March of the Machine

Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation forum

Posted on Feb. 21, 2023, 12:52 p.m. by Coward_Token

First Look

Update: Story is on, first chapter here

Update2: Where to Find previews

Update3: Image Gallery

Wall of text for my thoughts Show

SpammyV says... #2

Planechase is back, baby! Get your wacky dice out and stock up on Ultimate Guard oversized card sleeves and perfect fits!

Although this is the part where I admit that despite having a complete, double sleeved, partially signed (shoutouts to RK Post) Planechase set I've long forgotten how you play this "right" and for many years just put the stack of Planes in the middle of the table as a shared set. Anything that says "you" or "your" means active player only.

Embrace the randomness and laugh about the games where you go from everyone taking damage on their upkeep to destroying all creatures to making all non-Werewolf creatures not deal damage.

February 21, 2023 1:34 p.m.

Abaques says... #3

I just wished they'd held back on spoilers for another few weeks. All Will Be One just came out. I think I'm less enthused than if they'd waited another couple of weeks.

My initial thoughts on the theme are that it seems like someone in marketing came up with the idea to mash legendary characters together and that's the theme. It's hard to make a firm judgement until the rest of the set (and the story) is revealed though.

February 21, 2023 3:54 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #4

Abaques: Yeah this + EDH Masters + UB:LotR gives a bit of a "new SL alert" feeling

February 21, 2023 4:26 p.m.

Abaques says... #5

Coward_Token Even though I'm primarily an EDH player I don't know why we needed a 'Commander Masters' set. Hasn't that been every set for the past 2 or 3 years?

February 21, 2023 5:01 p.m.

Delphen7 says... #6

Cragganwick Cremator dumping Yargle and Multani seems like a fun jank way to close out games. Yargle is also legendary, so Goryo's Vengeance can grab him back for some massive surprise damage ^_^

Throw in Thud and Fling for the ultimate frogapult package.

February 21, 2023 6:20 p.m.

KBK7101 says... #7

Just from the few cards we got, I'm incredibly excited. Definitely feels like a climactic finale.

Wonder who else will get completed and will we see Amonkhet?! (I know it's on a new printing of Blossoming Sands at least!)

Absolutely building Goro Goro/Satoru. Probably building Multani/Yargle because that card just makes me happy. Lol

February 21, 2023 8:28 p.m.

Metroid_Hybrid says... #8

I'm probably going to turn my Yargle, Glutton of Urborg deck into a Yargle and Multani deck..

February 21, 2023 8:57 p.m.

StopShot says... #9

Art of Urabrask for March of the Machines:

Is it me or does he look different from his older cards? I wonder if he lost his rebellion and the phyrexian praetors repurposed him to suit their planar invasion. I don't think it would suit Urabrask to raid other planes when he was deadset on his rebellion in New Phyrexia. Thoughts?

February 21, 2023 11:18 p.m.

KBK7101 says... #10

Might be nothing, but Urabrask's art has him facing the same direction as Jin-Gitaxias  Flip. Does this mean that he sides with Phyrexia after all? My thought process is that all of the Phyrexian legends would be facing one way and the Gatewatch/multiverse legends would be facing against them, art wise.

Also, I know they're not popular at all, but I love all the new art for the tapped gainlands. Wind-Scarred Crag is a direct reference/compleation to Clifftop Retreat.

February 22, 2023 10:46 a.m.

shadow63 says... #11

Abaques your probably think horizons. Masters sets are all reprints

February 22, 2023 8:54 p.m.

Abaques says... #12

shadow63 I wasn't being super serious, but I'd also argue that both of the last two Double Master's sets were very much aimed at Commander as opposed to anything else. I'm not actually against a master's set that has a bunch of good re-prints for Commander. I do think that the number of new cards aimed at Commander needs to dial it back some though.

February 23, 2023 10:58 a.m.

