March of the Machine: The Aftermath Draft Guide and Limited Set Review
Table of Contents
- Calix, Guided by Fate
- Campus Renovation
- Cosmic Rebirth
- Danitha, New Benalia’s Light
- Feast of the Victorious Dead
- Gold-Forged Thopteryx
- Jirina, Dauntless General
- Jolrael, Voice of Zhalfir
- The Kenriths’ Royal Funeral
- Kiora, Sovereign of the Deep
- Nahiri, Forged in Fury
- Nahiri’s Resolve
- Narset, Enlightened Exile
- Nashi, Moon’s Legacy
- Niv-Mizzet, Supreme
- Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin
- Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival
- Rebuild the City
- Rocco, Street Chef
- Samut, Vizier of Naktamun
- Sarkhan, Soul Aflame
- Sigarda, Font of Blessings
- Tyvar the Bellicose
- Wrap Up
Hey everyone! I have returned once again to help guide you through the Aftermath of MOM. I’m sure there is a terrible joke I could make here about my mom, but I will show a minimal amount of restraint. This would have been posted yesterday, but I was fooled by WotC saying it would be out on Thursday. I found out in the middle of a nice hibachi dinner and got to work on it as soon as I got home.
MOM: The Aftermath is small expansion to the set that we will be drafting instead of Alchemy (yay!). It has been confirmed that there will be both an Aftermath slot and a Multiverse Legends bonus sheet card in every pack.
The usual disclaimer applies here that these are cards designed for constructed so some of them are either busted or completely worthless in limited. In this case lets just say they trend towards the latter. It’s still a great way to set build and is actually a slightly lower powered form of MOM limited because a lot of the packs have the equivalent of an extra basic land in them.
Here’s the usual grading scale:
- 5.0: Disgustingly powerful and basically unbeatable. Either answer it the turn it comes down or just pack up your cards. (Tovolar's Huntmaster, The Meathook Massacre, Starnheim Unleashed)
- 4.5: Incredible bomb that still gives your opponent a slim chance. (Adeline, Resplendent Cathar, Alrund's Epiphany, Grand Master of Flowers)
- 4.0: Great rare or the absolute best uncommons and removal. (Froghemoth, Morbid Opportunist, Skullport Merchant)
- 3.5: Great role filler or removal that you never cut. (Magic Missile, Cathartic Pyre, Battle Cry Goblin)
- 3.0: Good playable that I’m basically never cutting. (Usher of the Fallen, Search Party Captain, Dragon Turtle)
- 2.5: Decent playable and the bar I hope nearly every card in my deck to reach. (Mourning Patrol, Steadfast Paladin, Goblin Morningstar)
- 2.0: Mediocre filler that normally is your 20-23rd card(s). (Contact Other Plane, Mindleech Ghoul, Timberland Guide)
- 1.5: Replaceable, overall bad filler. Could also be decent sideboard cards. (Secrets of the Key, Spiked Pit Trap, Village Rites)
- 1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Secret Door, Mystic Skull, Funeral Longboat)
- 0.5: Very unhappy to main deck this, but maybe it has fringe sideboard applications. (You See a Guard Approach, Bramble Armor, Compelled Duel)
- 0.0: Unplayable in every possible situation. (Mimic, Change of Fortune, Curse of Shaken Faith)
Most of the knights in the set also happen to be human so this happily buffs them as well. It’s a step down from Marshal of Zhalfir, but you can’t always have everything you want. It doesn’t trigger your knight synergies either, but it’s still a great two drop for most aggressive white decks.
Even in the extreme corner case that you have double Chandra, this is just not worth playing. You’re spending three mana and a card to maybe protect a specific card in your deck. No thanks. Maybe I would play this over land twenty-three if I had multiple Planeswalkers. (Note that I didn’t say card 23, I seriously meant that it would take me already being up to 22 basic lands before I was like maybe this is better than another one)
Unless you are in the market for a vigilant Wishcoin Crab, then let this dinosaur remain extinct. Outside of self-mill you aren’t likely to have anything to hit with this besides recurring Urn of Godfire or some random artifact creatures.
This body lines up well in a world full of Wind Drakes that can crack in to flip some battles. Giving yourself hexproof isn’t entirely flavor text, but it’s also not really something that really does it for me in a limited context. Even the life gain is weirdly conditional. It’s a whole lot of doesn’t quite get there things added up on one card to sort of, kind of get there.
Would you pay three mana to cycle a card? What if that was literally all it did? Yeah, I don’t think this one is going to be seeing much play. There are all of four Planeswalkers in the set and you would much rather just use them for their abilities than make them random creatures.
