Hello! Welcome to my set review of March of the Machine Commander where I pick my favourite 10 cards from the MOM Commander set. I’ll also chat a little bit about some other cards that deserve a shout in the honourable mentions, specifically the commanders because I will likely be writing an A Seat at the Table for some of them down the line. I think they’re all pretty cool!
Without further ado, here are my favourite cards from the Commander set.
This is my favourite mana rock in a little while. Is this in a cycle with Cursed Mirror? A three mana coloured mana rock for 2N seems like a cycle to me.
For 2W, you get a tapped mana rock that only taps for white. Not a good start. Why do I like it so much then? Because I have been waiting for a card that gives other cards Convoke in non-green colours. Even green gives creatures mana abilities with Cryptolith Rite and that’s not really Convoke. Finally, Boros swarm decks can tap Wand of the Worldsoul and cast a Sun Titan on turn four or something. If you want fancier, then Gisela or Aurelia, but either way, you can use your creatures to cast spells! It ostensibly just costs you one mana to tap your creatures instead of lands. Kykar, Wind’s Fury decks get to double dip with this one. I’m excited to use this in my The Ever-Changing ‘Dane deck to keep upping to the next level since it’s a high mana value creature deck.
I think Mirror-Style Master asks so little of you to pay you off with one of the quickest extra combat escalators. If you have an extra combat outlet and the Master is modified, you’re getting more Backup triggers and when they attack, they trigger for each modified creature on their own. So if you have Anger in the graveyard and something like Cathars’ Crusade, play Mirror-Style Master, Backup another creature, attack with both – you get your whole board twice, and your Crusade goes off big time. That’s without the extra combat. I think this card rules and is going to be a big story card someday. I hope you play it with friends who want to see crazy stuff happen.
I love Treasure creation and hate on the same card. This guy punishes your opponents for sending artifacts to the yard from play but tells everybody that each turn, their first spell costs one less retroactively.
A group slug deck that is great in Prosper, Tome-Bound decks and great against them. Give your Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer playing friends hell when you slam this and board wipe. This being a three mana 2/3 with menace also means it’s probably getting through and procking Professional Face-Breaker and Grim Hireling. This lil guy rips!
All the decks that Pain Distributor would be good against, Hedron Detonator would be good in. This isn’t quite Reckless Fireweaver as it only targets a single opponent, but it makes up for that with a buffer body and an outlet to turn those artifacts into new cards. Prosper, Tome-Bound, yada yada, of course he loves this card. It requires two artifacts to sacrifice, but ultimately red is the artifact reanimation card. Goblin Welder and Goblin Engineer will be happy to see Hedron Detonator, a fellow Goblin Artificer, join them in their quest to hurt some opponents and get some more scraps.
Cutthroat Negotiator feels like it could have been legendary. Parley on a Pirate card? Good flavour! Ostensibly, this reads “2UR for a 4/3 Orc Pirate. When this attacks, draw a card and create up to four Treasure tokens.” This is a great direction for Izzet and it’s cool and interesting. This goes in all your favourite Pirate decks. It goes into decks that want more card draw and Treasures! Group Hug? Sure! You’re giving everybody cards! Why not?
Cutthroat Negotiator is such value for the table that some players might not even remove it, but ultimately this is a really powerful card for you.
As far as self-wheels go, this is on the expensive side like Khorvath’s Fury. While Valakut Awakening is probably the better card on rate just for filtering through cards, Khorvath’s Fury and Path of the Pyromancer both have other upsides. Fury hurts your foes while Path gives you mana equal to cards discarded. Think about it this way: The Locust God draws a ton of cards, plays this, draws tons more, makes little bugs, and has enough red mana to slam down a big haymaker.
The fact that this can enable a big windmill slam is very cool and enough to play it over Khorvath’s Fury. Let’s not even talk about the planeswalking ability that is only relevant if you’re playing with Planechase cards.
Henzie “Toolbox” Torre, your new Wurm is here. For a single green pip, you can probably Blitz this out for four mid-game for a 4/4 hasting creature that digs for a permanent card with mana value four or less (so you can always at least ramp) while putting three +1/+1 counters on another creature to do the same. Hell, you could make this a 7/7 and get a beefcake from your library, but I’m advocating for the double dip. Backup is such a cool mechanic, but unfortunately that precon is the least supported of the bunch.