Coward_Token says... #13

Minor wall of text for Katilda and Lier Show

February 23, 2023 6:23 p.m.

So far the most exciting thing for me is that we are getting Planechase reprints. Those are surprising hard to find these days.

Faerie Mastermind looks like a new blue powerhouse. I will definitely need to pick one up for my Ertai Resurrected deck.

The team-ups are kind of cute. That Yargle-Multani flavor text though.

February 25, 2023 12:54 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #15

Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor, I definitely plan to put a faerie mastermind in my Nekusar, the Mindrazer deck (which also includes a copy of Ertai Resurrected, incidentally).

February 26, 2023 8:36 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #16

An officially released card is called "The Kenriths' Royal Funeral" and shows two people, a man and a woman, dressed in white and gold, laid out for a funeral.

My understanding is that Kenrith, the Returned King is the twins' father, and that their mother has already passed.

I wonder if this means we can expect to see Will and Rowen die in the story :(

March 2, 2023 7:24 p.m. Edited.

Coward_Token says... #17

Seems like Quintorius is being made into a PW card, probably because there was a demand for less humans among them. Wonder how much they'll differentiatie him from Daretti, Scrap Savant, aside from not being artifact-focused?

March 22, 2023 12:16 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #18

Oh and maybe it was obvious but turns out Heliod, the Radiant Dawn  Flip is part of a cycle of ally-colored transformers, joined by at least Etali () and Ayara (). Any takers for blue and green? Probably safe to say that it'll be still-living characters who have had a mono-colored legendary creature card and are from a plane that's been in Standard-legal set. (I'm hoping for Fblthp, and that he'll be the new main villin in ten years.)

New Elspeth is... not all that exciting, despite afaik being the only in-story preview? And yes, turns out she does have (a fake) Godsend, somehow. Oh and Serra is kind of still around?

Ranke feels like he was written as more red than black ("You can't tell me what to do!"). And Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, by contrast, seemed more white than red in how serious and responsible he was acting.

March 23, 2023 6:02 p.m.

Coward_Token - Fblthp as the big bad would be hilarious. Alas, it's almost certain we are going to see a Fblthp - Borborygmos team up according to Rosewater's teaser.

March 23, 2023 10:06 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #20

Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor: Good call, wasn't aware that it was up.

Link for reference

Predictions/takes Show

March 24, 2023 7:09 p.m.

Well we now know what Battles are, or at least one type of Battle. Honestly, I think they are a pretty solid design.

March 28, 2023 2:25 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #22

So the story's over. The use of a Keystone Army wasn't all that foreshadowed, although I'll concede that Elesh Norn's characterisation as a self-centered hypocrite was emphasized early on. Also, angel_lobotomy!Elspeth feels a lot more boring, I want my angst back.

Battle's are apparently worthy having a thread of their own, so head over there if you want to talk about them:

Card-by-card wall of text Show

March 29, 2023 5:53 p.m.

KBK7101 says... #23

I like a lot of the spoilers I see, it's just that there's so many of them today that I feel kinda overwhelmed. Love the use of the plane-centric borders, though.

March 29, 2023 6:06 p.m.

Huh, so it looks like Battles can be dealt direct damage from spells and abilities. I think that makes them quite a bit stronger. I definitely want The Invasion of Tarkir for dragon tribal. A lot of the battles look quite powerful with little downside.

Referee Squad is a fun callback to the Battlebond plane.

Elesh Norn looks verrrry powerful, but what else is new.

Etali is my current pick for the legend I want to build a deck around out of this set. Gruul blink could be a fun strategy and the fact that Etali becomes Blightsteel Colossus later on is gravy.

Most of the face commanders of the precons look pretty interesting as well.

Orthion is cool but unfortunately Rionya, Jaxis, and Delina all already exist and do the same thing but better.

The rest of the set looks interesting so far, but they released too much today to really cover it all.

March 29, 2023 10:38 p.m.