It’s not even good hate against opposing planeswalkers because you’re spending mana to turn something they already got value out of into a creature. I truly hope that you can do better than this.
Tazri, Stalwart Survivor
Man, this sure does use a lot of words to say that it doesn’t really do anything. Your transform creatures can tap themselves to pay for transform, but the vast majority of creatures will get an ability that they can’t even use.
It also only gives mana of the color of the creature so it doesn’t really help you activate the second ability which isn’t that great to begin with. Basically, it’s a build around that isn’t worth it. Enjoy your Centaur Courser with minimal upside.
You could hit their unflipped incubator tokens if they are tapped out, but most of the time you are going to want to be using this to be returning cards like Corruption of Towashi for value. By most of the time, I mean in the very weird case you have multiple cards like that and are short on playables.
This is expensive and slow, but does grind a bunch of value for you since it puts the creatures back in deck and not into the hand. Having to wait until end step to bounce the first one is a bit of a downer because you can’t use it to push damage.
This is another constructed plant showing up to do very little in limited. Maybe…maybe you can end up with a heavy (think like ten cards) transform deck that this helps you overwhelm people early. Not likely to happen, but not impossible.
A solidly statted flyer that has some decent upside by revealing either huge monsters or abilities that trigger when you connect with damage like Archpriest of Shadows.
A cheap menace creature that Whirling Dervishs itself every time it connects is pretty sweet on its own. Getting to Demonic Tutor when it hits four counters is just gravy.
It doesn’t specify where the +1+1 counters come from so you can use backup counters or Angelic Intervention to get there quicker, but the fourth one does have to be from damage to get the trigger.
Normally I would be excited about an instant speed card that kills their most expensive creature (or planeswalker). The problem here is that cards like Converter Beast just dunk all over it. It will also be unlikely to hit any of their Phyrexian tokens which could be the largest creatures they have.
There are going to be times when this turns an all in attack into a complete massacre. There are going to be a lot more times you’re staring at a seven drop because things never line up right with it. This is one of those cards that is more important to be aware of existing than worrying about playing it.
The only non-rare vampires in the set are Consuming Aetherborn and Ichor Drinker so the lord effect isn’t going to get much play. There are some madness outlets like Oracle of Tragedy, but you don’t get a discount on the madness cost. It just does a ton of little things, without doing much that actually matters.
This sweet little beater grows out of control rather quickly while taking advantage of anything they can scrounge out of the graveyard. The dream scenario is hitting haste as it comes into play and some form of evasion on the initial attack.
What this boils down to is that as long as you have something cheaper in hand, you can give that haste and maybe give it a bit of a discount. By the time you have something expensive enough to be really relevant you aren’t really gaining that much off of it.
More than a Centaur Courser because of the pseudo haste it can give out if you have a low to the ground deck, but nothing I am going to be super excited about.
Let me check how many common dragons there are. One…and its Oculus Whelp which is…not great. Maybe you can grab Shivan Branch-Burner at uncommon which is at least the same color.
If you’re not able to get anything off of its ability, a 3/2 haste for three is not what you’re looking to do these days.
Bump it up a bit if you have Hoarding Broodlord, Hidetsugu and Kairi, or Zurgo and Ojutai. I guess you can also nab one of the Niv-Mizzets if you are going full on shenanigans.
Plargg and Nassari
This is an amazing value engine, but unfortunately, they do have the opportunity to remove it with you getting nothing out of it. While you never get the best card flipped, it’s still a guaranteed free spell every turn which is going to eventually snowball the game in your favor.
There is just not an artifact worth tutoring for outside of maybe Sword of Once and Future and even then, are you willing to Gamble for it. I’m certainly not.
A bite spell that really punches up. Obviously if you have a legendary creature, having a one mana double powered punch is really good. The big downsides are the sorcery speed and that it costs three mana if you are using a “normal” creature.
Noooooopppppeee! Let me get this straight. I need to have a legendary creature and play this four-mana aura on it to tap for five mana that is still somehow restricted. I can’t even use it to flip my Etali, Primal Conqueror.
I would have to be really deep in the sauce to talk myself into this. Seriously don’t play this card unless your goal is to get to the next draft as soon as possible.
Nissa, Resurgent Animist
Someone left Lotus Cobra and Centaur Courser unattended and this is what happened. That’s pretty solid, but you can actually trigger the second part of the ability with Deeproot Wayfinder, Fertilid's Favor, or Thalia and the Gitrog Monster. There are plenty of other ways like Realmbreaker, the Invasion Tree, Invasion of Zendikar, or Open the Way.
