Since launching in 1993, it’s safe to say that MTG has been through extensive changes. The iconic card frames alone have been through numerous iterations, changing significantly in 2003 and 2014. Beyond these sweeping aesthetic changes, Magic has been inundated with new mechanics, planes, and characters throughout the game’s long lifespan. Due to recent additions, like Stickers, many players have been complaining that MTG is moving too fast for their tastes. For better or worse, more significant changes are on the horizon thanks to March of the Machine: 2023’s biggest and most ambitious MTG set.
March of the Machine
Currently scheduled to launch on April 21st, 2023, very little is currently known about March of the Machine. Keeping the set under wraps as much as possible, Wizards have been playing their cards close to their chests. Even MTG’s Lead Designer Mark Rosewater has been incredibly guarded about what the set might entail. What we do know, however, is that March of the Machine will have some huge implications for the future of MTG. Not only is it suspected that beloved Planeswalkers will die, but many MTG planes may be irreparably changed forever. Requiring its own “Aftermath” set, which “ties up some loose ends,” March of the Machine is clearly going all out.
While we know that March of the Machine: Aftermath will show us “how the multiverse of Magic has fundamentally changed,” we don’t know exactly what’s changing. As we stated previously, Wizards of the Coast is currently being incredibly coy when it comes to details. For instance, when recently asked about the set on Blogatog, Mark Rosewater didn’t give anything away. To try and glean some information about what’s coming, Tumblr user Xenonkinght recently asked, “are the MOM changes big in the sense of the story or big in the sense of gameplay.” In response, Mark Rosewater simply stated, “yes.”
Technically, this response does confirm that massive sweeping changes are coming to Magic next year. What those changes are, however, is still anyone’s guess. Since there are both impending story and gameplay changes, literally anything could be about to change. For now, there’s no telling what these changes might be. That, however, hasn’t stopped rampant speculation from consuming the MTG community.
What May the Future Hold
Despite having very little information to go off, MTG players have recently been making their best guesses at what might be about to go down. Taking to Reddit, many players shared their suggestions on what Rosewater’s comment might mean. Reddit user u/APe28Comococo, for instance, proposed that the Phyrexian Realmbeaker will be at the story’s center. “The Phyrexian World Tree is going to allow non-Planeswalkers to travel between planes again and physically link them into one huge plane essentially.” While u/APe28Comococo’s suggestion is technically just a theory, it does seem to be where the story is headed.
During The Brothers’ War’s story, Realmbreaker’s devastating potential was highlighted, with the Gatewatch deciding that subsequently it must be destroyed. This has set up the story for Phyrexia: All Will Be One, as the Jace-led team will be invading Phyrexia to do just that. Judging by March of the Machine’s marketing, it appears that, unfortunately, Jace and their fellow Planeswalkers may lose that battle. After all, March of the Machine’s Set Booster Box art seems to depict a shattered multiverse with planes crashing together.
Following up u/APe28Comococo’s suggestion, other players highlighted how, for better or worse, this might fundamentally change MTG. Reddit user u/Regelope, for instance, wondered “if this change will redefine which characters can appear as Planeswalker cards and if we will see more (or less) Planeswalker cards as a result.” Taking this suggestion one step further, u/antares127 stated, “I have a friend that theorizes that they’re gonna do away with the Planeswalker card type.” Meanwhile, other players, such as u/Billowtail, theorized a much more controversial change that Realmbeaker could facilitate. “Oh no… what if this is a way of merging Universes Beyond into the official Magic story?”
While the activation of Realmbeaker in either Phyrexia: All Will Be One or March of the Machine seems almost inevitable, it was far from the only major MTG change that was suggested. For example, Reddit user u/wildcard_gamer even suggested that “we will see a plane card type” in 2023. Supposedly, this new card type won’t be “like the ones in Planechase,”; however, they could offer similar static effects. Rather than merely being blind speculation, u/wildcard_gamer claims something big like this has been teased before. “With talk of a new card type last year and [Rosewater] mysteriously not mentioning it recently, I feel like that’s going to be the big game changer. And when better to release a plane card type than a set where we are visiting at least 9 of them (so far).”
With near-infinite possibilities of what could happen thanks to Rosewater’s vague answer, several players suggested some rather outlandish ideas. Some players even suggested that Wizards could jump the shark into Yu-Gi-Oh! ’s special deck territory. “They’re adding Synchro Summoning, it’s all downhill from here folks,” u/WarNinjaQ stated. Similarly concerned with this prospect, u/6775549814334 commented, “I hope they don’t add more annoying extra decks or ruin the basic premise of the game with some kind of anti-screw utility.”
Ultimately, while there are countless suggestions of what might happen, we won’t know what will happen until 2023. The first clues will likely be given during Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s story, which ends on January 17th, 2023. Following that, unfortunately, players may be waiting until March of the Machine’s First Look live stream. Depending on how cryptic that First Look Livestream is, players may be waiting even longer!
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