SpammyV says... #25

Imoti, in the Amonkhet Invocation style

Look at this terrible fake Amonkhet Invocation they're trying to pass off in the Legends slot. It's a readable card! This is terrible and a complete betrayal of the ethos of Amonkhet invocations, which is that the card text should be as unclear as any type of language as possible.

March 30, 2023 5:21 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #26

Baral and Kari Zev: Fun reference to the "Expertise" spells. Go go Blasphemous Act!

Tribute to the World Tree: Works with (big) tokens!

March 30, 2023 5:40 p.m.

KBK7101 says... #27

As someone who actually does adore the Invocations, seeing one with plain text makes the card look horrible. So disappointed. (Actually serious)

March 30, 2023 6:01 p.m.

legendofa says... #28

For my own benefit and reference, the set-centered planes not known to be involved are Rabiah, Mercadia, Lorwyn, Alara (thank you!), Innistrad, and Shandalar (from Core Sets).

March 30, 2023 6:51 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #30

Oh, you meant Multiverse Legends ._.

March 31, 2023 12:54 a.m.

legendofa says... #31

Coward_Token Well, I was going for any sort of involvement. I just hadn't seen that Alara art yet. This is disappointing for me, because it means that the only story we have about each of the shards suddenly being faced with one another is them immediately being faced with something else. The plane I'm most interested to learn more about, the one I think is most unique and I'm most anticipating a return to, is just another part of the Phyrexia story now. I'm worried that the story of Alara will become its recovery from the Phyrexian invasion, and not a story of how it develops a new identity after the Conflux.

Basically, a story about the reformation of Alara has lots of potential, and now I'm afraid all the potential will be wasted in a "We joined forces against Phyrexia!" feel-good story that doesn't resolve anything. Or, even worse, that it gets destroyed and its existence as the most original plane (in my opinion) will be forever meaningless.

March 31, 2023 3:40 a.m.

Coward_Token says... #32

Sorry if it's pouring salt in the wounds, but of the planes you mentioned, only Rabiah hasn't been features, because reasons.

March 31, 2023 11:23 a.m.

legendofa says... #33

Nah, the other planes can be invaded, although I'm curious to see what happens in Lorwyn. So it really does affect every set-centric plane.

My next list is the unvisited Planechase planes (not including whatever new material I haven't seen): Kephalai, Kolbahan, Equilor, Luvion, Belenon, Muraganda, Moag, Fabacin, Pyrulea, Valla (if it's not too similar to Kaldheim, which it's apparently a broken-off chunk of), Mongseng (not going to return, completely replaced by Tarkir), Azgol, Arkhos (thematically replaced by Theros), Karsus, Regatha, Naar Isle, Bolas's Meditation Realm (oh no), Serra's Realm (seen in bits and pieces), Xerex, Kinshala, Iquatana, Segovia, Kyneth, Vryn (briefly seen in Magic Origins), Ergamon, and Ir.

I'd like to see Belenon avoid the conflict. Between Windriddle Palaces and Edge of Malacol, it's not going to be a one-note Earth-adjacent plane. Equilor also has two cards, with Bloodhill Bastion and The Eon Fog, but that one looks less diverse and interesting. I'm willing to be proven wrong, since it shows up in one of the novels, but it's basically described as old and forgotten, where Urza's arrival was the only thing to happen in hundreds of thousands of years.

March 31, 2023 12:34 p.m.

legendofa says... #34

Sorry, Wildfire should be Wildfire.

March 31, 2023 1 p.m.

legendofa says... #35

Oh, and the Plane of Mountains and Seas and whichever not-quite-literal-Earth Portal Three Kingdoms comes from.

March 31, 2023 1:11 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #36

From this article, seemingly every plane is being invaded. I personally doubt any plane that's been featured in Planechase or a set of its own will be destroyed, would be a waste on WotC's part.

Feels kinda off that this is the first set to feature proper Phyrexian tribal abilities, when the tribe is unlikely to get any more support for a good while.

