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Yargle and Multani MtG Art from March of the Machine by Slawomir Maniak

March of the Machine Limited Set Review: Artifacts, Lands, and Multicolor

J2SJosh reviews and rates every Artifact, Land, and Multicolor March of the Machine card for limited!

Hey everyone! The full March of the Machine card list has dropped and that means it’s time to see what MOM has been cooking up. I was going to try to twist MOM and Maro together there, but even I thought better of stooping that low. Wait, you actually want a terrible joke? Then who am I to deny such a request. This set is ready to battle more than a teenager whose MOM just grounded them. Even DAD would be embarrassed of that one.

Seriously though, it looks like a really fun set with lots of flashbacks to fan favorite scenarios. Plus, you can smash someone in the face with Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and when has that ever gone wrong.

Here’s the usual grading scale:


Artifacts

Flywheel Racer

Rating: 2.0/5

It’s kind of like Jaspera Sentinel and Funeral Longboat had a baby. Weird stuff happens in Kaldheim, but I don’t judge.

I could see playing one of these in a lot of decks and I’ll actively want this when I am playing multicolor shenanigans. This might be one of those cards that sneaks up pick orders as the format progresses.

Halo Hopper

Rating: 1.5/5

I typically despise any 3/2 for three without a significant ability. Convoke makes this one just barely filler by having some draws where it is close to free to drop. Even then you usually have to give up some attacks and do you really want to play this if you aren’t beating down.

Kitesail

Rating: 1.5/5

Every set the flying equipment tends to look pretty bad and gets dismissed early. Then people lose some games to it and slowly start trying it out. Eventually they find out it plays decently in certain decks until some people start jamming it where they shouldn’t. It’s just the circle of flight.

Phyrexian Archivist

Rating: 2.0/5

Phyresis has a variety of effects on its victims (or those blessed with it depending on one’s view point). In this case, it is literally the same exact card it was as Cogwork Archivist. It just looks grumpier.

As for the card itself, it was always surprisingly annoying in Strixhaven because it blanked so many of the non-fractals in the format. It could do the same here, but this seems like a faster format.

It can hit cards in any graveyard so it’s more than just a recursion machine. It can deny your opponent the card they are trying to bring back with Wildwood Escort by sticking it on the bottom.

Realmbreaker, the Invasion Tree

Rating: 1.5/5

This card looks like a huge joke, but I’m here to tell you that it is actually only a really big joke. Maybe you can play this if you’re playing a very controlling deck that can mill them out as a wincon. Just plain old Millstone is bad, but you do keep ramping yourself as it goes along.

I’m sure I am going to have a bounty on the podcast involving this card and getting multiple Praetors, but in the majority of cases that part of the card is just flavor text.

Skittering Surveyor

Rating: 2.0/5

Oh, poor sweet Skittering Surveyor. We all remember happily first picking you in Dominaria, but those days are long past. You can skip out on this in any aggressive decks as it adds too little for the cost. Any deck that is splashing or with a lot of double pips will run this though.

Sword of Once and Future

Rating: 3.5/5

Your mileage is going to drastically vary with this one. If you are Dimir and they drop this, welcome to variance town, population you. Sorry about your luck.

Surveil two is a fine ability even if it’s not quite drawing a card. You do need to prioritize instant and sorceries that cost two or less if you want to maximize value. If you’re flashing back Volcanic Spite or Cosmic Hunger, it’s an amazing ability.

Urn of Godfire

Rating: 1.5/5

Ugh, I guess maybe if I absolutely need a card twenty-three and I am really short on removal. I will begrudgingly play this then.

Lands

Life-Gain Duals

Rating: 2.5/5

Some variation of two color tapped duals are a staple in almost every set that doesn’t have some other land cycle. This time we got the life gain lands. If you are in those colors I value them at 2.5 for the first couple of them and if it enables a splash bump it up to around a 3.0.

Colorless

Invasion of Ravnica // Guildpact Paragon

Rating: 4.0/5

Exiling any nonland permanent (as long as it’s not two colors) for five colorless mana would go in almost any deck. It’s one mana above being really good, but having a clean answer to almost anything is worth it.

You can even flip it into a 5/5 that can high roll you some extra cards if you’re playing enough two color cards.

Multicolor

Baral and Kari Zev

Rating: 4.0/5

That sure is a lot of text to say that you put everyone’s favorite 2/1 monkey into play when you cast an instant or sorcery. You will occasionally get a free double spell out of it and that will make playing around it almost impossible for your opponent.

Borborygmos and Fblthp

Rating: 4.5/5

Did Fblthp get lost again and end up on top of Borborygmos? I’m unsure what he contributes to the partnership. Maybe he’s just there to yell “Boryborygmos SMASH!”

A massive body that draws extra cards and lets you pitch extra lands to light creatures up. It even protects itself. The only down point is that it is three colors, but that can (and should) be splashed if need be.

