a pack should feel like you’re catching visions of planes from all over” To this end, the Multiversal Legends bonus sheet fills packs with iconic and powerful characters from across the multiverse. As if that wasn’t enough, this bonus sheet also features a cacophony of special art treatments and card frames. 

As with past bonus sheets, the Multiverse Legends in March of the Machine will not be Standard legal. These prized reprints will, however, turn up in Draft packs where they can be played without restriction. Due to appearing in this way, these Multiversal Legends will be coming to MTG Arena, for better or worse. Considering that Arena only has around 8,000 of the 25,000 MTG cards ever released, this seems like a good thing. After all, more cards are always better, no? Unfortunately, no. Due to Arena’s diminished card list, powerful cards are more prone to completely destroying formats. Most recently, this happened with the Alchemy exclusive card Rusko, Clockmaker, who remains a menace in Historic Brawl

Considering that the Multiverse Legends bonus sheet reprints iconic and powerful cards from throughout Magic’s history, it seems it’s only a matter of time before multiple formats are warped beyond recognition. The reprint of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, for instance, has players incredibly concerned. After all, the card is an absolute powerhouse in Modern, Vintage, and Commander. It’s even so good it’s banned in Legacy! 

Overpriced and Overpowered

Atraxa, Praetors' Voice
Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice | Commander 2016

Only two cards from the, presumably 126 card, Multiverse Legends bonus sheet have been spoiled for now. Alongside Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, Wizards revealed the game’s most popular Commander, Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice, was being reprinted in the style of Streets of New Capenna. Due to the power and demand for these spoilers, many MTG players are already incredibly excited about this bonus sheet. Players on the MagicTCG subreddit, for instance, lauded this bonus sheet for its price-warping potential. Reddit user u/Exorrt, for example, highlighted how “if the mythic rate is the same as Mystical Archive, this could actually bring the price of Ragavan down a lot.” While lower prices are good news to a lot of players, not everyone was so enthused about this upcoming bonus sheet. 

Over on the MTGArena subreddit, players were understandably concerned about the impact of these two immensely powerful reprints. Reddit user u/Viktar33, for instance, highlighted the issue in their post titled “Is the F-ing monkey coming to Arena.” Following this, several players, such as u/Realistic_Ad7517, noted the damage that Ragavan could do to Arena’s Eternal-esque formats. “I really f*cking hope monkey doesn’t come to historic. Rakdos midrange is already a t1 deck this puts it well into t0.” 

Thankfully for concerned players, it appears that Wizards was already well aware of the chaos that Ragavan could cause. Addressing the situation shortly after u/Viktar33’s post was made, u/WotC_Jay quelled some of the communities concerns. Revealing the Multiverse Legends bonus sheet will be handled like past bonus sheets, WotC_Jay stated, “some [cards] may be pre-banned if needed for format balance.” While WotC_Jay didn’t preannounce Ragavan’s ban, they did confirm “‘cards to watch’ have been established.” 

“‘Cards to watch’ have been established, but we’ll make final decisions based on the Historic meta closer to release. We plan to announce final decisions here before players have access to the set on Arena.” 


All Hail Alchemy

Priest of Possibility
Priest of Possibility | Alchemy: Dominaria

Considering Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer’s strength, many players on the MTGArena subreddit were predicting a ban announcement. Reddit user u/raynegro, for instance, stated it’d be “100% pre-banned in historic, like Channel and Demonic Tutor from Mystical Archives.” While u/WotC_Jay has seemingly confirmed this will be the case, not everyone was happy with this decision. Some players, such as u/civdude, for instance, wanted to embrace the monkey and play with this immensely powerful card. Others, however, wished that Wizards would embrace Alchemy instead, rebalancing problematic cards as they originally said they would do. 

“Why would you ban cards in historic instead of just patching them,” u/Hjemmelsen asked following u/WotC_Jay’s statement. “Like, I get that the monkey might f*ck up the entire format, but then isn’t that exactly the point of Alchemy, that you can buff and nerf as needed?” Unfortunately for u/Hjemmelsen, u/WotC_Jay reappeared to confirm that Multiverse Legends cards won’t be rebalanced. “Some cards are iconic enough that we don’t feel it’s right to change them,” u/WotC_Jay explained. “It feels wrong to rebalance cards like Channel, Demonic Tutor, Brainstorm, etc. There may be room for debate, but I think Monkey has probably earned that status.” 

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