Narset, Enlightened Exile | March of the Machine: The Aftermath
9, Jun, 23

March of the Machine: The Aftermath: Release Date, Leaks, Spoilers & More

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Article at a Glance

In a twist on the usual four-set formula, during 2023, Wizards of the Coast is releasing five premiere sets. As you might have gathered from this article’s subject matter, March of the Machine: The Aftermath is the unusual 5th set. More than just being an extra set in 2023’s chockablock release calendar, March of the Machine: The Aftermath is an outright oddity. So much so that MTG’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, has even described it as “a new kind of thing.”

Now that March of the Machine has officially launched, the release of March of the Machine: The Aftermath is finally on the horizon. Releasing in just a matter of days, this set will certainly be one to remember. Not only is it MTG’s first micro set, but, as the name gives away, it’ll also reveal the consequences of the long-running Phyrexian Arc

Considering how March of the Machine’s story ended in rather a rather lackluster fashion, these consequences are an incredibly needed addition. Thankfully, now that the set has been officially revealed, we can safely say March of the Machine: The Aftermath has those in droves.  With awesome cards and climactic reveals aplenty, there’s no understating March of the Machine: The Aftermath’s importance. 

After plenty of anticipation, and a number of high-profile leaks, we finally have concrete details about March of the Machine: The Aftermath. As, over the course of just two days, Wizards has officially revealed all! Subsequently, there’s no plenty of definitive information to go over with a fine-toothed comb! So, without any further ado, let’s do just that! Here’s everything you need to know about March of the Machine: The Aftermath!

March of the Machine: The Aftermath Details

Nahiri's Resolve | March of the Machine: The Aftermath

As we already alluded to, March of the Machine: The Aftermath isn’t exactly your regular MTG premier set. While the set is Standard legal, just about everything else about the set is an oddity. For instance, rather than being comprised of roughly 280 cards, March of the Machine: The Aftermath only includes 50 cards. Because of this diminutive size, the set has colloquially become known as a “micro set.” As if that wasn’t weird enough, it’s believed the set does not include any common cards. Instead, according to the WPN website, it seems Boosters will only contain mythic, rare, and uncommon cards. While the lack of commons should help emphasize the story importance of these cards, their rarity isn’t all good news. After all, on MTG Arena rare wildcards are still a hot commodity, even after recent improvements. 

Considering March of the Machine: The Aftermath comprises 50 cards, the traditional MTG booster is unsurprisingly being revolutionized. Rather than featuring Set or Draft Booster packs, this intriguing micro set instead has “Epilogue Boosters.” In a dramatic twist to traditional MTG pack contents, these new booster packs only contain five cards.

Currently, at the time of writing, Wizards of the Coast has not yet confirmed if Aftermath or Micro sets will become a regular occurrence. Instead, MTG’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, has only stated Wizards is “going to start by seeing how this one goes.” From this statement, it appears that the future of this fledgling product lives and dies on the reception and success of March of the Machine: The Aftermath.

Since the set features so many unusual quirks, here’s a quick rundown of all the important details.

  • Standard Legal
  • Non-Draftable
  • 50 Cards total
  • 5 Cards per Epilogue Booster
  • No Commons
  • Paper and Digital Release

March of the Machine: The Aftermath Release Dates

March of the Machine Booster Box Key Art
March of the Machine Booster Box Key Art

As “a new kind of thing,” March of the Machine: The Aftermath also has a fairly non-standard release schedule. Rather than having the usual week of story content and previews which Premier sets enjoy, March of the Machine: The Aftermath is doing everything in just a few days. Thankfully, as Dominaria Remastered and Alchemy releases have proved, this release schedule should be no bad thing.

For better or worse, in spite of Wizards’ best-laid plans, a number of leaks severely disrupted this planned release schedule. Spoiling the entire set earlier than expected, Wizards did their best to stem the tide of leaks. This, however, hardly went well, as by involving the Pinkertons, Wizards landed themselves in hot water.

Despite this leaking snafu, Wizards did eventually go on to spoil March of the Machine: The Aftermath as planned in May. Launching the two story chapters on May 1st and 2nd, Wizards would later spoil the set’s 50 cards across May 2nd and 3rd. Following these spoilers, Wizards only has one thing left to do: release the set! 

So, without any more waffling, here’s the last all-important date you need to know about March of the Machine: The Aftermath!