Personally, I’m looking forward to getting a Glissa, Herald of Predation off of it.
Open the Way
You have to be truly desperate to be playing a harder to cast Explosive Vegetation with minimal upside in 2023. You don’t even get to choose the lands, its the whole reveal cards until you hit them schtick.
Clearly designed for commander and even though you can hit dual lands off of it, there are no really powerful lands worth running this for.
I’m a fan of this multikicking dinosaur of action. It’s such a huge swing when you get to pop off a random incubator withi this. A Centaur Courser is a fine floor when you have that much upside packed in. While the gaining four life and exiling a graveyard options aren’t nearly as important, there will certainly be times that they come up.
This seems like a significantly worse Storm the Seedcore. Sure, it might get more counters in the really late game, but it will be close to dead until that point. The lack of trample really makes this pale in comparison to a card that has been “fine” so far.
Calix, Guided by Fate
Calix can certainly put in some work if he (or an enchanted creature) can connect. One great way to do this is Astral Wingspan which both helps you get through as well as have something to copy. Another sick thing to copy is anything in the Phyrexian cycle like Tangled Skyline. You can even copy removal with Seal from Existence or Realmbreaker's Grasp.
On top of that, Calix enters as 3/3 worth of stats for three, but keeps growing every time an enchantment enters. It does take some building around to maximize it, but the upside is worth it.
There aren’t really many juicy targets to get back with this and you’d be relying on self-mill (something not in this color pair) to get something above rate in there. Then it is a bad Wrenn's Resolve when you are unlikely to be able to play anything on the turn you cast this since you invested so much mana.
They could have made this one of the team up cards called Regrowth and Healing Salve. The three life is not something to concern yourself with and Unearth is normally good because you’re mana positive from it.
The one thing that has kept me from walking away from this is being able to reanimate something at instant speed to ambush them. I do want to have at least a few high quality three drops before playing this though.
Danitha, New Benalia’s Light
The artifact and aura clause probably isn’t going to be relevant unless you manage to mill (yet again, not something this color pair does on its own) a Realmbreaker's Grasp or random equipment. Danitha still has a nice little bundle of abilities that play great with the +1+1 counters theme of Selesnya.
Feast of the Victorious Dead
Going down a card to get a minor benefit only during your end step seems like a great way to ensure that you are losing. It doesn’t even trigger on your opponents end step so its pretty atrocious when they are the beatdown.
This is a much better constructed card than a limited card which I’m sure will make Esper Legends a real joy to play against. This will play better with equipment or backup to make the lifelink more relevant.
It still puts the kibosh on the pile of Wind Drakes that are floating around the skies of MOM. It’s also a quality two drop which this format is lacking.
Jirina, Dauntless General
This would be significantly better if it was Azorius because you are more likely to have a high concentration of humans. Having to splash it into that deck takes away a lot of the value of being efficient.
Graveyards aren’t typically a huge problem so that’s more of a bonus when it matters. It’s still a nice way to potentially protect some of your creatures on a reasonably costed body.
Jolrael, Voice of Zhalfir
Jolrael is going to get crazy if they don’t have a way to deal with it quickly. Getting to hit in for four or five evasive damage while drawing an extra card every time a land connects is a huge problem that will bury them in a hurry.
The Kenriths’ Royal Funeral
There is too much hoop jumping involved here that I’m hoping I never have to play this. You need to get at least one Legendary creature in your yard to get what, maybe a draw four that costs you four life. There are matchups I would want to have this in for and the format is grindy enough that this could work out sometimes, but most of the time you will just be staring at this wishing it did anything.
Kiora, Sovereign of the Deep
You can trigger this off of Tidal Terroror Gyruda, Doom of Depths so it’s not completely flavor text. Getting to cast something for five or less mana out of the top six cards is a pretty powerful ability to be thrown in there. Technically you could throw Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle on there too if that’s what you are into. I don’t judge.
If you are unable to trigger it, then it inches closer to the chopping block.
Nahiri, Forged in Fury
You can’t really expect to have more than one or two equipment out when figuring out how discounted Nahiri will be. You also can’t really be playing more than around four equipment in your deck so it limits the amount of mana free hits.
It’s still a decent body and it gives you an extra card for every equipped creature that attacks so if you have two equipped creatures, you get two cards. One creature with two equipment only gets one card though.