White got a lot of goodies this set and this card is just the bee’s knees. Two mana enchantment that draws you a card when you attack with two or more creatures. So simple, so effective. But you can spend two to dump a card and make a 2/2 with vigilance. Excuse me? I can fuel my graveyard for reanimate shenanigans and set up to draw another card next turn? Genuinely shocked that people haven’t been freaking out over this more!
This is the card that’s been pounding people’s wallets in the prerelease season. It’s a better Generous Gift in every way but that extra white pip in its cost. It exiles a non land permanent and gives its controller an Incubate token with +1/+1 counters equal to the exiled thing’s mana value. They still have to pay two mana to flip over the thing, otherwise it’s almost as useless as a Scrap token.
Another card mentioned because of its high price tag, Uncivil Unrest is Rhythm of the Wild for decks that don’t run green. Not to mention, it’s a Gratuitous Violence for your creatures with +1/+1 counters on them. That’s all for the same price and less mana colour restrictions of Gratuitous Violence. It’s a very good card! It’s pretty damn strong and that’s why people are flocking to pick it up! But personally, I think it’s a little boring! Sorry!
I won’t be mentioning every card here, so I hope you see things you like.
- Brimaz, Blight of Oreskos – After playing the precon and playing black/white Phyrexians in prerelease, I can tell you that this is a really fun commander. It does a lot while also not being overwhelming. It requires a lot of mana, but it’s flexible! You don’t need to run Phyrexians! This is our first really artifact focused Orzhov commander!
- Kasla, the Broken Halo – The face of the Convoke deck is pretty strong! Lightning Angel has a name and she is powerful. Her build requires tokens and such, but playing cards that have Convoke with her on the field immediately get so much better. Why yes, I would love to staple a Preordain to my Convoke spells, thank you very much.
- Sidar Jabari of Zhalfir – Eminence returns and we have a new Knight colour combo. Knight reanimator sounds cool but it helps that you can loot whether this is in play or in the command zone when one of your knights attack.
- Elenda and Azor – I didn’t see this team up coming and it’s a solid pair. I will say, the whole card reads a bit “win more”, but it’s a commander that will feel a little less cutthroat to your opponents. Prove them wrong though.
- Moira and Teshar – I am really interested in this pairing. I think they can be so good when working with Sundial of the Infinite or Teleportation Circle/Conjurer’s Closet. Solid team-up card!
- Rashmi and Ragavan – You’ve got to be kidding me. This card is so silly, just read the card. It’s so good. It’s so frustratingly good!
- Saint Traft and Rem Karolus – Lots of buzz around this one because Intruder Alarm exists. I really like this in the Kasla deck or vice versa. I think they really made the Jeskai deck commanders really synergistic.
- Shalai and Hallar – All Will Be One is a card that was printed last set. You’re telling me it goes infinite with the backup commander of the next product? Come on now. This is a combo commander that some cEDH circles are trying to break already.
- Darksteel Splicer – It’s better than you initially think! Whenever this or even another nontoken Phyrexian enters the battlefield under your control, you get between one to three Golems that have indestructible as long as the Splicer sticks around.
- Nesting Dovehawk – You get a Ghired, Conclave Exile in monowhite! Finally, I get to have this effect in my Azorius Clones list, The Ever-Changing ‘Dane, and Cadric, Soul Kindler lists!
- Vulpine Harvester – This isn’t Sun Titan but it’s a fun riff on it for artifact decks.
- Deluxe Dragster – Look at this mill decks with spellslingers in their meta, you’ve got a new toy!
- Herald of Hoofbeats – Knights finally make sense! Horsemanship!
- Schema Thief – Give it double strike and now your opponent’s Sol Ring was good for you.
- Dance with Calamity – It’s Magic Blackjack!
- Conclave Sledge-Captain – If this stopped at two instances of Backup I’d have called this card Fred Durst. But seriously, this can get creatures through and make them huge.
- Flockchaser Phantom – Another instance of a card that gives things Convoke, a thing I really enjoy.
- Mistmeadow Vanisher – I wanted this character to be a legendary creature, but I’ll settle for this little flickering weirdo.
- Wildfire Awakener – This can get out of hand so quickly that I wanted to make it one of my top ten, but I think this is a pretty solid board stabilizer and game ender.
- Bitterthorn Nissa’s Animus – Living Weapon version of Sword of the Animist that costs one more mana on both ends.
That does it for March of the Machine. Let me know what commander you want me to cover! Message me @mikecarrozza on Twitter or Instagram!