Massive March of Machine: Aftermath Leak - 70% Of The Set Spoiled!News Spoilers
Genoslugcs · April 22, 2023 · 19 min
We were still one day away from the official release of March of the Machine when we had a massive amount of cards from the next set spoiled. That's right; We have March of the Machines: The Aftermath spoilers! And not just a few, either. Over 70% of the set has been leaked.
The aftermath set is designed to tie up loose ends from the main March of the Machine story and to segue into the next set. Within these spoilers are some amazing cards, some bad cards, some that do tie up loose ends, and others that feel very random. We also see something we've never seen before - Desparked Planeswalkers appearing as legendary creatures. So, without further ado, let's jump right into every card leaked so far.
March of The Machine: The Aftermath Spoilers
Here we have a fight spell that has two things going for it - If it targets a legendary creature, it will only cost a single mana. Next, instead of dealing damage equal to its regular power, it deals twice that much. Overall, pretty decent in the right build. As far as how this fits into the March of the Machine story conclusion, I don't know.
Flavor-wise Arni is great. As a Berserker, it makes sense that he's taken a giant piece of metal to the face and appears relatively unbothered. From a gameplay perspective, he cares about attacking and rewards when you do by letting you cheat a slightly smaller creature into play attacking for two mana.
You can't quite see the power and toughness here, but I would assume it's probably 1/1. Whenever Ayara deals combat damage to a player, you'll put a +1/+1 counter on her as long as she has fewer than four. Then, if she has exactly four, you get to search your library for a card and put it into your hand. I'm curious if you have to remove the counters from this when you tutor. My guess is that you do.
For two mana, you have a threat that can grow as the game goes on and eventually tutor for something, which I think is pretty good. Furthermore, the menace will help ensure you can connect with this. Lastly, humans and knights are two relevant creatures. So, maybe this will find a few homes.
This card is very similar to other edict effects, where an opponent chooses a creature or planeswalker they control and sacrifices it. However, in this case, they're exiling it instead of sacrificing it, which has a few upsides. First, of course, it's not going to the graveyard where it can be reanimated or something. Next, players won't get "dies" triggers for whatever they lose to this, which is nice. Lastly, this gets around effects like Sigarda, Host of Herons, which negate edict effects.
Campus Renovation offers quite a lot of value for five mana. First, you'll return an artifact or enchantment card from your graveyard to the battlefield for a turn. Then, you exile the top two cards of your library and can cast them until end of turn. So, without taking into consideration the possible value generated from whatever you resurrect or cast from exile, you're looking at getting three cards from this.
If you play an aggressive human tribal deck, this is a pretty good lord. However, it's a bit give and take. Usually, I think you'd want the toughness boost present as well. That said, ward one does offer some sort of defense from removal. Considering this only boosts power, I'd want my other creatures to have first strike or some other evasion to make use of the pump while staying alive.
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There's nothing not to like here. Three mana, instant speed, return any permanent with CMC three or less goes directly from your graveyard into play, and you gain three life as well. A line also says you can put the card back into your hand instead of the battlefield if you want. You'll likely be returning the card to the battlefield most of the time, but I like that you have options.
From a story conclusion standpoint, this is also a win. If you didn't read the March of the Machine storyline (spoiler alert), the World Tree on Kaldhiem was essentially destroyed by the pyrexians. Cosmic Rebirth seems to depict (albeit vaguely) coming back to life, which does tie up that loose end. Good job Wizards.
Danitha, New Benalia's Light
This new Danitha is very solid. I'm not sure what the power and toughness are, but there are a ton of keyword abilities present. So, even as a 1/1, or 1/2, it's pretty good. Given that once per turn, you get to reanimate an aura or equipment is very telling of what she wants to be doing - She wants to be suited up and turned into a giant vigilant, trampling, lifelinking attacker.
There's a lot to unpack here. At face value, you have a seven-mana 5/4 with flash that destroys all creatures that were damaged that turn when he enters the battlefield. This could be a pretty effective board wipe if you play a deck that pings creatures with damage. He also costs two less mana to cast for each creature that died the turn he's cast. So, if three creatures have died, this would only cost a single mana.
I think there are a lot of times where this would coincidently be very good in formats like commander. If someone attacks multiple players and each one blocks with something (or a few things), it won't be hard to have several creatures damaged and at least one or two die - Making this a three-mana wrath on a 5/4 body.
Everything about Deification is excellent. When it enters, you choose a planeswalker type. This basically means a planeswalker name - As an example, you could name Elspeth, Chandra, Wrenn, Jace, Liliana, Koth, or Nissa, or any other name following the word "planeswalker." Planeswalkers you control of the chosen type will then have hexproof. Now, what follows is basically a Worship but with the chosen planeswalker being guarded instead of you.
