March of the Machine: Early Look

March of the Machine: An Early Look

Chris CornejoDesign, Products, Standard

With Phyrexia: All Will Be One fully released into the wild, and the resulting disaster of the Planeswalkers’ ill-fated foray into the metal plane ready to play out, it’s time to look at what comes next. March of the Machine is the next Standard set in the Magic storyline, and here’s a look at what we know so far. 

The Story 

Our cadre of heroes failed to stop the Phyrexians on their (new) home plane, suffering heavy losses in process. With Phyrexian plans finally coming to fruition, their forces start an invasion of multiverse — armies streaming across planes. 

Can the remaining Planeswalkers and other forces aligned against the Phyrexians hold off the oncoming hordes? The fight will certainly make for some odd pairings as familiar characters team up against the machine threat… 

Breach the Multiverse
Breach the Multiverse

As plane after plane struggles to fight back, things may seem hopeless. Will Teferi return in time to help the cause? Who will live to fight on and who will fall? And whatever happened to Elspeth? 

The Set 

We don’t yet know the official mechanics that will be appearing in March of the Machine, but here’s what we do have. 

Chandra, Hope’s Beacon | Faerie Mastermind

First, double-face cards will be appearing in multiple forms: 

Heliod, the Radiant Dawn | Heliod, the Warped Eclipse
Jin-Gitaxias | The Great Synthesis

Next, we know that Battle, a new card type, is likely making its debut (thanks for the tip, Atraxa, Grand Unifier). But while we have some likely art for those cards, we don’t yet know what they do or how they work. 

Invasion of Shandalar
Invasion of Tarkir
Invasion of Alara

Also, those team-ups I mentioned? That wasn’t just storytelling. Some previous legendary creatures have indeed banded together (not the mechanic, don’t worry) to fight the Phyrexians: 

Drana and Linvala | Ghalta and Mavren
Thalia and The Gitrog Monster | Yargle and Multani

We also know that Phyrexian mana will be coming back on at least one card: 

Omnath, Locus of All

Also, the effects of the invasion will be felt almost everywhere Magic has gone before, as reflected on the art for some returning dual lands: 


When will we know more? Wizards of the Coast has given us the following schedule for the set’s role-out (with our presale thrown in there for good measure).

March of the Machine Story: March 16–28 
Set Debut, Cinematic Trailer, and Previews Begin: March 29 
Card Kingdom Presale Begins: March 24 
Card Previews: March 29–April 4 
Complete Card Image Galleries: April 5 
In-Store Prerelease Events: April 14–20 
MTG Arena and Magic Online Digital Release: April 18 
Global Tabletop Release: April 21 
In-Store Launch Party Events: April 21–23 


March of the Machine will be available in the following products: 

Set Boosters

Draft Boosters 

Collector Boosters 


Prerelease Packs 

Jumpstart Boosters 

Five Commander Decks 

As always, the Commander set will feature cards not appearing in the main set; these Commanders can be picked up as Prerelease Promos:

Thee of the Commander-exclusive cards coming in March of the Machine.

Alternate treatments can be found in Showcase slots in Set and Collector boosters (more on that in the Booster Fun section):

Alternate art treatments of the above March of the Machine cards.

Those five Commander decks also come with a little something special, as you may have noticed if you look closely. That’s right, it the return of… 


Given the multi-planar nature of March of the Machine, it seems like the perfect place for Planechase to make a comeback! Rather than being a standalone product, each March of the Machine Commander deck will come packaged with 10 Planechase cards — five returning cards and five brand new. 

Booster Fun 

March of the Machine is a set that takes place pretty much everywhere Magic has been, and it shows in the various special treatments and variants that will show up in the set. 

First, there are Multiverse Legends — a non-Standard-legal bonus that works much like the Mystical Archive cards from Strixhaven. Featuring new printings of iconic characters, the legends also show off the special border treatments that appeared in their home planes: 

New legendary creatures will also be getting alternate treatments featuring the borders of their home planes — or brand-new borders if their home plane didn’t have one previously: 

Some of the returning art treatments for the set.

And as usual nowadays, borderless and extended art treatments make a return as well. 


So far we know of two of the promo cards coming with the set: Ghalta and Mavren will be included in the Bundles and Omnath, Locus of All is the Buy-a-Box promo:

Additionally, the Prerelease promos continue with an iconic card from each year of Magic:

Secret Lairs 

We know there will be three distinct Secret Lair drops tied to March of the Machine, all of which feature the cards “present” during the Phyrexian invasion. So far, only the contents of one drop has been revealed:


An event as multiverse-shattering as March of the Machine is going to create a lot of fallout, and the special small set March of the Machine: Aftermath is coming to show exactly that.

The set contains 50 Standard-legal cards and will be sold in special five-card boosters. The story of Aftermath will start on May 1, and previews will run right after on May 2-3.

The Kenriths' Royal Funeral
The Kenriths’ Royal Funeral

End Step 

Wizards has promised that March of the Machine and Aftermath will shake up Magic forever going forward, and from what we’ve been shown so far, it’s hard to expect anything less.

Stay tuned in the meantime! As more information comes out about the set and previews start, we’ll be right there to give you all the information you need to get the most out of this epochal set.