Zendikar: Battles in the Field and in the Mind Art
31, Mar, 23

New MTG Box Art Reveals Shocking Planeswalker Details

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After months of anticipation, and a few early leaks, March of the Machine’s spoiler season is finally here! On top of officially revealing Battle cards at long last, MTG players now have all manner of spoilers to scrutinize. Considering how hyped players have been for March of the Machine, it’s unsurprising many are eager to do exactly that. For some players, however, the new and enticing spoilers aren’t the biggest reveal of the past few days. As, while it may have been swept under the rug by spoilers, recently, new March of the Machine: The Aftermath details were unveiled via box art, confirming the fate of several MTG Planeswalkers. 

In case you’re not caught up with March of the Machine’s story just yet, consider this your official spoiler warning. Throughout this article, we’ll be discussing the end of March of the Machine’s story, as well as where it may lead. Subsequently, if you’re still interested in reading the story now that it’s all released we recommend you do that now

March of the Machine: The Aftermath Box Art

March of the Machine The Aftermath Epilogue Boosters

Following the climactic Set Debut and Weekly MTG Livestream, Wizards published a litany of articles about all things March of the Machine. Many of these were as to be expected, with Wizards of the Coast staff dissecting new mechanics and set design details. One article, however, featured more information than players were expecting. Tacked onto the end of the “Collecting March of the Machine” article, Wizards unveiled brand new box art to admire. 

As you can see above, this MTG box art features a quartet of Planeswalkers, at least one of which probably shouldn’t be there. In case you’ve not been intently following the story, that problem Planeswalker is Nahiri. During the story episode “Zendikar: Battles in the Field and in the Mind,” Nahiri didn’t exactly have the best ending. After getting trapped within the Emeria Skyclave this floating ruin would end up falling toward Zendikar’s surface in spectacular fashion. Subsequently, it was highly expected that Nahiri died during this encounter. After all, if Atraxa can’t survive having a building dropped on her, why should Nahiri survive a similar fate?

For better or worse, despite the end of their story episode, it now appears that Nahiri is mostly completely fine. Visible with actual hands rather than swords, and barely a scratch over her body, it’s as if she was never Compleated at all. That is, for the most part, at least. As, according to a smidgen of information on the Amazon store page, it appears Nahiri may have lost her spark. 

Admittedly, the Amazon store page for March of the Machine: The Aftermath doesn’t name any names. Despite this, however, the text “join desparked Planeswalkers as they rebuild what remains of the Multiverse,” alongside the box art certainly leads players to some obvious conclusions. 

Planeswalking No Longer

March of the Machine The Aftermath Collector Booster

Currently, it’s too early to tell if the newly revealed Box Art, alongside Amazon’s set description actually has any relevance. After all, at the time of writing, only two characters have been confirmed to lose their spark. Once again, in case you’ve not been keeping up with the set’s story, these characters are Nissa and Karn. Occurring during the final episode of the story, Karn sacrificed their spark in order to un-compleat Ajani and Nissa. Unfortunately for Nissa, however, their un-compleation wasn’t a complete success, as their spark seemingly never properly returned. During the final chapter, it wasn’t explicitly confirmed Nissa had lost their spark, however, the new details for The Aftermath all but confirm that’s the case. 

Curiously, as is evident from looking at the box art, Karn, Nissa, and Nahiri aren’t the only characters on display. Accompanying them across the Epilogue and Collector boosters are images of Sarkhan Vol and Kiora. Currently, since these characters didn’t appear, at all, during March of the Machine’s story, it’s unknown what they’re doing here. Well, presumably they’re helping to “rebuild what remains of the multiverse,” but the status of their sparks is unknown. For Sarkhan there’s no indication, beyond the fact they’re on the box art, that their spark is in jeopardy. Kiora, however, is a whole different story, as in the single Collector Booster artwork, Kiora has been graffitied with what appears to be a de-spark symbol. 

Considering Planeswalkers losing their spark is a pretty big deal before spoilers stole the show, many MTG players speculated about what the box art meant. For some, the un-compleation of Nahiri was an obvious plot point, however, others weren’t so quick to speculate. Reddit user u/wescull, for instance, noted box art isn’t always accurate. 

“Don’t make any guesses strictly off of this art. See key art for MOM with all the different characters together.” 


Consequences Galore

March of the Machine The Aftermath Collector Boosters

Following the end of March of the Machine’s story, unfortunately, MTG players haven’t been entirely happy. Unlike the rest of the story, the final two episodes were remarkably rushed, souring the experience for many. Thankfully, while March of the Machine’s story may be over, The Aftermath is still yet to come. Evidently promising new reveals and a continuation of the story, hopefully, this 50-card supplemental set will help improve the Phyrexian Arc’s end. That’s the hope, at least, as currently, it’s too early to tell what will happen beyond a few desparked Planeswalkers. 

It appears MTG’s Lead Designer may have slipped up and revealed a little more than they should have. Speaking toward the end of the last Weekly MTG livestream, Mark Rosewater hyped up the set while addressing story concerns. Within this statement, Rosewater seemly revealed some incorrect information, which when corrected, revealed major story details. 

“One quick thing. One of the things I’ve been getting online right now is, now the story is ending, ‘oh, there doesn’t seem to be any consequences…’ There are giant consequences! There are a lot of consequences. Just because the Phyrexians get defeated doesn’t mean the impact of what happened doesn’t have huge impacts on Magic.” 

Mark Rosewater

At first, this statement seemed completely harmless, after all, during March of the Machine, Elesh Norn died and the Phyrexians were defeated… Right? Wrong! Quickly following up on what Rosewater said, MTG’s Principal Editor, Matt Tabak, remarked. “Woah woah woah woah! Back up… Defeated?” 

Following this correction, Rosewater quickly brought their hand to their lips and chuckled “oops, spoilers.” From this reaction, it seems like Elesh Norn’s defeat might not spell the end of the Phyrexians after all. Who knows, maybe some of the still compleated Planeswalkers will take over, ensuring Phyrexians are a threat for the future in MTG. Now that curing Planeswalkers will be more difficult, following the death of Melira, the Living Cure, this certainly seems like a possibility. 

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