Botanical Brawler

Rating: 3.0/5

Depending on how many backup creatures you have this can be anywhere from a 2.0 to a 3.5. As long as you can stack counters, then this grows out of control quickly. Otherwise, it’s just a difficult to cast trampling bear.

Don’t forget that it only triggers when counters are put on other permanents so you can’t target this with backup if you are trying to maximize counters.

Djeru and Hazoret

Rating: 2.5/5

I’m grading this here because a lot of the value is predicated on how many of and which legendary creatures you have in your deck. If you have none, then this is actually lower than this because a difficult to cast 5/4 that only has conditional vigilance and haste is nothing to write home about.

If you have a chance to hit Etali, Primal Conqueror or some other crazy one, then adjust accordingly.

Drana and Linvala

Rating: 3.5/5

The most common thing for this to be able to shut down is the transform creatures that require an activation. It doesn’t prevent incubators from flipping because it’s not a creature until its already transformed. Every once in a while you’ll hit a situation where there is an ability worth stealing, but I’d look at it as more of a bonus then an expectation.

That said, it’s still a 3/4 Flying Vigilance for four mana with a potentially useful ability.

Elvish Vatkeeper

Rating: 3.5/5

Paying five to flip an incubator might seem like a lot, but it is realistically paying three to double the counters since it was going to cost two anyway. You still have the option to do it au naturel so it’s just a nice choice to have if you have the extra mana.

Errant and Giada

Rating: 3.5/5

Unfortunately, this isn’t a combo with Heliod, the Warped Eclipse or Complete the Circuit since they don’t give cards flash, it only lets you cast them as though they had flash. There are still plenty of hits for it and with all those Wind Drakes floating around, you might even be able to pick one off by flashing this in.

Ghalta and Mavren

Rating: 4.0/5

I am once again questioning the benefit of this partnership. Does Ghalta just get really, really close to something so that Mavren can poke them with his little stick there? It feels like they kind of addressed this a little because Ghalta, Primal Hunger is a 12/12 trample and when combined with Mavren they suddenly become…wait for it…a 12/12 trample.

This is another of those cards that they either have non-damage-based removal or they die very quickly. You don’t even have to wait for it to do something because the ability doesn’t require Ghalta to attack, you can just play this and send something else in to trigger it.

Glissa, Herald of Predation

Rating: 4.5/5

It feels like just the last set when we had an absurd Glissa that showed how dumb first strike and deathtouch was. Oh wait, that’s because it was actually the last set. Well, she’s baaaccckkkk and this time she’s spreading that “good luck blocking me” vibe to the rest of her Phyrexian buddies (including herself).

Since it triggers at the beginning of combat, you can play her and immediately get value when she drops off a couple incubators.  You can imagine how quickly things snowball from there.

Halo Forager

Rating: 4.0/5

Nice Volcanic Spite in your graveyard, would be a shame if it decided to light up your creature. I’m sure you can dream up more obscene things happening, but you’ll be thrilled when you get a free removal spell thrown in.

The fail case for this is a three mana, three power flyer. That’s a really high floor for something with such a ridiculous ceiling.

Hidetsugu and Kairi

Rating: 4.0/5

A big ol flying threat that casts a Brainstorm when it ETBS. Unfortunately, there aren’t any Evolving Wilds running around to really abuse that, but you can use Skittering Surveyor to shuffle if you really need to.

The final ability is hilarious because it creates a mini game when they go to kill it. They will be paranoid thinking, “Did they put an expensive spell on top? Am I about to take six and give them a free spell? What if it’s just a land?”

Inga and Esika

Rating: 3.5/5

It’s the return of the kittie kart! Turning all of your creatures into Birds of Paradisehas shown to be bad on an enchantment (who hasn’t been tempted by Cryptolith Rite in SIR drafts), but on a fairly statted creature it’s pretty smooth.

The card draw can be nice, but you need to be pretty wide to be ok with tapping three creatures. Luckily the vigilance helps you do that with out stunting your attacks.  

Invasion of Alara // Awaken the Maelstrom

Rating: 2.5/5

In Magical Christmas land this card is insane, but unfortunately, we have to live in reality. Having all five colors is a huge ask without a ton of fixing running around. If your deck can reasonably support this, then by all means have a great time.

I am positive someone is going to drop this off of five natty basics on curve against Floridamun. The explosion of rage will be epic.

Invasion of Amonkhet // Lazotep Convert

Rating: 3.5/5

This card gets you halfway there on the eight cards in opponent’s graveyard all on its own. The draw one, they discard one is generally worse than a Divination unless you happen to snipe something good.

As I’ve been saying, as long as the front part of a battle is within one mana of what I would pay for that spell, I’ll be running it. This qualifies for that pretty easily and the back half is a reasonable creature for the amount of damage required to flip it.

