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Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine review: Fun mechanics

Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine review: Fun mechanics

Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine

Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine is the final installment in Magic's multi-expansion Phyrexian arc. This set follows the Phyrexian invasion into many of our favourite Magic planes (worlds). So we get to see how our favourite characters from all these different planes set aside their differences, and unite as one to fight this new existential threat.

Quick notes

  • Cool mechanics that encourage new strategies
  • Not as good for the draft format
  • Lots of rares to find when opening packs

One of my favourite mechanics from the expansion is Battle. This new card type simulates the invasion of planes. After playing a Battle, your opponent attempts to protect it, while you, as the caster “invades” by attacking the Battle card. When the Battle is defeated, the owner of the Battle card can then cast a spell on the back of the card. It's usually something useful as a reward for winning the battle.

Credit: Raye Ng/Can Buy or Not

This conveniently leads us to the other surprisingly-fun mechanic: Transformation. These are double-faced cards in this set that show how the invasion changed many of the affected planes. There are the fan-favourite characters that are “compleated” (turned into Phyrexians). Furthermore, even the leaders of the Phyrexians themselves can transform to tell the story of the invasion in the form of a saga.

Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine
Credit: Wizards of the Coast

March of the Machine also brings back crazy reprints from the invaded sets — and gives so much more value to the boosters. There is even a chance of opening three rares in a pack. However, this can be an issue for drafting — where players pick cards from booster packs to make a deck. Although the set has very well designed mechanics for players to tamper with, with so many rares, the draft format becomes very bomb-heavy. What happens then is that the player with the strongest cards wins. This can result in some unfun games instead of competing with skillfully-built decks.

Lastly, Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine is a lot more complicated than other sets, so this may not be a good starting point if you are new to the game. Having said that, if you're wondering if you can buy this, the answer is a resounding yes. There's just so much joy in opening the packs and the value in them is great. Get it from Shopee.

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Fun mechanics and you'll have fun opening packs.

Get from Shopee

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