March of the Machine: The Aftermath Release Date: May 12th, 2023

March of the Machine: The Aftermath Story

Jolrael Voice of Zhalfir
Jolrael Voice of Zhalfir | March of the Machine: The Aftermath

Arguably the most important part of the entire set, there has been a huge amount of speculation about March of the Machine: The Aftermath’s story. This only got worse following the leaks which spoiled all of the set’s cards, but none of the story. From the leaked cards, it seemed players were poised to get a monumental story about Planeswalers losing their sparks while saving the multiverse. In reality, however, the actual content of the story chapters has been somewhat of a letdown…

First things first, while not entirely unsurprising considering the set is only 50 cards in size, it has nevertheless disappointed players that March of the Machine: The Aftermath only had two story episodes. While these episodes were filled with consequences, they certainly weren’t what players were expecting. Rather than providing an extensive overview of what happened in a major flavor dump, Wizards instead focused on personal stories. 

Within the first of these episodes, Wizards kicked off with the hugely exciting revelation that countless Planeswalkers were losing their spark. Unfortunately for excited fans, however, Wizards didn’t exactly reveal how this had happened. Instead, it kind of just did. 

Following this, the story switches to focus on Nissa and Chandra, MTG’s Gruulfriends, who had plenty of trauma to share. Despite this, however, the pair nevertheless went through one of the new planer portals to find home and adventure. 

In the second chapter, Wizards put the focus on Nahiri, MTG’s angriest occasional hero. Similarly full of trauma and grief, those emotions would eventually be converted into raging anger following a heated discussion with Ajani. Thanks to making the worst decisions possible, this chapter would end with Nahiri losing her spark and being full of protective vengeance.

March of the Machine: The Aftermath Consequences

Sigarda, Font of Blessings | March of the Machine: The Aftermath
Sigarda, Font of Blessings | March of the Machine: The Aftermath

While these stories were certainly entertaining reads, they didn’t exactly explain what was going on in Magic’s future. Considering that March of the Machine: The Aftermath was meant to change Magic forever, this was understandable quite the letdown. Thankfully, however, while the story episodes might have been lacking, Wizards of the Coast didn’t completely drop the ball in this department. This is thanks to Mark Rosewater coming to the rescue! 

Releasing an article entitled “Doing The the Aftermath,” Rosewater cleanly laid out exactly what had changed, much to players’ delight. Within their article, Rosewater revealed a huge number of details, so, to cover them all in a nice digestible format, we’ll be doing it as expediently as possible!

Loads of Characters Died

As you might expect from a war against one of the deadliest enemies Magic has ever seen, quite a few people died during the Phyrexian Arc. This includes Planeswalkers such as Jaya Ballard, Tibalt, and Tamiyo. Alongside these climactic deaths, plenty of legendary creatures and citizens from planes perished. 

While they didn’t always get screen time, much to some players’ chagrin, some deaths did at least get cards. This is true for Algenus and Linden Kenrith, at least, who can be seen dead on The Kenrith’s Royal Funeral.

Most Characters Have Changed

As seen throughout the pair of story chapters, the Phyrexian invasion of the multiverse was rough on a lot of characters. Countless saw their planes being destroyed, friends dying, and citizens slaughtered. While I can’t say I’ve been through that myself, it certainly seems like it’s a lot to go through. Subsequently, when we see characters in the future, they may be acting a little bit different compared to their usual selves. 

Most Planes Have Been Affected

Briefly mentioned above, the Phyrexians did a whole lot of damage to planes during their invasion of the multiverse. Segovia, for instance, was stepped on, and parts of Ravnica such as the Undercity were unearthed. Ultimately, so much has happened that, according to Mark Rosewater, this will be a defining moment in every plane’s history. So much so, that it’ll be plainly visible whenever Magic revisits a new or old plane going forward. 

“There’s now a ‘before the war’ and ‘after the war.’ How it impacted each plane will vary, but its impact will have huge ramifications on many of the planes.” – Mark Rosewater

Zhalfir Is Now a Plane (Finally)

While it is safe to say that the Phyrexian invasion has plenty of consequences, it wasn’t all bad news. Thanks to Wrenn and Realmbreaker Zhalfir is finally back in reality as a plane of its own! Previously locked away by Teferi, this plane has been steeped in mystery for the longest time. Now, however, it’s a place that MTG players can finally visit, and many players can’t wait to do just that!

New Phyrexia Is in Limbo

Just as Zhalfir has become a reality, New Phyrexia has been locked away in Limbo. This should mean that MTG players don’t have to deal with Phyrexians for quite some time! Keep in mind, however, that just because they’re locked away now, doesn’t mean they’ll be trapped there forever. After all, as Mark Rosewater recently explained on Blogatog, “None of them are currently free, but I wouldn’t say any of them are permanently gone.” 

There Are Now Omenpaths

Arguably the biggest change as a result of the Phyrexian Arc, there are now Omenpaths! Similarly to planar portals before them, Omenpaths will allow characters to travel the multiverse, even if they don’t have a spark! According to Rosewater, these Omenpaths aren’t a sure thing, however, with size, stability, and location varying quite often. Subsequently, while characters can travel from plane to plane now, don’t expect everyone to immediately move out of Innistrad and leave it a barren wasteland!

