As an event set that sends off the Phyrexian Arc in style, it’s safe to say there’s a lot for MTG players to be excited about in March of the Machine. There’s plenty of gorgeous new art, incredible combo cards, and even reprints of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer to enjoy! Admittedly there’s a good deal of controversy, too, however, it’s nevertheless clear Wizards is going all out. After all, alongside these incredible details, Wizards has even amped up one of the most inconsequential parts of the set. While typically not much to write home about, for March of the Machine, even the smorgasbord of tokens is getting MTG players seriously excited! As good as these tokens are, however, even before release there are already some problems.
Old But Gold
Despite March of the Machine’s spoiler season officially ending last week, yesterday, Wizards revealed a new haul of cards for players to get excited about. Unfortunately for players after a new limited bomb, these new cards were just March of the Machine’s assortment of tokens. Found within Draft, Set, Collector Boosters, and Commander Precon decks, typically, these cards aren’t all too exciting. Within March of the Machine, however, Wizards has remarkably delighted players with an assortment of unexpected and incredibly welcome tokens.
As is to be expected, within March of the Machine, the majority of the set’s tokens aren’t anything new. This doesn’t stop them from delighting players, however. On the surface, Sliver Tokens aren’t anything new. Having been printed en masse throughout 2014 and 2015, these tokens can easily be picked up for under $1. That being said, with it being eight years since the last printing of a Sliver Token, players are nevertheless excited.
“Yo holy crap, that’s the first sliver token we’ve gotten with the old design in over 10 years!”u/mr_abomination
For better or worse, this prized Sliver Token, which appears in the Call for Backup Commander deck, doesn’t have new art. For many players, this is the opposite of a problem, however, as the art used is from the 2003 Magic Player Awards. Costing around $38 on average for a pristine example, this token is undoubtedly a fan favorite among Sliver deck players. While the new cards using this artwork likely won’t cost anywhere near as much, they’re nevertheless a welcome treat.
Alongside this returning classic, March of the Machine includes plenty of new MTG tokens worth getting excited about. The new First Mate Ragavan is one such example of this, that’s delighting players such as u/TemurTron. Additionally, several players lauded the adorable appeal of the 1/1 Kraken Token made from the Invasion of Segovia.
“I love the feet in the background of the Kraken token to emphasize that it’s a 1/1.”u/Holy_Beergut
Unfortunately, while March of the Machine’s suite of tokens has many adorable and enticing cards, not everything is perfect. For instance, the set’s new Dinosaur Token features a production mistake that may lead to unnecessary confusion. As pointed out by u/DM_Me_Dinos, this token that’s created by Ghalta and Mavren should have Trample. Instead of having this useful mechanic, however, the card is all art, something u/SirToastyToes suspects caused this slip-up.
While this production mistake is obviously a frustrating error, thankfully, it hopefully shouldn’t be too problematic outside of constructed events. After all, within Limited, you’d have to find both Ghalta and Mavren and the token in order to fall victim to this confusion-enabling mistake. For some players, however, the fact this problem isn’t more prevalent is actually part of a more pressing issue. As, according to some Reddit users, the availability of tokens needs to be significantly improved, especially around each set’s release.
Thankfully, to rectify this often frustrating issue, Reddit user u/YouandWhoseArmy proposed a rather dramatic solution. “Every Prerelease Kit should come with a ‘token pack’ that contains 2 of each token.” While this would burden players with quite the wad of 40 tokens, it nevertheless seemed like a good idea to many players. Reddit user u/DB_Coooper, for instance, concurred with the need for better distribution of tokens, especially for early Prerelease events.
“You ever been to prerelease? No one ever has the tokens to the cards they just pulled. Dice and scraps of paper as far as the eye can see.”u/DB_Coooper
Alongside the suggestion to flood Prerelease kits with all the tokens players would ever need, others lamented the wasted space in traditional packs. Reddit user u/AbsoluteIridium, for instance, commented “[Wizards] need to STOP DOING THE DOUBLE SIDED AD CARDS literally why are they a thing.”
Unfortunately for players who’d like tokens galore and the removal of ad cards altogether, Wizards hasn’t been receptive to these ideas. Previously, concerns around tokens, or the lack thereof, flared up around the release of Jumpstart 2022. Within this unique product, there were no tokens at all, much to the dismay of many players. Subsequently, some disgruntled players reached out to MTG’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, to request a much-needed fix to this injustice.
Despite proposing a token station, similar to a land station, or the removal of ad cards, unfortunately, Wizards couldn’t help. As, in responding to the requests, Rosewater stated, “I’m not sure there’s enough audience for a token station.” Alongside this disappointment, ad cards also won’t be going anywhere, as they’re a vital advertising tool for Wizards. They may seem out of play for enfranchised players, but for a new player picking up a pack, they’re hugely important.
Ultimately, for players who want to be prepared for Prerelease weekend, it might be time to break out the crayons. After all, since they’re just tokens, most players have no issue with proxies for these cards. Especially not when the alternative is a haphazardly scribbled on a piece of paper or some ambiguous dice on the battlefield. Alternatively, if you really want to go all out, you can do as u/zealousd does for maximum preparation.
“I literally show up early to prelease so I can open my preorder box and then use the tokens for my sealed decks. I WILL BE ADEQUATELY PREPARED.”u/zealousd