Invasion of Azgol // Ashen Reaper

Rating: 2.5/5

There are certainly times that sacrifice a creature can be very bad. I’m looking at you Ral's Reinforcements and Preening Champion. As long as you manage to kill a real creature, it’s totally fine. The backside is pretty underwhelming, but you can’t expect too much out of a two-mana battle.

Invasion of Ergamon // Truga Cliffcharger

Rating: 2.5/5

I heard a couple people read this wrong so for clarity, this is not a Tormenting Voice effect. It’s just a rummage after you make a treasure token. While five defense seems like a lot, it’s not as bad in Gruul which has multiple cards that benefit from attacking battles.

Invasion of Kaladesh // Aethering, Golden-Scale Flagship

Rating: 2.5/5

Did they really have to make the backside of this a vehicle? I guess it does fit the theme since they clearly stole this Pterodactyl from the pink Power Ranger. The majority of the artifacts in the set are going to be the Phyrexian tokens so you might want to avoid this if it’s only going to flip into a 1/4.

Invasion of Kylem // Valor’s Reach Tag Team

Rating: 2.5/5

As long as you have some board presence the front side should potentially help you flip this right away. The backside of this provides two growing threats to double team your opponent into the ground.

Invasion of Lorwyn // Winnowing Forces

Rating: 3.0/5

Six mana is an awful lot for a restrictive removal spell. Can you imagine thinking you have the next thing they play on lock down, but they drop a Glissa, Herald of Predation. Talk about wanting to flip the table. It’s not like that’s the only elf in the set either. They can also prevent the ability with a pump spell or just have something too large to deal with.

The back side also seems great in theory, but it takes five defense to turn it into a large vanilla creature.

Invasion of Moag // Bloomwielder Dryads

Rating: 3.0/5

If you’re wide enough to really take advantage of this, it can be back breaking. All of that extra power should make getting to the backside a doable thing giving you a bigger, warded up Luminarch Aspirant to snowball the game even further in your favor.

Invasion of New Capenna // Holy Frazzle-Cannon

Rating: 3.5/5

Sacrificing your worst thing to exile their best one for only two mana is very much a playable card. It’s also another example of why enchantment removal is not at its best in this format.

Holy Frazzle-Cannon Batman sounds like something that 1960s Robin would yell out. No, I wasn’t alive back then. I might be old, but I’m millennial old. You all keep trying to act like I’m Encino Man over here.

It’s also, ironically enough, usually best on Phyrexians to pass the counters all around.

Invasion of New Phyrexia // Teferi Akosa of Zhalfir

Rating: 4.5/5

Let me get this straight…I get to make a whole bunch of vigilant knights and then I get to flip it into a Teferi planeswalker. I am 100% into doing that.

Remember Imperial Oath and how annoying three 2/2s with Vigilance were? For that same cost you get four of them now. It’s also adjustable up and down the scale as needed.

Teferi just does Teferi things. In other words, makes your opponent want to be anywhere but across the table from him. This one casually drops an emblem to make all of those knights considerably better or digs for more gas. It can even remove a permanent if that’s what you need to do. You know, normal busted stuff.

Invasion of Pyrulea // Gargantuan Slabhorn

Rating: 2.5/5

I would prefer to be actually adding to the board on turn two instead of playing this unless I happen to be missing land drop three.

While it’s nice to be able to hit a double-faced card instead of a land, it is only three cards you look at so the chance is pretty low unless your deck is stacked with them. If I’m playing this card, I am usually looking to drop it later on during a turn that I can flip it right away.

Invasion of Tolvada // The Broken Sky

Rating: 4.0/5

Five mana for a reanimation spell is pretty much the going rate with the slight bonus of being able to hit any non-battle permanent. While it will usually be a creature, that can also grab a Seal from Existence or an equipment if need be.

The back portion is appropriately named as it is clearly broken. A flying 2/1 lifelink every turn while all of your other tokens (mostly those Phyrexians that this color combo loves to pump out) get the bonuses as well. Good luck dealing with that.

Invasion of Xerex // Vertex Paladin

Rating: 2.5/5

This is much, much better on the play than on the draw. It’s just an extremely snowbally card that is really bad when you are on the backfoot. A four-mana bounce spell is way above what I’m willing to pay for it, but it can clear the way to flip this right away giving you a potentially large evasive threat.

That all sounds great, but when you’re getting beatdown this is awful.

Joyful Stormsculptor

Rating: 3.0/5

This is a convoking superstar as it adds three bodies to the board and then pays you off by pinging when you do the thing. It does only ping once per convoke spell cast and not for each creature used to convoke or this would be straight nutty.

Kogla and Yidaro

Rating: 3.5/5

Godzilla and Kong are here and they aren’t messing around. They can smash one of the opponent’s creatures or just hastily get into the red zone.