This is a fantastic homage to the original effect and a powerful effect to have at only two mana. Lastly, the story arc is on point here as we see Elspeth become an angel in the storyline. Now, she's being worshiped, and as long as there remains at least one creature in play on her side, she cannot be destroyed.
Feast of the Victorious Dead
Fits into the Aftermath theme? Check. These seem to be the warriors of Kaldhiem (hence the card frame) who died in battle celebrating victory in the afterlife. Great art? Check. Even from this less-than-optimal picture, the foiling looks terrific. Is it playable? Check. Well, at least for me, it is. I have a Modern Orzhov vampire/aristocrats deck that uses Indulgent Aristocrat, Cordial Vampire, Blood Artist, Indulging Patrician, and Pyre of Heroes to sac things and rack up on counters. And this fits right in... At least for some testing.
I'm not sure how great this is, considering it misses creatures, but I could see it having some uses. After all, it will bounce artifacts, enchantments, and battles for a relatively low mana investment. How this ties any of the MOM stuff up (or even precisely what the art/effect is meant to represent is lost on me. Feel free to comment down below with some guesses if you have them.
Here we have yet another card capable of returning things from the graveyard to play. We've already seen quite a few cards that do this in some capacity. That said, I think the snubhorn is somewhat mediocre overall, but bringing something straight from the yard back into play can always be power.
Jirina, Dauntless General
Without seeing the power and toughness, this looks like a hate bear to me. There are quite a few strategies where I ETB "exile target players graveyard" is solid. Then being able to sacrifice her to protect all your other humans via hexproof and indestructible is excellent in a devoted human tribal deck.
Kiora, Sovereign of the Deep
Here is one of the desparked Planeswalkers appearing as a legendary creature that I mentioned in the introduction. Kiora rewards you whenever you cast a leviathan, octopus, kraken, or serpent from your hand. I look at this and think, "sea creature tribal." Whenever you cast any creatures of these types, you'll reveal the top x cards of your library, where x is that creature's mana value. Then you can cast a spell from among the cards you looked at with mana value x or less for free.
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I like commanders that reward you for simply playing magic, and I feel like this certainly does. There isn't much setup required - You don't have to attack, or tap it, or wait for anything special to happen. Just cast spells and get rewarded. It's also pretty versatile, considering you can cast any spell you reveal. Lastly, the built-in protection from ward is just icing on the cake.
Leyline Immersion is... Interesting. For four mana, you can enchant a legendary creature and give it ward two and the ability to tap for five mana in any combination of colors. However, you can only use this mana to cast spells. I imagine that they added that last line to reduce the combo potential of the card with activated abilities that could untap the enchanted creature.
Either way, you can't really argue with gaining access to five mana the turn you cast this. Assuming the creature you enchant doesn't have summoning sickness, you can generate five mana the turn this enters, which could be huge. Not to mention, anyone who wants to remove your new mana dork is going to have to do so through ward. I could see slotting this into a Jodah, the Unifier deck for sure.
As a vampire player, I love seeing new tools printed for the tribe, especially a new lord. That said, I don't think this replaces Captivating Vampire in the majority of decks. There are some exceptions, though. For example, if you're specifically building around discard/madness or playing a singleton format, I could see adding this into your build for redundancy.
Aside from that, there are a few other things to consider. The lifelink is good, but the convoke is interesting on a lord. I say that because I'm not sure how often you'll want to tap down your creatures to convoke this out if you're playing an aggressive strategy. To me, it seems better to cast this for three mana and attack with whatever you have on board than to tap them, cast this for one, and then have a few creatures with a +1/+1 boost that can't attack until the next turn.
Overall, I think this is a fine card for three mana. The combination of flying and vigilance is good on both offense and defense and having a Leyline of Sanctity effect stapled on a creature with other upsides could be pretty disruptive to other strategies. Plus, whenever she's dealt damage, you gain that much life. I think this would be a powerful inclusion if the toughness is high. I'm not sure exactly where this may find a home, but I think each individual component is solid.
Narset, Enlightened Exile
Here is another former planeswalker appearing as a legendary creature. To start, Narset gives all your creatures (including herself) prowess. If you're planning on slinging spells, this is phenomenal. Now, there's a lot of text on the card after prowess. Whenever she attacks, you exile target noncreature, nonland card with a mana value less than Narset's power from your graveyard and copy it. Then you can cast the copy for free.
So, if you attacked with her power at three, you would exile an instant, sorcery, artifact, enchantment, planeswalker, or battle with a mana value of two or less and cast a free copy of it. Where things get interesting though is the prowess - Each time you trigger it, she'll get +1/+1 and allow you to cast bigger and bigger things from the graveyard. Furthermore, you'll get prowess triggers from whatever you're copying as well, assuming they are instants or sorceries.
