March of the Machine | Beyond Repair Art
2, May, 23

New Story Reveals MTG Already Has Its Next Villain

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After literal years of buildup, the Phyrexian Arc has finally finished. March of the Machine ended the war, and now March of the Machine: The Aftermath has ended the story. With the final chapter having just been released today, this monumental MTG story arc has now reached its conclusion. Thankfully for players, it has ended in a big way. 

Following the ending of March of the Machine’s story, many MTG players were left somewhat disappointed by what happened. Not only was the big climactic battle rather rushed, but there weren’t any consequences to be seen. Thankfully, March of the Machine: The Aftermath has fixed that surprise injustice. 

Revealing countless Planeswalkers have lost their spark, alongside the damage done to planes, The Aftermath has consequences galore. In fact, the story has so many, that it appears to be already setting up the next major villain! 

As always, since we’ll be dissecting the latest details of the story throughout this article, consider this your spoiler warning. In case you want to read, or listen to, the final March of the Machine: The Aftermath story for yourself, we recommend you do that now. 

No Arms for Nahiri

Nahiri, the Unforgiving | Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Nahiri, the Unforgiving

Unfortunately for MTG players wondering where Nissa and Chandra had ended up after stepping through a portal at the end of the last story episode, this chapter is all about Nahiri. Waking up miraculously un-Compleated, the latest story episode doesn’t exactly start off well for Nahiri. With no friends or company around, Nahiri is left fending for themselves and wallowing in self-pity. 

Not only was this story opening not great for Nahri and their mental state, but MTG players already weren’t happy. Almost immediately following the story opening being posted, criticisms started pouring in from disgruntled players. These complaints predominantly centered around one significant and problematic detail: Nahiri simply waking up completely fine. Sure, they may have had to peel chunks of metal off their body. However, they were nevertheless cured of their Compleation. 

During the end of March of the Machine’s story, this was demonstrated that un-Compleating Planeswalkers was not an easy task. Requiring Karn to sacrifice his spark and Nissa to lose hers, there were huge questions left hanging in the air. After all, what would happen to Nahiri, Jace, and Vraska, who didn’t have Karn to help heal them? The answer? Well. It just appears they wake up. 

Considering MTG players have long rallied against story moments happening off-screen, players weren’t too happy about this detail. Especially since Nahiri had literal swords for hands during much of March of the Machine. 

“W h a t. I really wanted to know how she fixes the sword arms. “She just… peels all the metal off? How? With what? What???”


Thankfully, while this detail is absolutely baffling, there was a partial explanation from Wizards. In the story, it was mentioned that was hit with a searing blast of Halo prior to blacking out. Evidently, this, along with her attachment to the Skycalve, allowed her to survive. That is the assumption, at least, as nothing is explained for certain sure.

No Love for Nahiri

March of the Machine | Beyond Repair Art

As if things weren’t already bad enough for Nahiri, things don’t exactly get better once she’d healed herself. On one hand, there was the major positive that Nahiri found her spark that she had placed within a hedron within the Skyclave. On the other hand, however, Ajani shows up. While this isn’t inherently a bad thing, it’s safe to say their meeting does not go well. 

Having retained their abilities as a Planeswalker, Ajani had been scoping out the damage done during the Phyrexian invasion. From this, he had come up with a plan, “to make amends for what we’ve done. To fix things.” Thanks to her spark and abilities as a lithomancer, Nahiri was an important part of this plan that could ultimately heal the multiverse. Nahiri, however, wasn’t so trusting that Ajani’s motives were pure. After all, while he is Magic’s pre-eminent cat dad, he was Elesh Norn’s most beloved lieutenant. 

Thanks to this detail, coupled with Nahiri being haunted by what she had done to her beloved plane, Nahiri didn’t go along with Ajani’s plans. Extensively criticizing Ajani for their Phyrexianized antics Nahiri is far from happy about being lectured, especially by Ajani. This ultimately led to Nahiri having a bit of a tantrum, trying to erect an argument-ending wall between them, and then plummeting to her almost death. 

While Nahiri would miraculously survive “through sheer luck and nothing else,” unfortunately, their troubles didn’t end there. Not only were they impaled with their spark also being destroyed, but MTG players were ruthless in their continued criticisms. This time, thankfully, players weren’t critiquing the writing, but rather the actions of Nahiri herself. While this may seem a little harsh, as u/wadprime points out, it does seem like she always makes the worst decisions.

“I quite enjoyed this one, classic Nahiri and Ajani here. Ajani tries to help and gets ignored, Nahiri misreads the situation and causes her own downfall.”


“Nahiri is the very personification of that meme of the person riding a bike and shoving a stick into the front wheel.”


“So, Nahiri ruins her own chances at getting her spark back, blames Ajani for it, then decides that all planeswalkers are to blame for all of Zendikar’s ills… Well, Nahiri will Nahiri.”


No Good for Nahiri

March of the Machine | Beyond Repair Art

As you can imagine, Nahri wasn’t best pleased about the vessel containing her spark breaking. After all, it meant that she could no longer become a Planeswalker again and properly heal Zendikar. Subsequently, it was safe to say that Nahiri was pissed.

Blaming Ajani for this injustice, Nahiri initially climbed the Skyclave one more to give him a telling-off. When she reached the top and found he was nowhere to be found, however, her anger settled on a different topic: Planeswalkers. Condemning them for the cycle of going to a new plane, wreaking havoc, then departing without thought, Nahiri felt something had to be done. In her eyes, there was only one thing that could be done.

“No more,” she breathed. “No more pain. No more suffering.” Her voice hardened with furious conviction. “Whatever it takes, I swear. No Planeswalker will set foot on Zendikar ever again.”

Nahiri – March of the Machine: The Aftermath | Beyond Repair

Setting out to rid, at least, Zendikar of Planeswalkers, it seems Wizards may be laying the groundwork for Nahiri’s villain arc. Considering her talents, even without her spark, this could make her a major threat in the future. Especially since non-Planeswalkers can now travel to different planes through Omenpaths. 

As users on Reddit were quick to point out, however, this Nahiri villain arc is hardly new ground that Wizards is breaking. Throughout Zendikar Rising, for instance, Nahiri was similarly portrayed as a well-intentioned but nonetheless deadly villain. Subsequently, to some players such as u/Exarch-of-Sechrima, this story arc is already played out. Others, however, such as u/quillypen were more than happy to see this story again. 

Even if it has been done before, this time around, Nahiri seems set out on vengeance. At the time of writing, however, it’s unclear if Nahiri will go out of her way to kill any of the few remaining Planeswalkers. From her speech, it seems she may be focused on protecting Zendikar predominantly, however, who knows if that will last.

The Aftermath of The Aftermath

The Kenriths' Royal Funeral Art
The Kenriths’ Royal Funeral Art | March of the Machine The Aftermath

While Nahiri turning evil is obviously quite the revelation, we haven’t seen all the consequences just yet. Sure, the Phyrexian Arc may be over. However, there’s still plenty more to see. After all, as Mark Rosewater recently laid out, “most planes were fundamentally altered.” From this statement, it’s clear that when we revisit planes in the future, we’ll slowly see the full extent of the Phyrexian invasion. We’ll first be seeing this during the upcoming Wilds of Eldraine set, as this plane suffered extensive casualties. 

“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 | Doing the Aftermath

Read More: MTG Might Finally Be Going Back To Lorwyn!

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