March of the Machine: The Aftermath was presented to players as the answer to the incredible Lore-related scope presented in the final set of the Phyrexian Arc. March of the Machine had before a monumental task of capturing the Phyrexian’s invasion of the Multiverse, as well as the fall of the enemy. with so much ground to cover, the March of the Machine lore only had room to depict the end of the war and none of the fallout that happened on the various planes as a result. While the need for MTG’s first mini-set to reveal the Aftermath of the war isn’t totally agreed upon in the community, it has, nonetheless, added significant detail.
As the new Aftermath cards start to roll out onto MTG’s various platforms, more and more lore-related content is helping to fill in many of the blanks left by the abrupt end of March of the Machine. In one YouTube video released by prominent MTG content creator Loading Ready Run, it was revealed that one of the Praetors, the faces of the Phyrexian invasion who were thought to be dead, may be more ok than we thought.
A small note that there are a good amount of lore-related spoilers present in the article, but all of these have been spoiled through official channels. If you want to read up on March of the Machine: The Aftermath before jumping in, Wizards of the Coast’s lore on the set can be found on their website.
Vorinclex May Have Survived
The end of the March of the Machine story was one of the most controversial pieces of lore in MTG’s recent history. A fantastic buildup to a final skirmish, triggered by the reveal of the lost plane of Zhalfir’s reappearance, was, unfortunately, met with what felt like a simple knocking down of all the evil dominoes that got lined up. The three remaining Praetors that were left before the final battle all died without much ceremony.
Released today, Loading Ready Run teamed up with MTG content creator Rhystic Studies to reveal some never-before-seen MTG lore tidbits relating to March of the Machine: The Aftermath. One of the many tidbits that Sam covered related to the fates of the five Phyrexians. In his words, here is what happened to the faces of the Phyrexian invasion:
“The five Phyrexian Praetors suffered a variety of fates. Urabrask and Sheoldred were executed as traitors by Elesh Norn. Jin-Gitaxius tumbled into a vat of hungry newts that devoured him and Elesh Norn herself was defeated by Elspeth and unmade by Karn as to assure she would never threaten the Multiverse again.
Vorinclex was beheaded during the final battle with Phyrexia, but this Preator is also a horrible Fleshmage. During his travels to Kaldheim, he managed to regrow most of his body after the Planar Bridge nearly destroyed it, so his ultimate fate remains to be seen.”Rhystic Studies
Unfortunately, for fans of Urabrask, Sheoldred, Jin-Gitaxias, and Elesh Norn, it looks like they may truly be dead. However, Sam’s narrative regarding Vorinclex’s Fleshmage capabilities means that there’s a pretty good chance we will be seeing this Praetor again. Where and how that’s going to be, we do not really have any idea. Heck, we may even see Vorinclex appear as most powerful viking boat that we’ve ever seen.
The Wanderer Can Finally Stop Wandering
Also confirmed in the new information introduced by Rhystic Studies is that The Wanderer has lost her spark. The devastation to her home plane was no joke, as Tamiyo managed to Compleat Boseiju and spew oil across Tameshi before her life was ended.
Notably, The Wanderer, for a long time, was unable to control her Spark. Introduced in War of the Spark, the Wanderer’s identity, for a few years, was a complete mystery. Many thought that she, somehow, was a transformation of Emrakul after she was imprisoned in the Moon during the events of Eldritch Moon.
Her inability to control her Spark, as well as the stabilization of it before it was ultimately lost, was thanks to The Reality Chip. A prototype Reality Chip ended up causing the irregularities in The Wanderer’s Spark thanks to Tezzeret’s attempts to control the Kami Kyodai. Ultimately, during the events of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, the finished product was used to help The Wandering Emperor stabilize it.
Unlike many of the other Planeswalkers who lost their Sparks, The Wanderer is happy to have hers gone. No longer does she have to worry about Planeswalking against her will, now able to finally explore her home plane:
“Like most of the other Planeswalkers, Kamigawa’s Emperor lost her Spark, but unlike the others, The Wanderer is relishing the opportunity to remain in one place. Currently, she is traveling across Kamigawa and finally experiencing her home plane while Light-Paws remains her regent on the throne.”Rhystic Studies
Players are Sad to See Urabrask Go
A lot of players aren’t too happy to see that Vorinclex happened to be the Praetor that was foreshadowed to return. Many MTG players found the compelling characters presented in Urabrask’s rebellion of the hivemind, or Jin-Gitaxias’s excessive experimentation to be much more interesting ones to explore. Vorinclex, compared to these characters, is just… boring.
“I get their reasoning for Vorinclex, that makes sense to me, but if their thought process is that they want exactly one still lurking I’d have loved for that to be Urabrask. Or at least mentioned in Aftermath.
Feels like they couldn’t finalize what they wanted with Urabrask. The story left it kind of ambiguous, Merciless Repurposing explicitly left him alive (though was maybe just Norn mocking him?), and then it turns out he’s dead after all?”thoalmighty
“I really dislike this. I was hoping we’d get Jin and Urabrask as the survivors setting up free will vs calculated progress when we eventually checked back in on the Phyrexians. In theory this makes for a more dangerous new phyrexia since it’ll all be primal rage, but still it’s less interesting imo.”Gruuler
“Oh good one of the paetors is gonna be resur….
“Hears its vorinclex”
????wizards just refuses to let the urabrask fans get what they want.”Spiderbot1810
Urabrask indeed had a lot of unexplored potential, but, honestly, I’m personally just happy that we may see the return of a Phyrexian Praetor sometime in the future. It’s also important to note that the plane of New Phyrexia is not at all gone, just phased out.
Also, what’s going on with Jace? What happened to him after he vanished at the beginning of the events of March of the Machine? There’s been little to no mention of him at all after he disappeared, which hints that the Compleated Planeswalker may reappear soon. Whether he will be an ally or not is unknown.
Vorinclex Isn’t the End of It!
While Vorinclex’s foreshadowing was, debatably, the most relevant thing revealed in Rhystic Study’s tidbits, there’s still more to see, including further expansion on the Omenpaths. If you’re the kind of player who likes to watch some Commander gameplay, we recommend taking a look at Loading Ready Run’s most recent offering. Sam’s rhetoric expanding on the lore of the cards seeing play in the game help to introduce much of the consequences that the multiverse suffered thanks to the Phyrexians. It could also give you some new ideas for Commander decks!