Since yesterday’s unexpected start to the March of the Machine spoiler season, cards have just kept getting spoiled early. There is a LOT to talk about! There are a bunch of new mechanics releasing, including a new card type. Here we are going to cover some of the new Commanders that were unexpectedly spoiled by an early article from Forbes, which appears to have been taken down since. These cards include the return of the overpowered Commander mechanic, hinted at by Gavin Verhey earlier this week. Even though players were worried that this ridiculous mechanic was returning, this doesn’t look to be too powerful. Let’s take a look at all of the revealed March of the Machine Precon Commander cards!
Eminence Done Right?
After Eminence was announced to return in March of the Machine by Gavin Verhey, many MTG players waited with bated breath to see if the card would break the format once again. Fortunately, while this card looks good, it doesn’t look overpowered by any means. Sidar Jabari of Zhalfir is ta four mana Commander of the Calvary Charge preconstructed Esper Knights deck. Eminence is still a strong ability, but it only provides a single loot whenever you manage to attack with one or more Knights. While this can trigger every turn starting as early as turn one, a single loot per turn isn’t incredibly backbreaking. At most, this gives the clunky Knights strategy a bit more consistency, which isn’t a bad thing.
That said, Sidar Jabari’s looting ability becomes much more powerful when combined with its triggered ability. When Sidar Jabari successfully deals combat damage, this card can resurrect a Knight. Since you can discard reanimation targets to your Eminence ability, this gives the deck an interesting angle that makes a lackluster, but relatively consistent, ability much more powerful. Sidar Jabari also has First Strike and Flying, making it difficult to block.
Fortunately, unlike past Eminence Commanders, Sidar Jabari’s Eminence ability doesn’t appear to do too much if you can keep the Commander off the board. You can, of course, build around Sidar Jabari’s Eminence ability and include non-Knight Reanimator packages to spice things up a bit.
Bright-Palm, Soul Awakener is a four-mana Commander available in the Call for Backup Naya Commander deck. This card introduces one of the new mechanics coming out as a part of March of the Machine. While we will have a more detailed explanation that you can find here (when it’s released), Backup, according to this spoiler, grants a target creature a +1/+1 counter and a temporary ability from the creature that has Backup when that creature enters the battlefield. When Bright-Palm, enters the battlefield, for example, the creature that Bright-Palm targets would get a +1/+1 counter and its ability until the end of the turn. Notably, Bright-Palm can give itself a counter with Backup but cannot provide itself another temporary copy of its ability.
According to Gavin Verhey, Call For Backup is a +1/+1 counter themed deck, and Bright-Palm’s ability seems to support that. The Backup ability doubles +1/+1 counters on a target creature, which means the creature with the activated ability doesn’t necessarily need to target itself. That said, there may be an extra incentive in the deck when successfully dealing combat damage since Bright-Palm’s ability comes built-in with some evasion.
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Brimaz has Fallen
Of the new Commander preconstructed decks was an Orzhov list that focused on the Phyrexian creature type. Unfortunately for all the cat lovers out there, it appears that one of the Commander to the Growing Threat deck is a Compleated version of Brimaz.
Brimaz, Blight of Oreskos showcases another new mechanic making its way to MTG in March of the Machine. Incubate creates tokens that are similar to a Clue or a Food token in the sense that they are artifact tokens that require two mana for a payoff. In this case, however, you get a creature. For two mana, Incubate transforms into a 0/0 Phyrexian artifact creature token. The numerical value in the Incubate ability relates to the amount of +1/+1 counters are placed on the token (before it transforms). These will stay on the creature after it transforms.
In the case of Brimaz, Incubate X triggers whenever you cast a Phyrexian creature or artifact spell. X, which indicates how many +1/+1 counters are placed on the Incubator token, is equal to the mana value of the spell that triggers Brimaz’s ability. This means that a four-mana spell that fits the requirements when cast while Brimaz is in play, will create an Incubator token with four +1/+1 counters on it.
Brimaz also seems to have a bit of an Aristocrat strategy alongside, as it Proliferates at each end step if a Phyrexian under your control dies. This could lead to an increase in interest around the Drivnod, Carnage Dominus from Phyrexia: All Will Be One.
Kasla, the Broken Halo is one of the Commanders in the Convoke-themed Divine Convocation Jeskai preconstructed Commander deck, and this Convoke payoff looks sweet! Kasla hits fast and hard, allowing for a Voltron strategy if players are interested in it. While six mana is a lot for a Commander, Kasla does have Convoke. This means that should you have enough creatures, you can pay for Kasla without tapping any mana.
To reiterate, Convoke allows you to use creatures as mana to cast a Convoke spell. To do this, you must tap the creature. That creature taps for either generic mana or a mana in its color identity. This means you can use Jeskai-colored creatures to pay for Kasla’s colored mana.
Whenever you cast a Convoke spell other than Kasla, while it’s in play, you get to Scry Two and draw a card. This allows for some ridiculously consistent card advantage that could easily chain several Convoke spells together. This card is going to impact the secondary market in a big way.
Kasla, the Broken Hero, goes absolutely nuts alongside a card that can untap your creatures. While many of the existing Convoke cards are creatures, not all of them are, creating a unique opportunity for the constructed combo card Jeskai Ascendancy. When combined with Kasla, Jeskai Ascendancy can create an incredible amount of advantage since your creatures can be used as mana. Ascendancy can also pump your creatures, making it a win condition as well as an advantage engine. This, alongside other untapping abilities, is the thing I am the most interested in exploring with Kasla, the Broken Halo.
More Artifact Synergies
Gimbal, Gremlin Prodigy provides yet another artifact synergy to Commander players interested in exploring it. This Temur Commander available in the Tinker Time Commander deck is interested in the amount of differently named artifact tokens you control. You get to create a 0/0 red Gremlin artifact creature token with +1/+1 counters on it equal to the number of differently named artifact tokens that you do control.
While there are a lot of cards with similar artifact payoffs that create big tokens at the end step (namely Urza, Chief Artificer from The Brothers’ War), this does put a neat twist on a similar ability. This one seems like a challenge for players who want to do something different since Temur is also an interesting color combination for artifact synergy.