Nashi, Moon's Legacy
I don't know if you've noticed, but WOTC seems to have given most creatures in the set a keyword ability and ward. Casting things (or copies of them) from the graveyard on attack is also on several cards. That said, that's more or less Nashi - Menace and ward, and whenever she attacks, you exile up to one legendary card, rat card, or one other thing that we can't see (my guess would be shaman) and copy it. Then, you may cast the copy. Nothing wrong with this card, but I think it's somewhat less powerful than some of the others mentioned so far.
Nissa, Resurgent Animist
This is one of the best cards so far for actually tying up loose ends from the March of the Machine main set. It shows Nissa not only alive but well too. So, she was able to make a full recovery from her compleation. But again, she seems to have lost her spark and is no longer a planeswalker.
From a gameplay perspective, she's a win as well. Whenever you drop a land, you'll get one mana of any color. Making every land drop produce mana is pretty crazy. Furthermore, the second time you trigger her ability each turn, you reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal an Elf or Elemental and put it into your hand.
Mana and extra cards are a perfect combination. Let's say you play a Wooded Foothills on turn four. Nissa will trigger, and you'll gain one mana. Then you crack the fetch and grab a forest, she'll trigger again, and you'll get another mana. Since this is the second trigger, you now reveal cards until you get an Elf or Elemental, and you'll have a total of six mana available (on turn four) to cast whatever you get.
Combine this with other ramp cards or things that allow you to play multiple lands per turn, and things could get crazy.
Ol Niv-Mizzet never once came up while the multiverse battled the phyrexians, so it's a little funny he emerges after the fact to stretch his wings. Be that as it may, he's here now, and that's all that matters, I suppose. In typical Niv-Mizzet fashion, he's all five colors and cares about color pairs.
This time around, he has hexproof from monocolored creatures and spells and gives each instant and sorcery spell in your graveyard jump-start, so long as it's exactly two colors. The synergy of discarding cards into the graveyard (for the jump-start cost) to be cast later is a plus. While I don't think it's the most potent Niv we've seen, it's respectable. I'm curious as to how much power and toughness this has.
Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin
Here we have Ob Nixilis, trapped on New Capenna, where he's become a kingpin. From a flavor standpoint, this is pretty cool. And he's not too shabby from a gameplay point of view, either. A 4/3 with flying and trample for four mana is nothing to scoff at. Plus, he stands to get even bigger as the game goes on if you can deal damage in increments of one. Oh, and he casually gives you access to the top card of your library too.
Open the Way
The art here shows Nissa and Chandra hand in hand. Again, this shows that Nissa makes a full recovery after her corruption. Open the Way is a ramp spell that scales with the number of players in the game. In a 1v1 game, you could cast this for four mana and get two lands into play. In a three-player game, this would be five mana for three lands, and in a game with four players, you could pay six mana and get four lands. Overall, pretty solid whichever way you spin it.
Pia Nalaar, Council of Revival
I like Pia here. Herstatic ability gives all thopters haste, and her triggered ability creates thopters. I like self-serving cards (and commanders), and while you'll have to find ways to cast things from exile, she can support herself pretty well. Aside from that, there are plenty of other ways to create thopters too. So yeah, I think this is cool.
Plargg and Nassari
Here we have two professors from Strixhaven sharing a card like many other pairs from the March of the Machine main set. This makes me wonder if some of the cards from the Aftermath sub-set are just cards that didn't quite make it into the main set. Regardless of whether this is the case, this card is cool.
On your upkeep each turn, each opponent will exile the top card of their library until they hit something other than a land. Then an opponent of your choosing picks a card from among these cards, and you can cast two of the cards other than the one they choose for free.
First, this is quite a lot of card advantage each turn. I mean, you're almost guaranteed two free cards on each of your turns. There's also a level of politics involved in choosing the opponent to pick a card to exclude, which I like. I could see this being a lot of fun to play in commander.
Rebuild the City
Rebuild the City is a weird card. It makes three token copies of a target land and makes them into 3/3 creatures with vigilance and menace. So, you're getting a total of nine power and toughness spread across three bodies and three additional lands (assuming they live until your next turn when you could tap them) for six mana. Overall, not a terrible rate, but I don't know what deck would want this effect enough to slot this in.
This functions almost like Gamble but only for artifacts. And there's another key difference: If you happen to discard the card you tutored for, you get to deal each opponent two damage. For example, if you're playing a mono-red artifact strategy in commander (something like Daretti, Scrap Sevant), this is something you'll likely play. Aside from situations like that, the effect is probably too narrow to replace other tutors you may have access to.
