Magic: The Gathering (MTG) has always been that card game to represent all card games. Don’t get me wrong but with the boatload of TCGs available in the market, MTG continues to play a dominant role in the hobby. It is 30 years old and still has a very healthy amount of players and fanfare to keep it going for years to come. After leaving the scene for 10+ years, I’ve decided to get back into the thick of it and review the recently released “March of the Machine” set. Is it a good set to start again? Let’s find out!
MTG: March of the Machine Review
Everything’s Phyrexian Now
March of the Machine is a set about invasions of planes. Yep, not just one. All planes are getting invaded by Phyrexians. This also leads to some popular creature cards, like gods and legendary beasts, to become infected and transform into Phyrexians. This transformation results in interesting twists to familiar cards, granting them additional abilities.
Incubate is a new mechanic introduced in March of the Machines. As mentioned above, Phyrexians are invading and they are producing more of their creatures with each spell. Incubate allows players to produce artifact “eggs” that can be activated as creatures should the player choose to do so. Mix these monster producing effect with other devastating color based effects and you’ll have the invasion unfold right before your eyes.
Battles are new card types that appear in March of the Machines. The caster controls them but they have to be defended by a target opponent as they come into play. Once a Battle card’s counter reaches zero, it flips and activates its ability.
The Battle card type adds a degree of urgency to duels as both players must compete to prevent or trigger battles. While it can be seen as a complex mechanic, it does add a certain twist to the usual attack and block endeavor commonly found in most MTG duels.
A welcome surprise in the current state of Magic: The Gathering are the alternative artworks of cards. Unlike cards from of old where you can get alternative art only in different sets, recent sets like March of the Machine now has cards with multiple artworks. This means that some cards, while they have the same effects, have different art to portray them. Some even have significant changes in design.
The Joy Of Opening Boosters
Set Boosters Are My New Jam
To jumpstart my experience with the set, I started by opening March of the Machine Set Boosters. If you’ve been gone for a while like me or if you are just starting, a set booster box offers far more higher rarity cards than Draft Boosters. If you also like to open new boosters, smell the new card aroma, and possibly fill up binders, get set boosters.
Opening booster packs is, on it’s own, a pretty interesting activity. You can do it alone but you can also employ the help of friends to help you open the packs. This makes it a good social activity, allowing you to get more than just the kick of getting to see high rarity cards. In my case, we spent an hour or so opening the packs and doing an inventory of them. This culminated with us tallying up everything on a spreadsheet, calculating the value of all the cards that we’ve gathered.
You Can Sell The Cards
Even with the rise of the easy-to-access and very convenient Magic the Gathering: Arena, playing physical Magic: The Gathering still has its perks. One of which is that you can resell cards. Card values fluctuate over the years and it’s surprising that some relatively unimpressive cards from 15 years ago now sell for hundreds of dollars in the market. This makes Magic: The Gathering a great collector’s hobby – you don’t have to play the game, you can just collect the cards and see if you can keep or sell them in the future.
MTG: March of the Machine Review – Conclusion
A Good Time To Go Back
Coming from my experience with the set, “March of the Machine” is a good set to get back into the game. The mechanics are not overly complicated and the new abilities are quite easy to understand. If you want to play competitively, due diligence in researching other sets to create a competitive deck (and a lot of cash!) is needed. However, if you’re planning on slowly creeping back or starting playing this popular TCG, then this set is a good place to start.
Play Other Formats
During those 10+ years that I was away, MTG introduced different official formats for players to enjoy. Each one has its own perks and benefits which some older players, like myself, would find easy to enjoy. Commander is where I find myself playing nowadays as deck building is easy as they are readily available off the shelves. I’ve also heard of Pioneer being a good alternative to Standard and Modern play given that most recent cards are still usable. All in all, if you are looking to play for affordability and longevity, a format is there to welcome you with open arms.
So Should You Play March of the Machine?
As a player coming back from the dead, March of the Machine offers a good in-between in terms of complexity based on my review. It gives you a glimpse of where MTG is currently is and it also introduces new mechanics that are not that busted (yet!) As mentioned above, the set is a good place to be competitive or to start collecting the cards. March of the Machine has decent card value and if you’re a collector, you can get your money’s worth when you buy booster boxes of this edition. In my case, I might just stick with the collecting part. Collecting both MTG and Warhammer is not good for your wallet.
Or why not both at the same time?
Check out more about Magic: The Gathering March of the Machines via the official website.