March of the Machine Constructed Set Review and Decklists: Black
Table of Contents
Hello everyone! With the full spoiler for Phyrexia: All Will Be One live, we can finally get into breaking down the cards with constructed applications!
Since I did individual card reviews already, rather than repeat myself, I’ll link the article, but still give the verdict and decklist if that’s what you’re more interested in. For this, I’m going to cover every Mythic, every Rare, and then choice uncommons and commons that have potential. Let’s get into it!
As always, here’s the scale I’ll be using to label the new cards that potentially have constructed applications.
- 0/5 – Unplayable in every sense.
- 1/5 – Extremely niche play or very unlikely to see play.
- 2/5 – Niche to no play, maybe playable in certain conditions.
- 3/5 – Reasonable playable. Not format breaking, but has the power level to see play in some strategy (or strategies).
- 4/5 – Very strong card, but not the best the format has to offer. Has the power level to see a lot of play.
- 5/5 – The very top of the format. This card will create a huge impact going forward on the format.
- Many Faces of Monastery Mentor With March of the Machine
- Seven Battle Decks With March of the Machine
- Eight Team Up Decks With March of the Machine
- Seven Praetor Decks With March of the Machine
- March of the Machine Constructed Set Review and Decklists: White
- March of the Machine Constructed Set Review and Decklists: Blue
- March of the Machine Constructed Set Review and Decklists: Black
- March of the Machine Constructed Set Review and Decklists: Red
- March of the Machine Constructed Set Review and Decklists: Green
- March of the Machine Constructed Set Review and Decklists: Multicolor and Colorless
For the second time in a row, Sheoldred is easily the best of the bunch. A five mana 4/5 edict with Menace is already a decent rate, and if you get to flip it, its just gravy. Not only is the flip condition easy to fulfill, it’s obviously quite strong! Destroying the opponent’s best threat, forcing them to discard three cards, and then you get to
Invasion of Innistrad
For a Mythic, this is surprisingly tame. A four mana slightly better Murder is pretty unexciting, and if you manage to flip the Battle, you get a Moan of the Unhallowed? I’ll admit the activated ability on the flipped side is solid in protracted games, but this feels like it was better in testing, nerfed a bit too hard, and never recovered from there.
Free sacrifice outlets are awesome, but one that is conditional is not so awesome. Getting another creature once this one dies is interesting, even if you have to pay mana for it, but considering Grakmaw, Skyclave Ravager saw zero play and was very similar to this, I’m not expecting anything from this either.
Eat to Extinction was an ok card that was a little weak for the cost, but one with an extra Surveil and Convoke at the cost of not exiling? Definitely much better! This is still not super exciting, but I can get behind it.
Ayara, Widow of the Realm
I’m all about free sacrifice outlets, but getting only one in a turn and it having to be when Ayara is no longer summoning sick is kind of crappy. Furthermore, draining an opponent for the mana value of the sacrificed card is also not great considering the things you want to sacrifice most are generally cheap. The flipside of Ayara is somewhat decent though where you get a steady stream of threats from your graveyard as long as you keep Ayara on the field. While neither half of this card is too exciting, it does culminate to an ultimately ok card.
This is a very strange card. While Black does have a reasonable amount of cheap creatures, Broodlord is asking a lot of you in order to cast it and then rewards you for having a lot of creatures on board. This doesn’t feel like Black’s normal MO, so I think this is a miss, but maybe if there’s some Black token deck I’m not considering this can see play, but playing this against a Make Disappear feels super sus.
A Phyrexian lord is interesting, and as a lord, this is actually quite powerful. The issue is the creature type. Phyrexian is not a particularly populated type and quite parasitic so every Phyrexian that’s going to be available to this card is in this set or already printed meaning this is not getting any better. There’s not as many Phyrexians as I would like, but I don’t think there’s so few that this doesn’t have an application in some deck.
Archpriest of Shadows
I love Rise from the Grave effects, but you can’t leave those up to chance when you’re paying full retail for them. Although the ceiling on this card is extremely high, the average situation sees this getting blocked or removed before it does anything relevant.
Invasion of Fiora
Six mana wraths are not an exciting point, but ones that can be pointed are more interesting. If you build your deck in a certain way, or even if you don’t, being able to potentially kill more creatures on your opponent’s side than your own is definitely interesting. Then if you can win the Battle, which shouldn’t be too terrible at 4, you get a pretty nasty threat that can nuke planeswalkers or battles alike. I can see this and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse being best friends when you destroy all non-Legendary creatures.
While the upside is there, 6 mana is still a lot, but I can see this breaking through.
Ari Lax is a great player who thinks very highly of this card, but like many of the commenters, I’m kind of confused on why. I like that you can sacrifice multiple creatures or buff a creature while having a cheap sacrifice outlet, but that doesn’t seem that crazy to me. I think this will be a pretty whatever card, but I’m interested to see if Ari’s opinion will end up being more right than the community’s.
What the hell is this? Infest effects are already at their best against Green and White decks, and this one is just better? Sheesh. While it is particularly in what it’s going to hit and unfortunately doesn’t work against Red aggro decks, being able to Plague Wind white aggro decks for three mana is pretty disgusting. I feel that White decks are going to lose a lot of stock moving forward due to this card’s existence.
It’s Village Rites which hasn’t been all that good in awhile, but good to know it’s here.
Now there’s Virus Beetle, Corrupt Court Official, and this in Standard simultaneously. Seems that Wizards really likes this effect.
Surprisingly, Black doesn’t seem too good in this set. We have some really strong cards in Sheoldred and Glistening Deluge, but everything else looks medium at best. This isn’t a bad thing considering Black has been the best color in Standard for quite awhile, so I’m happy the power level was reigned in with this set.
Thank you for reading!
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