More card comments:

See Double: idk why this in particular gets the anti-copying treatment, when othersimilar spells in the set doesn't

Sheoldred: The ETB nicely synergizes with the fact that she flickers when her Saga transforms back. Pair it with e.g. Bitter Reunion or Crashing Drawbridge while you got a bunch of creatures and your opponent(s) lost a blocker.

Dusk Legion Duelist: ye newe white card draw attempt. Any easy ways of putting counters on it each turn?

Surge of Salvation feels like a personal attack on me for wanting white Heroic Intervention

March 31, 2023 6 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #37

Gimbal, Gremlin Prodigy: gogo March of Progress. (I feel he's kind of underwhelming at 5 mana but w/e.)

March 31, 2023 6:13 p.m.

legendofa says... #38

Coward_Token I'm just kind of annoyed that at this point, there's literally no plane telling its own story, and I'm worried that even if the Phyrexians are stopped once and for all, the next few years will be about planes rebuilding. MOM Aftermath will focus on that, but either the planes move on quickly with no lasting aftereffects, or the Phyrexians continue to be the center of attention even though they're all dead.

There might be a way to resolve this gracefully and organically, but I'm expecting another "Good guys win with no major casualties, ten minutes of celebration, ten minutes of mourning for their (anonymous) fallen comrades, and then everything goes on like nothing happened." The Eldrazi and Bolas arc endings followed that pattern, and even with a bunch of planeswalkers getting compleated, none of the good giys have actually been killed yet (as far as I know), an it looks a lot like at least Ajani's going to be un-Phyrexianized.

March 31, 2023 7:40 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #39

meh, I actually thought they were too bold in how many legendary creatures (+ Boseiju and Kaldheim's World Tree) that were killed; means they're unlikely to get new cards and that a lot of cycles made up of legendary creatures (like the Elder Dinosaurs) can't be repeated in a new form. But yes, the Gatewatch seemed to have all gotten out okay for the purpose of new cards (yes, including Jace), but some of their allies like Nahiri were permanently taken out. I'm guessing the next arc will either be about interplanar conflicts from portals still working and/or the Eldrazi coming back. (Dark horse candidate: Marit Lage.)

March 31, 2023 7:59 p.m.

legendofa says... #40

Marit Lage would be fun. Do some portals connect planes to other planes and not to New Phyrexia?

April 1, 2023 12:47 a.m.

Coward_Token says... #41

In one of the stories, angels from New Capena flew trough a bunch of planes to help, e.g. Theros (Surge of Salvation), so it seems like it. New Phyrexia being phased out can probably also be used as a plot device.

Apparently, Marit Lage was featured a lot in the comic continuity, so I guess that makes things even more unlikely.

April 1, 2023 5:45 a.m.

Coward_Token says... #42

Beamtown Beatstick: A sidegrade of Prying Blade (costing instead of ), this humble common is AFAIK the cheapest menace-giving Equipment so far (with the exception of Eater of Virtue, but that requires some setup). More generally, its saboteur ability is pretty much universally useful to trigger and obviously synergizes with menace.

April 2, 2023 8:36 a.m.

The fact that Ancient Imperiosaur can be a free 20/20 is kind of hilarious to me. Pairing it with something like Xenagos, God of Revels or Zopandrel, Hunger Dominus to one shot a player for 40 life seems like a fun achievement to attempt.

City on Fire looks like a strictly better Fiery Emancipation in most decks.

Sheoldred is a house. Not sure if she is better than Rise of the Dark Realms but she is a supercharged The Eldest Reborn which does see a fair amount of commander play.

Into the Fire looks a like a new red staple and Pile On looks like a new black staple.

I know that they probably no longer have the license for it, but the fact the Kogla and Yidaro didn't get Godzilla alternate art of King Kong and Godzilla is criminal in my opinion.