Rocco, Street Chef
Rocco, Street Chef, just wants to help everyone out. At the end of your turn, if he's in play, each player exiles the top card of their library and then may cast it until your next turn. But in typical group hug fashion, you'll receive just a little more than everyone else. In this case, whenever someone casts the spells you've gifted them, you put a +1/+1 counter on a creature and get a food token.
This strikes me as a very political commander that would be a lot of fun if you enjoy that type of gameplay. And remember, you'll get to exile a card and have a chance to cast it as well. So, there are a ton of ways to squeeze even more value out of Rocco for yourself.
Samut, Vizier of Naktamun
Here we have "sparkless" Samut. This card is awesome, save for one thing, which I'll mention later. Samut wants to see you playing creatures with haste. Whenever a creature that has just entered the battlefield deals combat damage to a player, you'll draw a card. As someone who plays Ardoz, Cobbler of War in commander, let me tell you, this is a sound card.
When you have a critical mass of creatures with haste coming down and immediately attacking, it's not too hard to get through for damage. And drawing a card whenever you do will really help decks like this keep their foot on the gas. Oh, and Samut not only has haste herself but also vigilance and first strike. No complaints about this one from me.
Sarkhan, Soul Aflame
Sarkhan didn't make an appearance in the MOM storyline, but I wished he had. He and his dragons probably would have been a big help. Whatever he was busy with during the invasions, he finished just in time to show up here in the aftermath. At three mana, his static ability is pretty strong and can have you on track to cast some dragons ahead of curve right out of the gate.
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When you do cast those dragons, you can have Sarkhan become a copy of them for a turn, which isn't bad. If one dragon for a reduced price is good, two are even better. One thing I did find interesting is that Sarkhan makes his first appearance as an Izzet card here.
This card functions sort of like a delayed bounce spell. You'll place a rejection counter on each opposing creature when it enters. Then at the end of each of your turns, you can tuck one creature per opponent away. However, that opponent gets to choose whether it goes on the top or bottom of their deck. I think this is probably a bit too slow to be good unless I'm missing something. Basically, you're tucking away one creature for each opponent per turn, which doesn't seem significant enough for five mana.
Tranquil Frillback is a versatile modal spell that comes on a decent body. At the base level, you have a three-mana 3/3 dinosaur with three relevant options. Casting this for four mana means you'd get to choose one option, five mana, and you get two; for six mana, you can choose all three.
I imagine that you'd probably be casting this for four or five mana most of the time to choose the first and/or second options, and I think that's a great deal any way you spin it.
Undergrowth cares about how many creatures are in your graveyard. For this particular card, you'll get to put a +1/+1 counter on any number of your creatures for each creature in your graveyard as you cast it. And they'll also gain vigilance, so you can swing out without fearing the crackback, which is nice. In a deck devoted to loading up the graveyard, this could represent a lot of value.
Urborg Scavengers is my kind of card. Aesthetically, I like it a lot - You've got a group of ruffians scavenging the remains of the dead and taking whatever can be used. You can even see that someone seems to have found Elesh Norn's headpiece and is proudly displaying it.
From a gameplay perspective, this makes perfect sense as well. Whenever it enters the battlefield or attacks, you exile a creature from any graveyard and put a +1/+1 counter on the scavengers. Then it gains whatever keyword abilities the creatures that it has exiled had.
You could use this with your own graveyard and creatures like Nighthawk Scavenger to pile abilities on it and simultaneously hate on opposing graveyards should they also have good creatures.
My list is in alphabetical order, and we've coincidently saved the best for last. Vesuvan Drifter is INSANE. At the beginning of combat, on your turn, you reveal the top card of your library, and if it's a creature card, Vesuvan Drifter becomes a copy of that creature for the turn and gives it flying.
The list of discussing things that you could do with this on turn three or four is too long to list here. Imagine you flip over an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger with this! Or any of the other Eldrazi titans, for that matter? Furthermore, anything that makes tokens when it attacks would also be very good with this. Being in blue gives you plenty of options for cards to manipulate the top card of your library too, which is excellent.
I think this is going to be a very crazy card in powerful formats like commander. Even in formats like Modern, this is quite powerful, if you ask me. Oh, and the art is phenomenal too. Overall, I think this is by far the most powerful card from the March of the Machine: The Aftermath spoilers we've seen. If you disagree, comment down below and let me know why and what you think is the best.
The main March of the Machines set officially dropped today, and we're already talking about and seeing cards from the next set. It seems like leaks like this are happening more often than not these days, and I think it contributes to players having too much on their plate and worsens the feelings of product fatigue many players have.
That said, many of the cards spoiled here are pretty exciting, so naturally, we're going to discuss them. Many of them were good, a few were bad, and one (looking at you Vesuvan Drifter) was pretty amazing. See you soon to discuss the Lost Caverns of Ixalan leaks when they inevitably surface in the near future. I'm obviously being sarcastic... but you never know.