The four mana cantrip Disenchant isn’t just flavor text especially because it shuffles this right back into the deck.

Kroxa and Kunoros

Rating: 3.5/5

Three colors and needing at least six cards in the graveyard(including one worth reanimating) are holding this back a bit. It’s a huge threat that is impossible to race if you can get it going though.

Marshal of Zhalfir

Rating: 3.5/5

One of the problems with lords is that they end up sitting there because you don’t want to risk them in combat. Instead of just chilling this one just casually taps down a creature to keep the beats coming.

Knights being a good archetype and this only costing two mana are other things that push this up.

Mirror-Shield Hoplite

Rating: 3.5/5

Now this is a bear with upside! I don’t think anyone needs to explain that getting double counters and abilities is really good. Grow large and prosper.

Mutagen Connoisseur

Rating: 2.5/5

Early in the game this is mostly a big annoying wall that pokes in for some damage here or there. Once you start flipping creatures this can turn into a quick clock.  

Omnath, Locus of All

Rating: 2.0/5

Not even close to the payoff you would expect out of a five-color card (yeah, yeah, I know that technically it only takes four colors).

All of the cards that can trigger the free mana for this are rares and mythics so good luck on that. A personal Howling Mine on a 4/4 is still playable if you are going down the crazy route with Flywheel Racer and friends.  

Quintorius, Loremaster

Rating: 4.0/5

Everybody’s favorite pachyderm cleric is back and ready to lay some beats. He starts popping out his little spirit buddies every turn in exchange for noncreature, nonland cards in your graveyard. As expected, an elephant doesn’t forget where those came from and can sacrifice a spirit to replay those cards for free.

It can be any spirit that you sacrifice so if Onakke Javelineer wants to take one for the team, you can make that happen.

Rampaging Geoderm

Rating: 3.5/5

Do you have battles in need of being won? Annoying small creature in the way? Look no further because Rampaging Geoderm is available to smash in to unexpectedly turn the tides of battle in your favor.

While this is usually into getting rowdy, if it needs to stay home it can still trigger when something else attacks.

Rankle and Torbran

Rating: 3.5/5

This odd couple really gets into some shenanigans. The first strike is what makes this card interesting because it sets up some crazy things to do before the regular combat damage step. The most obvious one is making everything deal a bunch of extra damage, but you can also create a treasure token and use it to play an unexpected trick.

Sculpted Perfection

Rating: 3.0/5

Why didn’t they just call this Phyrexian Anthem? As long as your deck is mostly Phyrexians then this is a group buff that comes with a 3/3. If you’re playing less than half Phyrexians, then this suddenly becomes a very questionable addition.

Stormclaw Rager

Rating: 2.5/5

Activating only as a sorcery prevents this from being amazing. It is still a great place to dump your unwanted creatures and artifacts for new cards.

Thalia and the Gitrog Monster

Rating: 4.0/5

Impossible to profitably block, annoying as sin, and lets you cycle lands into new cards. That’s not even mentioning how cool it is that it’s freaking Thalia riding The Gitrog Monster Would be higher, but three colors are required.

Yargle and Multani

Rating: 2.5/5

Let the memes commence. There never has been and most likely never will be another vanilla creature quite like this one. It’s so massive that it immediately puts your opponent in The Abyss

You could give it trample with Storm the Seedcore, Doomskar Warrior, and even Scrappy Bruiser if you wanna get spicy.

Zimone and Dina

Rating: 3.0/5

Very difficult to cast on curve and you need some creatures you don’t mind recycling into new cards to really take advantage of it. While you can do it as an instant, you usually want to do it on your turn (until you hit eight lands) so you can get the drain trigger.

Zurgo and Ojutai

Rating: 4.0/5

A hexproof hasty dragon that lets you choose the best card out of your top three when it hits. Seems pretty good to me. If you have extra mana laying around you can even keep bouncing it so it always has hexproof. Sounds like a joy to play against, at least it’s three colors to hold it back a bit.


Wrap Up

The multicolor cards are absolutely stacked with crazy legends and battles worth fighting. The artifacts are mostly your usual collection of filler for when the rest of your deck didn’t quite get there. The lands are…well they are just the common tap duals that gain a life. We didn’t get any fancy lands in this set.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back tomorrow with my March of the Machine limited review of the Multiverse Legends bonus sheet. Until then, stay classy people!

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

You can also find me at:

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j2sjosh
j2sjosh

Josh is a member of the elite limited team The Draft Lab as well as the host of The Draft Lab Podcast. He was qualifying for Pro Tours, Nationals, and Worlds literally before some of you were born. After a Magic hiatus to play poker and go to medical school, he has been dominating Arena with over an 80% win percentage in Bo3 as well as making #1 rank in Mythic.

Articles: 206

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