It’s not really enough to push me towards the equipment deck, but I will be extremely happy to see if it I am already there.
Take that Sunfall! Can’t kill my creatures if they aren’t there.
The plus one power and haste isn’t worth the card here, but I could be talked into it with the right amount of ETB effects.
Narset, Enlightened Exile
Giving all of your creatures prowess can make any kind of combat an absolute nightmare for your opponent. Doing it precombat can even let Narset cast some more expensive spells and don’t forget that she can grab them from your opponent’s graveyard as well. Three colors can be a bit of a problem, but I’m fine splashing this.
Nashi, Moon’s Legacy
At least there are a few rats floating around that Nashi can grab, but most likely you are going to be wanting to copy a legendary creature. It’s still difficult to cast with a pretty big delta in it’s payoff.
Niv isn’t as supreme as he likes to think he is here with barely any two-colored instants or sorceries floating around. If I’m already playing five color shenanigans, then I’ll happily jam a difficult to kill dragon. It’s not worth trying to stretch your mana base too far for it though.
Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin
Dealing exactly one damage can be a bit of a chore, but growing this while drawing extra cards is worth it. While not in the same color, connecting with a Kithkin Billyrider will do some serious damage with a double trigger. Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive makes sure that it can trigger Ob Nixilis all on its own.
The coolest little combo is with Joyful Stormsculptor as a repeatable source as long as you have some convoke spells.
It’s also a four-power trampling flyer for four so even if you never pull anything off it’s still a 3.0 on its own.
Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival
The obvious combo with this is Wrenn's Resolve which you’ll be able to pick up pretty easily late in the draft. Decent body with a solid upside.
Rebuild the City
You get 9/9 worth of stats for six mana with vigilance and menace attached. That’s a supersized Imperial Oath without the scry. You could even gain some life off of hitting a dual land or use it to ramp up to something ridiculous.
Technically it could even be mana fixing if you somehow have these three colors, but your opponent has a color you need.
Rocco, Street Chef
This is just like that time you ate really sketchy street food and spent the next few days in the bathroom. It looks fine on the surface, but it doesn’t work out how you planned.
Your opponent gets first crack at using the extra card, but you do get a bonus when they play it. I still don’t think that’s remotely good enough on a three-color card.
Samut, Vizier of Naktamun
As long as Samut has a clear path then you get a card back right away. There are some other decent haste options floating around like Marauding Dreadship, Furnace Host Charger, and Shivan Branch-Burner plus a bunch of rares.
The real combo is with Trailblazing Historianto give every creature you play the opportunity to be a Thieving Magpie. I just don’t see myself playing Gruul that often so I won’t be in that lane without taking this early.
Sarkhan, Soul Aflame
Another dragon payoff in a set that doesn’t have many dragons outside of rares and mythics. It is pretty awesome if you do get to pull off the double mythic combo with Zurgo and Ojutai, but I can’t really let that affect my grade too much.
Sigarda, Font of Blessings
I can’t wait to see Floridamun rant after his opponent plays Boon-Bringer Valkyrie off the top of their library with this. You’ll get a lot more run with the human portion of that ability, but the angels will feel so much sweeter.
Oh yeah, that whole being an above rate flyer that makes all your other permanents hexproof thing might matter as well.
Tyvar the Bellicose
Bellicose is certainly an apt description of Tyvar. This could do some really crazy things with Kami of Whispered Hopes quickly ramping into a huge monster that makes a ton of mana. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with Portent Tracker since it’s not directly making the mana.
The deathtouch ability is mostly relevant for himself, but maybe you’ll have a few other suddenly deathtouching elves out with Fynn, the Fangbearer (not an elf) to poison them in the middle of nowhere.
Karn, Legacy Reforged
Karn will in most cases just be a 5/5 for five that gives you a mana or two that can be spent to activate abilities or cast artifacts. That’s mostly going to be transforming creatures or flipping incubators, but that’s not nearly as relevant since this is a five drop.
It can be a 6/6 if you have Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer or Phyrexian Archivist out, but is that even a real consideration when evaluating this. This is a curve filler if somehow your deck has zero top end and nothing else worth playing.
An untapped colorless land is a higher cost to pay than it was back in the day since power level has increased so much that you get hard punished for not playing on curve. As long as you aren’t splashing around or playing mostly humans then this might still make the cut.
It is pricy at functionally three mana, but adding two counters makes even the smallest creature matter.
Thanks for reading! Have fun smashing your way through the remnants of the multiverse! I’ll be back soon with more coverage for you. Until then, stay classy people!
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
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