Planeswalkers Lost Their Sparks

While not everyone has been affected, multiple iconic planeswalkers have lost their spark following the end of the Phyrexian Arc. Currently, 11 characters are known to have lost their spark for one reason or another. These are as follows: Calix, Karn, Kiora, Nahiri, Narset, Nissa Revane, Ob Nixilis, Samut, Sarkhan Vol, Teferi, and Tyvar Kell. 

According to Mark Rosewater, there are going to be a lot more Planeswalkers, or rather now former Planeswalkers, who lost their spark. For the time being, however, Wizards isn’t going to provide an exhaustive list of who lost their spark. Instead, Rosewater states “It’s information we’re going to be releasing over time.” Subsequently, players will just have to wait and see what happens.

At the moment, three characters are confirmed to have retained their spark. Ajani Goldmane, Chandra Nalaar, and Quintorius Kand. 

March of the Machine: The Aftermath Leaks and Spoilers

The Kenriths' Royal Funeral Art

While the leaks may have ruined Wizards’ plans somewhat, finally, every card from March of the Machine: The Aftermath has been spoiled. Subsequently, there are a whole lot of new and exciting cards to cover, as a lot of them are seriously strong! Since there are almost 50 brand new cards to cover, however, we don’t really have time to talk about each of them there. Thankfully, however, we’ve already written about a large number of the cars in their own individual articles, which you can read below.

While we can’t go into all of the cards here, we can at least discuss some of March of the Machine: The Aftermath’s themes. The most prominent of which is the litany of powerful former Planeswalkers that offer compelling tribal support. As we highlighted in our article, one of the most enticing cards is Nissa, Resurgent Animist. Easily slotting into Modern elemental decks, this card appears to be a serious force to be reckoned with. 

As if that wasn’t enough both Kiora, Sovereign of the Deep and Sarkhan, Soul Aflame both offer awesome tribal support. Compelling options for sea monster and dragon tribal decks respectively, these cards should thoroughly delight Commander players. 

March of the Machine: The Aftermath Products

Thankfully, after a good deal of waiting, Wizards has revealed March of the Machine: The Aftermath’s box art. Alongside spoiling that Planeswalkers were getting desparked, this allowed MTG players to get all the more excited but imagining these products in their hands. To help you do just that, here’s a quick rundown of all the March of the Machine: The Aftermath products, alongside some spiel from Wizards.

Epilogue Boosters

March of the Machine The Aftermath Epilogue Boosters
  • Get a lore-packed Epilogue Booster to witness the conclusion of the March of the Machine storyline
  • 5 Magic: The Gathering cards per booster
  • 1–3 cards of rarity Rare or higher and 2–4 Uncommon MTG cards in every pack
  • Guaranteed foil and Showcase card in every pack

Collector Boosters

March of the Machine The Aftermath Collector Boosters
  • 6 Magic: The Gathering cards + 1 foil token per booster
  • 4 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every pack
  • 5–6 foil cards in every pack


March of the Machine The Aftermath Bundle
  • 8 Epilogue Boosters
  • 1 traditional foil alt-art promo card
  • 40 basic land cards (20 foil + 20 nonfoil)
  • Spindown life counter + special card storage box

Read More: The Most Collectible MTG Card Has Yet Another Valuable Variant!

Best Cards

After March of the Machine had gone and left its mark on various MTG formats, there were a few standout cards that seem to be better than the rest. Here are some of the best cards you can find in your March of the Machine products!

Nissa, Resurgent Animist is, by far, the best thing you can find in the March of the Machine: The Aftermath boosters. Seeing play in Modern, Pioneer, Commander and more, Nissa is both mana ramp and a nonstop card advantage resource waiting for you to try (as long as you’re using Elves and Elementals).

Chandra, Hope’s Beacon has exploded in popularity in multiple formats. Its one of the best Planeswalkers in Commander, sees play in multiple Pioneer decks and sees play in Standard as well as a little Modern play.

The card is capable of doing everything. Not only can Chandra copy the first instant or sorcery you cast each turn, but you can also use her for ramp, removal and card advantage.

Of all the new MTG Battle cards introduced in March of the Machine, Invasion of Gobakhan is, by far, the best. For two mana, Invasion of Gobakhan does its best Elite Spellbinder impression, delaying your opponent’s critical card. Additionally, should you flip the Invasion, which is not difficult to do, it turns into an enchantment that grows your attacking creatures while temporarily giving them Indestructible and Hexproof. This makes Invasion of Gobakhan an all-star for aggressive decks.

Read More: MTG Best Commander Decks for Casual Play (June 2023)

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