March of the Machine Teaser Reveals Transforming Tokens?

ChrisCee April 7, 2023 5 min
March of the Machine Teaser Reveals Transforming Tokens?

Mark Rosewater released a Blogatog post that finally showed his March of the Machine teaser. Once again, we are given a list of tantalizing names and descriptions for cards that are anticipated in the set, including a few poster cards mechanics/effects that seem to be just a taste of what to regularly expect in the near future.

(UPDATE March 29, 2023: Incubate tokens, Transcendent Message, Backup mechanic, Grandmother Ravi Sengir, Etali, Primal Sickness, Wrenn and Realmbreaker, Sword of Once and Future, Borborygmos and Fblthp)
(UPDATE March 30, 2023: Glissa, Herald of Predation, Norn's Inquisitor, Essence of Orthodoxy, Invasion of Moag, Invasion of Fiora, Errant and Giada, Scrappy Bruiser, Grafted Butcher, Chrome Host Seedshark, Marchesa, Resolute Monarch)
(UPDATE March 31, 2023: Kogla and Yidaro, Rooftop Saboteurs, Xerex Strobe-Knight, See Double)
(UPDATE April 2, 2023: Phyrexian Censor, Glistening Dawn, Corruption of Towashi)
(UPDATE April 5, 2023: The rest of the entries, compleat.)

First are the primary notables, which tease some sort of partial information about certain cards:

- Numerous cards that mechanically care about Phyrexians
The incoming of yet another Phyrexian tribal deck?
(Revealed cards: Glissa, Herald of Predationimage, Norn's Inquisitorimage, Essence of Orthodoxyimage, etc.)

- A double-faced token (one that transforms)
A very interesting concept from an implementation standpoint, since tokens originally weren’t supposed to have a backside (thus cannot have “transform-like” effects).
(Revealed Card: Incubate tokens, as found on Merciless Repurposingimage, Norn's Inquisitorimage)

- A card that costs XUUUU
Specifically blue mana? Not much to speculate about this one at the moment, though.
(Revealed card: Transcendent Messageimage)

- A variant of a mechanic returns to a premier set for the first time since it originally appeared
Hmm… no ideas for this one at the moment, I’m afraid.
(UPDATE March 22, 2023: Mark Rosewater corrects this entry, that it is not "for the first time", but rather already the second time.)
(Revealed Mechanic: Backup, as found on Archpriest of Shadowsimage, Boon-Bringer Valkyrieimage)

- A legendary creature returns not seen since Homelands
Is this going to be a team-up card? Baron Sengir and his grandma? The Autumn family? Meh, most likely just good ol’ Eron after thousands of years of still inhabiting Ulgrotha.
(Revealed card: Invasion of Ulgrotha // Grandmother Ravi Sengirimage)

- A creature capable of dealing eleven poison counters
Blightsteel Colossus incarnate incoming? But it might very likely become be too nerfed for practical use so no high hopes for this one.
(Revealed card: Etali, Primal Conqueror // Etali, Primal Sicknessimage)

- Some planes show up in card names that have never done so before
Well, we’ve already seen the Invasion cycle cards, so there are probably even more of them (that are not plane cards themselves).
(Revealed cards: Invasion of Moag // Bloomweaver Dryadsimage, Invasion of Fiora // Marchesa, Resolute Monarchimage, etc.)

- Wrenn returns with a new partner
Uhh… this is kinda “spoiled” by the latest March of the Machine story chapter already. For those not following the story, here’s a hint: this new timber-built partner is worldwide in scale.
(Revealed card: Wrenn and Realmbreakerimage)

- Two draft archetypes that have a creature type matters component (one of which is Phyrexians - see above)
Lovers of traditional tribal stuff would definitely love the challenge of having (hopefully) innovative tricks to their use and build.

- The tenth _____ & _____ sword
The only color combination not used yet is Dimir so…
(Revealed card: Sword of Once and Futureimage)


Next are some rules text that will be showing up on cards:

- “You may cast spells with flash or flying from the top of your library.”
Oddly enough, specific restrictions like these actually put additional strategic flavor on previous cards with similar effects. Allows the distillation of prioritized abilities too when building the deck in the first place.
(Revealed card: Errant and Giadaimage)

- “an Aura, God or Demigod card”
Well, we already know which plane that would come from. In fact we already have at least one confirmed teaser.
(Revealed card: Invasion of Theros // Ephara, Ever-Shelteringimage)

- “where X is the excess damage dealt this way.”
Huh. Kind of surprising that this is the first time for such a worded effect, despite already having quite a good number of cards that deal with excess damage numbers in our current entire card list.
(Revealed card: Nahiri's Warcraftingimage)

- “This spell can’t be copied.”
Such a restriction shows a pretty strong indication that this will be a solid effect card that’s easy enough to cast and maybe even staple enough for most decks.
(Revealed card: See Doubleimage)

- “Activate only if you’ve cast two or more spells this turn.”
We have Ertai's Scornimage as one of the most recent references to this type of effect (but on you instead). Looking forward to the newer conditions for related March of the Machine cards.
(Revealed card: Xerex Strobe-Knightimage)

- “Each player can’t cast more than one non-Phyrexian spell each turn.”
Wait, so the aforementioned stuff that cares for Phyrexians is actually…!
(Revealed card: Phyrexian Censorimage)

- “X twice, where X is the number of lands you control.”
Definitely a specific card, but no other further ideas as of now.
(Revealed card: Glistening Dawnimage)

- “Whenever a permanent you control transforms or a permanent enters the battlefield under your control transformed,”

So we didn’t have these kinds of effects before? That’s quite surprising.
(Revealed card: Corruption of Towashiimage)

- “If the opponent protects it, remove a defense counter from it.”
Protects it? The only eligible targets during combat phase are opponents and planeswalker cards. Does this mean we’ll have another directly targetable card type for March of the Machine? Or is this a description of a completely new card type?
(Revealed card: Portent Trackerimage)

- “At the beginning of your upkeep, if you haven’t been dealt combat damage since your last turn, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.”
The key phrase here is “since your last turn”, which might get somewhat tricky in paper MTG for newer players.
(Revealed card: Marchesa, Resolute Monarchimage)


Also included, of course, are some the poster creatures for March of the Machine:

Not really sure how to comment on these, but the typing for some of these is quite interesting, as it gives us clues on the situation of the other planes during the multiplanar Phyrexian invasion.

Here are some of the creature type lines of the surviving denizens fighting them, which are also just as colorful as the new Phyrexian cards (when it comes to lore hints):

Lastly, these are most likely team-up cards. Anybody familiar with these creature types on their respective planes might already have big clues on the identities of these legendary pairs.


The countdown is done.

About ChrisCee:

A witness since the time the benevolent silver planeswalker first left Dominaria, ChrisCee has since went back and forth on a number of plane-shattering incidents to oversee the current state of the Multiverse.

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