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Magic: The Gathering Reveals March Of The Machine Set

Wizards of the Coast revealed many of the cards and details to their next set for Magic: The Gathering - March Of The Machine.

Wizard of the Coast revealed many of the cards that will be coming in the next Magic: The Gathering set, March of the Machine, set for release on April 21st. We didn't get to see everything, as there are some cards they're clearly holding close to the chest before release, but down below, we have the complete rundown of all the new mechanics coming to the game with this set, as well as a look at a lot of what will be available. This is one of those sets that isn't going to break the current meta too much, but it will definitely have you rethinking how to approach building decks. Especially with the new Battle mechanic being thrown into Magic: The Gathering. Enjoy checking out the cards and notes from the WotC team below.

Magic: The Gathering Reveals March Of The Machine Set
Credit: Wizards of the Coast

"The Phyrexians are ready to conquer the entire Multiverse in Magic: The Gathering. Commanding the charge is Elesh Norn. Phyrexia had success invading the plane Mirrodin, and now they're taking the fight everywhere. In order to travel across the multiverse, they've activated their greatest weapon: Realmbreaker, the Invasion Tree. Through its sprawling branches they send their mechanical legions to convert all planes. From Kamigawa to Ikoria the contagion proliferates. Realmbreaker's gnarled branches are puncturing the surface of every plane. The stakes have never been higher, and everyone is rising to the defense of their home. But whose home will survive the invasion, and whose home won't?"

Magic: The Gathering: Battle

(NEW Magic: The Gathering card type & NEW mechanic) – Battles are a brand new card type introduced in March of the Machine. It represents Phyrexia's invasion of the multiverse and everyone else playing a little defense. Each battle in March of the Machine is a transforming double-faced card:

Casting a Battle

  • Magic: The Gathering Battles can be cast during your main phase if the stack is empty, just like creatures, sorceries, and other non-instant spells.

  • Each battle enters the battlefield with a number of defense counters on it equal to its defense, found in the lower right corner of the front face. This tells you how much damage it takes to defeat a battle. Much like planeswalkers, battles can be attacked and damaged. But unlike with planeswalkers, the general idea isn't to cast them, protect them, and hope they stick around. You're battling to take them out.

Protecting & Attacking a Battle

  • A battle's subtype provides rules for how it can be attacked. Since every battle in this set has the subtype Siege, they all play by the same rules. As a Siege battle enters the battlefield, its controller chooses an opponent to be its protector. Every player except a battle's protector may attack it.

  • Only a battle's protector may block creatures attacking it. Don't confuse protector for controller. You're going to attack battles that you control—the first time in Magic that you've been able to attack your own permanents.

  • Battles are susceptible to more than just combat damage, though. Some spells and abilities may specifically say that they cause damage to be dealt to battles. Also, any spell or ability that says "any target" can target a battle.

Defeating a Battle

  • Any damage dealt to a battle cause that many defense counters to be removed from it. When the last defense counter is removed from a Siege battle, the battle is defeated and a triggered ability triggers.

  • As this ability resolves, the battle's controller exiles it then casts the back face from exile without paying its mana cost.

Backup – The forces defending their homeworlds aren't doing so alone. Backup is a new triggered ability that allows creatures to help a friend—or even themselves—in a pinch.

  • Whenever a creature with backup enters the battlefield, you put that many +1/+1 counters on a target creature. If you chose another creature as the target, that creature also gets every ability of the original creature that is printed below backup until end of turn.

Incubate – Incubate is a new keyword action that allows you to create Incubator tokens.

  • An Incubator token is a new kind of predefined token, joining ones such as Food and Treasure. It's also a transforming double-faced token.

  • An Incubator token is a colorless artifact token with "{2}: Transform this artifact." The back face is a 0/0 colorless Phyrexian artifact creature. The instruction to incubate will include a number which indicates how many +1/+1 counters to put on the Incubator token. Those counters don't do much while the token has its front face up, but they do a great job of keeping the Phyrexian artifact creature alive once it transforms.

Chaos Ensues – Planechase is a major feature of the Magic: The Gathering Commander decks in March of the Machine. On previous plane cards, chaos abilities had the trigger condition, "Whenever you roll [CHAOS]." Starting with March of the Machine, this condition has been replaced by "whenever chaos ensues." With respect to the planar die, nothing has changed; rolling [CHAOS] will still cause these abilities to trigger. However, now there are ways to have these abilities trigger that don't involve the planar die at all.

Magic: The Gathering Reveals March Of The Machine Set
Credit: Wizards of the Coast

"The forces of Elesh Norn are overrunning the Multiverse. The mark of the Phyrexians is forming across all its lands. But fear not, for there is hope on the horizon. These planes are the homes of heroes teaming up far and wide to protect their planes. Heroes across the multiverse are rallying together to push back against the Phyrexians. As this epic story reaches its apex, familiar faces will prove pivotal to Elesh Norn's downfall.  Among them is Wrenn, a dryad, who will exert her influence on the very core of the powers of the March of the Machine. Seal from Existence showcases the potency of her elemental magic and the intensity of her resolve. "

"Bonding with the Invasion Tree will give Wrenn unprecedented power; she will use it to stretch her hands across the blind eternities and reach for Teferi. Through this connection, a timely message will travel to the temporal pilgrim. With her last strength, she will defy the impossible, by phasing all of Zhalfir back into existence. Aiding in the task is the angel Elspeth. Reborn an Angel, Elspeth returns to battle her greatest fears and the source of her nightmares—Elesh Norn and the Phyrexian horde. Her return will turn the tide of battle. It has to. Or all is lost."

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Gavin SheehanAbout Gavin Sheehan

Gavin is the current Games Editor for Bleeding Cool. He has been a lifelong geek who can chat with you about comics, television, video games, and even pro wrestling. He can also teach you how to play Star Trek chess, be your Mercy on Overwatch, recommend random cool music, and goes rogue in D&D. He also enjoys hundreds of other geeky things that can't be covered in a single paragraph. Follow @TheGavinSheehan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Hive, for random pictures and musings.
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