I do find it a little odd that the pre-con commanders clash with the main set somewhat. Like some of the interesting convoke cards and phyrexians/incubate cards can't be played in their respective pre-cons. It's not a huge deal, but not being able to play Pile On and Hoarding Broodlord in the Jeskai convoke deck or Glissa, Herald of Predation in the Orzhov Phyrexian/Incubate deck bothers me a little.

April 2, 2023 12:06 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #44

On the subject of Kasla's color identity: maybe it would have been too cookie-cutter, but I think it's a shame that she can't play any of green's token-making convoke cards or Fallaji Wayfarer

April 2, 2023 4:47 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #45

Nahiri's ???craft: While the synergy with battles is fun, it's a bit off that it's found on a phyrexian card

Invasion of Gobakhan // Lightshield Array: Flip is pretty good go-wide reward in EDH, don't really see the synergy with the front tho. Also, accidental reference?

Rona: Triggers off your own stuff. Gogo Pestilence!

April 3, 2023 11:49 a.m.

Big fan of the new iteration of Urabrask. He seems quite powerful.

I really like Rona's design though I think the art of Rona, Tolarian Obliterator (Rona's backside) seems a little too on the nose. She is literally half humanoid/half Phyrexian an Obliterator centaur.

April 3, 2023 11 p.m.

Delphen7 says... #47

Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor Why is Urabrask powerful?

It seems like he requires a very specific shell before he even starts to function, likely does nothing the turn to cast him, and dies to basically all removal spells (The same argument was made for Sheoldred, but his passive is absurd in any deck that chose to run him. Urabrask' not).

Then his back is contingent on you casting cheapish spells for minimal damage, and flipping him puts a target on your back for a meh effect. Yes, you can cast spells from any graveyard, but in most formats your opponent won't really have spells you'd ideally want -- maybe a few interactive ones or cantrips, which yours is already stocked with.

Maybe I'm just not seeing it ¯_(ツ)_/¯

April 3, 2023 11:59 p.m.

wallisface says... #48

Delphen7 if you’ve ever been beaten down turn-3 by a tuned Runaway Steam-Kin deck, that will explain the power going on with Urabrask. It’s not as aggro as the Steam-Kin, but potentially fits a much more dangerous role in a midrange deck suited to run it.

I’m confident it’ll be abused in some way across multiple formats. It’s hard to gauge if it’ll ever be a relevant meta-card in any eternal format, but it feels close-enough to be worth trialling.

I don’t think anyone playing the card wants to be doing anything with the back-side of it (the game shouldn’t go that long) - it’s just some extra “nice to have”, but i’d just be evaluating it off that front side personally

April 4, 2023 12:27 a.m. Edited.

Delphen7 - I am mostly evaluating it from a commander standpoint. The front side is a combination Birgi, God of Storytelling  Flip and Electrostatic Field which on it's own is pretty darn powerful and a common wincon combination in EDH. His backside really shines in steps 2 and 3 as combined, they let you accumulate mana to set up large Past in Flames type turn (another common EDH wincon). Don't forget that once the last part triggers, Urabrask immediately flips back over so any instant/sorcery potentially cast from graveyards continue to trigger Urabrask's frontside. The mana color limitation makes the "all" graveyards clause a little less explosive, but the type of deck helmed by Urabrask, or with him in the 99 will likely have enough fuel in it's own graveyard to go off.

He isn't generically powerful like some of the other praetors, but in the right shell, he is very strong.

April 4, 2023 1:36 a.m.

wallisface - Thinking about it more, I think your analysis is why Urabrask might be one of, if not the strongest of the new praetors. All of the other praetors have a rather benign front side. They become game ending cards once flipped. Urabrask, has that power to take over a game stapled onto his front side already, so flipping him isn't a necessity like with the others. What's more is that he is also one of the easiest to flip so getting to his busted backside will likely happen.

April 4, 2023 11:44 a.m.

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