Besides the team-up cards and spoiled completions and other story elements (Click here to see those spoiled and an ultimate tag team we see coming), we got a sneak peak at the set of ten Tap-Lands for March of the Machine. All of these were the ones that give one life when played. And, as not is always the case, there was spoilery flavor text on each one that revealed 10 beach heads the Phyrexians were going to get in the war against the planes. But, before we go forward, of course, I must warn the read:
BEWARE-THERE BE SPOILERS HERE!!
Read on at your own risk.
“The sky darkened and the seas turned to oil as the gods of Theros themselves fell to New Phyrexia!“
One of the first cards spoiled for March of the Machines was a Modal Double Faced card that featured one of the most powerful gods of Theros, HELIOD; one side as we remember him, a god of light, and the other side a compleated monstrosity at the mercy of the Phyrexians.
Our first question here at AOE Tabletop was, ‘Does it end there?”
Well, the answer is a resounding NO! According the flavor text on the MOM rendition of the tap-land, Tranquil Cove, all of the gods of Theros fell to New Phyrexia. Imagine the power (considering these cards were powerhouses in their heyday in Standard and still are in Commander) of some of the most powerful godlike beings in all the MTG multiverse at the whim and control of Elesh Norn and her Praetors. But it makes sense that they would fall. As the flavor test seen on both sides of the Heliod card states (in the words of Adjani Goldmane), “Compleat the faith, Compleat the god.” In other words, as the people who give the gods their power through their faith fall to New Phyrexia, so will the gods fall, one by one.
“Having learned of New Capenna’s Halo supply, Elesh Norn dispatched Atraxa herself to bring the world to heel!”
One of the most important story elements throughout this saga has been the story of Elspeth, the Halo and the legacy of the angels of New Capenna. This fact does not go unnoticed by Elesh Norn according the MOM version of Bloodfell Caves. It was said that the only thing the Mother of Machines fears is Elspeth. And we speculated long ago that the reason was that Elspeth is of angel blood and could be the end to Norn.
Knowing of the distilled power of ‘angel essence’, Elesh Norn sent none other than Atraxa, the Grand Unifier, to deal with this upstart plane. No doubt, she feels the situation in good hands. The only problem? It is obvious by flavor text on cards like Moment of Truth that Elspeth is not dead and, as can be seen by the angel feathers falling in the scene, Elspeth may be on the verge of accepting her heritage and defying death once again!
“On the precipice of eternity, Elspeth made a choice. The fight would not end without her.” – Moment of Truth flavor text
“The Copper Host brought a hideous mockery of new life to Amonkhet’s death-cursed desert!”
This mention on the MOM version of Blossoming Sand is pointing to our first return to Amonkhet since Hour of Devastation and I’m most interested to see if we get a return of Basri Ket. Also during the Brother’s War story ‘EXODUS‘ Chandra made a side mention that Samut had gone into hiding with the god of zeal, Hazoret as well as the refuges from the war Bolas waged up this plane.
Can the last god of Amonkhet stand against the Phyrexian onslaught?
“The Invasion Tree’s branches snaked through the streets of Otawara, turning Kamigawa’s soaring city into a clouded nightmare!”
At one time exclusively populated by the Moonfolk, Otawara had become a haven for researchers from all walks of life. No doubt this refuge of knowledge is of utmost focus of one compleated planeswalker, Tamiyo. And, according to the MOM version of Dismal Backwater, the invasion has found it’s way even to the exalted city!
From here, she can glean valuable information about, not only, Kamigawa, but the knowledge of the planes!
“On the surface of Ixalan’s vast tar pits, Phyrexian oil glistened, and old bones began to stir.”
We’ve already been promised a return to Ixalan later this year. But it is not your traditional return set. Instead we are to get Rosewater’s take on the ‘Underground Kingdom’ trope in a set called ‘The Lost Caves of Ixalan’. This will be set in the aftermath of the loss of the ‘Immortal Sun’ with Hualti making her return and the student of Strixhaven, Quintorius, making his planeswalker debut.
That is, if Ixalan survives. For, before we get a return set, the Phyrexian invasion of Ixalan is spoiled in the MOM version of Jungle Hollow. And Quintorius will be actually debuting in March of the Machine fighting the oily tide.
“The Roil, Zendikar’s planewide immune system, rose in full force against the threat of Phyrexian infection!”
Zendikar seems best prepared for an invasion of any type. As stated in the flavor text, THE ROIL is the planes ‘immune system’. But it’s fought monumental onslaughts and failed before when the Eldrazi devastated the land. And, although they survived to tell the tale, what makes them think they can do so against the Phyrexian hoard. And this fight is spoiled in the MOM version of the tap-land, Rugged Highlands.
Two compleated planeswalkers, Nissa and Nahiri, are from Zendikar. One communes with the natural world and the other bends metal to her will. It will be interesting to see these two lead the Phyrexian armies against the Roil!
“As oil seeped from Ikoria’s crystals, strange metallic mutations emerged in monsters all across the plane!”
It’s been a while since we visited the world of Ikoria with its crystals and mutations. And, to tell you the truth, I’m really itching to go back. But, apparently, the mutations have taken a turn. With the crystals contaminated with Phyrexian oil, the monsters of Ikoria are breaking out more metallic than before as stated on the MOM version of Scoured Barrens.
The planeswalker Lukka actually bonded with a Phyrexian beast and arrogantly thinks he can ‘co-exist’. And, who knows? Maybe Lukka getting an inside view of the process can help the Gatewatch learn how to ‘undo’ completions and uncompleat their planeswalking friends.
“Serra was a symbol of hope in Dominaria, so Norn defiled her temples with monuments to Phyrexia!”
Serra is an angel from an unknown plane that is worshiped in many different places by many people. Long dead, her followers first raised temples to her in Dominaria. Unfortunately, in her absence, the order fell to their prideful leader, Radiance, who allowed the angels to be taken in by the Phyrexians; thus becoming an army of terrifying winged horrors. But that was during Urza’s time. Now, all that is left is the monuments of worship on Dominaria which have been repurposed by Elesh Norn according to the MOM version of Wind-Scarred Crag!
“Kaladesh’s wonderous inventions and glowing aether were of utmost interest to Jin-Gitaxias and his Chrome Host!”
Spoiled by the MOM version of Swiftwater Cliffs, Jin-Gitaxias, the ‘Progress Tyrant’ himself, has set his sights upon none other than Kaladesh and its proliferation of mechanical genius.
A land of machines that are powered by Aether and suit every need possible. The technical brilliance of this plane has to be alluring to the Praetor of experimentation and artifice. But what happens when he gets ahold of all those wonderous toys!?
“Deep in Eldraine’s wilds, strange eyelike appendages twined among the vines and faerie lights!”
And, finally, ‘The Wilds of Eldraine‘. Before we get a return set to these wilds, they have to endure an invasive evolution by the Phyrexian hoard. The Kenriths spent so much time fighting back the Wilds to build their kingdom and now there’s something new in the woods.
And, I warned you about spoilers, so, you only have yourself to blame. If you’re wondering if there will be any casualties, just check out this card spoiled from the NEXT set, AFTERMATH. The name says it all…
Did we miss anything? I mean, it WAS a LOT! So, if you have any insights, PLEASE drop them below and we will chase those rabbits right down that Phyrexian hole! (We love rabbit holes, btw!) And we just LOVE Vorthos, so share your thoughts and maybe will discuss them in an article or a podcast to come!