Magic: The Gathering’s next set is only a couple of months away, and it’s poised to be a wild ride. The set is titled March of the Machine, following Phyrexia: All Will Be One in the story of the Phyrexians invading the entire Magic multiverse, promising to change Magic forever.
March of the Machine is an event set, representing the culmination of the Phyrexian story arc that officially started with Dominaria United last fall, but can be traced all the way back to Vorinclex’s appearance in Kaldheim in early 2021. Similar to War of the Spark, the narrative of this set features planeswalkers fighting for the fate of the multiverse — only this time they’re joined by familiar faces from all across the multiverse.
Here’s everything we know about March of the Machine, including previews of some of the cards in the main set and the various commander sets.
March of the Machine release date
March of the Machine will be released in stores on April 21, with pre-release events happening the week before. The set will be available in MTG Arena on April 18.
March of the Machine spoilers
We’ve included some of the first spoilers below, but spoiler season officially begins March 29, with the full card image gallery available on April 5.
March of the Machine story
The Phyrexians are invading everything. All planes across the multiverse are under siege, and some of its most storied defenders have already been turned to the villains’ side, with Ajani, Jace, Nissa, Tamiyo and others having been compleated by the Phyrexians. However, there’s one hero whose sacrifice in All Will Be One wasn’t as final as it seemed.
That’s right, Elspeth is coming back! In Magic’s lore, the Phyrexians took over her home world of Capenna and imprisoned and tortured her, only for her to escape and re-encounter them on Mirrodin, so it’s fitting that Elspeth should play an important part in this interplanar battle against them. The official March of the Machine story will be released on the Magic Story site from March 16 to 19, with a March of the Machine: Aftermath story coming May 1. There will also be a March of the Machine: Aftermath micro-set, which will be previewed May 2 to 3. Aftermath focuses on what comes next for the characters and the multiverse.
We don’t know exactly what the Phyrexian praetors will be doing (aside from invading the multiverse) in March of the Machine, but they seem to have specific plans in mind, as seen in the new (double-faced) Jin-Gitaxias card.
March of the Machine mechanics
Wizards hasn’t spelled out the mechanics of the new set, but one thing we’ve seen in preview cards is pairs of characters from different planes teaming up to fight the Phyrexian invasion. What kinds of pairings are we talking about? How about vampire cleric Mavren Fein riding the enormous dinosaur Ghalta into battle on Ixalan? Or the elemental Multani and the frog spirit Yargle joining forces on Dominaria? There’s even a team-up between one of Innistrad’s most noble protectors and its most iconic frog monster. (Frog theme confirmed?)
What about the planeswalkers?
The packaging for March of the Machine prominently features Chandra and Teferi, who weren’t on New Phyrexia when the other planeswalkers were compleated. The art and flavor text of Moment of Truth also point to Elsepth’s return, and I can only hope (and wish and pray and beg) that the return involves a new planeswalker card for her.
March of the Machine Commander
There will be five commander decks released with March of the Machine, and they’re bringing back an old, flavorful favorite game type: Planechase. Planechase lets you travel through Magic’s multiverse during your games, landing on new locations with unique effects. Each new commander deck will come with five new Planechase cards and five reprints. The names of the commander products (and corresponding color identities) are:
- Call for Backup (red/green/white)
- Cavalry Charge (white/blue/black)
- Divine Convocation (blue/red/white)
- Growing Threat (white/black)
- Tinker Time (green/blue/red)
Supplemental sets and card treatments
March of the Machine comes with cards from a non-Standard-legal bonus sheet, similar to Strixhaven’s mystical archive, or The Brothers’ War’s retro artifacts. These cards are called Multiverse Legends
March of the Machine also features various showcase card treatments from the various planes it visits, such as Dominaria’s stained-glass look, the Theros constellation treatments, and the equinox card frame from Innistrad. Multiverse Legends cards will be available in the showcase card treatment from the characters’ home plane.
You can preorder March of the Machine from your local game store or from Amazon ahead of its April 21 release.